This question is long but that's because I thoroughly researched it and want to present scriptural evidence that I would like addressed in the answers.
In the original Covenant that God made with the Israelites, He made one thing clear: the Law is given to the Israelite nation as an everlasting covenant. It is for ever.
You can see examples here: Exodus 31:16; Exodus 12:14; Exodus 12:17; Exodus 12:24; Exodus 31:17; Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 23:21; Leviticus 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; Psalm 119:159-160; Deuteronomy 5:29; Deuteronomy 11:1; Leviticus 10:15; Deuteronomy 28:15-46; Exodus 27:21; Exodus 28:43; Exodus 29:28; Exodus 30:21; Exodus 31:16; Leviticus 24:8 and so on
For example, Israelites are commanded for ALL GENERATIONS to not eat bread on Passover, to fast on Yom Kippur, and not to work on the Sabbath day.
Deuteronomy 11 goes into detail about blessings and curses that would come about as a result of keeping or not keeping the law.
Now, most of the Jews in the years after 35 AD didn't personally see Jesus resurrect or anything like that. They relied merely on the word of 12 guys, many of whom didn't write any gospels (at least none that have made it down to us).
The first time, God appeared to everyone. He even says this:
"The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you."
In short - if you're Jewish and someone is telling you "hey guys, we can go eat pork now because the Law has been 'fulfilled' by Jesus, and we saw him resurrect so don't worry guys", you shouldn't listen to them. Why? Because God appeared to everyone and said to follow His commands. And those commands include not eating pork.
No wonder Paul and other people had trouble convincing the Jews. It was a big risk for them to listen to these guys.
So my question is - if God really wanted Jews to stop following the Law, why didn't He just communicate it clearly to everyone as He did the first time? Why use some fishermen and a former Pharisee?
In addition, please address the following facts from the New Testament:
Jesus himself says to follow the law. For example Matthew 5:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until Heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
Here is what we know logically: Heaven and earth didn't disappear. So this leaves only one possibility, that the word 'fulfill' somehow absolves Jewish Christians who are under grace from keeping the law, with Jesus as a stand-in for everybody. How can we be SURE that this is indeed the meaning, when Jesus could just as easily have meant that he personally will fulfill them as an example to others to fulfill them? A more natural interpretation, by the way.
We also have Jesus teaching in Matthew 5:19
"Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Notice that even if you enter the Kingdom of Heaven you can still be called least by breaking commandments and teaching others to do the same.
Jesus' actual answer to the question "What must I do to be saved" is "Follow the Law." The story with the young ruler is found in all three synoptic gospels. Here is Luke:
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Combining this with the first two points above, it would seem that Jesus was advocating following ALL the commandments, not just the 10 commandments. In any case, how are we sure that Jews don't have to do what Jesus told the young ruler?
Most of our our support for antinomianism comes from Paul. But Paul never saw Jesus' ministry on earth during his lifetime, and what changed his life was a PERSONAL experience on the road to Damascus not shared by anyone else. Mohammad also claims to have a personal experience but you don't believe Islam. Also, immediately afterwards [Gal. 1:15-16] Paul says he did not consult the disciples of Jesus (who may have told him to follow the law) but went to Arabia and preached his gospel among the gentiles from his own visions. Three years later, he says, he decided to visit the "Pillars of the Church" and makes explicit in Galatians 1:18-24 that he saw no one except Cephas (Peter) and James, when he was in Jerusalem, and implies he did not explain his gospel to them until 14 years later [Gal 2:1-2] in a subsequent trip to Jerusalem. He says of that trip:
I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.
In his own words, he winds up arguing with Peter (Cephas) and telling him that he is wrong to follow the Law. Even though he came to see if what he preaches to the gentiles is correct.
In Acts 15 and 21, we have a different picture. The Church Fathers tell Paul that there are rumors he is teaching Jews not to follow the Law. They command him to show "there is no truth in these reports about you", and he does. They then send an OFFICIAL LETTER TO ALL GENTILE BELIEVERS:
The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
Some Christians today don't even follow the requirements set forth above, and this was as official as it gets by the most authoritative Church leaders ever. So what gives?
So can you please address 1 - 5 and the details above in your answers?