One Disciple To Another
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Hear Him!" (Matt. 17:5)
Jeremiah 7: "Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded
you. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and dictates of their evil hearts, and went
backwards and not forward."
His disciples to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo,
I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt. 28:19-20) As He said to Nicodemus, "And
this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their
deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen; that they have been done in God."
Matt. 11: 27-29; "All things have been delivered
to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me,
all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle
and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
As John said in one of his letters (2 John 6-10):
"This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in
it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver
and an anti-Christ. Look to yourselves, that you do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have
God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If
anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets
him shares in his evil deeds."
So what do
the gospel accounts say is His doctrine? Is the doctrine of Christ that He came in the flesh, or is the doctrine
of Christ also what He taught? Matthew 7:28 is a comment made by the people who heard Jesus immediately after
His teaching of building our life upon hearing and doing what He said. This record says: "And so it was, when Jesus
had ended these saying, that the people were astonished at His teaching (KJV uses 'doctrine'), for He taught them as one having
authority, and not as the scribes." Matthew 22:33, just after His saying 'God is not the God of the dead, but of
the living' is 'And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching (KJV uses 'doctrine'). To make the
point further are additional accounts from the gospels that you can look up if you want to verify the fact: Mark 1:23,27;
4:2; 11:18, 12:28; Luke 4:32; John 7:16,17; John 18:19. Consider the translation you are using for study. The
KJV uses 'doctrine' and the NKJV uses 'teaching', and these mean pretty much the same thing. The issue is the importance
of what Jesus taught as being authoritative, and He claimed it was not His teaching, but the words God gave Him to give to
us. John 17 is a good focused study about 'the word' which Jesus gave and His disciples kept; 6-24:
"I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have
given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known
that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and
they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
"I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but
for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified
in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father, keep through Your
name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in
Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture
might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled
in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as
I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from
the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your
word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify
Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth."
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they
all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You
sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just a We are one. I in them,
and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them
as You have loved Me."
1:1-5; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning
with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and
the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
We need to know the teachings of Jesus Christ to know the doctrine of Christ,
which He said is the doctrine of God. We also need to comprehend His teachings - which is to 'have the mind of Christ'
In Matthew 12, Jesus said; "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And He stretched out His hand towards His disciples
and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven
is My brother and sister and mother."
must come to terms with the doctrine of Jesus - what He said the doctrine is. Many have taken the 'doctrine of Christ'
to mean the Trinity doctrine, that so long as you believe this doctrine all is well. The doctrine of Christ
is not merely the identity of Jesus Christ, but also the word of God that He taught and spoke. Jesus clearly
directed teaching disciples whatever He had taught the apostles as elemental to His Church in the 'great commission'.
In another place He also asked; "Why do you call me Lord and not do as I say?"
The grace and truth of Jesus give reason to obey from faith because we believe Him and because of His love and sacrifice for
us that we might have abundant life and hope - in this world and the one to come. "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
I John 3:24; "Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we
know that He abides in us, by the Spirit He has given us."
I John 4:6; "We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear
us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."
Jesus came that we might have
abundant life, healing, purpose and wholeness in Him- all to the glory of God. If we call Him our Lord we should be doing
what He said.
Love as defined
by God and Christ
Having grown up as a teenager in the “Jesus freak” time-frame, one thing
that still stands out in my memory was the concept of “love” being totally unfocused. As the Beatles song
went on and on: “Love, love, love; love, love love; love, love, love; all you need is love.” Some
also pretended that His love was passion for a fallen and forgiven harlot that followed Jesus and the disciples around (Jesus
Christ – Superstar). My dad would get up in the pulpit and preach about “agape’” love –
the unconditional love of God in 1 Corinthians 13 – and that all the problems in the world or the Church would be resolved
with agape’ love – that we just needed to put unconditional love into practice and action. We can look back
historically and see that all this preaching and singing of “love” undefined by the life, word and example of
Jesus didn’t accomplish a thing. Could it be because no one bothered to notice that the love of God or the Christ
is not unconditional? In effect, many were merely taking a few quotes of His word and neglecting to understand His teachings,
life and example – the ‘cut and paste’ version of Christian faith. “The sum of Thy word is truth”
– not “some of Thy word is truth.”
How did Yahshua define love? What did love mean to
him? And just to be sure we know it when we see it – what would the love he taught cause those who believe him
to do? Did he ever teach unconditional love, as the Greek word “Agape’” could indicate to us?
Or is this a provable misunderstanding? It’s no small wonder that God said through the Prophets that in the end
times there would be great deception and turning from His instructions of righteousness to work lawlessness, as well as the
fact that some things would remain hidden, or not understood, until the time of the end. (Such as the words to Daniel from
the angel) Could it be that we should recognize the Messiah by the prophecies of what he would do, in addition to the
prophesied lineage? We should also know those who are truly his by their manner of life and conduct – his disciples
model their understanding and life upon His example and word. According to Yahshua, love is known by what it does - it isn’t
just a feeling – it has definition and is not ambiguous.
The passages from John 14 and
15 show that love abides in and does as he taught – love is defined, proven and known by the works it does. Not
that our love can ever be completely perfect, but as disciples of Yahshua, we are called to live and grow and walk through
continuing in the pathways of life and conduct as he gave us to abide in. If we are faithful, in time we will mature
and grow to become his disciples indeed through growing to be more like him. As John said, if we confess our sins, God
will be faithful to forgive those who return and continue on in the pathway of life as He has instructed us to walk in.
As Yahshua said, it is enough that we become like him, that we reflect the goodness of God in our lives, just as he did.
know from the Sermon on the Mount that we are not to even think Yahshua came to set aside, loosen or do away with even the
least of the commandments of God. The commandments of God were the conditions for the Covenant that God put upon Israel
and the Gentile sojourners with them. Review of those Commandments will show some things to be instructions to His people
about knowing what He said is right and good, and what He declared to be minor sins and matters of ritual purity, as well
as what was sin, evil and also what He considers to be abominations. Some things that resulted in a person being “cut
off” from the people were minor issues of ritual purity that were easily resolved. Some things were regarded to
be abominations in His sight and were not easily resolved. Be careful to treat His words with the distinctions He made,
and don’t ignore any of His Instructions in Righteousness. This should be reasonably convincing evidence of the
source of the Commandments of God, proving they are from the Creator who knows what is for our good and what it takes to live
a blessed life in a community that desires to live uprightly toward both God and their fellow man. Because the need
to honor and keep His instructions indeed was taught by Yahshua, faithful disciples will be doing these things and also keeping
the words of God given by Yahshua. When we mature in the things of God as Yahshua taught them, and also raised righteousness
to higher standards, we will come to understand more fully what it means to know what God is doing and what it means to be
a friend of Master Yahshua, as taught. Although discussed earlier, since it is the direct topic discussed at this time,
this passage is again noted:
15:9-21; “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my
commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These
things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full. This is
my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down
his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you
not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard
of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that
ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my
name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that
it hated me before [it hated] you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of
the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I
said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they
have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because
they know not him that sent me.”
Revelation 12: 10-12; “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and
the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before
our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they
loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters
of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but
a short time.”
When our faith and word is abiding
in the testimony of the gospel as preached by Yahshua, and our love is centered on doing the will of God, surely we will be
found to be faithful overcomers who fully trust in the Testimony and blood of the Lamb of God.
It is also said in
Revelation that those who enter the City do so because of right – not just grace, not just because of their faith without
works, but rather because they kept the commandments of God and the Testimony of Master Yahshua. Revelation prophecies
that the bride of Christ made herself ready for His return, she was clothed in clean garments that were not stained with unfaithfulness
or abortions. She knew what the will of her betrothed was and set about to make sure she was faithful to Him indeed
and persevered to the end in her faithfulness to God and Christ with the help and assistance of the Spirit to renew and empower
and aid in living within the pathway to eternal life as shown through Master Yahshua. Lamentations 3:21-33 comes
to mind: “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not, they are new
every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in him! The
LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man to hear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and keep
silent, because God has laid it on him. Let him put his mouth in the dust – there may yet be hope. Let
him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, and be full of reproach. For the Lord will not cast off forever.
Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict
willingly, nor grieve the children of men.”
(As a side-bar of the Scriptural details of the teachings
of Master Yahshua, this passage directly relates to the one about “turning the other cheek”, as what the underlying
support text is: “Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, and be full of reproach.”)
The apostle John wrote of these things in his letters, which provides further evidence that this is in keeping with
the Apostles understanding of the instructions of Master Yahshua that fits perfectly with what is quoted just above about
the need to love Him as He said.
John 1; “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked
upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness,
and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard
declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his
Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which
we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have
fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that
we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a
liar, and his word is not in us.
I John 2: 1-6; “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we
have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only,
but also for [the sins of] the whole world.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and
keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the
love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk,
even as he walked.
God knows our works. He knows our hearts better than we can ever know ourselves.
Do take note of what Yahshua taught, and do so with the mind to be faithful and true - to be his disciple indeed and to be
wholehearted in our discipleship to him. Grow in understanding and faithfulness to the instructions in righteousness,
that God may then be true to His word and be able to bless us, rather than place ourselves under a curse by ignoring His instruction
and goodness. The faithfulness of God to His words of blessings and curses towards Israel are surely something we all
need to heed and pay close attention to. There is no reason to believe God will be unfaithful and cast aside His words
as meaningless or irrelevant. God has both shown and told us what is good – if we will but see, hear, and turn
to do His will that He might heal us, and possibly our nation. As the Revelation of Master Yahshua ends, “Amen.
Come quickly!” Are you making yourself ready? Are you trying to share the need to repent to do His will
with others, so they might also be saved from this wicked and perverse generation? At least be salt and light for Him.
Of the Ten Commandments, the only one most Christians ignore is keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath
was primarily kept in the home. This command has to do with not doing gainful work and to remember the blessings of
God in the Everlasting Covenant and provisions made for us in every need we have. It is a time to remember His goodness
in creation of the earth and all good things He gives us. The day was traditionally set-apart, distinguishing the secular
from the holy, before sundown on Friday, Scripture readings, and then also commemoration of the end of the Sabbath with sundown
on Saturday. We can keep the Sabbath holy and set it apart as commanded without the need to convince everyone in our
Church of the need to keep the Sabbath and worship on Saturday instead of Sunday. I found two paperback books on the
subject of keeping Jewish home customs in a used book store, or you might do some searches to find information on the internet.
It was enlightening to understand the matters from the Jewish perspective, and they have been keeping the Sabbath commandment
a long time. We should keep the day as Set-Apart to our Creator and learn about how much this day speaks of our Savior,
Redeemer, Master and King. See “The Jewish Home” by Daniel B. Syme; UAHC Press, New York, New York. Note
that there is careful division between the secular and what God has set-apart as holy.