IntroductionWho did Jesus claim to be?What did Jesus say?The doctrine of Jesus ChristJesus Christ - the listWhat about the unbelievers?What does God require?Don't be deceived

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1.      Index                                                                                                           

2.      Which Church is the True Church?                                                                  

3.      “This Gospel of the Kingdom.”                                                                        

4.      Premise 1 - Take Heed That No Man Deceives You                                      

5.      Premise 2 - Using His Correct Name                                                                

6.      Premise 3 - Believe the Instructions of God                                                      

7.      Premise 4 - What Does God Require of Man?                                                  

8.      Premise 5 - The Spirit of Truth                                                                            

9.      Premise 6 - The Everlasting Covenant                                                               

10.    Premise 7 - The Definition Of Love, As Given By God and Christ               

11.    The Teachings of Master Yahshua  (Jesus Christ)                                             

12.    The Cost and Conditions of Discipleship                                                         

13.    The Greatest Commandment                                                                               

14.    The Kingdom of God                                                                                             

15. The Gospel According to Matthew                                                                      

16. The SERMON ON THE MOUNT                                                                        

17. Review of End-times Teachings                                                                           

18. Conclusion: The Gospel and the Everlasting Covenant                                  

19. Church Organization and Offices                                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Every student who enters upon a scientific pursuit, especially if at a somewhat advanced period of life, will find not only that he has much to learn, but much also to unlearn.  As a first preparation, therefore, for the courses he is about to commence, he must loosen his hold on all crude and hastily adopted notions, and must strengthen himself by something of an effort and a resolve, for the unprejudiced admission of any conclusion which shall appear to be supported by careful observation and logical argument, even should it prove of a nature adverse to notions he may have previously formed for himself, or taken up without examination, on the credit of others.  Such an effort is, in fact, a commencement of that intellectual discipline which forms one of the most important ends of all sciences.”

 

Sir John Herschel

 

Which Church Is True to Jesus Christ (Master Yahshua)?

 

John 8: 31, 32;  "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Have you ever wondered if what you were taught and believe is the same gospel Jesus preached?  Is His a message that changes with time and culture?  Or, is the gospel a set message that is timeless and as applicable to life today as it was nearly 2000 years ago?  Of the major divisions in Christianity today there are significant differences between what it means to be a Christian.  God created each person to be unique – no two are alike in every way, but do we have any reason to believe that opposing diversity of beliefs and faiths are what God has ever desired of those who believe in the Messiah?  Didn’t Jesus’ prayer in John 17 say that He desired those who believe in Him to be one – not multitudes of fractured believers who teach against each other, or who don’t teach His message as abiding in whatever He first taught the original disciples?  It’s as though many are on a binge to do less and less of what He taught and have nearly divorced themselves from His words that He said lead to life eternal! 

If you can please endure a fairly lengthy introduction to this topic, I believe you will see that everything is significant to this question.  Most, if not all of it, should be related to the actual teachings of Jesus Christ and my sincerity in speaking His truth.  It has been through personal experience and knowledge of the matter as one who has tried to be objective towards all who profess to be Christians, including myself. What I’ve discovered can be equally applied by anyone who wants to make sure they are on the pathway of life that God and His Christ have given as instructions to all who seek the light of His truth and be freed from what it seems the prophet Isaiah called “prison houses” of false doctrine and unbelief.  The situation should become apparent if you follow along with what I’ve come to understand after 60 years of life and study, and most revealing when discovering what I honestly believe is the cause of why we have problems and divisions in the Christian faith.

During the early history of the Church, when the Roman Empire was at its height, persecution began, first towards Jesus, and then the original disciples – those of the Jews who believed in Him.  Jesus and all the original disciples were Jews and the Church of God (Ebionites) started in Jerusalem. 

 

 

This is an overview:

The Church, believers in Jesus as the Messiah, originated at Jerusalem on Pentecost and was spreading throughout the known world. First centering through the original disciples and witness of Jesus’ teachings, examples in life, and also his death, burial and resurrection – as Jesus had commanded and commissioned them at the end of the gospel of Matthew.  After a few years Paul entered the picture, first as a persecutor, then an alleged convert and self-proclaimed apostle.  Paul gave his teachings to areas away from Jerusalem, but visited Jerusalem several times.  Paul was involved in a few controversies in Acts.  Later in Church history, Imperial Rome transferred some authority to the Roman Church.  The Roman Church grew in power and tried to overtake the rest of the Christians as their subjects.  Those outside Roman rule were threatened that they also had to submit and change their doctrines and Scripture to match what Rome declared.  The Roman sphere of influence also evolved into making Churches under the authority of various areas Kings, who were to be in submission to the head of the Roman Church.   Thereby the sanctioned “Church State” that those who came to the new world hoped to escape and be able to worship God by the dictate of their conscience, rather than the dictate of the King or Pope. The office of the Roman Pope was one of great political and religious power.  Those who would not submit to Rome were persecuted by Rome for a long time, but the Christian faith extended beyond Roman rule.  The Roman Church rule has its own historical events of significance, and I’m really not so interested in those things at this time, excepting the most lasting influence to this day is what the currently extended Churches consider to be Scripture.  The book listing for the New Testament Canon was declared by the Roman Church about 350-400 AD, almost 300 years after the Church began.   The same books were received in other areas and preserved outside Roman rule that demanded everyone accept what the Pope and Roman Church declared. 

(Note: Netfix, Frontline, Secrets of the Vatacan)

Ancient texts discovered from the area of the Dead Sea Scrolls may have been from the early Church before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.  What has been declared to be accepted Scripture by The Roman Church does not match what some of the ancient discovered texts declared to be Scripture.  One of these ancient texts says the Jerusalem Church only accepted the Old Testament and the original Hebrew text of Matthew to be Scripture.  It was reportedly written by Matthew, who was one of the twelve apostles, and the apostles were the chosen disciples and witnesses of Jesus and the teachings he gave (the Gospel).  Equally important is that it indicated the writings of Paul were rejected as Scripture by the Christians at Jerusalem.  Study that totally focuses on the teachings of Yahshua throughout the New Testament texts substantiates this could well be true.  God said through Moses, the Prophets and Master Yahshua that we have specific instruction and commandments about who we are to hear and who we are to reject as a spokesperson for God (Master YHWH). 

The Roman Church claims they are the oldest and original Church.  There are also those who split with the Roman Church over doctrines and authority the Church is to submit to (Roman Pope).  Their belief is that Rome departed from the original Church, which is why they call themselves Orthodox.  Some men believed the Roman Church was corrupted and that the common folk needed to have the Scriptures available in the language everyone could understand.   It’s interesting that the period when men were denied the Scripture the most was also one of the darkest times in known human history.  It was through this period of the first awakening  that the King James Bible and others came into use.  Following this are many other Protestant denominations whose variant faiths promote to “preach the truth” and have largely based faith and practice through Statements of Doctrine for each Church, and each sect based their doctrines on the texts the Roman Church declared to be the New Testament.  By now people generally follow the faith of their fathers or settle in on a congregation that best fits what they either find most family friendly, or least objectionable to what they believe.  Sola Scriptura, was the basis of the Protestant reformation, and this was based on understandings stemming from the writings of Paul.

Of the later developments in the 1800’s re-awakening are also found those who attempted to return to the original faith, as they understood it to be, as well as those who claim restored priesthood authority through their Living Prophets.  The Latter Day Saints have added books to their Scripture that purport their founder, Joseph Smith Jr., to have received by revelation.  The founding prophetess of the Seventh Day Adventists, Ellen White, also wrote extensively and her books also cause them to focus their faith away from the teachings of Yahshua to then observe whatever she wrote.

After spending a number of years studying with a variety of Churches, all I can conclude is that there are so many Churches because none of them actually remained believers of what Yahshua taught, to be hearers and doers of His words, but allowed themselves to drift away from the teachings and examples He gave us to follow and turned to what someone else taught.  It was only through focused study to know what Yahshua taught that helped me realized the significance of the matter.  If you don’t believe me, see if you can go to a Church whose speakers focus their missionary work or exposition of Scripture and the Gospel (sermon/testimony) without supporting references to their ‘prophet’, church founders, or the apostle Paul taking precedence over the teachings of the Christ given to us by His chosen witnesses. The most controversial  teaching is Master Yahshua’s instruction that even the least of the Law is still in effect – VS – it was nailed to the cross and done away with.  It’s eye-opening to see how true this is.  No one can possibly attend every Church existing in the entire earth today, but after visiting so many, all I can say is I’d love to find one that does focus teaching its members in the fullness of His instructions.  The focus of Christian faith should be on the person, prophecies, examples and teachings of Master Yahshua … if they actually believe Him.  After all, the gospels record says that we are to be His disciples indeed if we are to know the truth, which requires abiding in His word, which requires knowing what He actually taught.

By our time, and through the confusions of history, how can we possibly know who and what to believe is actually the truth God gave through Him? 

How is it that what we have been taught to believe about Jesus and His Church ends up in different fellowships, belief systems of what the “gospel” is, Church organizations, and the teachings focused on regarding what members must believe and do to be “faithful” Church members?  While all will say they are Christians, how can all of them actually be faithful Christians and have so many differences – some quite profound – and some teaching against what Yahshua said His disciples will believe and do?  How is it that so many who believe in Jesus as children end up rejecting their faith in their teens and twenties?  Suppose one discovers what they were taught isn’t actually true?  In some instances they may conclude what they have been taught actually offends their own soul.  Many continue to search for the whole truth because they have actually come to love and believe Jesus is the Christ and desire to know Him more fully.  If you are reading this, chances are you fit in this group, and I hope you’ll come to discover what my search has found to be the truth that Yahshua said will set us free to the will and blessings of God and leads us to life eternal. 

My fathers’ roots were Methodist; many consider them to be on the liberal side of Christianity.   As a child I still remember visiting my uncle Harry, who was a Methodist minister, and attending services with his family a few times.  The Church of Christ prides itself on being “New Testament Christians” or “First Century Christians” and generally hold to a theme of “If it isn't authorized in the New Testament, it is prohibited.”  Since musical instruments aren't specifically authorized in the New Testament, they are forbidden to be used in worship.  My uncle Harry and aunt Helen were two of the loveliest people I've ever known, and I still recall sitting in their Church with them as the piano was played and all I could think of was how I couldn't sing - lest I be damned - and wondering how on earth such nice people could be so wrong and damn themselves to hell for singing with an instrument, as they sang the same songs of praise to God that I sang in the Church of Christ.  That was my first introduction to how divisive what we've been taught can become.  I have to smile at my ignorance by now, but if you've been brought up in any particular Church and have visited family or friends who go to a different Church or faith, you might be able to loosely identify with the feelings and questions I had as a child in wondering about “why the differences?” or “why do we believe what we do, and they believe something else?”(1)   Each believe and love Jesus as they’ve accepted what they’ve been taught, and ultimately, who is right, or does it really matter?  Who hasn’t heard: “Go to the Church of your own choice”?  Who hasn’t known someone who belongs to a Church that thinks theirs is the only “true” Church on the face of the earth?  It appears that we’ve missed a central element if there is a unity that the body of Christ is to possess, that His disciples be as one, and have unity and love amongst themselves and be the light and witness to the world as He taught and prayed for (Jn.17).

We moved every few years and this exposed me to a variety of Churches and faiths, and local cultures.  Having started school in Utah, somehow we returned to Utah for my Junior and Senior years of High School.  By this time I enjoyed debating LDS friends over the Book of Mormon.  Several times friends who were LDS missionaries in training would come over after school and we'd discuss the meaning of the “two sticks” prophecy in Ezekiel 37 and sometimes end up going to their Seminary teachers to discuss things they believed they were right about,  but didn't know how to answer points I made.(2)  We all felt obligated to prove what we were taught to believe was the real truth, yet no conversions were made.  We enjoyed our discussions as we tried to prove to each other why our Church was the correct one.  We shared the desire to love and serve Jesus, but were limited by what we’d been taught in our respective Churches to be the truth – the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 (Since the words of God are sure and everlasting, God already declared the use of instruments permissible  in praises to Him in Psalm 150.   God has already given the truth of the matter of instruments and worship.  To then reject His words of instruction is to reject His truth on the subject, and to then teach others to reject the truth of God through false arguments/theology cannot be shown as understanding the fullness of His truth. Instruments are permitted, but not commanded to be used.)

2  (The passage is one of the few in the Bible that actually says what it means in the same chapter, so giving it a totally different meaning cannot fit the text or the principles taught in other Scripture of ‘No prophecy is of private interpretation.’)  

 

 

 

Just after graduating we moved to California, I went off to college to study Bible and Sociology and try to follow in my dad’s footsteps.  Great expectations filled my mind, there I was at the same Church school my dad attended a short time.  Rather than small congregations I'd grown up with, some congregations in the Nashville area had membership in the thousands.  One of the Bible professors had a fireside event for the new Bible majors, and I looked forward to meeting him and all the other “like-minded” students.  Until that point in my life Bible study was usually in smaller groups, and most of them didn't n read the workbook lessons and showed little active interest.  I was more than ready to get into the Scriptures with the experts!  It was only a few minutes into the fireside when the professor came over to me and drew the focus of everyone to our conversation - and to my surprise, he was confronting me, not congratulating me for my choice of school or field of study.  "I hear you actually believe the Holy Spirit indwells you?"  Having been taught this all my life from Jesus’ teaching on sending the Comforter, in  John 15:26; 16:7-15, Acts 2:38, 39, and other passages, such as the Spirit is Gods seal of surety to the believer, but mostly from personal experience of it when I was baptized, we bantered back and forth quoting Bible passages, discussing whether the Spirit actually indwells the baptized believer, or if it is solely the word of God being inspired by the Spirit and we cannot have the Spirit in actuality, but only the engrafted word.  This really puzzled me at the time, as I didn't come to college to argue with the professors.  Being a fair debater, I reserved some parting comments of additional Scripture to prove my viewpoint was correct - that the Spirit works within the word to affect our lives, but that He also is capable to guide and lead us throughout our life as the promised Comforter.  The professor had rights to the parting comment:  "Well", he said, "I'm surprised you don't have a Scribe following you around to record every word you say!"

I believed Jesus and what the Scriptures said, yet here I was, standing up for my faith and the word of God and everything I had been taught to believe as the professor and students had a chuckle at my expense.  I stuck it out at David Lipscomb for over a year, but could see it wasn't going to work out as expected and returned home to get a job and spent 40 years working for the State of California. 

It was quite a humbling reality to go from college to picking up trash and weeds along the Highways, especially when friends drove by and honked their horns – but it was a job and put food on the table and an honest way for me to have my own place and raise a family.

Each of us has opportunities in life, and I used mine to the best of my ability.  I also made a number of mistakes, as I was very naive and mainly learned by experience.  Work started in maintaining highways and ended up assisting in their design and construction.  Through my career I've worked with thousands and supervised hundreds, and it was perhaps the best experience in my life in exposure to the real world – which is vastly different from being a preacher’s kid and everything centering on Church.  The life I’d lived as the son of a preacher in the Church of Christ was extremely limited and shielded from most of life’s realities.  Work also served as an education about the reality of life and how what others believe or don't believe impacted their work and personal life.   I enjoyed talking to those of different faiths about what they believed: Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventists, Jews, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, as well as, agnostics, atheists and pagans.

Aside from developing work ethics and stamina, the most valuable skill developed was to digest huge amounts of information to determine specific recommendations.  Some highway projects had hundreds and thousands of pages in plans, specifications, special provisions, environmental permits, and such, but boiled down to how much money was provided for certain specifications, line items and various contingency funds of the contract that I was to provide input for the Construction Division during the design phase.  This required envisioning projects as designed to be built in multi-year phases and anticipate specific environmental needs and help plan what should be required throughout the project (if the Regulations and Permits didn’t change) and to be an advocate for funds to get the job done correctly and according to project site and project specific requirements, special provisions, standard specifications, project design guidelines and various environmental permits.  If anyone has done this type of work before, you'll appreciate the focus to detail that is required.  Sometimes project documentation gave conflicting requirements, which took time to re-direct issues to resolve as best as possible.  The final product being the goal, one had to see the current situation and the final configuration to make sense of all that happens from start to finish.  It isn’t uncommon that mistakes are made when people aren’t working closely together and sharing information with each other, or if some who think they know something that they don’t know start directing something incorrectly, or when a figure is given for a critical design issue that is significantly wrong.  Sometimes required information couldn’t be known until the mountain was blasted away and the calculation figures were merely rough estimates, such as what percentage of the new cut-slope would be solid granite and what was likely to be decomposed granite.  With a 200’- 300’ tall cut slope above the highway, with homes or streams nearby, this was a critical issue that provisions be made to build a stable slope. 

While many are not aware of the need for specification details, you might consider if you’d like to take the chance to drive over a bridge put together with materials that don’t meet the designed and engineered strength requirements for the structure of a bridge built high over water such as the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.  How much confidence should you really have in the bridge if the bolts, welding, concrete or foundation structure didn’t meet the strength required by the engineers who designed it?  What if the builder put in materials that didn’t meet the strength specifications required?  With only a few interspersed substandard materials the bridge should stand up; maybe it would hold for years before the stress finally caused failure to withstand the forces it was designed to bear.  What if all the components of a critical design feature were weak and substandard?   What if in this condition of weakness the bridge was filled to maximum capacity, and the weight limits of what it was designed for was more than the actual substandard materials could bear?  I’ve worked over many large bridges, and even those made of concrete will bounce up and down with the weight of traffic and sway in strong winds.  Moment by moment, bounce by bounce, thousands of people passed over before us.  Although rare, mainly because of diligent designers, engineers, contractors, craftsmen, workers, inspectors, and material suppliers.  There have been a few notable examples of catastrophic bridge failure and significant loss of property and/or life.  Why not be diligent to follow all the design and maintenance requirements to build and maintain the bridge as fully intended?  Wouldn’t that be the upright way to build and maintain such an important thing? 

Is our belief and faith any less important if we believe there is a hereafter and a coming account of ourselves to God?  The teachings of Yahshua have certain instructions that can be viewed similarly to specifications.  He put parameters on many things, such as who can be His disciple, the cost involved, and perhaps most importantly that He said if we love Him we will keep His commandments, as He kept the Fathers commandments to show His love for the His Father, Master YHWH.  Much, if not all, of what Yahshua taught related to what God declared to be His instructions in righteousness and based in the Old Testament.  Since the New Testament is actually revealing the fullness of the will of God and the fulfillment of the promise to bless all nations through the seed of Abraham – from my perspective it is one testament of God – not two.

There is a vast amount of information and instruction in the Bible.  What is the overall purpose and goal?  How do we get there?   How can we seek guidance with seeming conflicting directions?  What are the conditions required?  What are the foundations and parameters?  Who is in charge?  Who are we to hear as authority and receive direction from?  Who are we to ignore?  Who are we to reject?  How much “truth” is required?  How much room is allowed for “opinion”?  What are the primary stabilizing influences?  I can’t recommend too strongly to double check what someone tells you.  What can be more important to the subject than what God said?  The first recorded teaching of Yahshua in Matthew is “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” There are many who say the sum total of the gospel response is to “Say this prayer after me and put your trust in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.”  I can still hear one caller to a Christian Radio Program who asked: “Are you sure that’s all there is?” Repeatedly  the host assured the caller this prayer and trust in His work on the cross is all that is required, and further warned them to not listen to anyone who said baptism or any work was necessary, because baptism is a work and Paul said salvation is of faith and not works, lest any man should boast.   According to Yahshua, the truth of the matter is that the great commission near the end of Matthew is a word picture, like the Title Page of the building plans, of the original Christian faith, and puts baptism (immersion) in the Name (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in the center of the call to first becoming disciples and then doing whatever He first commanded the Apostles.  To cut out the middle, which is given as the promise of God to all from that day in Acts 2:38,39, a mere few days after He gave the great commission, may well be a gross error that leads people to reject the very promise of God regarding the gospel message of repentance, forgiveness and the promised Comforter.

Since the gospel message of Yahshua (Jesus Christ) is what Christianity is all about, we need to apply some reality of what He taught regarding the situation each of us find ourselves in who claim to belong to Him, and we should also teach the same thing to others who may ask us about Christianity. 

Millions of people have been repeatedly lead away from doing what Yahshua said is necessary, and with repeated denial of His stated conditions, how long does it take to put a callous over the instinct that asks if there is more we need to do?  It is with learned focus to seek to know the fullness of the will of God that is the good news of the hope of the Kingdom of God, as taught by Yahshua, that I return to His word to see where I actually stand - according to what He taught.  As He said from the beginning – “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand,” and, John the Baptist said; ”Save yourselves from this crooked and perverse generation!”  No matter what we’ve been taught by anyone else, we must be willing to count the cost and repent of man-made beliefs and turn to do those things He said are done by those who desire to do the will of the Father in heaven.  As an expression contemporary to my work experience, if I want my bridge to withstand and endure, I have to build it by the standards and design He gave – to do less is to invite destruction and failure.  As Yahshua framed the issue, we must be hearers and doers of “these words,” and as Moses foretold, we must hear Him in whatever He tells us or be cut off from the brethren.

Christianity centers on Jesus (Yahshua), but what I've come to see later in life is that divisions between fellowships and Churches (denominations) largely stem from one of two things: 

1.  Division of His teachings – “cut and paste Christianity.”

2.  Taking the words of someone other than Yahshua as more authoritative or true.

As one example of “cut and paste Christianity,” have you heard “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”?  More often than not, they don't preach the preceding condition of, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”  Yahshua put the condition of abiding in what He was teaching, and abiding is to carefully stick with what He taught and not adding to it or taking away from it, but living faithfully by all His teachings.

Being a disciple is about accepting and abiding in the whole of His teachings - and I was compelled to double check everything.   According to Yahshua, the way to know the truth is to abide in his word “indeed”, which requires instruction in His teachings.    For years I would get up early before going to work and start my examination of the teachings to see what He said truth actually is.  This new purpose in reading the gospel accounts gave a new focus to my study, and each day I found myself noticing things He taught that I'd passed by many times before.  It was like discovering a new mountain of faith to be explored.   It wasn’t long before realizing He taught that if anyone wanted to know if his teachings are actually from God, as necessary as told and as profitable as presented, that he gave what I call “The Jesus Test.”  He said if anyone wills to know if his teachings are of God, that by doing what he said we can know if it is of God or not.   Taking this teaching as literal, it was the first thing on my mind to know if this is the actual truth.  (Do temper your desire with a healthy dose of common sense though.  There is no record of cutting off hands or putting eyes out to be taken literally, and the over-statement was to emphasize how dangerous sin is and the severity of repentance required by God.  Some things are harder than others, and some things are a life-long effort.)    Days passed into weeks and weeks into months - each day providing new insight to what He was teaching and then applying what he said to believe or do as opportunity presented itself.  It wasn't very long before I was compelled to start thinking differently than what I had been taught.  After coming to realize the significance of His teachings it became painfully obvious that divisions between believers result from the divisions in not accepting the whole of what He taught to be the guiding light it is intended to be – according to the Master Teacher himself – as recorded to have been said by those who were his appointed witnesses of what He had taught them about the kingdom of God (Heaven), life and what God has graciously instructed. 

Yahshua summed up the charge of the faith to his apostles as making disciples of Him, immersing them in the Name, and teaching them to do whatever He had commanded/instructed them.   (See Matthew 28:18-20)  With the building concept in mind, this could be viewed as the cover sheet of the plans, which shows the outline and overall situation of the final product alignments with locations (stations) so we can always reference what is being built and refer back to the guidance and directions referenced in the will of God for our lives.  We can see that He calls for discipleship to Him from beginning to end, and squarely centered between coming to Him and doing whatever He commanded and taught is found the primary link of promise that was explicitly given just days after His leaving the earth and returning to the Father.  Acts 1-3 gives a general outline of the promises of God to bless the nations through Abrahams Seed and that the gospel as the fulfillment of the promise of God that also has certain conditions.   Yahshua didn't come to bring a gospel of spiritual welfare.  He brought forth the fullness of the grace and truth of God towards those who would repent to truly put their lives into His hands for eternity through building their lives on doing as He instructed.  Faith as taught by Yahshua is not a one-time profession out of your mouth, it is an expression of life-long faithfulness to repentance and submitting to the instruction and will of God because of His goodness and greatness and love – the process of becoming sons of God.

Jesus gave hundreds of teachings, and each has important lessons in our discipleship to him.  We are told to not to be hearers only, but to be among those who are hearers and doers of His word.  Jesus came to teach and manifest the instructions of God: righteousness, grace, love, mercy, promises, will, covenant and truth of God to lead us to eternal life. Whosoever will may come and partake of the waters of life freely.  (Rev. 22:13-21;  Aramiac English New Testament);  ““I am Alap and the Taw, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Completion.  Blessed are they who do His (Master YHWH’s) Mitzvot*, that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city.  Without (will be) dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers and manslayers and idolaters, and everyone that loves and does falsehood.  I, Y’shua have sent my Messenger to testify to you these things before the assemblies.  I am the root and offspring of David: like the splendid star of the morning.  And the Spirit and the bride say, “You come.” And let him that hears say, “You come.”  And let him who thrists, come and he that is inclined, let him take the living water freely.”  “I testify to every one who hears the plagues that are written in this book.  And if any one will take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, Elohim will take away his portion  from the tree of life and from the Set Apart city, which are described in this book.  He who testifies these things says:  “Yes, I come quickly.”  Amen.  Come Master Y’shua!  The grace of our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach (be) with all the Set Apart believers.  Amen.””

 

*Mitzvot is to be keeping to the commandments of God and the manner of life that God has instructed men to be His gracious instructions in righteousness.  These are the teachings Jesus gave as he was calling men to repent and follow in the fullness of the grace and truth of God.

 

In Micah 6:7, 8 we are told:

 

"Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,

Ten thousand rivers of oil?

Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,

The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

 

He has shown you, O man, what is good;

And what does the LORD require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God?"

 

Jesus came to teach and demonstrate to us exactly what these things mean: to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God and our fellow man.  Also recall His charges against the scribes and Pharisees – they neglected the weightier matters of the Law (instructions of God): justice (do justly), mercy (mercy) and faith (walking humbly with thy God).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This Gospel of the Kingdom”

John 7:16, 17; ”My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.  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."

[Doctrine, teaching and instruction have the same basic meaning.  The authority of Yahshua’s (Jesus’) doctrine is based on the Instructions in Righteousness, the Everlasting Covenant, and the promises, precepts and judgments of God in the Old Testament - the accepted words of God in the Torah, Psalms and Prophets.  Close examination of the doctrine Jesus (Yahshua) taught will show they are in accord with the instructions of God therein, and do not lead away from anything God had commanded as the moral standards of righteousness that He expects from mankind.  The Doctrine of Christ reveals the fullness of the grace and truth of God.]

Matthew 5: 17-20; “Do not think that I come to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  For assuredly I say to you till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.  Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will be no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

[If prophecies of the Testament of God are found to be fulfilled by Jesus Christ (Master Yahshua), that doesn’t cause them to be discarded, as they are the proof of who He is – neither does His revealing the fullness of the grace and truth of God contained in the instruction and commandments of God cause any word of God to then be cast aside – the words of God are confirmed – this is largely what “fulfilled” means.  To have missed the need for keeping even the ‘least’ of the commandments was not equated to have been excluded from the kingdom of Heaven – but what did some do that we find He  will say “I never” knew you”?  Those who were lawless – who were without or against Torah. (Greek ‘anomia)]

John 8:12;  "I am the light of the world.  He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (Psalm 119:105; “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”)

John 8: 31,32;  "If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  (“Sanctify them by Thy truth, Thy word is truth.”)

Matthew 7:24-27; "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell.  And great was its fall."

 

John 14:23,24;  "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  He who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me."

John 15:9-15; "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you."

Matthew 28: 18-20; “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Amen.”

Revelation 22:14; "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city."

 

 

Faith molds our conscience, as well as our general outlook on life.  All men have basic hopes and needs in life, and we spend years trying to develop the conscience of our children, as well as ourselves.  Laws can be written to regulate behavior in social matters of importance, but living in harmony towards others has never been achieved by human legislation and regulation.  Religion, or system of belief, has an impact on the conscience of the individual.  In its most basic sense our conscience tells us when something is right or wrong – accepted or prohibited – beneficial or harmful to ourselves or others.  The general human lack of perception of these things gave us the old adage of “The pathway to hell is paved with good intentions.” The variance of behavior beyond the infant stage will involve some element of consciousness of the conscience to decide what we have come to believe, feel or do about almost anything.  Our consciences are molded by others in our youth, but when we become adults, we should be able to think things through more rationally than we could as a child.  God created man with the ability to learn and be molded and reformed to become more like the Creator.  Man was not created a crystal, but all too often man crystalizes in his faith, rather than growing on to maturity in becoming who the Son said we are capable of becoming.

Christianity is belief that God promised a Savior/Messiah/Redeemer that has a dual nature – both divine and human, and that Jesus Christ was begotten miraculously by the working of the Holy Spirit to cause a young Jewish woman, Mary, to conceive and give birth to a son – and that the Son would fulfill all that was written of him in the Holy Scripture – the prophecies of his person, work (mission), and teachings.

There are thousands of Churches that profess the Christian faith.   What I’ve found most concerning is the vast differences they have regarding the doctrine and commandments given to us in the gospel accounts written by the original disciples, who knew first-hand what He taught.  Comparison of their records of His teachings to what is taught in many Churches shows that little is said of the actual doctrines and commandments of Jesus (Yahshua), or of the commission to teach others to be His disciples indeed - who keep His words of life because of their love and belief in Him.

A Rabbi summed up his view of Christianity in a parable, which I’ll try to paraphrase:  God created a beautiful city for the people He had made.  All things were provided that they would need to live happy, healthy, and harmonious lives.  The means to attain food and clothing and shelter were there – nothing was lacking.  They all had cars, motor cycles, bicycles, and they drove or walked around the city in their daily course of life – to and fro – everyone was traveling along their lives.  God had also given them rules to travel on the roadways – rules about stop-lights, stop signs, yield to pedestrians, crosswalks, speed limits and even fines for violation of the rules – all the rules that would enable them to travel safely and ensure everyone reached their destinations safely.  However, it wasn’t long before they started ignoring the rules and many were hurt and injured because of those who disregarded the rules.  Some even died in tragic accidents.  Repeatedly, God tried to encourage the people to return to keep the rules, but they wouldn’t hear anyone He sent.  Finally, God sent His Son to teach the people about the rules, that they might not harm or kill each other.  Many of the people listened to the Son and were going back to keeping the instructions of God about safe traveling, but tragically, the Son was killed in a car accident!  They mourned for a time, but then someone said that the Will of the Son provided payment for their traffic fines – so they went back to driving as they had before the Son came, and many people have been injured and killed since then.

I’ve visited and studied with many Churches.  All of them were friendly and in possession of love for Jesus Christ and the desire to share their belief in Him with others.  Through my years of investigation and studies, each had some valuable understanding of His word and the gospel message that added to my understanding of the Christian faith.  However, it wasn’t until personally facing what He said those who love Him will do, that I realized the common understanding of “love” for Jesus Christ (Master Yahshua) is much smaller than what He taught it should be.  According to His words from John 14:23-24, we love Him when we keep His word and abide in whatsoever he taught – keeping His commandments.  We can see from the gospel accounts that this is not about absolute perfection, in a legalistic sense, but that we are actively growing our understanding and application of His teachings to our life, and that we are also as gracious, forgiving and encouraging towards others, as He has been to us. 

The main point is that keeping to His instruction – abiding in His word - should be our manner and rule of faith, life and conduct.  His call was to repent to do the will of God, for the kingdom of God is at hand.  Being in the Kingdom is to be a good citizen who honors and keeps the commandments of the King.  He calls us to reform our conscience to the same standards of what He affirmed, taught, and declared true and good – words from the Father, through Him, to each of His disciples, and that the Spirit was sent to help us along the pathway of life in the boundaries of truth and love – to be found within the grace of God towards those who seek to do His good will indeed.

Every student of the Bible knows that Jesus and Paul taught different messages, and this is what caused Dispensational Theology to be accepted to bridge the differences.  Of the primary differences between the Gospel according to Paul VS Master Yahshua is that Paul taught salvation by grace, not by works, and by faith, rather than faithfulness to the instructions and commandments of God and Christ. Instead of believing what God said to believe and do, Paul inserts his own doctrines - that of personal expediency instead of the commandments of God or the Christ - to live by the "Spirit", without pointing out that the "Spirit" was sent to write the commandments and instructions of God on our hearts so we would be careful to be faithful in keeping them from our heart. (Ezekiel 36:25-26)  If this doesn’t relate to what we call our conscience, I fail to understand a better way to define it.  One teaches that the will of God is to become our own will (repentance to do the will of God and keep His instructions), and the other teaches that all things are lawful, and what we do is based on our own conscience and expediency, rather than the stated standards that God gave through Moses and the Christ.  In 1 Corinthians 7:19 Paul says keeping the commandments of God is what is most important, but Paul also taught the opposite thing – that we are freed from the Law because it was nailed to the cross, and that the Law causes sin because it made him aware of his sin.  Which is it Paul?  Keeping the commandments of God, or that if you think you need to keep His commandments that you’ve fallen from grace and are thereby condemned by God?  Jesus (Yahshua) taught that all men will be judged by His word.  Paul taught that all men will be judged by his gospel.  Who should we believe?  Who did God say we should believe?

Hearing the words of God and not doing them will lead to what Yahshua (Jesus) explicitly warned against – those without, or against, the Torah (the gracious instructions in righteousness from God) will be told that He never knew them, even though they called Him “Lord!”  The commission is to take the same gospel to all nations.  We can see in the great commission at the end of Matthew that the same doctrine was to be taught to disciples of all nations (Matthew 28: 18-20).  We can also know of the faithfulness of God to uphold His word from the Psalms, which also say (Psalm 119:118); “You reject all those who stray from Your statues, for their deceit is falsehood” and 125-128; “I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies.  It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void.  Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold!  Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.”

Premise One – Take Heed That No Man Deceive You

"It's in the Book" or “Sola Scriptura” is not an adequate excuse to set aside the words of God.  The actual truth is "in the Book.”  One has to disbelieve (disregard) the words of God, Moses, the Prophets, Psalms, and the Apostles records of what Yahshua taught to believe what Paul taught about the Law and the everlasting covenant.  I know of no church in this country that simply says their doctrine is to keep the commandments of Jesus Christ - to abide in His instruction from the Father - as given by those proven to pass the tests that God commanded to be used to know who spoke for Him - and to reject those that God and Christ commanded that we are to reject. No good can come from rejecting the explicit instruction and commandment of God.  I greatly fear “we” of the western “Christian” world will stand condemned for rejecting both the Father and the Son because our love is found wanting, and we’ve considered as “Scripture” those who are proven false by the instructions of God and ChristThose instructions are that even if a person works wonders and gives true prophecy – if that person leads away to a god not known by Israel at the Mount, or if they try to lead people from the ways that God had instructed them to walk in – God has commanded His people to not fear them or obey them – and God has allowed the false one to test His people to see if they love Him enough to believe and obey Him.  The primary test of a false prophet is if they teach according to the words of God accepted by Israel and the multitude of nations at Sinai.  Isaiah’s instructions were “If they speak not according to the Law and the Testimony, there is no light in them.”

Although I’m not a preacher, my family is full of them – my grandfathers, father, uncle and two brothers are, or were, preachers.  I was one who did not pursue the occupation.  Having now discovered some key elemental truths, I’m very thankful that I’ve not been guilty of getting up in a pulpit and unknowingly preaching lies and half-truths in the name of God or Jesus Christ.  Some may be offended at this, but the fact is that the Scriptures say whoever doesn’t hear whatever “that prophet” said to do will be cut off from the brethren – Peter quoting Moses in Acts 3:22, 23; see Deut. 18:15.  This is also the same message taught in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, that we should not be hearers only, but also doers of “these words,” which He said were not His teachings, but the teachings God told Him to give us.  We’ve all had the same records in the gospels, and how this critical fact was cast aside by those who have college degrees in study of the faith is a marvel to me.  What I’ve found could be shocking to some and make perfect sense to others. 

There are few who have taken time to reconsider and discover the fact that what we’ve been told to be true has actually obscured the Truth of God and taught against what He has declared to be His will and Everlasting Covenant.  It would be easy to just figure I could be wrong and not say anything about it for fear of being rejected by family or friends, but I am compelled to pass this on because of the commandments of God.  Jesus said unless one loves Him more than their mother, father, sister or brother – that we are not worthy of being His disciples.  Love for Him and the Father must be greater than our love for anyone else on earth.  When we get our love for Him in its proper place, we should then be able to repent to do as He has instructed.  If we love family more than Him, we have not loved Him according to what He taught, nor loved God according to the Greatest Commandment.  If we love our “faith family” more than being faithful to Him, we are not loving Him or the Father as He commanded, or as the Apostle John notes in 2 John 9-11, or the foundations of the faith as taught by Yahshua in Matthew, John, and Revelation.

There are as many shades of partial truth as there are Churches, as each contain some of His truth, but the matter is to abide in the whole of His truth.  Surely we’ve come to so many divisions in sincere belief that the Bible is the word of God, and that God has appointed those in our Church to lead us and that we’ve dissolved ourselves of personal responsibility when we believe and do as our Church leadership tells us.  The fact remains that blinded leaders of the blind will both fall into the ditch.   My prayer is that all who seek to do the will of God wholeheartedly repent of belief in those that can be shown to be nothing but false teachers and a false apostle.  Since the days of Martin Luther the call from many of “sola scriptura” has caused much division within the Christian faith.  The trouble could well be that we have been told to believe those that God said we shouldn’t – if we follow the instructions of God and Christ on the critical matter of making sure we are careful about who we hear.  Because those before us didn’t ensure only those in the Bible passed the tests of God regarding the matter will be for God to judge, but today we need to turn back to the truth of God and prepare for the return of the Messiah – the bride made herself ready.

The writings of Paul and his disciples are at the center of most all divisions within the body of Christ.  The earliest record to show divisions over Paul can be found in Acts.  Another early work is by Tertullian, “The Prescription Against Heretics.”  I highly recommend the book “Jesus Words Only”, by D. J. Tondo.  It’s well referenced and researched and presents the case against the doctrine of Paul in in a way that most any student of Scripture should appreciate.  See:  http://www.jesuswordsonly.com  Even an atheist wrote against Paul; Jeremy Bentham, in “Not Paul, but Jesus”.  Anyone who thinks they are going to witness to the Jews about Jesus needs to grasp the fact that if you set aside the commandments of God, they thereby know you are not speaking the truth – and that they are keeping the sure words of God when they reject Paul and his disciples.  Even Muslims know enough of the commandments of God to reject Paul.  Why is it we have been so ignorant?  Do we love the gospel of cheap grace so much that we are not able to repent to believe the truth taught by Jesus Christ?  What is most offensive to me is when my belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ to exclude belief in Paul is then equated to be “dangerous doctrine” and teaching Islam.  I actually had one Elder in the Church of Christ tell me this at a men’s retreat at Round Lake, Ohio!  Did Jesus ever teach beheading anyone?!  No word is available in my vocabulary to describe my thoughts on such an ignorant and offensive statement!  Yet this is how the teachings of Paul have deluded otherwise seemingly rational men.

Jesus didn’t just teach:  “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  He plainly taught that knowing the truth is conditional; “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  We cannot know “the truth” unless we abide in His words that lead to life eternal.  Discipleship is about learning through hearing and doing – faithfully following the instructions of God and the example of Jesus Christ.  We are invited to partake of the waters of life of our own will, “whosoever will may come and partake of the waters of life freely,” but we have to come to Him to know what we are to abide in – we have to be partakers – not pretenders. When the people who call themselves by His Name repent to do as He instructed, the Christ has said that we will be free from the prison cells of ignorance, and God has said that He will heal their land – it appears to be the fact, but who actually believes God today, and whose doctrine is to abide in the word of Yahshua indeed?

Many Churches have the theme of John 3:16, and it’s common to see people use this verse to evangelize by posting it on a bumper sticker or carry a sign to the ball game:  “For God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  This is presented as though all you have to do is believe Jesus is the Christ, then also call upon the name to be saved, and the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to the one who calls upon the Lord via the “Sinners Prayer.”  Further backing this up is the quote from the presumed apostle Paul that “salvation is by grace, through faith, and not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Let me be blunt here, but I have to speak the truth with my love first focused on what God said, and that the Son said nothing the Father did not give Him to tell us.  Love for God is the greatest commandment according to Jesus (Yahshua).  If you would look carefully at the recorded teachings of Yahshua from the original disciples, Matthew and John, their records never have Yahshua teaching faith to be apart from works, or salvation by faith alone, or grace alone, or belief without personal action to be repenting to doing the will of God.   James said in his letter that faith without works is dead – and as Yahshua cautioned in His first sermon: we are to be hearers and doers of His words, especially those in the Sermon on the Mount.  This requires belief in action that repents to do the will of God as He instructed in the Torah and the teachings of the Christ - His gracious instructions in righteousness – the fullness of the grace and truth that Yahshua came to teach and example for men of all nations.  The book of Revelation ends on the note that those who have the right to enter the gates into the City will enter, but those whose works are not of God will be excluded – judgment of reward, or of condemnation, is based on works, and the works of God are done because of love, belief and faithfulness in obedience to the instructions of God through Moses, the Prophets and Psalms, and finally the revealing of the fullness of grace and truth in knowing the will of God is known through abiding in the true words of the Christ that lead to life eternal.  The message of Jesus (Yahshua) is about repenting to do the will of God, and that God is the One who deserves any glory and praise due – not that any of our works are our boasting, as Paul said.  We are clearly told in the Sermon on the Mount that our works are to be seen of men as good, and this is so God would be recognized to be good for giving such good instructions to us.  As Yahshua said, those of God will come to Him to know that what they do is done of God.

 

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