IntroductionWho did Jesus claim to be?What did Jesus say?The teachings of Jesus (Yahshua)Jesus Christ - the listWhat about the unbelievers?What does God require?Every word of God?

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Matthew 22:34-40;
'But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?'  Jesus said to him, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it:  'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
 
 
Of all the commandments given to Moses, Jesus said the greatest two had to do with love.  First, love towards God, and second, love towards others and ourselves.  Likewise, in His parting encouragement to the disciples, He stated that the "new" commandment He gives to us is that we love each other (disciples) as He first loved us.  He taught that the Law and Prophets hang upon these two commands,  He didn't say that these exclude the Law and the Prophets.   We need to keep in mind that 2000 years of history and culture separate us from those Biblical times and that the texts of the NT have come down through a number of changes of books included and excluded, as well as certain differences of content in the books. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to realize is that our Western minds through the centuries have drawn unjustified conclusions on what the speakers may have meant on some topics.   I've studied His words for over 50 years and have held many ideas dear that simply were not wholly true.   I doubt any one man knows everything, but we need to agree that what He taught is truth and repent of any unfounded beliefs that are without foundation in the words of God.  Such doctrines and beliefs that are unfounded in the word of God are nothing but doctrines invented by men that have crept in thoughout the centuries before us.  Often when Christians think of the 'Law' they think of some scathing things Paul said about it in his writings, but what we need to do is reform our thoughts (repent) according to what God has said - through Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and His dear Son, our Redeemer, King and Friend.  Regarding Torah (think of it as 'instructions in righteousness, because that's what it really is) without love, observance of the Torah is vanity, and without Torah, one's 'love' is vantiy.  The greatest commandment has to do with love for God, and love is not a feeling, it is a verb.  The clearest teachings from Jesus on this are:
 
 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."

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."


 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."
 
He loved the Father and showed his love for Him by keeping His commandments, we also must follow likewise in showing our love for Jesus (Yeshua) as He modeled love for the Father - and that is to be shown in our keeping His (Jesus') commandments "indeed"; His words that lead to life eternal. 
 
When God gave Israel the Law, telling them it was not hard to understand or do and was for their good and their condition to His blessing as their part of His covenant with them made that day, God said: 'Choose life that ye man live!'  God specifically warned His people to be careful to do what He had instructed them and not to be lead away by their unbelief, lusts, pride, false prophets, or false teachers.  It's the same for us today as disciples (Christians), as we are also warned about what will happen if we are not doers of what He taught.  If this is His truth, how can we rest on the others words to 'Just say this prayer after me' and then think God will not be true to His word?  The Psalms say God upholds His word higher than His Name.  Neither be lead to believe what you do doesn't matter, as  a foundational truth in His teachings is that what we do matters.  I have yet to find where He taught that His righteousness is imputed to us so that we don't need to do anything. Some say Paul taught it, but those words are not from God or His Christ.  Rather, we are  to  turn to do what He has told us in Scripture.  One of His first sayings was to the Accuser:  "It is written that the Son of man does not live by bread alone, but by all the Words that proceed from the mouth of Elohim." (AENT Mt. 4:4)  Jesus said we are to abide in what He taught the original disciples.  We are to beware and reject those  who don't speak according to what He commanded and instructed beforehand.  In fact, false prophets are sent to test men, to see if they love the truth rather than a lie - to see if they love God enough to do as He said. God had also allowed false Prophets in times past to see whether they loved Him enought to keep His word and not be lead to do that which lead away from doing what He had instructed.  The same principle applies today, as His eternal word says.
 
We are warned that in the last days people will not endure sound doctrine, but seek teachers who tell them what they want to hear... a 'feel good' or 'prosperity' gospel without true repentance or the power of His words to sanctify and guide us to life eternal by transforming our hearts, minds and lives to do the will of God "indeed."  Certain destruction is foretold by Jesus to those being 'without the Law', or Lawless (Torahless).  Even the Greek translation is correct on this, as the word is 'anomia', 'nomia' being the Greek word for the Torah and 'a' being the opposite, or without the Torah.  Jesus never said it was nailed to His cross.  None of the twelve apostles said it was nailed to the Cross.  Each and every teaching of Jesus is found within the Torah, Psalms and Prophets - so it would be folly to think He did away with what He taught when He clearly said it is His word that will judge us on that day and that His word could by no means pass away.   But before we think all we need is 'Torah', the Messiah was sent to magnify Torah, make it honorable, and to cause the Gentiles to keep it.  As we read and study His words we come to know those teachings that are both practical, and true.  When opening His earthy ministry as the suffering Savior, the opening passage was cut short of the time of judgment.  Consider if Isaiah prophesied that He came to do as noted above:
 
Isaiah 42:1-4; 21-25; 
1-4:Behold!  My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
 
21-25;And the coastlands shall wait for His law.  
The LORD is well pleased for His righteousness sake;
He will exalt the law and make it honorable.
But this is a people robbed and plundered;
All of them are snared in holes,
And they are hidden in prison houses;
They are for prey, and no one delivers;
For plunder, and no one says, "Restore!"
Who among you will give ear to this?
Who will listen and hear for the time to come?
Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers?
Was it not the LORD,
He against whom we have sinned?
For they would not walk in His ways,
Nor were they obedient to His law,
Therefore He has poured on him the fury of His anger
And the strength of battle;
It has set him on fire all around,
Yet he did not know;
An it burned him,
Yet he did not take it to heart.  
 
He instructs us in the fulness of the grace and truth of God - not as a list of 'laws' or 'sin codes', but as the fulness of truth and the manner of life we were created to live by to acheive what we were created to become.  His teachings are  profound and practical, full of truth, light, justice, hope and spirit to nourish our soul and spirit; to guide and encourage us, as well as warn and discipline us. 
 
Micah 6:6-8:
 
"With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the High God?  Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  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?"
 
We find in the teachings of Jesus all of these elements and more.  He tells us what is good.  He tells us that justice includes judging righteously, and not according to appearance, but according to the standards of righteiousness, mercy and truth given by God.  He shows us what loving mercy means.  He shows us humility that we need to imitate.  God loved us by sending His only begotten Son that we might be  blessed in coming to Him to see life as the Creator intends for us - through His teachings and example, to believe, trust in, and follow.
 

Mt 25;
Then let the Kingdom of Heaven be likened to those ten virgins who took their lamps and went out for the meeting of the bride and the bridegroom.  Now five of them were wise and five were foolish.  And those foolish virgins took their lamps but did not take oil with them.  But those wise virgins took oil in vessels with their lamps.  Now when the bridegroom delayed, they slumbered and slept.  And in the middle of the night there was an outcry, "Behold, the bridegroom comes!  Go out for his meeting!"  Then all those virgins arose and prepared their lamps.  And those foolish virgins were saying to the wise, "Give us some of your oil, for behold, our lamps have gone out."  These wise virgins answered and said, "What if there is not enough for us and for you?  Rather, go to those who sell and buy for yourselves."  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready entered with him into the banquet-hall.  And the door was locked.  Now later also came those other virgins, and were saying, "Our master!  Our master!  Open the door for us."  Then he answered and said to them, "Truly I say to your that, "I do not know you."  Be alert, therfore, for you do not know that day or hour.  For it is like a man who went on a journey.  He called his servants and delivered his possessions to them.  There was one he gave five talents, and another two, and another one - each man according to his ability.  And he went immediately on a journey.  Now he who received five talents went and traded with them and gained five more.  And likewise also, he who received two traded and gained two others.  But he who received one, went and dug in the ground  and hid the money of his master.  Now after a great time, the master came and received an account from them of those servants.  And he who received five talents and brought five others drew near and said, "My master, you gave to me five talents.  Beholed, I have added five others to them."  And he said to him, "Well done good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful over a little, I will appoint you over much!  Enter into the joy of your master."  And he who received two talents drew near and said, "My master, you gave to me two talents.  Behold, I have added two others to them."  His master said to him, Well done good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little.  I will appoint  you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master."  And he who received one talent drew near also and said, "My master, you are known to be a hard man, and that you reap where you have not sown and you gather from where you have not scattered.  So I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground.  Behold, you have what is yours."  His master answered and said to him, "Evil and lazy servant!  So it is known that I reap where I have not sown, and I gather from where I have not scattered!  For you would have been right to have placed my money in the exchange, and I would have come and have demanded its interest and my principal.  Therefore, take away the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents.  For to him who has, it will be given to him and it will increase to him.  But he who does not have, even that which he has will be taken from him."  And the idle serveant was thrown into the outer darkness.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  And when the Son of man somes in his glory, and all his Set Apart Messengers with him.  And he will separate them, one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  And he will set the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the King will say to those who are at his right, "Come you blessed of my Father.  Inherit the Kingdom which has been prepared for you from the foundations of the world.   For I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat.  And I was thirsty and you gave me drink.  I was a stranger, and you took me in.  I was naked, and you covered me.  I was sick, and you visited me.  And I was in prison, and you came to me."  Then those will say to him, "Our righteous Master, when did we see that you were hungry and feed you, or that you were thirsty, and gave you drink?  And when did we see that you were a stranger and take you in, or that you were naked and covered you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and come to you?  The King will answer and say to them, "Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."  Then he will also say to those that are on his left, "You cursed!  Go away from me to the everlasting fire that which is prepared for the adversary and his Messengers.  For I was hungry, and you did not give me any food.  And I was thirsty, and you did not give me drink.  And I was a stranger, and you did not take me in.  And I was naked, and you did not cover me.  And I was sick and in prison, and you did not visit me."  Even then, they will answer and say, "Our Master, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?"  Then he will anser and say to them, "Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do to one of these lettle ones, you also did not do it to me."  And these will depart to everlasting torment, but the righteous to everlasting life.
 


 

 


ONE DISCIPLE TO ANOTHER

1.        Index                                                                                        1                               

2.        Who is true to Jesus?                                                             2                              

3.        “This Gospel of the Kingdom.”                                           24                             

4.        Premise 1 - Take Heed That No Man Deceives You        31                            

5.        Premise 2 - Using His Correct Name                                  35                              

6.        Premise 3 - Believe the Instructions of God                       36                             

7.        Premise 4 - What Does God Require of Man?                   40                              

8.        Premise 5 - The Spirit of Truth                                            45                              

9.        Premise 6 - The Everlasting Covenant                               56                                

10.     Premise 7 – The Definition of Love                                    69

11.     The Teachings of Master Yahshua  (Jesus Christ)            76                                

12.     The Cost and Conditions of Discipleship                          91                               

13.     The Greatest Commandment                                              98                              

14.     The Kingdom of God                                                           104                                 

15.  The Gospel According to Matthew                                      106                              

16.  The SERMON ON THE MOUNT                                        120  

17.  Various Parting thoughts                                                      185                     

 

 

 

“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, quoted by Joseph Seiss from preface to “Prophecy In Stone.”

 

 

 

What might our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ be if we base our understanding of his message through the accounts of the original twelve disciples and the Holy Scriptures of first century Israel?  What impact would it have if we, as they, also view Jesus as our Teacher, or Rabbi, as he explained the fullness of the grace and truth of God in the Torah and then raised the standards of righteousness to the higher levels that God desires from man, who was created in His image?

 

Matthew 23: 8-12; “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master (Teacher), [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.  Neither be ye called masters (teachers): for one is your Master (Teacher), [even] Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

 

Who Is True to Jesus Christ (Master Yahshua)?

 

John 8: 31, 32; ”Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, ‘If ye continue [abide] in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ ”

 

Matthew 7:24,25; " Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”
 

Matthew 28:17-20; “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, [even] unto the end of the world.’ Amen.”


 

Have you ever wondered if you were taught to believe the gospel message Jesus preached?  Is his a message that changes with time and culture?  Or, is it 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 sound reason to believe that opposing diversity of teachings, or faiths, are what God desired of those who believe in Jesus Christ?  Didn’t his 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?  Some are on a binge to do less and less of what he taught and have nearly divorced themselves from the words that he said are the very words of God and lead to life eternal.  In one account Jesus likens disciples to being branches on the Vine that are in unity with him to produce the same fruit through abiding in his words from the Father.

In Luke’s account of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes the point to dig down to the bedrock of his teachings to build our house on sure things so the storms of life won’t undermine the foundation he was giving in the lessons of that sermon.  This is actually a good example of what we see today.  Those before us seem to have allowed the wholeness of those words to crack and decompose, and further cracking and decomposition and introduction of organic information from men has further contaminated the original bedrock to the point that we are sitting on the dirt above the Rock, and need to dig down through centuries of dirt, mire and division of his words from God to re-discover the actual original gospel that he taught.  This has been the purpose of my study, to dwell upon only what Jesus taught and the Scriptures spoken of in those teachings, so we can see the Original Gospel that Jesus taught and base our lives on being his disciples, just as the original disciples of Jesus did.  Through this focused study there have been a number of matters exposed that are given as seven main premises that seem to have been misplaced through time.  Study them carefully.  Each one must decide if they are in accord with the very words of God and Christ.

If you can please endure a 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 what I’ve learned of his truth.  These discoveries can be equally applied by anyone who wants to make sure they are on the pathway of life that God and the Anointed One have given as instruction and council to all who seek the light of His truth, and to be freed from what the prophet Isaiah called “prison houses.”  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 and conclude to be the root cause of why there are so many divisions in the Christian faith.  As the root cause is identified, so also a possible remedy is revealed. 

The Roman Empire was at its height during the early history of the Church.  Persecution began, first towards Jesus, and then the original twelve disciples, and then to those of the Jews who believed in him.  Jesus and all the original disciples were Jews and the Church of God started in Jerusalem.  The first account of a Gentile being converted, Cornelius, was one who feared God and did good towards the Jews and respected God and the faith of the Jewish people. (Acts 10)

This is a broad historical overview of Church history:

The Church, believers in Jesus as the Messiah, originated at Jerusalem on Pentecost and were abiding in the great commission by spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ (Master Yahshua) through making disciples of him as he had instructed them to do.  They spread the message of repentance for the coming kingdom of God throughout the known world. After some years Paul entered the picture, first as a persecutor, then he reported that Jesus appeared to him directly and called him to be an apostle.  Paul gave his teachings to areas away from Jerusalem, but visited Jerusalem several times, as noted in his writings and in Acts. and  Paul was involved with a few controversies in early Church history.  

About 300 years later, Imperial Rome transferred some authority to the Roman Church.  The Church at Rome 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 to the authority of Rome and change their doctrines and Scripture to match what the head of the Roman Church declared.  The Roman sphere of influence also evolved into making Churches under the authority of various area 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, as understood by the Scriptures, to worship God as they believed, rather than the dictate of their King or the Pope. The office of the Roman Pope was one of great political and religious power.  For many centuries those who would not submit to Rome were persecuted, but the Christian faith extended beyond Roman rule as the Apostle Peter first went east before going to Rome.  The Roman Church rule has its own historical events of significance, and I’m really not so interested in those things at this time, except to note that  the most enduring 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.  An ancient Aramaic manuscript, reportedly predating the Greek (167 AD) was discovered and translated into English and has the same books as our current New Testament. (Aramaic English New Testament, Netzari Press LLC, 2010)  Not all of the books are in that ancient manuscript, and a few were added with the translation into English (the “Western Five”)

Ancient texts discovered from Egypt and the area of the Dead Sea Scrolls may have been from both the Temple library and the early Church before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.  What has been declared to be accepted Scripture by The Roman Church does not necessarily match what some of these ancient texts declared to be Scripture.  There is ancient evidence that in the 60’s AD, the Jerusalem Church only accepted the Old Testament and the original Hebrew text of Matthew. The Apostle John’s writings were likely written after 60 AD.   The gospel of Matthew was reportedly written by Matthew, who was one of the twelve apostles, and the apostles were the chosen disciples and the appointed eye-witnesses of Jesus and the teachings he gave (the Gospel).  My study, which focused explicitly on the teachings of Jesus throughout the New Testament texts, substantiates this could well be true.  God said through Moses, the Prophets and Jesus Christ that we “Take heed that no man deceives you.”  A primary way to know the truth of the matter may be to first understand the life and teachings of Jesus Christ from the chosen eye-witnesses to these things.  In John 17 Jesus blessed those who would believe on him through their testimony of his life, works and teachings.

The Roman Church claims to be 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, yet the establishment of a Roman Pontiff occurred centuries before the official split between Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Church near 1000 AD.  Evidence is that the primary divide in the Christian faith may have occurred well before the division between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Later in history some men believed the Roman Church was corrupted and that the people needed to have the Scriptures available in the language they could understand.   It was through this period that the King James Bible and others came into use.  Following this came many other Protestant denominations whose variant doctrines promote to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and have largely based their faith and practice through Statements of Doctrine, or Creeds, 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 on a congregation that best fits what they either find most family friendly, or least objectionable to what they were taught to believe.  Sola Scriptura, or Scripture only, was the basis of the Protestant reformation, and as evidenced by Martin Luther, this was largely formulated on understandings stemming from the writings of Paul.  What Martin Luther believed at the beginning of the Reformation is not what he came to understand later in life, and I’ve heard that the Church that bears his name does not have complete unity to this day.

Later developments in the 1800’s re-awakening are also found those who attempted to return to the original faith, as best 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 direct revelation from Jesus Christ, or purported translations of ancient books from golden plates or Egyptian papyrus that crossed his path.  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 existing teachings of Jesus, to then also observe whatever she wrote.

After spending a number of years studying with a broad variety of Churches, all I can conclude is that there are so many Churches because none of them actually remained believers of whatever Jesus taught, to be hearers and doers of his words from the Father in Heaven, 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 explicitly what Jesus taught that helped me realize 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) completely centering from the teachings of Jesus Christ, without supporting references to their prophet, their church founder, or the apostle Paul taking precedence over any of the teachings of Jesus Christ - as given to us by His chosen eyewitnesses.

The most controversial teaching is Jesus’ instruction that even the least of the commandments in the Law are still in effect – VS – it was nailed to the cross and done away with or set aside as a marriage certificate to a dead mate.  No one can possibly attend every Church existing in the entire earth today, but after visiting many, all I can say is I’d love to find one that does focus teaching its members in the fullness of Jesus’ teachings that he said lead to life eternal.  The focus of Christian faith should be on the person, prophecies, examples and teachings of Jesus Christ … if we believe his word is true.  After all, the gospel record says that we are to be his disciples indeed if we are to know the truth, which requires abiding in his word, and requires knowing what he actually taught. (See the opening quotes of Jesus at the start of this chapter)

By our time, and through the confusions of history, how can we possibly know who and what to believe is actually the fullness of the grace and truth God gave through him?   We can know that Jesus is the Christ because he fulfilled the prophecies given in the Old Testament and noting those that he fulfilled – this is the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we can see that he met all the conditions to prove he is “that Prophet” that Moses said was to come, who we must hear in whatever he tells us (Deut. 18).  We can also know that the Holy Spirit led the original disciples, Matthew and John, to record his teachings.  He prayed for them to do exactly that in his prayer in John 17.  Jesus passed all the instructions of God to know who we are to hear (Deut. 4, 12, 13, 18, 34:10-12).  These words of God instruct us in how to tell who we are to accept to be spokespersons for Him. The primary tests regard if what they say comes to pass (true prophecy), or work wonders (miracles), or if they remain true to what God had instructed them about the pathway of life that His people are to walk within (righteousness as defined by God – the will of God for His people).  Jesus surely fulfilled all these things to show he is “that Prophet.”

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 Church Doctrines regarding what members must believe and do to be “faithful” Church members?  While all say they are Christians, how can all of them actually be faithful Christians and have so many differences?  Some differences are profound – and some even teach against what Jesus 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 to be true isn’t actually true to something Jesus or God said?  In some instances they may conclude what they were taught offends their own soul.  Many continue to search for the complete truth because they deeply love and believe Jesus is the Christ and desire to know him more fully and have a deeper relationship with him.  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 Jesus said will set us free to the will, joy and blessings of God, thereby leading us to life eternal. 

My fathers’ roots were Methodist; some consider them to be on the liberal side of Christianity.   My mother was the daughter of a Church of Christ minister and convinced my father to join the Church of Christ. He later decided to be a Church of Christ minister.  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 (1).  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 as a child, 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 (Since the words of God are sure and everlasting, God already declared the use of instruments permissible  in praises to Him in the books of Moses and in the Psalms, especially Psalm 150.   God had 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 grace and truth.  Instruments are permitted, but not commanded to be used.)

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 to me 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.

We moved every few years and this exposed me to a variety of Churches 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 ended 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.

2  (This prophecy 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 that ‘No prophecy is of private interpretation.’  LDS believe the “two sticks” are that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are to be held in our hands as one testament of God, thereby restoring the true gospel of Jesus Christ.) 

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 small groups, and most of them didn't read the workbook lessons and showed little active interest.  Although my dad was a preacher, we held different views of Scripture since my reading of the Old Testament caused me to see many prophecies yet unfulfilled.  He believed that all prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem – so I had many questions in my mind that better scholarship should resolve.  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, the promise of God in 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 support my viewpoint as 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, and in leading us to all truth.  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 in 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 I 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 was 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 as an Engineering Technician specializing in NPDES/Stormwater requirements.  Through my career I've worked with thousands and supervised hundreds, and it was 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 me from most of life’s realities.  Work served as an education about the realities in life and how what myself or others believe or don't believe impacted our work and personal lives.   Throughout my career I enjoyed talking to those of different faiths about what they believed: Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, 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 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 and 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 didn’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, perhaps 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 that 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.  Failures are rare, mainly because of diligent teamwork of competent designers, engineers, contractors, supervisors, 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 the Creator of mankind?  The teachings of Jesus have certain instructions that can be viewed similarly to specifications.  He put parameters on many things, such as who can be his disciple, the manner of life they are to live, 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 Father, Master YHWH.  Much, if not all, of what Jesus taught related to what God had already declared to be His instructions in righteousness as 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.  In the Old Testament the fullness was concealed, and in the teachings of Jesus Christ it is fully revealed.

Life is an open book test if we are able to read it ourselves.  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 is required of us?  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?  Based on my personal experience from what my dad taught me, I can’t recommend too strongly to double check what anyone tells you.  What can be more important to the subject than what God said?  The first recorded teaching of Jesus 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 similar 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 finished 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 Jesus, 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, as taught by Jesus Christ, and puts baptism (immersion) in the Name (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in the center of the call to first becoming his disciples and then doing whatever he first commanded the original disciples.  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 be an error that leads people to reject the very promise of God regarding the gospel message of repentance, forgiveness and the promised Comforter.  And another matter to think about is since Paul reportedly submitted to baptism as a commandment, should we think that Paul would actually exclude that which he believed to be true and also submitted to?  Would Paul be that inconsistent?

Since the person and teachings of Jesus Christ is what Christianity is, we need to apply some reality of what Jesus 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 the Christian faith. 

Millions of people have been repeatedly led away from doing what Jesus said as imperatives (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.  As the caller to the radio program asked, “Are you sure that is all there is?”  I hope her search for the truth of Jesus Christ leads her to study his teachings.  Just where did Jesus, or any apostle of Jesus Christ, ever teach that all we need to do is “Say this prayer after me”?  Jesus did teach the disciples how to pray, but his instructions were not limited to that prayer.

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 Jesus Christ, that we should return to his word to see where we 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 should be willing to count the cost and repent of man-made beliefs and turn to do those things Jesus 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 or highway to withstand and endure, I have to build it by the standards, specifications, Everlasting Covenant and instructions He gave – to do less is to invite destruction and failure.  As Jesus 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 (Deut. 18 – Acts 3:22,23).

Christianity centers on Jesus, 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 Jesus as more authoritative (except God).

An example of “cut and paste Christianity,” could be: “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.”  Jesus put the condition of abiding in what he was teaching as a condition to knowing the truth, 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 – especially the Sermon on the Mount.

Being his disciple, according to Jesus, is about accepting and abiding in the whole of his teachings - and I was compelled to double check everything.   According to Jesus, the way to know the truth is to abide in his word “indeed”, which requires instruction in his teachings and then turning to do them – to put them into action in our life.    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 range of faith to be explored.   It wasn’t very long before realizing he taught that if anyone wants to know, “wills to do His will”, if his teachings are actually from God, that he gave what I call “The Jesus Test.”  Was Jesus saying that if anyone wills to know if his teachings are of God, that by doing what he said we can know if his teachings are from God or not?  

John 7: 16-18; “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”

 

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.  There is no example 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.  We need to realize the source of our sin is not our eyes, hands or feet – but from our hearts and minds.  The example of eyes has to do with how we see things, the example of hands is what we do, and feet is our walk in life)   

Days passed into weeks and weeks into months - each day providing new insight to what Jesus 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 Christians 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 eye-witnesses of what he had first taught them about the kingdom of God (Heaven), life and what God has graciously instructed man to do. 

Jesus 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 first commanded and instructed them.   (See Matthew 28:18-20)    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 chapters 1-3 give 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.   Jesus 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 and put their lives into His hands for eternity through building their lives on doing as he instructed.  Faith as taught by Jesus 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 – it is the process of becoming sons of God, and to possess the patience of the saints (to wait upon the LORD).  It is also the process of being sanctified and set apart through serving God and Christ in our own lives.  “Sanctify them by Thy truth; Thy word is truth”, and Jesus claim his teachings were not his own, but are the teachings God gave him to give to us.

John 7:16 – 23; “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

 

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. 

 

Revelation 22:13-21; Aramaic English New Testament, Netzari Press LLC ); ““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 thirsts, 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 instructed men to be His gracious instructions in righteousness.    It is to walk in the ways that God has instructed His set-apart people to live by.  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, [or] with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, the fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”  Jesus came to teach and demonstrate to us exactly what these things mean.  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).  We can also see in the same chapter of Micah that God said He would be unjust if He used one set of scales to judge some, and another set of scales to judge others.  The matter being that God has said all men will be judged alike and by the same standards.  And as God said in the Law, one law shall be for both Israel and the multitude of nations (sojourners and strangers amongst you). Exodus 12:49; Lev. 24:22

 

This Gospel of the Kingdom

The general outline of my approach to subjects will be to provide appropriate quotes of Jesus and then discuss briefly how the teachings provide guidance for our instruction.  Read each quote carefully and also feel free to double check them in your own Bible.  Most quotes in this text are from the old King James Bible to avoid any copyright issue, since ample texts are included as a study aid.   Feel free to look up associated reference passages if you have a study Bible or different translation you are more used to.  Many study Bibles will not have the same reference passages, so you will need to determine what you believe the Scripture, in context and completeness, actually says on the topic.  Later, in discussion of the Seven Premises, you should find that there are important matters to reconsider.

Matthew 4:17; “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 24:9-14; “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will be offended, and betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

John 7: 16-18; “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.”

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, the Covenant of God, 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 complete 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 those who believe in Him.  The Doctrine of Christ reveals the fullness of the grace and truth of God, and it is in accord with the Law of God.

Matthew 5: 17-20; “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. “

If prophecies of the Old Testament are found to be fulfilled by Jesus Christ, that doesn’t cause them to be discarded, as they are the proof to future generations of who He is.  Likewise, 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 and proven faithful and true.  I sincerely believe 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 the Law of God (Greek “anomia”).

John 8:12; ”Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life " (Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”; John 7:16, 17; “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.”

 

John 8: 29 - 32; ”And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.  As he spake these words, many believed on him.  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”."  (John 17:13 - 21; “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  that they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

 

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 14:21-27; He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.  Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him,  If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] present with you. But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

 

John 15:9-15; "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. “

 

Matthew 28:16-20; “         Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.  And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”

 

Revelation 22:14 - 21 “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.  For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.”

 

The gospel of the kingdom, as taught by Jesus, was not a new concept to those of Israel who knew the Scriptures and prophecies of the kingdom of Israel with one King ruling over the once divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel again (Ezekiel 37).  What God had desired from the beginning was for Israel to be a kingdom of priests to Him who would testify to the world of the goodness of Jehovah through their keeping His instructions and His blessing them in the sight of all nations.  Jesus gave parables about the kingdom and what it is like, but first we should understand that the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven was not a new concept to the Jewish faith.  We need to understand the message of what Jesus was teaching to be able to know what the gospel of the coming Kingdom is.  We have not been left without instruction from God.  From the very words of the prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus Christ we can see that the coming kingdom would be a time of judgment upon the wicked, and a time of blessing and reward for the righteous.

What we believe 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 God and 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 behaviors 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 of what he was created to become.  Man was not created a crystal, but all too often man crystalizes in his faith, rather than growing on to maturity in becoming who God said we are capable of becoming.  Man was created in the image of God, and to defy what we were created to be cannot be His will.

There are thousands of Churches that profess the Christian faith – to be preaching “the gospel of the kingdom.”  There are about 40 major divisions about belief between Churches.  While some claim there are about 44,000 different Churches, this may not truly reflect how many variances there are in what Christians believe. The fact remains that the Church is largely divided, and so far the concept of efforts to re-unify the Christian faith have generally been to seek compromise the gospel as originally taught by Jesus.  There are certain doctrines Jesus taught that his disciples are to accept and do to abide in His words of life.  The warning in Acts 3:22,23, to be faithful to the Doctrine of God as taught by Jesus needs to be both our aim and our purpose – that “this gospel of the kingdom” is believed – rather than being cast aside in some effort of compromise, or trying not to offend anyone.

What I’ve found most concerning are the vast differences regarding the doctrine and commandments given to us in the gospel accounts written by the original disciples, who knew first-hand what Jesus 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 Jewish Rabbi who has studied Christianity for decades 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.  God had also given them rules to travel on the roadways – rules about stop-lights, stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, crosswalks, speed limits and even fines for violation of the rules – all the rules needed for them to travel safely to their respective destinations.  However, it wasn’t long before they started ignoring the rules, and many were hurt and injured as a result.  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, and that all could enjoy the fullness of life and happiness in the city He had made for them.  Many of the people were listening 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 whatever he taught – through 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 shown to us. It’s about being in the process of repentance to do the will of God and growing in the proper application of His words of life.  Examples of the grace he had towards the disciples can be seen in his replies to them when they were going off track from what he was teaching them – such as some desiring to be the greatest in the Kingdom, or others desiring to taken vengeance into their own hands, or when they were failing to properly grasp some teaching he gave. 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 because 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 wholeheartedly seek to do His good will indeed.  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 36:25-27)  If this doesn’t relate to what we call our conscience, I fail to understand a better way to define it.  The Spirit of God was given to cause us to keep His words of life and blessing.

Hearing the words of God and not being active in 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.”

The subject of the kingdom of God is certainly found in a study of the books of Moses.  In reviewing the accounts from Moses it can be seen that God raised up the nation of Israel from the seed of Abraham and Sarah, but there was a distinction made by God as He was leading Israel and the multitude of nations out of Egypt to serve Him alone, Master YHWH, as their God.  God desired that they would be a kingdom of priests to Him and testify of His goodness and blessings as they walked in the manner of life and conduct He had given them through Moses and also testing them through the wilderness to see if they would keep His commandments or not.  Israel rejected God as their King when they wanted a man to rule over them; this can be further noted in the story of Gideon and his refusing to be make king of Israel.

Later in the prophets we can see that Israel did just as God said they would, as they drifted away from His instructions, precepts, judgments and commandments – thereby placing themselves outside the blessings of God.  Being faithful to His word, God sent prophets to warn them of what was coming upon them if they didn’t repent.  We can see this clearly in the prophets warnings to Isreal.  We can also see in the prophets that there would another dispersal of Israel/Judah to take place after the start of the Church of God.  One easy place to note this is in Joel.  Peter quotes from Joel 2 regarding the start of the Church, and then in chapter 3 it was to be during those days that God would again cause Israel fo be dispersed among the nations, and then another re-gathering of the nation that will be said to be even greater than their exodus from Egypt.

Many Christians who dabble in study of end times events seem to be totally oblivious to the fact that the cause of the exodus from Egypt was God’s judgment of Egypt and their gods through bringing plagues, destruction and death upon them to the point that they practically begged them to leave and gave them much plunder in the process – just to be rid of them.  I don’t hear anyone talking about that connection, but Jonathan Cahn has some good considerations of the matter of Isaiah 9:10 being replayed in our current history as something to carefully consider in regards to the impending judgment of God upon the USA that should be ample cause for repentance to turn and do the will of God before it is too late.  Scripture says the bride of Christ made herself ready for His return, and that was to be in doing the works God instructed her to do in being faithful to Him and the Son.  If we don’t take time to understand that as disciples of Christ we are called to live as He long ago instructed his disciples to believe and do.  God spared Nineveh, and the primary cause for God relenting of impending judgment has always required severe repentance of the wayward. 

 Premise One – Take Heed That No Man Deceive You

"It's in the Book" or “Sola Scriptura” is not an excuse to set aside the words of God.  The explicit word of God is "in the Book.”  One has to disbelieve or disregard the words of God, Moses, the Prophets, Psalms, and the Apostles records of what Jesus taught to set aside the Law and the everlasting covenant that God told Israel and the multitude of nations was “My 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 us to reject. No good can come from rejecting the explicit instruction and commandment of God or Christ.  His instructions are that even if a person works wonders and gives true prophecy – anyone who leads His people 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 or obey them.  God said He allowed false ones to test His people to see if they love Him enough to believe and obey Him.  The primary test for a false prophet is if they teach according to the words of God given at Sinai.  Isaiah’s instructions were: “If they speak not according to the Law and the Testimony, there is no light in them.”  It is by these instructions from God that we know Jesus is the Christ.

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 to have not been guilty of getting up in a pulpit and unknowingly preaching partial-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 are not hearers only, but also doers of “these words,” which Jesus said were not his teachings, but the teachings God gave him to give us.  We’ve all had the same records in the gospels, and how this critical fact seems to have been cast aside by many is a marvel to me.  What I’ve found could be shocking to some and make perfect sense to others.  Regardless of any initial take, hopefully the focus in these studies into the teachings of Jesus can help lead us on to better things, that the light of His words is reflected better in the lives of all who believe in Him.

There are few who have taken time to reconsider and discover the fact that what we’ve been taught to be true has sometimes 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 may 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 and the teachings of Jesus Christ.  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 turn 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 John notes in 2 John 9-11, or the foundations of the faith as taught by Jesus in Matthew, John, and Revelation.   The closer we are to dong His will, the closer we will be to each other.

There are as many shades of partial truth as there are divisions between Churches.  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 leaders tell us.  According to the teachings of Jesus, the fact remains that blind leaders of the blind will both fall into the ditch.   My prayer is that all who seek to do the will of God will wholeheartedly repent to the faith as prophesied in the Old Testament and revealed in the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.  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.  We should be following the instructions of God and Christ on the critical matter of making sure we are careful about who we hear.  Today we need to turn back to the truth of God and prepare for the return of the Messiah – the bride of Christ made herself ready.

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.”  According to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, we cannot know “the truth” until 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 who merely say they believe, but don’t do as He instructed. When the people who call themselves by His Name repent to do as He instructed (abide in His word), then Jesus said that we will be free from prison cells of darkness to see the glory of the light of His words of life. Who actually believes the words of God and Christ today; and whose doctrine is to abide in the word of Jesus Christ indeed?

Many Churches have the theme of John 3:16, and it’s common to hear 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 a quote from 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.  We may want to recall that even Paul said he was baptized in obedience to what was told him that he must do, and if Paul had to do it, is it reasonable to think Paul would teach against doing what he evidently believed was necessary for true obedience?  It should be sufficient for anyone who believes in Jesus to believe what he outlined in the Great Commission and then desire to base their faith in him through being a disciple who abides in whatever he taught and exampled to his original disciples.  Where did Jesus teach otherwise?

Love for God is the greatest commandment according to Jesus (Yahshua), and it is also the first of the Ten Commandments.  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 Jesus (Yahshua) came to teach and also be an example for men of all nations to follow.  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 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.  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 given any praise due.  As Yahshua said, those of God will come to Him to know that what they do is done of God.

Premise Two – Using His Correct Name

Some may wonder at my use of the name of “Yahshua” VS “Jesus”.   Why not get His name correct?  The original gospel of Matthew was reported by Jerome to have been written in Hebrew, and he had no knowledge of who translated the text into Greek.  An ancient document has been discovered that the Jerusalem Church, near 60 AD, only accepted as “Christian” Scripture the gospel of Matthew in the original Hebrew text.   The name given in the ancient Aramaic manuscript was not “Jesus”, but “Y’shua”, which means “salvation”.  The fact is that “Jesus” is the name given in the Greek text, which is third-hand translation of Matthew, and “Jesus” isn’t a translation or transliteration of the previous records of His name.  Some Eastern Christians who have the ancient Aramaic New Testament have accused the name “Jesus” to have been mocking the true name when the NT was translated into Greek, as a slang version of “hail-Zeus.”  Since we find the name “Joshua” in our Greek based Bibles, which is a transliteration of a similar, if not the same name, there is no sure reason to continue to call him “Jesus”.  If we believe who he said He is, shouldn’t we have the respect to use His proper name – Y’shua (Salvation), Yahshua (Salvation of God), Yeshua or Joshua?  This could also be related to a fact in His teachings that some would be offended by His name, and the topic at hand is surely foretold that many would be offended by His words. 

There are also some good studies that show the name change is not so surely developed from the slang use of Zeus, and these also discuss the letter “J” being developed in the languages through history. Either way, in keeping with the principle to return to the original faith as he taught it, we should also consider returning to his name, that we not be found to be ashamed of his name or his words from the Father. 

For the rest of these writings the primary name used for Jesus will be “Yahshua,” and this is based from my desire to return to the most original foundations of the faith in the Anointed One as can be shown throughout the Holy Scriptures and the testimony of the original disciples – the twelve apostles.

To date, the oldest text of Matthew I’ve found is the Aramaic English New Testament.  Further research indicates that there are several Hebrew manuscripts in existence, and that at least one was translated into English and published.  I have yet to get one, as the prices are quite high now, but hopefully it will be republished.  Should it be different on any points of faith or teachings, the truth of the matter is that we are doing the best we know how to do with the words of God that we have, and that if there are any corrections that need to be made to abide in the teachings and doctrine of Yahshua, we should always be willing to repent to believe the truth of God – even if it isn’t the same as what we have had in our previous Bibles.  We should always desire to uphold the very words of God, and we will surely be blessed as a result.

 

 

Premise Three – Believe the Instructions of God

The next premise is that what we have as our belief and faith needs to be re-examined by the commandments and instructions given by God and Christ to ensure we are only believing what we should acknowledge to be in total accord with the given the word of God and the Anointed One.  Yahshua clearly taught His disciples to be careful of who they hear, and also warns us to take heed not to be deceived.  He calls us to the very truth and goodness of God and His gracious instructions in righteousness.

We need to properly understand the principle of authority – the proper understanding of knowing the authority of the “speaker”, as the Bible does require distinction between those who speak.  When Yahshua (Jesus) said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”, we should first discern when the Scriptures say God is speaking.  Not everyone is aware of this key element, and I’ve heard a number of sermons that would attribute the very word of God to be that of quoting a passage where God is not directly speaking.  An example is the record of when Moses was coming to the burning bush, and noting when it was God Himself speaking to him – the text is not that hard to understand and make the distinction – neither is it hard to determine when the voice came from heaven saying; “This is My beloved Son.  Hear Him.”

The general outline of authority should belong in this order:

1.        God Himself speaking.

2.       Moses’ records of the words of God.

3.       Everyone else needs to be in accord with the above.  The words of the prophets of God surely need to be accepted, as they were in accord with the words of God from Moses, and also gave us direction of recognizing the “Prophet/Anointed One”, and Yahshua said John the Baptist was the greatest of the prophets.  God, Moses, the prophets and Christ gave us instructions on how to know if someone speaks for God or not, and we need to believe their instructions are for our benefit to avoid being deceived away from the pathways we are told to walk within in our lives.

4.       “My doctrine (teaching/word) is not my own, but His who sent me.”  The original disciples recorded the words of Yahshua (Jesus).  Moses wrote the words of God, and likewise the original disciples Matthew and John wrote the words of Yahshua, and Yahshua said He spoke the words of God directly.

5.       Therefore we will find accord with the Words of God as directly recorded, and that Moses laid the foundation of the words of God, the Prophets called God’s people to obey God and also foretold of the person and work of the Messiah, and that the words of the Messiah, according to Moses, were second only to the very words of God Himself.  Prophets most often called people to repent and also foretold what was to come.  Yahshua called men to repent to prepare for the kingdom of God and revealed the fullness of the grace and truth of God through His teachings, example, fulfillment of prophecy, and doing the works no man had ever done before.

6.       Angels had limited words in Scripture, and were often direct messengers for God to pass on information to those for whom it was given.  Since we are warned to only accept those who can be proven to pass the instructions God gave to know who speaks for Him, as well as who doesn’t, we surely need to discern these matters along with the rest of His instructions in righteousness. (Deut. 4, 12, 13, 18, 34)

7.       “Sanctify they by Thy truth – Thy word is truth” and also recognize the Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and the Spirit will always uphold the words of God and Christ to be good and true.  The Spirit will never testify against the words of God through Moses, the Prophets, the Christ, or the twelve apostles.  Seeming contradictions are either proof the text was altered or that we need to “wrestle” with the instructions of God to figure out the pathway we should take to remain in His will, as exampled by Jacob wrestling with the angel in the “Jacob’s ladder” accounts.

We should be well advised to hear the issue out and take ownership of our own eternal destiny.  Many people are somewhat afraid to reconsider what they’ve long held true – even if it can be proven to only be half true – especially if it can be proven untrue by the instruction and commandment of God and Christ.  I faced the same dilemma myself and know that repenting of long held partial truth is not an easy thing to do.  This is why the quote on the index page was selected to set the stage for this study.  We should be willing to reform our beliefs and viewpoint of life to the standards that are proven to have been given by God and Christ.  If it can be proven by the very words of God and Christ that we have not understood some element of the grace and truth of God, according to His word, we should always be willing to believe God and Christ and stand up for what they said is possessed by those who diligently seek to do the will of God in spirit and truth.

Per the teachings of Yahshua, we abide in Him when we abide in His word indeed.   The actual truth of God, when believed and implemented into our own life, is fully rewarded by the increased knowledge and understanding of His truth – it has been far more rewarding than I expected.  If you believe Yahshua (Jesus) is the Son of God who came to earth to teach the gospel truth of God, and that He died on the cross, and then resurrected from the dead so that you too might have eternal life – please do read on and see if what I’ve found has value.  In the parable of the vine, Yahshua said we are “pruned” by hearing and accepting the words of God that he taught, so this study may be seen to be further “pruning” as we rid ourselves of those things we may have wrongly accepted on the credibility of others.  There is light and life and Spirit in His word – the fullness of the grace and truth of God – His gracious instruction in righteousness – the Truth given by God which we were created to live in our own lives and thereby be disciples indeed –  the process of becoming sons of God.

Those who have passed on before us and did not know the things being discussed here will need to rely on the mercy and grace of God for their shortfalls, just as we will have to give account to God for who we believe and what we do with the teachings and example of Yahshua.  Each of us needs to live our life in such a manner that we are doing the best we know how to do with the teachings of Yahshua, and that as more is given, more will be required – and we can then surely know that the blessings of God towards those who do His will are real.  Discipleship is a learning and doing process that incorporates His words into our lives via the “line upon line, precept upon precept” principle. The truth will be known through God being faithful to His words of life and His blessings upon those who repent to keep and uphold His word indeed.  My hope is that many might be set free from “prison houses” to the fullness of true liberty in knowing the will and work of God for those that love Him as did faithful Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Peter, James, John and Matthew.  Those that wait upon the LORD will renew their strength, and His mercies are new every morning – “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

 

The Sermon on the Mount is the foundational teaching Yahshua gave, and must be accepted wholly, not partially.

 

Many people look to the historical founders of their Church to seek guidance, but surely the time has come for those who hold to the Christian faith to return to seek guidance from the Faithful Witness of Heaven and not look to other men for truth that God has already given mankind.  We need to return to see things as God said they are and stop being led by partial or half-truths.  The need is to repent and believe and abide in the words that are wholly true – “Thy word is truth,” and, “The sum of Thy word is truth”.  The need is to open our eyes, heart and mind to the truth of God, as given by Moses, the Prophets and Psalms and faithfully abide in the commandments and doctrine of the Master Teacher, who said: “Why do you call Me “Lord” and not do as I say?”  These things are brought up as a call to turn back to God, and that we prepare ourselves for the return of our Savior and King.  The bride of Christ made herself ready.  (Rev. 19:7)  Every person who believes God should be willing to repent of believing partial truth, to then believe the whole truth.  Everyone faithful to God will have no need to repent of His truth.  It makes no sense to study and debate knowing the signs of the end times and not spend ample time to understand that we have need to repent to do the will of God.  Revelation says the bride made herself ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Premise Four – What Does God Require of Man?

 

Micah 6:8 

 

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?

 

The fullness of God showing man what is good came through the instruction and example of Master Yahshua (Jesus Christ).  Yahshua gave many teachings and parables, and each is of great value.  He clearly said the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount must be our foundational understanding of the truth of God.  Proper understanding of this teaching will form the foundation for the rest of His teachings.  Building our life by abiding in His words of instruction is required – merely hearing His word is not sufficient.  Since the matters He was teaching are founded deeply into the previously given words of God, proper grasp of the underlying principles will guard and guide us through the rest of the message He gave from God.  This foundational lesson will be noted with supporting Scripture that shows His words of life are fully founded in the previously accepted words of God from the Torah, Psalms and Prophets.  God has shown the fullness of what is good and required of man – and the final witness to these things is Master Yahshua’s life and teachings – the commandments, precepts, judgments, blessings, promises of God, and the seal of His blood upon the Everlasting Covenant, to renew the Everlasting Covenant in its fullness, to understand that God gave Yahshua as a covenant, and also including the gift of the promised Comforter/Spirit of Truth to lead us in His ways and write His instruction upon the hearts of all His disciples, which should cause us to keep His words of life.

 

In Matthew 23 Yahshua taught the need to do whatever those who sit in the seat of Moses (a seat of rule in the synagogue), yet at the same time pointed out that the Pharisees were hypocrites and full of “dead men’s bones.”  The Pharisees chiding the disciples for not washing their hands before they ate.  The trouble with the Pharisees, as this example points out, is that God didn’t command washing the hands as the Pharisees demanded – the commandment to wash hands was a ritual they had invented that they demanded others follow, as the Pharisees believed they had God given authority over them.  It goes back to the critical matter of paying attention to the commandments of God and not adding to them, or taking away from them.  The Pharisees were infamous for neglecting the weightier matters of the Law of God.  Nehemiah Gordon, a Karaite Jew, has a good video to watch on the subject, that I hope remains on the internet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tddCNY6U77Y

The matter resides in the fact that God first spoke the Law, then wrote it down. Moses received further instruction from God, and wrote those things down as given by God, but not personally written by the finger of God on stone tablets.  Both are the words of God – one written by His own finger, the rest was orally from God, but recorded by Moses.  So it is with the instructions of God through Master Yahshua, that God placed His Spirit upon Him to directly speak His words, and then the original disciples, under direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit for total recall of whatever Yahshua had taught them, wrote His instructions in their accounts of the gospel (Matthew and John).

 

When Yahshua said that He alone is to be our Teacher, this was that He alone is to be our Rabbi, or the one who instructs us in the meaning, interpretation and application of the Torah (gracious instructions in righteousness from God).  Disciples have fellowship to be following the same Rabbi (Teacher) of the Law, to know the heart and fullness of what God desires all men to know, accept and do, that they have fellowship in His blessings and promises.

 

The fundamental error of the Pharisees was their denial of the authority of the word of God by adding to, or taking away from it, and demanding others do as they said, rather than abiding in what God had declared through Moses.  This isn’t too far from the same error of some Churches who detract from the words of God through Moses and Master Yahshua, and who put conditions, commandments, or denial of what is necessary according to God, to then do as they tell their followers.  I’ve heard that Roman Catholics even believe the Pope, on certain occasions, has the right to make decrees upon God – that God is bound by the decree.  (From Sabbath to Sunday, by Samuel B.)  And taking this thought a step further, any Church, preacher or supposed prophet cannot detract from the word of God or Christ, nor add to His word.  If we are disciples of the Christ, we are called to abide in His word because His word is the direct word of instruction from God the Father, and that keeping His word is keeping the word of God.  But He didn’t come to just give us the word of God – He also came to give us the proper interpretation and application of the will of God through teaching and giving us His example to follow. 

 

The Teachings of Master Yahshua, as will be shown, abide in the previous Law and Instructions in Righteousness from God – in fact, they are magnified and made honorable, as the prophecy in Isaiah chapter 42 clearly says:

 

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.  Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.  I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.  Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.  Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up [their voice], the villages [that] Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.  Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.  The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.  I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, [and] refrained myself: [now] will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.  I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.  And I will bring the blind by a way [that] they knew not; I will lead them in paths [that] they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.  They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye [are] our gods.  Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.  Who [is] blind, but my servant? Or deaf, as my messenger [that] I sent? Who [is] blind as [he that is] perfect, and blind as the LORD’S servant?  Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.  The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law (Torah – God’s instructions in righteousness), and make [it] honourable.  But this [is] a people robbed and spoiled; [they are] all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.  Who among you will give ear to this? [who] will hearken and hear for the time to come?  Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.  Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid [it] not to heart.”

 

Another curious matter is reported that some who are able to prove they are direct descendants of Israel are not able to return to Israel because they are now Christians, and this is founded on the belief that the teachings of the Jewish Rabbi’s be kept, rather than what God has decreed in prophecy of the return of Israel to the land.  Surely it will be just as Yahshua said near the end of His earthly ministry, that they would see Him no more until they say; “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord (Yehovah).”  I contacted a rabbi in Israel about this and he said it is not so, and he gave me a link to the repatriation guidelines, but it was blocked by the internet and I was unable to confirm it.  According to Yahshua, we would be hypocrites to not discern what He said are the signs of the times of His return.  Neither can we be His disciples unless we are abiding in His words from God. 

 

                          Premise Five – The Spirit of Truth

 

John 15: 26  – 16:15; 17: 1-26:  “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.  (The two primary witnesses that are to testify and witness of Yahshua and his words from God are the twelve apostles and the Comforter, who is the Spirit of truth)

John 16

These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.  They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.  But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.  But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?  But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.  A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.  Then said [some] of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?  They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.  Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?  Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.  A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”

17: 1-26’ “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received [them], and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are].   While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.  And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.                  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

The Gospels of Matthew and John, as well as the Revelation of Jesus Christ are the recorded words of Master Yahshua that His original disciples wrote, which testify of Him, and in which the Spirit also testifies of Him, as the Spirit gave them total recall of what He taught, and this is why this topic is included at this time.  The Spirit works with the word to do the work that God sent Him to accomplish. 

Many Christians believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, especially in the King James Version.   The fact is that there have been less than perfect translations and changes from the oldest texts of what we’ve inherited.  The best study Bibles have footnotes on some verses that indicate they were not in the oldest texts (likely additions).  Let’s be reasonable and faithful to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as we approach the subject of the word and the Bible.  As you can note, most of the Scripture quotes in this work are from the King James Version, which is the most widely accepted translation of the Bible in English, and has long been established as an excellent translation from what our previous brothers in the faith had available to them in their time.  Most of the things I discovered about the gospel message have been from the NKJV, and there are also other translations of good merit to work from.  Another side point is that Westbow Press suggested I use a Bible translation that is out of copyright, so as to not run into copyright issues with the amount of Scriptural text in these writings.  Knowing how prone some are to not look up all the passages is the main reason I’ve included them in the text – to aid in the study.  Everyone is certainly welcome to investigate any of the passages in their Bible’s – no matter what the translation or version.  There would have to be significant changes to any Bible to arrive at a contrary translation of what Yahshua was teaching, and I believe the same message will come from the pages of the KJV as it is in the NIV, but since the Greek translations are so prevailing, some text is quoted from the Aramaic English New Testament, by Netzari Press LLC – primarily because it is the closest we are able to get to the actual words of the Master Teacher at this time,  and was directly translated from the language spoken by him and his disciples of record.  The manuscript is reported to be from about 160 AD, and predates the Greek translation of 350 AD.

Greek is a very precise language, whereas Aramaic and Hebrew are not so precise.  If words have a broader meaning in the Hebrew and Aramaic, this could be part of the root problem we have if we are focusing on the Greek manuscripts.  If some things were to be properly understood with a broader meaning than the Greek allowed, it could well be that whoever translated the Hebrew or Aramaic into Greek was not skilled enough in the matter to have relayed it correctly.  I’ve also heard from Jewish scholars that Hebrew is more specific than the Greek when it comes to knowing what the text said.  If Jerome didn’t know who translated the Hebrew Matthew into Greek, or the Aramaic Matthew into Greek. Jerome (who put the New Testament texts together) said he had no knowledge of who had translated Matthew into Greek.(about 350 AD), and that he understood that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew.  There are also a number of passages that don’t make sense in the Greek translations and the AENT makes much better translation of, which makes it a wonderful companion Study Bible for any serious student of the Scriptures or any disciple of Master Yahshua (Jesus Christ).  What I’ve heard of the Hebrew to English translation may be even better than the Aramaic to English; as said before, we should always desire to be in possession of the truth.

I don’t know that there were quotation marks in the ancient languages, so it is possible that Yahshua said some would come and say he was the Messiah, but would lead many away from the truth he taught, if possible, even the elect could be deceived.  Today we find ourselves in a time of great deceit and overturning of right for wrong, and wrong for right.  We have also been told that because of the growth of iniquity (lawlessness - Torahless) that the love of many would grow cold, but that those who persevere to the end will be saved.  My hope is to bring some things to light, so that what we believe and do can be based on what God declared through His Son and that our faith can be on the sure foundation - the rock that Yahshua said will endure any storm in life.  As Yahshua said, those of God come to Him to know that what they do is done of God.

 

The prophet Isaiah said that the Messiah would exalt the Torah and even cause the Gentiles to keep His instructions in righteousness as honorable (Isaiah 42).  I believe the time has come to "Restore!"  Isaiah 42:18-25:  "Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Who [is] blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger [that] I sent? who [is] blind as [he that is] perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant?  Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.  The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make [it] honourable.  But this [is] a people robbed and spoiled; [they are] all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.  Who among you will give ear to this? [who] will hearken and hear for the time to come?  Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.  Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid [it] not to heart.”

If we are to "Restore” the initial problem of who to believe was recognized by Israel before Moses died; they wanted to know who they should hear as the spokesperson for God after his death.  These instructions/commandments of God are given in Deuteronomy 4, 12, 13 and 18.  Yahshua also gave like teaching on this matter that we need to carefully note and put into action so that we are not deceived.  The instruction is that even though the person in question gives prophecy that comes true, and even works great wonders or miracles - if they lead people away to another god than the God at Mount Sinai, or lead the people away from doing as God had already instructed them, that they were not to hear or fear that prophet (person – could be a teacher, rabbi, preacher, apostle, false messiah, angel or anyone who would try to lead His people away from His instructions in righteousness). 

Once we establish the true spokes-persons according to the instructions of God, the next lacking matter is to understand the work that God said He would send His Spirit to accomplish.  Peter preached the first gospel sermon on Pentecost – the day to honor when God had first given His Instructions in Righteousness to Israel.  Prophecy in at least two places relate to this event on Pentecost, as it is also the record of God giving His Spirit and the Spirit coming with power (Acts 1-3).  Most are familiar with Jeremiah 31:31, but we also need to note Ezekiel 36: 25-27.  The prophecy in Ezekiel says that God would give His Spirit to write His instructions on the heart – the same instructions given from Sinai – so that we could be careful to do them from our hearts. Note the similarity to Acts 2:38, 39 where Peter is reported to be giving the promise of God to all nations about repentance, baptism for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Ezekiel 36:25-38; “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].  And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.  I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.  And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that [were] not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.  Not for your sakes do I [this], saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.  Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause [you] to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.  And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.  And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities [are become] fenced, [and] are inhabited.  Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined [places, and] plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken [it], and I will do [it].  Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.  As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.”

 

While this was the word of God to Israel, the everlasting covenant includes those not of Israel who separate themselves from the world to serve the God of Israel and to serve Him alone as their God.  The everlasting covenant of God is to bless all the nations through the Anointed One of Israel, which all Christians believe is Master Yahshua (Jesus Christ).  The Gospel went first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles, and we can know that the Holy Spirit was first given to the disciples and then to  those of the Jews who believed, repented and were baptized on Pentecost (Acts 2:38-39).  All Scripture has yet to be fulfilled, but we need to note that the Spirit (Comforter) came, just as Yahshua said He would, and that God gave His Spirit with specific purpose, which is prophesied of here, and this is the truth of God we need to grasp.  God didn’t send His Spirit of truth to nullify or set aside His word or truth or everlasting covenant – “Thy word is truth.”

In His prayer for the disciples in John 17, Yahshua prayed that the Holy Spirit be given to the disciples to have inspired recall of all He had taught them.  He said the Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and we need to also let the Spirit write both the Torah instructions in righteousness and Yahshua’s words of God on our hearts, as both are the words of God as originally given to the people of God and then the disciples of Master Yahshua.  Isaiah 42 says that the Messiah would cause even the Gentiles to honor the Torah and that the Messiah would exalt the Torah (Commandments of God – Instructions in righteousness), and make them honorable, not set them aside, nail them to the cross, or loosen them.  In Yahshua’s first sermon He tells us that we are not to think He came to do away with the Law of God, but that all the Instructions of God are good and true and that there is life and blessing in doing the will of God – this is what the Beatitudes are about, as noted later in study of the Sermon on the Mount. 

We can also see in the teachings of Yahshua that the instructions of God are exalted to their highest levels of righteousness in the Doctrine of God.  He came to not only tell us of those things the Father had given Him to teach us, but also in His example to show us the life that God wants His people to live - Yahshua taught true interpretation and application of the Instructions in Righteousness (Torah) that God intends for our greatest blessing, and the hope of eternal life in the Kingdom of God (Heaven).  Yahshua's basic message was our to repent and turn to do as God instructed, to prepare for the coming Kingdom of God.  God did not say Gentiles need to keep the commandments given only for Israel (circumcision), but they should keep the open-ended commandments that were given for everyone.  Note well that a “multitude of nations” left Egypt with Israel and were present with Israel when God gave them (Jew and Gentile) commandments, as well as when Joshua was about to lead Israel into the promised land, and within those commandments are specific directions for those who were “strangers” and “sojourners” with Israel.  Initially, it appears that we need to repent to do the Ten Commandments as given by God, as they are certainly for all, as well as commandments that identify moral or civil right and wrong.  Suffice to say that Yahshua upheld even the least commandments of God as given and was clear when He was calling people from the basic rules previously given, to even higher standards of belief and conduct - righteousness – the true righteousness that God desires men to live by.  Yahshua also said it was through doing those things that we might have His joy in ourselves – the very joy that can only come from doing the will of the Father in Heaven – as told us by His only begotten Son.

The Spirit was given to help us reform our conscience – our innermost self – to conform to what God has declared to be good, right, just and true; that we are then enabled to discern good from evil and to choose the good as God and Christ have declared it to be.  The Spirit testifies of Christ, helps us recall and incorporate His words into our hearts, leads us to truth, and is the promised Comforter: “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

The Spirit was given to testify of the Christ/Messiah, and to lead us to all truth, and never will the Spirit of truth lead us away from the truth of the words of God or Christ.  We are to be sanctified by the truth of the word of God.  This is a primary test for knowing the truth or error of any man or spirits, and how we can test the spirits, to see if they are of God, or not.  (Especially applicable to keep in mind when someone says God or the Spirit revealed anything to them.) As love is known by what it does, and is not just a feeling, we can also recognize the true Spirit of Truth by what He does regarding the words of God, and not just by how it makes us feel.  As He said, “Thy word is truth” and that the Spirit is the “Spirit of Truth.”  The Spirit works hand in hand with the words of God, and was sent that we would allow the Spirit to write the words of God on our hearts, that we would be careful to observe and do what God graciously has given us as His words of life – which leads us in the pathway to eternal life.  When we allow the Spirit to do the work He was sent to do, then He helps us reform our heart and conscience, to cause us to abide in the words of God.  As we abide in His word in spirit and deed (wholeheartedly), the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, and can possess great comfort and trust in His words to realize the work of God.  Then as we abide in His word, we have the real life, hope and joy that can only be known by His own.  God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him and seek to do His will, and come to be friends of Yahshua who also share in His joy.

Yahshua did not come to set us free from the Law, and neither did He give us a Spirit that will reject the instructions of God, or the promises of God, or the everlasting covenant.  Yahshua’s teaching about the work and purpose of the Spirit is spoken of in John 16.  This may seem overly redundant, but this is such an important part of the Gospel, and the very purpose and work of the Spirit in the lives of believers, that it is extremely important to make sure we properly understand this fact of the faith taught by our Redeemer, Savior and King.  Re-read the passages from John 15: 26 – 16:1-15; 17: 1-26 at the start of this chapter….

The common link is that His words are spirit, life and light, and that the Spirit assists us to live them out in our belief and service in Him and the words that God gave Him to give us; the Spirit also was given to write them on our hearts, that we would be careful to do them – to cause us to abide in His words of life.  One of the main fruits of the Spirit is the joy produced by doing what God and Christ have instructed us to do.  Just as children find joy when learning to do as their parents instruct them; the joy we gain by doing as God and Christ have instructed us is one of the greatest joys one can experience in life.  Yahshua had joy in doing the will of God, and He invites us to have the fullness of His joy in ourselves – that we possess a measure of the same joy He had.   God is eternal and His words are forever true.  Hearing and doing the words of life leads us in doing His will and brings eternal joy if we remain faithful and sure in our hope of the kingdom of God.  As we repent to see things as God said to see them, this reforms our conscience/soul/heart to cause us to do His will because the Spirit works with the Word of God in our lives to produce the genuine growth and faithfulness and love we have for God and His gracious instruction that leads us in becoming what He created us to be.  To discover and possess this truth is only known by disciples who remain true to Him and who long to do His will, that they may know what they do is done of God. 

There is one degree of the work of the Spirit to convict us as we hear the gospel and come to believe and then repent to start doing the will of God, and the distinct measure of Spirit that he gives to those who obey him indeed by accepting the whole of his words of life – not just picking and choosing the ones we like and then disregarding the whole of his truth, which is not his, but the very words that God gave him to give to us.  As he said, all things that the Father had given him to say are the words he gave, and that through accepting and abiding in them as our rule and manner of life, we are kept by his Name and are His possession.  As we abide in His word, the Spirit leads us in His truth, which is the eternally true words of God.

If God and Christ are true, how is it possible that living “by the Spirit” can ever be done by setting aside any word of God or commandment of God about what He considers good, right, just and true? Nor could the Spirit condone saying what God has prohibited is now perfectly acceptable to God.

For years I wondered how it was possible that Yahshua going away was necessary or beneficial; His comment in the prayer about the Comforter/Helper was a curiosity to me.  Now I realize that while on earth His presence was with those in His immediate vicinity.  The Spirit of God knows of no place in all of creation that anyone can go to escape His presence.  Therefore, since the Spirit is given to all since Pentecost, all who repent to do the will of God and are immersed in His Name to receive the promised Spirit, that He is with all of them at the same time, in a deep and abiding way to Help us in being careful to do His will and to encourage and comfort us along the way.  The instruction of God becomes our “conscience” of how we view whatever we face in life.

We know that God said to choose life that we might live, and He was speaking of His gracious instructions in righteousness (Torah), which was to be the primary guide of living life and the means by which He could give His blessings.  Then Yahshua came and made the Torah honorable – even for the Gentiles (Isaiah 42 prophecy), and the Spirit was given to write the words of God on our heart to cause us to keep His word indeed.

 

 

Premise Six – The Everlasting Covenant (“New” or “Renewed”?)

My work experience included working with designers, engineers and civil engineers on projects that infrequently had conflicting information about requirements for projects.  When they weren’t communicating effectively and paying close attention to details in the plans, or project requirements, mistakes were sometimes made on significant issues that had to be corrected before the project was completed.  One project included a mistake about the exact locations for the bridge abutment foundations. Although review of those locations were not in my purview, it was problematic when abutments for the bridge alignment were off a small, but significant distance on either side of the bridge.  How the mistakes occurred wasn’t my responsibility.  When dealing with changing locations for major structural elements along rivers and levees regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies, it was no small matter to get approval for work outside the scope of the original project after it was approved and the contractors were building the project.  

In terms of the gospel, we should realize by now that God is not a forgetful or overwhelmed design team, but is fully capable to have given us those instructions we need to do whatever His works are that He said must be done by those who are working for Him on earth.  We should greatly benefit to double check the location and conditions of the founding documents plans to make sure what we are doing is compatible with what He declared.  No good can come from following our own heart, if our heart is not aligned to seek to do His will.  If we destroy or set aside the foundation established by God and Christ, how can what we build in our lives be shown to be living “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”?  This is why it is critical to note those that don’t speak according to the very words of God.  If we need to repent, to turn back to do the will of God – so let it be!  All who desire to do His Will, will not refuse to submit to His Will as contained in the agreements in His everlasting covenant.  This covenant was established long ago, and we need to better understand what God has said about it. 

Since God is not one to go back on His word, and is fully capable in all things, when He gave us the correct information, it is not His problem when we have ignored His instructions, promises, or the conditions of what He said is the basis of the “everlasting covenant”, or “My Covenant” that He made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Israel, the multitude of nations with Israel, the Prophets, David and Master Yahshua.  God gave sufficient instructions and directions that are not that hard to understand if we but go back and double check what He said, rather than presuming upon others information that may not in total alignment with His word, promises or everlasting covenant.  This goes back to the principle of double checking what someone tells us, to ensure it is in accord with the Holy Scriptures – proving what is true and holding fast to it.  Such a situation may exist with the understanding many Christians have regarding the “everlasting covenant” and what the required conditions are.  Covenants are agreements, and are not unlike a Contract to build a highway, and that the builder and workers build it according to the plans, specifications, and special provisions and regulatory permits. Changing requirements without the authority to do so, and then expecting to be paid for all manner of work, or lack of work, required for the project should be considered unreasonable.  Who would pay someone for not building a bridge  that was required in the plans?  What good is the roadway if it leads off a cliff?  Who would pay a contractor for paving the hillside instead of the compacted road base?  Those of God will seek to do His will in spirit and truth.  As the passage says, “God has shown you, O man, what is good.”

Some have been taught that the conditions of the everlasting covenant were done away with on the cross, but I submit that from double checking the Scriptures, it was not done away with, rather, it was made complete on the cross, sealed with Yahshua’s own blood, and proven acceptable to God by his resurrection from the dead – bringing into full effect the conditions and promises therein, as made by God to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and the Prophets records regarding the gospel message of the blessings of God to all nations – to all who repent and believe and obey the gospel of God that Yahshua taught.    Also note the promises of Master Yahshua to those who believe in him and do as he instructed and are active in their life through abiding in him through abiding in his words of life.  According to his words, this is how we remain in Him and show our love for Him to be true. The Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and will help us abide in Him as we abide in His word.  See the parable of the vine:

John 15:1-27: (Aramaic English New Testament, Netzari Press LLC, 2010) “I am the Vine of Truth and my Father is the Cultivator.  Every branch that is on me that does not give fruit, He takes it away.  And that which bears fruit He prunes it that it might produce more fruit.  You are already pruned because of the word which I have spoken with you.  Abide in me and I in you, as the branch is not able to produce fruit by itself unless it should abide in the vine.  Likewise you are also not able unless you abide in me.  I am the Vine and you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, this man will produce plentiful fruit because without me you are not able to do anything.  Now unless a man abide in me, he is cast aside like a branch that is withered and they pluck it and place it into the fire that it may burn.  Now if you abide in me and my words abide in you, anything that you desire to ask will be given to you.  In this the Father is glorified that you bear abundant fruit and that you be my disciples.  As my Father has loved me, so too I have loved you.  Abide in my love.  If you keep my Commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept the Commandments of my Father, and I abide in his love.  I have spoken these things with you that my joy may be in you and that your joy might be full in you.  This is my Commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.  There is no love that is greater than this that a man lay down his life for the sake of his friends.  You are my friends if you do all that I commanded you.  But, I have called you my friends because everything that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  You have not chosen me but I am the one who has chosen you.  And I have appointed you that you should also go and produce fruit, and that your fruit might remain.  That all that you ask of my Father in my name He will give you.  These things I commanded you, that you should love one another.  And if the world hates you, know that it hates me before you.  And if you are of the world, the world would love its own.  But you are not of the world for I have chosen you from the world.  Because of this, the world hates you.  Remember the word which I have spoken to you.  That there is no servant who is greater than his master.  If they persecute me, they will also persecute you.  And if they keep my word, they will also keep yours.  But all these things they will do to you because of my name, for they do not know He who sent me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no holocaust upon the face of their sin.  Whoever hates me also hates my Father.  And if I had not done works before their eyes that no other man has done, they would have no sin.  But now they have both seen and hated both me and even my Father.  That the Word might be fulfilled which is written in their Torah that ‘They hated me without reason.’  But when the Redeemer comes, He Whom I will send to you from the presence of my Father, the Spirit of Truth, He Who proceeds from the presence of my Father will witness concerning me.  You will also testify, for you were with me from the start.”

(Note the works of Yahshua as they relate to the works of Moses, as told in Deuteronomy 34: 10-12, and how this also relates to Deut. 18 and “that prophet” and Peter’s comment in Acts 3:22,23.  The “You will also testify, for you were with me from the start” is why we need to carefully study whatever Matthew, John, James, Jude or Peter wrote of the gospel.)

This is a broad overview of the promises and covenants of God in Genesis: God told Adam and Eve that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent who had deceived them to eat of the tree that brought death and evil into the world.  Then we find a covenant made to all mankind through Noah. God had destroyed all flesh upon the earth because of evil and violence – only Noah and the souls in the Ark were preserved.  Next we find the account of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Genesis 12-50.  In Exodus we can see God establishing Israel as a nation as He lead them out of Egypt in fulfillment to what He had told Abraham would happen to his descendants in Genesis 15:13, 14.  The primary question at hand is if the covenants God made with men had conditions, or if the covenants God made were without conditions – conditional, or unconditional covenants (contracts) and are based on will of God and His grace towards mankind.

With Noah, God said he was to build and Ark – Noah had to do the work God gave him to do.  After Noah had done what God instructed him to do, and after the flood came to destroy all flesh upon the earth, we see God giving Noah the everlasting covenant sign of the rainbow, to remind mankind that God has promised to never destroy all flesh again by water, as He did in the time of righteous Noah and his family.  God made an everlasting covenant with Noah and confirmed it AFTER Noah had done his part.  Surely the condition was that Noah build the Ark and do all as commanded by God.  Judging from the size of the Ark, the work was likely done by all those in the Ark.

Next we find a more detailed account of God saying He will – future tense – establish His covenant with Abraham and his seed if Abraham walked with Him blamelessly – the Hebrew translation of the texts says “wholeheartedly”.  It seems reasonable that “blamelessly” and “wholeheartedly” would both imply that Abraham was to be doing as God told him to do, and that the matter was not “unconditional”, as some have said.

Note that the covenant is future tense in Genesis 12, and that Abraham did what God told him to do:  “Now the LORD had said to Abram: Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him.”   Then we see that Abram walked through the land God told him to go to and then the LORD appeared to Abram and said “To your descendants I will give this land.”  Abram met the condition by doing as God told him to do.

God also appears to Abram again in Genesis 13, after Lot departed his company, and God again speaks to Abram “for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.  And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, thus your descendants also could be numbered.  Arise and walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”  Again, we find Abram not just looking, but to also walk through the land; he did as God instructed him to do.                                           

Then we see Abram and Melchizedek and his honor towards him in Genesis 14.

In Genesis 15 we find God speaking to Abram in a vision; “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”  Then Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” and “Look, You have given me no offspring, indeed one born in my house is my heir!”  Then God said, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir. Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.  So shall your descendants be.”   This entire chapter has to do with the descendants of the original covenant God made with Abram that he would have numerous physical descendants.

Genesis 16 then relates to the descendants of the original promise were to come from Abrams’ wife, not the son of the handmaid – although the angel of the LORD did bless the handmaid Hagar’s son, Ishmael, and foretold of Ishmaels descendants.

Genesis 17 regards the descendants of Abram that were to be the recipients of the benefits of the land, descendants of the covenant of God to Abram, and that He would establish His everlasting covenant with his descendants after him.  The sign of the covenant being circumcision.  And what was the condition?  First it was that Abraham walk before Him blamelessly (wholeheartedly in the Jewish translation).  “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.  And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.  No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham.”          Again we can see the condition that Abraham had to walk uprightly before God – blamelessly.  I would call that a condition of the covenant.  From the actions of Abraham, it would seem that this was Abraham’s understanding of what God said.  Then God says “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.  Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”        

Then we find the accounts leading up to God testing Abraham in chapter 22, and that God provided the sacrifice Himself, rather than Isaac being sacrificed by Abraham.  God again made a statement to Isaac that He found Abraham to have met the conditions given beforehand, and why He found reason to consider Abraham to have been faithful to his part of the covenant, and to then continue to establish the everlasting covenant through Isaac and his descendants after him.  This is in Genesis 26:2-5:

“Then the LORD appeared to him and said; “Do not go down to Egypt, live in the land of which I shall tell you.  Dwell in this land and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.  And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands, and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”                

In this passage we see the lands promise to be current with Isaac, but future for his descendants. We also see there are things yet to come, as the “I will” for future descendants who will possess the lands, and the seed by which all the nations of the earth will be blessed.  God was foretelling the establishment of the “everlasting covenant” that would be to all nations and generations, not just the covenant of the seed of Abraham being circumcised to be in possession of the fullness of conditions for the “everlasting covenant” yet to be established.  Recall that God had already foretold to Abraham that his descendants would be afflicted for four-hundred years in a land that was not theirs – Egypt.  It was through bringing Israel and the multitude of nations who together left Egypt to serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that we can clearly see what the conditions of the everlasting covenant are extensively recorded to be.

It is also in these very conditions that we can see the instructions and commandments of the grace and truth of God being given and recorded, and later brought to their fullness, as fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Master Yahshua) through His teachings, judgments, precepts, promises, commandments, example in life, death, burial, resurrection from the dead being in full accord with the “everlasting covenant” to all future generations who choose to also serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  To be found as faithful Abraham is to be found to be doing likewise: “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”

As Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery, “You meant it for evil, but God used it for good.”  God was working out His plan for the children of Abraham, that He would bring them out of Egypt with great possessions, and then establish His everlasting covenant with them.  As with Abraham, they agreed to keep the commandments of God to be their part of the everlasting covenant.  At mount Sinai God gave His instructions and commandments to Israel and the mixed multitude as conditions to the Everlasting Covenant which He would bless them as they kept His instructions, which the people agreed to when God first spoke them and then wrote them on stone tablets and instructed them to place the stone tablets into the Ark of the Covenant.

That the Ten Commandments were inscribed by God upon the stone tablets and placed in the Ark of the Covenant would indicate keeping them is part of the Everlasting Covenant.  God Himself wrote them on stone, which signifies the enduring nature of His will regarding these instructions.  Also in the Ark was a bowl of manna, the bread that came down out of heaven to feed them – which the Christ is recorded to have said He is the true bread that comes from heaven.  The third item in the Ark was the staff that budded to signify who His chosen priesthood would be.  It shouldn’t be insignificant to recognize that those called out of the world to serve God through being disciples of Master Yahshua are to keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Yahshua (feed on His words of life), and serve as a priesthood who truly represent and testify by their word and deed to the goodness of God and of the grace and truth of God taught by Yahshua, thereby testifying to the world in being a priesthood of believers, and who also have their hope in the resurrection of the just – those who are called, chosen and faithful (budding of the staff), and the supreme hope of the resurrection of the just.

Surely God and Christ expect us to understand what He said, as Moses was careful to record the matter, and Yahshua said we need to believe what Moses testified to.  The failings of Israel to keep the instructions of God is well told throughout the Old Testament, as they too were prone to disregard the explicit word of God and turn from it to follow their own hearts – to invent and follow what they wanted, rather than submit to the words of God given from the beginning.  As Jeremiah recorded, they were following the dictates of their own hearts and falling backwards – not even remaining in place, let alone progressing to what God had told them to do, and thereby be His witnesses to the world of His goodness.  This is such a critical matter that I’ve searched many Bibles to see how these things are related in the accounts given to us from Moses – in major Greek translations of the Old Testament, as well as the approved Masoretic Text of the Holy Scriptures as translated into English by the Jewish Publication Society and published in 1955.

The gospel is founded on the promises of God - going back to the beginning of the word of God to see exactly when He gave this “everlasting covenant.”  From my perspective, it seems that the Christian world mindset seems to have been disregarding the matter for centuries is no excuse to pretend that falling backwards was ever seen by God to be an acceptable manner of life to Him, or to our Lord and Savior.  As Yahshua said, He came to fulfill all that was written of Him.  I was hampered in this by the teachings of my own father, who believed and taught me that all the prophecies of God in the Old Testament were fulfilled at AD 70, and thereby the entire Old Testament was largely cast aside as irrelevant.  This upbringing has caused much personal anguish in my life, and I hope by bringing this up that more would realize the significance of the everlasting covenant made by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and especially that the everlasting covenant of God has always had conditions.  As Yahshua established in the Sermon on the Mount, His disciples will not even think He came to loosen or set aside even the least of the commandments of God, and that we are to keep them if we are to be found true to His instructions in righteousness.

Genesis 15 tells of the promise of God to Abraham that he would have a descendant to inherit his property, rather than the servant born in his household.  Read the chapter carefully.  God told Abraham that his descendants would be numerous, but where in chapter 15 do we see that God was making an everlasting covenant to bless all the nations through his (Abraham’s) seed?  Look very carefully and see if you can find where God said the nations of the world would be blessed per the word of God to Abraham at this time.  The covenant God was making with Abraham at that time was that he would have descendants to inherit the promised land, as well as foretelling Abraham of the time of his descendants in Egypt and after 400 years they would return to the land that God had given to him and his descendants.  Focusing on the first teaching of Master Yahshua: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  What did God say regarding the “everlasting covenant” to bless all nations? 

Yahshua tells us that the Law of God is to remain a steadfast set of instructions from God.   He also tells us that it speaks of the justice, mercy and faith that we need to show in our lives, from our hearts, first towards God, then also towards ourselves and likewise to others.  All these matters are shown to us by His life, teachings, and example of how God wants us to live as we follow after Him in word and deed.  This explains why God could say the Abrahamic covenant was “an everlasting covenant” (Gen. 17:7), just as God could say “these ordinances” given Moses in the Law shall be “everlasting for all generations.” (Ex 27:21; 30:21; Lev. 6:18; 7:36; 10:9; 17:7; 23:14, 21, 41; 24:3 and Num. 10:8.

“New Covenant” or “Renewed Covenant”? Andrew Gabriel Roth, in his notations in the Aramaic English New Testament, brings to the surface what Yahshua was saying about the Everlasting Covenant in Matthew 26:28, which is a key passage to understand – if His Covenant of His blood was for a “new” covenant, or was it “renewing” the covenant of God.

AENT, Netzari Press LLC, 2010;  Matthew 26:27-29; “And he took the cup and gave thanks and gave it to them and said, “Take, drink from it all of you.  This is my blood of the renewed covenant, which for the sake of many is shed for the forgiveness of sins.  And I say to you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until the day in which I drink it anew with you in the Kingdom of my Father, of Elohim.”  Footnote 251, page 78:

“Both Aramaic “khawdata” and Hebrew “chadasha” means renewed as in Psalm 51:10, “renew a right spirit within me”, Lam. 5:21; “renew our days as of old”.  “Chadash” can also be “new”: or “repair” as in Isaiah 61:4 “repair the waste places.”  YHWH (God) spoke of the Renewed Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-37 that He would, “put my Torah in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts… the seed of Israel also shall never cease from being a nation before me forever.. says YHWH..” This is the “Renewed Covenant”; however, even in Paul’s day, the Kingdom that Y’shua offered was being violently counterfeited by religious traditions into something very contrary.  Successive Greek theologians (like Marcion) replaced the meaning and importance of “Renewed Covenant” with the term “New Testament” and made a division of “Old and New” Testaments.  Torah was and is taught by mainstream Christians to be either for Jews only, or completely abolished; thus, the “New Testament” became laden with anti-Semitism.  The hierarchical values of “modern” pagan cultures were syncretized by Greek Gnostic philosophies into the teachings of Y’shua and Paul to the point that modern day Christianity would be unrecognizable by the original followers of Y’shua as the “Faith which was once delivered’ (Yehuda 1:3).  See Renewed Covenant and Eighteen New Testament Misconceptions #15: The “New“ Covenant in Appendix.”

In review, we should see that from the beginning God has instructed man.  “Don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”  “Build and Ark.” “Walk before Me blamelessly.” “Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”  The fullness of the record of the instructions were given by God, to Moses, who gave them to Israel and the multitude of nations that left Egypt to serve God, and were conditions by which God could bless them as they did His will and did not allow the practices of the evil nations that were in the land before them.  It is these same instructions of God that Yahshua said to not even think He came to set aside even the least commandment, but through His life and teachings elevated to the fullness of the grace and truth of God towards those who believe and obey the Son.  It is also these same conditions, in their fullness, that God gave His Spirit to cause us to keep His instructions in righteousness.  Again, in 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles and Psalms, David talks about the everlasting covenant, the Abrahamic covenant. He sings it beautifully in Psalms 105, “He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant.”

Should this be the proper understanding of the teachings of Yahshua about the Law in the Sermon on the Mount?  It should be something to re-consider and discuss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Premise Seven –The Definition of Love, As Given 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 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 Jesus’ 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 – 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 much.  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 teach and 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 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 that 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.

 

We 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.  Although discussed earlier, since it is the direct topic discussed at this time, this passage is again noted:

 

John 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.

 

I 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.

Love is a verb; it is an action, and according to God and Christ, it is being active to do as God and Christ have instructed and commanded us to do if we believe.  The world cannot love God because it cannot abide in His words of life because their deeds are evil, so in response, the world hates God and those who do His will indeed.  Love, according to God and Christ, is known by what it does, rather than an imagined feeling or emotion that is not in accord with His words of life, and we are told to choose life, that we may live.  To love God is to seek to know and do what He delights in – to do His good will.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Teachings of Master Yahshua

John 8:12; ”Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life " (Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”; John 7:16, 17; “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.”

 

Matthew 5: 14-18; “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

As disciples of Yahshua who recognize his light.  We are called to reflect that light in our lives as we have opportunity, and thereby continue to show His light to the world.  This light is directly seen in our words and deeds and outlook on life.  It should be reflected in what we do.  The life of a disciple of Jesus is about doing the will of God and being faithful to Him.

The Bible is a gold mine for the soul, and the teachings of Yahshua are surely the Mother-Lode of its grace and truth.   In the parable of the talents, the master went away on a long journey and entrusted his wealth to his servants.  We all have God given talents, but the greatest treasure Yahshua gave us are His teachings and wisdom about how to live the life that brings faith, hope, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness and has the blessings of God.  What are we doing with the greatest treasures of the grace and truth from God?   When Yahshua gave the great commission in Matthew, He gave the outline of what it means to be a disciple.  He didn't call them to be 'Christians', but to be 'disciples.'  In the great commission (Matthew 28:19, 20) Yahshua said to make disciples (of Him), baptize them (Acts 2:38, 39), and teach those disciples to observe and keep whatever He had first commanded them (John 15, the true vine parable; Acts 3:22, 23).  

In the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7, Yahshua says (7:24-27):

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."

He was making a specific point in this sermon to identify "these sayings of mine."  The matters given in these opening lessons present key truths that all disciples of Jesus (Yahshua) must note.  Also regarding the transmission of teachings, Yahshua was often called “Rabbi”, or Teacher of the Torah.  This role was a very important one at that time, as it also is now.  He is our Teacher.  Give close attention to what was said in the Holy Scriptures that were being taught and see the clarity and light that is brought to their meaning and application to the lives of His disciples.  We should be looking for references in the Old Testament to best understand what Yahshua was teaching.  All too often I was looking to Paul’s writings to understand the messages, rather than looking to the Law, Psalms and Prophets and grasping that as a Rabbi (teacher), these are the source material He was teaching about. 

 

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