Author Archives: Banner Kidd

Sabbath Gathering Time Changed for Spring and Summer

As the spring time is upon us, and summer approaches, we are experiencing more daylight, which is an amazing picture of how we receive an increase of “light” as in the revelation of the Word of our Father YHWH, and direction to live and be prepared by Him for the wedding day to come. This happens as we keep His appointed times (Moedim), His Feasts and allow Messiah Yahusha, our Great High Priest, to set us in order.

Since we are now, and will be experiencing more daylight hours we will move our gathering time back to 4:30pm each Sabbath. We move to an earlier time during the fall and winter in order to give folks time to get home before nightfall.

If you would like to visit, or are interested in being a part of our family on a consistent basis, we would love to see you at 4:30pm, each Sabbath.

 

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New Sabbath Gathering Time

Effective November 11th, 2017, Messiah Fellowship will meet for discussion in the Scriptures, and worship at 2:30PM. If you have questions about the gathering, or questions in general, please contact us. You may e-mail or call 260-562-3236. Please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

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What is the Condition of Your Heart?

The condition of one’s heart is exposed when one encounters the Truth and
must choose between the the Truth and the lie. Further, one’s heart is
exposed when one has no desire to know what is Truth and what is the lie.

The Apostle Shaul/Paul wrote, “Examine yourself to see if you are of the faith.”

Shaul also wrote that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Elohim.” Faith is believing what Yahweh Elohim said. What Yah said is the Truth. Yahshua said, of the only Word in existence, the Word of the Father, that “Your Word is Truth,” in Yohanan/John 17:17. Dawid wrote that the Word of Elohim, the Truth is Torah, in Psalm 119:151-152.

Yahshua is the Word made flesh, who was in the beginning, who was with Elohim, who was Elohim. He is the Word that came to each of the Prophets, He is the Spirit of Truth. He came to destroy the works of the devil, the liar from the beginning. He came to set you and me free from the lie and the grip of the liar.

Shaul says, in 2nd Thessalonians 2, Verses 7-12:

“For the secret of lawlessness is already at work – only until he who now restrains comes out of the midst. And then the lawless one shall be revealed, whom the Master shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth and bring to naught with the manifestation of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved. And for this reason Elohim sends them a working of delusion, for them to believe the falsehood, b  in order that all should be judged who did not believe the truth, but have delighted in the unrighteousness.”

What is this deluding influence? It is none other than the lie that is masquerading as the Truth of Elohim. It is the Satanically inspired pagan/humanistic additions to and subtractions from the Truth of Elohim’s Word, beginning in Genesis and concluding in Revelation. It began with Truth, man believed the lie, and died, being barred from the Tree of Life. Yahshua came to destroy the works of the liar, Satan, and in the end He, the Living Truth/Torah is fully revealed and those who believe the Truth will eat from the Tree of Life.

Allow the witness in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 22, Verses  to this warning to sink in. Yohanan, called John writes, “And see, I am coming speedily, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according to his work.  I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those  doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city. But outside are the dogs and those who enchant with drugs, and those who whore, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and all who love and do falsehood.”

Debarim/Deuteronomy 28-30 is the witness in the Torah of blessing for those who obey the Commandments of Yahweh, along with the curse for disobedience. The contrast is clear; the lie is not in accord with the Truth. The Truth is defined as the Commandments of Elohim.

The Apostolic Scriptures, of what is called the “New Testament,” agrees with the Set Apart Scriptures, from Bereshith/Genesis, through Revelation. They are what the Apostolic Scriptures are founded upon.

Believing and obeying the Truth brings blessing, while believing and living the lie brings a curse. It is sin, which is transgression of the Torah Commandments. The wages of sin is death. Eternal life is in the Tree of Life, accessed by keeping Elohim’s Commandments.

How will we respond to this Truth? Each of us has to choose. Our hearts are
exposed. What will your choice be?

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Ya’aqob – James Chapter Two-The Law of Liberty

Ya’aqob/James Chapter Two is often cited by traditional, evangelical Christianity as proof text that we can’t keep the Torah and should not try to. After all, none of us is without sin, so, by implication, toss out the standard for sin and carry on. That is what man says. But what does Yahweh Elohim say? What does the Scripture really say?

The context of Ya’aqob Chapter Two is discussing our attitude to the brethren. It isn’t about whether we should keep the Law of Elohim or not. It’s about how we keep the Law, the Torah of Elohim, and our heart attitude towards it, and towards one another. The letter deals with partiality in judgment. It does not set aside the standard for judgment. In fact it upholds the Standard of Torah.

Ya’aqob talks about the Law of Liberty. It has been said that this is a new Law, not being the Torah that Elohim gave Mosheh/Moses. Being called the “Royal Law” it is thought to transcend and replace Torah. But a careful reading, in context with Torah, shows that this cannot be.

In Verse 8 Ya’aqob, in speaking of the Royal Law, quotes Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:18. Most people who read Ya’aqob don’t know that he is quoting from the Torah of Yahweh, as given to Moshe. This is not a new law that supersedes the Torah. It is Torah. The context is rightly judging your brother. Scripture does not teach us that we are not to judge, as some have suggested it does. We are told to judge rightly, according to Torah. But even in that we must not be arrogant, or use a different standard for one brother over another, based on position, social standing, or wealth.

So, what is Ya’aqob saying in the following portion of his letter?

“If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as
transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, ‘DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,’ also said, ‘DO NOT COMMIT MURDER.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.”

The “Royal Law,” is Torah, the Law of the King of Kings. To fulfill the Torah, according to Torah (Scripture) is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Scripture teaches us that “Elohim is Love.” To rightly apply His Torah it must be with an attitude of love. There can be no partiality, nor can there be arrogance in believing that I have attained and my brother is lesser than me because he is not at the same level of growth in walking in Torah as I believe I have achieved. Likewise, a brother who has been walking longer than me, or has had Truth revealed to him that I as yet haven’t seen, should not behave that way to me. The focus has to be on our heart’s desire to walk in His Torah, based on a commitment to repentant change when we see what His Word says and requires of us.

Ya’aqob speaks a truth that we would all be humbled by, and subsequently blessed by, if we take heed. He is simply telling us the same thing as Yohanan/John said, in 1st Yohanan. We all sin! We still have to deal with our flesh, that part of us that does not want to submit to the Torah of Yahweh. Recognizing this Truth means that I fall short. We all do. We cannot ever apply Torah from the perspective that we have attained a perfection in performance of it. But we must understand that it is our heart that is the focus of Torah. This is keeping Torah. It is how our heart and mind regards Torah. Do we want to obey, and are we yielding to His Spirit, and His Truth/Torah, that He might cause us to be obedient. This is the true work of favor, called “grace” by traditionalism. It is not that favor is the path to ignore and set aside Torah.

The one who is born again, and has entered into the New Covenant purchased by the blood of Yahshua, will have the Torah written on their heart, placed in their mind, and will be caused to walk in His Commandments, if they submit to it, and to Him.

Here’s the question we each must answer: Do we want to obey Torah? If our answer is “Yes” we will acknowledge our sin and be willing to confess, repent, and be cleansed by the blood of Yahshua, each and every time we are convicted of trespass. In this application we are judged by the “Law of Liberty,” called the Law of life in Messiah Yahshua, by Shaul. It is contrasted to the Law of sin and death. Each is a reflection and a reality of our relationship with the Living Torah, Yahshua. Same Law, yet we have a different relationship with that Law/Torah. It is in Yahshua.

Liberty was purchased by Yahshua on the stake for you and me. He set us free from sin, which is defined as “transgression of the Torah.” He did not set us free from Torah, otherwise the standard for sin is no more and we can do, each man or woman, as seems right in his or her own eyes. We know that perspective is condemned in Scripture. He set us free from sin/lawlessness, just as He delivered Israel from Egypt to serve Him as He prescribed. He set us from sin/lawlessness, in order that, in Him, we might be found lawful, if we choose to walk in His Truth.

Being set free from sin means each of us have a choice. By the work of grace, changing our hearts, we have entered into the New Covenant in His blood. He has written His Torah on our hearts, put it in our minds, and will cause us to walk in His Commandments, if we will humble ourselves under His mighty hand, and submit to His Torah. We can now choose to walk in Truth. Prior to accepting Messiah, and His atoning sacrifice, we had no choice in the matter. We were in bondage to sin. But, being set free, we can recognize our sin for what it is, “transgression of Torah.” We can repent because we now are the recipients of mercy. Remember what He said in Shemoth/Exodus Chapter Twenty? He said that His mercy is there for those who love Him and guard/keep His Commandments. Yahshua said, “If you love Me, keep My
Commandments.” He is Yahweh Elohim! His mercy triumphs over judgement for those who love Him and guard/keep His Commandments. We guard what is valuable to us. Torah is of high value to Elohim! It is who He is! Is it valuable to us?

Likewise we are to show mercy to one another in Torah community. That doesn’t mean we overlook transgression, but that we have an attitude of love and of helping one another in our walk. We need to provoke one another to good works, and encourage each other. This requires submission to Yahshua and submission to workmanship, and submission to one another, in Him. In this we have fellowship with one another, as we walk in the Light of Torah, as He is in the Light, according to what Yohanan wrote in his first letter. I have to be willing to hear exhortation from my brother, just as he must be willing to hear it from me, as each of us speak Truth, according to what is written and established, and as His Spirit directs. The goal is that the entire body grow together into a spiritual house of worship; the Body of Messiah.

The Law of Liberty means we have a choice. Yohanan said that, when we sin, and we will, we have an advocate who has been given in mercy to those who love Him, submit to His Torah, and allow His workmanship in and through us, both to will and do for His good pleasure. His good pleasure is that we, like loving, obedient children, submit to His Commandments given in Torah, and submit to chastisement when we sin. Ibrim/Hebrews Chapter Twelve says that this yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness, if we submit to the discipline of our Heavenly Father. This is the “Law of Liberty.” A way has been made for us. We are free from sin, if we choose to accept the atoning sacrifice of Yahshua. Then we can truly walk in the “Law of Liberty.”

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Independence-Freedom or Rebellion?

Independence – Freedom or Rebellion?

As I’m sitting here writing this blog entry the sound of fireworks echoes off Big Turkey Lake, just about 200 yards from my house. It’s the Independence Day weekend and nearly every community across America celebrates the independence of the United States with fireworks and celebration. What about independence? Is it a desirable thing? What do we desire to be independent from? What does the word “independence” even mean? I ask these questions primarily in the relationship of the professing church with her husband.

Independence is an interesting word. According to Webster’s Dictionary, online, independence is defined as “the quality or state of being independent.” The word “independent” comes from the Greek word “auto-nomos.” Now here’s a very familiar Greek word used here. Remember the Greek word used in the Scriptures, translated “lawlessness?” It is the Greek word “anti-nomos.” Nomos is the Greek word for “law.” The context of the text dictates whether it is used in reference to the Law, or Torah of Yahweh, or of the “works of the law,” that contains man’s additions and subtractions to Torah. That’s another subject for another time, but the important thing is to look at independence in light of the Christian, and even the Messianic Judaic practice and doctrine. Does it fit? Is it right?

Please look with me a little closer at the Webster’s definition of the word “independence” from the Greek word, “auto-nomos.” According to Webster’s definition it means, “not subject to control by others… self-governing….rule oneself…not affiliated with a larger controlling unit…not looking for others for guidance.” Just to dig in a little deeper let’s look at the phrase in the definition “self-governing.”

Self-governing is what this nation professes to be and how it started, right; the will of the people determining the law of the land – the majority rule? Well that’s not how it appears it was meant to be. At least we were told we were a republic, a nation of laws – a constitution that places parameters around the lawmakers in congress and the senate, guiding the decisions of the judges and the president. Of course we see how that isn’t working so well for us. Why? Autonomy! Self-governance!

The Greek word, “autonomous” means “independent from the law,” or “having the right or power of self-government.” The United States of America was born out of a revolt against the authority of England. In short the people of the American colonies of England rebelled against their government, defeated England and formed its own government, by the people for the people. I’m not here to debate whether that was a right thing or a wrong thing. I’m just looking at if for what it really is. The USA became autonomous from England through rebellion against England’s authority. Now what does that mean to mankind in his professed relationship with his Creator? Since then she has rebelled against her own laws. It appears that rebellion is deep seated in mankind. Scripture even says that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and said in Torah to not allow a witch to live! Rebellion of HIS creation is a serious matter with the Creator.

What we call the Book of  Galatians is, in actuality, a letter written by the Apostle Shaul/Paul to the Galatians. It is pivotal in the establishment of doctrine, especially in the professing church. It is commonly called the church’s “Magna Carta,” and more commonly, “The Christian’s Declaration of Independence.” Let’s take a look at these ascribed titles and perceived doctrine concerning The Book of Galatians, in light of the definition of the word “independence.”

I ask you, please, just use some common sense, logic, and more importantly, the Scriptural context, and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you concerning this issue. Think about it; The Christian’s Declaration of Independence from what? The church says that the reborn Christian is now free from the Law, or Torah of Yahweh. The Christian, in his or her mind, is now “independent” of the Torah! Consider that Yahshua, or Jesus, as he is mistakenly known in the professing evangelical church, is called the Living Word in Yohanen/John Chapter One. And as we’ve said so many times, the only Word they had at that time was Torah, the Prophets, the writings of Psalms and Proverbs, and the historical books of Kings, Chronicles, Joshua, Ezra, and so forth. So the church is declaring their independence from the Word of Yahweh contained in these Scriptures, and in effect declaring their independence from Yahshua, the Living Word! How does that work? By being “independent” the church has said she is “autonomous” and now has the authority and the ability of self-governance, apart from the guidance of the Word of Elohim/God, both written and Living, in the person of Yeshua!

The Roman Catholic Church readily admits that they believe they have this autonomy, in connection with their change of the Sabbath day from the seventh day (Sabbath) to the first day, the venerable day of the sun, commemorating the sun God Mithra. That is self-governance, apart from the confines of Scripture and the authority of our Creator who is the Word and spoke the Word, AND commanded that we obey HIS Word! But Shaul/Paul says in Galatians Three that the Scripture has confined all under sin! Yohanen/John says in 1st Yohanen/John Three that sin is lawlessness – anti-nomos! This is rebellion! Self governance, autonomy, is born out of rebellion against the Creator. The rebellion of the created against their Creator – who do you think will win in the end?

The declaration of independence from the Torah, or Law of Yahweh, breaking loose the bonds and the confines of Scripture is rebellion. But this autonomous living is really a falsehood. Men believe they have autonomy, and are living as such, but in reality are not free from the Torah; the Law of Yahweh. Even if men refuse to bow down on this side of eternity, declaring that Yahshua, The Living Word is Master, they will ultimately do it when they face HIM in eternity. But then the bowing to HIS sovereignty is too late to afford entrance into HIS kingdom. In Mattithyahu/Matthew Seven Yahshua (mistakenly called Jesus) said that those who practice lawlessness (anti-nomos) will not be allowed into HIS kingdom. HE said that HE will tell them to depart from HIM, that HE never knew them, addressing them as “you who practice lawlessness.” These who are anti-nomian have declared themselves autonomous – able to govern themselves outside the authority of the Creator and HIS Torah – Law.

I believe it is time for a serious re-think on the part of the church, and indeed those in Messianic Judaism. The problem Shaul/Paul addresses in Galatians is the same anti-nomian, autonomous declaration of the Scribe, Pharisees, and lawless Levitical priests, born out of the Law of Judaism. The Law of Judaism is Torah mixed with the autonomous rabbinic additions and subtractions to Torah. They were saying that the Galatians needed to be circumcised, become a Jew, and through them have access to the kingdom through Abraham. But the Word of Yahweh (in fact Yahshua – see 1st Kepha/Peter 1) says that it is by faith in the Seed – Messiah, not the seeds, or descendants of Abraham, who have access to HIS kingdom. Faith is defined by Paul as coming by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Yahweh – Torah those proclaiming Torah. Through believing and doing HIS Word – faith, we access grace, changing our heart of stone into one of flesh. This new heart, given us through the work of grace, has Torah written upon it, and through the work of grace, HE causes us to walk in HIS statutes and keep HIS commandments. We are free from lawlessness and now are willing slaves to HIS righteousness. We are not independent of HIM and HIS Word. We are not autonomous!

Autonomous self-governance produces man’s doctrine or additions and subtractions to HIS Word, whether it is rabbinic self proclaimed authority, or so-called church fathers, we must be like the Bereans and subject their doctrine, and our every thought and action to the Torah of Yahweh, for we are not autonomous from the rule of HIS Torah. If we believe we are, then we are not HIS, for we have removed ourselves from HIS kingdom and into one that is merely a figment of man’s futile imaginations. These vain imaginations have produced feast days that are not keeping with HIS commanded Feasts that teach us about HIM and HIS plan of redemption. In our self governance we have cast off the very authority that gives us the foundation for the Redeemer HIMSELF! We have left ourselves, the lowly pot, to fend for ourselves in our arrogance, forgetting that the Potter will destroy those pots that are displeasing to HIM. But if those pots, which are now displeasing to HIM, repent and begin to please HIM by faith, believing and obeying HIS commandments, by grace through faith, HE will restore them to a place in HIS kingdom. We must repent while we have opportunity because the great and terrible Day of Yahweh is coming upon the sons of disobedience.

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The Fault is With Us

Finding Fault with Us 

Scripture is Final Authority

One of the positions held by some in the Messianic community has its counterpart in some traditional Christian circles; that Yahshua is not Elohim. The only valid discussion of this topic is that Scripture must be the final authority in all matters.

It is good when we can agree with the fact that Scripture is the final authority. Of course the catholic faith believes the pontiff; the Catholic Church has the authority to change the Scripture. But to those who say the Scripture is the final authority in all matters, let us take the thought a little deeper. The question is; do each of us believe that, contextually throughout, it is the unchanging final authority. The problem I see that we as men have is this; we see portions of text and we can’t see how it all fits so we determine there was a change, or in some people’s minds, a contradiction. My basis for exegesis rejects both those thoughts. I believe it is the fault of our human understanding that gets in the way. This is my preface to the discussion.

The Fault is With Us

Hebrews 8 is very telling in this argument. The discussion in the Book of Hebrews has to do with the understanding of men, apart from the Scripture mixed with faith, that the Spirit might reveal Truth. The writer of Hebrews is speaking to Hebrews that profess faith in Yahshua as Messiah but were still stuck on the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood as the object of their faith. They, in their human reasoning, were not looking past the priesthood given at Sinai as a picture of the reality and seeing the Messiah in it. I believe the eternal Priesthood of Messiah Yahshua has always been the authority but men took authority for themselves. The Levitical/Aaronic priesthood was to offer sacrifices and serve in the tabernacle and so by doing those things according to the pattern they would be teaching Torah that would lead the people, and themselves, to Messiah. Faith in Messiah was available then as it is now.

So how does Hebrews 8 speak to this issue? In this; the writer, in contrasting the priesthood of Levi and Aaron with the Priesthood of Messiah says in Verse 8, “Because finding fault with them…” There was a fault at issue here, but not what is commonly taught – a fault with the Torah. Torah is perfect, holy, good, and just. Scripture tells us that and I’m sure, based on our agreement that Scripture is the final authority that we agree on that point. The fault at issue in Hebrews 8 is the priesthood of men and the people’s devotion to that priesthood as opposed to seeing and devoting one’s self to the Great High Priest of Messiah and becoming priests to HIM.

The problem always has been us! That’s why Yahshua is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world – provision made for the lawlessness of men to be reconciled to the Holy Elohim. The fault was with “them.” The fault is with us! The fault was not “it.” HE – Torah is the light that shone to expose the fault in “them.” Thy Word is a light. John 3 says that the light exposes the darkness. And we know from John that HE is that light. So the light is good – the Word, specifically the Torah – The Living Torah. The fault is with frail and lawless humanity who believes that he knows better that Torah. The Torah is the Law and it exposes the lawless. Those who, by grace through faith, become born again are re-born to no longer be lawless or in opposition to Torah – becoming bondservants to righteousness – the Torah.

Who Is Yahshua to You?

Having prefaced what I believe is contextually the basis for our discussion it important to ask yourself these questions: Who is Yahshua to you? If HE is not part of the Elohim, equally Elohim with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, then who is HE? The writer of Hebrews puts forth the case that HE is greater than the priesthood of man and that HE is greater than the angels. Other than angels (both fallen and those still in the service of Yahweh) and men, the only other entity is Elohim. What other category would Messiah fall into, if not men, angels or Elohim? The Scripture rules out men and angels so what’s left?

I’m making an effort to not write a book here – to make this really long, but a look at Hebrews is important. Chapter One says that HE, Messiah, has been appointed heir of all things. HE is the Son of Yahweh, and being the only begotten Son HE has the attributes of Yahweh. Yahweh is Elohim, therefore HIS Son, having the attributes of HIS Father, is equally Elohim, being heir of ALL things. HE “by inheritance” obtained a more excellent name than they (angels). Verse Five tells us that HE was begotten by the Father. Verse Six commands the “angels of Yahweh to worship HIM (the Son). Since worship is only to be given to Elohim – Yahweh, then Yahshua must be the fullness of Elohim. Colossians 2:9 says, “For in HIM dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in HIM, who is the head of all principality and power.” The “Godhead” is speaking of the “divinity” and the Hebraic counterpart can only be Elohim – Yahweh. And since this says “In HIM,” and we know that it is talking about Yeshua, contextually from Colossians 2:8, then the fullness of the Elohim dwells in HIM bodily, and HE, Yeshua – Elohim is the head of ALL principality and power. That would have to make HIM Elohim, and as the writer of Hebrews says, HE is not an angel nor just a man made perfect. HE, Yahshua – Elohim is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the World. HE is not a created being like angels or men. When speaking of Elohim it seems we speak in circles. And in fact we do. Because the Father is Elohim along with the Son and the Holy Spirit, then when we use the Name Yahweh, and Yahshua, and Messiah and Ruach (Set Apart Spirit) in connection with Elohim and that Adonai our Elohim is One, it can make a man’s head spin. That’s because the comprehension of this ONE being present in the three different expressions of Who HE is- is more than our human minds can fathom. It is enough to know that in HIM dwells the fullness of Elohim.

Hebrews 1:8 says “But to the Son HE says, “Your throne O Elohim, is forever and ever.” And in Verse 10, “You, Master (Father still speaking to Son), in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of YOUR hands. They will perish, but YOU remain; and they will grow old like a garment; like a cloak YOU will fold them up, and they will be changed, But YOU are the same, and YOUR years will not fail.”

The language is clear, to me, that Yahshua, being the Son of Elohim is Elohim- The True Living Elohim. The human mind in and of itself cannot understand the Elohim ( Godhead.) So we try to couch HIM in terms that we can understand and it never works. It is like trying to cram a 100 pounds of sand in a 5 pound sack. It won’t fit. This, I admit, is an imperfect illustration. But consider the Scripture that speaks of trying to put new wine into an old wineskin or sewing a new piece on an old piece of fabric – it’s the same thing. You see my human mind cannot understand the Elohim. But the understanding of HIM that we need is through Yahshua who is the pattern. But beyond the pattern HE is the reality. This is contextually, I believe, what Scripture says.

Man’s Faulty Understanding Versus the Truth Written and Revealed by The Holy Spirit

In a recent discussion the beliefs on this subject by two “scholars” were used as evidence that Yahshua is not Elohim. According to William Barclay, (a man I don’t know and don’t know for sure what he believes) “When the world began, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God. The Word was there in the beginning with God. It (HE) was through the agency of the Word that everything else came into being. Without the Word not one single thing came into being.” I part company with calling the Word “it.” But the rest of it speaks a powerful Truth that supports the position that I believe is Scripturally accurate. The Word is Yahshua, the Voice of Yahweh, who is Yahweh, who Created everything that has been created and HE is greater than all of creation, being the Creator. Since all is framed on the Word – the Voice of Yahweh, then it is sustained by the same Word – unchanging and reliable from before the foundation of the world – HIS character and nature. Paul says in 1st Corinthians, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which Yahshua Messiah.” The lack of a definite article, posited by proclaimed Greek scholars William Barclay and James Moffat, makes the Greek word “theos” of the third phrase of the passage in John 1 to be an adjective. I can’t agree with their conclusion based on the context of Scripture. Regardless of what man says Yahweh says HE is Elohim. I take HIS Word above the word of men. The whole of Scripture says HE is Elohim. The absence of a “definite article” in a couple of sentences in Scripture cannot abrogate the context of Scripture.

When Messiah walked with the two disciples on the Emmaus Road HE declared who HE was to them by Torah and the Prophetic writings.

Let’s examine Isaiah 8:6-7, a prophecy concerning Messiah.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon HIS shoulder. And HIS name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of HIS government and peace there will be no end. Upon the throne of David and over HIS kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh will perform this.” Isaiah under inspiration of the Holy Spirit said these things.

Peter, in 1st Peter 1:11 says that the prophets (Isaiah included) had the Spirit of Messiah in them. Isaiah having Messiah in HIM – being born again, as Paul said, “Messiah in us, the hope of glory,” speaks of Messiah’s first coming and saying that HE is Mighty God. Messiah didn’t refute HIS divinity and so then how can man? Remember the fault is with us who look for a loophole. And when we divorce the continuity of Scripture, the eternal nature of the unchanging Word and make it subject to our flawed, faulty human understanding, and take portions out of that context we find ourselves not understanding. It is the flesh versus the Spirit battle that is waging continually. The Spirit gives understanding where the flesh in its arrogance opposes the Spirit who wants to write Torah on our hearts, put it in our minds and cause us to walk in HIS commandments. Romans 8, once again is applicable. The flesh CANNOT be subject to Torah. Torah is not of the flesh, and is not abrogated. It is the nature of Elohim and therefore the nature of those who are born again of the Spirit. Born again ones now have a choice that they didn’t have in the pre-born again state; the ability to submit to Torah in the Spirit. The Spirit, like Yahshua, is equally Elohim. Continue reading

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Torah-Yahshua – The Eternal Pattern

The Flesh’s Inability to Understand and Submit to Torah

Some questions have been raised that are very timely, considering what Yahweh is revealing to us from the Set Apart Scripture. First of all the argument is this; If what we believe is sound and from Scripture then no one can argue against it. And if that which we believe and declare is from the Set Apart Spirit then the scholarship of the flesh can’t answer it, as in the flesh will submit to it. It is right, on the surface, that the flesh can’t answer it and can’t rightly argue against it. But there is a rub to that. Since the flesh CANNOT submit to the Torah (Romans 8) then it will refuse to acquiesce to the Truth even though the Truth is Scripturally irrefutable. The flesh is unable to submit. It is only done when one is willing to admit that ALL men are liars and only the Word of Yahweh is true. And this only happens by taking HIM at HIS Word, doing it, and then recieving understanding. Submission – humbling one’s self must come first.

Test the Spirits – The Replacement Messiah

As for the Holy Spirit’s involvement – 1 John tells us to test the spirits. There is only one way to do that. Everything has to line up with Torah. John says anyone who cannot say that Yahshua came in the flesh is not of Yahweh. The qualifier is; who do you say that Yahshua is? If you say HE is not Elohim then you are not of Yahweh. It has been posited by one writer that Messiah is not the Ancient of Days. Elohim is the Ancient of Days. If HE is equally Elohim – and HE is – then HE is the Ancient of Days. HE was not created, HE is the Creator. John 1 and Colossians 1 are just a couple of places you will find this in Scripture. Furthermore, since HE is Elohim, the Son, who is a Torah keeping Son, submitted to HIS Father, HE could not have changed the Torah or broken Torah. If the messiah you profess came in the flesh broke Torah or set up a system that caused men to believe they can violate the commandments of Torah, then HE is not the Messiah and the one who says he is certainly is not of Yahweh. This is the replacement messiah – anti-messiah (christ).

Resisting the Rhema of the Set Apart Spirit

Stephen told those who were ready to stone him that they resisted the Set Apart Spirit just as their fathers did. They resisted the Spirit’s work – speaking rhema to them – revealing the Truth that was polar opposed to their tradition that they held to tighter than the Truth. Their resistance of the Set Apart Spirit was in their holding on to their tradition and refusing to embrace the Truth – simply taking HIM at HIS Word and doing what HE said. In doing that the resistance to the Set Apart Spirit ceases and HE is free to speak and enable – grace. Rejecting the pure milk of Torah was resisting the Set Apart Spirit and is the spirit of anti-messiah. HE is the goal and purpose of Torah and Torah is the language of the Set Apart Spirit.

Plan A – The Only Plan

The argument from the beginning has been whether man believes what the Creator said or what the enemy has suggested that appeals to the flesh – that wants to be large and in charge. We all suffer with the same malady. Every man, except Yahshua, who has entered into this world, including Adam and Eve, were created with a heart bent on lawlessness. That’s why Yahshua is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The plan – the only plan (no plan B – only plan A) is eternal.

Faith Accesses Grace

I can’t make anyone see this. I can’t teach it to anyone. No man can. Revelation can only come by the Set Apart Spirit (1 Peter 1). A man, submitted to the Set Apart Spirit, can only present Scripture and it’s up to the individual to decide to submit to the Torah simply take HIM at HIS Word and do it. That is when the work of the Spirit’s work of grace begins. It is only by doing by faith that grace comes and revelation happens. We are saved by grace THROUGH faith – through believing. Believing in the sense it is presented in the Scripture, cannot be separated from doing. Faith without works is dead. The doer is blessed. Grace only comes through faith. Grace is the enabling to both will and do for HIS good pleasure. If you are waiting to understand the commandments before you submit to them – HIM, then you will never do them. Apart from doing them you will not understand them or HIM. HE is the Torah! Think about it! If you are born again, remember what happened. I will speak for myself. I knew I was in trouble. I was headed down a bad road and was unable to turn around. I knew I was wrong. I didn’t even know why or how, in many ways! But I heard of a Savior named Jesus. I began to look for HIM. After looking for several months HE found me. I embraced HIM, not really knowing anymore about HIM other than I had read and had been told that through HIM I could find eternal life, peace, and my life could turn around. I certainly did not understand HIM. But I took HIM at HIS Word and took the step of faith (believing and doing) and asked HIM to come in and take charge of my life. HE did and I’ve never been the same. I experienced HIM through obedience. At that moment I began to get to know HIM, eventually receiving the revelation, contained in Scripture, that His name is not Jesus (a Greek name), but His name is Yahshua. The intimate relationship with HIM has continued as I continue to know HIM by the same way – I take HIM at HIS Word and purpose to do what HE said and in so doing HE reveals more of HIMSELF to me – more of HIS character and nature. And as HE reveals and as I walk the more I am walking as HE walked. Chicken or egg, egg or chicken, which came first. We can argue that forever, but the thing I see in Scripture is that doing comes first. That is faith, and through faith grace (the divine influence on the heart with the reflection in the life) is accessed and made a reality in and through us.

Torah – The Set Apart Scriptures and The Word of Yahweh

The Truth is this and cannot be argued contextually; Torah is the Set Apart Scripture – the Word of Yahweh. The Prophets and the Writings and the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude simply are showing that Messiah is the reality of the shadow – the Pattern given Moshe on the mountain – while teaching and preaching a return to Torah. This is real repentance. Paul did not deviate from that. When he is read, apart from Torah, his writings become subjective to man’s wisdom. When Paul is checked against Torah, as the Bereans did, by faith in Torah, then it will be seen that Paul was a Torah observant teacher of Torah as Yahshua commanded in Matthew 5, establishing all that HE said in the giving of Torah and forevermore!

Finally, and I know most will not agree with this, but a careful study of Scripture reveals it – Torah was from the beginning. In fact, it preceded the beginning because Torah, the righteous standard of the righteous ONE, is the righteous standard for all men who would be grafted into Messiah! This has been available since creation! Torah means “Instruction.” And He is still giving His children Torah, and it will never deviate from what He gave to Moses, to write down.

The Eternal Priesthood

The priesthood preceded Sinai. The priesthood preceded the Levites and Aaron and his sons. The tabernacle preceded the temple and the Tabernacle preceded the tabernacle. Yahweh does not live in a house built by the hands of any man – not even Solomon! Moshe met the Pattern on the mountain. The Pattern is Yahshua since all the Feasts – the Sabbath included – the tabernacle, the sacrifice, the priesthood are all done according to the Pattern. That’s what Moshe (Moses) was told – to see that everything was done according to the Pattern he was shown on the mountain! The Pattern is eternal – the Pattern is Yahshua, the Lamb slain, the Pattern is Yahweh – the Name of Elohim! All of Torah points to HIM. All of Torah’s purpose and goal is Yahshua, Elohim the Son, who is the Passover Lamb of Yahweh. Since HE was slain from the foundation of the world, being the Passover Lamb, Passover then is according to the eternal pattern – Passover existed in the eternal prior to the shadow given in Exodus! Because of the eternal existence of the shadow, to see the eternal can only be done by practicing the shadow. It is the same for all of Torah!

The Eternal Pattern and The Shadow

The shadow does not replace the Pattern – Messiah. But, by observing the shadow we see clearly who the Messiah is and that is how we know HIM. It is who HE is. Apart from who HE is we CANNOT know HIM! The shadow of the tabernacle, the Aaronic priesthood, and the sacrifice, are now replaced by the Pattern, in that Yahshua has come as Great High Priest, in the Tabernacle not made with human hands, and is the Sacrifice once for all. HE entered into time and space and fulfilled the prophecy concerning HIM. But the shadow of the Feasts, Sabbath and HIS righteousness has not ceased. Studying the Torah, the instructions to build the tabernacle, the instructions for the priesthood, the Torah life of love for HIM and for one another is how we know HIM. We cannot say we love HIM while rejecting HIS commandments. We cannot say we know HIM in rejecting HIS commandments! To love HIM is to love who HE is. To know HIM is to know who HE is. You can’t say you love HIM and know HIM while not loving and practicing what HE does and did.

Messiah Yahshua perfectly obeyed Torah, obeying HIS Father, and completely fulfilling the prophecy concerning HIMSELF. HE stayed true to who HE is. And John enjoins us to “walk as HE walked!” When we walk as HE walked we will know who HE is – we will know HIM and HE will know us. AND when we stand before HIM at the end we will not hear HIM say, “I never knew you, depart from ME you who practice lawlessness.”

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Sabbath Quotes

As the Sabbath day approaches the question arises to many; “Is Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday?”

For most of professing Christians it is recognized as Sunday. But is that merely traditional Christianity or is it Biblical? And does it really matter? Does God care what day we observe Sabbath, or if we observe it at all.

Well what does Scripture really say? And what does man say?

Roman Catholic Confessions

James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89.
“But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”

Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174.
“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”

John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies (1 936), vol. 1, P. 51.
“Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the
day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days.”

Daniel Ferres, ed., Manual of Christian Doctrine (1916), p.67.
“Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?
“Answer. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of, and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.’

James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921), in a signed letter. “Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day -Saturday – for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes . Did Christ change the day’? I answer no!
“Faithfully yours, J. Card. Gibbons”

The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893. “The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.”
Catholic Virginian Oct. 3, 1947, p. 9, art. “To Tell You the Truth.”

“For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday.We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the[Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.”
Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957), p. 50.

“Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
“Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
“Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
“Answer.We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”
Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics AreAsked About (1927),p. 136.

“Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday …. Now the Church … instituted, by God’s authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made.We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday.”
Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society (1975),Chicago, Illinois.

“Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

  1. That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.
  2. We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday.We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she mademany other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which thereis nothing in their Bible.”

Protestant Confessions

Protestant theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations have been quite candid in admitting that there is no Biblical authority for obse rving Sunday as a sabbath.
Anglican/Episcopal
Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism , vol. 1, pp.334, 336.
“And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day …. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it.”

Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments , pp. 52, 63, 65.
“There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday …. into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters…. The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday.”

Bishop Seymour,Why We Keep Sunday.
We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church.”

Baptist

Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers’ conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner , Nov.16, 1893.
“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week…Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.

“To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question . . . never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.

“Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history…But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and
bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!”
William Owen Carver, The Lord’s Day in Our Day , p. 49.

“There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance.”

Congregationalist

Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton &Mains), p. 127-129.
” . . . it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath – . . ‘Me Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command.We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday …. There is not a
single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violatingthe supposed sanctity of Sunday.”

Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p.258.

” . . . the Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath.”

Disciples of Christ

Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164.

“‘But,’ say some, ‘it was changed from the seventh to the first day.’ Where? when?and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creationwas to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives’ fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio – I think his name is Doctor Antichrist.’

First Day Observance , pp. 17, 19.
“The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.”

Lutheran

The Sunday Problem , a study book of the United Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36.
“We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church.We have seen that the
Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both.”

Augsburg Confession of Faith art. 28; written by Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Henry Jacobs, ed. (1 91 1), p. 63.
“They [Roman Catholics] refer to the Sabbath Day, a shaving been changed into the Lord’s Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, say
they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!”

Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church HenryJohn Rose, tr. (1843), p. 186.
“The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer
the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday.”

John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday , pp. 15, 16.
“But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel …. These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect.”

Methodist

Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p.26.
“Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day.”

John Wesley, TheWorks of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., John Emory, ed. (NewYork: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25,vol. 1, p. 221.
“But, the moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of his coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken …. Every part of this law must
remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.”

Dwight L. Moody D. L. Moody,Weighed andWanting (Fleming H. Revell Co.: New York), pp. 47, 48.
The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember,’ showing that the Sabbath already existed when GodWrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?”

Presbyterian

T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp.474, 475.

“The Sabbath is a part of the decalogue – the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution . . . . Until, therefore, it
can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand . . . .The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.” AND finally,What does Scripture really say?
Exodus 16:22-30
22 And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’ ” 24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. 25Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath,
there will be none.” 27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Exodus 20:8-11
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the
seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Exodus 31:12-18
12 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.
14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off
from among his people. 15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord.Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ” 18And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the
Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

Exodus 35:1-3
1 Then Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said to them, “T hese are the words which the Lord has commanded you to do: 2 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord.Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3 You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”

Leviticus 23:1-3
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. 3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

Numbers 15:32-36
32 Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. 34 They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him. 35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So, as the Lord commanded Moses, all the
congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15
12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your
daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant
and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand
and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

Nehemiah 13:15-21 15
In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about
the day on which they were selling provisions. 16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet
you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” 19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be
shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.
20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 Then I warned them, and said to them, “Why do you spend the night around the
wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!” From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath. 22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!

Isaiah 56:1-7
1 Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness,
For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does this,
And the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
3 Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to the Lord Speak, saying, “The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”; Nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.”
4 For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me,And hold fast My covenant, 5 Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off. 6 “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And holds fast My covenant— 7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

Isaiah 58:13-14
13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words, 14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Jeremiah 17:19-27
19 Thus the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 and say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah,
and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says the Lord: “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 23 But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction. 24 “And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully,” says the Lord, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, 25 then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall
remain forever. 26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the Lord.
27 “But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” ’ ”

Ezekiel 46:1-12
1 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened. 2 The prince shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway from the outside, and stand by the gatepost. The priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening. 3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the Lord on the Sabbaths and the New Moons. 4 The burnt offering that the prince offers to the Lord on the Sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish; 5 and the grain offering shall be one ephah for a ram, and the grain offering for the lambs, as much as he wants to give, as well as a hin of oil with every ephah. 6 On the day of the New Moon it shall be a young bull without blemish, six lambs, and a ram; they shall be without blemish. 7 He shall prepare a grain offering of an ephah for a bull, an ephah for a ram, as much as he wants to give for the lambs, and a hin of oil with every ephah. 8 When the prince enters, he shall go in by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way. 9 “But when the people of the land come before the Lord on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and
whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through  which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate. 10 The prince shall then be in their midst. When they go in, he shall go in; and when they go out, he shall go out. 11 At the festivals and the appointed feast days the grain offering shall be an ephah for a bull, an ephah for a ram, as much as he wants to
give for the lambs, and a hin of oil with every ephah. 12 “Now when the prince makes a voluntary burnt offering or voluntary peace offering to the Lord, the gate that faces toward the east shall then be opened for him; and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he goes out the gate shall be shut.

Matthew 12:1-15
1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate
the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of
Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” 9 Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him. 11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more
value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. 15 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all.

Mark 2:23-3:6
23 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and
ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” 27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” 1 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or
to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they
might destroy Him.

Luke 6:1-11
1 Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grainfields. And His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands. 2And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not
lawful to do on the Sabbath?” 3 But Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he went into the house of God, took and ate the showbread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat?” 5And He said to them, “T he Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” 6 Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the
Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him. 8 But He knew their thoughts,and said to the man who had the withered hand, “Arise and stand here.”And he arose and
stood. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?” 10 And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 11 But they were filled with rage, and discussed with oneanother what they might do to Jesus.

Luke 13:10-17
10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. 12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the
synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” 17And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

Luke 14:1-4
1 Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. 2And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. 3And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 4 But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. 5 Then He answered them, saying, “Which
of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” 6 And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

John 5:8-18
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” 11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ” 12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing
come upon you.” 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” 18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His
Father, making Himself equal with God.

John 7:14-25
14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” 16 Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” 20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon.Who is seeking to kill You?” 21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” 25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly
the Christ? 27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.”

John 9:14-16
14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

Colossians 2:16-17
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of  things to come, the substance is of Christ.

Study the Scriptures for yourself and see if you can find where the Bible says that Sabbath has been changed from Saturday to Sunday. And, if you can, find a contextually sound example in Scripture that negates the disciple of Messiah from observing Sabbath.Have a blessed Sabbath. It begins this (FRIDAY) evening and ends Saturday evening. Delight in it, it is the LORD’S Sabbath created for HIS children, you and me.

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Youth Ministry – Is it Scriptural?

Biblical Youth Ministry


Introduction

The Scriptures teach us that we are to continually examine ourselves to see if the things we are doing in our expression of faith and practice of ministry is consistent with Yahweh’s Word. It is essential to our obedience to HIM to ascertain if we are in HIS will. The commandment of Messiah to go into all nations, making disciples, and teaching them to obey HIS commands is an order from our Almighty Commander and Master. Our efforts to accomplish this commanded task must then be weighed against HIS Set Apart Scriptures, containing HIS commandments. It is with this in mind that I examine the expressions of ministry to youth that I’ve experienced as an elder, a children’s ministry teacher and as a
manager of a “Christian Rock “Radio station.

This thesis was originally written to set forth the mission statement that I believed Yahweh wanted for WCVM Radio, one of the radio stations I managed. However, I believe this is an accurate model for a mission statement for all youth related ministry. I will, Yahweh willing, cite Scripture references to support my presentation of issues and resulting conclusions.

Mission Statement of a Scriptural Youth Ministry:

  • Dedicated to returning the body of Messiah to the truth of Yahweh’s Word in knowledge and application, raising children to grow into a mature life in Messiah, bringing families together in the truth of Scripture and fostering a community dedicated to repairing the generational breach that fragments and weakens the body of Messiah.

Scriptures the Yahweh has laid on my heart in formulating what I believe is HIS current vision for the ministry:

  • Malachi 4:4-6: “Remember the Law of Moses, MY servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Yahweh. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
  • Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

We are not Elijah, just as we are not Messiah. However, we are to understand that these Scriptures speak to us and teach us the things that we are to do to please the Master, Yahusha Messiah, by faith. The Law of Moses, spoken of in Malachi
4, is the Law of Yahweh Elohim – HIS gentle loving instruction. The Law of Moses is the commandment and the statutes and judgments of Yahweh, spoken of in Deuteronomy 6, that are to be taught “diligently to your children.” It is a Father’s job to teach the Scriptures to their children and it is the responsibility of the  children to sit at their father’s feet and learn. There requires submitted hearts on the part of fathers and children.

  • 2nd Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man (or woman) of Yahweh may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

We know from Ephesians 2 that we are not saved by works, but by grace through faith, that is a gift of Elohim, but, it further states that we are created in Messiah for good works that HE prepared beforehand that we should walk in, or do. The good works that HE has “prepared beforehand” are found in the Scriptures that Shaul/Paul spoke of to Timothy in Chapter 3 Verse 16.

Isaiah 58 speaks of Yahweh’s concept of fasting and the result of it. We can see by a careful reading of the chapter that fasting brings about a denying of self and a focus on the good of others by undoing heavy burdens, loosing bonds of wickedness, freeing the oppressed, breaking every yoke, sharing bread with the hungry, remembering the poor and clothing the naked. Fasting is to do away with the selfish nature of man that says I want it my way when I want it and no one else matters. The result of selfishness brings division and a despising of the body of Messiah, and Messiah HIMSELF. According to 1st Corinthians 11, a denying of self, in consideration of the Messiah and others in the body, brings about blessing and an edification of the entire body. Isaiah 58 further states that if we do this denying of self we will call on Yahweh, and HE will answer; “You shall cry, and He will say ‘Here I am.” Reading on in Isaiah 58 we see that if we do these things “If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you should extend your the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as noonday., “Yahweh will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, (see Psalm 1) and like a spring of waters, who waters do not fail.” And here comes some specifics that I believe speak to our mission even more directly. “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” The capitalization of the titles repairer and restorer refer to Messiah Yahusha. But the Scripture is clear that it is speaking to those who have a wrong idea of fasting.

The idea of fasting, held by those the prophet Isaiah was addressing, was one of selfishness, according to the first four verses. That certainly would not include Yahusha Messiah. While it is true that HE is the Repairer and the Restorer, we have HIS Spirit indwelling  us as born again children of the LIVING ELOHIM and we are to reflect HIS character and nature; that of restorers and repairers. It comes from denying self, picking up our cross and following HIM for who HE is, according to HIS Word and not our own opinion. It is then that we will be focused on what HE wants and the good of our brothers and sisters. It is then that the generational breach will began to be repaired. The division of the body along the lines of age groups is rooted in selfishness and isolationism. Each group wants it their way without the encumbrance of the other groups. Parents want to pass their children off to the youth leader and the kids don’t want the “old man” ways in their modern, “more relevant” expression of themselves, and it goes on from there.

  • HE – Messiah – ultimately does the repairing and restoring but HE can only accomplish that through our submission to HIM and to one another according to the truth of HIS Scripture. The generational breach is a division of the body, and when repaired and a restoration takes place, the body as a whole is strengthened.
  • Ephesians 4:1-6: “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Master, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling which you were called, with all lowliness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in the hope of your calling; one Master, one faith, one baptism; one Elohim and Father of all, and through all, and in you all.”
  • 1 Peter 5:5-6: “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to you elders. Yes and all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘Elohim resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of Yahweh, that HE may exalt you in due time.”

The conclusion of these Scriptures is clear that we can only accomplish any good thing for the Yahweh in knowing and applying HIS Word – the entirety of HIS Word –from Genesis to Revelation. HIS Word does not contradict itself, because HE HIMSELF is the Living Word. HIS Word does not change because we know – from HIS Word – that HE is unchanging. So if we are to have an impact for HIM on the listener it must be in accordance with, and with the application of Scripture; for both young and old. The body of Messiah only functions when it is not divided, but is united in the truth of HIS Scriptures.

According to Malachi 4 HIS Scriptures tells us that there is an imperative turning of “the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” There is the necessity of honoring Messiah by humbly submitting to HIM and to one another according to HIS Scripture. There is, however, an emphasis put on the submission of youth to their elders. Why? It is because of the innate rebellion in people and especially in the young. By nature we are not submissive people. Our flesh will not submit to anyone. When we are born as a child into this world, and begin to grow, the first area we have to learn to submit in is to our parents; specifically our fathers. When a young person does not learn to be submissive to their earthly father they find it very difficult to submit to the Heavenly Father, let alone those elders they will find in authority over them in the Assembly. Submission to authority is a requirement of Elohim.
We will never be submitted to HIS authority if we are not submitted to the authority of parents and elders. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, says the Scriptures, and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh (Galatians 5).

 Specific to radio ministry, where is the division and rebellion?

It is in the youth sub-culture that says that the young have to be reached on a different level with different vehicles that they alone can understand. I heard it said at the Rock Summit in Columbus, Ohio that the kids were not interested in our theology but were more interested in our passion. Right away the non-interest in theology – the study of Elohim – puts us in a position of fragmentation because unity is only found in a desire for the truth of who HE is. The non-interest in theology is rebellion against Yahweh because there is no interest in learning of HIM; according to the truth of who HE is. It is also rebellion against elders and parents who try to counsel the young to learn of Elohim, through the truth
of HIS Word, and then to apply it to their lives. Our slogan at WCVM, formerly Indiana – Michigan’s version of The Effect – was “It’s your music,” and “Your music – your mix.” We are promoting bands, and making disciples of bands. It appeals to the flesh that simply wants entertainment and is not interested in the things of Elohim. By giving the youth what they want we are fostering a divided body due to retained innate selfishness. By not presenting the truth of Elohim to address these issues and by maintaining status quo we are a part of the problem of childishness, division and rebellion.

Is our passion the most important tool we have?

According to some people involved in the youth ministry it is. I do not believe that, however. Our passion is simply an emotion. We can be passionate about many things. We can be passionately wrong. If we have a passion it must be for Yahweh, and Yahusha as HE really is, according to Scripture. Emotions will deceive us, if we let them, but the Truth of Elohim is factual and only spiritually understood; not emotionally driven. When believed and applied it will transcend emotion and bring about transformation into the image of Messiah. This accomplished will result in the emotion of love for HIM, HIS Word, and for the body, of which we are a part.

Putting away Childishness

Children are childish by nature. Left to themselves they will not grow up but will remain childish in their understanding and behavior. That childishness will be present into physical adulthood; only expressed in different forms. I once attended a men’s conference taught by Pastor Ken Graves. His focus was on little boys becoming men. I am going to borrow from his comments as I believe they are valid and pertinent to the issue at hand. He looked at 1st Corinthians 13:11. 1st Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Pastor Ken asked what was noticeably missing from this verse. The answer: adolescence.

According to Scripture there is no other stage of a person between childhood and adulthood. There is a time to grow up and to leave childish understanding and behavior behind and go on to maturity in the Messiah, according to HIS Word. The problem with the Youth Sub-culture is that it is stuck in childishness. It is driven by childish desires and appetites. It is led by childish adults who have never put away childish things. It has a childish understanding of Scripture. It represents the Good  News in a childish, selfish expression. This childish understanding and behavior is then taught by youth to other youth who gr0w up into physical adulthood and still have childish understanding and behavior. This has been happening for a few generations. Especially since the idea of a generation became defined as the next group to reach the teenage years. We now have generation X and then generation this and generation that, each with its own distinct
culture and demands of how they need to be tolerated and communicated with.

The De-evolution of Music and Society through generational rebellion

Pat Boone recorded Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill. His more mainstream production and sound softened the otherwise sexually immoral song. The result: most radio stations would play it when they wouldn’t play the same song by Fats. Pat prettied it up. That’s the way it’s been with the Christian music scene adopting the same methods and attitude of the secular rock music scene, in the past. But now it is not prettied up very much. It is very difficult, if not impossible, in some instances, to hear and see the difference between a hard rock secular band and a so-called “Christian band.” Other than not hearing swearing and songs that speak of adultery and other, as yet, unacceptable behavior for professing believers, there seems to be not much of a difference. BUT, most kids don’t listen to the lyrics – by their own admission – and they are simply hearing music performed by bands that look like and sound, and act like the ones they hear on secular radio. Of what eternal-Scriptural value is that?

The rebelliousness of youth has been an increasingly troublesome part of society for the last century. In my fifty years of life I have been a part of it and I’ve witnessed it through the last few decades. I could be described as a music lover. I am a musician. My first recollections of music were in the late 50’s and early 60’s. That puts me in the early years of rock and roll music. I remember hearing the Everly Brothers on the radio when they were just hometown boys in Kentucky. I remember when the Beatles first came on the music scene. I experienced the rise of the pshycodelic music scene of the Beatles, as they evolved, and the Rolling Stones and others. I saw the malaise of the rebellious youth (I was one of them) in the 70’s rock and roll drug and alcohol scene. It was in this era that I witnessed the overt movement toward satanic involvement in the music scene. The music, and the lyric, progressively turned more anti-Creator as the rock music scene has come into the 21st Century. Each, a phase, seemingly on a decade by decade time-frame, has reflected the further rebellion of secular youth only to be imitated in a few years by the “Christian youth.”

As the de-evolution of society – represented in pop-culture and music – rapidly increases, the more rapidly the assimilation of the  rebellious attitudes represented in music, dress, and selfishness become part of the Christian, and or Messianic youth sub-culture. It is now to the point that you can barely tell the difference. We have allowed the children to “find their own way,” and “figure it out for themselves,” and to decide how best to reach a generation of kids who are headed down a path to destruction. This flies in the face of Scripture that tells parents to teach the children in the way they should go. Children are not to be left to figure things out for themselves. They are to be submitted to authority, primarily parents, then elders, and ultimately to Yahweh and the authority of HIS written Word. The problem is that the Word is de-emphasized. Instead we have replaced it with a learning of the ways of world so that the kids and we can immerse in the pop-culture and reach youth with what we think they can understand. The result: doctrine is redefined as something other than the Word of Yahweh.

Youth are redefining doctrine

Sound Scriptural doctrine is essential in the life of a taught one of Messiah. It is what we need to be equipped for the good work that Elohim has prepared beforehand that we should walk in. Doctrine is the SET APART SCRIPTURE and is not left up to each subsequent generation to modify to fit their fads and self-invented sub-culture.

I attended the 2005 Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference in Hartford City, Indiana. One of the speakers, Chuck Lind, pastor at Calvary Chapel in Olympia, Washington, really solidified some of the things that the Yahweh was laying on my heart in the ministry of WCVM radio. He said that the professing body of Messiah has become focused on youth ministry to the point that the value and ministry of the older brothers and sisters in the church has been set aside. His question, “Why are we letting the youth define our doctrine?” His emphasis was in the music that is produced by youth, but his point encompassed all aspects of the youth ministry. Specific to music he quoted lyrics from “Big House” by Audio Adrenaline and some praise chorus. It hit home! He’s right!

Audio A was a “Christian” youth band several years ago, but then they are more the mainstream and the music they produced then was more defining the doctrine of the modern “church.” It is very flesh oriented and barely contains Scriptural doctrine, if at all. Doctrine is Scripture, according to 2nd Timothy, and Scripture is seldom found in songs and in the messages presented at youth concerts, events, or on the air. Keep in mind that the kids who are producing the newest wave of youth oriented “Christian” music are the future leaders of the professing body of Messiah. They will be the ones who teach doctrine and lead the professing believers in seeking Yahweh and HIS righteousness. Is it not the responsibility of parents and those in leadership positions – elders – to be teaching them Scriptural
doctrine? And isn’t that  doctrine to include children honoring and obeying parents, submitting to elders, putting away childishness, submitting to Elohim, and following HIM?

Where is the youth ministry now?

The goal now, according the Christian rock label and radio people is to make the young Christian bands more “street credible” by looking and sounding more like the secular bands. The same tattooed, pierced bodies, dressed in the same seemingly dirty, ill fitting clothes, and duct taped or masking taped eyeglasses, greased up and or uncombed (and sometimes unwashed) hair is the representation of what a young Christian should Biblical Youth Ministry look like. They look and act like a rebellious street punk. But I thought we were to be salt and light and by our following Messiah we would be showing the people a better way than what they are currently living in the world. Aren’t we to be new creations in Messiah? Yes it is an inward thing, but there is to be a transformation that becomes obvious on the external, because of the internal change. The aforementioned characterization of young professing believers is born of childish thinking and attitudes that are not jettisoned, as a child enters into adulthood. This, fueled with the sin-nature of rebellion, worsens in each successive generation.

What will it take for Scriptural change?

In order for this to change there has to be a turning of” “the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” There has to be a “putting away of childish things” and a growing into spiritual adulthood. This cannot happen in our current expression of reaching youth for Messiah and subsequent discipleship. Parents and elders need to be leading young people, not into more childishness, but into mature, spiritually taught ones of Messiah. Children need to be submitted to parents and elders; to learn of Yahweh and apply HIS Word, and grow. It is incumbent upon parents, youth leaders, and elders to know Scripture, apply it to their rearing of children, and teach it to the young. We will not look like the rebellious world if we do that. Looking like the world is more than just clothes! It is the rebellion against Yahweh and against authority that is evident is what is said and what is done. If we are in Messiah, truly, and have a received a love for the Truth, we will be different. Our lifestyle, submitted to HIM and HIS Word, will produce something that will be a welcome sight in the eyes of those who want a change, and a foolish sight to those who want to remain in their childish rebellion to Elohim.

Honor and Obedience

Ephesians 6:1-4: “Children, obey your parents in the Messiah, for this is right. ‘Honor you father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’ And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of Yahweh.” Children honor their parents by submitting in humble obedience to them. It is a commandment of the Yahweh Elohim from HIS Set Apart Scriptures. You can find these verses of, quoted in Ephesians by Paul, in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

Submitting to parents (I’m not talking of parents who are telling their kids to do Lawless things) is submitting to Yahweh. HE gave us the commandment to do so. That commandment comes with a promise of long life. If we love our children we will train them and admonish them in Yahweh and not be satisfied to leave them in childish rebellion. Children are by nature rebellious. It is up to parents and elders to not cater to their childishness but to train them to put off childishness. Children need to be taught to submit. They need to know Yahweh to truly do it. Faith comes by hearing the Word of Elohim. That is why we must teach them the whole counsel of Yahweh Elohim. In their childish understanding and expression they cannot lead un-saved children to Messiah, or disciple them in the Yahweh Elohim, or keep themselves from the sin that is lurking around every corner. It is up to us, whether they like it or not! We need to foster youth inclusion in adult activities in the body, where appropriate. We need to encourage youth to minister alongside adults in a submitted, learning role. In radio broadcasting we need to present this message on the air in a way that speaks to parents, youth leaders, pastors, and youth of all ages. The music and message must be compatible with reaching all ages in the family. Our focus needs to be on family, the body of Messiah, and Scriptural truth, not just on youth. This will be a factor in repairing the breach and restoring the body to a Scripturally accurate reflection and expression.

 

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The Error of Replacement Theology

The Error of Replacement Theology

Perhaps you have heard of the term Replacement Theology. However, if you look it up in a dictionary of Church history, you will not find it listed as a systematic study. Rather, it is a doctrinal teaching that originated in the early Church. It became the fertile soil from which Christian anti-Semitism grew and has infected the Church for nearly 1,900 years.

What is Replacement Theology?
Replacement Theology was introduced to the Church shortly after Gentile leadership took over from Jewish leadership. What are its premises?

  1. Israel (the Jewish people and the land) has been replaced by the Christian Church in the purposes of God, or, more precisely, the Church is the historic continuation of Israel to the exclusion of the former.
  2. TheJewish people are now no longer a “chosen people.” In fact, they are no different from any other group, such as the English, Spanish, or Africans.
  3. Apart from repentance, the new birth, and incorporation into the Church, the Jewish people have no future, no hope, and no calling in the plan of God. The same is true for every other nation and group.
  4. Since Pentecost of Acts 2, the term “Israel,” as found in the Bible, now refers to the Church.
  5. The promises, covenants and blessings ascribed to Israel in the Bible have been taken away from the Jews and given to the Church, which has superseded them. However, the Jews are subject to the curses found in the Bible, as a result of their rejection of Christ. If you hear a Christian, a minister, or a Church doctrine that ascribes to one of these points, then knowingly or unknowingly they have swallowed the Replacement Theology pill. I say unknowingly because the doctrine is so systemic, most Christians have been brought up in it and hove no idea that these premises are contrary to Scripture.

How do Replacement Theologians argue their case? They say: 

(Note: I have added my rebuttal to each of their points.)

Rebuttal: Later, in this Teaching Letter, we will look at the fact that the New Testament references to Israel early pertain to Israel, not the Church. Therefore, no promise to Israel and the Jewish people in the Bible is figurative, nor can they be relegated to the Church alone. The promises and covenants are literal, many of them are everlasting, and we Christians can participate in them as part of our rebirth, but we shouldn’t consider that we have taken them over to the exclusion of Israel. The New Testament speaks of the Church’s relationship to Israel and her covenants as being “grafted in” (Rom. 11:17), “brought near” (Eph. 2:13), “heirs” (Gal. 3:29), “Abraham’s offspring (by faith)”  (Rom. 4:16), and “partakers” (Rom. 15:27), NOT as usurpers of the covenant and a replacer of physical Israel. We Gentile Christians joined into what God had been doing in Israel, and God did not break His covenant promises with Israel (Rom. 11:29). From the time of Genesis, God’s goal has been the redemption of the world. God created man to be in close fellowship with Him, as seen in the Garden of Eden. However, because of our sin, we have separated ourselves from Him, and we are in need of His forgiveness to be in His Presence. God’s efforts throughout history is like a Redemption Train,” that has been traveling through time, collecting passengers who get on board by doing it God’s way. God is the engineer of this train; His Holy Spirit is the power and life moving it forward, touching hearts and calling people along the way; and we Christians believe that Yeshua, the Messiah, is the conductor who makes the way for people to get on board. Of course, God is One God, and He is doing all of this for us humans because He loves us. As fellow passengers, we have no right to judge or decide who is on the train and who is not. That is God’s decision according to His plan and promises. His instructions in the Bible are quite clear. It is up to us to understand them and be obedient to them in order to gain access to board the train. Yeshua said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father but by Me”  (Jn. 14:6). There is no other way apart from Yeshua. And, we know from Romans 11:28-29 that God loves His covenant people, Israel, and He is calling them to repentance, just as He is calling the Gentile world. Moreover, Yeshua Himself made it clear that He came for the whole House of Israel, to the Jew first, and
then the Gentile (Matt. 10:6, 15:24; Rom. 1:16). There is not a dual covenant. God’s promises in the Bible for Israel and the Church are inclusionary, not exclusionary, and open to any and all who understand God’s plan and purpose. No one is prevented from getting on God’s “Redemption Train,” if they do it His way.

2. To be a son of Abraham is to have faith in Jesus Christ. For them, Galatians 3:29 shows that sonship to Abraham is seen only in spiritual, not national terms: “And if you be Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Rebuttal: While this is a wonderful inclusionary promise for Gentiles, this verse does not exclude the Jewish people from their original covenant, promise and blessing as the natural seed of Abraham. This verse simply joins us Gentile Christians to what
God had already started with Israel.

3. The promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham was only a “starter.” The real promised Land is the whole world. They use Romans 4:13 to claim it will be the Church that inherits the
world, not Israel. “For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Rebuttal: Where does this verse exclude Abraham and His natural prodigy, the Jews? It simply says that through the law alone, they would not inherit the world, but they would acquire it through faith. This is also true of the Church. This can be confirmed by Romans 4:16, which says, “Therefore, the promises come by faith, so that it may be by grace, and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.”

4. The nation of Israel was only the seed of the future Church, which would arise and incorporate people of all nations (Mal. 1:11): “For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, My Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place, incense shall be offered to My Name, and a pure
offering for My Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of Hosts.” Rebuttal: This is great, and shows that the Jewish people and Israel fulfilled one of their callings to be “a light to the nations,” so that God’s Word has gone around the world. It does not suggest God’s dealing with Israel was negated because His Name spread around the world.

5. Jesus taught that the Jews would lose their spiritual privileges, and be replaced by another people (Matt. 21:43): “Therefore I am saying to you, ‘The kingdom of God will be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it.’” Rebuttal: In this passage, Jesus was talking about the priests and Pharisees, who failed as leaders of the people. This passage is not talking about the Jewish people or nation of Israel.

6. A true Jew is anyone born of the Spirit, whether he is racially Gentile or Jewish (Rom. 2:28-29): “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Rebuttal: This argument does not support the notion that the Church replaced Israel. Rather, it simply reinforces what had been said throughout the Hebrew Scriptures [the Old Testament], and it certainly qualifies the spiritual qualifications for Jews or anyone who professes to be a
follower of the God of Israel.

7. Paul shows that the Church is really the same “olive tree” as was Israel, and the Church is now the tree. Therefore, to distinguish between Israel and the Church is, strictly speaking, false. Indeed, people of Jewish origin need to be grafted back into the Church (Rom 11:17-23). Rebuttal: This claim is the most outrageous because this passage clearly shows that we Gentiles are the “wil d olive branches,” who get our life from being grafted into the olive tree. The tree represents the covenants, promises and hopes of Israel (Eph. 2:12), rooted in the Messiah and fed by the sap, which represents the Holy Spirit, giving life to the Jews (the “natural branches”) and Gentile alike. We Gentiles are told to remember that the olive tree holds us up and NOT to be arrogant or boast against the “natural branches” because they can be grafted in again. The olive tree is NOT the Church. We are simply grafted into God’s plan that preceded us for over 2,000 years.

How did the position of the early Church Fathers affect the Church?

Let us look at a brief history of the first four centuries of Christianity, which established a “legacy of hatred” towards the Jewish people, which was against the clear teaching of the New Testament.

(For a complete history of Christian anti-Semitism, send the equivalent of US$1 to your nearest BFP National Office and ask for a copy of the Israel Teaching Letter (#779806), “Where Was Love and Mercy,” or download a copy from our Bridges for Peace website, found under the Israel Teaching Letters button at www.bridgesforpeace.com This teaching is also a chapter of my book, Lessons From the Land of the Bible with 13 other great teachings including “Lessons from the Olive Tree,” which can be ordered from your nearest BFP national office.)

In the first century AD, the church was well connected to its Jewish roots, and Jesus did not intend for it to be any other way. After all, Jesus is Jewish and the basis of His teaching is consistent with the Hebrew Scriptures. In Matthew 5:17-18 He states: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil 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.” Before the First Jewish Revolt in AD 66, Christianity was basically a sect of Judaism, as were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes.

Separation between Judaism and Christianity began as a result of religious and social differences. According to David Rausch in his book, A Legacy of Hatred, there were several contributing factors:

  1. the Roman intrusion into Judea, and the widespread acceptance of Christianity by the Gentiles, complicated the history of Jewish Christianity;
  2. the Roman wars against the Jews not only destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem, but also resulted in Jerusalem’s relinquishing her position as a centre of Christian faith in the Roman world; and,
  3. the rapid acceptance of Christianity among the Gentiles led to an early conflict between the Church and Synagogue. Paul’s missionary journeys brought the Christian faith to the Gentile world, and as their numbers grew, so did their influence, which ultimately disconnected Christianity from its Jewish roots. Many Gentile Christians interpreted the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem as a sign that God had abandoned Judaism, and that He had provided the Gentiles freedom to develop their own Christian theology in a setting free from Jerusalem’s influence. Could it be He was showing us that Temple worship was no longer necessary as His Holy Spirit now resides in us (I Cor. 6:19), not in the Holy of Holies? After the Second Jewish Revolt (AD 133-135) put down by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, theological and political power moved from Jewish Christian leaders to centres of Gentile Christian leadership such as Alexandria, Rome, and Antioch. It is important to understand this change, because it influenced the early Church Fathers to make anti-Jewish statements as Christianity began to disconnect itself from its Jewish roots. As the Church spread far and wide within the Roman Empire, and its membership grew increasingly non-Jewish, Greek and Roman thought began to creep in and completely change the orientation of Biblical interpretation through a Greek mindset, rather than a Jewish or Hebraic mindset. This would later result in many heresies, some of which the Church is still practicing today.

Once Christianity and Judaism began to take separate paths, the chasm became wider and wider. Judaism was considered a legal religion under Roman law, while Christianity, a new religion, was illegal. As Christianity grew, the Romans tried to suppress it. In an attempt to alleviate this persecution, Christian apologists tried in vain to convince Rome that Christianity was an extension of Judaism. However, Rome was not convinced. The resulting persecutions and frustration of the Christians bred an animosity towards the Jewish community, which was free to worship without persecution. Later, when the Church became the religion of the state, it would pass laws against the Jews in retribution. The antagonism of the early Christians towards the Jews was reflected in the writings of the early Church Fathers. For example, Justin Martyr (c. AD 160) in speaking to a Jew said: “The Scriptures are not yours, but ours.” Irenaeus, Bishop
of Lyon (c. AD 177) declared: “Jews are disinherited from the
grace of God.” Tertullian (AD 160-230), in his treatise, “Against
the Jews,” announced that God had rejected the Jews in favour of the Christians. In the early 4th century, Eusebius wrote that the promises of the Hebrew Scriptures were for Christians and not the Jews, and the curses were for the Jews. He argued that the Church was the continuation of the Old Testament and thus superseded Judaism. The young Church declared itself to be the true Israel, or “Israel according to the Spirit,” heir to the divine promises. They ound it essential to discredit the “Israel according to the flesh” to prove that God had cast away His people and transferred His love to the Christians. At the beginning of the 4th century, a monumental event occurred for the Church, which placed “the Church Triumphant” over “Vanquished Israel.” In AD 306, Constantine became the first Christian Roman Emperor. At first, he had a rather pluralistic view and accorded Jews the same religious rights as Christians. However, in AD 321, he made Christianity the official religion of the Empire to the exclusion of all other religions. This signaled the end of the persecution of Christians, but the beginning of discrimination and persecution of the Jewish people.

Already at the Church Council in Elvira (Spain) in AD 305, declarations were made to keep Jews and Christians apart, including ordering Christians not to share meals with Jews, not to marry Jews, not to use Jews to bless their fields, and not to observe the Jewish Sabbath. Imperial Rome, in AD 313, issued the Edict of Milan, which granted favour to Christianity, while outlawing synagogues. Then, in AD 315, another edict allowed the burning of Jews if they were convicted of breaking the laws. As Christianity was becoming the religion of the state, further laws were passed against the Jews:

  • The ancient privileges granted to the Jews were withdrawn.
  •  Rabbinical jurisdiction was abolished or severely curtailed.
  • Proselytism to Judaism was prohibited and made punishable by death.
  • Jews were excluded from holding high office or a military career.

These and other restrictions were confirmed over and over again by various Church Councils for the next1,000 years.In AD 321, Constantine decreed all business should cease on “the honoured day of the sun.” By substituting Sunday for Saturday as the day for Christian worship, he further advanced the split. This Jewish Shabbat/Christian Sunday controversy also came up at the first real ecumenical Council of Nicea (AD 325), which concluded Sunday to be the Christian day of rest, although it was debated for long after that. Overnight, Christianity was given the power of the Imperial State, and the emperors began to translate the concepts and claims of the Christian theologians against the Jews and Judaism into practice. Instead of the
Church taking this opportunity to spread its Gospel message in love, it truly became the Church Triumphant, ready to vanquish its foes. After 321, the writings of the Church Fathers changed in character. No longer was it on the defensive and apologetic, but aggressive, directing its venom at everyone “outside of the flock,” in particular the Jewish people who could be found in almost every community and nation. During this period,
we find more examples of anti-Jewish bias in Church literature written by church leaders:

  • Hilary of Poitiers (AD 291-371) wrote: “Jews are a perverse people accursed by God forever.” – Gregory of Nyssa (died AD 394), Bishop of Cappadocia: “the Jews are a brood of vipers, haters of goodness…” – St. Jerome (AD 347-407) describes the Jews as “… serpents, wearing the image of Judas, their psalms and prayers are the braying of donkeys.”

At the end of the 4th century, the Bishop of Antioch, John Chrysostom (Golden Tongued), the great orator, wrote a series of eight sermons against the Jews. He had seen Christians talking with Jewish people, taking oaths in front of the Ark, and some were keeping the Jewish feasts. He wanted this to stop. In an effort to bring his people back to what he called, “the true faith,” the Jews became the whipping boy for his sermon
series. To quote him, “the synagogue is not only a brothel and a theatre; it is also a den of robbers and a lodging for wild beasts. No Jew adores God… Jews are inveterate murderers, possessed by the devil, their debauchery and drunkenness gives them the manners of the pig. They kill and maim one another…”

One can easily see that a Judeo-Christian who wanted to hold on to his heritage, or a Gentile Christian who wanted to learn more about the parent faith of Christianity, would have found it extremely difficult under this pressure. Chrysostom further sought to separate Christianity totally from Judaism. He wrote in his 4th Discourse, “I have said enough against those who say they are on our side, but are eager to follow the Jewish
rites… it is against the Jews that I wish to draw up my battle… Jews are abandoned by God and for the crime of deicide, there is no expiation possible.” Chrysostom was known for his fiery preaching against what he saw as threats to his flock, including wealth, entertainment, privilege and outward adornment. However, his preaching against the Jewish community, which he believed had a negative influence on Christians, is inexcusable and blatantly anti-Semitic in its content. Another unfortunate contribution Chrysostom made to Christian anti-Semitism was to hold the whole Jewish people culpable for the killing of Christ. In the fifth century, the burning question was: If the Jews and Judaism were cursed by God, then how can you explain their existence? Augustine tackled this issue in his “Sermon Against the Jews.” He asserted that even though the Jews deserved the most severe punishment for having put Jesus to death, they have been kept alive by Divine Providence to serve, together with their Scriptures, as witnesses to the truth of Christianity. Their existence was further justified by the service they rendered to the Christian truth, in attesting through their humiliation, the triumph of the Church over the Synagogue. They were to be a “Witness people” – slaves and servants who should be humbled.

The monarchs of the Holy Roman Empire thus regarded the Jews as serfs of the chamber (servi camerae), and utilized them as slave librarians to maintain Hebrew writings. They also utilized the services of Jews in another enterprise – usury, or money lending. The loaning of money was necessary to a growing economy. However, usury was considered to endanger the eternal salvation of the Christian, and was thus forbidden.
So, the church endorsed the practice of lending by Jews, for according to their reasoning, their Jewish souls were lost in any case. Much later, the Jewish people were utilized by the Western countries as trade agents in commerce, and thus we see how the Jewish people found their way into the fields of banking and commerce.

So, by the Middle Ages, the ideological arsenal of Christian anti-Semitism was completely established. This was further manifested in a variety of precedent-setting events within the Church, such as Patriarch Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, expelling the Jews and giving their property to a Christian mob. From a social standpoint, the deterioration of the Jewish position in society was only beginning its decline. During this early
period, the virulent judeophobia was primarily limited to the clergy who were always trying to keep their flocks away from the Jews. However, later, the rank and file, growing middle class would be the main source of anti-Semitic activity.

The result of these anti-Jewish teachings continued onwards throughout Church history, manifesting itself in such events and actions as the Crusades, the accusation of communion host desecration and blood libel by the Jews, the forced wearing of distinguishing marks to ostracize them, the Inquisition, the displacement of whole Jewish communities by exile or separate ghettoes, the destruction of synagogues and Jewish books, physical persecution and execution, the Pogroms. Ultimately, the seeds of destruction grew to epic proportions, culminating in the Holocaust, which occurred in “Christian” Europe. Had the Church understood the clear message of being grafted into the Olive Tree from the beginning, then the sad legacy of anti-Semitic hatred from the Church may have been avoided. The error of Replacement Theology is like a cancer in the Church that has not only caused it to violate God’s Word concerning the Jewish people and Israel, but it made us into instruments of hate, not love in God’s Name.

Is the New Testament anti-Semitic?

Was it Intended That the Church Treat the Jewish People with
Contempt?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

While the New Testament has been used by Gentile anti-Semites, even within the Church, the writers of the
New Testament were Jewish, and therefore their arguments, even critical ones, were from the vantage point of being an intra-communal debate, not inter-communal accusation. Even where the criticism is harsh, it is directed towards a particular group or sect of Jews because of their practices, which needed correcting. For example, even though Yeshua spoke harshly to the Pharisees, He nevertheless said of them, “The teachers of
the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach” (Matt: 23:2-3). He was distressed that they were “missing the mark” in their self-righteousness, which is something all of us need to be careful of doing.

The clear teaching of the New Testament is that the Church was and is to love and honour the Jewish people. In Ephesians 2:11-18, we are told that “by the blood of Messiah,” we Gentiles are “made near” to the commonwealth of Israel, the covenants, promises and hopes given to Israel. In Romans 11:11-12, 25, we are told that “blindness in part” has come to the Jews so that the message would be forced out into the nations. Nevertheless, we are told that a time would come when “all Israel would be saved” (v. 26), because the gifts and callings of God towards Israel and the Jewish people were given without repentance (v. 29). God’s relationship with Israel and the Jewish people is everlasting.

We Gentile Christians are told that the Jews are “beloved for the sake of the Patriarchs” (Rom. 11:28). They are a chosen people who fulfilled their calling and brought the Gospel to the world. They were chosen to:

  • Be obedient to God’s Word and demonstrate to the world as “a light to the nations.”
  • Hear God’s Word and record it – the Bible.
  • Be the human channel for the Messiah.

The Jewish people have fulfilled their role. The promise to the world through Abraham was that, “in you will all the nations on the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). They were to be a light unto the nations and, while they made mistakes as we all do, they did demonstrate the power of God on earth, they did hear God’s Word and record it so that we have the Bible, and they were the human channel for the Messiah, who was born, ministered, died, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven and will return to Jerusalem, Israel, in a day yet to come.

God made an everlasting covenant between the land of Israel and the Jewish people that must be fulfilled and completed or His Word, the Bible, will be proven a lie, which it is not. God will never forget or annul His ancient people. If God will not fulfil His promises to Israel, what guarantee do we have that He will fulfil His promises to the Church? (See Jeremiah 31:35-37).

Are Jews, Jews, and is Israel, Israel in the New Testament?
Do They Still Have a Covenant with God?

ABSOLUTELY. THE BIBLE IS CLEAR ON THIS.

  1. The Jews are Israelites, not Gentiles (Rom. 9:4).
  2. To Israel still belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises (Rom. 9:4).
  3. The gifts and calling of God for Israel are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).
  4. There are 77 references to Israel in the NT and none of them refer to the Church. Try replacing the words, “the Church,” where Israel is mentioned and the passage is rendered unreadable and silly, e.g., Rom. 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” If you put “the Church” where Israel is mentioned, then it is redundant. The Church is the body of saved believers, so how could Paul’s prayer be for the Church to be saved?
  5. Psalm 105 has a sevenfold affirmation of God’s promises of Canaan to Abraham. This is an everlasting promise, as was Genesis 12:1-3.
  6. Jeremiah 31:35-37 speaks of the everlasting nature of God’s promises to and for Israel, the Jewish people, which is as sure as the sun that shines by day and the moon and stars that glow in the night.
  7. The end-time prophecies, which speak of the return of the House of Jacob to their land (Israel) and its restoration, have overwhelmingly been fulfilled in Israel and the Jewish people in the past 120 years. (See, Isa. 11:11-12; Eze. 37:1-14; Eze. 36; Eze. 35:1, Isa. 43:5,6; Jer. 16:14-16; Isa. 60:9-11; Isa. 49:22-23, etc.).
  8. The Gospel and Yeshua came “to the Jews first, then the Greek” (Rom. 2:9,10; Matt:10:5-7;15:24). There is a distinction in roles between the two. Galatians 3:28 says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is speaking of everyone’s standing before God as equals, because we are all sinners saved by God’s grace and the atoning work on the Cross. Nevertheless, our roles here on earth are definitely distinct; e.g., men and women, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, etc. all have distinct roles to play. Likewise, Jews and Gentiles have distinct roles to play.

What is the Role of the Church?

  1. “On this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it” (Matt. 16:18). The Church is built on the testimony and understanding of Peter, who is Jewish, that Yeshua was the Messiah. Ephesians 2:11-14 indicates that Israel and the Jews (we) were chosen, but Gentiles (you) were also included.
  2. The Church is related to Israel and partakers of the covenants, promises, and hopes, but we have not been called to usurp them. Our relationship is as “grafted in” (Rom. 11:17); “brought near” (Eph 2:13); “Abraham’s offspring” (by faith) (Rom. 4:16); “heirs” to Abraham’s promise as adopted sons (Gal. 3:29) and “partakers” (Rom 15:27).
  3. To the world, the Church is called to preach the Gospel to all nations and make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20); to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mk. 12:30-31).
  4. To the Jewish people, we are called to show God’s love “for the sake of the Patriarchs” (Rom. 11:28), for without them we would not have had God’s Word or our Saviour who was a Jew from Israel. We are to show God’s mercy (Rom. 11:31). We are to give our material gifts to help them (Rom. 15:27). We are to pray for them and for Israel (Ps. 122:6). We are to be watchman on the walls to protect them (Isa. 62:6,7). We are to help with the aliyah (immigration) to Israel and the building up of Zion (Isa. 60:9-11; Jer. 16:14-16; Isa. 49:22-23).
  5. According to Romans 11, we are two distinct groups, both grafted into the same tree, which are the covenants and promises given to Israel; grounded in the same root, the Messiah; drinking of the same sap, God’s Holy Spirit. We do not hold up the tree, but the tree holds us up, and we are forbidden from boasting against or being arrogant to God’s covenant people the Jews (Rom. 11:17-18).

What Happens When the Church Replaces Israel?

When the Church chooses to replace Israel and the Jewish people in God’s eternal plans, the result is negative:

  1. The Church becomes arrogant and self-centred.
  2. It boasts against the Jews and Israel.
  3. It devalues the role of Israel or has no role for Israel at all.
  4. These attitudes result in anti-Semitism in word and deed
  5. Without a place for Israel and the Jewish people today, you cannot explain the Bible prophecies, especially the very specific ones being fulfilled in Israel today.
  6. Many New Testament passages do not make sense when the Jewish people are replaced by the Church.
  7. You can lose the significance of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, for today. Many Christians boast of being a New Testament (NT) Christian or a NT Church as in the Book of Acts. However, the Bible of the early Church was not the New Testament, which did not get codified until the 4th century, but rather the Hebrew Scriptures.
  8. You can lose the Hebraic/Judaic contextualization of the New Testament, which teaches us more about Yeshua and how to become better disciples.
  9. The Church loses out on the opportunity to participate in God’s plan and prophecy for the Church, Israel and the world today.


What Happens When the Church Relates to Israel?

When the Church chooses to relate to Israel and the Jewish people in God’s eternal plans, the result is positive:

  1. The Church takes its proper role in God’s redemptive plan for the world, appreciating God’s ongoing covenant relationship and love for Israel and the Jewish people.
  2. We can see the consistency of God’s redemptive plan from Genesis to Revelation as an ongoing complementary process, not as disconnected snapshots.
  3. We show love and honour for God’s covenant people, not contempt.
  4. We value the Old and New Testaments as equally inspired and significant for the Church today.
  5. Bible prophecy makes sense for today and offers opportunities for involvement in God’s plan for Israel.
  6. We become better disciples of Yeshua as we are able to appreciate the Hebraic/Judaic roots that fill in the definitions, concepts, words and events in the New Testament that are otherwise obscured. Why? Many were not explained by the Jewish writers of the New Testament, because they did not feel the need to fill in all the details that were already explained in the Old Testament.

Had the Church understood this very clear message from the beginning, then the sad legacy of anti-Semitic hatred from the Church may have been avoided. The error of Replacement Theology is like a cancer in the Church that has not only caused it to violate God’s Word concerning the Jewish people and Israel, but it made us into instruments of hate, not love in God’s Name. Yet, it is not too late to change our ways and rightly relate to the Jewish people and Israel today. Through Bridges for Peace you can read, study and learn more, and also give to demonstrate God’s exhortation to us to bless His Covenant People, whom He still loves. Not only do we need to learn and do for ourselves, but we need to teach others so as to counteract the historical
error that has been fostered in the Church for nearly 2,000 years. Thank God, He is a God of mercy, redemption and second chances.
Shalom from Jerusalem,

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