One of the most important questions Believers are asking today is:
“Has the Holy Spirit replaced the Law [the Torah] as our guide to righteous living?”
Today, one common assumption within traditional Christianity is the idea that the Torah was the standard of truth in the Old Testament, but now the Holy Spirit is the standard in the New Testament.
Many hold the idea that the Torah and the Spirit are at odds, and cannot be reconciled.
However, the Scriptures reveal that the Torah and the Holy Spirit are not at odds with each other — rather, they are in complete unity! They have always worked together, hand in hand, throughout history.
OUR GOD IS ONE
The Holy Spirit does not replace the Torah, the written Word of God.
The Spirit of God cannot contradict the Word of God [who is the person of Messiah – John 1:1-14]. Our God is ONE — one in being, and one in purpose:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD [Yahuwah] our God is one LORD [Yahuwah] (Deuteronomy 6:4).
The idea that the Torah [which is very clearly the written WORD of God] is now replaced with the Spirit implies that the Torah is now useless! This is contrary to what Paul said regarding the Scriptures in 2Timothy, chapter 3:
From a child you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Messiah Yahushua [Christ Jesus]. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Timothy 3:15-17)
It should be realized that the only Scriptures at the time Paul wrote this letter to Timothy consisted solely of the Old Testament! If the Torah has been replaced, how could it be profitable?
The very TRUTH found within the Torah [which is ‘Scripture’] would be obsolete IF it had been “replaced”. [This, of course, begs the question, “Does truth change?”] One would then assume that the Holy Spirit is well within His rights to lead one astray from the instructions found within the Torah.
But does this make any sense at all?
Let’s remember the ‘fruit’ of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
There is no instruction against the ‘fruit’ of the Spirit. There is nothing in the Torah that contradicts the Spirit!
The Word of God is in complete harmony and agreement with the Spirit of God.
If the Spirit were to contradict the Word [Messiah, who spoke the Word], then the Word would be, by default, out of harmony with the Spirit. This is an impossibility! These two are both manifestations of Yahuwah Himself! [Yahuwah Elohim – the Hebrew name for the LORD God.]
Did not Yahushua [the Hebrew name for Jesus] have the fullness of the Spirit of God?
“For it pleased the Father that in Him [Yahushua] all the fullness should dwell…” (Colossians 1:19)
“For in Him [Yahushua] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9)
And was not Yahushua also the WORD of God made flesh, as spoken in John 1?
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
He could not possibly contradict Himself, and neither can His Father!
The concept that the Torah and the Spirit are at odds is the concept of “a house divided.” Yahushua spoke of this in Mark chapter 3:
“If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24, 25)
LETTER versus SPIRIT?
It’s very clear that Yahushua kept and taught the Torah — not just the “letter of the law”, but also the “spirit of the law.”
The “spirit of the law” cannot exist apart from the “letter of the law,” and the opposite is also true. The spirit of the law is the purpose, meaning, and essence of the law.
The letter of the law is the practical, hands-on application of the law in physical terms.
For instance, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus20:14), is the letter of the law, explaining that you shall not have sexual relations with one who is not your spouse. However, Yahushua taught that the spirit of this law goes even deeper — even looking in lust at someone who is not your spouse is also adultery:
“You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
While obeying the spirit of the law is the real objective, you cannot obey the spirit of the law without also obeying the letter of the law. If you do not commit adultery in your heart, then you are surely not committing adultery in the flesh. Therefore, you fulfill both the spirit and the letter of the law!
If there was no letter of the law, there would be no spirit of the law. And if there was no spirit of the law, there would be no law whatsoever! The two cannot exist without the other.
I like to view the Torah as our textbook for life, and the Holy Spirit as the teacher.
The teacher [Spirit] must have material [Torah] to teach, and the material [Torah] needs a teacher [Spirit] to teach and explain it!
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” (John 15:26)
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-15)
As the above Scriptures teach us, the Spirit is our teacher — our guide into all TRUTH. He reveals the purpose and the deeper meanings of the Word of God. The more we “walk in the spirit” and develop our relationship with Him, the deeper our understanding of the nature of Yahuwah and His written Word [Torah] that we will receive.
The Holy Spirit does not speak on His own authority — He testifies of the Son — and the Son testifies of the Father!
The Father has revealed His will to us in His Word [the Torah]. Yahushua became this WORD in the flesh, as a testimony and demonstration of God’s will for mankind. The Holy Spirit confirms the Words of the Son, who speaks the Words of the Father [Torah].
TEST ALL THINGS
How are we to test spirits without a clear standard?
So many claim they are ‘led by the Holy Spirit.’ But how are we to judge this?
When two people have conflicting reports or directions from the Spirit, at least one of them is wrong! How can you discern if what they say is right or wrong? If there is no standard [Torah], then you CAN NOT test it.
Without a standard, there is absolutely no way to judge between the leading of the Holy Spirit and the leading of unholy spirits!
“If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’ – which you have not known – ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall NOT listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for Yahuwah your God is testing you to know whether you love Yahuwah your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after Yahuwah [the LORD] your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from Yahuwah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which Yahuwah your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)
As the above Scripture passage reveals, if any one claims the Holy Spirit is leading them in a direction contrary to the commandments of God [the Torah], then it is not the Holy Spirit’s leading. If the result of someone’s prophecy leads others away from the commandments of God [the Torah], then that person prophesies falsely!
The Spirit will only lead us in the ways of Yahuwah, which are clearly spelled out in the Torah!
IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
True worship of the Father is the fruit of obedience to both the letter and the spirit of the law, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us into the beautiful truths found within Yahuwah’s written Word. We cannot have one without the other.
- If we have the Word without the Spirit, we are condemned and cannot produce eternal life. Our ‘good works’ will be useless and have no profit.
- If we have the Spirit without the Word, we are direction-less, unstable, and fruitless — a house built on sand — easily battered down by the winds of change.
We must marry the Spirit and the Word in our lives.
Let us end the division and instability so we can grow into maturity as true sons and daughters of God, producing the fruit resulting from the union of the Spirit and the Word.
There is no need to protect and propagate the idea of the Holy Spirit “replacing” the Torah. One does not have to beat out the other — they exist together in beautiful harmony!
Just as Yahuwah our God is ONE, so His Spirit and His Word are ONE!
Excerpted from an article by my friend and fellow believer, Grace Lucille.
- The Holy Spirit Will Guide You Into All Truth – learning three essential facts about the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit
- Thy Torah Is My Delight – a look at King David’s secret
- Our Greatest Hindrance: The Doctrines and Commandments of Men – doctrines of Men and Dogma; Commandments of Men, that turn men away from the truth; modern-day examples; Yahushua and the Disciples as our examples of Truth
- The Torah Hidden In the New Testament – a look at the Torah Commandments hidden in plain view in the New Testament
- Be Ye Therefore . . . – a brief look at some of Father’s standards for His children
- That It May Be Well With You – Part Two – continuing study of keys to well-being
- Eliyah: Making Ready A People Prepared For Messiah – a brief look at ‘the present truth’ — the current and fresh move of the Holy Spirit
- What “Word of God” was Yeshua referring to? – a brief study of the phrase “Word of God”
- It Is Often Said: “Two Thousand Years of Christianity Cannot be Wrong!”