Torah Restoration Ministries

Evangelist Daniel John Lee

And to the angel of the congregation in Philadelphia write -- These things says He that is holy, He that is true, He that has the Key of David, He that opens, and no man shuts, and shuts, and no man opens.  I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My Name . . ."


Acts 15: Article on Nomos

I want to point out something very important in Acts 15. It is something that MUST be understood if Galatians is to be understood properly.

Peter said very clearly: "Now therefore why tempt ye Yah, to PUT A YOKE UPON THE NECK OF THE DISCIPLES, WHICH NEITHER OUR FATHERS, NOR WE WERE ABLE TO BEAR?"

What is this yoke? This is something that neither the disciples nor any of their forefathers were able to do.

Could it be getting physically circumcised as commanded in the Torah?

That cannot possibly be the answer -- because we know of at least ONE forefather -- Abraham -- who kept that commandment easily, as an act of faith in YHVH. In fact, there are many examples of those who were circumcised.

Could the yoke be keeping the Law of Moses?

That doesn't make sense either. In fact, in the New Testament itself, we have two examples of people who kept every jot and tittle of Torah perfectly.

Luke 1:6 "And they (Zachariah and Elisabeth) were both righteous before Yah, walking in ALL the commandments and ordinances of YHVH blameless."

Not only this, but YHVH Himself plainly says that His laws can be kept. Remember how YahShua said his burden is light? Well, YahShua is the same yesterday, today and forever. Waaaaaay back in Deuteronomy 30 He said the following after all His Torah had been given:

Deut 30:11 . . .13
"For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off . . . But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart -- THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT."

If you want to know what this commandment was, just read verse 10:

"If thou hearken unto the Voice of YHVH thy Elohim, to KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto YHVH thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul." (note how following his Voice and keeping Torah go hand in hand)

Not only do we see examples of humans who could keep the whole law, but YHVH Himself says humans can keep it all.

So, again, what is this yoke?

Acts 15:1 discusses a "circumcision". Paul, throughout his letters, refers to "they of the circumcision". This "circumcision" refers to the oral law, the complex ritualistic MAN MADE system, that the rabbis has added onto the law -- which NO ONE -- not even the rabbis themselves -- were able to keep.

If someone was already circumcised and wanted to keep the Torah -- the rabbis would DEMAND AN ADDITIONAL CUTTING -- as part of a complex ritual to induct someone into all the various other oral traditions.

This was the yoke that NO ONE, neither the disciples or their forefathers could keep.

Verse 5, instead of reading "the law of Moses" -- should read the "oral traditions believed to have been passed down from Moses". The Greek word nomos refers to either 1. Torah or 2. any system of laws. By the context, nomos must be referring to the system of oral traditions which the Jews believed (wrongly) came from Moses.

I am reminded of the command to love Yah with all our MINDS. If the law of Moses and the circumcision given to Abraham was actually being referred too, we know Peter's statement would then be false. Because we see examples of those who did not find the Torah burdensome in the least. But we also know Peter would not say something false.

This yoke MUST refer to the oral traditions.

Remember, it IS AN HONOR OF A KING TO SEARCH A MATTER OUT (Prov 25:2). We are all called to be kings and priests in Messiah YahShua. Searching the scriptures is essential, rather than just reading through it without thoroughly using our minds and accepting the standard interpretation.

Also, YahShua spoke in parables "lest the light of the glorious gospel of Messiah, who is the image of Yah, should shine unto them".