Does Judah Hold The Position Of Lawgiver TODAY?
    Recently with the debate over the Torah-based versus talmudic-based calendars, the question keeps coming up as to what "sitting in the seat of Mosheh" means, and whether Judah still holds the position of lawgiver.  From the emails we have received in the course of the last several months, it seems that some in the Nazarene Messianic community apparently think that they do, and that followers of Yahshua should instead be following the recently re-formed Jewish Sanhedrin.  Today I will attempt to answer these questions, and show from Scripture and the Jewish writings themselves why the latter supposition is false.
    "I shall see Him, but not now: I observe Him, but not near: A Star shall come out of Ya'aqob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Yisrael..."  (Bemidbar/Numbers 24:17a)
 
    "The sceptre shall not turn aside from Yahudah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to HIM (Shiloh) shall be the obedience of the peoples." (Bereshith/Genesis 49:10)
    This prophecy has correctly been attributed by the Jewish sages as referring to the Mashiyach, and the historical evidence is overwhelming that the position of lawgiver did in fact pass from Yahudah when YAHSHUA's Messiahship was revealed in circa 30 CE.
    "The transmission of dominion shall not cease from the house of Yahudah, nor the scribe from his children's children, forever, until Mashiyach comes."  (Targum Onkelos)
 
    "Melakim (Kings) and Shophetim (Judges) shall not cease from the house of Yahudah...until Melekh Mashiyach (King Messiah) comes."  (Targum pseudo-Jonathan)
 
    "Melakim shall not cease from the house of Yahudah...until the time of the coming of the Melekh Mashiyach...to whom all the dominions of the earth shall become subservient." (Targum Yerushalmi)
 
    "‘The world was created for the sake of the Mashiyach; what is this Mashiyach's name?' The school of Rabbi Shila said ‘his name is Shiloh (i.e. tranquil), for it is written; until Shiloh come.'" (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b)
    Even during the 70-year Babylonian captivity, although Yahudah had lost its national sovereignty, they nonetheless retained their own lawgivers and judges (Ezra 1:5,8).  During the next five centuries Yahudah suffered in turn under the rulership of the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires, yet retained the scepter until the first quarter of the first century C.E.  The Talmud records that:
    "A little more than forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the power of pronouncing capital sentences was taken away from the Jews."  (Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin, folio 24)
    In 6 or 7 CE, Herod Archelaus was dethroned and banished to Vienna, a city of Gaul, and replaced by a Roman procurator named Caponius.  Josephus writes:
    "And now Archelaus' part of Judea was reduced into a province, and Caponius, one of the Equestrian order of the Romans, was sent as a procurator, having the power of life and death put into his hands by Caesar!" (Wars of the Jews, Vol. 2, chp. 8)
    When Archelaus was banished, the Sanhedrin immediately lost their ability to adjudicate capital cases, which were instead transferred to the Roman procurator.
    "After the death of the procurator Festus, when Albinus was about to succeed him, the high-priest Ananius considered it a favorable opportunity to assemble the Sanhedrin. He therefore caused Ya'aqob, the brother of Yahshua, who was called Messiah, and several others, to appear before this hastily assembled council, and pronounced upon them the sentence of death by stoning. All the wise men and strict observers of the law who were at Yahrushalem expressed their disapprobation of this act...some even went to Albinus himself, who had departed to Alexandria, to bring this breach of the law under his observation, and to inform him that Ananius had acted illegally in assembling the Sanhedrin without the Roman authority." (Antiquities 20:9)
    Not only does Josephus mention YAHSHUA of Nazareth and his brother, Ya'aqob, as historical figures, but also declares that the Sanhedrin had no authority to pass the death sentence.
    "When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them: they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: ‘Woe unto us for the scepter has departed from Yahudah and the Messiah has not come'" (Babylonian Talmud, Chp. 4, folio 37 )
    The prophet, Amos, however, testifies that, "The Master YAHWEH does no matter unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7), and Daniel 9:24-26 verifies the time-frame of YAHSHUA's appearance down to the very year, confirming that when the scepter was removed from Judah, the Messiah had, in fact, arrived.
    "But to the Son he says, "Thy throne, O Elohim, is for ever and ever: a Sceptre of righteousness is the Sceptre of thy reign."  (Ibrim/Hebrews 1:8, quoting Tehillim/Psalms 45:6)
    So the question is——upon the Mashiyach's ascension, to whom did the authority of lawgiver pass?  Naturally to the ones in whom the spirit of the Mashiyach was dwelling. (cf. Yahchanan/John 17:23;26; Romiyah/Romans 8:10,11; Colossians 1:27; et al) 
    "And YAHSHUA answering, said unto him, 'Baruch atah (blessed art thou) Shimon Bar-Yonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father in the heavens.  [18] And I also say to you that you are Kepha (Peter), and on this Rock I shall build My kenesset (assembly), and the gates of sheol (the grave) shall not overcome it..  [19] And I shall give to you the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever you bind on earth shall be, having been already bound in the heavens, and whatever you loosen on earth shall be, having been already loosened in the heavens.'"  (Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:17-19)
 
    "And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove him, between you and him alone.  If he hears you, you have gained your brother.  [16] But if he does not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established.'  [17] And if he refuses to hear them, say it to the kenesset (assembly).  And if he refuses even to hear the kenesset, let him be to you like a goy (gentile) and a tax collector.  [18] Truly I say to you, 'Whatever you bind on earth shall be, having already been bound in heaven, and whatever you loosen on earth shall be, having been already loosened in heaven.'"  (Mattithyahu 18:15-18)
    The question may then be asked, where did the portion of lawgiver go when the Natsarim (Nazarenes) were eventually overrun by Greek Messianism (i.e. Roman, and eventually, Protestant Christianity)?  Again in the Torah we find that the portion of Lawgiver would be temporarily hidden in the people of Gad (i.e. Gawd / God, a.k.a. Christianity)
    "And of Gad he said: 'Blessed is he who enlarges Gad: He dwells as a lioness; He tears off the arm, and also the crown.  [21] He chose the best part for himself, For there the portion of the Lawgiver was hidden.  [22] He came with the heads of the people.  The justice of YAHWEH he did, and His right-rulings with Yisrael.'" (Devarim/Deuteronomy 33:20)
    Seeing that the portion of the Lawgiver was only temporarily hidden, however, the portion of lawgiver has again been restored to the Natsarim (both Ephrayimite and Yahudite) as they exit the church and rabbinical pseudo-systems in fulfillment of Yehezqel's prophecy of Yisrael's revival from the valley of dry bones and the reunification of the the two houses (cf. Ezekiel 37).
    Therefore......
    "Should any of you, holding a matter against another, go to be judged before the unrighteous (i.e. those who have rejected YAHSHUA's atoning blood), and not before the kodeshim (set-apart ones)?  [2] Do you not know that the kodeshim shall judge the world?  And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  [3] Do you not know that we shall judge malakim (messengers/angels)?  How much more matters of this life?  [4] If then you truly have judgments of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are least esteemed by the kenesset (assembly)?  [5] I say this to your shame.  Is it so that there is not a wise one among you, not even one, who shall be able to judge between his brothers?  [6] But brother against brother goes to be judged, and that before those who do not believe (in YAHSHUA—i.e. rabbinical Judaism)."  (Qurintaus Aleph / First Corinthians 6:1-6)
 
    "So remember from where you have fallen and repent and do the first mitzvot/works (i.e. written Torah), or else I shall come to you speedily and remove your menorah (lampstand) from its place, unless you repent." (Kabal/Revelation 2:5)
 
    "Behold, I am coming quickly!  Hold what you have that no man takes your crown."  (Kabal/Revelation 3:11)

    Shalom in MessiYAHshua,
         Bro.  MattithYah  Coover

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