Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Does 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “prove” that Christians are exempt from obedience to any Torah commands?

Many Christians attempt to use 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 to “prove” that Christians are exempt from obedience to any Torah commands.

But what is the reality?

Let’s take a look at that whole chapter in its original context as revealed in the original languages of Hebrew and Aramaic (basically, a dialect of Hebrew), which Yeshua spoke. (Yeshua, also written as "Y'shua" is our Messiah's actual, given Hebrew Name; a Name that means "YHWH is Salvation" in Hebrew) For your convenience, I’ve put in parenthesis in the following passages some of the English words you’re familiar with:

Here goes:

1 Thessalonians 4: . Wherefore, my Brothers, I entreat you and beseech you by our Master Y’shua that, as you have received from us how you should walk and to please Elohim, so you would make progress more and more. 2. For you know what command we gave you in our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach (Messiah).

3. For this is the will of Elohim, your sanctification; and that you be separated from all sexual sin 4. and that each one of you might know how to possess his vessel in sanctity and in honor 5. and not in the passion of lust, like the rest of the Gentiles who know not Elohim: 6. and that you dare not to transgress and to overreach anyone his brother in this matter; because our Master (Y’shua) is the avenger of all these, as also we have said and testified to you in time past.

7. For Elohim did not call you to impurity but to sanctification. 8. He therefore who spurns, spurns not man but Elohim who has given His Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) in you. 9. Now concerning love to the Brothers, you need not that I should write to you; for your own Qnoma (inner being, core substance) taught you of Elohim (and) to love one another.{1]

10. You likewise do so to all the Brothers who are in all Macedonia: but I entreat you, my Brothers, to be exuberant: 11. and that you strive to be quiet and to attend to your own affairs; and that you labor with your own hands as we directed you; 12. and that you walk becomingly towards those without and that you be dependent on no man. 13. And I wish you to know, my Brothers, that you should not mourn over them who have fallen asleep, like other people who have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Y’shua died and rose again, even so them who sleep, will Elohim, by Y’shua, bring with him. 15. And this we say to you by the word of our Master (Y’shua), that we who may survive and be alive at the coming of our Master (Y’shua), will not precede them who have slept.

16. Because our Master (Y’shua) will himself descend from heaven with the mandate and with the voice of the chief Messenger and with the Qarna (Trumpet/Shofar) of Elohim; and the dead who are in the Mashiyach will first arise; 17. and then we who survive and are alive will be caught up[2] together with them to the clouds to meet our Master (Y’shua) in the air; and so will we be ever with our Master. 18. And so, comfort you one another with these words. (AENT)


[1] Qnoma is a very important term that has been greatly diluted and misunderstood over the centuries. Through an exceedingly complex linguistic chain of events this word, meaning “an occurrence of a nature” got morphed and perverted into “person” in Greek.

As a result, the One Elohim (YHWH – English letters for the Hebrew Tetragrammaton comprised of the Hebrew letters Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey, that God gave to Moses in Exodus 3:13-15) is represented in a pagan manner in the Greek New Testament as a “person” distinct and equal with “Elohim the Son” and “Elohim the Ruach haKodesh.” Instead, it is the oneness of YHWH that manifests in Mashiyach, not that Mashiyach’s divinity is separate from his Father’s.

However, in this case we are talking about humanity and not YHWH, and both of them have “natures” that cannot be seen, and yet are a root part of their being. Or, to put it another way, a “nature” is like a body hidden behind a curtain. For those in the audience, nothing of that nature can be seen.

Then, all of a sudden, a hand and part of an arm appears through the veil. While we know there is a body attached to that limb, the limb is all we see. Furthermore, that arm moves with full force, will and agreement of the mind that controls the body. For the viewers, the arm appearing out of the curtain is the qnoma (occurrence) and the hidden mind behind that limb’s movement is its kyanna (nature).

As the centuries moved along, the ancient meaning of qnoma as “occurrence of a nature” devolved by Aramaic assemblies who compromised with the Byzantine Empire. Gradually, “core substance” became the common definition; at first it closely paralleled its Greek counterpart, hypostasis.

More time passed and Greek redactors changed the meaning of hypostasi, taking it further from the original definition of qnoma. Qnoma/hypostasis became equivalent to “person” to line up with Greek passages that used this meaning in the form of the word prospon.

In Greek, “person” implies a physical presence as opposed to Aramaic where body metaphors like “I will set my face towards” are very common. The revision began at the beginning of the Third Century when these same “westernized” Aramaic Christians began to proffer up readings in their “Peshitt-o” versions of Acts 20:28 and Hebrews 2:9 that were meant to align with the Byzantine majority Greek.

However, the original eastern “Peshitt-a” escaped these revisions as it was in the rival Persian Empire. Aramaic, as in this verse, retains the original meaning of qnoma. It is NOT the external “person” that teaches someone about Elohim, but the Ruach (Spirit) working through their “inner being.” The idea of “person” in Greek, unfortunately, does not address the neshama (spirit) of a person as the likeness or “image of Elohim.”

[2] The Rapture Theory was invented by Jesuits in the late 1500’s. Protestants were pointing to the Vatican as the harlot beast system of Revelation. Several Futurist movements sprung up in Europe suggesting that the book of Revelation was entirely future and that Rome could not be the harlot, as this was a future event.

The Jesuits also peddled the Rapture Theory that “the saints” would not be on Earth during the time of tribulation; thereby, taking pressure off of Rome. However, Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) clearly teaches that the first resurrection and the “catching up” will occur at the return of Mashiyach, which will be around the same time that the Earth will be going up in smoke (2 Peter 3:10-12) at the end of Jacob’s Trouble.

Anyone who wishes to see more information on this issue may check out my website’s article – which is based on an an excerpt from my book, "And there was War in Heaven."

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