I’ve heard your Ministry state that the Messiah should not be worshiped like the Father. There are several examples in the New Testament where the Messiah was worshiped, e.g. Matthew 2:11; 8:2; 9:19; 14:33. Doesn’t this show that He was worshiped as the Father and that He and the Father share an equality? After all, the Bible confirms that the Father and Son are “one” and that the Messiah sits on the Father’s right hand.
We at YRM make a distinction between the Father and Son. While we recognize that Yahshua was “worshipped” in the New Testament, we do not believe these examples confirm that the Son was worshiped in the same manner as the Father is worshiped.
The word “worshipped” in the New Testament comes from the Greek proskuneo. Strong’s defines this word as, “…meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore).” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states, “…in the New Testament by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication; used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank.” This word refers to prostration, as we most often show to Yahweh, and also to reverence or respect, as we would show to those of superior rank, including to Yahshua the Messiah. The first definition applies to Yahweh and the second to Yahshua. Formal worship was always directed to the Father. Even Yahshua directed honor first to the Father. He went so far as to say that no man was good, but only the Father, Luke 18:19. For example, in Matthew 2:2 the wise men were not there to worship a ‘deity,’ but the King of the Jews. Regarding the wise men bowing down before Yahshua in Matthew 2:11, this was a common practice for earthly kings and other positions of authority.
In reference to your statement about the Father and Son being “one,” this simply implies that they share the same core values, attributes, and characteristics. However, this does not make them one or equal in authority. As Paul confirms in 1Corinthians 11:3, even after Yahshua’s resurrection and ascension, the Father was still greater than the Son: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Messiah; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Messiah is Yahweh.”
In summary, while Yahshua was worshiped, i.e., reverenced, in the New Testament, it would be improper to state that He was worshiped on the same level or in the same manner as the Father.
What about the 613 Laws?
Many embrace Jewish traditions more than Scripture. They observe purely Jewish holidays like Hanukkah and Purim and neglect the commanded seven annual Holy Days of Leviticus 23. Incidentally, the word Purim is Persian and means “lots,” as in casting lots. The ancient practice worked like a horoscope, where the heathen cast lots to divine the future each day.
Following Jewish practices often leads to renouncing the New Testament and along with it, Yahshua the Messiah.
At the other end of the spectrum are critics of obedience as practiced in the New Testament. “So do you keep all 613 laws?” they typically ask in a “gotcha” attempt intended to entrap. Let’s take an overview of what the Jews contend are the 613 laws of the Old Testament.
Granted, we observe the vast majority of Yahweh’s commands in the way He intended. But there are some commands that clearly could only apply to the time of ancient Israel.
For instance, a statute in Deuteronomy 22:8 says to make a low wall about 3 feet tall around your roof. That law makes sense for safety on flat roofs in Israel because families used their roofs as living spaces. But it makes no practical sense for most homes today in America.
Following are more of the 613 laws we today cannot comply with because of their nature: Leviticus 25:34 says Levites are to redeem their homes in their Levitical towns; their houses are redeemable but the land surrounding them is not. To keep this law we need first to find out where any remaining Levites are today, where their fields are and where their cities are. If we can’t determine that then we fail in this law.
Deuteronomy 12:2-3 directs Israel to destroy their idolatry and its appurtenances. Anyone care to go through retail stores in December and take a hammer to all the Santa figures and cut down all the Xmas trees?
Exodus 22:18 targets witchcraft with a mandate not to allow a witch to live. What would happen if we took this law into our own hands vigilante style?
Then there are all the laws pertaining to the high priest and the conducting of temple worship. Being we are not under the Levitical priesthood, these laws are unobservable today. Hebrews 5:6 tells us, “As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Anyone with a physical defect shall not serve in the sanctuary, Leviticus 21:17. There is no sanctuary or priesthood even existing now.
We get ourselves into a real predicament if we attempt to keep the sacrificial laws today because sacrifices are owned by Yahshua’s power as our High Priest in the Melchisedec order. His sacrifice covered all sacrifices for sin. We best not offer animal sacrifices if we value our salvation as there is no complete removal of sin under the old system of animal sacrifices.
Those 613 laws (a number not found in Scripture but only in Talmudic tradition) were also the constitution of Israel. Those statutes were necessary for running a righteous, theocratic government under Yahweh. They include laws on how a ruler should conduct himself as well as statutes governing political interactions with other nations. They regulated court proceedings and judgments, punishing of criminals, citizen behavior, social interactions, and worship.
Many of these statutes are not in our power to comply with because we live under a Roman system, a government of man, which has assumed some of Yahweh’s prerogatives. The Bible was Israel’s constitution and it will be again in the millennial Kingdom.
Now, biblical laws dealing with Yahweh’s worship, social relations, and morality are for everyone. Many crossover categories. The following is a quick breakdown of major divisions of biblical law and some examples of each.
The king must not have too many wives and horses, Deut. 17:16,17
The king must not have too much silver and gold, Deut. 17:17
Regulations of houses in walled cities, Lev. 25:29
How can such statutes apply to us?
Appoint impartial judges, Deut. 1:17 and16:18
A judicial court must not execute anyone on the testimony of a single witness, Deut.17:6; Num. 35:30
Anyone who knows the evidence must testify in a court case, Lev. 5:1
Punish the false witness exactly as he sought to punish the accused, Deut. 19:19
How can these laws apply to us in a court system that’s not ours?
Moral Law (regulates relationships with fellow man, Ex. 20:12-17; Matt. 22:37-39)
Don’t bear a grudge, Lev. 19:18
Don’t wrong any one in speech, Lev. 25:17
Don’t curse father or mother. Ex. 21:17
Keep your word and your promises, Deut. 23:23
Don’t take revenge, Lev. 19:18
Don’t be superstitious, Lev. 19:26
Keep the Ten Commandments, Ex. 20
These laws are for everyone in any age.
Observe the Ten Commandments, Ex. 20; Deut. 5
Keep the Feasts and Sabbath, Lev. 23
Eat only clean foods, Lev. 11
Observe the sabbaticals and jubilees, Lev. 25
Yahweh no longer wants animal sacrifices (Hebrews 10:5)
Animal sacrifices did not remove sin. (Hebrews 10:11). They simply pointed to the Messiah who was to die as the Lamb of Elohim who would take away the sin of the world.
Crossover laws: Don’t allow anyone practicing witchcraft to live (Ex. 22:17)
Slay the inhabitants of a city that has become idolatrous and burn that city (Deut. 13:16-17)
Man’s statutes do not change perpetual spiritual laws such as sodomite marriages.
Order of inheritance, Num. 27:8
Help a brother with his fallen beast of burden, Deut. 22:4
Don’t overcharge or underpay for an item, Lev. 25:14
Don’t charge a believer interest, Deut. 23:19-20
Houses sold within a walled city may be redeemed within a year, Lev. 25:29
Yahshua Our Standard
Yahshua is our guide when it comes to obedience, as He provided the proper example of how to live the precepts of His Father Yahweh. Being sinless, Yahshua was faithful to the Old Testament commandments, including the weekly Sabbath and Feasts, Hebrews 4:15, 1Peter 2:22.
The Saints at the end of the Bible are defined as those who “keep the commandments of Yahweh, and the faith of Yahshua,” Revelation 14:12. They have both Yahshua and the law. Obedience to the commandments as well as fidelity to the same standard of living shown by Yahshua come as a unit. Those who do Yahweh’s commandments are called blessed, and they will have right to Yahshua’s coming Kingdom, Revelation 22:14
We pray that this Article on the 613 laws was a blessing to you, we encourage you to check out some of our other articles and visit our Youtube channel!
I am a Police Officer and I’m required to work Friday and Saturdays. I try to spend my downtime reading scripture and being mindful of Yahweh. But I understand it’s not exactly the way we are supposed to honor the Sabbath. What does one do in a situation like this where I don’t have the option of being off on the Sabbath?
While we certainly respect our law enforcement, believers should not be working on the Sabbath. The same would also apply to those in the medical field. The only option is to receive a waiver or look for a position that would allow you to correctly observe the Sabbath.
It’s important to realize that the Sabbath is a sign between us and our Heavenly Father. In two places we find this confirmed:
“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Yahweh that doth sanctify you” (Exodus 31:13).
“I am Yahweh your Elohim; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am Yahweh your Elohim” (Ezekiel 20:19-20).
The Sabbath is not only a sign solidifying our relationship with Yahweh, but it’s the only sign of this kind. In other words, no other command is called a “sign.” This honor is given only to the Sabbath. Therefore, when we work on the Sabbath we are not only breaking an important commandment but diminishing the relationship between us and Yahweh.
When it comes to work on the Sabbath, Yahweh is incredibly strict. Below are two examples:
“And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And Yahweh said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as Yahweh commanded Moses” (Numbers 15:32-36)
“Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And Yahweh said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that Yahweh hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day” (Exodus 16:26-29).
In the above examples, Israel was punished for the breaking of the Sabbath. In the example of the man picking up sticks, based on the Hebrew, it’s possible the word “sticks” refers to lumber and referred to construction work. Regardless, both accounts show the seriousness of breaking the Sabbath.
It should also be remembered that the Sabbath is a day of rest, worship, and convocation (coming together), Exodus 20:8-11 and Leviticus 23:3. It’s also a day that we’re not to spend focused on our hobbies or pleasures outside of the Word. Isaiah 58:13 reads, “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and Yahweh’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words.”
Some might question Yahshua the Messiah’s actions in the New Testament. The fact that He healed and said that it was okay to do good on the Sabbath, does this give those in critical, life-saving positions, the grace to break the Sabbath. While Yahshua certainly showed that it was permissible to do good on the Sabbath, these actions were not part of His employment and were done only when absolutely required. As believers, we should not be purposely pushing our “ox in a ditch.”
Even though law enforcement and medical staff serve important functions in society, this does not give believers a free pass to ignore the Sabbath, especially when there are many non-believers willing and able to do the work. This latter point is critically important to remember. The bottom line, Yahweh established the Sabbath in the beginning (Genesis 2:3) and it serves as a sign between Him and us.
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Having read your article (Trinity of Trouble) Posted on May 5, 2017 by YRM I should like to ask you whether you believe Jesus is God or created Son of God. In John 1.1, if you master the Greek Biblical language, there is no doubt that Jesus is God. It is not by coincidence that the New Testament was written in Greek because it’s so specific that it leaves no doubt about the correct meaning. If you believe that Jesus is God them my question is, are there (extra-large size gods) and (small-size gods) or one in union, Trinity. Only idolatrous gods are created like the 12 Gods of Olympus. I would really like to have your opinion on this as (Trinity of Trouble) doesn’t say much.
We believe that Yahshua the Messiah was the firstborn of creation and that only the Father Yahweh has immortality (i.e., existed from the beginning), see 1Timothy 6:16. Clear evidence for this can be found in Colossians 1:15. Paul states there, “Who is the image of the invisible El, the firstborn of every creature.” Paul here is referring to the Messiah and confirms that He was the “firstborn of every creature.” The word “firstborn” comes from Greek prototokos. According to Strong’s, prototokos literally means, “first-born.” The Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states, “…of Christ, the first born of all creation.” The word “creature” comes from the Greek ktisis and refers to “original formation,” Strong’s. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states, “…creation, that is, a thing created; used of individual things, beings, a creature, a creation.” Based on the Greek, Colossians 1:15 is literally stating that Messiah was the firstborn of creation. This obviously implies that He had a beginning and confirms that He and the Father are separate beings, especially since only the Father has immortality.
Another passage is Revelation 3:14, “…These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of El.” Yahshua speaking here to John confirms that He was the beginning of Yahweh’s creation. The word “beginning” comes from the Greek arche and means, “…a commencement, or (concretely) chief (in various applications of order, time, place, or rank),” Strong’s. While it may be possible to define ache as referring to rank, based on the context, it’s more likely a reference to a commencement in time. This is nearly how all Greek translators have understood this passage.
We also find evidence for Yahshua’s creation in Proverbs 8:22. It states, “Yahweh possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.” Many scholars believe that this passage is referring to the Messiah, as we do. If so, we see here that Yahweh “possessed” Yahshua in the beginning. This word comes from the Hebrew qanah, a primitive root. Strong’s defines this word as, “…to erect, i.e. create; by extension, to procure, especially by purchase (causatively, sell); by implication to own.” Notice that the primary meaning implies creation. This corroborates Colossians 1:15 and Revelation 3:14.
There are several issues believing that the Father and Son are the same being. For one, how do we explain the many passages showing the Son praying to or calling out to the Father? Was He speaking to Himself? Below are a few examples:
Matt 11:25: At that time Yahshua answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Sovereign of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Matt 26:42: He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Luke 23:34: Then said Yahshua, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Another issue is the Bible confirms that the Father is greater than the Son. If you have two beings, one greater and one lesser, how can they be the same? Consider the following:
John 10:29: My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
John 14:29: Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
1Cor. 11:3: But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Messiah; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Messiah is Yahweh.
In addition, according to Acts 2:24, the Father resurrected the Son. If the Father and Son are one being, how did He resurrect Himself, assuming we believe that he literally died for our sins? Also, how is it possible that Father being immortal could die?
I know many explain this by stating that the Messiah was “God” manifested in the flesh and the Father was “God” manifested in the spirit. There is nothing in Scripture that confirms such a notion. This is the same human reasoning that led to the Trinity. When it comes to the relationship of the Father and Son, the Bible is clear: only the Father has immortality, the Father is greater than the Son, the Son was created, and the Father and Son are two separate beings.
Please help, I can now see clearly that we are to keep the 7th day Sabbath, blessed and set apart by Yahweh at creation and throughout scripture. The calendar was numbered. There is no way to confuse which day it is, Saturday. My husband relented and finally contacted a Rabbi in Louisville, KY. The Rabbi told him that according to Romans 14:5, we can now choose any day. However, Romans 14:5 is about food and fasting. Merging Jewish culture and traditions with gentiles. I cannot find anywhere in scripture that changes Yahweh’s command. Please help. I so appreciate any help or advice you can offer. Thank you and blessings to you.
You are right, the Sabbath has never changed and should be observed from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Galatians 14:5 is not speaking about the Sabbath but to days of fasting, which were not obligatory, but done on a voluntary basis. This is why Paul says it doesn’t matter which day we choose. Fasting is a personal choice and is not limited to any specific day. However, this is not true for the Sabbath. Yahweh hallowed the seventh day and scripturally this has never changed. Yahshua the Messiah and the apostles observed the Sabbath in the New Testament (e.g. Mark 2:23; Acts 15:21; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4) and everyone will observe it in the Millennial Kingdom, Isaiah 66:23. Sunday is not biblical but was adopted by the Roman church. For additional information, please see the below booklets:
Does the keeping of the Feasts bring us back to legalism when we have been saved only by grace and mercy through our Savior Jesus Christ? Doesn’t this divide us from Jesus’ provision to save us?
The Bible speaks about justification and sanctification. Justification refers to the remission of sins through the atonement of our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah. This is not something we earn or are given based on obedience or good works but is a free gift from our Father Yahweh (Romans 3:20-28; 4:2; 5:9; 6:23; 1Corinthians 6:11; Colossians 2:16). However, once we are justified from our sins, the Bible speaks about living a sanctified life (Acts 26:18; 1Corinthians 1:2; 6:9-11; 1Thessalonians 4:3-7; Hebrews 10:26-31). We do this by obeying Him and living a life of righteousness.
It’s also important to realize that sin is the breaking of the commandments. 1John 3:4 states, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Few would argue that sin doesn’t exist or as believers we should continue to sin, even after coming to grace. Knowing that sin is defined as “transgression of the law” and as believers, we should be avoiding sin, this leads to only one conclusion, we should be obeying the commandments. Also, Jude warns against turning Yahweh’s grace into a license to sin. He states, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, unrighteous men, turning the grace of our Elohim into lasciviousness [i.e., sin], and denying the only Sovereign Yahweh, and our Master Yahshua Messiah,” verse 4.
In summary, we do not obey to earn justification or redemption from our sins, but once we are justified we are then to live a life of sanctification or holiness by obeying our Father’s commandments. Therefore, obeying our Creator is not legalism, but showing our love and worthiness, 1John 5:3 and Revelation 20:12.
Here are a few additional passages confirming that we are to obey after coming to the knowledge of the truth:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:17.
“Do we then make void the law through faith? Elohim forbid: yea, we establish the law,” Romans 3:31.
“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?…. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Elohim forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good,” Romans 7:1, 7-12.
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Yahweh, and have the testimony of Yahshua Messiah,” Revelation 12:17.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Yahweh, and the faith of Yahshua,” Revelation 14:12.
Take note from Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 that a saint or believer is defined by those who obey the commandments and believe in Yahshua the Messiah.
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie,” Revelation 22:14-15.
When did Judaism begin? When was it established? I have a theory. I would like to get your take on it.
We can define Judaism’s starting point at four different times throughout history. One, Judaism can be used interchangeably with the faith given to Abraham, even though we know that Abraham was Hebrew and not Jewish and that Judah constituted only one of the 12 tribes. Two, you can define Judaism beginning with the division between Israel and Judah during the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. Three, you can also define Judaism beginning during and after the Babylonian exile. This was the beginning of Talmudic Judaism. Four, the final form of Judaism can be defined as beginning with Yahshua and the apostles. Paul in Romans 2:25-29 defined the uncircumcision (non-Jews/Israelites) who obey the commandments as inward Jews. I pray that this helps.
What role did Esther play in Scripture? I’m asking because I was surprised that you say that women cannot hold any public office within the assembly. I thought Esther was a prophet and even asked for permission to approach the king. I also thought women were allowed to teach other women and still share the good news of Yahshua to others and especially to other women.
We are not saying that ladies have no role or value within the assembly. In many cases, women served as support roles, Luke 8:1-3, Acts 16:13-15; 18:24-26, Romans 16:1-6. They are also instructed to teach their children and other ladies, Titus 2:3-5. When we say that they have no official role we are referring to ministers and those ordained to the work (priests, elders, deacons, etc.). There are no examples of ladies being ordained to the ministry or being placed in public teaching roles in either the Old or New testaments.
Regarding Esther, she was not a prophetess, but a queen. While she saved her people through her bravery, she never taught the people. This job was given to Ezra and the priests.
It’s never our intention to degrade the value of women. We believe that women provide many blessings to the home and to the assembly. None greater than being a mother and mentor to other ladies.
With an assault on the Old Testament and its central teaching of obedience, Churchianity early on fabricated a clash of doctrines over the centuries in what should have been a seamless succession of teachings brought over from the New Testament. Beyond that, what was taught in the New Testament should reflect what is taught today.
A number of prophecies tell us that before Yahshua returns there will be another return – a movement of returning to teaching true biblical principles founded on obeying Yahweh’s statutes and laws.
This prophetic key has been universally overlooked, but not because it is hidden. In fact, it goes to the very core of how the plan of salvation is designed.
Before we investigate, turn to a runner-up prophecy in Isaiah 58:12: “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.”
This is a prophetic announcement for the last days. It is about getting back to what was originally given to Yahweh’s people, meaning His foundational pledge. It is about fixing what has been neglected for 2,000 years.
The prophet calls it a breach. A breach is a break or rupture. Something fundamentally important has undergone a serious and destructive separation. To fix this critical problem there must be a return to original ways and teachings of the Word.
The Scriptures don’t leave us clueless when it comes to the design of the Bible. We have been given a bridge between Old and New testaments that shows a dynamic bond between the two.
Sadly, this essential link is universally ignored today, even though it is key to understanding the truth of the New Testament and the plan of salvation. We find this dynamic link in the final verses of the last book of the Old Testament, just where we would expect it. As we move to the New Testament, we will find it again.
Malachi’s Prophetic Link
The prophecy is in Malachi 4:5-6 , “Behold, I will send you Elijah [Eliyah] the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Although it ends the Old Testament, the passage leaps forward to the end of the age, providing a key link to our day.
First, notice that it warns about smiting the earth with a curse unless hearts are turned. Why historically did Yahweh send curses on people? The most well-known collection of blessings and curses is in Deut. 28. In this chapter, the first 14 verses promise His blessings for obedience. The last 54 verses are a warning of the curses we earn for disobedience. It is quite clear that disobedience is the leading problem in the scriptural hall of shame.
Throughout His Word Yahweh disciplines His people for failing to worship Him by following His statutes and judgments. Today, as the culture increasingly leaves the Bible for secular ways and humanistic thinking, we progressively see Yahweh’s judgment in response.
Whenever Israel of old followed the same pathway of rebellion that our culture is on, their problems increased proportionately. The final straw was when their enemies rose up and conquered them. We are facing the same judgment and it will hit this world like a ton of bricks.
The list of potential threats is great and runs the gamut from Eboli infection to electromagnetic pulse radiation that could grind all electronics to a standstill and literally put us back into the dark ages for years. Miniature atomic bombs, terrorist attacks on our big cities, all kinds of natural earth calamities and disasters originating from outer space …these are just some of the threats we face.
Once Yahweh takes His protective hand away, watch out. In the September 11 tragedy, we had just a taste of what looms ahead.
The classic passage that defines judgment for disobedience is Deuteronomy 28:15, 20: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy Elohim, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Yahweh shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.”
The Heart of Malachi 4:6
The prophet Malachi tells us that there will be a turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children and vice-versa.
This does not mean simply a renewed, loving relationship between fathers and children. Nor does it mean only a reaffirming of paternal respect.
It means giving later generations the same faith and conviction the fathers of old had in following Yahweh. It is about walking the same path of obedience walked by Israelite forefathers.
The Adversary is ramping up his opposition to Yahweh. Bible believers are being murdered in the Mideast, Africa, and elsewhere because they refuse to convert to another belief. The culture is turning to the dark side as it redefines morality. We are inundated with moral evils everywhere, and this is just the beginning.
The essence of the Hebrew in Malachi 4:6 is, “To restore the hearts by turning the disobedient to the insight and obedience of the righteous in order to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”
Verse 4 is the key lead-in, where the prophet says, “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” This clearly connects the phrase, “turn the heart” in verse 6 to mean go back to obeying Yahweh’s statutes and judgments.
The Same Prophecy Found in Luke
We pick up this Old Testament prophecy in the New Testament book of Luke. It reflects the purpose for which John the Baptist came, readying the way for Yahshua the Messiah: “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh,” Luke 1:17.
This passage is even clearer in defining the expression, “turn the hearts” to mean going from disobedience to the “wisdom” (moral prudence) of the “just” (holy, righteous ones).
The prophet Eliyah’s principal mission was to save as many as he could from being cursed. He did this by revealing the true Creator and Father Yahweh over the false idol Baal, and by teaching obedience to covenant law.
John the Baptist mirrored the message in the refrain “repent.” Repent means to stop sinning. Stop rebelling. Stop disobeying. Turn your life around. Obey the commandments, statutes and judgments given by Almighty Yahweh.
Malachi 3:1 prophesies the sending of this messenger to prepare the way of the Son. He is a messenger on a mission to uphold the covenant Yahweh made with His faithful. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Sovereign, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith Yahweh of hosts.”
Who exactly is this messenger coming in the spirit and power of Eliyah? Is the OT prophet Eliyah himself going to be resurrected in our time? Jewish Seders include an empty chair at the table in anticipation that Eliyah will return to herald the Messiah in fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy.
When questioned, John the Baptist denied being Eliyah. When Yahshua said Eliyah was come now, He meant only in a sense, through John the Baptist.
If the Jews had accepted Yahshua as the Messiah, John the Baptist would have been this Eliyah preparing His way in every sense of the word., as we read in Malachi. That is what Yahshua was waiting to see.
Other Striking Similarities
Comparing just their physical appearances, Eliyah and John the Baptist bear striking resemblances.
About Eliyah, 2Kings 1:8 reads, “And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Eliyah the Tishbite.”
Concerning John the Baptist, Matthew 3:4 reads, “And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins.”
Both men preferred to work alone, out in the hinterland. Eliyah dwells in the cliffs of the brook Cherith, sleeps under juniper trees, lodges in caves, and haunts the slopes of Carmel. If he does enter a city it is only to deliver a message from Yahweh and then vanish. He’s a mysterious prophet with his startling appearance, abrupt speeches and stealthy appearances. He’s also the loftiest prophet in the Old Testament.
Similarly, John the Baptist is described as one crying in the wilderness. He was startling in his own right, coming around the corner munching on a grasshopper and licking wild honey. Yahshua said there is no one greater.
Eliyah’s life-long task is to protest against a corrupt civilization. He is called by Yahweh to save the nation from lapsing into heathenism and false worship. He takes his stand on traditional principles and bears witness of fundamental truths that should never have been neglected. Baal worship would likely have overrun the nation if not stopped. His mission was to stop it.
John the Baptist also came preaching repentance and returning to Yahweh’s statutes and laws. He was just wasting his breath if the Messiah intended to abolish those statutes and laws with His death.
Both Eliyah and John withstood kings and had high-profile enemies (Eliyah had Ahab to contend with, while John had Herod as his rival).
Luke 1:17 mirrors Malachi 4:6 with the same mission for John the Baptist that Eliyah had. “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to Yahweh their Elohim. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”
Luke 1:17 in other translations reads – “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”
The New English Bible reads, “to convert the rebellious to the ways of the righteous.”
In Matthew 17:11 Yahshua said Eliyah would pave the way for His own return and “restore all things.” This was in explaining the vision of the transfiguration showing Moses and Eliyah.
Moses and Eliyah
Can you see the connection? Moses is the transmitter of Yahweh’s laws and mediator of the first covenant, and Eliyah is the prophet who was sent to restore the law and obedience to Israel. But the association goes further: Yahshua as the third person in the vision showed us how to keep that law as intended. The vision is now complete!
Back to Matthew 17. Remember that Yahshua said in v. 12 that Eliyah had come already. Had the people accepted Yahshua, then John would have been the prophesied Eliyah preparing His way. Not understanding this, Yahshua’s words are an enigma to many. It can only mean that we today are still awaiting the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.
A sister prophecy is found in Acts 3:20-21: “And he shall send Yahshua the Messiah, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which Elohim hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
True worship will have a presence in this world before the Savior returns to establish His Kingdom on earth. A restoration is necessary because the Bible has been abandoned in our day. What is commonly preached and taught today is not a succession of Apostolic teachings.
A Baptist thinks that what he is hearing each week is exactly the same thing the apostles taught and preached.
The Presbyterian thinks that what he is hearing from the pulpit is the same thing the apostles taught and preached.
Today’s Catholic thinks that what he is hearing each week is exactly the same thing Peter and the apostles taught and preached.
Who is right? All of them? There were 21 Ecumenical Councils called by the early Roman church spanning 16 centuries. These councils were convened for the very purpose of stopping the doctrinal turmoil that embroiled the church in controversy while establishing the doctrine that all the church would follow. The first was called by Roman Emperor Constantine in the year 325, known as the Council of Nicea because it was held at Nicea in Bithynia.
The Nicean Council was the first attempt to have a uniform Christian doctrine. “You mean Catholic doctrine,” some might say. Same thing. Christian doctrine is Catholic doctrine, which was formally adopted at these church councils.
From these 21 councils the Roman church adopted the following teachings embraced today:
Yahshua was deity on earth.
Establishment and dating of Easter
Defining the Holy Ghost as a divine person
Mary as the mother of G-d
The nature and purpose for icons in worship
Bread and wine as the literal body and blood in the eucharist
Immortal soul; purgatory; prayers for the dead.
Caustic Gnostic Beliefs
A lot of these teachings grew out of Gnosticism through Greek philosophy.
Gnoticism is an umbrella term for a collection of teachings from Greek philosophy through Platonism, mysticism, and Oriental superstition. These pagan beliefs began to mingle with Christian teachings. The results are the many nonbiblical teachings extant today in churchianity, like the immortal soul and heaven and hell doctrines.
The heretics that the apostles had to contend with, like Marcion and Simon Magus, were powerfully influenced by Gnosticism. So we see early on that the apostles were already contending with this heresy. Paul was on the front line defense, as Gnostic teachings began to infiltrate assemblies he established in Macedonia.
On Mars Hill he observed that the Greeks liked to sit around and discuss some new thing. That is what they were best at. They loved their philosophy, and much of it was Gnostic in origin and flavor. As pagan teachings entered in, the Hebraic basis of the faith was pushed out.
Gnostic Basis for Heresies
Today we ask, as for keeping the Ten Commandments, where did the Sabbath go? Where are the Feasts that were observed in Old and New testaments? What happened to the clean food laws? What about dead meaning dead rather than living on in total awareness? What about ever-burning hell, from the words sheol and hades, when both terms mean the grave?
Many New Testament teachings were abandoned and replaced by Gnostic-centered church teachings having no basis in Scripture. Counterfeit practices bestowed by heathens also became common fare.
Discounting Everything Physical
Gnostics saw the material world as the work of a lesser, evil deity. Everything physical was evil and we must get beyond it to experience the divine. This leads inevitably to the notion that what we do in our physical actions has virtually no spiritual impact. Carry this over to today’s belief that works are unnecessary.
The Gnostic held that to know is the highest truth, and that is where the word Gnostic comes from – the Greek word, “to know.”
Another way that Gnostic or Platonic Christianity downplays the material is the way it teaches that the soul is immortal. The body, then, is considered unnecessary baggage that compromises the reality of, or the need for, a resurrection. For both the Gnostic and Christian, the individual lives on after death, as he or she automatically ascends to the spiritual.
The physical world is the starting point, the proving ground. Why would Yahweh ever place us in an evil environment? Talk about defeating His purpose!
It was mankind’s sin that polluted this world, not an inherent evilness in the material.
Yahshua said in His prayer in John 17:17 that the Word is truth and that we are sanctified through the truth. Sanctified means set apart as we willingly obey what the Word tells us to do.
Yahweh Challenges Us
Another prophecy informs us that going back to right teachings will result in the kind of blessing everyone wants. Malachi 3:12 shows us what happens when a people submit to their father in heaven: “And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith Yahweh of hosts.”
Imagine a whole nation like ours turning to Yahweh with one mind and heart in humble, willing obedience! But that’s highly unlikely. Most fear what they think would be losing their freedom and ability to live their lives their own way. They don’t understand the blessings of obedience.
Just the thought of following the Scriptures puts some into paralysis. They fight it with every inch of their being. They obviously haven’t a clue about the life-changing impact doing so will have on them from now and into eternity.
Yahweh issues a direct challenge in the book of Malachi. He says prove Me. Experience the joy, peace of mind, and happiness that come with following Me. Walk in newness of life, Paul said in Romans 6.
Turn from the dead-end ways of this world and experience peace, joy and deep-down fulfillment and contentment in your life just by conforming to your Father’s will. Rather than putting off a commitment yet again, try it, and see how Yahweh always keeps His promise. He will never forsake those who follow Him.