Back to Bible Basics

Back to the Basics

Suppose you started a new job. How long would you remain employed at that job if you insisted on coming to work only when it was convenient and fit into your schedule?

And what if you told your employer that you would decide your own responsibilities while at work and how much he will be paying you? Additionally, if you didn’t feel like working at all for a year or two, you still expected a paycheck.

Ridiculous? Certainly. Since when does a subordinate call the shots? Everyone knows that the servant does the bidding of the one served. That’s self-evident.

But it is not evident at all to millions of professing Bible believers who make their own rules when it comes to their worship. They decide when and how they will worship; they decide the question of obedience and even decide for themselves what name to call the Supreme Creator of the universe. They don’t consult the Scriptures, but just do what they want, often following others doing what they want. Does that sit well with Almighty Yahweh?

Not on your life. Worship approved of Yahweh means learning and then doing His will, not our own. We cannot make Him in our image and expect His blessings. That is the definition of idolatry.

Worship is not about what we want. Our goal is not to please ourselves. Our desire as True Worshipers is not self-satisfaction but His-satisfaction. Worship that centers on pleasing the worshiper is pointless and useless.

Millions live out their entire lives never knowing who their Creator is, what His actual Name is, and what He requires of them. They have no idea that Yahweh has a purpose for this earth and has a mind-boggling future awaiting those who sincerely seek Him.

He is a Power so infinite that all the trillions of stars in all the billions of galaxies obey His every command according to physical laws He established. Nehemiah 9:6 reads, “Thou hast made heaven, the earth and all things therein, the seas and all things therein and Thou preservest them all.” The only segment of His creation that resists obeying their great Creator is mankind.

Discovering Him starts with obedience. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments,” 1John 2:3. The laws that He thundered from Mt. Sinai for all who would worship Him define who He is. Keeping them defines who we are  –  either worshipers or rivals, depending on whether we submit to His will or resist Him.

Only HIS Days Honor Him

The sincere seeker of Yahweh understands the critical importance of aligning his life with Yahweh’s mandates, which includes His commandments, His ordained calendar and His Feasts days. His Feasts are special observances that define His salvation plan. Observing them means being a part of His salvation’s plan here and now.

One particular observance  –  the Feast of Tabernacles  –  is a time Yahweh set aside for learning who He is by spending a week apart from the world and interacting with His chosen people. This Feast is a veritable taste of the Kingdom.

You have the opportunity to taste it now, while the vast majority will remain unenlightened until after the thousand years of millennial rule are over and they are brought up in the second resurrection. (See The Two Resurrections, p. 20)

If you are convicted to keep the Feasts then you are responding to His call and have a desire to know and serve Him in Truth. Let nothing stand in your way of obedience.

Realize that you will need to overcome the obstacles that the Evil One will throw in your path to keep you from being faithful. Above all, haSatan knows that the Bible’s Feasts are of utmost importance to Yahweh and that they clearly separate the earnest believer from the passive one. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY FEASTS,” Leviticus 23:2.

Most think that the Bible’s feasts are Jewish, but the Scriptures say they are His feasts! These days are to be taught and observed as unique, solemn, holy gatherings in honor of Yahweh. Man’s days are invented by man, but the Bible’s Feast days are designed and ordained by the Giver of Life.

Discovering Yahweh

All sin stems from ignorance of Yahweh. People sin because they have no fear of Him. If they did they would be fools to defy His direct commands.

Children who obey their parents have a healthy respect for their parents and fear the consequences of rebellion. But those who deliberately break Yahweh’s laws don’t know Yahweh and don’t fear the consequences. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16.

Most are driven by tradition and blindly do what tradition teaches without looking into the facts. For millennia men thought that the sun revolved around a flat earth. Does it make any sense that we should continue this thinking simply because it’s traditional?

Many grew up with a religious affiliation. For the vast majority of them that fact is all that is required to continue holding on to what they grew up believing. They refuse to look into other views. Such rationale keeps hundreds of millions in the dark. “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” Proverbs16:25.

Deciding on your own which way to go in worship can have serious consequences should you get it wrong.

Yahweh as ruler of our lives decides what is right. How can we be righteous in His sight if we do not do what He directs, and instead follow opposing practices? This includes keeping the seventh-day Sabbath and holy the days that He commands us to observe because He says doing so is His will.

Sin is doing what the Word of Yahweh commands against, such as ignoring His will. Not keeping His Feasts is sin because it transgresses the command of His law, 1John 3:4.

Even the Pagan Understands

There is nothing more basic than pleasing the one you worship. Doing what He wants and not what we may want is the definition of True Worship.

Worship means devotion at all times, day in and day out.

The principle of obeying the one you worship is no mystery to the pagan. The classic trait of a pagan is one who diligently tries to placate his “deity” by doing what he thinks the deity wants. That might include sacrificing children to Molech, burning fires in December to the sun god Mithras or coloring eggs in April in honor of the fertility goddess Astarte.

Each rite constitutes a key part of the heathen’s worship, and he would never think of not conscientiously carrying out his religion’s pagan rites year after year.

If even a heathen can understand the principle of personal duty and obligation in worship, why does today’s nominal worshiper think that he is exempt from anything clearly mandated in the Word for his own worship?

Yahweh repeatedly tells us to obey Him, which doesn’t mean just think nice thoughts about it. Paul asks in Romans 9:21, “Has not the potter power over the clay…”?

A correct understanding of the Bible and what is required of us is unattainable unless we know its author. We cannot worship in truth unless we understand and seek the will of the One who is Truth personified.

The more we understand who Yahweh is, the more we will live and worship correctly according to His will. The less we know about Him, the more likely we will be worshiping in ways He rejects.

If we are not pleasing Him by our lives and worship then we are wasting our time. Our very example and Guide to salvation, Yahshua the Son, said He came to do His Father’s will, John 4:34. That is what we must do  –  live as the Son did by obeying every command of His Father as taught in the Old Testament. He is our model, the pattern for proper worship. “For even hereunto were you called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps,” 1Peter 2:21.

Yahshua kept the scriptural Sabbath and observed the clean foods, feast days, and commandments. He never kept Christmas, Easter, Halloween or any other man-made observance. We are to follow His lead, the apostle said.

You can’t grasp a discipline without knowing the basics. The religious establishment today approaches wor-ship backwards. Without providing the fundamentals to proper understanding, clerics introduce the Heavenly Father without instruction as to who He is, what He stands for, or what HE expects of His worshiper. The first of the Ten Commandments establishes the foundation for True worship: “Thou shalt have no other mighty ones before me,” Exodus 20:3.

The wrong question about worship is continually being asked: “What’s in it for me?” The right question is, what is His will for His people, and how can I be a part of it? That is the proper approach to truth and True Worship.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Ask the average person what he expects at death. “To go to heaven” he may answer. And what will he do there? He has no idea. Not a clue. And most don’t care even to find out what the salvation plan is! All they know is that they will stumble into it somehow. What foolish thinking.

Perhaps at the root of their desire to remain ignorant is a fear that if they find out too much they may have to do something about it. They may need to change their ways and live life to please the One they purport to worship. Human nature resists making life-altering reforms. The Adversary wants everyone to continue down the slippery slope of obliviousness to insure that no one will become enlightened and turn to Yahweh.

Millions who say they believe the Bible are completely ignorant of its most basic requirements. They hardly know Yahweh or the Bible at all. No wonder He has no influence on their behavior. Yahweh is not taken seriously when commitment to their faith is lacking. Incredibly, in spite of it all they still believe they are saved!

Judah didn’t take Yahweh seriously most of the time, either. The prophet Jeremiah warned that their rebellion would bring consequences. “And though they say, Yahweh liveth; surely they swear falsely. O Yahweh, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of Yahweh, nor the judgment of their Elohim,” Jeremiah 5:2-4.

It is time to learn about the true Father in heaven and what He expects of His people. He has a Name, a family, and a plan to build that family to expand to the ends of the universe itself  –  starting now with called-out and faithful Believers who love Him enough to obey what He tells them. “For this is the love of Yahweh, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous,” 1John 5:3.

He Judges Our Behavior

We find in the prayer of Hannah in the writings of the prophet Samuel this warning, “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let [not] arrogancy come out of your mouth: for Yahweh is an Elohim of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed” (1Sam. 2:3).

Two key phrases are crucial to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He is “an Elohim of knowledge” and “by Him actions are weighed.” Whose actions? Ours! Here Samuel applies Yahweh’s wisdom, His understanding, His knowledge to OUR actions.

Yahweh says through Hosea in 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” He adds, “Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you, that you shall be no priest to me.”

To know whether we are pleasing Him we need to look at our behavior. Are we eager to please Him through obedience or do we seek loopholes to get out of our obligations?

A reverential respect of Yahweh will lead us to greater knowledge. He promises it.

“The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom,” the Psalmist wrote, “A good understanding have all they that do his commandments” (Ps. 111:10). The reverse is also true. A person who will not obey and do His commandments will have poor understanding.

This life is training for the Kingdom, according to Revelation 1:6. A Biblical priest is well educated in the office he holds. His life is a proving ground. He knows Yahweh and knows what Yahweh requires.

Pointless Pursuits of Pleasure

We were not put on this planet to seek entertainment. The believer is a temporary resident of this world and has higher goals than to waste life in constant pursuit of pleasure. Yahweh has an incredible purpose for His chosen. And because of that, the Word tells those being called now, “I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” 2Corinthians 6:2. Now is the time to work out your salvation in preparation for an eternal future serving Yahweh.

Revelation 2:26 says, “And he that overcomes and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Rulership in the Kingdom is promised to those who obey the Scriptures today! The promise is the same now as it was when John received it on Patmos. Yahweh has not changed His mind.

In fact, in Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, Yahweh says, “I am Yahweh, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob [Israel] are not consumed.”

There is one body, not many, according to Ephesians 4:4. One Master, one faith, one baptism.

We can learn a great deal about our Heavenly Father by just studying His commandments. What He instructs us to follow reveals His own values, standards, and principles. It is the same as discovering the values of a parent by what that parent expects of his or her children. If a child is taught not to steal, then we safely assume that his parents oppose stealing.

A Command to Study

But this presents a rather difficult problem for some. Many say or think that they do not know the Bible well enough to understand what is truth and what is not. They are unwilling to take the time to study it out for themselves.

Despite their reluctance, the command remains. You can find Yahweh’s inspired words, for example, in 2Timothy 2:15: “Study to show yourself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” In order to have the approval of our Creator, then, we are to study His Word. And rightly apply what is there to our lives. Bible study is not just an option, it is a command. We must prove all doctrine from Scripture itself and not take anything or anyone’s word for granted.

We are responsible for our own understanding or lack thereof.

Ignorance can only lead to trouble. Why? Because then we don’t realize the importance of applying what the Word says to our personal lives, behavior and actions for which we will one day be accountable.

From the New Testament, Paul writes, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” 1Thessalonians 5:21. Why? Because what you know you act on, and if what you know is wrong, your worship will be wrong. Your faith will be in vain.

He Responds Accordingly

Many wonder why they are having so many personal problems and trials in their lives and why they are not being blessed. Others pray for health and financial help to no avail. Both could be because they refuse to obey Him and put Him first in their lives. John writes, “Now we know that Yahweh hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of Yahweh, and does His will, him He hears.” Sin is disobedience to His laws and commands, 1John 3:4.

Are you willing to obey your Father in Heaven? Do you do His will? If you do, then He will answer your prayers. He will be your Guide, your help, and your happiness. He will bless you in this life and in the Kingdom to come. But you have to take that first step to answer His call.

The prophet Malachi wrote over 2,000 years ago: “Even from the days of your fathers you have gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, says Yahweh of hosts.” You must take the first step.

Knowing Means Complying

A True Worshiper has a childlike innocence, willing to do whatever he or she is expected to do. Yahshua said that the Kingdom of Heaven will be given to those with a similar attitude of unquestioning obedience, much the same attitude as innocent children have (Matt. 19:14).

We please the One we worship by doing what He tells us in His Instruction Book. This is not some half-hearted profession about accepting the Messiah as your personal Savior and then forgetting about it, thinking you are now saved.

He will not ac-cept anything less than a real, honest commitment in our everyday lives to walk in the footsteps of Yahshua the Messiah. To obey all that He said to obey. Day in and day out until it becomes second nature.

Yahshua chided Satan, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohim,” Matthew 4:4. “Every word” includes both Old Testament and New.

The Apostle Paul said that even our very thoughts should conform to the obedience of Messiah Yahshua, 2Corinthians 10:5.

To know Yahweh is to know True Worship. We often hear people ask, “Do you know the ‘L-rd’?” Rarely do they explain what they mean by that.

Know Him how? By His revealed, true Name? By what He taught and expects from us? By becoming like Him in every respect? By obedience to the Son as He Himself obeyed His Father?

In fact, doing these things will certainly help us “know” Him. No one knows us better than those who live with us: our spouse and children. They spend time with us, day after day. They do what we do, go where we go. See what we see and see how we respond in all sorts of circumstances. That is how we come to “know” someone.

The Scriptures say that these things are necessary: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says, ‘I know Him,’ and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps His word, in him verily is the love of Elohim perfected: hereby we know that we are in Him…Brethren I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning,” 1John 2:3-5, 7.

Basic to knowing Yahweh is realizing His identity: “Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that does speak: behold it is I,” Isaiah 52:6. The prophet Joel (Heb. “YahEl”) said that whoever calls on the Name of Yahweh will be delivered, 2:32. Knowing Him means calling on His personal Name in worship, not just to say, “Oh, I heard the Name taught once and I know it.” That is not the kind of knowing the Bible talks about.

Faith + Obedience

A fact of life is that each of us has a name. Surely the very One who created us and taught us what names are –telling Adam to name all the animals on earth  –  would Himself have a personal name that identifies Him!

Knowing Yahweh and His Son means obeying them. It is no different from a son who obeys his father because he knows and honors his father and clearly understands what his father expects of him. Yahweh’s own Son tells us, “Not every one that says unto Me, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’ shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 7:21.

In Revelation 14:12 the saints are defined as those who “keep the commandments of Yahweh, and have the faith of Yahshua.” Paul writes in 1Corinthians 6:2 that the saints will judge the world in the coming Kingdom. Therefore it is the saints, the obedient ones, who will be in the Kingdom, not the disobedient.

In fact, Paul says clearly in 1Corinthians 6:9 that the un-righteous –  meaning  sinners –  will not inherit the Kingdom. Those who practice sin will be shut out of the Kingdom if they don’t stop it and repent.

Isn’t it time you came to know the One you worship by calling on His revealed Name and following His commands to His people as His own Son did? These are the actions that lead to salvation and the great things in store for those who love Him.