Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

The Armor of Yahweh

Throughout history various types of wars have been fought—some for the establishment of freedom and some for the rule of tyranny.  The one consistent element in these wars (and even during times of peace) is the conflict everyone has to face on a daily basis, the war of and for the mind.  Paul understood this clearly and even included his thoughts on the matter in Ephesians 6:10-17.  He knew the fight which we face is not against the physical that we can touch and feel, but is against the unseen forces of evil and all its many devices that try to ravish our minds and cause us to turn from Yahweh.

Paul also understood that for any member in this great fight to succeed, he or she needs to be equipped to fight the evil and protect against it.  But what equipment does one need to defend and attack evil?  Paul, who was under Roman guard when he wrote the Book of Ephesians, saw their armor and  Roman weapons and drew a correlation between the physical armor to the armor we are to put on spiritually.  This armor is not from ourselves, but is the armor of Yahweh.

Looking through Ephesians 6:13-17 we find what kind of armor we need and what importance each piece is to our spiritual battle. “Therefore put on the full armor of Elohim, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the good news of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Elohim.”

The Belt of Truth                                                                                                                        

The Roman soldier’s belt served a two-fold purpose.  One was for defense through the use of leather strips that hung in the front of the belt to protect the lower part of the body.  The second was to hold the soldier’s sword in its scabbard.  But what does a belt have to do with truth?                                     

Yahshua defined truth in John 17:17 when he prayed his prayer to Yahweh, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”  What Yahweh says is truth.  His precepts, His commandments, His promises are all final and complete truth since Yahweh cannot and will not lie.  If we are to be effective in our struggle against evil we must bind truth around us, just as we would a belt.  We can’t just sort of know the truth, but we must constantly be striving to understand Yahweh and His words through the Scriptures.

The danger of not knowing the difference between truth and error is that you become a person with no stability or character, and become open to Satan’s attacks.  James 1:5-8 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask Yahweh who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from Yahweh.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

Now James is referring to faith in prayer, but the same can be said about our knowledge of Yahweh’s Word and His truth.  If we don’t know what is true then when we hear some new idea from someone we will wonder if that idea is true.  Then we will hear another idea from someone else and wonder if that idea is true, too.  It turns into a seesaw effect where you are constantly going back and forth and never stable.

Learn what is true and don’t let it go.  Bind it around you and let it protect you against Satan’s constant attacks.  Without this critical element in our armor, the belt of truth, there will be weaknesses. Gird up your loins and wear your belt.

The Breastplate of Righteousness                                                                                          

The breastplate for the soldier was the main part of his armor.  Without a breastplate the soldier would be open to attacks to the vital organs of his body.  With a breastplate, though, the soldier could withstand the blows from his enemy that got through his defenses and be able to live longer in the battle.  But what does a breastplate have to do with righteousness?

Righteousness is defined in Deuteronomy 6:24-25, “Yahweh commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear Yahweh our Elohim, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before Yahweh our Elohim, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”  Yahweh didn’t enact His laws so that we might be miserable, but to protect us and so that we would have more fulfilling lives.  If we go against His commands we put ourselves in harm’s way because of sin’s consequences.

Righteousness, being obedient to Yahweh’s commandments, keeps us from constantly suffering from our mistakes, since Yahweh tells us what we should and shouldn’t do.  Righteousness will deliver from great suffering, as it says in Proverbs 11:4, “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”  Keep your breastplate on and protect yourself with Yahweh’s words.

Feet Fitted with Good News                                                                                                    

When Paul is physically describing feet fitted with righteousness he is referring to shoes. Ephesians 6:15: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the good news of peace.”  Naturally shoes played a vital role in a soldier’s armor because shoes are used to protect one’s feet.  It would be silly to have a warrior charging into battle, sword swinging, only to have him step on something sharp so that he can barely walk.  The question though is what do shoes have to do with readiness and the Good News of peace?

First, what is the Good News?  The Good News is salvation—salvation from death through Yahshua and then onward to inherit the kingdom of Yahweh which will come down to earth.  Yahweh’s grace is given to us now so that we might have a chance to repent from our sins and come to Him.  This Good News, the knowledge of salvation and Yahweh’s grace, must not be kept to ourselves but  proclaimed to the world.

In Mark 16:15 Yahshua said, “Go into all all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”  He commanded us that we must not just keep what we know to ourselves, but that we must share it with others.  By having our spiritual shoes on, we can move more easily when we share the Good News.  Paul in his day physically walked, traveled, and sailed thousands of miles in the pursuit of spreading the Word of salvation to the nations.  We don’t necessarily have to do that, with the wonders of the Internet and faster transportation, but are we at least doing our part in spreading the Word of salvation?  We must put on our “shoes” and walk steadily toward the goal of the Kingdom, and also share with others the great and awesome plan of Yahweh.

Shield of Faith

The shield was the soldier’s main defense against attack.  A Roman soldier’s shield was about three and a half feet in height, which provided ample area for defense from arrows or physical combat.  Also, in the middle of the Roman shield was a knob called a “boss” which could be used to push back or attack an opponent.  But what does faith have to do with a shield?

Hebrews 11:1 reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  The evidence is Yahshua’s resurrection and how Yahweh helps us on a daily basis.  We weren’t there when Yahshua was raised from the dead, nor can we see exactly how Yahweh affects our lives, but these things did and do happen.  The greater our belief in Yahweh’s awesome power, the more we will be able to protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks.

Belief and faith connect us to Yahweh.  In Matthew 14, when Yahshua walked on water, Peter was able to walk on the water also when Yahshua called for him to come, but when Peter got fearful, he started to sink.  How many times do we forget that Yahweh can truly do all things, and that there is nothing out of His grasp to do? Satan will see our doubts and fears and will attack us at once, like a ferocious lion, and without our absolute faith in Yahweh’s power to help us in any situation we will get hurt.

Paul said in Ephesians 6:16 that we must take up the shield of faith.  This requires action, just as does pursuing faith.  James 2:17says, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”  Let’s take a stand and live a life of faith through our works.  Take up your shield of faith and use it.

The Helmet of Salvation

The helmet, of course, was used by the Roman soldier to protect his head.  A soft blow to any part of the body may not cause instant death, but most strong blows to the head in a deadly battle will mean demise for the warrior.  The head must be protected during battle, but what does it have to do with salvation?

Salvation is Yahshua and what he did for us.  We were all born into sin, destined for death, but with Yahshua there is a difference.  We read in Romans 6:23,“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of Yahweh is eternal life in Messiah Yahshua our Master.” Yahshua died for us; he took that penalty of sin upon himself so that we could be saved from ultimate death.  This death is not the first death of the flesh, but the final death that will happen during the judgment of all creation.  Through Yahshua we are saved from death, and we must constantly be focusing on this.

The head is where all the thinking is done.  If our head is thinking wrong then we will do wrong, and wrong thinking is so prevalent in society.  How many times during the day are we bombarded with wickedness and bad thinking?  We need to fill our minds with good things, as Philippians 4:8 states, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

The sacrifice that Yahshua gave for us, his very life, should be at the forefront of our minds at all times.  Because we know what the cost was for our salvation we would never want to trample upon Yahshua’s sacrifice with our sins. We constantly need to remind ourselves of this so we don’t sin.  Yahshua’s precious blood was shed for mankind.  Protect your minds, and put on your helmet of salvation, the salvation of Yahshua.

The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of Yahweh

The final piece of the armor is the sword, which was the main defensive weapon for the Roman soldier.  This type of sword was called a gladius.  It was double-edged, and when sharpened was able to pierce most armor.  Without a sword the soldier was just a walking piece of armor not able to attack the enemy.  But how can a sword be related to Yahweh’s word?

The Word of Yahweh, which was spoken of earlier, is truth.  This can be verified by looking at John 17:17, which says, “Sanctify them in the truth, Your word is truth.”  Yahweh’s Word, His truth, is our attacking weapon because it attacks falsehood and lies.  Yahweh’s Word is able to cut through lies and deceit, just like a sword.  Hebrews 4:12 reads, “For the word of Elohim is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

When Yahshua was confronted by Satan after his 40-day fast (Matthew 4:1-11), Satan misquoted some Scriptures.  Matthew 6:5-6reads: “Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of Elohim, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command his angels concerning You; and on their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”  Satan was misquoting Psalm 91:11-12, but Yahshua in turn quotes real Scripture, real truth.  Yahweh’s word, the sword, gets to the heart of the matter, and can discern between what is right and what is not, and attacks evil and lies.

All of these pieces of armor, when put on, provide an unstoppable defense against Satan.  Each piece plays a different role in our spiritual life, but each one is important—just just like the Body, where each member is fitly framed and put together to form the Body.  As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12, every member, although some may not seem as important as others, is important.

Focus on all of these pieces of armor that Yahweh provides for us and take up your fight against evil for the glory of Yahweh in Messiah Yahshua.

by Joel Wirl

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Salvation Begins With Repentance

A recent survey of self-professed believers found that half of all who claim to have been converted and “saved” go back on their conversion within a year. Most do not understand what being saved is and because of that are only half-hearted in their commitment. In most of these failures exists a misunderstanding of salvation and what leads to salvation.

Yahweh’s Word teaches that salvation is not instantly guaranteed in a believer’s life, particularly not so based on some mere confession or statement. The Apostle Paul talked about having a “hope” of salvation in 1Thessalonians 5:8-9. He explained in2Corinthians 2:15 that being saved is a process that is not completed until the end.

In 1Corinthians 3:15 he describes salvation and being saved as being a state no one automatically possesses and is not instantly achieved upon conversion. In fact, he wasn’t even sure of his own future but he simply had the “hope” that he might attain the resurrection. He said in Philippians 3:11-12: “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after…”

If this apostle who was taught by the resurrected Savior Himself (Gal. 1:11-12) and who wrote much of the New Testament was not certain of his own salvation, how can anyone today say they are already saved? Yet you hear well-meaning evangelists ask, “Are you saved?” and proceed to tell you just to pronounce a few words to accept the Savior and you are home free. Those who think they have salvation may then live any kind of life they please and still be assured an eternal reward. Is this what the Word says?

In Hebrews 6 we read that there are those who were enlightened and tasted of the prospect of salvation and were even given the Holy Spirit. Yet they are warned that should they fall away from the truth that there is no longer any hope for them. Their salvation would be permanently lost.

It is impossible “if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they impale to themselves the Son of Elohim afresh, and put Him to an open shame.”

Falling away means a complete and utter rejection of the truth and the Savior who died for us. People ask, what if I committed some bad sins, am I forever lost? Not if they confess their sins and repent. That is the first step in renewing a right standing with Yahweh.

Repentance from Sin

You don’t hear much about repentance these days, yet the act of repentance is essential to being a converted child of Almighty Yahweh in the process of becoming saved. Many have missed this key part of conversion in the New Testament. Without understanding repentance and changing of your life, you cannot know what it means to be saved.

Before we can repent we need to comprehend what sin is.

Everyone knows what crime is. Webster defines a crime as an act that violates a law. A crime is like a sin.

Breaking of law is also true for sin. In the clearest and most precise definition in the Bible, 1John 3:4 says that sin is a violation of Biblical law: Here is the Bible’s fundamental definition of sin:  “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” That’s crystal clear!

If sin is breaking of law, then NOT breaking of law means not sinning We can break a law in ignorance because we did not know about it. That doesn’t mean that sin is not imputed to us simply because we are unaware of it. We are still guilty.

We can speed down a highway not realizing what the speed limit is and still be charged with a traffic violation. Ignorance does not nullify the law.

Everyone has broken Biblical law and therefore all humans are sinners whether they know it or not.

The law includes the Ten Commandments. Lying, stealing, killing—these are all acts of sin by Biblical definition. The Bible also gives other laws that Yahweh commands to be observed, and violation of any one of them is also sin by the simple definition of sin. Sin leads to eternal death.

If we are guilty as charged of a lifetime of unrepented and willful sin, our hope of salvation will be dashed.

The Scriptures tell us that unless we confess our sins, seek forgiveness, and turn completely around to live a different life we are spiritually lost. There is no hope beyond this earthly life unless we change and conform to the Scriptures in how we live.

James 4:4 tells us that following the ways of the world make one the enemy of the Heavenly Father Yahweh, and those ways lead to death. On the other hand, Proverbs 12:28 reveals, “In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.”

And that is where repentance is pivotal. Repentance moves us away from sin and toward righteousness.

Almighty Yahweh will not allow an unrepentant sinner to sit on a throne in His coming Kingdom. The Messiah Yahshua instructed His followers in Matthew 18:3, “Except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Conversion requires change and it begins with repentance.

Repentance Is a Transformation

In Luke 13 we read that there were some murdered Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. In verse 3 our Savior said, “Except you repent, you shall likewise perish.”

Repentance is fundamental. Our sins have separated us from our Father in Heaven. Those sins must be forgiven as the first step to salvation.

One Greek word translated repent in the New Testament is metanoeo. It is a verb that includes a realization that one is a sinner. But it goes beyond just realization. It means to change one’s very perception or view of sin and to understand that sin is death. Sin that is practiced in one’s life ultimately leads to everlasting death. A related word for repent in the New Testament is the Greek nounmetanoia. This word signifies a real change in one’s entire attitude toward sin itself, which affects the whole life. It means a change in how we live. It amounts to a complete turnaround, not just to be sorry for sin but to make a 180-degree reverse course in behavior. It means a renouncement of sin and its destructive ways and to practice it no more.

Too often, however, is the more common and erroneous understanding of repentance, signified by the Greek metamelomai. It simply means that I regret what I did because I got caught. It is the kind of regret children often have when their parents punish them for doing something wrong. It is also that kind of regret that Judas Iscariot felt for betraying the Savior Yahshua.

But this is a false regret that lacks the power and force to effect permanent change in one’s life. It is shallow and easily reversed. As soon as the punishment stops, the person is back to his sin again.

Genuine, scriptural repentance is the person who admits his sin, seeks forgiveness, and then makes a complete turnaround – permanently stopping what he or she had been doing, never to repeat it. True repentance leads to true conversion. Nothing less will do.

Just to say I’m sorry is not enough. Just apologizing for your sin but failing to turn from sinful behavior is not repentance. If I steal your car, then tell you I am sorry but I still keep the car, I have not repented.  A transformation must take place in the heart. I also must make everything right again.

Ezekiel 18:21 gives us the proper perspective on repentance. The prophet writes: “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?  says Yahweh Elohim: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”

In the New Testament, which in most doctrinal respects is a mirror of the Old Testament, we read from Acts 17:30: “And the times of this ignorance Elohim winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent.”

Lesson from a Wayward Son

Not a man or woman alive is sinless. Everyone on earth has sinned in many ways. Paul tells us this fact in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of Elohim.”  Everyone is in need of repentance if they have any hope for life everlasting.  The sincerely and truly repentant individual loathes his sin and resolves never to repeat it.

The parable of the prodigal son is an object lesson in what must take place in a sinner’s life under scriptural repentance. It is about a son who squandered his inheritance through riotous living and transgressions. And after suffering miserably—even losing all he had—he is reduced to feeding slop to pigs. He finally comes to his senses, realizing that his life is a dead-end road.

The first step is realization. He has to admit he has done wrong. No one else can do it for him. Oftentimes we are brought low through the pain of trials for this exact purpose—it is the only thing that will bring us to our senses about the self-destructive, sinful behavior we are in.

After we realize this we have a decision to make. If we want to change our standing before our Father in heaven, an honest desire to go in a new direction is mandated.

Next comes a deep and total remorse; “And the son said unto him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son’ ” (Luke 15:21). He had to get to the point where he would sacrifice all his self-centered goals, wants, desires, and ambitions and humbly ask for forgiveness both from Yahweh and from his family.

Finally, and this is the key to repentance, comes a complete and permanent change in behavior. He must take the first two steps to reach the third. It is a process necessary for anyone who wants to achieve true repentance!  This is a lesson in how our Heavenly Father will indeed forgive anyone who sincerely and with a true heart repents and turns to Him.

His forgiveness of our transgressions is shown in how the prodigal’s father reacted to his son’s sincerity:

“But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry” (Luke 15:22-24).

Sin kills. Sin’s result is always  death. The only way to get out of a life of sin and to begin to overcome it is through repentance.

King David’s Lesson

King David’s heart-rending confession in his Psalm 51 “gold standard” model of repentance is a tribute to the person the Bible calls a man after Yahweh’s own heart.

David’s genuineness is clear from the very beginning. When approached about his sin by Nathan the prophet David     immediately    confessed to his murderous and adulterous transgression. He did not shift blame to Bathsheba, saying something like, “Yes, but she tempted me. She should not have done that. She’s guilty, too.” He did not play the blame game or offer personal excuses, like, “Oh it was just one of my weaker moments. After all, I’m just a red-blooded Israelite.” On the contrary. He immediately confessed openly and honestly: “I have sinned.”

David sinned in profound ways. There’s no denying that. But just as he showed a complete and utterly sincere repentance, so can we.

The Bible is an amazing book. It details the dirt, the warts, the blemishes and the evil in the heart of man. It shows us the good, the bad, and the ugly of life. It is completely honest. No other historically accurate book is so candid and forthright.

Because life is an unending string of evil as well as good, we must be aware and ready for any pitfalls that could snare us. The Word shows how to overcome life’s dangers.

A Yearning for Yahweh

Sincere and true repentance is always followed by a permanent change in behavior. It is the kind of change others will quickly notice. The genuine believer will put his Heavenly Father Yahweh before everything else in his life. The Apostle Paul shows clearly that a changed heart is a heart like David’s, one that desires to please Yahweh in all things.

Many try to have it both ways. They want to live for themselves and for Almighty Yahweh at the same time. Romans 8:7 says, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, neither indeed can be.”

We read in Romans 12:2: “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohim.”

Repentance is a necessary prelim-inary to baptism. In his message Peter commanded those gathered in Acts 2 to “repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua the Messiah for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

An insincere repentance leads to a false baptism. Only a genuine desire for forgiveness, coupled with a change in heart, mind, and action, will be acceptable to the One who grants salvation to those He chooses.

by Elder Alan Mansager

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

The Battle we Fight

Many times people look at the New Testament prophecies of the end-times and conclude that those predicted events were for the most part fulfilled in 70 CE when the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed.

Undoubtedly, the authors of those prophecies felt that the time of the end was near and so they were motivated to record these prophecies. The Apostle John stated this view when he wrote: “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antimessiah is coming, even now many anti-Messiahs have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1John 2:18, NKJV).

There was a partial fulfillment of prophecy then, and there will be total fulfillment of those same end-time prophecies in the near future. The antimessiahs described in 1John will ultimately lead to “the Antimessiah.”  His appearance will bring about the time known as the “Great Tribulation.”

At the very center of all past, present, and future evil is Satan the adversary. He is the one who deceived Adam and Eve in the garden and he is the one who comes down with great wrath upon the end-time believers of spiritual Israel.

“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our Elohim, and the power of His Messiah have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our Yahweh day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.’” (Rev. 12:7-12; NKJV)

In the time of the end, that evil deceiver will seek to destroy the spiritual offspring of believers who keep Yahweh’s commandments and have the testimony of Yahshua. The forces of darkness are directed by Satan to make war with those believers.

“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of Yahweh and have the testimony of Yahshua Messiah” (Rev. 12:17; NKJV).

Two-front War

A war is being waged against Yahweh’s people on two fronts. First, there is the physical front where Satan seeks to destroy the followers of the truth. Second, there is the spiritual front where Satan desires to deceive those who attempt to follow the truth and cause them to fall away from the truth.

Yahshua prophesied of both of these battlefronts in Matthew 24.

“Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:9-13; NRSV).

These predicted events had a partial fulfillment in the time of the apostles. The complete fulfillment will come in the time of the end. Having knowledge of these events prepares us to face these adversities and endure to the end.

At the present time, True Worshippers are not facing the threat of death. Satan is waging a war of deception and temptation to lead people astray and to put them in bondage to sin, just as he deceived Adam and Eve with his lies, so he has deceived the majority of people.

Only a remnant, a miniscule amount of people will not be deceived by the Adversary. For the most part we are waging a spiritual war against the dark forces of evil. This is what the Apostle Paul spoke of in his epistle to the Ephesians.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in Yahweh and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of Yahweh, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:10-12) NKJV.

Sin as His Weapon

Even though the devil uses people to do his dirty work by attacking and betraying Yahweh’s people, it must be understood that we are waging spiritual warfare against the dark forces of evil.

First and foremost, the devil seeks to destroy our faith through sin and deception. As each of us works out our salvation, we must not allow sin to get a foothold within our heart or mind. Satan is out to destroy the saints, and his tried and proven method is to make people slaves to sin through deception.

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which Yahweh has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by Yahweh;’ for Yahweh cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:12-16; NKJV).

The battleground for the war we wage is in our hearts and minds. We must control our thoughts and actions if we are to prevail over the enemy.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in Yahweh for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Yahweh, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Messiah’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Messiah’s, even so we are Messiah’s” (2Cor. 10:3-7; NKJV).

By taking ourselves in hand and obeying Yahweh we will be able to be victorious against the powers of darkness by remaining pure within. We encourage all to follow the advice of the Apostle Paul when he wrote:

“But you, O man of Yahweh, flee these things and pursue righteousness, holiness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of Yahweh who gives life to all things, and before Messiah Yahshua who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Master Yahshua Messiah’s appearing” (1Tim. 6:11-14; NKJV).

Overcome Fiery Trials

Yahweh gave Yahshua so that we might receive salvation through forgiveness of our sins. Because Yahshua suffered for us, we must be prepared to partake of His sufferings. The adversary is responsible for motivating those who defect from the truth to accuse the brethren and cause them to suffer. We must not allow such persecutions to stop us from sending forth the Truth of Yahweh’s Word.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Messiah’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Messiah, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of Yahweh rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a believer of Messiah, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify Yahweh in this matter.

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of Elohim; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the good news of Yahweh? Now if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the unrighteous and the sinner appear? Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of Yahweh commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:12-19; NKJV).

Never be surprised at the ways and means that the adversary uses to wage war against Yahweh’s people in these last days. Prepare yourself for what is ahead and fight the good fight against the devil and his followers. Don’t allow sin to dominate you. Overcome and be strong through Yahshua.

Facing adversity will either make a person better or it will destroy him or her. We must turn the negative into a positive and let Yahweh turn all curses into blessings.

The fire that we face in the end-times will purify us and make the faithful members of the Body of Messiah better people who will exhibit the love of Yahweh in their lives. Let us remain faithful to our calling and receive the gift of life.

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

What Would Yahshua Do?

What would Yahshua do? This is one of the most popular questions in nominal worship today. It is found emblazoned on shirts, notebooks, billboards, bracelets and many other items. Even though this phrase has become somewhat mundane, its validity extends to all believers in the Messiah. In 1Peter 2:21 we find that we’re to follow Yahshua’s examples: “For even here unto were ye called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”

What does it mean to follow in Yahshua’s steps? The word “example” is from the Greek hupogrammos and means a copy for imitation. Yahshua’s life serves an example that we’re to emulate or mimic. In other words, we’re to live as He lived, worship as He worshipped, and act as He acted. He is our pattern for right living.

Scripture says that if we’ve seen the Son, we’ve also seen the Father (John 14:9). The example that Yahshua provided serves as a reflection of our Father’s own behavior. This fact adds additional reason we’re to follow in the footsteps of our Savior. Here we will consider three different attributes of our Savior, with the understanding that we’re to follow or emulate each: (1) humility, (2) forgiveness, and (3) love.

While we can certainly find other attributes of our Savior, these three were not only central to Yahshua’s ministry, but also often missing from the lives of believers.


Few attributes are more crucial in the Word than humility. In Matthew 20:26 Yahshua explains why his disciples must show humility: “But Yahshua called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.”

In verse 26 Yahshua draws a contrast between the world and the Faith. Unlike the world, those who are exalted in the Faith are those who minister. Minister comes from the Greek doulos and figuratively means a slave. So if we desire to be great in the Kingdom we must become slaves or servants to one another.

Our world embraces pride and selfish-ness; conversely, Yahweh’s truth embraces humility and servitude. If we desire a position in the Kingdom, we must first learn how to abase or humble ourselves before others. There’s no greater example of this humility than from our Savior.

In verse 28 Yahshua said again, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” This word “minister” is derived from the Greek diakoneo and means, to be an attendant, i.e., wait upon. So we find the purpose for Yahshua’s coming was not to be served, but to serve.

Being the Son of Almighty Yahweh, if anyone was in a position to be served, it was Yahshua the Messiah. Why do you suppose Yahshua chose to serve? The answer is obvious; he did so as an example or pattern that we’re to mimic. Yahshua not only taught humility, but also showed and lived this attribute through His own life. In like manner, do we serve our brothers and sisters? Do we look first to the needs our family in Messiah or do we look out only for number one?

Yahshua said again that we must become servants to one another if we’ll be blessed in the Kingdom. Humility is one of the most difficult attributes for many to achieve. Let’s face it; raw human nature wants little to do with humility or meekness. It is for this reason that as Yahweh’s people we must strive to remove our natural pride and replace it with unnatural humility.

Paul in Philippians 2:2 admonishes us to have the same mind of humility that Yahshua had: “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yahshua: Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”

As was our Example, we’re to be more cognizant of the needs of others, even over our own needs. We’re also told here to do everything in lowliness of mind. What does this mean? Everything we do should be done with meekness and humility. This is why we’re to be more concerned about the needs of others. Selfishness is a byproduct of pride. This is why a selfish person cannot inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh.

To overcome this carnality we must have the same mind as the Messiah. As Yahshua served and humbled himself, we’re to do the same. In verse seven Paul states that Yahshua made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form a servant. The word “reputation” comes from the Greek kenoo and means, to make empty, i.e., to abase. Now how was this accomplished? This was done in two ways. First, He humbled himself by serving man and dying for man’s sins. Second, He humbled or emptied himself when he gave up the glory that he had with His Father prior to being born as a man (John 17:5).


The second attribute of our Savior that we need to have forgiveness. Matthew 6:9 contains the Master’s Prayer, where we find a key component of this attribute. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:9).

In this model prayer, Yahshua asked that Yahweh forgive our debts in the same manner that we forgive our debtors. In verses 14-15 He goes on to explain that unless we forgive, we cannot receive forgiveness. So what do we learn from this passage? Forgiveness is reciprocal. In other words, to receive forgiveness, we must forgive. What does it mean to forgive? Forgiveness is letting go of strife, hatred, animosity, and bitterness and keeping no record of wrongs. Forgiveness is a required key for Yahweh’s Kingdom and a cornerstone of what the Messiah represents. Now as believers how often are we called to forgive?

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Master, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Yahshua saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21-22).

Seventy times seven represents innumerable times. In other words, there is no limit to our forgiveness. While forgiveness is not always easy, it is a responsibility and holy obligation of every believer. We might argue, but that person doesn’t deserve my forgiveness. Even though we may be able to justify this position in human terms, we cannot from Yahweh’s Word or by the example of our Savior. How many times has mankind rebelled against Yahweh’s Truth? More than one can count. How many times has Yahweh shown mercy upon mankind for his rebellion? Again, more than one can count. If Yahweh used the same measurement that many of us use, none of us would exist today. Our Savior is no exception. Like His Father, He too has shown great mercy and compassion. This mercy is no better illustrated than by His own death.

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they impaled him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Yahshua, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Messiah, the chosen of Elohim” (Luke 23:33-35).

We find here the last few minutes of our Savior’s life. In verse 34 Yahshua shatters the earth when He says, “…forgive them; for they know not what they do.” The pain and torture that Yahshua suffered at this point was horrific; nonetheless, He maintained forgiveness in His heart. He asked His Father to forgive those who gave false testimony and unmercifully tortured Him.

This is the example that we’re to follow; we’re to forgive, as the Messiah forgave. If anyone had a reason not to forgive, it was Yahshua, but we find that He forgave. Forgiveness is one of the greatest messianic principles we find within Yahweh’s Word. If we desire to be part of Yahweh’s Kingdom, we must liberate ourselves from anger and learn to forgive, even when we’ve been unjustly wronged.


Now the most important attribute of our Savior and of Yahweh’s truth is love. As our Savior showed forgiveness, we find that he equally showed love. As a matter of fact, it is this attribute that ties all believers together in Messiah. “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35).

Yahshua commanded His disciples to love one another, as he loved them. This word “love” derives from the Greek agapao. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, “Agape and agapao are used in the New Testament (a) to describe the attitude of [Yahweh] toward His Son, John 17:26; the human race, generally, John 3:16; Rom 5:8, and to such as believe on the [Master Yahshua Messiah] particularly John 14:21…” Those immersed are brothers and sisters within the family of Messiah and as such, we should love one another as Yahweh loves us.

By this love we are Yahshua’s disciples. To be part of Messiah, we must have true genuine love for one another. This is the second greatest commandment found within the Word (Matt. 22:39). To be worthy of the prize of Yahweh’s Kingdom, we must walk in the love of Messiah.

Now how did Yahshua show His love to mankind? He showed His love in many ways, but none greater than through his own death. Yahshua in John 15:12 said that we were to have this same caliber of love for one another: “This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.” Yahshua gave his own life as a ransom for our sins. He died so that we might have hope of everlasting life. This is the example that he left and we’re to follow. We must be willing and able to give our lives, as our Savior gave His. Could we die for those whom we love?

Love is not only an emotion but also an action that requires sacrifice. If we’ll be counted worthy as His disciples we must be willing to demonstrate this level of love to our fellow man, especially to those in the household of faith (Gal 6:10). As our example He gave all to a people who rejected Him; we again must be willing to do the same.

As Yahshua demonstrated humility, forgiveness, and love through his own life, as his disciples we are called to follow in His pattern. Are we following in His examples daily? If the answer is no, then we need to immediately stop and change course. If the answer is yes, praise Yahweh! We should never deviate from the examples of our Savior, for by them we find the path to everlasting life.

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Developing Character

Character defines who we are. Character is “the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing” (Dictionary.com).  In other words, if we create good traits in our individual nature then we have good character. Conversely, if we create bad traits then we have bad character.

This is simple to understand, but it doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the matter. Developing our nature into good character should be one of our highest objectives in life. If we fail to do this we will not reach our potential in service to Yahweh.

How can we develop right character? We will start by breaking up into parts what good, righteous character is. The character Yahweh seeks is the combination of integrity and courage. Without either of these virtues righteous character is not possible.

Source of Integrity

The integrity Yahweh seeks is based upon our knowledge of the Scriptures and in doing the right thing. The Bible is in essence a moral guide book for humanity. Proper Bible understanding must come before the courage to act, otherwise poor decisions based upon poor knowledge will result.

For example, if you’ve been taught that lions are man’s best friend, and at a zoo you reach out your hand to pet one, you will need some good health insurance. The action taken was based upon a false premise resulting in a bad situation.

In Matthew 7:24-27 Yahshua shows that His true teachings are the same as building a house upon a rock: solid, firm, and unmovable. On the other hand, false teachings are like building upon sand: weak, shifting, and very movable. Start with a firm foundation in the Scriptures first.

He said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Pleasing to Yahweh is the courageous application of our integrity. It is seeing something wrong and doing something about it. It goes further than just doing the right thing, but is doing it despite what may happen to us.

To illustrate, suppose you see a blind man about to sit down, and a mean-spirited person pull the chair out from him. Courage with integrity is to correct the perpetrator for the misdemeanor and put the chair back under the blind man before he falls.

Yahweh commands us to have courage in all things we do. Joshua 1:7 is a great example of this, which reads, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”

Biblical Examples

In the Book of Genesis we are introduced to Lot. Lot was the nephew of Abraham and lived in the city of Sodom, which was a most corrupt and vile place. It was a place of such perversion that it, along with its sister city Gomorrah, was sentenced for complete annihilation by Yahweh in Genesis 19.

Lot, a judge in Sodom, was a righteous man because he was spared from the destruction of the city. The judges were the ones who sat at the gates of a city to deal with disputes among the people.

We read in Genesis 19:1, “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.”

Why didn’t Lot move away from Sodom? Understandably, it was his home, and he may have been trying to restore the city to a better lifestyle through his influence as a judge, but why didn’t he take action to protect his family from such vile influences? Notice, “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for Yahweh will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law,” Genesis 19:14. His sons-in-law didn’t believe him.

Genesis 19:26 tells us, “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Lot’s wife died because she desired to go back to Sodom, to that lifestyle she once had in a particularly sinful place.

Lot’s daughters, even though they escaped the destruction, still had perverted minds, which were a result of Sodom’s influences. They said, “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father,”Genesis 19:32.

Because Lot failed to act and do the right thing, he lost his whole family to either death or corruption.

An example of courage with integrity is in Daniel 4. To summarize, Nebuchadnezzar had a certain troubling dream about a tree being cut down. Since his magicians and astrologers were unable to interpret the dream, Nebuchadnezzar called Daniel to interpret his dream since Daniel had interpreted a previous dream of his in Daniel 2.

Daniel heard the dream and was troubled as well because it was related to the downfall of King Nebuchadnezzar in a seven-year period. Daniel gave the interpretation of the dream in verses 20 to 26.

He had courage in doing as he was commanded by telling Nebuchadnezzar what would become of him. Now just saying this was dangerous. Daniel had to have some courage with this act of integrity as Nebuchadnezzar was not a particularly nice person.

Nebuchadnezzar was not someone you wanted to anger. He had killed King Zedekiah’s sons in his presence and then put out Zedekiah’s eyes, Jeremiah 52:10-11. Daniel was putting himself at risk just giving the interpretation. But Daniel went even further; he actually counsels Nebuchadnezzar.

The key point in this chapter is verse 27, which reads, “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” Daniel had the courage to actually tell the king what he needed to do, which was much more than just giving the king the facts.

Daniel had the courage of his integrity to offer the interpretation, and the additional courage to try to help Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was a man of high character.

Character for Our Lives

On tombstones is typically written two dates with a dash between them. When the dates start and finish we don’t have much control over, but the dash we do. The dash is what we have done in our lives, from beginning to end. What do we want to be remembered by? Will we just learn the truth, or will we apply it to be better servants to Yahweh? Will we be people of character or will we just skate by in life with few difficulties?

Right character is like a muscle; it can be used and strengthened, or it can be neglected and weakened. We develop our character by first strengthening our minds with knowing the truth of right and wrong. From there we strengthen the will to act upon that knowledge despite the consequences to ourselves. No one ever said that doing the right thing would be easy, but it is worth it.

Revelation 21:3-7 reads, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of Elohim is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and Yahweh himself shall be with them, and be their Elohim. And Elohim shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his Elohim, and he shall be my son.”

Develop righteous character and your reward will be for eternity.

Grace in the Bible

You Can Fall from Grace

“Guilty” was the jury’s verdict. The judge’s sentence: death by lethal injection. For Sam Smith, a convicted murderer, the nightmare of that January day seven years ago had played endlessly through his mind. In a jealous rage he had taken a man’s life. He realized that he deserved the death penalty for what he had done. No amount of agonizing or remorse could change that.

Regardless of how many times he pleaded for forgiveness from the victim’s family, no matter how much he wished he could relive events, one persistent fact remained: Sam deserved to die. The law was the law. He was guilty of a capital crime and he would pay the utmost price for his sin. With nowhere else to turn, he begged mercy from the governor.

 ‘You Have Been Pardoned’

Just minutes before his scheduled execution, Sam heard the most wonderful words ever spoken to a condemned man: “By the grace of the governor of this state, you have been pardoned.”

“I can’t believe it,” he said to himself.

“He pardoned me! I can live!”

Humbly thankful for the gracious pardon, Sam vowed from that point on that he would be a model citizen. And he never was in trouble with the law again.

The foregoing illustrates the concept of scriptural grace and how it works in the believer’s life.

Paraphrasing the words of Nathan the prophet to King David, “We are that man.” We all deserve to die because we are all sinners,Romans 5:12; 1John 1:10. We earned our fate and nothing we can do can change that fact. Only the mercy of Yahweh and the sacrificial death of Yahshua can save us.

Being sinless, our Savior was the only one who could pay the death penalty in our stead. Yahweh’s grace in sending His Son to die for us is our only hope for salvation. Like the governor in Sam Smith’s case, only Yahweh can release us from the spiritual death sentence our sins earned through the sacrifice of His Son.

From Sin to Obedience

In Romans 6 Paul explains the operation of Yahweh’s grace in the lives of human beings. The chapter is a profound study in the transformation that takes place in a True Worshiper under Yahweh’s grace.

In the last verse of chapter 5 Paul writes, “That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Yahshua the Messiah our Master.”

Perhaps no other concept is so misunderstood as the subject of Yahweh’s grace. What does Paul mean in Ephesians 2:8 that we are saved by grace? Is he saying that the statutes of Yahweh are no longer binding in this New Testament era? If so, what of the many passages warning us of disobedience and the necessity to watch carefully lest we fall again into the condemnation of the unrighteous?

Now suppose the condemned man went right out and repeated the crime for which he was pardoned. Wouldn’t his actions violate the spirit of the pardon? Certainly! The governor didn’t save him so that he would go out and commit serious crime all over again. Would not the courts and the governor deal with the man much more harshly the next time? Absolutely!

Yahweh’s grace is no different. The crux of the matter is, what’s the point of Yahweh’s grace—His favor on sinful human beings—if once pardoned we deliberately return to sinful ways?

The words, “grace reign through righteousness,” are key. The New Testament in Modern English translates the phrase, “Now grace is the ruling factor, with righteousness as its purpose and its end.” Grace is not static. It is active and it must work daily in the believer’s life.

Yahweh’s grace has an objective: that we will turn from sin to live uprightly as we follow in Yahshua’s footsteps. Obedience is the avenue allowing that to take place. That means to obey His laws, since sin is clearly defined as the transgression of the law, lJohn 3:4.

Paul explains further in chapter 6 how grace works in the life of the repentant sinner. “What shall we say, then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Yahweh forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”(vv. 1-2)

To accept Yahweh’s grace—His pardon for our sins—and then to turn back or continue our sinful ways as if nothing had happened is to pervert the whole purpose of grace. We make Yahweh’s grace a big mistake if we accept His pardon only to repeat the sin.

Hebrews 10:26-27 warns of practicing intentional sin: “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

Further in the chapter we find this solemn warning: “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?” (Heb. 10:29). The word “despite” means, “to insult.” If we continue in sin after receiving Yahweh’s grace we show contempt for Yahweh and His grace.

Slipping up and making a mistake is one thing, willfully returning to sin is another entirely. In Galatians 6 Paul explains the difference. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself lest you be tempted.” “Overtaken” is the Greek prolambano and means, “to be taken off-guard in a trespass.” “Fault” is the word paraptoma and signifies a slip or lapse, rather than a deliberate act.

We have only this option: obey the law, which is righteousness, or don’t obey, which is sin. If we obey, we can’t be blamed.

The next part of the verse reads, “For you are not under the law but under grace.” How clear! Through Yahweh’s grace (His pardon) our former sins will not be held against us. The penalty for breaking the law has been paid. By trusting in His grace we will not need to pay the penalty ourselves, which the law exacts for our thoughtless sins.

Under grace the penalty we earned is wiped away because the debt was paid through the shed blood of Yahshua. The wages of sin is death, Paul wrote in Romans 6:23. In our case it is Yahshua’s death in exchange for our own. Can this passage mean that we are free from the law now and can go out and sin again, as some seem to think? The Greek word for grace is charis and is defined as the divine influence on the heart and its reflection in one’s life.

 The Upright Not Condemnable

Simply put, under Yahweh’s grace we now emulate His righteous nature. We begin to think and act as He does. That means refraining from sin, which is the same as adhering to His standard, His laws.

When we come in line with His law by righteous living, the law with its incrimination and penalties for the disobedient has no claim on us. In Romans 8:1-2 Paul explains this concept:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Messiah Yahshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yahshua has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

The critical word is “condemnation,” which results from lawbreaking. When we live according to Yahweh’s statutes we are innocent of sin and therefore free from condemnation and punishment.

An unintentional slip is certainly covered by grace for the repentant. But if you continue to repeat the sin you are mocking the spirit of grace and are subject to Yahweh’s wrath.

Paul continues in verses 3-12 of Romans 6, asking, how can we who have followed Yahshua into the waters of baptism and have buried our old carnal life, continue in our old ways? Particularly since baptism means a putting to death of the “old man.” We must become dead to sin, he tells us in verse 11.

A person who has yielded his life to Yahweh, having put to death his sinful nature, must now live a new life of obedience, Paul explains in verse 13. As he puts it, we become “instruments of righteousness.”

Righteousness derives from a Greek word meaning right or just. The opposite is wrong or sin, which is lawbreaking.

 Law’s Penalty of No Effect

Moving on in verse 14 Paul writes, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law but under grace.” Does he mean that after all that he has just said about giving up sin that we are no longer under any obligation to obey Yahweh’s law? How is that possible when the law itself defines what sin is? (‘‘For where no law is, there is no transgression,” Rom. 4: 15.) Let’s examine the verse by segments.

First, for sin not to have dominion over us we have to be out from under it. The only way to accomplish that is by obedience to the law because sin by definition is lawbreaking.

As we have demonstrated, to be free of sin is to be obedient to His law. The same concept is found in Galatians 5: 16, where Paul writes, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”

If grace means we are not under obligation to keep Yahweh’s laws, then grace grants permission to sin! To this the prophet Jeremiah speaks for Yahweh in 7:9-10: “Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other deities whom you know not; And come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’?” Yahweh answers that because of these sins and that kind of attitude, “I will cast you out of my sight,” verse 15.

“But does that mean that I am not free to do anything I please under grace?” you may be asking. Let’s let Paul answer that question. The very next verse of this chapter, Romans 6: 15, reads, “What then? shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? Yahweh forbid. Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey: whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

Under Yahweh’s grace we are expected to live obedient lives, giving honor and worship to Him alone, doing what He commands of us as His special people. Verse 18 reads, “Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.” To be servants of righteousness is the opposite of being servants of sinfulness (lawlessness). This is shown in verse 20: “For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.”

 What ‘Under the Law’ Means

The converse is just as true: to be righteous is to be free from sin. No one can be legally arrested for doing good. No sheriff will arrest me for saving a drowning man. There is no law against it!

When you do good you are not under the condemnation of any law. The demands of the law are already met, therefore, and you have no debt to the law. This is what Paul means by not being under the law. It does not mean the law is no longer in effect, as we will now show.

We’ve seen that grace is a pardon for sin. Sin results when a law of Yahweh is broken. Therefore, the need to pardon us for sin exists because the law is in operation.

A murderer would not be condemned to die if there were no law against murder. And he would not need a pardon or grace.

Yahweh offers His grace and sent Yahshua to die for our sins for the plain and simple fact that the law is still in effect. Because the law is in force the penalty for breaking it is also real, or else we would have no need to fear sin’s consequences.

Some will argue that Yahshua came to do away with the law and thus we are put under grace. This idea falls flat if we can find grace in the Old Testament. Sure enough, in Genesis 6:8 we find, “Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh.” Because of grace Yahweh saved him from the penalty of death by drowning. Exodus 34:5-7 reads like something out of the book of Galatians. It speaks of Yahweh’s mercy, grace, longsuffering, and abundance in goodness and truth.

If grace existed in the days of ancient Israel, then why does Yahweh command Israel to keep the Ten Commandments? Why should it be any different with us?

We are under grace so long as we do not continue to break the law. Grace is not a permanent condition of the believer but a gift granted by Almighty Yahweh. That gift can be rejected through our own attitude of rebellion and acts of disobedience and Yahweh can remove it as well.

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of Elohim; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled,” Hebrews 12: 15.

Salvation Is Not Earned

Being law observant has nothing to do with “earning” salvation. I don’t get any special reward for paying my taxes on time, for keeping the peace, for not robbing my neighbor or mugging a stranger. I’m simply obeying laws. I’m not earning a thing by being law abiding, except the right not to be troubled by the authorities.

Paul writes in the book of Ephesians, “For by grace are you saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of Yahweh: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” 2:8- 9.

Nothing we humans can do earns us a place in the Kingdom because Yahweh has not defined obedience that way. Obedience simply engenders Yahweh’s favor and demonstrates our faith in and love for Him.

Obedience to His way of life also shows our gratitude for His pardoning of our past sins. Disobedience, contrarily, reveals an indifference toward what He has done for us and, more seriously, a contempt for Him and His Savior.

Now if I fail to pay my taxes, if I rob a bank, disturb the peace or mug someone, I will come under the law. Yahweh says inGalatians 5:19-21 that those who practice sin are also lawbreakers.

Yahweh Rewards Obedience

Unrepentant lawbreakers will not inherit the Kingdom.

Yahweh’s people love Him and want above all else to please Him. In several Scriptures we find that the love of Yahweh is defined as the keeping of His commandments. (See John 14: 15, 21; lJohn 2:5; 5:3; 2John 6.)

Rest assured, only Yahweh can grant salvation and at His own pleasure. Therefore, we want to be sure we have His favor by being obedient to what He commands. “And being made perfect He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him,” we read in Hebrews 5:9.

Lawkeeping is not salvation by works. Rather, it is salvation by obedience. Obedience can’t guarantee me a position in the Kingdom, but disobedience surely will keep me out of it!

Now note verse 10 of Ephesians 2, a continuation of Paul’s thought: “For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yahshua UNTO GOOD WORKS, which Elohim has before ordained that WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.”

James tells us that faith without works is dead, being alone (2:17). Our works perfect our faith, James writes in verses 21-22. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Do you see how faith wrought with his works, and by his works was faith made perfect?”

We complete our faith by following through with action. A faith that is sincere is proved by what we do about it. When we obey Yahweh’s commandments and other laws in our daily life we prove our faith in Him while pleasing Him at the same time.

Paul’s letter to Titus sums up the issue. “For the grace of Elohim that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Teaching us that denying unrighteousness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and devoutly in this present world.”

Law Stands Firm

An aging king was out riding his horse one day and recognized his nephew about to be hanged on the gallows at a local village. “Cut him down!” the monarch ordered.

When he inquired of the man’s crime he was told that his relative had defected to a rival kingdom and had been sentenced to die as a traitor.

“I just can’t let him die,” the king said to himself. “He is my sister’s son!” As he was about to order the man released, his chief aide interrupted, “The only way this man can be set free is if you offer the ransom of your own son. It’s the law.”

“But how could I do that?” the king responded. “I have only one son!”

“Aren’t you the supreme monarch?” asked a guard standing nearby. “Just rescind the law and the man can go free!”

But the aide again cautioned, “If you do that, your dominion will fall and end in ruin. Everyone will know that your kingdom’s laws are just relative. What kingdom could stand under those conditions?”

Our King, Almighty Yahweh, paid the penalty for our sins with His Son’s life. The very fact that He did so proves that He loved us. He could have just eliminated the law and saved Yahshua horrible suffering and death. But by not doing that He also demonstrated a key truth: Law is not to be altered or eliminated. The only way we can be pardoned from sin’s death penalty is through a substitute sacrifice of One far greater than ourselves. Through Yahshua’s payment of our sins with His own life, Yahweh’s grace saves us from the law’s penalty, which stands firm and unalterable against all violators.

Yahweh’s grace is a wonderful gift. May we never forfeit that grace through willful disobedience

The Beanie: Torah or Tradition?

Rather paradoxical is how some writers twist plain Scripture to say just the opposite of what was intended. This is the case with the 11th chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Assembly at Corinth, where female worshipers are told to wear a veil and men are admonished to be bareheaded.

Yet, some use this and other passages to say that a man should wear a covering on his head much like Orthodox and Conservative Jews do in synagogues.

We know that Jews will not allow anyone to come into the synagogue unless wearing a skullcap known as a yarmulkeor kepah (beanie). Today at Israel’s holy places or shrines, including the Wailing Wall, all visiting males must wear coverings on their heads. So pervasive is this practice that attendants will place a small paper cap on any visitor’s uncovered head.

Many Scriptures cited as proof that men should wear a covering on their heads simply do not bear up under even a little scrutiny. We will examine the remarks of at least one author and show the error of his conclusions.

Wait, the Pope wore it first?

It is surprising for some to learn that the Roman Catholics wore the little beanie before the Jews as it derived from Rome. The nickname the Catholics call this little cap is zucchetto but officially pileolus or pilos. In Ancient Rome, a slave was ceremonially freed after a praetor touched the slave with a rod called a vindicta and granted him freedom. The slave’s head was shaved and a pileus was placed upon it. Both the vindicta and the cap were considered symbols of Liberatas, the goddess representing liberty. A fresco in the Church of St Francis at Assisi depicts cardinals wearing them, so we know this tradition existed well before 1290 CE.

In Talmudic times, the practice of wearing a head-covering was only reserved for important men. This symbolism probably derived from Greek philosophers. As with all Jewish customs, once they become a universally accepted Jewish practice, they become halachically necessary.

So whats the history? Rabbenu Yerucham of Provence decreed that  Jews should wear kippahs while in synagogue as halakha in the 14th century. At that time it is believed the cap looked more like a Medieval scholar cap similar to the ones students wear at graduation ceremonies (these caps derive from the hat wearing Greek god Hermes who was believed to “outwit” others gods in mythology.) Greek philosophers wore this hat to symbolize their “education and status.”

Rabbi Joseph Karo, in the 16th century, dictated that Jewish men must have their heads covered at all times, this is based on a passage in the Talmud in which a rabbi said that he did so out of respect to G-d: “Rabbi Huna son of Rabbi Joshua said: May I be rewarded for never walking four cubits bareheaded” (Shabbat 118b). This practice gradually took hold among Jews worldwide most popularly among European (Ashkenazi) Jews. Many Sephardic Jews wear a kippah only when praying and eating. Although many hats were worn to fulfill this man-made decree over the centuries the Jews adopted the same beanie cap the Roman Catholics use.

High Priests and Mourning

Given as an example that King David wore a yarmulke in worship is 2Samuel 15:30: “And David went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot; and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.” This allegedly proves that he always worshiped Yahweh with his head covered.

In the context of the verse, however, we learn that King David is in the midst of an upheaval, with his son Absalom trying to usurp his father’s throne. Note verse 31, “Andkippah3one avid, ‘Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.’ And David said, ‘O Yahweh, I pray You, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.’”

Now notice verse 32, “And it came to pass that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshiped Elohim, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head.” Hushai is expressing severe contrition, tearing his coat and throwing dirt upon his head. This corroborates the statement that David was in severe distress and shame because of Ahithophel’s treachery.

Jeremiah 14:4 gives another example of shame and contrition leading to wearing a covering, “Because of the ground which is cracked, since there is no rain upon the land, the farmers are ashamed, they cover their heads.”

Going barefoot is also a sign of mourning. Because David was grieving and in shame he covered his head and went barefoot—not a normal worship practice.

The high priest wore a mitre, and his assistants were also to wear a headdress while doing Yahweh’s service, Exodus 28:39-41. Verses 39-4 instruct the making of the coat of fine linen, the mitre of fine linen, and the girdle of needlework. Aaron’s sons were also to have coats and girdles and bonnets for glory and beauty.

Some scholars say that the anointing of Aaron’s sons was not necessarily to have them officiate at that time but to prepare them to take over whenever Aaron was unable to continue his office as the high priest. We, however, are not high priests—Yahshua is. Were He a Levite He might wear the mitre in heaven. His priesthood is of the Melchisedek order as we are, not of the Levitical,Hebrews 5:6.

Proponents of head coverings for men maintained that men were not to remove their covering even for the dead. They citeLeviticus 10:6, where Moses commanded Aaron and the priests not to uncover their heads after Yahweh had destroyed Aaron two sons for burning unauthorized fire on the altar. The reason was that these two sons, Nadab and Abihu, were negligent in their duties as priests.

Verse 6 reads: “And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, ‘Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest you die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: But let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which Yahweh has kindled.’”

Interestingly, the NIV reads, “Do not let your hair become unkept,” instead of “uncover not your heads.” Here is an extreme event of mourning and disgrace for the Aaronic priesthood. Furthermore, the priestly headgear is not the same as the yarmulke.

Wisdom Like a Crown

Proponents have tried to equate the yarmulke with an ornament of grace in Proverbs 1:9. The pericope must begin at verse 7, “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son hear the instruction of your father and forsake not the law of your mother. For they shall be an ornament of grace unto your head and chains about your neck.”

This has nothing to do with the yarmulke being an ornament of grace. Grace here is unmerited kindness from Yahweh that comes with following the instructions of the father and advice by the mother. An ornament of grace adorns the individual who submits to Yahweh. It is not a command to wear the yarmulke or the headdress, neither is it an admonition to wear chains around the neck.

Proverbs 4:7-9 is quoted to imply that wisdom is compared to a head-dress or yarmulke. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you: she shall bring you to honor, when you do embrace her. She shall give to your head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to you.”

Again, the meaning and sense of this verse is simply enlightenment, giving us honor like a beautiful crown upon our heads.

Verse 10 goes on to say, “My son listen to me and do as I say and you will have a long, good life.” (Living Bible) This has nothing to do with the kepah or the yarmulke. It simply shows that a crown of life will be given to those who overcome and keep Yahweh’s words.

One writer says, “Isaiah likens Zion to the kepah, as a crown of glory and a royal diadem,” and he cites Isaiah 62:3. The meaning, however, is not that wearing a yarmulke will give us a crown of glory, but rather that He will hold us aloft in His hands for all to see as a splendid crown for the King of Kings. It is the reward that Yahshua gets for His people whom He has helped to overcome and who have become kings and priests in the Kingdom. Wearing a yarmulke has nothing to do with this honor. It is not a badge or uniform. It is poetic language extolling obedience to Yahweh.

Of Women’s Attire

“It is called a garment of praise in Isaiah 61:3,” says one writer. “The Hebrew word here translated garment is maateh and means a head covering as used in Isaiah 3:20 and Ezekiel 44:18.” Actually, the word maateh is Strong’s Concordance No. 4594 and is translated vestment. Brown, Driver, Briggs Gesenius translates maateh as “wrap, mantle.” And in Isaiah 61:3 as a mantle of praise in the figurative sense. It does not mean head covering.

The writer, however, maintains, “It means ‘a head covering’ as used in Isaiah 3:20.” Isaiah 3:20 reads: “The bonnet, the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands and the tablets and the earrings.”

There are two words that the writer may have been referring to. The word bonnet is No. 6287, peer in Hebrew, a fancy headdress. The other is headband, No. 7196 (qishur) or girdle.

Just why the author would bring in Isaiah 3:20 is difficult to comprehend. If we merely get the context, verses 16 and 17, we learn that Yahweh is speaking here about the dress of women. It has nothing to do with men wearing head coverings.

In seeking any verse that mentions head covering, these yarmulke proponents have seized on verses pertaining to women’s attire and compounded their error.

Some yarmulke advocates attempt to gain support from Ezekiel 44: 18, which reads, “They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads and they shall have linen breeches upon their loins. They shall not gird themselves with anything that causes sweat.”

Verse 15 shows that this refers to priests, the sons of Zadok. As we have noted before, the priests of the Levitical order were to wear something on their heads when they officiated in worship. One wonders, however, how one can confuse the dress of women inIsaiah 3:20 with the priests in Ezekiel 44: 18, while building a case for the man’s yarmulke.

Appeals have also been made to Isaiah 61:10, which reads, “I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my soul shall be joyful in my Elohim; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments and the bride adorns herself with jewels.”

Nothing to Rejoice In

One author says, “Ezekiel was commanded by Yahweh to wear the tire (Hebrew peer) upon his head and to command the children of Israel to do the same. Ezekiel 24: 17 and 23.” It is important that we note verse 16 of Ezekiel 24, which speaks about the death of Ezekiel’s wife. Verse 16 reads,

“Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with a stroke: yet neither shall you mourn nor weep, neither shall your tears run down.” And verse 17 continues, “Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of your head upon you and put your shoes upon your feet, and cover not your lips, and eat not the bread of men.”

It is quite obvious here that the man is not to mourn and not take off his “tire” (Hebrew peer, meaning a turban or fancy headdress). Ezekiel is to wear the headdress and not go barefoot as did King David when he was mourning. He was to put shoes upon his feet and he was not to cover his lips nor eat the bread of men. Again this has to do with mourning and has nothing to do with worship.

Notice verse 23, which reads, “And your tires (fancy headdress, turban) shall be upon your heads and your shoes upon your feet: and you shall not mourn nor weep but you shall pine away for your iniquities and mourn one toward another.” Yahweh is telling Israel that He will take away their strength and joy of their glory. The desire of their eyes and the things that they revel in will be removed because judgment is coming. It has nothing to do with wearing a kepah to worship Yahweh.

They Went Wearing Street Hats

The writer notes, “King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold and commanded all to bow down and worship it. But there were three Jews in his kingdom who would not worship the image, they worshiped only Yahweh. So the king had them thrown down into a fiery furnace. They went to this fire trusting in Yahweh with their caps on their heads, Daniel 3: 1, 21. And I believe they were praying all the way. “

Interestingly, the word “hat” referred to in Daniel 3:21 is from the Hebrew karbela (No. 3737 in Strong’s). It appears only in this verse and is translated hat. It involves casual clothing thrown on like a mantle; the akkadian cognate is cap. It has nothing to do with worship either in the synagogue or in the temple. It is an article of street clothing, a mantle type of cap or turban, according to theTheological Wordbook of the Old Testament.

Covering in the New Testament

One writer asks, “We are told by Paul to pray without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5: 17. Let us suppose that a man is working in the oilfields where he has to wear a hardhat on his head and work about 10 hours a day. Would it be a sin to pray while working? The way most people explain 1Corinthians 11, it would be. Let us understand and get back to the old paths, which are the good ways.”

The writer answers his own question. If we understand the verse to mean that a man is literally to pray without ceasing, he would not be working out in the oil fields while praying. Correctly understood, Paul tells us we should be in an attitude of prayerful reverence and close communion with Yahweh at all times. It does not mean that men should forever be on their knees praying with a yarmulkeon their heads.

Next this writer notes, “In 1Corinthians 11, Paul explains the headdress of men and women in praying or prophesying, As this article concerns men, we will not go into the women part of it. ‘But I would have you know, that the head of every man is the Messiah; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of the Messiah is Yahweh,’ 1Corinthians 11:3. We have three heads mentioned here: the head of man (Messiah), the head of woman (man), the head of Messiah (Yahweh).

Let us take up the next verse now. ‘Every man praying or prophesying, having his head (Messiah) covered dishonors his head (Messiah).’ We pray in the Name of our Head, which is the Messiah. If for any reason we do not do this, we are covering our head (Messiah) and dishonoring Him.”

Notice how the author makes his own judgments. He says, “Whenever we do not pray in the Name of the Messiah we are covering Him.” The Scripture nowhere says that whenever we do not pray in the Name of Yahshua we are “covering Him,” It simply is not a scriptural idea. It is a man-made notion for a man-made doctrine.

Let us continue, “In Paul’s day there were people who would try to hide the fact that they were believers in Yahshua if they were around Jews who did not believe in Him. Thus, they covered the fact that they believed in Him, and this dishonored Him, their Head. This is not talking about the head on your shoulders but the head Messiah and we are not to cover that head when we pray. We are to pray in His Name showing all that He is our head,”

Obviously the man is trying to build a case by inserting his own thoughts and projecting certain concepts into his private interpretation, making Yahweh’s Word of no effect. He attempts to make us believe that any time we pray to Yahweh and do not petition in the Name of His Son Yahshua the Messiah we are covering our head, meaning the Messiah. He gives no Scripture to support this assertion that we “cover the Messiah” by not praying in His Name.

He goes on, “Now let us look at the next verse. ‘But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head (man) for that is even all one as if she were shaven,’ 1Corinthians 11:5. So, Paul is saying that a man should have a covering on his physical head, the head on his shoulders [as well as] when the woman prays or prophesies or he is causing her to dishonor him (her head).”

Covered By Proxy?

Can you just hear the twisting of Scripture? He says that if the woman is praying, then the MAN must have a covering on his head or she is dishonoring the husband! This is not the meaning of the verse at all, but is a gross perversion of Scripture. If the woman prays with nothing on her head, how does the man’s head covering prevent her from dishonoring him?

“If a man does not have a physical headcovering, it is the same as if his wife had her head shaved.” Obviously then a man would not have to have on any headcovering if his wife were not in attendance either at the synagogue or at the meeting worshiping Yahweh. So long as the man is alone he would not need a covering of any kind, according to this writer’s reasoning. If the wife is praying (according to this perverted interpretation) and the HUSBAND does not cover his head, then it is as if SHE had shaved her head!

Paul says differently. He says that if the woman does not cover her own head (the head on her shoulders) it is as if she were shaven, which the NIV correctly says is a sign of a disgraceful act. The man’s head covering has nothing to do with the woman’s head being shaved. It is her own head that is to be covered.

He continues, “And only women caught in adultery had their heads shaved. This has always been a custom among the Jews even today, for women caught in adultery, to shave their heads. Paul also shows this in verse 6 that the woman is to cover her physical head also. Man and woman both are to have a headdress on when they worship Yahweh. This shows that neither one is without each other in Yahweh, 1Corinthians 11: 11-12.”

The above conclusion of the writer totally misses the basic thrust of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Paul is clearly teaching that if the woman does not have a covering on her head she is less than pious. The context of 1Corinthians 11: 11-12 simply means that the man is not without the woman because all men are born from women. But woman was formed from man’s rib. Yet, both man and woman are from Yahweh Who is the Creator of all life.

Man’s Own Rules and Traditions

From his book, What Is a Jew, Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer states in the section, “Do All Jews Wear Hats When They Pray?”: “There is a tendency by all faiths to exalt customs into firmly established religious principle.”

Leaders in Judaism themselves admit there is nothing in the Bible that teaches men to wear anything on their heads or even wear a prayer shawl.

“We know from archeological remains that in ancient days, the people of Israel were often bareheaded. In the British Museum , I saw a bas-relief of the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, portraying Jews who wore no headgear. The modern Orthodox practice, therefore, of keeping the head covered at all times does not go back to ancient Palestine . However, in the East the privileged classes wore some head ornament as a sign of their status and in time this custom spread to all groups.” (What Is a Jew?)Rabbi Mossis N. Kertzer, p. 93)

Professor Jacob Z. Lauterbach has pointed out, “The custom of praying bareheaded or with covered head is not at all a question of law. It is merely a matter of social propriety and decorum.” This is true as far as the Old Testament is concerned. The Apostle Paul makes it plain that in the New Testament men are to have nothing on their heads in worship, and women are to have their heads covered.

by Donald R. Mansager
obedience to the torah and law grace

The Spiritual Side of Obedience

The sincere Truth seeker knows that there is a powerful, spiritual dimension to existence than what is immediately evident, and that his life must reflect special goals as a follower of the Father and His Son.

Most live out their allotted time on earth focused entirely on the natural. With no greater purpose or desire than to indulge in the here and now. The singular goal of the vast majority of humanity is increasingly more wealth and gusto. They love its riches, its prestige, its enjoyments — striving daily for what the culture offers and what it stands for and glorifies. But when their days are done, all that they worked and sweated for ultimately becomes the property of someone else.  Even the memory of them soon fades away, Ecclesiastes 9:5. Life is a terrible thing to waste.

Yahweh is giving His called-out ones the opportunity of the ages – to join Him and His Son in His coming, everlasting kingdom.

Our choice is either to put all our efforts and aspirations into only a few decades worth of this earthly life, or prepare one day to leave the superficiality and temporal nature of this existence and join our Heavenly Father and His Son in an awesome and endless kingdom rulership, enjoying rewards far exceeding our finite comprehension. “But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which Elohim has prepared for them that love him,” 1Corinthians 2:9.

Natural Man Is Self-satisfied

Temporal gains are all that most people want from their priceless gift of life. They live their threescore and ten years for themselves.The average person has an innate rebelliousness at the mere mention of obeying the One who made him.  The common belief built on centuries of misteaching is that heavenly rewards will be granted anyway, regardless how one lives. From Genesis through Revelation the Bible says the exact opposite.  People will be judged by and rewarded based on how they live. John wrote inRevelation 20:12: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before the throne; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

They reveal that they are in essence a deity unto themselves.  As one celebrity quipped about her infant, “My baby is my religion.”This is what Romans 8:7 describes as the carnal mind: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim for it is not subject to the law ofElohim, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). Paul also wrote, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of Elohim; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of Elohim. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of Elohim: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,”1Corinthians 2:12 and 14.

The unconverted individual can no more un­derstand Yahweh than a squirrel in the forest. Like the squirrel, his whole shallow ex­istence consists in what he can see, feel, taste, and, enjoy.

In Galatians 6:7-8 Yahweh gives us a choice. He says it is up to each one of us which existence will be ours. “Be not deceived; Yahweh is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” The beauty of Yahweh’s grace is that we can have whichever we wish: a short-lived physical life of disobedience, with its temporary everything filled with emptiness, or a far superior, infinitely greater and exciting and rewarding spiritual existence serving the Father Yahweh now and for eternity.

No Thanks to the Gnostics

Immortality comes only from Yahweh, He alone has it. Timothy 6:16 says of Him, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen, nor can see.” Immortality is not something we innately have. Theprevailing teach­ing is that every person has a resident immortal soul that waits to be re­leased at death to fly away to its heav­enly reward.

No wonder most people arent really concerned with how they live their lives. No wonder they dont care if they don’t have His Name right, don’t honor­ the Sabbath, and generally disobey Him. No wonder He is not resident deep within their hearts: They think they have no need for Him! They think they will live forever automatically!

The immortality notion is rooted in teachings of the pagan Gnostics, who also believed that humans have innate immortality.Gnosticism taught that the physical universe was a terrible mistake of Yahweh, and that man originally lived in the spirit realm. We now wait for death so that we can be released back to where we should have been all along – living as immortals in a spirit world.

Their twisted immortality beliefs form the basis of the modern view about the hereafter: everyone goes immediately to heaven upon death. This false idea is endlessly repeated in traditional sermons and funeral eulogies. It is the original satanic lie. It is the very heresy that Satan himself first foisted on humanity!

The Adversary said, “You shall not surely die, Eve. For Yahweh knows that when you eat this forbidden fruit, you will be a Mighty One yourself. So do it for YOU!” (Have you ever wondered why Eve didn’t stop to ask, “Why would Yahweh place within easy reach a temptation that if accepted would make Adam and me as powerful, omniscient, and immortal as He?”)

The immortal soul teaching has been the most potent and influential lie ever put into words. It has done untold damage against the truth, and millions have been deceived by it.

What makes this belief so sinister is that, still believing Satan, the vast majority of this world do not really think they need Yahweh — they are told they are already immortal and will have everlasting life no matter how they choose to live. This belief helps explain today’s law-less attitudes and behavior.

Spiritually Ignorant

Our culture has lost sight of who created and now energizes the universe. Of course, through the teaching of evolution many believe that the universe created and drives itself! Evolution is an ingenious plot of Ha Satan to eliminate the Creator from man’s consciousness.

Many scientists by study­ing astronomy, physics, chemistry, mathematics, electricity, and other dis­ciplines, believe they have answers to all that exists. In fact, all they really have are a few answers to questions about the physi­cal universe. They have not even begun to understand the far greater spiritual realm. All man’s wisdom is foolishness, Paul writes in Romans 1:22. We cannot even comprehend our own brains, let alone use those brains to figure out how we got here and where we are going from here.

Almighty Yahweh answers man’s folly in Isaiah 44:24-25: “Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am Yahweh that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself; That frustrates the to­kens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish.

Yahweh is the Mighty One of na­ture as well as the ruler over spiritual things. He is the last word. He is THE authority and the final recourse.

From His Creator man learns about moral­ity. There is nothing really moral or im­moral about the behavior of a dog or a monkey or a fish. They act only as their brains were prewired to act. They live in a purely physical universe and behave strictly according to how they were designed.

But Yahweh says that He created man in His own image. And when He created humankind He brought the spiritual world in touch with the physical. Along with the physical laws that govern this earth we have spiritual laws – moral, ethical laws and stan­dards of right and wrong. And then He also gives us a choice. We have the prerogative to choose to follow our Creator or to reject Him in our lives. The first leads to rewards that cannot be imagined, the second results in everlasting death.

Yahweh Defines Morality

Now we can answer the question about what makes right, right … and wrong, wrong. What is it about the nature of sin that makes it “sinful” and evil?

The often-quoted Greek philoso­phers in all their vaunted human wisdom certainly didn’t know, beyond realizing that right and wrong carry their own consequences.

The answer they could not arrive at is Yahweh. Yahweh and He alone is the standard that creates right and wrong in both physical and spiritual universes. Moral right and wrong on this earth are determined by Yahweh’s own character. Without Yahweh, right and wrong would have no meaning. Right and wrong emanate from the spiritual – where Yahweh dwells – not from the natural, physical world. Be­cause man is physical first (not spiritual first, as the Gnostics taught), he must be taught right and wrong, good and evil. These are spiritual principles that don’t come naturally to humans.

There is no moral “right” and wrongabout the way nature oper­ates. If a tree falls and kills a squirrel, there is nothing morally right and wrong about it. But if I strike my neighbor, I have broken a spiritual law and am deserving of punishment. Why? Because Yahweh and only Yahweh has defined such an act as wrong and He brings this understanding to man through His laws.

It is Yahweh who brings morality to our lives. If I steal from my neighbor I have broken Yahweh’s spiritual-moral law.

Yahweh’s Laws Express Himself

Claiming that Yahwehs laws as given in the Covenant are unnecessary is to denigrate Yahweh Himself. Yahweh’s character is the measure of righteous­ness. And His laws are the expression of Yahweh’s own moral attributes. Therefore, to reject His laws is to reject what makes Yahweh who He is. His laws are His standard for behavior. No wonder the Evil One would like to destroy Yahweh’s laws through erroneous doctrines like salvation through faith alone.

The pompous academic will say, “How do you know what is right and wrong? How do you know what is truth? Truth is relative. Your truth may not be the same for everyone.”

Reject Yahweh and you WON’T not know what truth is. Live with an unchanged car­nal nature and you will be ignorant of proper,spiritual things and, even worse, harbor enmity for Yahweh. This is why lawless individuals have a natural hatred for the Bible and the religious individuals who follow it. Go to any secular college and you will find an abundance of those who harbor a nautral dislike for Bible-based religion.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim: for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, neither indeed can be(Rom. 8:7).

The prophet Isaiah confirms the ba­sic nature of unrepentant man: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa. 64:6).

Isaiah just described us in our natu­ral element. If we want to stay natural, that is how Yahweh will see us. The result of that kind of life is destruction, be­cause it will limit us only to the natural existence of a finite, physical world.

The only way we can have a chance at that spiritual world where life never ends is to become like Yahweh in mind and heart and behavior. In other words, to be­come spiritual. That is precisely what His laws accomplish in us because at their root His laws are spiritual.Paul wrote: For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin” (Rom. 7:14).

Why He Did Not Lower the Bar

In 1Peter 1: 16 we read, “Because it is written, Be holy; for I am holy” (quoted from Lev. 11:44). Holy” means set apart: set apart from the physical, from the worldly, from sin and its corruption.

Why, since all men have sinned by violating Yahweh’s laws, did Yahweh not just change or do away with his laws to conform to the lives of men and save them all? Instead of trying to change man, why not just lower the standards? After all, no one is able to live up to them anyway, many believe.

Why can’t the great Lawgiver just abolish sin by doing away with His laws? After all, Yahweh is supreme, isn’t He? The answer goes to the heart of who Yahweh Himself is.

Yahwehs moral, spiritual laws are not the result of His own whim. He didn’t sit down one day and say, “Let’s see, Ill make murder wrong, and steal­ing a sin, and lying wrong and cheating bad…” He didn’t do that and couldn’t do that and still retain His own identity.

Yahweh’s laws are a reflection of Yahweh Himself–His very character and His nature. To change His laws would be to change Him. And that is impossible. Yahweh is unchangeable, as He Him­self said. “For I [am] Yahweh, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed,Malachi 3:6. Sin is con­trary not only to the work of Yahweh, but also to the very nature of Yahweh. His holiness requires that sin result in death. Yahweh is life. Sin is death.

That is the way things are, by virtue of the way Yahweh made us and our world. It wont change one thing to argue about it. Saying the law has been done away doesn’t make it so. Resistance is futile. Yahweh himself says man’s rebellious ways and thinking are destined to be destroyed. And He commands us to obey Him.  “Let no man deceive you with vain words [words spoken against the truth]: for because of these things comes the wrath of Elohim upon the children of disobedience [lawlessness]” (Eph. 5:6).

Yahweh cannot tolerate sin – which is the breaking of His laws. Sin goes against everything that makes Him what He is. Therefore,sin is enmity, ­hatred of Yahweh, and is His de­spised enemy.

This isnt an arbitrary development. The universe is built on this principle. When Yahweh put man on this earth, He also introduced His spiritual law as part of this creation. He told Adam and Eve what was right and what was wrong.

Yahweh must either condemn sin or violate His own being. The penalty of every sin that has been committed or will ever be committed must be paid. We ei­ther pay it with our own blood or we rely on Yahshuas. If we want to overcome sin, then, we must accept Yahshua’s blood for our past sins and then come in line with His law – His very nature – from that point for­ward. It‘s just thatclear and simple.

If Yahshua did away with the law, then He did away with sin itself and we no longer need a Savior. Notice: “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law(lJohn 3:4).

Notice What Happens...

Coming into line with Yahwehs laws creates harmony and happiness in our lives! No wonder we read, “Wherefore the law is holy,and the commandment holy, and just, and good(Rom. 7:12).

When we observe Yahwehs laws we should feel great, knowing that Yahweh accepts us as one like Himself. When we rebe­l, we’remiserable and fearful. It’s axiomatic that when we move away from Yahweh we become subject to evil influences. Those who hate the Bible are in their hearts miserable.

What better proof that His laws are right and good and perfect and acceptable and nec­essary!

by Elder Alan Mansager

Love legalism and the torah or law

Love Is Basic to the Law

Ever since Yahweh showed me His wonderful truth and brought me in unity with my new spiritual family, I have rejoiced. I have come to a deeper understanding through the love that we have for one another.

Yahweh’s truth is more than a set of rules or regula­tions. Yahweh’s truth is a state of mind, an at­titude. For us to truly fol­low Yahweh’s law and Yahshua’s foot­steps we must always remember that the greatest commandments have to do with love. The Savior showed us this in Matthew 22: 34-40, to love Yahweh and love our neighbor.

Without love in our lives Yahweh’s Word would never have an opportunity to truly perfect us. We can see time af­ter time in the Scriptures where Yahweh tells us to love one another and admonish one another in love.

Love is such a small word, yet the meaning is great. Love means never thinking of yourself. Love is having a deep concern for our spiritual family members and show­ing respect for those around us. Love is putting ourselves to the side and helping others first. Love is never selfish, but al­ways giving. Yahweh told us that it is better to give than to receive. Love is the firstfruit of the spirit. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22). Love is what the entire Law hangs on. “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:40).

Love Over All

In the passage commonly known as the love chapter, the Apostle Paul empha­sizes how necessary love is for the True Worshiper:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move moun­tains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surren­der my body to the flames, but have no love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self­seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, al­ways perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways be­hind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three re­main: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (lCor. 13: 1-13). This chapter starts out by listing many gifts we can receive through the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us in each case, however, that if we have not loved, that the particular gift has gained us nothing.

Love is patient. We must always have patience with our brothers within the faith and those in the world around us. The second quality Paul lists is kindness. That perfection that Yahshua spoke about in Matthew 5:48 is the goal of the True Worshiper. We must al­ways show kindness toward others, just as Yahweh has shown kindness to us.

Let us remember that we have all fallen short of the glory of Yahweh. Paul tells us we are not to envy one another. Through envy comes jealousy. James reminds us that through jealousy come only confusion and every vile deed. “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, or of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disor­der and every evil practice” (James 3:14-16). Paul goes on to say that love is not being rude to the people around us. Remember, the world needs an ex­ample that comes from Yahweh’s Spirit. Love is never self-seeking. We must always think of others before self. Further in the chapter the Apostle says that love is not easily angered, because we are the light to this present-day world. We are the salt of the earth that cannot lose its flavor. Love keeps no score of wrong, Paul writes. We cannot go through life keep­ing a tally on everybody who has ever wronged us in some way. If we forgive then our Heavenly Father will be faith­ful to forgive us. Paul explains that we must always rejoice with the truth and allow Yahweh’s glory to shine in the world around us. Paul lists four more qualities that are essential to our salvation. He tells us we must always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere. The chapter ends with many examples of prophecies, tongues, and knowl­edge – saying that all shall pass away and only three qualities will remain. Those qualities are found in the 13th verse: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Love Not the World

John tells us that we are not to love this present-day world. Those who love the world do not have the love of the fa­ther within them. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of Yahweh abides forever” (lJohn 2:15-17).

Do these verses give us the right to go around hating the world with an unhappy attitude? John tells us that ev­erything that is found within the world is full of man’s sin. Yet, he by no means is telling us that we are to be in a bad attitude concerning the world. One of the fruits of the spirit found within Galatians 5:22 is joy. John shows that we are not to have joy through the sin of this world but through Yahweh’s righteousness. Yahshua the Messiah tells us to lay up our treasure in heaven where it will not pass away. He explains that where our treasure is there will our heart be also. “Lay not up for yourselves trea­sures upon earth, where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for your­selves treasures in heaven, where nei­ther moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).

Let our hearts always be focused upon Yahweh’s righteousness and Kingdom. Paul tells Timothy that nothing is really ours, so be content with food and covering. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can neither carry anything out. And having food and rai­ment, let us be therewith content” (lTim. 6:7-8).

Paul reminds Timothy that we can­not allow ourselves to be caught up in the riches of this world, rather, to be content with what we have. Our hearts and treasure must always be focused upon Yahweh, while being a bright and shining light to this world.

Love Your Enemies

The Messiah told us to love our en­emies and pray for them. “You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy: but I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you” (Matt. 5:43-44). We as Yahweh’s True Believers should always keep our faith in Yahshua the Messiah, and look past one another’s faults, including our en­emies’. We should strive for the perfec­tion that Yahweh wants. Keep in mind that when we were caught up in the sins of this world, we were Yahweh’s enemies. Through the love Yahweh showed us by giving us His only son, and allowing us an atonement for our sins, we try to show the same love to­ward our enemies.

Yahweh tells us that if we keep His commandments we love Him, and those that do not keep his command­ments the love of the father in not in them. “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 is the love of Yahweh perfected: hereby know we that we are in him,” l John 2:4-5. “If you love me, keep my command­ments” (John 14:15). The same message is found in John 14:21-24, John 15:9-10, l John 3:24, and l John 5:3. Many other verses show that through obedience to Yahweh’s Word, we are showing Yahweh that we love Him. When we want to show love and re­spect to our earthly parents, we obey them. We show similar respect and love by keeping our Heavenly Father’s com­mandments.

Love Your Neighbor

When Yahshua was asked by a scribe what commandment was foremost, He replied, “The first of all the command­ments is, hear, 0 Israel; Yahweh our Elohim is one master: And you shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).

Yahshua shows that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. We can see that same commandment given by Moses in Leviticus 19:18, “But you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am Yahweh.” What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself? It means to love and treat the people we come into contact with as we would want to be treated ourselves. “If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, you shall love your neighbor as your­self, you do well” (James 2:8 ).

The follower of Yahweh will love and respect those around him, includ­ing his enemies. “For if you love them that love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans so? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is per­fect” (Matt. 5: 46-48). By loving your neighbor you are ful­filling the law (Rom. 13:8-10). Yahshua also tells us that there is no greater love than to give the ultimate sacrifice: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” John 15:13. Yahshua demon­strated this by giving his own life so that we would have an atonement for our sins and could appear before him without blemish: “As the Father knows me, even so know I the father: and lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15). “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise Elohim our savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever” (Jude 24-25).

Let us love one another from the heart, and allow Yahweh’s spirit to grow within each one of us. May we remember that with the right heart we are already keeping Yahweh’s com­mandments. May we keep the faith of our only Savior and appear before His throne unblemished. May Yahweh lead us toward his Kingdom.

by Randy Folliard

The Old Testament Bible

The Old Testament LIVES

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Many call themselves “New Testament Churches” and say they have no use for the Old Testament. But what Bible did the writers of their New Testament quote from, refer to, and base their teachings on? It is time to rethink some critically important fundamentals!       

Picking up a Bible, the first thing you notice is that it is divided into two parts, an Old Testament and a New Testament. Because of the very names given to these two sections it seems that the Bible has an obsolete first part, bestowed with the title “Old,” which has been totally supplanted with a second part called “New.”

Most students of the Scriptures have been taught that what is found in the Old Testament is not actually intended for them but is only for Jews, while the New Testament is off limits to Jews and is approved only for Christian use.

Still, no one can explain why Christian Bible publishers continue to bind the Old and New Testament Scriptures into a single volume, as they have done for centuries. If the Old has been obsolete for 2,000 years, then why not just drop it? Clearly something fundamentally important has kept these two testaments together for 2,000 years.

A Website describes the popular understanding this way: “The Bible is mainly divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament contains books relating to the old covenant between Yahweh and Israel . The New Testament contains books and letters relating to the new covenant between Yahweh and the New Israel, the Church.”

Tertullian, 2nd century “father of the Roman church,” was the first to use the terms vetus testamentum or old testament and novum testamentum or new testament. He also introduced the term Trinity to the church vocabulary – nearly 200 years into the New Testament. But it is the regrettable use of the terms “old” and “new” (testaments) that has resulted in the most serious consequences.

The most far-reaching of them all is that two separate religions and faiths have ostensibly grown out of the same book – both worshiping the same Heavenly Father! But the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4 expresses that the Father is of one mind and understanding, a characteristic the Son shares, John 17:11, 22.

Many would have us believe that Yahweh made a huge misstep in requiring Israel to obey Old Testament teachings, only to correct that error in the New Testament by requiring just faith alone.

Yahweh never intended that the Old Testament and New Testament present two completely different worship modes and requirements creating two different options for salvation. This was never how it was with the early Assembly as guided by the Apostles. Yahweh never wanted his Bible to be divided into two different belief systems for two distinct groups of worshipers.

We are going to see that despite some administrative changes, the Old Testament and New Testament agree on a single salvation plan for all people. Further, we will see how the writers of the New Testament looked to the writings of the Old Testament as the basis of Truth, and how the disciples, and even Yahshua Himself, based their teachings and practices on what is found in the Old Testament, the only Bible they had. When they used the term “Scriptures” they meant the Old Testament. There were no other Scriptures in existence.

The viability of the Old Testament is one of the most significant truths you will ever learn about proper, Biblical worship. Its implications are enormous. It means that if Old Testament truths are still in full force and effect, then what Israel was told to observe remains largely unchanged and therefore applies to today’s Believers as well. It means nothing less than that the foundation for our beliefs and practices must rest in the Old Testament – which even our own Savior called “the Scriptures.”

Paul Dynamites a Myth

Over the centuries the popular notion has developed that there exists two different paths to salvation for two different groups of people in two conflicting sections of the Bible. This myth has caused two different religions to spring from the same book. Paul categorically refutes this in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: For you are all one in Messiah Yahshua.”

Here is the champion of Christianity – none other than the Apostle Paul himself – refuting a fundamental Christian belief! Here is the supposed founder of modern church teaching telling us that there is no basic difference between the Jew and the gentile. All are united in Yahshua. So how does that work in everyday reality?

Most Bible believers see it this way:  the Old Testament is useful and edifying in relating Yahweh’s actions with Israel – so long as it stays focused exclusively on Israel . It has some good history and individual lessons and examples that can also be nice for us to know.  But for them it doesn’t have the same level of authority or relevance for the believer as does the New Testament.

This means that anyone in the Old Testament era was at a great disadvantage just because they lived at a different time. It means in essence that they were second-rate believers; their salvation, if indeed they had it, was inferior because they did not know New Testament truth.

We need not go beyond Hebrews 11 in the New Testament to see the error in this thinking. Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and David will have exalted positions in the Kingdom – probably much higher than you and I and anyone else holding the New Testament, except Yahshua. And all that any of those patriarchs had to go by was the Old Testament. There they will be – sitting in high positions of authority in Yahweh’s government nevertheless.

Can we say, then, that the Old Testament is of inferior quality or has less merit than the New Testament?  Remember, it was the only Bible possessed of the patriarchs who will rule in the Kingdom of Yahweh .

One Truth and Only One Way to the Kingdom

Paul has something else to say about mistaken notions concerning the Old Testament.

First, from Galatians 3:28 we learn that salvation is not exclusive to any one race or group. In Yahweh’s eyes believing Jews and believing Gentiles are on equal footing. This is true no matter your perspective. Verse 29 says you are the seed of Abraham if you are Yahshua’s and therefore have the salvation promise.

And neither is there a difference when it comes to the avenue leading to life everlasting. There is only one truth and one way to salvation. In Ephesians 4:5 Paul confirms that there is “one faith, one hope, one baptism,” not two truths, one for the ancient Jew and the other for the modern Christian.

In Jude 3, Yahshua’s brother tells us we must return to the original faith once given to the saints. And what is that? Ephesians  2:20says that faith is built on the Apostles and prophets, or in other words it encompasses both Old Testament and New Testament.

In Revelation 14:12 that true faith is defined by those who keep the commandments and have faith in Yahshua. In Revelation 3:8 it also means those who have not denied His Name.

These are also truths taught fundamentally in the Old Testament.

The fact is, the “church” does not replace Israel but joins with it through the taking hold of the covenant promise that Yahweh proclaimed for all His people. We learn in Romans 11:1-2 that Yahweh did not discard Israel and start over with the New Testament. Israel is still key to His salvation plan, Romans 11:26. All who seek everlasting life must be grafted into the Israelite promise,Romans 11:17 clearly teaches.

In Yahweh’s master plan the Old Testament was never the special Bible for just Jews or Israel but was and is intended for all who seek Him. The same goes for the New Testament. If the Scriptures recognize that there is no difference between Jews and the “church,” then the Feasts, Sabbaths, and laws cannot be exclusively for Jews, Israel or restricted to any other particular people.

John wrote, “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 2:7.

Our Savior’s Bible Was Also the Old Testament

This is consistent with what we find in New Testament practice. The Savior and His followers all kept what was heard from the beginning, meaning the Old Testament instructions and commands. They recognized the continuity between Old Testament command and New Testament performance by observing the seventh-day Sabbath, annual Feasts, and laws Israel kept.

Yahshua Himself kept them, and commanded us to follow what He did, Revelation 2:26. He knew the basis of New Testament faith rests in the Old Testament. He said in John 5:46-47: “For had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe My words?”

By Paul’s crystal clear statement on equality, ordinances given to Israel must also be observed by everyone, or else there is only favoritism and no equality. Jew and Gentile must follow the same Truth, because there is only one Truth. Notice that this fact is brought out later in His letter, where Paul tells the Galatians, “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all…Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise” (Gal. 4:26, 28).

Jerusalem as the capital of the Israelite nation is “mother” to all those seeking Yahweh, including the Galatian gentiles in the New Testament to whom Paul was writing. Furthermore, Paul says the covenant promise we are under was shared by the Old Testament patriarch Isaac. Both peoples are part of the covenant.

Already we are seeing proof that Old Testament promises apply in the New Testament.

Most people are unaware that the Old Testament contains teachings on a number of what are considered New Testament doctrines. For example,

In the New Testament, whenever Yahshua and the apostles referred to the “scriptures,” they were in nearly every case referring to the Law, the Prophets and the Writings that make up the Old Testament.

They taught from them and about them; they used the Old Testament to support their position and make their points; they relied on Old Testament prophecies and used its teachings.

Yahshua even confounded Satan by quoting the Old Testament (Matt. 4:7-10).  Why didn’t Satan say to Him, “Why are you quoting that outdated and dead book?” Even the Adversary knew the Old Testament was alive!

In short, the Old Testament was not only the textbook of the New Testament patriarchs, but also their guide to living the life acceptable to Yahweh.

This begs the quintessential question: Why would New Testament, Spirit-inspired teachers and writers, including Yahshua Himself as the greatest among them, refer hundreds of times in their teachings to a collection of writings known as the Old Testament that was either obsolete or very soon to be obsolete?

And why would Yahweh  – for 2,000 years – delude millions of New Testament people by inspiring the direct quoting of 300 Old Testament passages that were obsolete?

In fact, one in every 22.5 verses of the New Testament is a direct quotation from the Old Testament. The New Testament refers to “Moses” no fewer than 80 times, and it mentions the Sabbath 60 times, despite modern attempts to say keeping the Sabbath is unnecessary. These solid facts contradict the idea that the Old Testament had no influence after Yahshua walked this earth.

If you take only Scriptural references or allusions into consideration, the numbers are much higher. Roger Nicole in his book, Revelation and the Bible says one estimate is that there there are as many as 1,640 allusions to the Old Testament in the New Testament, while another estimate he says totals 4,105 passages referring to Old Testament Scripture (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1958).  As high as 1 out of every 10 verses in the New Testament is either a direct citation of or an allusion to the Old Testament

If the Old Testament has been dead for 2,000 years, why did Yahweh inspire it to be quoted, referenced thousands of times, and included in the same Bible with the New Testament?

It is only natural that Yahweh would inspire the use of the Old Testament because the Old Testament was just as alive and central to truth when Paul preached it as it is today. Paul even told Timothy: “But continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; And that from a child you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Messiah Yahshua” (see Rev. 12:17). Further Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of Elohim may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2Tim. 3:14-17).

Yahweh doesn’t inspire “all Scripture” only to rescind two-thirds of it later on. Hebrews 8 explains that it was not the fault of the Old Covenant but of disobedient Israel that caused Yahweh to open up the covenant promise to others. Yahshua echoed that same truth in his parable of those who would not come to the wedding supper, so he invites anyone traveling by to come in.

Paul Observed the Old Testament’s Teachings

Let’s look at some instances of direct reliance on the Old Testament by believers living in the early New Testament era.

When Paul commended the New Testament Bereans for diligently searching the scriptures to see whether what he was preaching to them was true (Acts 17:11), he referred to their study of what we call the Old Testament: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

But to them it was not the “Old Testament.” As far as the Bereans were concerned, they were merely searching Yahweh’s Word, which included the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets, to confirm that what they were hearing from the New Testament apostles was true.

Remember, the Old Testament was the only Bible they had. It was the foundation of their faith and belief, and Paul even applauded them for double-checking with the Old Testament first before believing anything they read in the New Testament writings!

All of which screams one especially important fact: the New Testament does not contradict the Old Testament.

Why did not Paul say, “Listen people, don’t bother with those old writings that are now out of date. Just read my letters and do what they say and forget that Old Testament. I am all the Bible you need now.” He knew that teaching such a thing, which churches everywhere do believe and teach today, would be an enormous falsehood. He himself based Truth on the Old Testament Scriptures.

Note how Paul supported and taught the law and the Old Testament:

  • In Acts 24:14 Paul adamantly confirmed that he believed “all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” (Old Testament).
  • To prove that he lived “in observance of the law,” Paul agreed to undertake a ritual purification at the temple, at which time he proved that he kept the law (Acts 21:24-26).  Born a Benjaminite, he was instructed by Gamaliel “according to the perfect manner of the law,” Acts 22:3.
  • In diametric opposition to what most clerics teach today, Paul said he was not against Old Testament teachings and did nothing to violate them, Acts 28:17.
  • As a matter of fact, Paul taught the people about Yahshua from morning to night “out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets,” (Old Testament) Acts 28:23.
  • In Acts 25:8 Paul maintained that he never broke any laws of the Jews or the temple.

All the books of the Old Testament except Esther, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon are quoted in the New Testament.

That Old Testament that is used only occasionally for a children’s Bible lesson or for reading of an infrequent Psalm or Proverb is a lot more important than most people think. Yahshua, the apostles, and the earliest converts relied on the Old Testament as the basis for their teachings. They constantly alluded to it and defined their faith in light of what it said.

Once you have all the facts, then you are prepared to make informed, correct choices. People urgently need this truth about the Old Testament so that their worship can be corrected and aligned with the same Truth the prophets, Apostles, and Yahshua the Messiah followed. Sadly, most don’t want the truth of the matter. They love darkness rather than light (John 3:19) for fear of what they might discover that could alter their beliefs and impact their lifestyle. They are comfortable and satisfied in their traditional beliefs no matter how erroneous.

Yahshua Taught Old Testament Precepts

Yahshua made many references to the Old Testament and its laws. He even directly commanded us to study the Old Testament, the only Bible in existence:  “Search the Scriptures; for in them think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me,”John 5:39.

It is very important that in Matthew 23:2-3 Yahshua said the Scribes and Pharisees had the authority of the Old Testament commands when it came to teaching what you must observe. “Moses seat” is a euphemism for the Old Testament and its laws. The authority to obey Old Testament commands and laws comes right from Yahshua’s own mouth!

Let’s just look at a few of the many Old Testament truths that Yahshua taught:

  • In Matthew 22:37-40 Yahshua referred to a fundamental precept in the Old Testament on which to base His teaching about the law: love Yahweh and love your neighbor, which He quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 30:6 and Leviticus 19:18;
  • Yahshua deferred to the Old Testament in matters of divorce (Matt. 19:8);
  • Yahshua deferred to the Old Testament in matters of the law (Matt. 5), saying that not even the smallest part of the law would be done away until heaven and earth themselves pass away, verse 18.
  • Yahshua deferred to the Old Testament regarding salvation (Luke 16:29). In this reference Yahshua was telling the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. He ended it by saying, verse 31, that if they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, then it won’t matter to them even if one rose from the dead (meaning Himself). His lesson is clear – if they are not grounded in Yahweh’s laws and have no concern for the prophets’ warnings about sin, then Yahshua will have no influence them either. They won’t listen to Him, because His message is virtually the same as the Old Testament message brought by Moses and the prophets.

Some might argue, yes, but this was before Yahshua’s death changed everything and switched the focus from the Old Testament system to the New Testament.  However, many years after Yahshua was come and gone Stephen launched into a speech before the Sanhedrin that highlighted Yahweh’s covenant with Abraham and how Moses was born to fulfill that covenant, and how the plan was continually obstructed by the people who refused to obey and listen to the prophets, Acts 7. And now he says you are doing the same thing as you kill Yahshua and disobey the law (Acts 7:51-53).  Why would Stephen use the Old Testament as the context for their present rebellion unless it were still alive and in force?

Once Heretical Teachings Now Accepted

Was it the Roman Church that decided from the Scriptures themselves to throw out the Old Testament? Not on your life. There were many dark forces at work early on to derail True Worship, not the least of which were influential heretics like Marcion. Marcion was a second century teacher formally declared a heretic by the Roman church in 144 CE. Influenced by Gnosticism, Marcion taught that Yahweh of the Old Testament was an entirely different Mighty One from Yahweh of the New. Up until then, the traditional Church had considered the Old Testament to be sacred and assumed that Christianity was a fulfillment or continuation of Judaism. Hence they condemned doctrines that proclaimed such things.

Marcion’s rejection of that idea affected many different doctrines and beliefs. For more than 100 years Christians had been using the Old Testament as Christian Scripture, and even the most sacred documents of Christians referred to and relied heavily on, the Old Testament. The solution for Marcion was to completely reject the Old Testament and establish a canon that de-emphasized Christianity’s Old Testament and Jewish roots as much as possible.

For Marcion and others, the Old Testament Creator of the world was obsessed with law, while the New Testament Mighty One redeemed the world and was characterized by love and grace. Marcion not only threw out the entire Old Testament but also any New Testament books that seemed to him to emphasize law or good works at the expense of grace. Paul, with his perceived focus on grace, was by far Marcion’s favorite Apostle.

At the time, Marcion’s views disclaiming the Old Testament were not very influential. Amazing, isn’t it, that the essence of the teachings of a man who was pronounced a heretic by the early New Testament Assembly are today universally believed and tacitly applied to modern doctrine. Those teachings include emasculating the Old Testament and redefining grace as a replacement for obedience.

It is a sad commentary that so many have been deceived into thinking that the Old Testament is only for Jews, when in actuality it forms the very foundation for what is taught in the New Testament.

The New Testament categorically endorses Old Testament law. For instance, sin is clearly defined in the New Testament as transgression of Yahweh’s law (1John 3:4; Rom. 7:7). Throughout the New Testament the believer’s perpetual moral duty is that of love, and yet love is defined by the New Testament in terms of Yahweh’s law (Matt. 22:40; Rom. 13:10; 1John 5:2-3). Consequently the New Testament message and its morality are squarely founded on the operation of Yahweh’s law.

Both Old and New testaments teach Yahweh’s people to live by every word from His mouth, for Yahweh does not alter the words of His covenant. Every one of His ordinances, we are taught, is everlasting. Accordingly, Yahshua emphatically taught inMatthew 5:17-18 that His coming did not in the least abrogate one jot or tittle of Old Testament law. According to His own teaching, even the minor specifics of the law were to be observed — as a measure of our standing with Yahweh.

Paul maintained that every Old Testament Scripture has moral authority for the New Testament believer, and James in chapter 2 said that not one point of the law was to be violated.

We see both Old and New testaments coming together in a prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6: “Behold, I will send you 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.”

What does he mean? In Genesis 18:19 it means to teach children the statutes of Yahweh. It means that before the return of Yahshua, there will be a remnant who will turn back to the original truths of the Bible and restore them in their worship and lives. They will be keeping His laws, commandments, and ordinances, just as they did in the early New Testament assembly. Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry seeks to do just that.

Yahshua the Messiah magnified the law, not abolished it. As we have seen, He taught it and showed us its greater significance in our spiritual development.

Oftentimes the people who are introduced in the New Testament as blessed or favored by Yahweh are character-ized as obedient to His law — for instance, Elisabeth, Zacharias, Joseph, and Miriam (Luke 1:6; 2:21-24, 27, 39). During his ministry on earth Yahshua often appealed to the law of Elohim to bolster His teaching (John 8:17), vindicate His behavior (Matt. 12:5), answer His questioners (Luke 10:26), indict His opponents (John 7:19), and give concrete identity to the will of Yahweh for men (Matt. 19:17).

In all of these ways without elaborate introductions or explanations for departing from a general principle or perspective – the New Testament simply assumes the standing authority of every command of Yahweh found in the Old Testament. If the Old Testament law were invalidated by Yahshua, the preceding examples would be incredibly contradictory.

The New Testament writers used Old Testament quotations in their sermons, in their histories, in their letters, and in their prayers. They used them when addressing Jews or Gentiles, assemblies or individuals, friends or rivals, new converts or seasoned believers. They used them for argumentation and augmentation, for illustration, for instruction, for documentation, for prophecy, and for reproof. They used them in times of stress and in deep contemplation, in liberty and in prison, at home and abroad. They were always ready to defer to the impregnable authority of the “law and the prophets.”

The “Old” Testament is indeed “older” than the New, but so is a foundation older than the structure that rests on it. The Old Testament Scriptures establish a basis for the New Testament, providing legitimacy and giving it meaning and structure. It does the same for the True Worshiper who realizes that his faith is no different from the faith of the Apostles and Messiah Yahshua.

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