parenting in the digital age

Parenting in the Digital Age (Part 1)

The playground is barren and the sidewalks are bare.  The melodious sounds of children laughing and playing are no longer dancing in the air.  Fingers are tapping with eyes fixed open wide, immersed in a seemingly silent conversation, a child’s new playground is inside – the Internet, to be exact. How long has your child been living in this virtual world and do you know what he’s doing?

Today’s children are growing up in a digital age; they are known as the “digital generation.”. A mere decade ago parents only had to watch their children in the physical world, and this was no easy task.  Today, at the click of a button, children can connect with complete strangers around the world.  Keeping an eye on children in the virtual world can be an impossible task if one isn’t equipped with the digital media know-how to do so.  While the Web, as an informational superhighway, has many social and educational benefits, risks – serious risks – exist as well.  (And, I can assure you, after a year of doctoral-level research into the benefits and risks of digital media effects on children and teens, that I have grave concerns about the health and well-being on our children.  Because of their digital media diets, their consumption, according to research, is saturated with unsupervised communication that crosses age appropriate barriers.)

Like a spider weaving a web to catch its prey, so the “WWW” can be compared when it comes to those vulnerable to its grasp.  There is a school of thought floating out there right now that suggests “…children are increasingly sophisticated, mature and media savvy…[and] efforts to shield youth from media are too protectionist in nature…[therefore] children should be empowered to take control on their own media experiences” (Children, Adolescents, and the Media, 2009, p.10).  I choose not to believe this mindset.  Children are vulnerable and naïve.  They do not have the cognitive or emotional capacity to process mature forms of communication in messages as do adults.  This, coupled with the fact that media use is at an all-time high, should raise a few red flags.

So, what are kids spending their time in this alternate universe doing?  According to research, the average U.S. child between the ages of 8 and 18 spends almost seven hours a day using media, in terms of exposure.  Of this media consumption, television viewing still takes the number one category for media usage among this age group, despite emerging technologies.  One out of five children, according to a national study, are reported to watch more than five hours of television a day.  A lack of parental supervision and mediation is much to blame for this gluttonous, in terms of a media diet, behavior.  To no surprise, after reading these numbers, a reported 53% of children reported to have no rules in their home about what they can watch or how often and for how long they can watch it.  And of those reporting having rules regarding television viewing, some 23% share that rules are not generally enforced.

In an age where youth are continually confronted with an evolving media environment, where new technologies are emerging daily, and existing technologies are merging and becoming more interactive, parents need to be aware of the latest trends, some of which include grave dangers.  It’s no longer about keeping your doors locked to protect your family from the evils of the world; danger can now lurk from within, even in your children’s very bedrooms.  Does your child have a television in his bedroom?  Does he have a cell phone with privileges that allows him to use the his phone in his bedroom?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, pay extra close attention to what I am about to share in this in-depth look at children, adolescents, and the media. As we explore the lure of advertising, media violence, sexuality, drugs, rock music and music videos, eating disorders, and video games, we will see how this affects the individual and the family.

This article seeks to educate and inform the body about the digital media environment that poses risks to threaten the very core of what we work so hard to protect – our children.  The conclusion of this series will offer parenting advice, in relation to parenting in the twenty-first century, and media usage advice.

We are charged with the task to raise our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).  We read in Matthew 6:22-23, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.  If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness!”  Be forewarned that much exists today in this world, and virtual world, that your children may have access to that dwells in darkness.  Please stay tuned for part two of this discussion.  Yahweh bless!

By: Amy Pletz

parenting in the digital age 2

Parenting in the Digital Age (Part 2)

Are your children full from their media consumption, or are they craving more? When is too much, just plain ole’ too much? Do you know what your children are viewing and participating in online when you are not around (and, if you think you know the answer … are you sure)?

In part one of this piece we chatted about what it means to grow up in a digital generation and defined today’s typical teen media consumption (what is being consumed). Now, it’s time to bring these facts home and make a difference and keep you in the know. Our children are precious jewels given to us by the King and placed in our charge, as parents to raise and prepare for the coming Kingdom. Let us not minimize the “power” of the web, including its content, ability to connect people, and exposure to “unclean” things.

If you were flipping through channels on the television as a family and a show came on with highly sexualized material, would you turn it? What about a program that glorifies homosexuality? What about a show with teens acting disrespectfully, even if through sarcasm and comedy? Today on the television I am shocked to see children dressing like immoral adults and behaving with intense disrespect toward their parents and other authority figures, like teachers. I am the mother of five children, one son and four daugh­ters. My two oldest daughters admit they struggle with societal pressures to act or look a certain way, mainly pressures they experience in school, and that so often thrive online. It is my chal­lenge and responsibility to raise my children in a way that they find peace and strength in living for Yahweh, according to the Word. I continually tell them that the road to the Kingdom is not easy, but the reward is amazing.

Some would suggest cutting off the Internet to protect and ensure safety. Yes, this is an option. I choose to allow this medium of communication in my home, but the rules are not one-size-fits-all. My oldest is allowed the most freedom, but I watch her openly and I know her passwords. My two 12-year-olds are allowed to visit pre-approved websites, and this occurs in a public area, like the rec room. My two youngest enjoy the Internet and only visit sites we have pre-approved and saved as shortcuts on the desktop; this minimizes the possibility of surfing the web and seeing inap­propriate content. It’s not a perfect system, but it works for us right now.

I have long learned to be flexible and keep my eyes open, always ready to make a change for the safety and welfare of the family. And if a rule is broken there are consequences, generally start­ing with a hands-off the Internet for a substantial period of time. I just feel that while there are negative aspects of the Internet, there are also many pluses. For example, my oldest likes Facebook, a much debated social platform, a meeting place for “friends” to get together and share information and pictures. I monitor her on Facebook for safety reasons and to “see” what she is up to, which serves as the topic for many conversations, which I consider a big plus.

Honestly, even sites she has “liked,” that I ultimately make her “unlike” because they are too mature, we talk about. I exercise my role as mom and mentor and walk her through the reasons why it’s inappropriate and displeasing to Yahweh. I cherish these teaching moments. Living over a thousand miles away from much of our family isn’t easy emotionally, and Facebook is a way for us to stay in touch, so this is one of those plus factors. On the flipside, my oldest tells me stories of folks she knows, children her age even, who swear online and post crude pictures. She knows she has the ability to unfriend them on the site, block content, or comment and serve as a witness to the Word.

The Internet is here to stay. It has truly become an exten­sion of the “real” world. I want to teach my children to use the Internet for the good it offers and how to be “street smart” and stay safe at the same time. I am also very much aware that the Internet is a real danger. Here are some tips I employ in my home to guide my children in their healthy consumption of media, specifically browsing online:

  1. Limit your child’s media intake to a certain amount of time per day, and stick to it.
  2. Have Internet access in public/common areas only, unless you feel your child has the maturity and understanding to have Internet access in private spaces. And, even if you choose the latter, still monitor usage.
  3. Chat regularly with your children about their online interests and comings and goings.
  4. Don’t allow any form of media to take away from family time. For example, in our home, cell phones don’t come to mealtime.
  5. Perhaps the most important rule: clearly define your expecta­tions and rules of conduct for your children. It’s best to do this initially and then ongoing as gentle reminders. If your children have friends over, make sure they know the house rules of media consumption.
  6. If you see your child viewing something that is questionable, use it as a teaching moment and talk about it. Sometimes advertise­ments appear on web pages that viewers have no control over—you will need to decide how you will react to this. Again, it’s best to have a plan ahead of time.
  7. Be consistent. I love this rule for parenting in general. If you have rules and expectations, stick with them. Be consistent. Don’t get lax when it comes to parenting in the virtual world. Yes, it’s more work, but it’s important.

While this world is ever changing, Yahweh changes not. Media has evolved so much in the past century that it’s hard to tell fiction from reality at times, and the creators of this media are becoming so cunningly creative and persuasive … but, you can choose to be strong in the Word. Do not compromise your Father’s principles for a righteous walk. We can use the Internet as a tool for phenomenal witness, spreading the Word to the nations. We can use the Internet as a tool to reach out to friends and family in need, sharing words of encouragement and connecting with opportunities to serve.

We can use the Internet as a channel to learn as so many assem­blies have websites with good studies and videos. I leave you with this parting thought: As a parent, be aware, always on guard, always ready to protect your children … but allow them room enough to grow leaves and stretch their branches with peace in knowing you gave them roots to withstand any storms that may come their way.

I often find comfort in letting go a bit by praying for my children. I am openly overprotective of them, but I am mindful not to hold on so tightly that they feel suffocated and without a voice of their own; I have learned how blessed it that I and my children are making decisions together … for lifelong learning. This pleases Yahweh and does not take away from raising them in the way they should go.

As parents we are teachers in many ways, more than reinforcing math facts or language arts basics—we are in this for the goal of entering the very Kingdom of Yahweh! Know that the world is rag­ing around us. A great evil is stirring as the end of days approach­es. Keep watch, dress yourself and your children in the full armor of Yahweh, and embrace Messiah Yahshua each day. Teach your children that even in the virtual world Yahweh is watching, and He expects them to act in a way that is good and right. The same goes for us as parents. Be the example.

May Yahweh bless you and keep you!

by: Amy Pletz


Three Women of Faith

As a young girl growing up, I was nurtured by three important women in my life.  Each one of these special ladies had dynamic attributes that helped shape and mold who I am today.  Most of all, I admired their deep abiding faith in Yahweh.  Through many trials and heartaches, they never blamed or wavered in the strength of their faith in our heavenly Father and they kept Yahshua near their hearts.

I wish you could have met my grandmother, Mary.  She had a sweet rosy smile and beautiful white-as-snow hair, which I helped curl.  She didn’t come to the knowledge of the Name until near the end of her life.  Grandma’s faith was amazing.  Each year she faithfully read her Bible through and through until she wasn’t able to anymore.

I remember sitting at her feet under her old, but well-kept, sewing machine, watching the treadle move swiftly back and forth.  She would remind me never to sew on the “Sabbath” day because, as she put it, “Each stitch would go into Yahshua’s heart.”.  I still remember this and abide by it today…

The next special lady is my beautiful mother, Millie, with a heart of gold.  Now talk about faith and endurance!  Momma raised seven children, helped run a business, kept a spotless house, planted and canned produce from a huge garden and, most of all, taught me how to pray.

One cold, snowy Pennsylvania evening, my father left the house to plow snow.  As he turned to say goodbye he reminded us, “Be sure to keep the water dripping so the pipes won’t freeze.”.  As you can guess, with seven children in the house, someone turned off the spigot and the pipes froze.  We were all worried what Dad would say.  Our mother, never blinking an eye, got down on her knees without hesitation, telling us to do the same.  By the time we finished praying, the water shot out of the faucet like a rocket ship.  We all jumped up with joy, thanking Yahweh from the bottom of our hearts.

The third special lady in my life was my mother-in-law, Mil.  I loved to watch her laugh (I’m so glad she passed that trait on to her daughter, Linda).  Mil never worried about anything (well, maybe about her children, a little).  We always said Yahweh had angels watching over her – especially if you saw her drive!  She always knew everything would work out in its own time and that “everything will be all right.”.  It always was.  Mil’s faith was sweet, soft and private in many ways.  She taught me to “stay the course, believe in Yahweh and keep the faith.”  She fell asleep privately but never alone.  That is how she would have wanted it…

Yahweh in his Word shows us many examples of faith, and we must ourselves grow in faith for Him.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  These loving sisters kept their vision toward their Father in heaven.  Their examples taught me never to give up.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that comes to Elohim must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Keep strong in your faith.  Show, by example, to your children and your children’s children the faith you have in Yahweh.  Put Yahweh first in all that you do – and I promise everything will be all right in the end.

by: Margie Mansager

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Yahweh’s Perfect Law – French

C’est le dimanche matin. Le Ministre Johnson monte sur le podium, se tourne vers Romains 10 : 4, et proclame la bonne nouvelle en annonçant : « Le Sauveur a tout payé. Nous sommes libres de ces régulations issues de l’Ancien Testament et sommes, à présent, sous la grâce par la foi seule ! »

Nombreux dans les divers cultes actuels croient et proclament ce même message : que Yahshua le Messie « a cloué la Loi sur la croix. » Néanmoins, qu’y a-t-il de vrai dans cette croyance ? La Loi a-t-elle été clouée au bois ou la Loi de Yahweh est-elle toujours effective pour Ses croyants du Nouveau Testament ?

Examinons quelques-uns des passages les plus populaires du Nouveau Testament qui sont cités par ceux qui voudraient abolir la Loi Biblique.

Qu’est-ce qui a été rajouté ?

Beaucoup pointent un passage de Colossiens comme preuve que Yahshua mit fin aux Lois de l’Ancien Testament. Paul écrit : « il a effacé l’acte dont les ordonnances nous condamnaient et qui subsistait contre nous, et il l’a détruit en le clouant à la croix »(Colossien 2 : 14).

En comprenant mieux le mot grec « ordonnances » dans ce verset, nous trouvons une autre signification. Le mot grec utilisé ici estdogma (le n° 1378 dans la Concordance Exhaustive Strong). Le dictionnaire grec de la Concordance Exhaustive Strong définitdogma ainsi : « de la base n° 1380 ; une loi (civile, cérémonielle, ou ecclésiastique) : – décret, ordonnance. »Dogma est utilisé sept fois dans le Nouveau Testament et se réfère à des décrets créés par l’homme. Une autorité écrit : « Comme, à Colosses, la forme de l’erreur était largement judaïque, insistant sur la loi cérémonielle juive, la phrase est probablement teintée par ce fait » (Word Studies in the New Testament, p.908).

Ainsi, dogma dans ce cas-ci ne désigne pas la Loi de Yahweh, mais les décrets ou ordonnances créés par l’homme. Paul se référait aux lois ajoutées, que les Juifs ont plaquées sur la Loi de Yahweh. Nous trouvons Paul avertissant Tite concernant ces lois rajoutées dans Tite 1 : 14 : « et qu’ils ne s’attachent pas à des fables judaïques et à des commandements d’hommes qui se détournent de la vérité. »

Yahweh n’était pas toujours heureux de l’addition de ces règles. Yahshua critiqua les Juifs dans Matthieu 15 et Marc 8 pour leurs « commandements d’hommes » qui, dans ce cas-ci, concernaient le fait de manger sans s’être lavé les mains. Les Juifs créèrent de nombreux commandements physiques, mais négligèrent l’aspect spirituel de la Loi de Yahweh, et c’est cela qui déplaisait à Yahshua.

Le telos de la Loi

Dans Romains 10 : 4 nous avons un passage qui est mal compris par une majorité de prédicateurs d’aujourd’hui : « car Christ est la fin de la loi, pour la justification de tous ceux qui croient. »

En surface il peut sembler que Yahshua mit fin à la loi pour tout le monde lorsqu’Il mourut sur le bois.  Cela s’harmonise-t-il néanmoins avec le reste de la Parole de Yahweh ? Vivons-nous sans loi ? Si tel est le cas, alors nous n’avons pas de péché car « le péché n’est pas imputé, quand il n’y a point de loi. » (Romains 5 : 13). Mais il ne peut pas en être ainsi car Paul écrit également :« Car tous ont péché et sont privés de la gloire de Dieu » (Romains 3 : 23).

N’y a-t-il pas, ici, quelque chose que beaucoup ne voient pas ?

Le mot grec pour « fin » dans le passage de Romains 10 :4 est telos, et telos est définit dans le dictionnaire grec Strong ainsi : « définir comme un point ou un but défini, l’objectif comme limite à atteindre » – n°5056.

Ce mot « fin » que l’on trouve dans Romains 10 : 4 peut également être traduit « finalité, but ». Nous trouvons une meilleure traduction de ce verset dans la Bible Chouraqui où nous lisons : « La finalité [le but] de la Tora, c’est le Messie, pour la justification de tous ceux qui adhèrent. »

Ce même mot grec telos est traduit « fin » dans Jacques 5 :11 : « … et vous avez vu la fin [telos] de Yahweh. » (Version Chouraqui) Yahweh est-il arrivé à Sa fin ? Bien sur que non, pas plus que la Loi. Tant Yahweh que la Loi ont des objectifs, pas de fins. Nous allons, à présent, considérer un important objectif de la Loi.

Plus sous un pédagogue

Galates est l’un des livres les plus gênant pour beaucoup dans les cercles religieux actuels. Dans Galates 3 il existe un passage qui a été incompris par la majorité des personnes d’aujourd’hui. «Ainsi la loi a été comme un pédagogue pour nous conduire [au Messie], afin que nous fussions justifiés par la foi. La foi étant venue, nous ne sommes plus sous ce pédagogue » (Galates 3 : 24-25).Ce verset n’est pas difficile à comprendre si nous considérons quelques faits importants.

Nous avons vu dans Romains 10 : 4 que le Messie n’est pas la fin de la Loi, mais le but vers lequel pointe la Loi. Le Messie est l’objet ou la raison de la Loi. Par la Loi seule nous pouvons connaître le Messie, car Yahshua représente littéralement la Loi dans la chair. Il vécut la Loi dans tous ses aspects. Si nous faisons la même chose, nous serons comme le Messie.

Paul dit que par la Loi nous connaissons le Messie, mais que, après être arrivés à la connaissance de Yahshua, nous n’avons plus besoin d’un pédagogue, car la Loi est une part de nous-mêmes, comme l’est le Messie.

Dans la culture grecque un pédagogue était un paidagogos, un esclave de confiance qui avait la garde des garçons de la famille. Ils avaient besoin de lui pour la guidance et l’instruction durant leur jeunesse. Mais après avoir grandi, ils vivaient selon les préceptes qu’il leur avait enseignés. Faire ce qui leur avait été enseigné était devenu une seconde nature. Une fois appris « les règles » ils n’auraient plus besoin d’un pédagogue. C’est là le point de la Loi que Paul expliqua.

Par la foi nous nous soumettons automatiquement à la volonté de Yahweh. Ses préceptes et Ses lois sont à présent une partie de nous-mêmes. Nous n’avons plus besoin d’un stricte pédagogue guidant chacune de nos pensées et actions car faire ce qui est juste est une seconde nature.

L’observance de la Loi dans le Nouveau Testament

Yahshua et beaucoup de Ses fidèles disciples ont non seulement démontré que la Loi N’A PAS ÉTÉ annulée, mais qu’ils lui ont exprimé un profond amour.

Dans Matthieu 5 : 17-19 Yahshua dit que ceux qui gardent et enseignent la Loi de Yahweh auront de grandes récompenses dans le Royaume de Yahweh : « Ne croyez pas que je sois venu pour abolir la loi ou les prophètes; je suis venu non pour abolir, mais pour accomplir. Car, je vous le dis en vérité, tant que le ciel et la terre ne passeront point, il ne disparaîtra pas de la loi un seul iota ou un seul trait de lettre, jusqu’à ce que tout soit arrivé. Celui donc qui supprimera l’un de ces plus petits commandements, et qui enseignera aux hommes à faire de même, sera appelé le plus petit dans le royaume des cieux; mais celui qui les observera, et qui enseignera à les observer, celui-là sera appelé grand dans le royaume des cieux. »

Yahshua n’est pas venu pour détruire la Loi, mais pour l’accomplir ou la compléter, comme l’indique le grec. Yahshua a dit que ceux qui préservent et enseignent la Loi seront bénis de positions honorables dans le Royaume, mais que ceux qui refusent de l’observer et enseignent à d’autres le même mensonge de non-obéissance ne seront pas bénis et n’hériteront d’aucunes positions.

Yahshua n’était pas le seul défenseur de la Loi de Yahweh. Nous trouvons l’apôtre Paul, habituellement cité comme étant opposé à la Loi, promouvant, en fait, l’observance de la Loi dans Romains 3 : 31 : « Anéantissons-nous donc la loi par la foi? Loin de là! Au contraire, nous confirmons la loi. » Paul n’a jamais dit que la Loi de Yahweh était sans importance. Beaucoup diront que tout ce dont nous avons besoin c’est de la foi. Paul dit que nous avons besoin des deux, la foi comme la loi. Nous n’avons pas à rejeter la Loi sous prétexte de la foi, mais comme le dit Paul nous devons établir la Loi dans nos vies.

Dans Romains 7 nous trouvons l’apôtre Paul faisant, à nouveau, la promotion de la Loi de Yahweh : « Ignorez-vous, frères, – car je parle à des gens qui connaissent la loi – que la loi exerce son pouvoir sur l’homme aussi longtemps qu’il vit?… Que dirons-nous donc? La loi est-elle péché? Loin de là! Mais je n’ai connu le péché que par la loi. Car je n’aurais pas connu la convoitise, si la loi n’eût dit: Tu ne convoiteras point… La loi donc est sainte, et le commandement est saint, juste et bon » (Romains 7 : 1, 7, 12).

Paul défend la Loi de l’Ancien Testament

Paul dit que la Loi domine, ou a de l’autorité, sur nous jusqu’à notre mort, tout comme l’alliance de mariage entre deux personnes. Il dit aussi que sans la Loi nous ne connaîtrions pas le péché. Paul conclut ces passages non pas en diminuant la Loi, mais en lui donnant les plus grands honneurs.

Dans un passage du Nouveau Testament nous voyons l’apôtre Paul utilisant la Loi de Moïse pour transmettre son propre message au jeune Timothée. « Car l’Écriture dit : Tu n’emmuselleras point le bœuf quand il foule le grain. Et l’ouvrier mérite son salaire » (1 Timothée 5 : 18). L’utilisation de tels exemples par Paul, indique qu’il enseignait et promouvait les Lois de l’Ancien Testament comme ayant autorité, et comme étant le fondement des enseignements du Nouveau Testament. Ces deux lois peuvent être retrouvées dans la Torah :

« Tu n’emmuselleras point le bœuf, quand il foulera le grain » (Deutéronome 25 : 4).

« Tu ne retiendras point jusqu’au lendemain le salaire du mercenaire » (Lévitique 19 : 13).

Dans Actes 24 Paul se tient debout devant Félix, le gouverneur de Judée. Paul est accusé de suivre et, même, de promouvoir une division parmi les Juifs. En vérité, Paul n’a jamais fait de reproche à l’égard de la Foi juive, mais proclama qu’il suivait tout ce que ses ancêtres avaient enseigné. « Je t’avoue bien que je sers l’Elohim de mes pères selon la voie qu’ils appellent une secte, croyant tout ce qui est écrit dans la loi et dans les prophètes » (Actes 24 : 14).

Lors de la tentative du gouverneur de condamner l’apôtre, Paul non seulement déclare qu’il croit, mais prend résolument la défense de la Loi et des Prophètes. S’il croyait dans la Loi et les Prophètes, il est manifeste qu’il aurait observé les deux. « La Loi », dans ce cas-ci, inclue les cinq livres de la Torah, tandis que « les Prophètes » désignent la collection entière des prophètes de l’Ancien Testament et tout ce qu’ils enseignent concernant la volonté de Yahweh au travers de Sa Loi.

De toute évidence, Paul n’a jamais rejeté la Loi, mais avait un grand respect et un grand amour pour elle. Il en réalisait les bénéfices. Il savait que la seule manière de connaître le bien du mal était par les saintes règles de Yahweh inspirées dans les cinq premiers livres de Sa Parole. Qu’utiliserions-nous pour connaître le bien du mal si la Loi de Yahweh était annulée ?

Un test de droiture

La Loi n’a pas été donnée à l’humanité pour nous sauver, mais simplement pour nous montrer le bien et le mal. Dans Romains 3 :20 nous voyons que sans ces normes nous vivrions dans un monde totalement chaotique. « Car nul ne sera justifié devant lui par les œuvres de la loi, puisque c’est par la loi que vient la connaissance du péché. »

Nous sommes également avertis contre la transgression de la Loi de Moïse dans Hébreux 10 : « Car, si nous péchons volontairement après avoir reçu la connaissance de la vérité, il ne reste plus de sacrifice pour les péchés, mais une attente terrible du jugement et l’ardeur d’un feu qui dévorera les rebelles. Celui qui a violé la loi de Moïse meurt sans miséricorde, sur la déposition de deux ou de trois témoins; de quel pire châtiment pensez-vous que sera jugé digne celui qui aura foulé aux pieds le Fils d’Elohim, qui aura tenu pour profane le sang de l’alliance, par lequel il a été sanctifié, et qui aura outragé l’Esprit de la grâce? Car nous connaissons celui qui a dit : À moi la vengeance, à moi la rétribution ! et encore : Yahweh jugera son peuple » (Hébreux 10 : 26-30).

Notez que l’auteur de l’épître aux Hébreux dit clairement qu’une fois que nous sommes venus à la connaissance de la vérité, il n’y a plus de remède pour les péchés commis par la suite. C’est une pensée effrayante.

L’auteur de l’épître aux Hébreux continue en affirmant que ceux qui transgressent la Loi de Moïse, qui fut reçue de la part de Yahweh, seront jugés plus sévèrement que ceux de l’Ancien Testament. Ceci contredit la notion inventée par l’homme d’un Nouveau Testament basé sur la grâce et la foi seulement. Le salut implique bien plus que la simple proclamation de la foi et de la grâce pour tous ceux qui croient. Le salut requiert une action : l’obéissance.

Nous trouvons ceci confirmé dans Hébreux 5 : 9 : « et qui, après avoir été élevé à la perfection, est devenu pour tous ceux qui lui obéissent l’auteur d’un salut éternel ». Yahshua, l’auteur du salut, n’offre le don du salut qu’à ceux qui obéissent à la Parole de Yahweh. Nous ne pouvons pas uniquement croire et dire que nous avons la foi, mais devons agir par l’obéissance fondée sur la foi.

En observant Sa Loi nous démontrons à Yahweh que nous voulons Lui obéir et Le servir. Dans 1 Jean 5 : 3, nous lisons que si nous aimons Yahweh nous observerons Ses commandements. « Car l’amour d’Elohim consiste à garder ses commandements. Et ses commandements ne sont pas pénibles ».

Ce message est important, car il est bien plus profond que beaucoup l’imaginent. Nous ne montrons pas l’amour seulement par l’observance des commandements de Yahweh, mais nous devons aussi les observer avec un profond désir de Le servir. Ses commandements doivent être si désirables qu’ils ne nous paraissent jamais pénibles.

S’ils nous sont pénibles, alors nous avons rendu nul l’objectif de l’observance de la Torah de Yahweh. La Loi de Yahweh a pour but de nous modeler et de nous former à avoir le caractère même de Yahweh. Tout sentiment négatif à l’égard de Sa Loi revient à résister à ce but. Les normes de Yahweh sont un reflet de Sa propre morale et de Sa propre éthique. Pourquoi ne voudrait-il pas que nous ayons la même nature que Lui ?

La foi seule ne suffit pas

Dans l’épître de Jacques nous pouvons voir que le frère de Yahshua a encouragé l’observance de la Loi pour le peuple de Yahweh.

« Mes frères, que sert-il à quelqu’un de dire qu’il a la foi, s’il n’a pas les œuvres? La foi peut-elle le sauver ? Si un frère ou une sœur sont nus et manquent de la nourriture de chaque jour, et que l’un d’entre vous leur dise: Allez en paix, chauffez-vous et vous rassasiez ! et que vous ne leur donniez pas ce qui est nécessaire au corps, à quoi cela sert-il ? Il en est ainsi de la foi: si elle n’a pas les œuvres, elle est morte en elle-même. Mais quelqu’un dira : Toi, tu as la foi ; et moi, j’ai les œuvres. Montre-moi ta foi sans les œuvres, et moi, je te montrerai la foi par mes œuvres. Tu crois qu’il y a un seul Elohim, tu fais bien; les démons le croient aussi, et ils tremblent » (Jacques 2 : 14-19).

Jacques pose une question cruciale pour tout croyant : en quoi le bien existe-t-il si nous avons la foi mais pas les œuvres ? C’est comme un véhicule sans essence, il ne va nulle part. Notre salut fonctionne de la même manière. Avec la foi et les œuvres le Royaume de Yahweh nous est promis ; toutefois, sans l’une des deux notre salut s’arrête, nous sommes sans essence pour avancer.

Jacques dit également que les démons croient en l’existence de Yahweh et de Yahshua, mais cette simple croyance ne les rend pas digne du Royaume de Yahweh. Ils n’ont ni les œuvres ni un cœur obéissant.

L’obéissance ainsi que la foi

Trois passages intéressant peuvent être trouvés dans le Livre de l’Apocalypse. Le premier est la prophétie de la femme, symbolisant l’Assemblée, transporté dans le désert afin d’être protégée de l’adversaire. « Et le dragon fut irrité contre la femme, et il s’en alla faire la guerre au restes de sa postérité, à ceux qui gardent les commandements d’Elohim et qui ont le témoignage de Yahshua »(Apocalypse 12 : 17).

Considérez ce qui distingue le peuple de Yahweh. Deux caractéristiques définissent les saints de Yahweh : l’observance des commandements de Yahweh, et la foi en Yahshua. Par ces deux caractéristiques sont définies les attentes de Yahweh envers Son peuple.

Nous retrouvons ces deux attributs dans Apocalypse 14 :12 : « C’est ici la persévérance des saints, qui gardent les commandements d’Elohim et la foi de Yahshua. »

Yahweh définit Ses Saints comme étant ceux qui observent Ses commandements et qui ont la foi en Yahshua le Messie. Très simplement, ces deux éléments sont essentiels pour un croyant, car sans eux nous n’aurons pas accès au Royaume de Yahweh.

Dans le dernier chapitre de la Bible, Yahweh nous avertit une nouvelle fois de la nécessité d’observer Ses commandements. « Bénis sont ceux qui font ses commandements, afin d’avoir droit à l’arbre de vie, et d’entrer par les portes dans la ville ! »(Apocalypse 22 : 14, Version King James en français).

Ici, à la fin de la Bible, Yahweh dit clairement qu’observer Ses commandements est une obligation pour entrer dans Son glorieux Royaume. Yahweh n’acceptera que ceux qui ont un cœur obéissant et humble. Un cœur qui ne s’écarte jamais de lui, mais demeure intègre jusqu’à la fin.

Chaque mot de la Bible est pour notre bénéfice. Paul explique cela dans 2 Timothée 3 : 16 : « Toute Écriture est inspirée d’Elohim, et utile pour enseigner, pour convaincre, pour corriger, pour instruire dans la justice. »

Chaque passage que Yahweh a donné est profitable d’une manière ou de l’autre. Que ce soit comme réprimande, comme correction, ou comme instruction, la Parole de Yahweh a une place dans la vie de chacun. Elle nous enseigne l’intégrité, qui est définie comme l’observance de la Loi de Yahweh.

N’oubliez pas la Loi de Yahweh

Dans les livres des prophètes nous pouvons trouver une abondance de prophéties pour le croyant du Nouveau Testament. Un prophète en particulier nous enseigne à propos de la Loi de Moïse. Sa prophétie est une réponse de Yahweh.

Dans Malachie 4, Malachie prophétise sur un avenir lointain. Il parle d’une époque où la terre brûlera comme une fournaise, et le méchant deviendra de la cendre. Le message de Malachie est vital, car le message ne s’arrête pas avec les personnes de l’Ancien Testament, mais continue pour celles des derniers jours.

Il avertit que nous ne devons pas oublier la Loi de Moïse : « Souvenez-vous de la loi de Moïse, mon serviteur, auquel j’ai prescrit en Horeb, pour tout Israël, des préceptes et des ordonnances » (Malachie 4 : 4). Il est important de comprendre ceci. Nous, au XXIesiècle, apprenons ici qu’il est demandé aux saints d’observer TOUTE la Loi, avec les préceptes et les ordonnances.

Nous ne devons rien négliger de la Loi de Yahweh, mais observer chaque commandement inspiré, tel que le souhaite et nous en instruit Yahweh, à nous, Son peuple.

yahweh’s perfect law; yahweh’s law; biblical law; the laws in the bible; is biblical law in effect?, torah, torah law,

Yahweh’s Perfect Law

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It is Sunday morning. Minister Johnson climbs onto the podium, turns to Romans 10:4, and proclaims good news by announcing, “The Savior paid it all. We are free from those Old Testament regulations and now are under grace through faith alone!”

Many in nominal worship today believe and proclaim this same message — that Yahshua the Messiah has “nailed the Law to the cross.” How much of this belief is true, however? Has the Law been nailed to the stake or does Yahweh’s Law remain in effect for His New Testament believers?

Let us examine some popular New Testament passages cited by those who would abolish biblical law.

What Was Added?

Many point to a passage in Colossians as proof that Yahshua did away with the Old Testament Laws. Here Paul writes, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his stake” (Col. 2:14).

With an understanding of the Greek word “ordinances” in this verse, we find another meaning. The Greek word here is No. 1378, dogma. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Greek Dictionary defines dogma as: “from the base 1380; a law (civil, cerem., or eccl.): — decree, ordinance.” Dogma is found seven times in the New Testament and refers to man-made decrees. One authority writes, “As the form of error at Colosse was largely Judaic, insisting on Jewish ceremonial law, the phrase is probably colored by this fact,” Word Studies in the New Testament, p. 908.

Thus, dogma here is not signifying Yahweh’s Law, but man-made decrees or ordinances. Paul was referring to the added law, which the Jews tacked on to Yahweh’s Law. We find the Apostle Paul warning Titus of this added law in Titus 1:14: “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.”

Now read on in Colossians 2. Verse 16 refers to those judging you (with added man-made law that the Pharisees were clearly guilty of in Yahshua’s and Paul’s day) regarding keeping His holy days or clean foods or Sabbaths, “which are a shadow of things to come.” Verse 17 plainly says that these are a “shadow of things to come.” It is certainly not referring to “blotting out” or “doing away” with these important parts of Yahweh’s law, as some may argue. Now to the key that unlocks Paul’s meaning and intent for writing this chapter—verses 21-22: “Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using; after the commandments and doctrines of men.” The Apostle Paul was clearly referring to “dogma,” meaning man-made decrees, not biblical ones.

Yahweh was not always pleased with these added laws. Yahshua chastised the Jews in Matthew 15 and Mark 8 for their “commandments of men,” which here meant eating with unwashed hands. The Jews made many physical commandments, but they neglected the spiritual aspect of Yahweh’s Law, and that is what displeased Yahshua.

The Telos of the Law

In Romans 10:4 we have a passage that is misconstrued by a majority of preachers today. “For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.”

On the surface it may appear as if Yahshua ended the law for everyone when He died on the stake. Does that harmonize with the rest of Yahweh’s Word, however? Are we now living lawlessly? If so, then we have no sin because “sin is not imputed when there is no law,” Romans 5:13. But that cannot be, because Paul also wrote, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of Yahweh, ”Romans 3:23. Is something missing here that most don’t see?

The Greek word for “end” in this passage is telos, and telos is defined in Strong’s Greek Dictionary as: “to set out for a definite point or goal, the point aimed at as a limit” — No. 5056.

This word “end” found in Romans 10:4 could also be translated “goal.” We find a better rendition of this verse in the Jewish New Testament, which reads, “For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts.”

The same Greek word telos is translated “end” in James 5:11: “…you have seen the end [telos] of Yahweh.” Has Yahweh come to an end? Of course not, and neither has the law. Both Yahweh and the law have goals, not ending points. We will now look at an important goal of the law.

No Longer Under a Schoolmaster

Galatians is one of the most troublesome books for many in today’s religious circles. In Galatians 3 we have a passage that has been misunderstood by the major populace today. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Messiah, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:24-25).

This verse is not difficult to understand if we consider some key facts.

We saw in Romans 10:4 that the Messiah is not the end of the Law, but the goal at which the law aims. Messiah is the object or purpose for the Law. Only through the Law can we know Messiah, because Yahshua literally represents the Law in flesh. He lived the law in every aspect. If we do the same, we will be like the Messiah.

Paul is saying that through the Law we know Messiah, but after we have come to the knowledge of Yahshua we no longer need a schoolmaster, because the Law is part of us now, as is the Messiah.

In the Greek culture a schoolmaster was a paidagogos, a trustworthy slave who had the guardianship of the boys of a household. They needed him for guidance and instruction while they were young. But after they grew up, they lived by the precepts he taught them. It became second nature to do what they had been taught. They would no longer need the schoolmaster once they learned “the rules.” This is the point Paul was making with the law.

Through faith we comply with Yahweh’s will automatically. His precepts and laws are now part of us. We no longer need a strict schoolmaster guiding our every thought and action because doing the right thing is second nature.

Lawkeeping in the New Testament

Yahshua and many of His faithful disciples not only show that the Law has NOT been annulled, but they also express for it a deep love.

In Matthew 5:17-19 Yahshua says that those who keep and teach Yahweh’s Law will have great treasures in Yahweh’s Kingdom:“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Yahshua came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill or complete it, as the Greek indicates. Yahshua said those who uphold and teach the Law will be blessed with honorable positions in the Kingdom, but those who refuse to keep it and teach others the same fallacy of non-obedience will not be blessed and will not inherit any position.

Yahshua was not the only advocate for Yahweh’s Law. We find the Apostle Paul, who is usually cited as being against the law, in Romans 3:31 in fact promoting lawkeeping: “Do we then make void the law through faith? Yahweh forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Paul never said that Yahweh’s Law wasn’t important. Many will say that all we need is faith. Paul says that we need both faith and law. We are not to throw out the Law because of faith, but as Paul says we are to establish it within our lives.

In Romans 7 we find the Apostle Paul again promoting Yahweh’s Law: “Know you not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?…What shall we say then? is the law sin? Yahweh forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet…Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Rom. 7:1, 7, 12).

Paul Advocates Old Testament Law

Paul says that the Law has dominion or authority over us till death, just as marriage does between two people. He also says that without the Law we would not know sin. Paul concludes this passages by not diminishing the Law, but by giving it the highest honor.

In one New Testament passage we find the Apostle Paul using the Law of Moses to convey his own message to young Timothy. “For the scripture says, You shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward” (1Tim. 5:18). His using such an example indicates that Paul taught and promoted the Old Testament Laws as authority, meaning the basis for New Testament teachings. Both of these laws can be traced back to the Torah:

  • “You shalt not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn” (Deut. 25:4).
  • “The wages of him that is hired shall not abide with you all night until the morning” (Lev. 19:13).

In Acts 24 Paul is standing before Felix, the governor of Judea. Paul is being accused of following and even promoting a division among the Jews. In truth, Paul never rebuked the Jewish faith, but proclaimed that he followed all that his ancestors taught. “But this I confess unto you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” (Acts 24:14).

In the governor’s attempt to condemn the Apostle, Paul not only says that he believes, but also unmistakably advocates the Law and the Prophets. If he believed in the Law and the Prophets, he clearly would have been observing both. The Law here includes all five books of the Torah, while the Prophets indicates the entire collection of the Old Testament prophets and all that they taught about Yahweh’s will through His law.

Obviously, Paul never uprooted the Law, but had great respect and love for it. He realized its benefits. He knew that the only way to know right from wrong was by Yahweh’s holy standards inspired in the first five books of His Word. What would we use for knowing right from wrong if Yahweh’s Law were annulled?

A Litmus Test for Righteousness

The Law was not given to mankind to save us, but simply to show us right from wrong. In Romans 3:20 we see that without these standards we would live in a world with utter chaos. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

We are also warned of breaking Moses’ Law in Hebrews 10: “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. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that has said, Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, says Yahweh. And again, Yahweh shall judge his people” (Heb. 10:26-30).

Notice that the writer of Hebrews very plainly says that once we have come to the knowledge of the truth, there is no more remedy for sins committed thereafter. This is a dreadful thought.

The writer of Hebrews continues by stating that those who break Moses’ Law, which was received through Yahweh, will have a greater judgment than those of the Old Testament. This contradicts the man-made notion of a New Testament based on grace and faith alone. Salvation involves more than a simple proclaiming faith and grace to all those who believe. Salvation requires an action — obedience.

We find this confirmed in Hebrews 5:9: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Yahshua, the author of salvation, offers the gift of salvation only to those who obey Yahweh’s Word. We cannot just believe or say that we have faith, but must act on our faith by obedience.

By observing His Law we demonstrate to Yahweh that we want to obey and serve Him. In 1John 5:3 we read that if we love Yahweh we will obey His commandments. “For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

This passage is important to understand because the message goes much deeper than most realize. We not only show love by keeping Yahweh’s commandments, but we must also keep them out of a deep-down desire to serve Him. His commandments must be so desirable that they never seem grievous to us.

If they are grievous, then we have defeated the purpose of observing Yahweh’s Torah. Yahweh’s Law is to shape and mold us into Yahweh’s own character. Any negative feelings toward His law amount to resistance of that goal. Yahweh’s standards are a reflection of His own morals and ethics. Why should He not want us to have the same nature as He does?

Faith Alone Is Not Enough

In the Book of James we find Yahshua’s brother unequivocally promoting law keeping for Yahweh’s people.

“What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one Elohim; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:14-19).

James asks a crucial question for any believer: What good is it if we have faith but no works? It’s like a vehicle with no gasoline, it travels nowhere. Our salvation works the same way. With faith and works we are promised Yahweh’s kingdom; however, without either of the two our salvation comes to a halt, with no gasoline to continue.

James also said that even the demons believe in Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s existence, but just having this belief does not make them worthy of Yahweh’s Kingdom. They have neither works nor an obedient heart.

Obedience as Well as Faith

Three noteworthy passages are found in the Book of Revelation. The first is the prophecy of the woman, meaning the Assembly, being taken into the wilderness for protection from the adversary. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Elohim, and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah” (Rev. 12:17).

Notice what distinguishes Yahweh’s people. Two characteristics define Yahweh’s saints: keeping of Yahweh’s commandments, and having faith in Yahshua. By these two characteristics Yahweh’s expectations for His people are defined.

We find these two attributes again in Revelation 14:12. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Yahshua.”

Yahweh defines His Saints as those that are keeping His commandments and having a faith in Yahshua the Messiah. Very simply, these two elements are essential for a believer, for without them we will not have access to Yahweh’s Kingdom.

In the last chapter of the Bible Yahweh warns us once again of the need for keeping His commandments. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14).

Here at the end of the Bible Yahweh clearly says that keeping His commandments is a requirement for entering His glorious Kingdom. Yahweh will only accept those with an obedient and humble heart. A heart that never wavers from Him, but stays true to the end.

Every word in the entire Bible is for our benefit. Paul explains this in 2Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Every utterance that Yahweh has given is profitable in some way. Whether it be reproof, correction, or instruction, Yahweh’s Word has a place in each of our lives. It instructs us to righteousness, which is defined by observing Yahweh’s Law.

Forget Not the Law of Yahweh

Within the prophets we can find an abundance of prophecies for the New Testament believer. One prophet specifically educates us concerning the Law of Moses. His prophecy is a reply from Yahweh.

In Malachi chapter 4, Malachi prophesies of the distant future. He tells of a time when the whole earth shall burn like a furnace, and the wicked shall become stubble. Malachi’s message is vital, for the message does not stop with those in the Old Testament, but continues on for those in the latter days.

He warns that we must not forget the Law of Moses: “Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments” (Mal. 4:4). This is important to understand. We in the 21st century learn here that the saints are told to keep ALL the Law, with statutes and judgments.

We must not neglect any of Yahweh’s Law, but observe every inspired commandment as Yahweh so wishes and instructs us, His people.

Biblical law and torah

Handwriting of Ordinances Is Not Biblical Law

Why did Paul write to the Assembly at Colosse that Yahweh “forgave all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, that was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His tree”? (Col. 2:14). Was he saying that the law was no longer in effect, essentially blotted out and nailed to the torture stake, as many believe? To understand, let’s look at the background of his letter to the Colossians.

When we come across a problem verse it is helpful to understand the underlying reason the passage was written. Especially is that important when examining some of the passages Paul wrote that give many readers difficulty.

 Colosse: Dominated by Paganism

Situated in Asia Minor, Colosse was the great cultural center of the region. Here Epaphcas had raised up an assembly. Competent Bible scholars believe that Paul had been presented some of the problems of this congregation situated in the very center of worldly wisdom. It was while jailed in Rome that Paul is credited with writing four of his letters, which have come to be known as prison epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. The date is around 60 C.E.

The assembly at Colosse evidently met in the home of Philemon. Situated in the Lycus valley, Colosse was dominated by Greek civilization and philosophy. With her sister cities of Laodicea and Hieropolis, Colosse made up the part of Phyrgia, considered to be the seat of Greek philosophy. Rome had become dominant in world affairs by the time of Paul, but Oriental philosophy and asceticism continued to permeate the culture of this and other outlying areas.

The people had lapsed into paganism and gross immorality. There was no Jewish settlement as in Tarsus and Laodicea and other cities of commerce and business. Greek culture dominated this part of Asia Minor, today known as Turkey. It was a great cultural center, but strong in heathenism, paganism, and the mystery religions. Pantheism was everywhere.

The teachings of Plato centered on the demiurge. This is the Gnostic term for the Creator of the material world, who was considered much lower than and far removed from the Supreme Being. This was one of the main purposes of Paul’s letter — to prove that Yahshua was the Creator and the head of the Assembly, and not the bottom of the creation ladder (Col. 1).

After explaining the pressures upon the assembly in Colosse being brought by Oriental theosophy and asceticism, McClintock and Strong point out that these pagan teachings “… promised thereby to their disciples a deeper insight into the spiritual world, and fuller approximation to heavenly purity and intelligence than simple Christianity could yield.”

The problem that Paul addressed in his letter to the Colossians was the syncretism of pagan, Oriental asceticism with the truth of the Scriptures. It was the mixing of the Word with worldly philosophy and esoteric wisdom along with spiritualism and mystery religions. As McClintock and Strong point out, it was the combination of Oriental philosophy “and the ascetic practices by which it was supposed that the soul is to be emancipated from the material thraldom under which it at present labors.”

Law Not Against Us

Paul’s concern can be seen in reading the first chapter of Colossians. There in verses 9-10 he desires that they be filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding of the knowledge of Yahweh. In verses 13-20 he shows that Yahshua is the fullness of Yahweh, and that Yahshua Himself was the Creator. He ends the last two verses of the chapter declaring that he is striving to present every man perfect in the Messiah. Paul’s point is that Yahshua is the head of the body, the assembly.

In chapter 2 Paul warns the believers not to be taken in by those who would beguile them (verse 4), nor be spoiled (as spoiled by war) through philosophy and vain deceit by the traditions of men and the elementary teachings of the world, verse 8. In verse 10 Paul points out that the believer who has been baptized is complete in the Messiah, and in verse 13 he says the believer is now living a new life, with his sins forgiven.

Notice that in verse 13 it is the Father who has made the believer alive and has forgiven all trespasses. Yahweh is the subject here. Verse 14 tells how He did it. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing them to the tree” of His Son, Yahshua.

The “handwriting of ordinances” is not the Ten Commandments which were written on two tables of stone by Yahweh’s own finger. These ordinances were handwritten by man. They were not engraved on two tablets of stone as were the Ten Commandments.

In addition, this handwriting of ordinances Paul says is “against us, contrary to us.” This certainly cannot be the Ten Commandments, for they are not against us. David said, “O, How love I Thy Law! it is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119:97). If King David, the patriarchs, and Yahshua Himself kept and obeyed Yahweh’s law, how can His law be “against us, contrary to us?” We might act contrary to His Law, but certainly His Law is not against or contrary to us. The problem was always with man, never with the law.

Yahweh’s law was never blotted out, expunged, or erased. We read that it is still in effect some 30 years later when John wrote the Book of Revelation, 12:17; 14:12; 22:14. Paul elsewhere uses the term tables of stone (2Cor. 3:3), but he does not do so here in the letter to the Colossians. This cannot be referring to the Ten Commandments, which were placed inside the ark (Heb. 9:4). The writer of Hebrews refers to them as the tables of the covenant.

Neither were the ordinances referred to here the sacrificial law of animal offerings. The animal offerings did indeed cease when Yahshua became the complete sacrifice for our sins by offering up His sinless life for us. All the animal offerings and the sacrifices in the O1d Testament pointed to some phase of the redemptive work of the Messiah. The ceremonial law and Temple worship pointed to the Messiah; type met anti-type in Him. The ceremonial law was set in abeyance at that time.

The word from which ordinances is translated is the Greek dogma, and it occurs six times in the New Testament. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says of dogma, “Primarily denoted an opinion or judgment (from dokeo, to be of opinion). Hence, an opinion expressed with authority, a doctrine, ordinance, or decree.” Furthermore, it is used in the Bible to be the doctrine, decree, or teaching of man. “Ordinances” here is a man-made teaching. It is not Yahweh-ordained law.

From the Mouth of Man

Dogma first occurs in Luke 2:1 where the birth of Yahshua is told. The decree (dogma) went out from Caesar Augustus. The term means a man-made teaching or ordinance. It was a decree (dogma) issued by the Roman emperor that all the world should be taxed. Dogma occurs again in Acts 16:4, “And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were in Jerusalem.” The decrees were the result of the council recorded in Acts 15. Here James gives his conclusion on what was to be required of the converted Gentiles coming into the Body of Messiah.

Because they were from pagan, heathen backgrounds (worshiping idols, indulging in fornication common with temple prostitutes, eating of things strangled and blood), these things were all a common practice in their prior heathen worship. Noting this, James states that those Gentiles should be especially warned of these things, Acts 15:20 and 29.

These Gentiles were to be especially watchful to avoid such pagan practices. Now that they had turned to Yahweh, they would be attending the synagogues every Sabbath day (verse 21) and would hear the law being read and taught to them.

Verse 23 tells of these letters being written to the Gentile assemblies in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. The decision was also made that it was not necessary to be circumcised and keep the law of sacrifices, verse 24. The decree (dogma) was the judgment of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. This was a human, man-made decree or cautionary edict meant to strengthen the new Gentile converts.

The apostles were accused of turning the world upside down in Acts 17:6. These unbelieving Jews then went on to accuse the converts to the Messiah in Acts 17:7 ” … and these do contrary to the decrees (dogma) of Caesar, saying there is another king, one Yahshua.”

Here again the word translated decree is the Greek dogma — a man-made edict or ruling and in this case by Caesar. These rabble-rousers were trying to thwart the efforts of the early disciples and converts by appealing to a decree of Julius Caesar.

Ten Commandments Gone?

Paul uses the word dogma again in Ephesians 2:15, “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” Some read this and contend that it says that Yahshua abolished in His flesh the Ten Commandments. Nothing of the kind!

Paul says that Yahshua abolished in His flesh the ENMITY, the HATRED of the law contained in ordinances. Yahshua did not do away with the law but by His death he did abolish the ethnic animosity between peoples by breaking down the wall of added rules and prejudicial judgments separating Jew and Gentile. Now both are able to become a part of the Body of Messiah.

These ordinances were evidently the regulations designed to separate and purify the Jews from the nations. Now the antagonism that resulted from these added tenets no longer exists between Jew and Gentile because they both can become one in the Messiah. That is one accomplishment of Yahshua’s death

A Pagan Blend

What exactly were the “handwriting of ordinances that was against us, that was contrary to us” in Colossians 2? The Bible clearly says again that these were man-made rules and regulations that were central to their old worship. The Colossian assembly was a mixture of pagan, heathen culture, and this time these new babes in Messiah were trying to blend back into their worship and continue that old system.

Their heathenism taught that punishment of the flesh helped the soul reach a higher spiritual plane. These are the same kinds of Eastern mystical teachings coming back through the New Age movement today.

There is no doubt that this worldly philosophy and crude teaching of the pagan world are all demonic, designed to draw man away from Messiah.

Twice in chapter 2 Paul warns not to let any MAN beguile or lead us away by philosophy and idle fantasies, verses 4 and 8. This is before he gets to verse 18, where he again warns against allowing MAN to beguile us of our reward by enticing with false teachings. Here it has to do with angel worship, and bragging of visions and being inflated by the human mind.

Knowing that the people in Colosse were pagan and influenced by worldly wisdom, Paul warns in verse 16, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat or drink, in respect of the new moon, or of Sabbaths.” His point here is not to let those of the world pass judgment upon Yahweh’s commands: such as which meats are proper for His people to eat, what they can drink, or what holy days or new moons or Sabbaths a believer in Yahshua should observe.

We are not to allow puny man to make such judgments or determine such things for us.

Outsiders Not to Judge Saints

Paul continues in verse 17, “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Messiah.” Notice that the verb IS does not belong to the original, being italicized. It was added by the translators.

The meaning of the sentence is that the Sabbaths ARE a shadow of things to come. They foreshadow future events. The Sabbaths are prophetic! This includes not only the weekly Sabbath but also the seven annual Sabbaths and the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.

Don’t let corrupt man judge Yahweh’s people, Paul is saying. Humankind is taken up with the ways of the world. They ignore and reject Yahweh’s Name as well as His way of life found in obedience to His laws. Notice the last part of verse 17 reads, “but the body of Messiah” (“is to judge,” which is understood). It is the Body of Messiah that has studied the Scriptures, it has yielded Yahweh’s Word, and it is the true assembly of Yahweh that can make a profound judgment on what meats are proper and fit for Yahweh’s people.

The true assembly is diligently keeping Yahweh’s new moons and Sabbaths. Meat and drink, new moons, holy days, and Sabbaths are all prophetic, for these will all be the supreme law when the Kingdom is established on this earth. We are not to let unconverted, worldly man make judgments on these things, for Yahweh has already told us in His word what will all be observed in His Kingdom.

The ordinances that were blotted out in verse 14 are again mentioned in verse 20. In this latter verse Paul chides the people for not following the Messiah all the way. He asks,

“Wherefore if you be dead with Messiah from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances [dogma]?”

Paul asks, “Why if you people have been put to death through baptism into Yahshua, do you continue to live in and obey the pagan, worldly customs of this world? (Gr. stoicheion).

He is referring to fundamental Gnostic philosophy about how the world is ordered, much as people turn to horoscopes, mysticism and fortune-telling today.

Laws of Pagan Society

The Gnostics were measuring the Messiah through their understanding as men do today, rather than the the reverse—having Yahshua be the measure of all human knowledge. When we are immersed into Yahshua, we are to be a new creature and our lives are to be ordered and governed by His teachings, not human traditions.

But these Colossians had gone right on living as before, still influenced by pagan culture. Why did you subject yourselves to ordinances (dogma) he asks, and then goes on to point out these worldly, ascetic practices such as “Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using after the commandments and doctrines of men [Gnostic teachings].”

He brings to mind practices of the Oriental religions, like the Hindu caste system. In verse 23 Paul says such practices pass for wisdom, with their self-imposed devotions, their self-humiliation, and ascetic discipline, but they are of no value; they simply pamper the ego.

Paul says that such punishing of the flesh is of no value in overcoming the old nature. It is a question of attitude, a change of heart. He goes on in chapter 3 to discuss the new life each believer follows after baptism.

The “handwriting of ordinances” was not the law of Yahweh that was nailed to the tree. It was the ordinances of a pagan society, the decrees of a heathen culture, the worldly philosophies. The Satan-inspired worldly religion was nailed to the tree when Yahshua died for the sins of the world.

Now Yahshua’s true spiritual nature rules the hearts of the faithful through His Holy Spirit.

The demands, rites, ceremonies, and religion of the world can be overcome when we turn to Yahshua and make Him the Captain of our life. We no longer have to submit to Satan’s philosophy and worldly teachings of pagan tenets, as many are doing today through mystics and psychics.

Sacrificial Laws Added

Through the sacrifice of the Messiah (the coming Ruler of this world), Satan and his demonic followers were overcome. The evil powers were subdued by the death of the Messiah. Soon Yahweh will send His Son back to this earth to set up His Kingdom and Yahweh’s law, which some try to set aside. His law will reign supreme.

In the Septuagint, the Greek word dogma occurs twice, and in both places it means man-made rules or edicts. In Esther 3:9 we read of Haman’s urging King Ahasuerus to destroy those who were not obeying the king’s laws or dogma. In Daniel 2:13, 15 King Nebuchadnezzar commands the destruction of all the wise men of Babylon by his own decree (dogma).

The word dogma is used in the Scripture to exemplify a man-made law. It is not used for Yahweh’s laws. A proper understanding of the ordinances, that were blotted out gives a clear picture that we are to obey Yahweh’s laws even now. Only the sacrificial laws having to do with physical circumcision and Temple worship have been set aside since the Messiah is now our sacrifice. He is the sacrificial Lamb toward which all the sacrifices pointed.

Therefore, it is only the ceremonial laws that were added because of the breaking of Yahweh’s covenant law. The ritual, ceremonial law was put into motion because of transgressions, we read in Galatians 3:19, and was to impress on men the gravity of their sin.

At first, sacrifices were not commanded, but Yahweh simply wanted obedience to His laws, just as He does today, Jeremiah 7:22.

Give Up Man’s Ways

The blotting out of ordinances (erroneous, man-made notions of conduct) referred to in Colossians 2: 14 has a parallel in 1:21-22, where Paul explains that our previous life of a worldly, hostile attitude has been set aside, taken away.

Yahweh has now forgiven our former way of life. He has reconciled us to Himself even though we were enemies by our wicked works. We are now brought to His very presence through Yahshua’s shed blood.

The “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances” simply means (as in Acts 3: 19) that the sins committed, the human works of the mind and flesh resulting in disobedience to Yahweh’s law have been blotted out. Yahweh has fully forgiven our sins because of the death of His Son on the tree.

Now we are to follow in the footsteps of His Son, our Example. “Away then with the sinful, earthly things; deaden the evil desires lurking within you; have nothing to do with the sexual sins, impurity, lust, and shameful desire; don’t worship the good things of carnal life, for that is idolatry,” Colossians 3:5, Living Bible

feast days and sabbaths; amazing facts; sabbaths; sabbaths in the bible; should seventh day adventists keep the feasts

Feast Days and Sabbaths Reviewed

A booklet called Feast Days and Sabbaths-Are They Still Binding? published by Amazing Facts was sent to us for our review and comments. The following is the result of that review. The booklet will henceforth be referred to by the first part of its title, Feast Days and Sabbaths.

The writer’s central assumption is that the law of Yahweh or Ten Commandments is different from and longer lasting than the law of Moses. He claims “Moses’ law” included the Feast days and was only temporary and ceremonial – done away at the death of our Savior – while “Yahweh’s law” is the Ten Commandments, which still stand today.

‘Law of Moses’ Applies to All the Law

The simple fact is, references to the “law of Moses” and the Ten Commandments are interchangeable in Scripture. Moses was merely the messenger of Yahweh’s law and the appellation “Moses’ Law” became attached to him as a result. If a friend allows me to drive his car for a while people would refer to it as my car by simple association. Moses handled all the law as emissary of Yahweh to Israel, including the Ten Commandments, Exodus 32:15. In that respect you could call the Ten Commandments Moses’ law, too, as does the Bible.

Moses was the go-between for Yahweh and Israel, as we see in Exodus 19:3, 7-8. This is also clear in 1Kings 8:56, 58: “Blessed be Yahweh, that has given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there has not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” Additional Scriptures are similar in scope and some include the commandments as well as the statutes and judgments as laws being transmitted by Moses:

Leviticus 26:46:  “These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which Yahweh made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.”

Numbers 36:13: “These are the commandments and the judgments, which Yahweh commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.”

Judges 3:4: “And they were to prove Israel by them (nations), to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of Yahweh, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”

1Kings 2:3: “And keep the charge of Yahweh your Elohim, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, andhis judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and whithersoever you turn yourself.”

2Chronicles 35:6:  “So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of Yahweh by the hand of Moses.”

Nehemiah 9:13-14: “You came down also upon mount Sinai, and spake with them from heaven, and gave them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments. And made known unto them your holy sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses your servant.” (Here we note that Moses made known the Fourth Commandment Sabbath day as well as the other laws. The booklet would have us believe that only Yahweh disseminated the Sabbath law, with no contact involving Moses.

Feasts and Ten Commandments Both Part of Yahweh’s Law

The Ten Commandments are listed in Deuteronomy chapter 5. They are called statutes and judgments in Deuteronomy 5:1. Notice who presented these Ten Commandments, statutes and judgments to the people: “These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab” (1:1).

Yahweh does not separate the Ten Commandments from the Feasts, as if He mandated the commandments while Moses was responsible for the Feasts. Yahweh is the lawgiver, not Moses. James 1:12 tells us clearly that there is only one Lawgiver.Isaiah 33:22 says Yahweh is that Lawgiver. Moses was merely the conduit.

The weekly Sabbath and annual Feasts are all combined in Leviticus 23, showing that the Sabbath is considered a Feast and that all are part of Yahweh’s commanded law. The first five verses read, “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh’s passover…”

The writer of Feast Days and Sabbaths rests his argument on a couple of passages, one of which is 2Kings 21:8, claiming that because Yahweh mentions both His law and Moses’ law that there is a distinction between the two. In fact, it is ALL Yahweh’s law. Yahweh spoke it to Moses and Moses gave it to the people because the people feared dying if they faced Yahweh directly,Exodus 20:19. Rather than making a separation between two kinds of law in 2Kings 21:8, Yahweh refers to both His law and Moses’ law in the same breath in order to show their equivalence. They are the same law, as other verses show.

The writer makes this statement: “It is interesting to note that curses and judgments of this law spelled out penalties for transgression which were totally missing from the Ten Commandments,” p. 6. After the commandments are re-listed in the second giving found in Deuteronomy 5, we find the following in Deuteronomy 11:26-28: “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if you obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, which I command you this day: And a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.” The curses for breaking the commandments as well as the statutes and judgments are detailed inDeuteronomy 28:15-68.

Commandments, statutes and judgments constitute what is known as the law, as shown in Deuteronomy 5:1 and 6:1. We are commanded in Deuteronomy 11:1 to “keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.” And the Feasts are called “feasts of Yahweh,” Leviticus 23:44.

‘Law of Moses’ A Command of Yahweh

The Scriptures talk of Moses’ law because he handed them down from Yahweh; in fact, the law originated with Yahweh and was mandated by Him for His people.

We read in 1Kings 2:3: “And keep the charge of Yahweh your Elohim, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and Hiscommandments, and His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses…” The “law of Moses” included the Ten Commandments.

Further in 2Kings 14:6 we find: “But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the law of Moses, wherein Yahweh commanded…”

Ezra 7:6 says:  “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which Yahweh Elohim of Israel had given.”

Nehemiah 8:1 tells us: “And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring Feast Days and Sabbaths of the law of Moses, which Yahweh had commanded to Israel.”

In Acts 21:24 Paul proved he was a keeper of all the law, not just the Ten Commandments, when he followed James’s instructions to “take and purify yourself with them…that they may know…that you yourself also walk orderly, and keep the law.”

Feasts and Sacrifices Not One and the Same

Feast Days and Sabbaths makes a common, erroneous assumption that the Feasts rise and fall with ceremonial, animal sacrifices. According to this logic, if animal sacrifices have been put in abeyance in the New Covenant, so have the Feasts. If that were true then the Sabbath is also now done away because animal sacrifices were a key part of the weekly Sabbath observance as well, being double the normal daily sacrifices on the Sabbath, Numbers 28:9-10.

Contrary to popular view, the sacrificial shedding of blood has not been abrogated in the New Covenant. The shedding of Yahshua’s perfect, sacrificial blood is still what we rely on now for the remission of our sins, Hebrews 10:9-10. Therefore, the idea of sacrifice was never brought to an end in the New Testament. Neither is circumcision, which is now of the heart, Romans 2:29.

The only change in the law under the New Covenant occurred with a new priesthood (Yahshua) and a different sacrificial system (His own death), Hebrews 9:9-15. The Passover, one of the seven appointed times, is still commanded by direct command of Yahshua Himself in memorial of His death, Luke 22:19. Churchianity even admits to that fact by keeping an imitation of the Passover it calls holy communion.

The Truth About Colossians 2 and Ephesians 2

Feast Days and Sabbaths lumps together sacrifices, human priesthood and feast days all as part of the law that was only a type and shadow and was in fact “against us,” citing Colossians 2:14. Colossians 2:14 specifically says it was the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. “Ordinances” is from the Greek dogma and refers to man-made rules and decrees. The same word is used in Caesar’s tax decree (dogma) of Luke 2:1. It means a man-made rule. The author himself agrees, where on page 15 he says that ordinances is a term “applied to local legal codes which are very narrow and limited.”

Colossians itself in 2:21-22 defines what it means by this “handwriting of ordinances”: “(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men.” The Jews of the day added a lot of ritual that served to separate themselves from the Gentile. By His death, Yahshua brought Jew and Gentile together and in doing so He obliterated these man-made dogmas meant to keep them apart.

The booklet also cites verse 16 of Colossians 2, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Messiah.” This passage is often used to say one may keep any observances one likes and no one should judge one for it. In fact, it says that Yahweh’s Feasts ARE a shadow of something to come (not WERE shadowy Sabbaths, as the author erroneously argues on page 17, as if they were done away) and that only the body is to judge as to how they should be observed, not an outsider (“is” has been added by translators).

Ephesians 2:15 is also cited in the book. It reads: “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” Verse 14 explains that He broke down the separating wall and made peace between Jew and Gentile and made salvation possible by “one new man,” meaning Himself.

Neither of these passages has anything to do with Yahweh’s Feasts, which is what they are called in Leviticus 23:2, not man’s Feasts or man-made Feasts.

Sabbaths Refers to Feast Days, Which Have High Days

An attempt is made to say that “Sabbaths” in Leviticus 23:38 is distinct from the Feasts in verse 37. Does this mean the weekly Sabbath is a different class of law from the Feasts? As pointed out in the Companion Bible, “Sabbaths” in verse 38 is a reference to the sacrifices offered on the Sabbaths through a linguistic device known as metonymy. This is clearly the case because both the previous verse and the rest of verse 38 discuss meat and burnt offerings, drink offerings, gifts, vows and freewill offerings. To insert weekly Sabbath in a list of offerings would violate the context and not make any sense.

In a contradiction to many of his own attempts to make “Sabbaths” refer only to the weekly Sabbath, the author admits on page 16, “Were there ‘sabbaths’ other than the weekly Sabbaths? Yes, there were yearly Sabbaths…”

Ezekiel 20:24-25 is cited as meaning that Yahweh gave Israel the law of Moses that was not good. This interpretation is unbelievable. Why would Yahweh ever give man laws that aren’t good, and statutes that they were not to live by? Reading further in verse 26 we find the right understanding. This is actually speaking of Israel’s keeping pagan rituals, like burning their children to Moloch. And because of their rebellion Yahweh gave them over to these pagan observances that were not good. Bullinger’s Companion Bible explains that the words “I gave them also statutes” is a Hebrew idiom that means “I suffered others to give them statutes…the verb nathan, to give, is therefore rendered to suffer in this sense.”

Commanded, Not Taken Away

Feast Days and Sabbaths ends its case against the Feasts by saying that Yahshua went up to Jerusalem in John 5:51 to keep a feast. It then says, “This is unquestionably one of the holy days that Paul spoke of as being abolished.” The question that immediately comes to mind is, why would our Savior implore us to follow in His footsteps and do what He did, which included keeping the annual Feasts (John 7:10, 14; 2:23, Mark 14:12) and then abolish those same Feasts as soon as He died? His command to keep the Passover in Luke 22:19 is unmistakable. How can we possibly follow this command if the Passover were done away at His death? Why do churches today still honor “Pentecost Sunday” if the Feasts are no longer in effect?

Why would Paul, whose ministry took place years after the death and resurrection of Yahshua, say, “I must by all means keep this Feast [Tabernacles] that comes to Jerusalem?” (Acts 18:21). Paul was obedient to Yahshua’s [and Yahweh’s] command by keeping the Passover in 1Corinthians 11:24-31, as well as other Feasts (Acts 20:6, 16; 27:9-even 30 years after the Savior’ resurrection). Paul said he was taught by the resurrected Savior Himself, Galatians 1:11-17. That being the case, why was he not told that the Feast days are no longer in effect? He said he declared all the counsel or teachings of Yahweh, Acts 20:27. Then why were the Feasts still part of his teachings if they were abolished by Yahshua’s death long before?

The fact is, not only were the Feast days not done away in the New Covenant, but also they will be kept in the coming millennial Kingdom. Read the revealing prophecies of future Feast observances in Zechariah 14:16-19; Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel 44:24; 45:21-25;46:3. The people of Yahweh as well as the whole earth will be observing all these days when Yahshua’s government is set up for a thousand years in Jerusalem. The question is, if they will be part of His government under His millennial reign, why would they be abolished for the True Worshiper today?

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

From Sitting to Serving

The faithful who have been baptized by immersion into Yahshua’s Name and with hands laid upon them have been pressed into a force that will ultimately change the world.

They have responded to Yahweh’s call to obedience and have yielded to the tugging of Yahweh’s Spirit, realizing the life they were living was a dead-end. For the first time the Scriptures make real sense to them as they continue going deeper into His Word and as Yahweh gives them more light—even as they walk in that light.

When we were immersed into Yahshua’s Name each of us was promised a certain spiritual gift to be used in the high calling we have in the Messiah. Those who have been baptized and congregate with others of like faith as a body are to assume a measure of responsibility toward the body of believers.

Yahweh, who produces spiritual gifts through His mighty Power, provides each one with his and her special ability. All of the various gifts are of the same Spirit. Note that Paul goes into detail for his Corinthian converts as well as us, as each of us is now his protege:

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1Cor. 12:7-11).

It is surprising to learn that some who seek baptism are unaware that baptism puts them in a special group that belongs to Yahshua and they are then under His care. They serve and sacrifice for His sake. Paul refers to this group as the “body of Messiah.”

“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in the Messiah, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Sovereign; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” (Rom. 12: 4-12).

Paul is adamant that baptism into Yahshua is not an end in itself, but is the beginning of a devoted life dedicated to Yahweh through Yahshua. Those who have been baptized should be acutely aware of what special spiritual gift is theirs and have set their goals to become an active part of the body of Messiah. They are given a charge, which is to use their gift for the benefit of those in the assembly. Paul explained this in his letter to the Ephesians.

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of the Messiah. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of the Messiah: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Messiah” (Eph 4:7-13).

Any combination of abilities or talents suddenly given or leisurely cultivated may qualify as a spiritual gift if used for Yahweh’s honor and glory and His work in the world. Because none of the lists of spiritual gifts is the same, Paul evidently felt others may have a similar experience as his and would seek to use whatever combination of talents and abilities might be needed for the common good of the Assembly.

Upon being baptized into Yahshua’s saving Name, the brethren are urged by Paul to get involved in the Assembly and participate as the Spirit leads. It is time to get active as a member of that assembly. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Elohim, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohim” (Rom. 12:1-2).

The following is taken from “The Open Bible” (NASB) study section: “Paul, Peter, and the other apostles learned the secret of developing an eternal perspective in the midst of earthly problems. They were able to live above their circumstances and rejoice even while being persecuted because of their firm grasp on who they were in [Messiah] and where they were going. In spite of his imprisonment, Paul could write, ‘For me to live is [Messiah] and to die is gain’ (Phil 1:21). Are you looking more at ‘the things which are seen’ or at the things which are not seen? The former are temporary, but the latter are eternal” (2Cor. 4: 18).

Rather than to just sit quietly listening to sermons week after week, the audience should also be challenged to represent Yahshua wherever they might be. The early apostles thought of themselves as doing the same work as Yahshua, living and proclaiming Yahweh’s truth wherever possible. The converts shared their knowledge with those they knew, especially among   other Israelites and Judahites. Our task is no different from theirs. We must make the world aware that Bible truth exists and that that Word will one day judge them. Yahweh does not give us this special knowledge only to have us hide it forever out of sight.

“[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom Yahweh would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:26-27). Ours is to be a light and example.

Yahshua’s parable of the talents should be lesson enough for us. We

will each be rewarded in direct proportion to the amount that talent profits and aids others seeking the Word

by Donald Mansager

Worldwide Church of God Third Commandment

Worldwiders (COG Groups) Don’t Neglect the Third Commandment


Many who understand the importance of observing the seventh-day Sabbath also acknowledge the necessity of calling on the personal Name of the One they worship —Almighty Yahweh. The two go hand-in-hand as instructed in the Ten Commandments.

The Fourth Commandment obligates the True Worshiper to keep the weekly Sabbath on the seventh day, while the Third Commandment tells us not to be negligent when it comes to calling on His true Name: “Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain; for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain,” Exodus 20:7. “Vain” is the Hebrew shoaw and means to make waste or ruin. When we substitute His personal Name with titles we are bringing His Name to waste or ruin, and therefore are in violation of the Third Commandment.

Sabbath keepers are aware of the many arguments leveled against the seventh-day Sabbath. Perhaps you at one time also raised the same points before you came to understand that the Bible upholds only one weekly day of worship, the seventh day. Maybe just like pre-converted Paul who had persecuted the early Assembly but who then came to the Truth, you eventually came to the Truth as well and discovered that worship on the first day of the week is not endorsed anywhere in the Scriptures. You found that all of those common rationalizations used against the true Sabbath day were baseless (request our two-part audio taped sermon series, Sabbath or Sunday, Parts 1 and 2).

But are you aware that the very same kinds of unsupported arguments employed against the Sabbath are also raised in an effort to refute the truth of the Name Yahweh and the Name of His Son, Yahshua? And just as those contentions against the Sabbath collapsed under the weight of Scriptural proof, likewise the various allegations against the Name.

Following are a dozen common, flawed arguments leveled at both the Sabbath and the Name (shown in bold type). We will answer each in the true light of the Word.

  • I am not a Jew, therefore I do not need to keep the Jewish Sabbath.

The Sabbath was established at the creation of the universe when Yahweh Himself rested on the seventh day, long before there were any Jews, Genesis 2:2-3. Just because the Jews have been most visible in keeping the Sabbath down through history does not mean it is a “Jewish” Sabbath. The Israelites kept the Sabbath, even though 11 of their 12 tribes were not Jewish (see 2Kings 16:1,6-7, where the Jews are at war with Israel). In Acts 13 we find Gentiles keeping the Sabbath as well as Jews, vv. 42, 44, 46. The Savior said that the Sabbath was made for man, not just for Jews, Mark 2:27.

  • I am not a Jew, therefore I do not need to use the Hebrew Name Yahweh.

Yahweh never refers to His Name as Hebrew or Jewish, even though it was revealed predominately to a Hebrew-speaking people. Psalm 86:9 prophesies that ALL nations will worship Him and glorify His Name. A person’s nationality has no bearing on whether he calls on the personal Name of the Father of all creation. Yahweh Himself told Moses, “This is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” Joel 2:32 foretold that in the last days, whoever calls on the Name Yahweh will be delivered. You need not be Jewish or speak Hebrew to do so.

  • I keep holy whatever day I wish, so long as I keep a day to Him.

Nowhere does Yahweh give man the prerogative to make any day holy. He never allows us the liberty to decide ourselves how we will worship Him. He sets the conditions, and His people follow them. Some may point to Romans 14:5 as giving them liberty when choosing a weekly worship day. This passage, however, merely refers to fasting on any one day, not Sabbath keeping, as verse 6 makes clear.

  • I can call Him whatever I wish. He understands who I mean.

Again, nowhere in the Scriptures is such a right granted to man, and He never says He “knows who we mean” when we call on Him using other names. Just the opposite is true. He tells us not even to mention the names of other supposed deities (using the same titles), Exodus 23:13. And in Isaiah 42:8 He says, “Yahweh is my Name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Being our personal Father, He demands that we use His personal Name. The title “God” has as a root meaning, “to pour as in a molten image” (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Is this an acceptable title to use for the true Creator of the universe? Paul said there are “gods many and lords many.” How can these generic designations please the Heavenly Father when applied to Him? (1Cor. 8:5)

  • Any day can be a Sabbath.

The fact is, Yahweh blessed only one day of the week, at the end of the creation week, and He commands us specifically to keep holy the seventh day also: “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh…Yahweh blessed the seventh day and hallowed it,”Exodus 20:8-11. He never set apart any other weekday for regular Sabbath rest.

  • The Father has many names.

Psalm 83:18 says His Name alone is Yahweh. Romans 10:13 says we are saved by calling upon His Name not His many titles. He has several titles, like El Elyon (“El Most High”), El Shaddai (“El All-powerful”), and Yahweh Zebaoth (“Yahweh of Hosts”), but only one Name is attributed to Him in the Bible — the personal, revealed Name Yahweh.

  • The Sabbath was changed to Sunday.

Not one verse in the Scriptures changes the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week. It was not the Scriptures but the Roman Church that made that portentous change. Dr. Edward Hiscox, author of The Baptist Manual, writes, “There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday…It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week…where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament.” The Roman Church admits that it alone authorized the change. Note: “Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the church [Roman Catholic] outside the Bible,” Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947.

  • His Name changes from language to language just like other names.

If this is true, why didn’t original Hebrew names like Abraham, Martha, David and even Satan change when they were brought into the English translations? What about Hebraic descriptive terms like Sabbath, Rabbi, and Maranatha, all of which exist unchanged in the English Bible? The fact is, names are transliterated, meaning the same sound is brought over into the new language virtually unaltered.

You would not change your name if you visited Russia or Argentina; your name on your passport would remain as before. When reading newspapers we never find an English translation or substitute for foreign names like Putin or Sharon. Commercials on Spanish television always leave retail names like Chevrolet and Coca-Cola untouched. Names are not language-dependent. They stand on their own, regardless of the language spoken. Again, names are transliterated, not translated.

  • The Sabbath was first given to Moses and was just for Israel.

The implication is that the law came into existence at Sinai, including the Fourth Commandment — the Sabbath Commandment. But we can see the law in operation in Genesis and all the way back to creation. Being part of the law, the Sabbath was also in force from the creation of man. We read of Abraham in the Book of Genesis, “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws,” Genesis 26:5.

  • The Name Yahweh was first given to Moses at the burning bush and was unknown previously.

Yahweh’s Name is first mentioned in Genesis 2:4. We read that after the birth of Adam’s grandson Enos, “then began men to call upon the name of Yahweh,” Genesis 4:26. In Genesis 22:14 we find this, “And Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh-yireh: as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of Yahweh it shall be seen.’” Here’s proof that Yahweh’s Name was known and called upon long before Moses and even before the flood.

  • Sunday worship is far more common and poses fewer difficulties than Sabbath keeping.

Sin is far more common than righteousness, too, but that shouldn’t mean we choose sin over obedience. Revelation 12:9 says that Satan deceives the entire world. Whatever is popular and easy, therefore, must be closely examined and proved against the Word. Yahshua the Messiah said the way of Truth is a narrow way and few are going to find it and follow it, Matthew 7:13-14. Therefore, the Truth will be accepted only by a relatively few, and that includes the truth of the true Sabbath, 2Peter 2:2.

  • “God” and “Lord” are far more common than “Yahweh,” and less misunderstood.

Yahweh’s people are to come out of the world and be separate, 2Corinthians 6:17. Our convictions are not based on popular practice or public opinion polls. We are told in Psalm 22:22 that Yahshua declared Yahweh’s Name to His brethren, and so are we to do so. Regardless of what otherwise may be fashionable or common, Yahweh’s people will know His Name and be called by it, Daniel 9:19. True Worshipers get their standards from the Word, not the world.

  • Our salvation is not in a specific day but in the Messiah.

When Yahshua was asked about entering into everlasting life, He responded by admonishing, “keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:17). Hebrews 5:8-9 tells us a key fact about Yahshua, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” He set the example for us by His obedient life as He kept the weekly Sabbath as well as all of the commandments.

  • Our salvation is not in a specific name but in the person and authority of the Messiah.

Acts 4:12 clearly says that there is salvation in no other Name. Joel 2:32 tells us that whoever calls on Yahweh’s Name will be delivered. The Name “Yahshua” means “Yahweh is salvation.” The Name Yahshua also defines the person, and the person of the Messiah is manifest by His one Name. You cannot separate the two.

  • Time was lost and we do not know which day is the Sabbath.

The sequence of days in the week has never been “lost” or reshuffled. In the past, calendar dates have been adjusted to put the Gregorian calendar back in synchronization with the seasons, but never have the weekdays themselves been rearranged. Even in a leap year when an extra day is added in February, the sequence of our weekdays remains unchanged. The Hebrews kept every seventh day as the Sabbath down through history, and to confirm it we need only go back to the time of Yahshua, who Himself kept the Sabbath as commanded in the law. Never have any days been lost since. The Jews have diligently seen to that.

  • The exact pronunciation of the Name was lost over time.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica tells us, “The true pronunciation of the name YHWH was never lost. Several Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced ‘Yahweh.’ ” (Vol. 7, p. 680). This fact is confirmed by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Early Christian writers, such as Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used the form Yahweh, thus this pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was never really lost. Greek transcriptions also indicated that YHWH should be pronounced Yahweh” (15th edition, Vol. X, p. 786). Other references, including The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Catholic Encyclopedia, and Eerdman’s andUnger’s Bible dictionaries, confirm that the original pronunciation was “Yahweh.”

  • Early believers worshiped on Sunday, not on the Sabbath.

The Apostles kept the seventh-day Sabbath. It was on the Sabbath day that they went regularly into the synagogue to worship. InActs 16:13 we also read, “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” Paul customarily taught on the Sabbath: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” Acts 17:2. Yahshua kept the Sabbath as well (see Matt. 12:2; Mark 6:2, Luke 13:10). Request our booklet, Popular Arguments Against the Sabbath for a fuller discourse.

  • Early believers used “Jehovah” and “Jesus,” not “Yahweh” and “Yahshua.”

Neither Jehovah nor Jesus was ever used by early believers because the letter “J” did not come into existence until the 15th century. “Jehovah” is a ghost word that was never used in the Scriptures for the Heavenly Father. This hybrid name, invented by the confessor to Pope Leo X, was formed by taking the vowels of Adonai and inserting them into the Tetragrammaton, YHWH. The letter “J” did not exist in Hebrew or Greek and the “v” should be a “w,” from the third Hebrew letter waw of the Tetragrammaton.

  • The Sabbath was nailed to the cross and was done away with.

If this were true then Paul, the supposed champion of Christianity, knew nothing about it. We find him observing the so-called “Jewish” Sabbath long after the Savior’s death and resurrection when a whole city of Gentiles came to hear him and Barnabas preach the Word on the Sabbath, Acts 13:42-46. We learn that what was nailed to the tree in Colossians 2:14 was the handwriting of ordinances (Greek dogma, man-made rules) that were “against us.” Yahweh’s law is never characterized as against us or contrary to us. Paul in Romans 7:12 informs us, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” In Acts 18:4 he preached to both Jews and Gentiles on the Sabbath.

  • When the Savior died Israelites were speaking Greek and so we call Him by a Greek name.

The language of Galilee and Jerusalem has always been Hebrew (or its close sister, Aramaic). Passages showing that Yahshua spoke Hebrew by using Hebrew terms and sentences include Matthew 27:46; Mark 5:41, and 7:34. Clearly, He was not speaking Greek to Jews in Galilee.

  • The Sabbath is not commanded in the New Testament.

This is a widely held fallacy. Hebrews 4:9 is a direct injunction to keep the seventh-day Sabbath in the New Testament: “There remains therefore a rest to the people of Elohim.” The word “rest” is sabbatismos, whose verbal form means “to keep Sabbath” and is also found several places in the Septuagint Old Testament. Verse 10 explains that this is speaking of the weekly Sabbath: “For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as Yahweh did from His.” How much clearer can the New Testament be to keep the Sabbath as Yahweh did at the end of the creation week?

  • The Name Yahweh does not appear in the New Testament.

Yahshua in His prayer to His Father specifically said that He had “declared unto them [the world] your name and will declare it,”John 17:26. In His model prayer of Matthew 6, Yahshua attested to the sacredness of the Name with the statement, “Hallowed be thy name.” He spoke the Name numerous times in the New Testament when He quoted Old Testament passages containing the Name Yahweh, including Matthew 4:10 (from Deut. 6:13); Matthew 21:42 (Ps. 118:23); Mark 7:6 (Isa. 29:13); Luke 20:37 (Ex. 3:4-6) and John 6:45 (Isa. 54:13).

  • Salvation is not through a special 24-hour day.

Certainly we cannot earn our own salvation. Salvation is a gift given only by Yahweh through Yahshua. He does, however, give that gift to those He deems worthy through their obedience, and denies salvation to the disobedient. “And being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him,” Hebrews 5:9. On the other hand, Paul wrote, “Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim?” 1Corinthians 6:9. Then he defines unrighteousness by listing many examples of lawbreaking. The Sabbath is part of the royal law, and therefore to violate it is to break the law and join the ranks of the unrighteous.

  • Salvation does not depend on the correct pronouncing of a name.

Salvation comes to those who know their Savior, as He was our example of doing the Father’s will. Joel 2:32 says that whoever calls on the Name of Yahweh will be delivered. Luke 24:47 tells us that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations. In the KJV we read in Psalm 68:4 to “extol Him by His Name Yah,” which is a short or poetic form of the Name Yahweh. Here, we are expressly told to use His Name. Being that the Savior’s Name Yahshua means “Yahweh is salvation,” when we call on the personal, true Name of the Messiah Yahshua, we are accepting the salvation of the Father. When we say, “It doesn’t make any difference what I call Him,” we are choosing to worship as we alone see fit, rather than to do as He commands us and honor His Name, Ps. 66:2,4.

Worldwide Church of God splinters, offshoots

Sacred Name Making Waves in Worldwide Church of God Groups

A sleeping giant has awakened. The Name of our Heavenly Father Yahweh is under ramped-up attacks from various WWCG “Worldwide Church of God” breakaway groups. Because of its unquestionable proof and rock-solid, historical fact, their members in large numbers are questioning why their leaders refuse to honor and teach the personal Name of their Creator Yahweh.

Herbert Armstrong Used the name Yahweh?

Herbert Armstrong himself used the Name Yahweh for about six months in his early Radio Church of God (before it became the Worldwide Church of God) broadcasts, according to an elderly former member.

In attempts to stop the bleeding, nervous leaders are amping up their efforts to discount their Creator’s Name Yahweh.  Regardless, His revealed Name is going out in power and in unprecedented ways. Any attempts to squelch it will prove futile, according  to Yahweh Himself.

Yahweh’s Name in Prophecy

The Book of Revelation tells us that His Name will be honored by the true Philadelphia Church (Assembly). “…(for thou) hast … kept my Word, and hast not denied my name,” Revelation 3:8. Scripture even issues this warning for those who refuse His Name: “If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith Yahweh of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart,” Malachi 2:2.

Come Join Us

We are a ministry on the vanguard of “contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3. Rather than resurrecting a defunct parent ministry that had stopped short of all the Truth, our goal at Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry is earnestly to contend accurately for every right teaching in Scripture. Truth is our concern, not numbers, prestige, funds, or founders. Our focus is also on common error. Most churches and organizations rest on their traditions or point to their founder and swallow everything he taught without solid verification in the Word. When someone says theirs is the only true church on the face of the earth, we must ask, have you really investigated every other one in existence?

yrm-facilitiesWe invite you to get acquainted with us. We are a family-friendly, commandment-keeping ministry for all ages. We honor the Third Commandment, which is not to allow His personal Name Yahweh to be abandoned through the use of substitute titles. (God is not a name but just a label that was never used in true, biblical worship.) We also honor and call on His Son’s Name Yahshua. The name Jesus is Latinized Greek. He was neither Roman nor Greek but was born a Hebrew with a Hebrew name that means “Yahweh’s Salvation.” With this reality as a launch point, the sincere seeker will discover a whole panorama of amazing understanding built on the fact that his Christian faith should be Hebraic based, not steeped in the Roman church.

You have learned much truth from the Worldwide Church of God and it’s splinter groups, now discover what you are missing. [pdf-lite]