The writer’s central assumption is that the law of Yahweh or Ten Commandments is different from and longer lasting than the law of Moses. He claims “Moses’ law” included the Feast days and was only temporary and ceremonial – done away at the death of our Savior – while “Yahweh’s law” is the Ten Commandments, which still stand today.
‘Law of Moses’ Applies to All the Law
The simple fact is, references to the “law of Moses” and the Ten Commandments are interchangeable in Scripture. Moses was merely the messenger of Yahweh’s law and the appellation “Moses’ Law” became attached to him as a result. If a friend allows me to drive his car for a while people would refer to it as my car by simple association. Moses handled all the law as emissary of Yahweh to Israel, including the Ten Commandments, Exodus 32:15. In that respect you could call the Ten Commandments Moses’ law, too, as does the Bible.
Moses was the go-between for Yahweh and Israel, as we see in Exodus 19:3, 7-8. This is also clear in 1Kings 8:56, 58: “Blessed be Yahweh, that has given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there has not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” Additional Scriptures are similar in scope and some include the commandments as well as the statutes and judgments as laws being transmitted by Moses:
∙Leviticus 26:46: “These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which Yahweh made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.”
∙Numbers 36:13: “These are the commandments and the judgments, which Yahweh commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.”
∙Judges 3:4: “And they were to prove Israel by them (nations), to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of Yahweh, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”
∙1Kings 2:3: “And keep the charge of Yahweh your Elohim, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, andhis judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and whithersoever you turn yourself.”
∙2Chronicles 35:6: “So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of Yahweh by the hand of Moses.”
∙Nehemiah 9:13-14: “You came down also upon mount Sinai, and spake with them from heaven, and gave them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments. And made known unto them your holy sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses your servant.” (Here we note that Moses made known the Fourth Commandment Sabbath day as well as the other laws. The booklet would have us believe that only Yahweh disseminated the Sabbath law, with no contact involving Moses.
Feasts and Ten Commandments Both Part of Yahweh’s Law
The Ten Commandments are listed in Deuteronomy chapter 5. They are called statutes and judgments in Deuteronomy 5:1. Notice who presented these Ten Commandments, statutes and judgments to the people: “These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab” (1:1).
Yahweh does not separate the Ten Commandments from the Feasts, as if He mandated the commandments while Moses was responsible for the Feasts. Yahweh is the lawgiver, not Moses. James 1:12 tells us clearly that there is only one Lawgiver.Isaiah 33:22 says Yahweh is that Lawgiver. Moses was merely the conduit.
The weekly Sabbath and annual Feasts are all combined in Leviticus 23, showing that the Sabbath is considered a Feast and that all are part of Yahweh’s commanded law. The first five verses read, “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh’s passover…”
The writer of Feast Days and Sabbaths rests his argument on a couple of passages, one of which is 2Kings 21:8, claiming that because Yahweh mentions both His law and Moses’ law that there is a distinction between the two. In fact, it is ALL Yahweh’s law. Yahweh spoke it to Moses and Moses gave it to the people because the people feared dying if they faced Yahweh directly,Exodus 20:19. Rather than making a separation between two kinds of law in 2Kings 21:8, Yahweh refers to both His law and Moses’ law in the same breath in order to show their equivalence. They are the same law, as other verses show.
The writer makes this statement: “It is interesting to note that curses and judgments of this law spelled out penalties for transgression which were totally missing from the Ten Commandments,” p. 6. After the commandments are re-listed in the second giving found in Deuteronomy 5, we find the following in Deuteronomy 11:26-28: “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if you obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, which I command you this day: And a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.” The curses for breaking the commandments as well as the statutes and judgments are detailed inDeuteronomy 28:15-68.
Commandments, statutes and judgments constitute what is known as the law, as shown in Deuteronomy 5:1 and 6:1. We are commanded in Deuteronomy 11:1 to “keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.” And the Feasts are called “feasts of Yahweh,” Leviticus 23:44.
‘Law of Moses’ A Command of Yahweh
The Scriptures talk of Moses’ law because he handed them down from Yahweh; in fact, the law originated with Yahweh and was mandated by Him for His people.
We read in 1Kings 2:3: “And keep the charge of Yahweh your Elohim, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and Hiscommandments, and His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses…” The “law of Moses” included the Ten Commandments.
Further in 2Kings 14:6 we find: “But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the law of Moses, wherein Yahweh commanded…”
Ezra 7:6 says: “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which Yahweh Elohim of Israel had given.”
Nehemiah 8:1 tells us: “And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring Feast Days and Sabbaths of the law of Moses, which Yahweh had commanded to Israel.”
In Acts 21:24 Paul proved he was a keeper of all the law, not just the Ten Commandments, when he followed James’s instructions to “take and purify yourself with them…that they may know…that you yourself also walk orderly, and keep the law.”
Feasts and Sacrifices Not One and the Same
Feast Days and Sabbaths makes a common, erroneous assumption that the Feasts rise and fall with ceremonial, animal sacrifices. According to this logic, if animal sacrifices have been put in abeyance in the New Covenant, so have the Feasts. If that were true then the Sabbath is also now done away because animal sacrifices were a key part of the weekly Sabbath observance as well, being double the normal daily sacrifices on the Sabbath, Numbers 28:9-10.
Contrary to popular view, the sacrificial shedding of blood has not been abrogated in the New Covenant. The shedding of Yahshua’s perfect, sacrificial blood is still what we rely on now for the remission of our sins, Hebrews 10:9-10. Therefore, the idea of sacrifice was never brought to an end in the New Testament. Neither is circumcision, which is now of the heart, Romans 2:29.
The only change in the law under the New Covenant occurred with a new priesthood (Yahshua) and a different sacrificial system (His own death), Hebrews 9:9-15. The Passover, one of the seven appointed times, is still commanded by direct command of Yahshua Himself in memorial of His death, Luke 22:19. Churchianity even admits to that fact by keeping an imitation of the Passover it calls holy communion.
Feast Days and Sabbaths lumps together sacrifices, human priesthood and feast days all as part of the law that was only a type and shadow and was in fact “against us,” citing Colossians 2:14. Colossians 2:14 specifically says it was the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. “Ordinances” is from the Greek dogma and refers to man-made rules and decrees. The same word is used in Caesar’s tax decree (dogma) of Luke 2:1. It means a man-made rule. The author himself agrees, where on page 15 he says that ordinances is a term “applied to local legal codes which are very narrow and limited.”
Colossians itself in 2:21-22 defines what it means by this “handwriting of ordinances”: “(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men.” The Jews of the day added a lot of ritual that served to separate themselves from the Gentile. By His death, Yahshua brought Jew and Gentile together and in doing so He obliterated these man-made dogmas meant to keep them apart.
The booklet also cites verse 16 of Colossians 2, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Messiah.” This passage is often used to say one may keep any observances one likes and no one should judge one for it. In fact, it says that Yahweh’s Feasts ARE a shadow of something to come (not WERE shadowy Sabbaths, as the author erroneously argues on page 17, as if they were done away) and that only the body is to judge as to how they should be observed, not an outsider (“is” has been added by translators).
Ephesians 2:15 is also cited in the book. It reads: “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” Verse 14 explains that He broke down the separating wall and made peace between Jew and Gentile and made salvation possible by “one new man,” meaning Himself.
Neither of these passages has anything to do with Yahweh’s Feasts, which is what they are called in Leviticus 23:2, not man’s Feasts or man-made Feasts.
Sabbaths Refers to Feast Days, Which Have High Days
An attempt is made to say that “Sabbaths” in Leviticus 23:38 is distinct from the Feasts in verse 37. Does this mean the weekly Sabbath is a different class of law from the Feasts? As pointed out in the Companion Bible, “Sabbaths” in verse 38 is a reference to the sacrifices offered on the Sabbaths through a linguistic device known as metonymy. This is clearly the case because both the previous verse and the rest of verse 38 discuss meat and burnt offerings, drink offerings, gifts, vows and freewill offerings. To insert weekly Sabbath in a list of offerings would violate the context and not make any sense.
In a contradiction to many of his own attempts to make “Sabbaths” refer only to the weekly Sabbath, the author admits on page 16, “Were there ‘sabbaths’ other than the weekly Sabbaths? Yes, there were yearly Sabbaths…”
Ezekiel 20:24-25 is cited as meaning that Yahweh gave Israel the law of Moses that was not good. This interpretation is unbelievable. Why would Yahweh ever give man laws that aren’t good, and statutes that they were not to live by? Reading further in verse 26 we find the right understanding. This is actually speaking of Israel’s keeping pagan rituals, like burning their children to Moloch. And because of their rebellion Yahweh gave them over to these pagan observances that were not good. Bullinger’s Companion Bible explains that the words “I gave them also statutes” is a Hebrew idiom that means “I suffered others to give them statutes…the verb nathan, to give, is therefore rendered to suffer in this sense.”
Commanded, Not Taken Away
Feast Days and Sabbaths ends its case against the Feasts by saying that Yahshua went up to Jerusalem in John 5:51 to keep a feast. It then says, “This is unquestionably one of the holy days that Paul spoke of as being abolished.” The question that immediately comes to mind is, why would our Savior implore us to follow in His footsteps and do what He did, which included keeping the annual Feasts (John 7:10, 14; 2:23, Mark 14:12) and then abolish those same Feasts as soon as He died? His command to keep the Passover in Luke 22:19 is unmistakable. How can we possibly follow this command if the Passover were done away at His death? Why do churches today still honor “Pentecost Sunday” if the Feasts are no longer in effect?
Why would Paul, whose ministry took place years after the death and resurrection of Yahshua, say, “I must by all means keep this Feast [Tabernacles] that comes to Jerusalem?” (Acts 18:21). Paul was obedient to Yahshua’s [and Yahweh’s] command by keeping the Passover in 1Corinthians 11:24-31, as well as other Feasts (Acts 20:6, 16; 27:9-even 30 years after the Savior’ resurrection). Paul said he was taught by the resurrected Savior Himself, Galatians 1:11-17. That being the case, why was he not told that the Feast days are no longer in effect? He said he declared all the counsel or teachings of Yahweh, Acts 20:27. Then why were the Feasts still part of his teachings if they were abolished by Yahshua’s death long before?
The fact is, not only were the Feast days not done away in the New Covenant, but also they will be kept in the coming millennial Kingdom. Read the revealing prophecies of future Feast observances in Zechariah 14:16-19; Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel 44:24; 45:21-25;46:3. The people of Yahweh as well as the whole earth will be observing all these days when Yahshua’s government is set up for a thousand years in Jerusalem. The question is, if they will be part of His government under His millennial reign, why would they be abolished for the True Worshiper today?
They have responded to Yahweh’s call to obedience and have yielded to the tugging of Yahweh’s Spirit, realizing the life they were living was a dead-end. For the first time the Scriptures make real sense to them as they continue going deeper into His Word and as Yahweh gives them more light—even as they walk in that light.
When we were immersed into Yahshua’s Name each of us was promised a certain spiritual gift to be used in the high calling we have in the Messiah. Those who have been baptized and congregate with others of like faith as a body are to assume a measure of responsibility toward the body of believers.
Yahweh, who produces spiritual gifts through His mighty Power, provides each one with his and her special ability. All of the various gifts are of the same Spirit. Note that Paul goes into detail for his Corinthian converts as well as us, as each of us is now his protege:
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1Cor. 12:7-11).
It is surprising to learn that some who seek baptism are unaware that baptism puts them in a special group that belongs to Yahshua and they are then under His care. They serve and sacrifice for His sake. Paul refers to this group as the “body of Messiah.”
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in the Messiah, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Sovereign; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” (Rom. 12: 4-12).
Paul is adamant that baptism into Yahshua is not an end in itself, but is the beginning of a devoted life dedicated to Yahweh through Yahshua. Those who have been baptized should be acutely aware of what special spiritual gift is theirs and have set their goals to become an active part of the body of Messiah. They are given a charge, which is to use their gift for the benefit of those in the assembly. Paul explained this in his letter to the Ephesians.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of the Messiah. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of the Messiah: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Messiah” (Eph 4:7-13).
Any combination of abilities or talents suddenly given or leisurely cultivated may qualify as a spiritual gift if used for Yahweh’s honor and glory and His work in the world. Because none of the lists of spiritual gifts is the same, Paul evidently felt others may have a similar experience as his and would seek to use whatever combination of talents and abilities might be needed for the common good of the Assembly.
Upon being baptized into Yahshua’s saving Name, the brethren are urged by Paul to get involved in the Assembly and participate as the Spirit leads. It is time to get active as a member of that assembly. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Elohim, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohim” (Rom. 12:1-2).
The following is taken from “The Open Bible” (NASB) study section: “Paul, Peter, and the other apostles learned the secret of developing an eternal perspective in the midst of earthly problems. They were able to live above their circumstances and rejoice even while being persecuted because of their firm grasp on who they were in [Messiah] and where they were going. In spite of his imprisonment, Paul could write, ‘For me to live is [Messiah] and to die is gain’ (Phil 1:21). Are you looking more at ‘the things which are seen’ or at the things which are not seen? The former are temporary, but the latter are eternal” (2Cor. 4: 18).
Rather than to just sit quietly listening to sermons week after week, the audience should also be challenged to represent Yahshua wherever they might be. The early apostles thought of themselves as doing the same work as Yahshua, living and proclaiming Yahweh’s truth wherever possible. The converts shared their knowledge with those they knew, especially among other Israelites and Judahites. Our task is no different from theirs. We must make the world aware that Bible truth exists and that that Word will one day judge them. Yahweh does not give us this special knowledge only to have us hide it forever out of sight.
“[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom Yahweh would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:26-27). Ours is to be a light and example.
Yahshua’s parable of the talents should be lesson enough for us. We
will each be rewarded in direct proportion to the amount that talent profits and aids others seeking the Word
by Donald Mansager
Many who understand the importance of observing the seventh-day Sabbath also acknowledge the necessity of calling on the personal Name of the One they worship —Almighty Yahweh. The two go hand-in-hand as instructed in the Ten Commandments.
The Fourth Commandment obligates the True Worshiper to keep the weekly Sabbath on the seventh day, while the Third Commandment tells us not to be negligent when it comes to calling on His true Name: “Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain; for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain,” Exodus 20:7. “Vain” is the Hebrew shoaw and means to make waste or ruin. When we substitute His personal Name with titles we are bringing His Name to waste or ruin, and therefore are in violation of the Third Commandment.
Sabbath keepers are aware of the many arguments leveled against the seventh-day Sabbath. Perhaps you at one time also raised the same points before you came to understand that the Bible upholds only one weekly day of worship, the seventh day. Maybe just like pre-converted Paul who had persecuted the early Assembly but who then came to the Truth, you eventually came to the Truth as well and discovered that worship on the first day of the week is not endorsed anywhere in the Scriptures. You found that all of those common rationalizations used against the true Sabbath day were baseless (request our two-part audio taped sermon series, Sabbath or Sunday, Parts 1 and 2).
But are you aware that the very same kinds of unsupported arguments employed against the Sabbath are also raised in an effort to refute the truth of the Name Yahweh and the Name of His Son, Yahshua? And just as those contentions against the Sabbath collapsed under the weight of Scriptural proof, likewise the various allegations against the Name.
Following are a dozen common, flawed arguments leveled at both the Sabbath and the Name (shown in bold type). We will answer each in the true light of the Word.
- I am not a Jew, therefore I do not need to keep the Jewish Sabbath.
The Sabbath was established at the creation of the universe when Yahweh Himself rested on the seventh day, long before there were any Jews, Genesis 2:2-3. Just because the Jews have been most visible in keeping the Sabbath down through history does not mean it is a “Jewish” Sabbath. The Israelites kept the Sabbath, even though 11 of their 12 tribes were not Jewish (see 2Kings 16:1,6-7, where the Jews are at war with Israel). In Acts 13 we find Gentiles keeping the Sabbath as well as Jews, vv. 42, 44, 46. The Savior said that the Sabbath was made for man, not just for Jews, Mark 2:27.
- I am not a Jew, therefore I do not need to use the Hebrew Name Yahweh.
Yahweh never refers to His Name as Hebrew or Jewish, even though it was revealed predominately to a Hebrew-speaking people. Psalm 86:9 prophesies that ALL nations will worship Him and glorify His Name. A person’s nationality has no bearing on whether he calls on the personal Name of the Father of all creation. Yahweh Himself told Moses, “This is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” Joel 2:32 foretold that in the last days, whoever calls on the Name Yahweh will be delivered. You need not be Jewish or speak Hebrew to do so.
- I keep holy whatever day I wish, so long as I keep a day to Him.
Nowhere does Yahweh give man the prerogative to make any day holy. He never allows us the liberty to decide ourselves how we will worship Him. He sets the conditions, and His people follow them. Some may point to Romans 14:5 as giving them liberty when choosing a weekly worship day. This passage, however, merely refers to fasting on any one day, not Sabbath keeping, as verse 6 makes clear.
- I can call Him whatever I wish. He understands who I mean.
Again, nowhere in the Scriptures is such a right granted to man, and He never says He “knows who we mean” when we call on Him using other names. Just the opposite is true. He tells us not even to mention the names of other supposed deities (using the same titles), Exodus 23:13. And in Isaiah 42:8 He says, “Yahweh is my Name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Being our personal Father, He demands that we use His personal Name. The title “God” has as a root meaning, “to pour as in a molten image” (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Is this an acceptable title to use for the true Creator of the universe? Paul said there are “gods many and lords many.” How can these generic designations please the Heavenly Father when applied to Him? (1Cor. 8:5)
- Any day can be a Sabbath.
The fact is, Yahweh blessed only one day of the week, at the end of the creation week, and He commands us specifically to keep holy the seventh day also: “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh…Yahweh blessed the seventh day and hallowed it,”Exodus 20:8-11. He never set apart any other weekday for regular Sabbath rest.
- The Father has many names.
Psalm 83:18 says His Name alone is Yahweh. Romans 10:13 says we are saved by calling upon His Name not His many titles. He has several titles, like El Elyon (“El Most High”), El Shaddai (“El All-powerful”), and Yahweh Zebaoth (“Yahweh of Hosts”), but only one Name is attributed to Him in the Bible — the personal, revealed Name Yahweh.
- The Sabbath was changed to Sunday.
Not one verse in the Scriptures changes the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week. It was not the Scriptures but the Roman Church that made that portentous change. Dr. Edward Hiscox, author of The Baptist Manual, writes, “There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday…It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week…where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament.” The Roman Church admits that it alone authorized the change. Note: “Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the church [Roman Catholic] outside the Bible,” Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947.
- His Name changes from language to language just like other names.
If this is true, why didn’t original Hebrew names like Abraham, Martha, David and even Satan change when they were brought into the English translations? What about Hebraic descriptive terms like Sabbath, Rabbi, and Maranatha, all of which exist unchanged in the English Bible? The fact is, names are transliterated, meaning the same sound is brought over into the new language virtually unaltered.
You would not change your name if you visited Russia or Argentina; your name on your passport would remain as before. When reading newspapers we never find an English translation or substitute for foreign names like Putin or Sharon. Commercials on Spanish television always leave retail names like Chevrolet and Coca-Cola untouched. Names are not language-dependent. They stand on their own, regardless of the language spoken. Again, names are transliterated, not translated.
- The Sabbath was first given to Moses and was just for Israel.
The implication is that the law came into existence at Sinai, including the Fourth Commandment — the Sabbath Commandment. But we can see the law in operation in Genesis and all the way back to creation. Being part of the law, the Sabbath was also in force from the creation of man. We read of Abraham in the Book of Genesis, “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws,” Genesis 26:5.
- The Name Yahweh was first given to Moses at the burning bush and was unknown previously.
Yahweh’s Name is first mentioned in Genesis 2:4. We read that after the birth of Adam’s grandson Enos, “then began men to call upon the name of Yahweh,” Genesis 4:26. In Genesis 22:14 we find this, “And Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh-yireh: as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of Yahweh it shall be seen.’” Here’s proof that Yahweh’s Name was known and called upon long before Moses and even before the flood.
- Sunday worship is far more common and poses fewer difficulties than Sabbath keeping.
Sin is far more common than righteousness, too, but that shouldn’t mean we choose sin over obedience. Revelation 12:9 says that Satan deceives the entire world. Whatever is popular and easy, therefore, must be closely examined and proved against the Word. Yahshua the Messiah said the way of Truth is a narrow way and few are going to find it and follow it, Matthew 7:13-14. Therefore, the Truth will be accepted only by a relatively few, and that includes the truth of the true Sabbath, 2Peter 2:2.
- “God” and “Lord” are far more common than “Yahweh,” and less misunderstood.
Yahweh’s people are to come out of the world and be separate, 2Corinthians 6:17. Our convictions are not based on popular practice or public opinion polls. We are told in Psalm 22:22 that Yahshua declared Yahweh’s Name to His brethren, and so are we to do so. Regardless of what otherwise may be fashionable or common, Yahweh’s people will know His Name and be called by it, Daniel 9:19. True Worshipers get their standards from the Word, not the world.
- Our salvation is not in a specific day but in the Messiah.
When Yahshua was asked about entering into everlasting life, He responded by admonishing, “keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:17). Hebrews 5:8-9 tells us a key fact about Yahshua, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” He set the example for us by His obedient life as He kept the weekly Sabbath as well as all of the commandments.
- Our salvation is not in a specific name but in the person and authority of the Messiah.
Acts 4:12 clearly says that there is salvation in no other Name. Joel 2:32 tells us that whoever calls on Yahweh’s Name will be delivered. The Name “Yahshua” means “Yahweh is salvation.” The Name Yahshua also defines the person, and the person of the Messiah is manifest by His one Name. You cannot separate the two.
- Time was lost and we do not know which day is the Sabbath.
The sequence of days in the week has never been “lost” or reshuffled. In the past, calendar dates have been adjusted to put the Gregorian calendar back in synchronization with the seasons, but never have the weekdays themselves been rearranged. Even in a leap year when an extra day is added in February, the sequence of our weekdays remains unchanged. The Hebrews kept every seventh day as the Sabbath down through history, and to confirm it we need only go back to the time of Yahshua, who Himself kept the Sabbath as commanded in the law. Never have any days been lost since. The Jews have diligently seen to that.
- The exact pronunciation of the Name was lost over time.
The Encyclopaedia Judaica tells us, “The true pronunciation of the name YHWH was never lost. Several Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced ‘Yahweh.’ ” (Vol. 7, p. 680). This fact is confirmed by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Early Christian writers, such as Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used the form Yahweh, thus this pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was never really lost. Greek transcriptions also indicated that YHWH should be pronounced Yahweh” (15th edition, Vol. X, p. 786). Other references, including The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Catholic Encyclopedia, and Eerdman’s andUnger’s Bible dictionaries, confirm that the original pronunciation was “Yahweh.”
- Early believers worshiped on Sunday, not on the Sabbath.
The Apostles kept the seventh-day Sabbath. It was on the Sabbath day that they went regularly into the synagogue to worship. InActs 16:13 we also read, “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” Paul customarily taught on the Sabbath: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” Acts 17:2. Yahshua kept the Sabbath as well (see Matt. 12:2; Mark 6:2, Luke 13:10). Request our booklet, Popular Arguments Against the Sabbath for a fuller discourse.
- Early believers used “Jehovah” and “Jesus,” not “Yahweh” and “Yahshua.”
Neither Jehovah nor Jesus was ever used by early believers because the letter “J” did not come into existence until the 15th century. “Jehovah” is a ghost word that was never used in the Scriptures for the Heavenly Father. This hybrid name, invented by the confessor to Pope Leo X, was formed by taking the vowels of Adonai and inserting them into the Tetragrammaton, YHWH. The letter “J” did not exist in Hebrew or Greek and the “v” should be a “w,” from the third Hebrew letter waw of the Tetragrammaton.
- The Sabbath was nailed to the cross and was done away with.
If this were true then Paul, the supposed champion of Christianity, knew nothing about it. We find him observing the so-called “Jewish” Sabbath long after the Savior’s death and resurrection when a whole city of Gentiles came to hear him and Barnabas preach the Word on the Sabbath, Acts 13:42-46. We learn that what was nailed to the tree in Colossians 2:14 was the handwriting of ordinances (Greek dogma, man-made rules) that were “against us.” Yahweh’s law is never characterized as against us or contrary to us. Paul in Romans 7:12 informs us, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” In Acts 18:4 he preached to both Jews and Gentiles on the Sabbath.
- When the Savior died Israelites were speaking Greek and so we call Him by a Greek name.
The language of Galilee and Jerusalem has always been Hebrew (or its close sister, Aramaic). Passages showing that Yahshua spoke Hebrew by using Hebrew terms and sentences include Matthew 27:46; Mark 5:41, and 7:34. Clearly, He was not speaking Greek to Jews in Galilee.
- The Sabbath is not commanded in the New Testament.
This is a widely held fallacy. Hebrews 4:9 is a direct injunction to keep the seventh-day Sabbath in the New Testament: “There remains therefore a rest to the people of Elohim.” The word “rest” is sabbatismos, whose verbal form means “to keep Sabbath” and is also found several places in the Septuagint Old Testament. Verse 10 explains that this is speaking of the weekly Sabbath: “For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as Yahweh did from His.” How much clearer can the New Testament be to keep the Sabbath as Yahweh did at the end of the creation week?
- The Name Yahweh does not appear in the New Testament.
Yahshua in His prayer to His Father specifically said that He had “declared unto them [the world] your name and will declare it,”John 17:26. In His model prayer of Matthew 6, Yahshua attested to the sacredness of the Name with the statement, “Hallowed be thy name.” He spoke the Name numerous times in the New Testament when He quoted Old Testament passages containing the Name Yahweh, including Matthew 4:10 (from Deut. 6:13); Matthew 21:42 (Ps. 118:23); Mark 7:6 (Isa. 29:13); Luke 20:37 (Ex. 3:4-6) and John 6:45 (Isa. 54:13).
- Salvation is not through a special 24-hour day.
Certainly we cannot earn our own salvation. Salvation is a gift given only by Yahweh through Yahshua. He does, however, give that gift to those He deems worthy through their obedience, and denies salvation to the disobedient. “And being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him,” Hebrews 5:9. On the other hand, Paul wrote, “Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim?” 1Corinthians 6:9. Then he defines unrighteousness by listing many examples of lawbreaking. The Sabbath is part of the royal law, and therefore to violate it is to break the law and join the ranks of the unrighteous.
- Salvation does not depend on the correct pronouncing of a name.
Salvation comes to those who know their Savior, as He was our example of doing the Father’s will. Joel 2:32 says that whoever calls on the Name of Yahweh will be delivered. Luke 24:47 tells us that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations. In the KJV we read in Psalm 68:4 to “extol Him by His Name Yah,” which is a short or poetic form of the Name Yahweh. Here, we are expressly told to use His Name. Being that the Savior’s Name Yahshua means “Yahweh is salvation,” when we call on the personal, true Name of the Messiah Yahshua, we are accepting the salvation of the Father. When we say, “It doesn’t make any difference what I call Him,” we are choosing to worship as we alone see fit, rather than to do as He commands us and honor His Name, Ps. 66:2,4.
A sleeping giant has awakened. The Name of our Heavenly Father Yahweh is under ramped-up attacks from various WWCG “Worldwide Church of God” breakaway groups. Because of its unquestionable proof and rock-solid, historical fact, their members in large numbers are questioning why their leaders refuse to honor and teach the personal Name of their Creator Yahweh.
Herbert Armstrong Used the name Yahweh?
Herbert Armstrong himself used the Name Yahweh for about six months in his early Radio Church of God (before it became the Worldwide Church of God) broadcasts, according to an elderly former member.
In attempts to stop the bleeding, nervous leaders are amping up their efforts to discount their Creator’s Name Yahweh. Regardless, His revealed Name is going out in power and in unprecedented ways. Any attempts to squelch it will prove futile, according to Yahweh Himself.
Yahweh’s Name in Prophecy
The Book of Revelation tells us that His Name will be honored by the true Philadelphia Church (Assembly). “…(for thou) hast … kept my Word, and hast not denied my name,” Revelation 3:8. Scripture even issues this warning for those who refuse His Name: “If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith Yahweh of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart,” Malachi 2:2.
Come Join Us
We are a ministry on the vanguard of “contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3. Rather than resurrecting a defunct parent ministry that had stopped short of all the Truth, our goal at Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry is earnestly to contend accurately for every right teaching in Scripture. Truth is our concern, not numbers, prestige, funds, or founders. Our focus is also on common error. Most churches and organizations rest on their traditions or point to their founder and swallow everything he taught without solid verification in the Word. When someone says theirs is the only true church on the face of the earth, we must ask, have you really investigated every other one in existence?
We invite you to get acquainted with us. We are a family-friendly, commandment-keeping ministry for all ages. We honor the Third Commandment, which is not to allow His personal Name Yahweh to be abandoned through the use of substitute titles. (God is not a name but just a label that was never used in true, biblical worship.) We also honor and call on His Son’s Name Yahshua. The name Jesus is Latinized Greek. He was neither Roman nor Greek but was born a Hebrew with a Hebrew name that means “Yahweh’s Salvation.” With this reality as a launch point, the sincere seeker will discover a whole panorama of amazing understanding built on the fact that his Christian faith should be Hebraic based, not steeped in the Roman church.
You have learned much truth from the Worldwide Church of God and it’s splinter groups, now discover what you are missing.
Imagine taking a survival training class as you prepare for an extended outing into the arctic wilderness. Being a novice, you need and want all the help you can get to prepare for and survive such an awesome and hazardous venture. The course description says that the class is based on the training manual and everyone taking the class must purchase a copy and learn it.
You are bewildered, however, when on the first day of class your instructor announces that although he will teach from the training manual, actually following it could prove harmful. He tells his class that they don’t really need to learn any-thing about the wilderness. He says faith is all they need to exist in the wild, and no survival knowledge or training is necessary. He then spends the remainder of the course telling cute stories and cracking jokes.
This is incredible! If survival skills are not needed and training for the wilderness is useless, then why am I taking this course? you wonder.
Retire the Old Testament?
For the purpose of illustration, the “training manual” compares to the Bible, particularly the foundational Old Testament. The Scriptures are Yahweh’s Handbook for survival and overcoming in the wilderness of this world.
Your past Bible “instructors” probably taught that two-thirds of Scripture – the Old Testament – was only for ancient Israel and no longer applies to us in the “New Testament dispensation.” Most ministers believe and teach this.
Paradoxically, countless clerics have no qualms about illustrating their sermons using the books of the Old Testament. They don’t hesitate to refer to the Ten Commandments on occasion, quote the Psalms, Proverbs, and Prophetic writings or show the lives of the patriarchs as examples of right and proper behavior. When it comes to highlighting sermons most freely quote a pertinent passage from the Old Testament and see no contradiction in doing so.
But ask them whether it is necessary to apply the statutes and truths found in the Old Testament and you are promptly told that the Old Testament is no longer valid. It has completely been replaced by the New. So what is the point of having it?
Going hand-in-glove with the demise of Old Testament teachings is one that says that the Old Testament is the Bible for Jews, while only the New Testament is for Christians. Nothing is further from reality.
This notion that we need not apply
any Old Testament teachings to life is fundamental to why churchianity has deviated widely from the “faith once delivered,” prophesied in Jude 3 of our day. It is the basic reason an originally Hebrew-Biblical faith has been replaced by a blend of Greco-Roman concepts, practices, beliefs, and even iconology that play a central role in most modern worship.
The original faith as practiced by Hebrew Israelites has taken on an entirely different feel and flavor imposed by the culture and the nonBiblical practices that many in the infant faith soon accommodated. After the death of Yahshua, dramatic differences started to developed between what He taught and what would be observed a century later.
A simple example of cultural influence on perception can be found in Renaissance paintings of biblical scenes reproduced in some contemporary Bibles. These illu-strations show the Savior and His disciples dressed in Middle Age garb, or they depict ancient, Middle East soldiers attired in uniforms resembling 15th century Europe. How easily culture corrupts truth. But far more serious, societal influence and pressure have also transformed moral beliefs among those in the pews.
The teachings of fundamental Scripture underwent a dramatic trans-formation. What had deep meaning in a Hebrew setting began a shift to embrace pagan ideologies as gentiles were allowed to bring in their religious baggage unchecked. Add to this the anti-Semitic leanings of the early church leaders and you have a recipe for radical transformation.
The greatest influence for change, however, came with the doctrine that the modern church has replaced Israel. This notion led to the complete overhaul and elimination of beliefs and practices of the Old Testament.
Ignorance of the overarching covenant-salvation design of the Bible is what breeds so much doctrinal misunderstanding today: What is sin? Is the law abolished? Which day is the Sabbath? Are we under grace or obedience? What about faith alone, is it enough?
The answers to these and other fundamental questions are found in Yahweh’s salvation plan first revealed in the Old Testament and brought to full reality in the New. With the correct view of exactly how both Old and New testaments harmonize, these and many more issues can be resolved easily. In fact, a proper understanding of how the two testaments complement each other holds the key to True Worship itself. Only when we look at the Bible as a completely unified work – as Yahweh intended – do we realize how far popular worship has deviated from reality.
A Peculiar Treasure
Did the Messiah Yahshua come to advance a whole new religion based on grace without obedience? Did He fulfill the law so that we don’t need to? Let’s allow Him to respond to this crucial issue Himself: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matt. 5: 17). That seems clear enough. The law and prophets are found in the Old Testament. The basic meaning of “fulfill” is to carry out or bring to fullness. If He didn’t destroy the law then it is still in effect – brought to full light and understanding through the example of His life. If it is brought to fullness then it is still intact and complete.
If a soldier fulfills his duties he does everything required of him, leaving nothing undone or incomplete. By fulfilling the law, Yahshua obeyed it all and left nothing out. The same Greek word translated fulfill is used in Matthew 3:15, where Yahshua requested John the Immerser to baptize Him: “And Yahshua answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.” If fulfill means to abolish, then Yahshua and John the Immerser did away with all righteousness when the Savior was baptized!
Of course, what it really means is that Yahshua obediently complied with the mandate for immersion, as He did in all points of the law. He fulfilled His mission by being law observant and completely compliant. He tells us to follow in His steps. “If you keep my commandments,” He said in John 15:10, “you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” And what were His commandments? The same as His Father’s, except that He magnified them. He said in Matthew 5 that just having sinful thoughts is enough to break them (vv. 22, 28).
Law Produces Peace and Happiness
What should be obvious to anyone is the simple fact that if moral law is disregarded then our society will self-destruct. Secular values lack the power to stand alone. Only moral law gives a society stability, structure, and order.
Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under G-d is acknowledged.”
The only reason that police forces are able to keep the peace is that the majority of the population is law-abiding. But take away the law or the desire to obey it and chaos quickly takes over. Consider what happens in a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake when the population is in a frenzy and uncontrollable. Violence spreads. Anarchy rules. Without law society crumbles into madness.
Almighty Yahweh provided the answer to happiness when He gave man His laws. He put limits on man’s behavior in order to protect him. By our Savior’s own admission He came to confirm and establish the law. Why do so many go to Paul and try to disprove what was spoken from the Messiah’s own lips? Simply put, rebellion. Humans are born with a natural disdain for authority and rules.
Did Paul write against the spiritual law and the moral code laid down in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy? Let’s see what he actually said. In his trial before Felix, the Apostle made an unmistakable statement that has been nearly ignored for 2,000 years. “But this I confess unto you, that after the way which they call heresy so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” (Acts 24:14).
What Paul believed and taught was the Old Testament, which is what he referred to when he said “law and prophets.” The New Testament was not yet written. What he did was adhered to the precepts, commands and truths found in the Old Testament. Paul later was to proclaim: “Men [and] brethren though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans,” Acts 28:17. And in verse 23 of this chapter we read, “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of Elohim persuading them concerning Yahshua, both out of the law of Moses from morning till evening.”
Far from deserting Old Testament teachings Paul bases his writings about Yahshua on the Old Testament!
“Do we then make void the law through faith? Elohim forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Rom. 3:31) Why do modern teachers teach that Paul taught against the law of the Old Testament? Either Paul lied or they ignore what he said!
In the preface to Paul’s writings in the New Jerusalem Bible we find this revealing statement: “It is important to remember that Paul’s letters were not meant as theological treatises: most of them represent his response to a particular situation in a particular assembly. Paul’s letters presuppose the oral teachings which preceded them and enlarge and comment only upon certain points of that.”
The oral teachings include the Old Testament and its laws. Simply put, Paul was not setting forth new doctrine. He was merely applying the precepts he learned from Old Testament Scripture to the assemblies in the New Testament.
Become of Israel
Writing years after the Savior had resurrected, Paul knew that the law Moses received on Sinai was meant for more than just the 2-3 million Israelites camped there. He wrote, “This is he [Moses], that was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” “Lively oracles” in the Greek is idioma logion meaning living utterances.” They are the law Yahweh gave to Israel through Moses.
Another fundamental truth you likely were never taught is that one of the purposes of the Savior’s death was to provide a way for those outside Israel to join in the promise first given exclusively to Israel.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find that the Covenant promise was given to any peoples but Israel. Gentiles must be grafted into that one promise, as one grafts a branch from one tree into another tree. The tree and its roots provide the support and nourishment the transplanted branch must have.
Paul explains all of this thoroughly in Romans chapters 9 and 11. In Romans 9:4 he addresses the true ones called Israelites: “Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law and the service of Elohim, and the promises.” As participants in the promise to Israel, Gentiles must follow the terms and dictates of that promise because the “tree” that supports them is rooted in the Covenant. Therefore the person seeking True Worship must become a part of the congregation of Israel. Yahshua said He did not come but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Matthew 15:24.
With our foundation established in Yahweh’s commands to Israel, the next obvious questions are: who was Israel’s Mighty One and what did He call Himself? How was He to be worshiped? How was Israel to live? What observances were they commanded to keep and on which days? To be set apart from the world, what were ancient and now modern Israelites to eat and not eat? Touch and not touch? Do and not do?
The True Worshiper – today’s spiritual Israelite – must conform to all points of the renewed Covenant in his worship of Yahweh, the Mighty One of Israel. Malachi 3:6 tells us, “For I am Yahweh, I CHANGE NOT; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” He has not changed His mind, nor has He changed His mandate for man’s obedience. We read about Yahshua in the New Testament, “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY him,” Hebrews 5:9.
Even under the Old Covenant Yahweh told Israel that He expected obedience over sacrifices, 1Samuel 15:22. Obedience was always the foremost desire of our Creator for His people even as they were sacrificing bulls and goats daily.
If the Covenant promise was given exclusively to Israel, and we wish to have a part in it, then we need to look closely at its terms. What was Israel’s obligation? We find in Exodus, before Yahweh gave the law, that the Israelites agreed completely to Yahweh’s mandates. Notice: “And Moses went up unto Elohim, and Yahweh called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which Yahweh commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that Yahweh has spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto Yahweh” (Ex. 19:3-8).
Israel had promised, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do.” By this pledge they were committed to the Covenant. Everything Yahweh expected of them they agreed to do. Yahweh’s part of the compact was a promise to make Israel a special kingdom of priests (Isa. 61:6) – the same promise he makes to us if we are obedient to His laws.
Notice: “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne,” Revelation 3:21.
Overcome what? Sin! Sin is defined as lawbreaking, 1John 3:4.
Yahshua said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Through obedience we overcome sin. By obeying Yahweh’s Word we come to know what He is all about and who He is. What is important to Him becomes important to us. Hebrews 5:9 makes it clear: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
Feasts Part of the Covenant
Nowhere did Yahweh make a covenant with anyone not of the Abrahamic line. But notice. He told Israel in Deuteronomy 29:14-15: “Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that stands here with us this day before Yahweh our Elohim, and also with him that is not here with us this day.” Anyone outside of Israel could be included in the promise if they agreed to the same covenant terms Yahweh gave to Israel. That includes us who came later.
Israel promised Yahweh that they would do what He said. “And he [Moses] took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that Yahweh has said WILL WE DO, and be obedient,” Exodus 24:7.
Again, notice how Yahshua demands the same obedience to what He taught, the same obedience mandated from Yahweh for Israel: “And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Rev. 2:26-27).
Yahweh called Moses to Mt. Sinai and proclaimed the terms of the Covenant. We can read about these not only in Exodus 20, where we find the Ten Commandments, but also in the succeeding chapters of Exodus, where the Feast days (chapter 23), statutes, and judgments are included in the Sinai Covenant with the True Worshipers – the chosen of Yahweh.
A New High Priest
Does this mean that everything Israel was commanded to do and practice now becomes incumbent on us? No. With the coming of the Savior a change was made in the administration of the law. No more are animal sacrifices needed for sin. Yahshua’s sacrifice now atones for sin.
Similarly, the temple ritual has been replaced with the acts of Yahshua, our High Priest and Mediator of a New Covenant. Our High Priest Yahshua is the priestly order of Melchizedec and not Levi.
Under His priestly administration we and ancient Israel are offered blessings far greater than the earthly advantages ancient Israel was promised for obedience. Now we can have eternal blessings (see Heb. 9). Paul tells us, “Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Messiah ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living Elohim; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart,” 2Corinthians 3:3. As the law is now written on our hearts (Heb. 8), so we make it a part of us and live it.
A few verses later the Apostle writes, “Who [Elohim] also made us able ministers of the new [Greek kainos—renewed] testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit …”
The Covenant is reintroduced in the New Testament through the blood of the Savior, not the blood of animal sacrifices. His is a higher priesthood. Being that the Covenant is now magnified and placed on a far higher plane, it is incumbent on True Worshipers to be even more careful about their obedience, not less.
Notice how Paul compares submission in the Old Testament to obedience today: “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:28-30.
By deliberately disobeying the law now, we risk not the death of a mere animal, as anciently, but the actual impalement of our very Savior all over again! Hebrews 6:6.
Far from abolishing the law, Yahweh today instills it within us, and we obey out of the sincere desire of a willing heart that loves Him.
Confessing Our Own Error
You may have been led all your life to believe that certain teachings were fundamental truth. But did you confirm them in Scripture? Proverbs 14:12 reads, “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
All his life Paul had been ignorantly persecuting the True Worshipers as heretics. When he was knocked down on the road to Damascus, he didn’t defend his error but listened to what the celestial Being (Yahshua) told him, and humbly submitted himself to Yahweh.
From then on Yahweh used Paul as one of the premier teachers of the Faith. When presented with the truth many of us were not that virtuous, but instead defended what we had always been led to believe was true. How could these great churches be wrong? we reasoned. But as we became convicted of real truth, we had to humbly repent before our Father for our error. We came to the understanding that the majority is misled, as it has been throughout history.
Yahshua confirmed that the masses are on the broad road leading to destruction. He said His people would be a “little flock,” and only few would be given the Kingdom, Luke 12:32. True Worshipers are not labeled the “called out” for no reason.
May you find the way to life and may you not be hesitant to walk in all the light you are given.
Suppose you started a new job. How long would you remain employed at that job if you insisted on coming to work only when it was convenient and fit into your schedule?
And what if you told your employer that you would decide your own responsibilities while at work and how much he will be paying you? Additionally, if you didn’t feel like working at all for a year or two, you still expected a paycheck.
Ridiculous? Certainly. Since when does a subordinate call the shots? Everyone knows that the servant does the bidding of the one served. That’s self-evident.
But it is not evident at all to millions of professing Bible believers who make their own rules when it comes to their worship. They decide when and how they will worship; they decide the question of obedience and even decide for themselves what name to call the Supreme Creator of the universe. They don’t consult the Scriptures, but just do what they want, often following others doing what they want. Does that sit well with Almighty Yahweh?
Not on your life. Worship approved of Yahweh means learning and then doing His will, not our own. We cannot make Him in our image and expect His blessings. That is the definition of idolatry.
Worship is not about what we want. Our goal is not to please ourselves. Our desire as True Worshipers is not self-satisfaction but His-satisfaction. Worship that centers on pleasing the worshiper is pointless and useless.
Millions live out their entire lives never knowing who their Creator is, what His actual Name is, and what He requires of them. They have no idea that Yahweh has a purpose for this earth and has a mind-boggling future awaiting those who sincerely seek Him.
He is a Power so infinite that all the trillions of stars in all the billions of galaxies obey His every command according to physical laws He established. Nehemiah 9:6 reads, “Thou hast made heaven, the earth and all things therein, the seas and all things therein and Thou preservest them all.” The only segment of His creation that resists obeying their great Creator is mankind.
Discovering Him starts with obedience. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments,” 1John 2:3. The laws that He thundered from Mt. Sinai for all who would worship Him define who He is. Keeping them defines who we are – either worshipers or rivals, depending on whether we submit to His will or resist Him.
Only HIS Days Honor Him
The sincere seeker of Yahweh understands the critical importance of aligning his life with Yahweh’s mandates, which includes His commandments, His ordained calendar and His Feasts days. His Feasts are special observances that define His salvation plan. Observing them means being a part of His salvation’s plan here and now.
One particular observance – the Feast of Tabernacles – is a time Yahweh set aside for learning who He is by spending a week apart from the world and interacting with His chosen people. This Feast is a veritable taste of the Kingdom.
You have the opportunity to taste it now, while the vast majority will remain unenlightened until after the thousand years of millennial rule are over and they are brought up in the second resurrection. (See The Two Resurrections, p. 20)
If you are convicted to keep the Feasts then you are responding to His call and have a desire to know and serve Him in Truth. Let nothing stand in your way of obedience.
Realize that you will need to overcome the obstacles that the Evil One will throw in your path to keep you from being faithful. Above all, haSatan knows that the Bible’s Feasts are of utmost importance to Yahweh and that they clearly separate the earnest believer from the passive one. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY FEASTS,” Leviticus 23:2.
Most think that the Bible’s feasts are Jewish, but the Scriptures say they are His feasts! These days are to be taught and observed as unique, solemn, holy gatherings in honor of Yahweh. Man’s days are invented by man, but the Bible’s Feast days are designed and ordained by the Giver of Life.
All sin stems from ignorance of Yahweh. People sin because they have no fear of Him. If they did they would be fools to defy His direct commands.
Children who obey their parents have a healthy respect for their parents and fear the consequences of rebellion. But those who deliberately break Yahweh’s laws don’t know Yahweh and don’t fear the consequences. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16.
Most are driven by tradition and blindly do what tradition teaches without looking into the facts. For millennia men thought that the sun revolved around a flat earth. Does it make any sense that we should continue this thinking simply because it’s traditional?
Many grew up with a religious affiliation. For the vast majority of them that fact is all that is required to continue holding on to what they grew up believing. They refuse to look into other views. Such rationale keeps hundreds of millions in the dark. “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” Proverbs16:25.
Deciding on your own which way to go in worship can have serious consequences should you get it wrong.
Yahweh as ruler of our lives decides what is right. How can we be righteous in His sight if we do not do what He directs, and instead follow opposing practices? This includes keeping the seventh-day Sabbath and holy the days that He commands us to observe because He says doing so is His will.
Sin is doing what the Word of Yahweh commands against, such as ignoring His will. Not keeping His Feasts is sin because it transgresses the command of His law, 1John 3:4.
Even the Pagan Understands
There is nothing more basic than pleasing the one you worship. Doing what He wants and not what we may want is the definition of True Worship.
Worship means devotion at all times, day in and day out.
The principle of obeying the one you worship is no mystery to the pagan. The classic trait of a pagan is one who diligently tries to placate his “deity” by doing what he thinks the deity wants. That might include sacrificing children to Molech, burning fires in December to the sun god Mithras or coloring eggs in April in honor of the fertility goddess Astarte.
Each rite constitutes a key part of the heathen’s worship, and he would never think of not conscientiously carrying out his religion’s pagan rites year after year.
If even a heathen can understand the principle of personal duty and obligation in worship, why does today’s nominal worshiper think that he is exempt from anything clearly mandated in the Word for his own worship?
Yahweh repeatedly tells us to obey Him, which doesn’t mean just think nice thoughts about it. Paul asks in Romans 9:21, “Has not the potter power over the clay…”?
A correct understanding of the Bible and what is required of us is unattainable unless we know its author. We cannot worship in truth unless we understand and seek the will of the One who is Truth personified.
The more we understand who Yahweh is, the more we will live and worship correctly according to His will. The less we know about Him, the more likely we will be worshiping in ways He rejects.
If we are not pleasing Him by our lives and worship then we are wasting our time. Our very example and Guide to salvation, Yahshua the Son, said He came to do His Father’s will, John 4:34. That is what we must do – live as the Son did by obeying every command of His Father as taught in the Old Testament. He is our model, the pattern for proper worship. “For even hereunto were you called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps,” 1Peter 2:21.
Yahshua kept the scriptural Sabbath and observed the clean foods, feast days, and commandments. He never kept Christmas, Easter, Halloween or any other man-made observance. We are to follow His lead, the apostle said.
You can’t grasp a discipline without knowing the basics. The religious establishment today approaches wor-ship backwards. Without providing the fundamentals to proper understanding, clerics introduce the Heavenly Father without instruction as to who He is, what He stands for, or what HE expects of His worshiper. The first of the Ten Commandments establishes the foundation for True worship: “Thou shalt have no other mighty ones before me,” Exodus 20:3.
The wrong question about worship is continually being asked: “What’s in it for me?” The right question is, what is His will for His people, and how can I be a part of it? That is the proper approach to truth and True Worship.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss
Ask the average person what he expects at death. “To go to heaven” he may answer. And what will he do there? He has no idea. Not a clue. And most don’t care even to find out what the salvation plan is! All they know is that they will stumble into it somehow. What foolish thinking.
Perhaps at the root of their desire to remain ignorant is a fear that if they find out too much they may have to do something about it. They may need to change their ways and live life to please the One they purport to worship. Human nature resists making life-altering reforms. The Adversary wants everyone to continue down the slippery slope of obliviousness to insure that no one will become enlightened and turn to Yahweh.
Millions who say they believe the Bible are completely ignorant of its most basic requirements. They hardly know Yahweh or the Bible at all. No wonder He has no influence on their behavior. Yahweh is not taken seriously when commitment to their faith is lacking. Incredibly, in spite of it all they still believe they are saved!
Judah didn’t take Yahweh seriously most of the time, either. The prophet Jeremiah warned that their rebellion would bring consequences. “And though they say, Yahweh liveth; surely they swear falsely. O Yahweh, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of Yahweh, nor the judgment of their Elohim,” Jeremiah 5:2-4.
It is time to learn about the true Father in heaven and what He expects of His people. He has a Name, a family, and a plan to build that family to expand to the ends of the universe itself – starting now with called-out and faithful Believers who love Him enough to obey what He tells them. “For this is the love of Yahweh, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous,” 1John 5:3.
He Judges Our Behavior
We find in the prayer of Hannah in the writings of the prophet Samuel this warning, “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let [not] arrogancy come out of your mouth: for Yahweh is an Elohim of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed” (1Sam. 2:3).
Two key phrases are crucial to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He is “an Elohim of knowledge” and “by Him actions are weighed.” Whose actions? Ours! Here Samuel applies Yahweh’s wisdom, His understanding, His knowledge to OUR actions.
Yahweh says through Hosea in 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” He adds, “Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you, that you shall be no priest to me.”
To know whether we are pleasing Him we need to look at our behavior. Are we eager to please Him through obedience or do we seek loopholes to get out of our obligations?
A reverential respect of Yahweh will lead us to greater knowledge. He promises it.
“The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom,” the Psalmist wrote, “A good understanding have all they that do his commandments” (Ps. 111:10). The reverse is also true. A person who will not obey and do His commandments will have poor understanding.
This life is training for the Kingdom, according to Revelation 1:6. A Biblical priest is well educated in the office he holds. His life is a proving ground. He knows Yahweh and knows what Yahweh requires.
Pointless Pursuits of Pleasure
We were not put on this planet to seek entertainment. The believer is a temporary resident of this world and has higher goals than to waste life in constant pursuit of pleasure. Yahweh has an incredible purpose for His chosen. And because of that, the Word tells those being called now, “I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” 2Corinthians 6:2. Now is the time to work out your salvation in preparation for an eternal future serving Yahweh.
Revelation 2:26 says, “And he that overcomes and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Rulership in the Kingdom is promised to those who obey the Scriptures today! The promise is the same now as it was when John received it on Patmos. Yahweh has not changed His mind.
In fact, in Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, Yahweh says, “I am Yahweh, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob [Israel] are not consumed.”
There is one body, not many, according to Ephesians 4:4. One Master, one faith, one baptism.
We can learn a great deal about our Heavenly Father by just studying His commandments. What He instructs us to follow reveals His own values, standards, and principles. It is the same as discovering the values of a parent by what that parent expects of his or her children. If a child is taught not to steal, then we safely assume that his parents oppose stealing.
A Command to Study
But this presents a rather difficult problem for some. Many say or think that they do not know the Bible well enough to understand what is truth and what is not. They are unwilling to take the time to study it out for themselves.
Despite their reluctance, the command remains. You can find Yahweh’s inspired words, for example, in 2Timothy 2:15: “Study to show yourself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” In order to have the approval of our Creator, then, we are to study His Word. And rightly apply what is there to our lives. Bible study is not just an option, it is a command. We must prove all doctrine from Scripture itself and not take anything or anyone’s word for granted.
We are responsible for our own understanding or lack thereof.
Ignorance can only lead to trouble. Why? Because then we don’t realize the importance of applying what the Word says to our personal lives, behavior and actions for which we will one day be accountable.
From the New Testament, Paul writes, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” 1Thessalonians 5:21. Why? Because what you know you act on, and if what you know is wrong, your worship will be wrong. Your faith will be in vain.
He Responds Accordingly
Many wonder why they are having so many personal problems and trials in their lives and why they are not being blessed. Others pray for health and financial help to no avail. Both could be because they refuse to obey Him and put Him first in their lives. John writes, “Now we know that Yahweh hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of Yahweh, and does His will, him He hears.” Sin is disobedience to His laws and commands, 1John 3:4.
Are you willing to obey your Father in Heaven? Do you do His will? If you do, then He will answer your prayers. He will be your Guide, your help, and your happiness. He will bless you in this life and in the Kingdom to come. But you have to take that first step to answer His call.
The prophet Malachi wrote over 2,000 years ago: “Even from the days of your fathers you have gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, says Yahweh of hosts.” You must take the first step.
Knowing Means Complying
A True Worshiper has a childlike innocence, willing to do whatever he or she is expected to do. Yahshua said that the Kingdom of Heaven will be given to those with a similar attitude of unquestioning obedience, much the same attitude as innocent children have (Matt. 19:14).
We please the One we worship by doing what He tells us in His Instruction Book. This is not some half-hearted profession about accepting the Messiah as your personal Savior and then forgetting about it, thinking you are now saved.
He will not ac-cept anything less than a real, honest commitment in our everyday lives to walk in the footsteps of Yahshua the Messiah. To obey all that He said to obey. Day in and day out until it becomes second nature.
Yahshua chided Satan, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohim,” Matthew 4:4. “Every word” includes both Old Testament and New.
The Apostle Paul said that even our very thoughts should conform to the obedience of Messiah Yahshua, 2Corinthians 10:5.
To know Yahweh is to know True Worship. We often hear people ask, “Do you know the ‘L-rd’?” Rarely do they explain what they mean by that.
Know Him how? By His revealed, true Name? By what He taught and expects from us? By becoming like Him in every respect? By obedience to the Son as He Himself obeyed His Father?
In fact, doing these things will certainly help us “know” Him. No one knows us better than those who live with us: our spouse and children. They spend time with us, day after day. They do what we do, go where we go. See what we see and see how we respond in all sorts of circumstances. That is how we come to “know” someone.
The Scriptures say that these things are necessary: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says, ‘I know Him,’ and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps His word, in him verily is the love of Elohim perfected: hereby we know that we are in Him…Brethren I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning,” 1John 2:3-5, 7.
Basic to knowing Yahweh is realizing His identity: “Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that does speak: behold it is I,” Isaiah 52:6. The prophet Joel (Heb. “YahEl”) said that whoever calls on the Name of Yahweh will be delivered, 2:32. Knowing Him means calling on His personal Name in worship, not just to say, “Oh, I heard the Name taught once and I know it.” That is not the kind of knowing the Bible talks about.
Faith + Obedience
A fact of life is that each of us has a name. Surely the very One who created us and taught us what names are –telling Adam to name all the animals on earth – would Himself have a personal name that identifies Him!
Knowing Yahweh and His Son means obeying them. It is no different from a son who obeys his father because he knows and honors his father and clearly understands what his father expects of him. Yahweh’s own Son tells us, “Not every one that says unto Me, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’ shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 7:21.
In Revelation 14:12 the saints are defined as those who “keep the commandments of Yahweh, and have the faith of Yahshua.” Paul writes in 1Corinthians 6:2 that the saints will judge the world in the coming Kingdom. Therefore it is the saints, the obedient ones, who will be in the Kingdom, not the disobedient.
In fact, Paul says clearly in 1Corinthians 6:9 that the un-righteous – meaning sinners – will not inherit the Kingdom. Those who practice sin will be shut out of the Kingdom if they don’t stop it and repent.
Isn’t it time you came to know the One you worship by calling on His revealed Name and following His commands to His people as His own Son did? These are the actions that lead to salvation and the great things in store for those who love Him.
Our Savior was born of the tribe of Judah, spent His life with the Jews in Israel, observed and taught the “Jewish” laws, and commanded His Jewish disciples not to go to the Gentiles but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Are these facts significant, or mere accident? By downplaying these and other basic truths and detaching itself from its own roots, could Christianity have done Bible believers a great injustice?
Yahshua the Messiah came at Bethlehem when the Jews again were back in their land. The Temple was standing and the Levitical priests played their part in worship of Yahweh. Although the Romans governed the land of Palestine, the Jews were allowed to worship in either the Temple or synagogue with comparative freedom.
The people of Judah were given sufficient time to get re-established in their homeland since their return under Ezra and Nehemiah. The Torah was read and expounded each Sabbath, and worship of Yahweh was again in vogue.
A Special Time and Place
The opportunity for salvation has always been “to the Jew first.” The Jew was allowed to become the root or source of the truth by having the evangel first revealed to him. If he refused to believe or spurned the offer, the Greek or Gentile was called. This is the gist of Paul’s message to the Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the evangel of Messiah: for it is the power of Yahweh unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).
Now under the Roman government relative peace and calm allowed the Jews to worship Yahweh as He had commanded. The message of the birth of the Messiah was given first to the Jewish shepherds.
The Savior was born at Bethlehem (“house of bread “), into a Jewish family, into a community that spoke Hebrew, the language of the Bible. The people were quite familiar with prophecies of a coming Redeemer and an air of expectancy was everywhere.
But They Rejected Him
The only place on earth where an entire class of people would comprehend the prophecies of the coming Redeemer was the Holy Land. The Torah was taught and studied. The Jews would have firsthand knowledge of Bible prophecies dealing with the coming Messiah. They would be the first to perceive that He was the exact fulfillment of these prophecies.
John reveals, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1: 11). The Jews who should have acknowledged that Yahshua had fulfilled these prophecies, rejected Him as the Redeemer of Israel.
They were looking for a Savior who would free them from the iron hand of Rome. They expected Him to come on a white horse with pomp and power and drive the Romans out of the Promised Land.
They were not conditioned to accept a babe in a manger, a meek and mild Teacher of righteousness. His rejection of their traditions and hypocritical customs angered the scribes and Pharisees.
Instead of freeing them from the hated Roman government, He spent His time showing their perversion of the Torah through their own pet doctrines. “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). The very people He came to save became His worst enemies.
The twelve disciples called out of Judaism were chosen to proclaim the truth Yahshua brought to earth. The writers of the New Testament were given the commission to proclaim His message to a lost and dying world.
Tearing Out the Roots
The first generation of leaders of the various congregations in the Middle East were Jews, and became known to the world as “Jewish Christians.” Eventually the Jews died off and were replaced by converts from paganism, known as “Gentile Christians,” who brought with them their heathen customs and ways of worship.
By the time of the Council of Nicea in 325 C.E., pagan customs and teachings overwhelmed the ekklesia, the “called-out ones,” popularly known as the “church.” Seventh-day Sabbath worship was moved to Sunday. The worship of the reborn sun at the season of Saturnalia became the birthday of the “Son.” Pagan holidays soon flooded in, such as New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, May Day, and Hallowe’en. None of these is found in the Bible.
Within a short time the “church” lost its Jewish flavor. It soon became filled with the unregenerate who continued as before with their pagan ways. The “church” accepted these foreign customs and days. Known assyncretism, their adoption with new understanding and new meaning allowed pagan ways and pagan days to become a part of worship. Heathenism became a tradition and part of churchianity. Much of nominal worship was nothing more than baptized paganism.
Only a few Jews became true converts to Yahshua the Messiah. In general the greater body of Jews continued their worship with animal sacrifices and offerings at the Temple and meetings in the synagogues. Circumcision was rigidly followed and was required in order to gain access to the Temple.
Fewer than 40 years after the impalement of Yahshua the Temple was destroyed and the priesthood could no longer function. Soon Jerusalem itself was off limits to Jews. Worship as given by Moses was no more. Animal sacrifices and offerings at the Temple ceased. Jews ultimately would be driven from the Holy Land.
For some 1900 years there was no place on earth that a nation as a whole gave witness to the greatness of Yahweh by keeping His Sabbaths, which He says are a SIGN to His people, Exodus 31: 13, 17 and Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
A Return to Original Truths
In 1948 Israel was recognized as a state by the United Nations. Today it is the only nation in the world in which Hebrew is the national tongue, which is the original language of the Bible and the heavenly language spoken to mankind.
Only in the tiny state of Israel do we find Yahweh’s weekly Sabbaths as well as His Feast days nationally recognized—but not always observed. The Old Testament Torah and its precepts are acknowledged as Yahweh’s law. Bible prophecy revolves around Israel and the surrounding nations of the Middle East. Armies will converge there for the final battle of the ages.
Yahweh has now brought back to the land of Israel a people who acknowledge Him as their Elohim. The establishing of Israel as a nation was a necessary preparation for the return of the Messiah. Just as a viable teaching of the Bible created an air of expectation of the Messiah at His first coming, it is fitting that Yahweh will have a people prepared to receive Him when He comes again. He will return to the land of Israel where Hebrew is spoken, Zechariah 14:4.
There will be a return to the teachings of the Bible before the return of the Savior. Just as John the Baptist was the EliYAH to come, there will be a revival of deeper Bible truth among the people in Palestine and others around the world. This was prophesied in the Old Testament: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh: And he shall turn the heart o f the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6).
True Worshipers in the Last Days
Though, the Jews of that time did not fully accept the message of John the Baptist, a small remnant of Jews did listen to John’s warning and turn to Yahweh. Malachi talks of the “great and dreadful day of Yahweh” which has not yet occurred. We know it as the Great Tribulation mentioned by Yahshua and others in the New Testament. This difficult time when Yahweh smites the earth with a curse is still ahead of us.
There will yet be a group of people who will seek the ancient ways and return to the truth of Scripture. Many of the truths yet to be taught will be radically different from the bland teachings of mainline churchianity.
The true message will be more than the social gospel, health and wealth, or the message to feel good about ourselves and maintain high self-esteem. It will be the teachings from the Bible as seen from Yahweh’s point of view; how He perceives man’s attitudes and activities on earth.
Yahshua must remain in the heavens until this restoration message is taught and accepted by a people prepared for His return. This is clear from Peter’s teaching following Pentecost, namely that the people should prepare to meet Yahshua our coming Judge:
Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of Yahweh; And he shall send Yahshua the Messiah, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times 0f restitution of all things, which Elohim has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20-21).
This was a clear message to the Jews to change their minds and attitudes concerning Yahshua the Messiah. This change of attitude is necessary to receive seasons of refreshing or renewed strength from the throne of Yahweh.
Yahshua’s return is dependent upon the true repentance of a people and their turning with heart and mind toward Yahweh. The recovery of lost truth must come first, even before the presence of Yahshua. The Old Testament will once again be studied with renewed interest, with new insight to learn the things Yahweh has spoken since the beginning of the world. An air of expectancy will soon stir up a people to a thrilling anticipation of Yahshua’s return.
The NIV translation is clearer, showing that Yahshua must remain in heaven until the time of restitution, which means “to restore everything.” This is the work yet to be accomplished by the coming ELIYAH (a Hebrew name meaning, “My Mighty One is Yah”). This message will be given at the end of the age according to our Savior:
“And Yahshua answered and said unto them, ELIYAH truly shall first come, and restore al! things” (Matt. 17: 11).
Name Truths Revived
Yahshua prophesied that both His Name and Yahweh’s Name would be widely proclaimed at the end of the age. Yahweh’s laws and way of life will again be taught to a lost and dying world before Yahshua’s return. A complete restoration of Bible truth is now going forth with increasing boldness in these latter days.
Many say they knew there was something wrong with their worship, and when the many pagan influences that had infiltrated the churches were pointed out, they were amazed. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New Years—all have their origin in pagan worship and have no place in Yahweh’s pure worship.
Many are surprised to learn that the Mighty One of Israel has a name, Yahweh, which we use exclusively. His Name is not Jehovah, which means in Hebrew, “I create mischief, destruction, ruin” – describing Satan himself! At YRM we are striving to fulfill that great commission in these latter days by proclaiming both Yahweh’s and Yahshua’ s Names and the clear Bible truths to all who have ears to hear and eyes to see.
Notice that the word messenger in the following verse (Mal. 3:1) evidently refers to John the Baptist who was the ELIYAH of his day. However, prophecy shows that an EliYAH group of people will again be preparing the way, actively fulfilling these prophecies. We are striving to do the work of that messenger! Take note: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and Yahshua (Hebrew =Adon), whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple, even the MESSENGER of the Covenant, whom you delight in: behold, He shall come, says Yahweh of hosts” (Mal. 3: 1).
Yahshua and Temple of Saints
First, the “messenger” (EliYAH) prepares the way for those who are converted and rejuvenated. With a nucleus of truly dedicated believers, the Savior Himself can return. Yahshua returns to His “Temple,” likely a physical building in Jerusalem, which His presence purifies, and He then refines and cleans up the sons of Levi, the priests, who are actively carrying out their duties.
The “messenger of the Covenant” plainly refers to Yahshua, Who will return to His Temple (Hebrew = hehkel, lit. palace). The Temple carries a spiritual meaning as well. Yahshua will return to the “spiritual Temple” composed of the saints who will welcome Him: “Know you not that you are the Temple of Yahweh, and [that} the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? If any man defile the Temple of Yahweh, him shall Yahweh destroy; for theTemple of Yahweh is holy, which [Temple] you are” (1Cor. 3:16- 17). “In whom you also are builded together for an habitation of Yahweh through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22).
Not only will the Savior return to Jerusalem and stand upon the Mount of Olives, but also the multitude of saints will meet Him in the air. Because Yahshua is then among His resurrected saints this will place Him within His “spiritual Temple,” surrounded by the myriad of the redeemed. The Temple at Jerusalem will be clean and garnished for Him; also the saints will have on their garments of salvation, clean and white.
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev. 19:8).
What About the Jews?
The Jews in general are not eager to divulge some of their deeper understanding of the Bible. They themselves are reluctant even to pronounce or spell out Yahweh’s Name!
A number of prophecies proclaim that Yahweh’s Name will be known by Jew and Gentile alike at the end of the age. Jewish writings and other records acknowledge His Name as Yahweh.
Bible prophecies are replete with warnings that at the end of the age will occur the great and terrible day of Yahweh and the special significance His Name will have at that time:
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of Yahweh come. And it shall come to pass, [that} whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call” (Joel 2:31-32).
The Psalms reveal the importance of obedience and calling on our Heavenly Father Yahweh’s Name. His wrath will be upon the disobedient heathen and those who have not called upon Yahweh’s name: “Pour out your wrath upon the heathen that have not known you, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your name” (Psalm 79:6).
At the end of this age, the saints are promised that Yahweh will allow His people to go through a cleansing period to perfect and purify them. His people will know His Name and call out to Him.
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say,Yahweh [is] my Elohim” (Zech. 13:9).
Both Zechariah and Zephaniah reveal that during the reign of Yahweh on earth that all people will call on His Name: “And Yahweh shall be king overall the earth: in that day shall there be one Yahweh, and his name one”(Zech. 14:9). “For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Yahweh, to serve him with one consent” (Zeph. 3:9).
The Name of the Savior
When we invoke Yahweh’s name, the response is hardly a raised eyebrow. But not calling upon Yahweh’s Name may well become the death knell of the future.
The Savior’s Name YAHshua incorporates the short form (YAH) within it, and we know persecution of those holding fast to truth is coming. Believers will suffer reproach for using Yahshua’s Name: “If you be reproached for the name of Messiah, happy are you .for the spirit of glory and of Yahweh rests upon you: .on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (1Pet. 4:14).
Yahshua Himself said that His Name would gender hatred from the world of unbelievers: “And you shall be hated of all [men] for My name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13:13). Encouragement to hold fast to Yahshua’s Name is found in the letters to the seven Assemblies in Revelation: “And has borne, and has patience, and for My name’s sake has laboured, and hast not fainted (Rev. 2:3). “I know your works, and where you dwell, [even] where Satan’s seat [is]: and you hold fast My name, and has not denied My faith …” (Revelation 2:13).
“I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name” (Rev. 3:8).
“Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the Temple of my Elohim, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my Elohim, and the name of the city of my Elohim, [which is] new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my Elohim: and [I will write upon him] my new name” (Rev. 3:12).
Not only do we find Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s Names to be vitally important, but our own names could be blotted out of the Book of Life if we do not overcome daily: “He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Rev. 3:5).
Our Redeemer promises that He would not remove our name from the Book of Life, but that He would confess our name before the Father and His angels if we are faithful. “Then they that feared Yahweh spake often one toanother: and Yahweh hearkened, and heard [itj, and a book of remembrance WtlS’ written before him for them that feared Yahweh, and that thought upon His Name” (Mal. 3:16).
Are YOU in Acts?
The Book of Acts does not end with “Amen.” It likely is unfinished, awaiting the final chapter yet to be written.
Could it be that you are being called now to have your name included in the concluding chapter concerning the activities of the ekklesia, the “called out ones?”
Today His people are sealed by baptism into the saving Name of Yahshua. The short or poetic form of His name “YAH” is here used, in addition to the Hebrew word “shua” meaning salvation. The name Yahshua means the “Salvation of Yah.” His name is the seal. Revelation 7:3 reveals that at the end of the age His servants will be sealed with His name: “… sealed the servants of our Elohim in their foreheads” (Rev. 7:3).
“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of Elohim in their foreheads” (Rev. 9:4).
The sealing with His name is accomplished by the act of baptism into Yahshua’s saving Name: “And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads” (Rev. 22:4). See also Galatians 3:26-29.
Determine now to seek Yahweh with all your heart and walk in the ways He has given in His Word so that you will not be taken unawares. Yahshua is coming soon to reward the faithful who have helped proclaim His Name and His truths.
We are diligently seeking to restore spiritual truth and encourage all readers to make certain your name is recorded in that book of remembrance. When that 29th chapter of Acts is finally written, may it include you as one who calls upon Yahweh’s Name and is found worthy to receive a crown of life.
Start with a pinch of Homer, add two cups of scriptural interpretation, slowly pour in some secret ingredients and blend with copious amounts of wild imagination. Chop into 11 parts (more depending on your appetite), cook on low heat, and let simmer for 1500 years. Serve along with Scripture.
This recipe for imitation Bible is known as the Apocrypha. The Roman Catholic Church serves it as main fare in their version of the Scriptures. Before you indulge on this literary concoction, first consider the ingredients. Apocrypha means “things hidden or concealed.” It is from the Greek word apokryphos and it concerns writings that at first were not read publicly. Later, Apocrypha came to be understood as spurious and uncanonical writings.
In common usage, Apocrypha refers to the 11 books (some say 14) made a part of some Bibles by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1546. This council itself dropped three of the apocryphal books that had been admitted at the Council of Carthage in 397. Those dropped were Prayer of Manasses and 1 and 2 Esdras. All three had appeared for 1,100 years in the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible, completed by Jerome in 405.
The Apocrypha was written between the third and first centuries B.C.E. in the period between the Old and New Testaments. Because of that, some Bibles place the Apocrypha between their Old and New Testament pages.
The books generally recognized as constituting the Apocrypha are: 1, 2 Maccabees; Prayer of Manasses; 1, 2 Esdras; Tobit; Judith; Wisdom; Ecclesiasticus (a.k.a. Sirach); Baruch and Epistle of Jeremy; supplements to Esther and three additions to Daniel include: The Song of the Three Children, Susanna and the Elders, the
Destruction of Bel and the Dragon; and the Letters of Jeremiah.
Jews Rejected Apocrypha
The trend toward including these works as part of the Scriptures was initiated by Augustine in 354 to 430. Although acknowledging some of the historical values of the books, Augustine admitted there was a definite difference between these “outside books” and the Inspired Word.
These spurious works were found in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. This fact alone gives no credence to the argument that the Apocrypha was part of the inspired canon, because no original copies of the Septuagint exist to support such a position. In fact, the Jewish Council of Jamnia in 90 C.E. specifically excluded the Apocrypha from the Hebrew canon of Inspired Scripture.
It was the Jews who were entrusted with preserving the Old Testament Bible. Paul testified to that fact, “What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of Yahweh,” Romans 3:1-2. By oracles Paul meant the actual words of Yahweh, given to Moses and the prophets, Acts 7:38.
No other literary work has been preserved better through the ages than the Bible. The Scribes were meticulous in their dedication to transcribe Scripture exactly. If there were any authenticity to the Apocrypha the Jews would have recognized it. On the contrary. They rejected it.
Neither was any stamp of approval given by Josephus, the first century historian. He said, “For there are not with us myriads of books, discordant and discrepant, but only two and twenty (equivalent to the 39 books of Hebrew Scripture), comprising the history of all time, which are justly accredited.”
Josephus acknowledged that the Hebrew Canon was complete following the books of Nehemiah and Malachi in the 5th century B.C.E. He wrote, “From the time of Artaxerxes up to our own everything has been recorded, but the records have not accounted equally worthy of credit with those written before them, because the exact succession of prophets ceased.” The Bible itself is testimony to the great lengths Yahweh went to preserve the Scriptures.
Jeremiah had been prophesying for 23 years in the 36th chapter of his book. Yahweh commanded him to write his prophecies in a book to be read in the synagogue. When King Jehoiakim heard some of the prophecies he threw the scroll into a fire. With the help of a scribe, Jeremiah rewrote the entire book through Yahweh’s inspiration. If the apocryphal books were to be part of the Hebrew Canon, why is not a single one of them quoted in the New Testament? There are hundreds of quotations of the Old Testament included in the New, yet not one original quotation from one of the apocryphal books is found.
Books with Flaws
The Bible contains no errors. Any mistakes found in modern translations are by translators or editors. Most did not have a grasp of Yahweh’s entire plan of salvation and didn’t understand how the Bible complements itself. The mere historical and literary accuracy of Scripture is testimony to holy inspiration.
The same is not true of the Apocrypha. The best evidence for the bogus nature of the Apocrypha is found in the books themselves. Two of the writers imply that the works are not inspired. In the prologue to Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), we find, ”…my grandfather Jesus, after devoting himself especially to the reading of the law and the prophets and the other books of our fathers, and after acquiring considerable proficiency in them, was himself led to write wisdom…” We get the idea of a cut-and- paste job in the books of Maccabees. From 2 Maccabees 2:25 and 28 we discover this admission, “We have aimed to please those who wish to read, to make it easy for those who are inclined to memorize, and to profit all readers…leaving the responsibility for exact details to the compiler, while devoting our effort to arriving at the outlines of condensation.”
Lacking a prophetic element, the Apocrypha at times contradict the Bible and even themselves. They are full of historical and geological inaccuracies as well as errors in fact and mistakes in time. Each of these mistakes is witness to the fallible men who wrote them.
Their Errors Are Legion
Let’s take a look at a few of the Apocryphal books and discover why they are classified as uninspired.
The Book of Tobit or Tobias is about a pious Jew who is deported to Nineveh. Blinded by bird dung, he sends his son Tobias to collect a debt. During the journey Tobias acquires the gall of a fish that restores his father’s sight.
Estimated to be from the third century B.C.E., Tobit has a serious chronological flaw, among other problems. It says Tobit saw the revolt of the northern tribes (997 B.C.E.) and was on the scene when the tribe of Naphtali was deported to Ninevah (740 B.C.E.). That would mean he lived more than 257 years. But Tobit 14:1-3 gives his age as 102 when he died.
The fact of two authors brings confusion to the Book of Baruch. The first five chapters are made to look as if Baruch wrote them. The sixth chapter is presented as a letter written by Jeremiah. Baruch is said to live in Babylon (1:1, 2) although the Bible says he went to Egypt. In his preface to the Book of Jeremiah, Jerome said, “I have not thought it worthwhile to translate the Book of Baruch.”
In Judith events are said to have occurred during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar who is called the king “who reigned over the Assyrians in the great city of Ninevah,” Judith 1:1, 7. The fact is that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon and never reigned in Ninevah because Ninevah was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s father, Nabopolassar. Furthermore, the introduction to the Jerusalem Bible notes that the itinerary of officer Holofernes is a “geographical impossibility.”
A case of mistaken authorship is found in Wisdom. Certain texts in this book present Solomon as its author (9:7, 8, 12). The Jerusalem Bible states that this is a “literary device,” because Wisdom cites passages of Scripture written centuries after Solomon died. Also in Wisdom are advanced the erroneous doctrines of the immortality of the soul (2:23; 3:2, 4) as well as the preexistence of human souls, 8:19, 20 and 9:15. Wisdom of Solomon (11:17) states that G-d “created the world out of formless matter.” Tobit and Judith contain many historical, chronological, and geographical errors.
Perhaps the most valuable of the Old Testament Apocrypha are I and II Maccabees. These two books arebasically historical accounts of the Jewish struggle for independence during the second century B.C.E. They concern the exploits of a priest named Mattathias and his five sons who revolted against Antiochus Epiphanes in his attempt to destroy the Jews and their religion. The works are characteristically written from the human standpoint and did not form part of the inspired Canon.
New Forgeries Flourish
With the advent of the New Testament, new apocryphal works popped up like blossoms in April. There are about 50 spurious “gospels” besides many apocryphal Acts and Epistles. Written mostly beginning in the second century, these works imitated the Evangels, Acts, Letters of Paul and Revelation.
They were partly an attempt to fill in the gaps purposely left open by the inspired New Testament writers. For example, two books purport to detail the events of Yahshua’s youth, information the Bible is purposely silent on. They picture Him as a capricious child performing miracles at whim with supernatural powers.
Of the later apocryphal works, The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible says, “Many of them are trivial, some are highly theatrical, some are disgusting, even loathsome.” These imitation works were excluded from the New Testament writings in the same way the Hebrew Canon was kept pure of the older Apocrypha.
The Apocrypha are the source of some of the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. Here is a glimpse of some of the spurious works appearing after the New Testament’s advent:
• Gospel of Nicodemus. A purely imaginary report on the trial of Yahshua to the emperor Tiberius (2nd or 5th century).
• Passing of Mary. Silly miracles, ending with the removal of her “spotless and precious body” to Paradise. Written in the 4th century with the rise of virgin worship.
• Nativity of Mary. Deliberate forgery of the 6th century to further worship of the Virgin Mary. Stories about daily visits of angels to Mary. Immensely popular as papacy grew.
• The Gospel of the Egyptians. Imaginary conversations between Yahshua and Salome (130-150)
• Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. (note the name!) A 5th century forged translation of Matthew, abounding with the supposed childhood miracles of Yahshua.
• Gospel of Thomas. A 2nd century work on Yahshua’s life from the 5th to the 12th year. Makes him a miracle worker to satisfy his boyish whims.
• Apocalypse of Peter. Purported visions of heaven and hell granted to Peter. Called spurious by Eusebius.
Bible’s Truth Preserved
With all the attempts to imitate the Bible, the holy inspiration of Scripture is borne out time after time. With each archaeological discovery, the Bible and its authenticity stand durable. The Psalmist wrote, “The statutes of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether,” Psalm 19:8 and 9.
Henry Halley, in his Bible Handbook, sums up the Bible’s veracity beautifully: “If you assume that the Bible is just what it appears to be, accept the books as we have them in the Bible as units, study them to know their contents, you will find there a unity of thought indicating that one mind inspired the writing and compilation of the whole series of books. That it bears on its face the stamp of its author. [Yahweh] Himself superintended and directed and dictated the writing of the Bible books, with the human authors so completely under His control that the writing was [Yahweh’s] writing. The Bible is [Yahweh’s] Word, in a sense that no other book in the world is [Yahweh’s] Word.”
Eight Reasons Why the Apocrypha Are Not Inspired Scripture
- Unlike other Scriptures, none of the apocryphal writers claims to be inspired.
- Unlike the Old Testament, the Apocrypha are nowhere quoted in the New.
- The Apocrypha are tainted with errors in fact and time, exposing non-inspiration.
- The Apocrypha contain fabulous statements which not only contradict the “canonical” scriptures but also themselves. For example, in the two Books of Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in three different places.
- The Apocrypha include doctrines in variance with the Bible, such as prayers for the dead, sinless perfection, and immortality of the soul.
- The apocryphal books were never acknowledged as sacred scriptures by the Jews, custodians of the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, the Jewish people rejected and destroyed the Apocrypha after the overthrow of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
- Not one of the apocryphal books is written in the Hebrew language, which was used by all the inspired writers of the Old Testament. All apocryphal books are in Greek, except one which exists only in Latin.
- The apocryphal books were not permitted among the sacred books during the first four centuries of the common era.
A proper and accurate understanding of the Bible is so important that our very salvation hinges on it. Whether we walk in Truth will hinge on our grasp of the Truth. Paul told Timothy: “Take heed unto yourself, and unto the doctrine [proper teachings]; continue in them: for in doing this you shall save both yourself, and them that hear you,” 1Timothy 4:16.
For a variety of reasons some passages create difficulty. Doctrinal problems result if care isn’t taken to rightly divide the Word.
Some Bible students approach the Word in a piecemeal way, yanking verses or parts of verses out of context with damaging and even dangerous results. The story is told of a man who did this very thing while looking for an answer to a dilemma in his life.
Not knowing where or even how to look, he closed his eyes, flipped through his Bible’s pages, and happened to drop his finger down on Matthew 27:5: “Judas went and hanged himself.”
That wasn’t much help so he tried again, this time stopping on Luke 10:37, where Yahshua said, “Go and do likewise.”
He’d try one more time, his finger landing on John 13:27, “That thou doest, do quickly.”
Poor Study Methods Yield Error
One cannot afford to be careless with the Scriptures. The Word is given for proper doctrine, correction, and instruction in righteous living, 2Timothy 3:16. Paul also told Timothy, “Study to show yourself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth,” 2Timothy 2:15.
So how can we study Yahweh’s Word and know that we are properly understanding it? Five principles of Bible study will help guide us in getting the truth from each verse, while solving most problems presented by the more difficult passages.
Principle One: Take it at Face Value
The first principle of proper Bible understanding is to take the passage just as it reads. Look first for the literal meaning. A symbolic or deeper sense of the passage will often be evident, especially in combination with other related verses.
When Yahweh commands, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” Exodus 20:8, and then explains that we are to work six days and rest the seventh, He means to keep the Sabbath literally by resting from work. He does not mean to remember it by just thinking about the Sabbath or its significance while continuing to labor on the seventh day. The passage would be better rendered, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” which is how a few versions render it. This shows that the command is not intended for just a spiritual application, as some teach, but for literal ceasing from labor, a fact made obvious by consulting other translations.
Principle Two: Read the Passage in Context
When faced with a difficult verse, read all the verses surrounding it. Read what comes immediately before and after the passage. Read the entire chapter, if necessary. Often this will reveal the true meaning.
As obvious as this principle is, even many “experts” fail to apply it and end up twisting a passage or missing its meaning entirely. An example of this is Romans 14:5, which has been used to support Sunday worship. “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”
By reading the entire chapter we can plainly see that Paul is addressing the practices of fasting and vegetarianism, and is not discussing the day of rest.
Principle three: Let Scripture Explain Itself
The biggest mistake of popular worship is a failure to harmonize the Scriptures, a violation that has led to a myriad of contradictory teachings. A verse will never disagree with any other passage in the Word.
In John 10:35 Yahshua said the Scriptures cannot be broken (“broken” is the Greek luo, meaning to loosen or dissolve). Paul in 2Timothy 3:16 tells us that ALL Scripture is inspired, meaning it is “Yahweh breathed.” And Yahweh never contradicts Himself, Hebrews 6:18.
In the same way we cannot read of the Savior’s plain instruction to the young man, “If you will enter into life, keep the Commandments,” Matthew 19:17, and then turn right around and say he abolished the law at His death, rendering His directive to the young man useless and pointless.
When a particular view of a passage does not seem to hold up in light of other Scriptures that say the opposite, then something is wrong with our understanding of the passage.
Principle Four: Know the Context
You often need to know the reason a passage was written in order to understand it properly; it may also be very helpful to know to whom the passage was written and why.
For example, 1Corinthians 16:2 has been grossly misinterpreted to support worship on the first day of the week. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as Yahweh has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” “Lay by him in store” does not refer to passing an offering plate at a church service on Sunday morning. Rather, Paul is seeking help for a drought-induced famine situation in Jerusalem. He asks that the brethren in Corinth have their aid ready to give to the Jerusalem brethren on the first day of the week so that he can pick it up when he comes by. “Day” is not in the Greek but is an added word by translators.
No reference to a Sunday worship service is intended or implied. A careful reading of the first 4 verses reveals the truth of the circumstance and will dispel any erroneous conclusions drawn from this passage.
Some believe that Paul taught against observing Sabbaths and Feasts in Galatians 4:8-11: “Howbeit then, when you knew not Elohim, you did service unto them which by nature are no g-ds. But now, after that you have known Elohim, or rather are known of Elohim, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.”
If we understand that the Galatians were converts from a pagan place called Gaul (an area of old France from which they derived their name), then it is clear that he is telling them to stop going back to their old heathen ways. The “days, and months, and times, and years” he is speaking about is not the Sabbath and Feasts commanded at Sinai, but their old false worship, which is defined as “weak and beggarly,” being without substance and truth. Yahweh’s days are never referred to as weak and beggarly,
but part of His laws that are defined as “holy…and just, and good,” Romans 7:12.
Principle Five: Language and Grammar
Anyone who has studied a foreign language knows that nuances of meaning are often lost in the translation. By returning to the original languages as much as possible, one can come much closer to understanding the passage.
The common interpretation of Romans 10:4 is that Yahshua did away with the law. “For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.” The Greek word “end” is telos and means “goal.” Far from being the termination of the law, Yahshua is the very purpose for the law! The law aims at Him. The law transforms us to be like Yahshua when we adhere to it. He said in Matthew 12:50, “For whosoever shall do the will of my father Which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.”
Now we can employ principles three and five together. The same word telos is found in James 5:11, “…you have heard the patience of Job, and have seen the end [telos] of Yahweh, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.”
The same word telos is used in both passages. If telos means “end,” as in end of the law, then Yahweh has come to an end, too. In truth, telos means “goal” in both verses.
Another example of the importance of knowing the original meaning of words is in Matthew 25:46, which has been popularly interpreted to say that the wicked go to an ever-burning hell fire to roast in agony for eternity. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
The word “punishment” is from the Greek kolasis, and signifies a “lopping off.” It derives from No. 2849 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Greek dictionary and means to curtail. Properly interpreted, the verse tells us that the wicked will forever be “cut off,” their lives “curtailed.”
This agrees with 2Thessalonians 1:9, which reads that the wicked “shall be punished with an everlasting destruction from the presence of Yahweh and from the glory of his power.” Destruction” in this verse is the Greek olethros and means to destroy, not live forever sizzling in sulfurous flames for an eternity in a world of fiery brimstone.
To understand why so many versions exist you must realize the difficulties in translating from Hebrew and Greek texts into English. A goal of any good Bible should be to have an accurate translation while at the same time using a style that sounds natural to an English-speaking person. To be accurate, however, the text also must express the same meaning that was intended when it was originally written or spoken. And to sound natural the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek needs to be translated into the right words and expressions.
Difficulties in Translation
To accomplish this goal most Bibles are completed by a committee of scholars who ultimately need to overcome the following difficulties:
- Many Hebrew and Greek words have no direct equivalent in English. Some words have multiple meanings in English and some have no English equivalent. For example, the Greek has many words for “love” (eros, phileo, agape, storgay). The translator must determine the original meaning of the word and then accurately translate the word into English.
- Thousands of years separate us from Biblical times. For translators to understand the text they need to understand the setting and culture in which it was written.
- There are figures of speech in the Hebrew and Greek that do not make sense in English. Part of understanding the language of Biblical times is understanding the idioms and euphemisms commonly used then, and then finding an accurate English interpretation.
Even after translators overcome these difficulties there are still meanings lost in the translation, like Hebrew wordplays and acrostics, both of which are unique to the language they were written in. Often, the translators will just add a footnote to point these out.
Methods of Translation
Translators use many methods to create new Bible versions, and each version can be put into a category. These categories are good for comparing Bible translations because they are a good indicator of the purpose of the version, and summarize which method the translators used. Following are the major methods of translating:
Formal Equivalent (word-for-word)In this version translators try to reproduce the Hebrew or Greek language word-for-word, sometimes at the expense of expressing a passage in a way that sounds natural in English. Because this type is as close as possible to the original text, it is good for Bible studies but may require advanced knowledge of the language and historic setting to fully understand.
Dynamic Equivalent (thought-for-thought)In the dynamic equivalent the Hebrew or Greek has been more loosely translated to make understanding easier. Instead of word-for-word meaning, the translators will take phrases or thoughts and translate them into a modern equivalent that the average person would understand. While these versions are easier to read than their Formal Equivalent counterparts, some scriptures are more interpretations than translations.
Free Translation (Paraphrase)Some Bible versions are complete paraphrases of the original text, or even of other versions. Translators will re-word whole passages, focusing on readability instead of staying true to the original. Some versions paraphrase to the extent that many details are lost. For that reason these may be suitable for personal devotions or youth Bibles but not so suitable for Bible studies as are other versions.
With these categories in mind, presented below are reviews of several of the most widely available Bible versions. Most Bibles have this type of information in the preface or it can be found on the publisher’s website.
King James Version (KJV)
The King James Version is the most circulated and well-known version of the Bible. Originally printed in 1611, this version was authorized by King James I of England in an attempt to unify the kingdom by providing a single version to replace the various English translations that existed at the time.
The translators of the KJV relied heavily on the work of William Tyndale, whose translations had been used in the first English versions printed in the prior century. The King James Version is not without error, and does not always match more recent versions, which have been updated with manuscripts not yet discovered in 1611.
The KJV is a word-for-word (Formal Equivalent) translation, and although some scriptures contain antiquated language (the English language has evolved a lot in 400 years), the KJV contains the flowery Shakespearean language that many have come to love. Take for example Psalm 23:2-3: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an update to the KJV was sponsored by Thomas Nelson Publishers. This New King James Version was completed in 1982 and sought to address the archaic language in the KJV (e.g., thee, thou, ye, -est, -eth) while keeping the stylistic beauty of the KJV. This update is still a word-for-word translation and, therefore, an acceptable version for Bible studies.
When translating Yahweh’s Name, the translators of the KJV substituted “lord” in small capital letters. “Yahshua” was substituted with “Jesus.” In fact, one of the mistakes of the translators was to make this substitution for the name of Old Testament general “Joshua” in Hebrews 4:78 and Acts 7:45, which renders the passages meaningless.
The Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The King James Version spawned several revisions in an attempt to correct some of the translation issues and update the language. One of these revisions is the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV), which was the basis for the Revised Standard Version. Like the KJV and the ASV, the RSV is a word-for-word translation. The RSV is easier to read and some believe this version accomplished the goal of readability while staying true to the original text. When it was originally published in 1952 it replaced the KJV in many churches as their Bible of choice. Like the KJV, the name Yahweh was rendered in this translation in small capitals as LORD.
The Amplified Bible
This version was created to give more depth to key words and phrases translated from the original languages by “amplifying” them with synonyms and definitions placed right in the text inside parenthesis and brackets. This version also includes cross-references and commentary in the footnotes.
Psalm 23:2-3 in the Amplified Bible reads, “He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.”
The Amplified Bible is based on the 1901 American Standard Version, but according to the publisher’s website, it “attempts to go beyond the ‘word-for-word’ translation to bring out the richness of the Hebrew and Greek languages.” The Amplified Bible was printed in stages over a period of about 10 years until the complete version was published in 1964 by the Lockman Foundation.
This version was not meant to be a stand-alone version, but rather to complement other Bibles. “Yahweh” is rendered in this translation in title case as Lord.
New American Standard (NASB)
This version is also a revision of the 1901 American Standard Version printed by the Lockman Foundation. The project started in 1959 and was a collaboration of conservative scholars from various religious backgrounds. The goal was to create a version that is grammatically correct and easy to understand, while being true to the original languages (a literal word-for-word translation) incorporating texts that had been newly discovered. The complete Bible was printed in 1971 and became the best-selling Bible until the New International Version was published later in the decade.
To enhance readability each verse starts on a new line, and paragraphs are marked by boldface verse numbers. Any quotations from the Old Testament that appear in the New Testament are printed in small capital letters. The NASB also has an extensive cross-referencing system, and occasionally includes alternate translations in the margins. These qualities make it a good study Bible.
Yahweh was rendered in this translation in small capitals as LORD.
New International Version (NIV)
The project for the NIV started in 1965 after a meeting between the Christian Reformed Church, the National Association of Evangelicals, and other Bible scholars. Their desire was for a version that used contemporary English, one that was accurate and readable, and that fell somewhere between formal and dynamic equivalence. The NIV is not as literal as the versions that preceded it like the NASB or RSV, but is arguably easier to read. There is some debate over whether the NIV is suitable for Bible study because of the emphasis put on being a thought-for-thought translation.
With the support of the New York Bible Society (now the International Bible Society) and Zondervan Bible Publishers, the work began in the late 1960s and involved over 100 scholars from different religious backgrounds (some in different countries). One of the most costly translation projects, the NIV quickly became the fastest selling Bible and remains one of the most popular Bibles. The NIV is available in many forms, like the NIV Study Bible and the Life Application Study Bible.
Another revision to the NIV has just been completed, and printing of the new NIV is scheduled for later this year.
In 1996, Zondervan also published The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV), which is a revision of the NIV intended for youth or anyone to whom English is a second language. The sentences were shortened, and an easier vocabulary was used, and this version is more of a dynamic equivalence translation and not especially suitable for Bible study.
In 2005 Zondervan published Today’s New International Reader’s Version (TNIV), yet another spinoff of the NIV, with updated English intended to engage young adults. Some of the updates were made to remove gender references. For example, Genesis 1:27 reads “…human beings in his own image,” instead of “…man in his own image.” The main purpose of this version was to make the English more clear to modern readers.
In the NIV Yahweh is rendered LORD in small capital letters. Adonai is rendered Lord with small letters. When the two are found together in the Old Testament in reference to Yahweh, they are rendered “Sovereign LORD.”
New Living Translation (NLT)
This version was created to be easily accessible to those who are accustomed to reading in modern English. Published in 1996 by Tyndale Publishers, this started as a major revision of The Living Bible (which was a paraphrase of the 1901 American Standard Version), but as the translators referenced more recent manuscripts, the NLT because a much more accurate translation than The Living Bible. Still, as a dynamic equivalence translation, there are better versions for Bible study than the NLT.
This version is a paraphrase that uses a lot of English figures-of-speech. The version was created in about 10 years by pastor Eugene H. Peterson, and published in its complete form in 2002. About this version, Peterson said, “This paraphrase is not meant to replace one’s current Bible. Rather it was designed as a reading Bible that can provide a fresh perspective.”
Psalm 23:2-3 in this version reads, “You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”
As with any paraphrase, a true worshiper should be cautious with paraphrased Bibles because they can reflect the opinions and religious views of the person(s) doing the paraphrasing, whether they are aligned with Yahweh’s word or not.
Sacred Name Versions
Most mainstream versions of the Bible have taken out the sacred Names of Yahweh and Yahshua, and in their place put pagan terms or erroneous transliterations. There are now a handful of Bible translations that have restored the sacred names. Most of them are based on translations discussed earlier, like the King James Version or the 1901 American Standard Version. Because these versions are literal translations they make good Bibles for studying. The obvious benefit of having a sacred Name Bible is that you do not have to mentally restore the sacred names as you are reading the text.
Pictured is the Word of Yahweh Bible from Eaton Rapids, Michigan Request it here >>
Restoration Study Bible
At the time of this writing, Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry was in the final stages of producing The Restoration Study Bible (RSB) and raising funds for an initial printing. An online version is now available at www.restorationstudybible.org There you can view the text with and without Strong’s numbering along with Strong’s definitions. We plan to add study notes in the near future.
The RSB project started two years ago and is being completed by a group of volunteers from Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry. The goal of this version is to provide a sound study Bible with the sacred Names restored. No such Bible has ever been done. The version is based on the original King James Version, a word-for-word translation, in order to remain close to the original text. The KJV was also chosen as the basis because it is easy to cross-reference in Hebrew/Greek dictionaries and lexicons for deeper study into the Word.
Every significant word in the RSB includes a Strong’s reference number corresponding to a definition in Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries. This version also includes character profiles in the footnotes as well as commentary and word definitions. The commentary explains popular error and some of the translation issues in the KJV that have led to error. To enhance readability each verse begins on a new line, and paragraphs are marked with a paragraph symbol. Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament are printed in small capital letters, and each quotation includes a cross-reference in the footnotes.
As True Worshipers, we should be looking to the Bible as the Word given to us by Yahweh to guide our lives. Deciding which version to use for our devotions and Bible studies should not be taken lightly because there are so many translations to choose from and some are much better than others.
You could say there is no perfect English translation. Several translations have been created in an attempt to improve upon the ones before, and new translations and revisions will continue to be produced. A good rule of thumb is to get a good formal equivalence translation for Bible studies. You could also benefit by having more than one version so you can compare how different translators render passages into English. Additionally, a good Hebrew/Greek lexicon is very helpful in finding the possible English meaning and renderings of the original words.
We are anticipating that the RSB currently being produced by Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry will be very useful in Bible studies, and we are confident it would make a great addition to your collection of Bible translations.