Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

What Would Yahshua Do?

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

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

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

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

Humility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forgiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Developing Character

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

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

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

Source of Integrity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biblical Examples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Character for Our Lives

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

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

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

Develop righteous character and your reward will be for eternity.

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Come Out of Babylon

At various times in the history of Israel the work of Yahweh’s true ministry reached a point where drastic changes needed to be made. These changes were necessary for the preservation of truth and righteousness. Corrupt influences rooted deep in man-made worship stretching back to Babylon crept in and threatened to destroy Yahweh’s true work.

Men such as Noah, EliYah, Jeremiah and even our Savior Yahshua the Messiah were called upon to oppose the corrupt forces at work in the organized ministry and take a stand for what is true and right. As this degeneration has occurred repeatedly in the past, there should be no wonder that it occurs now in these end-times as well. As such, this is an important issue that needs to be addressed and understood by all True Worshipers.

Come Out of Babylon

Yahshua the Messiah has warned us to come out of the corruption of this world by coming out of Babylon. Realize that Babylon encompasses all of corrupt religion. It includes all religious groups that are not keeping the Truth in accordance with the Sacred Scriptures no matter how great or small their defection is from the Truth.

Consider this fact in light of the prophetic plea that Yahshua makes to his people in the Book of Revelation.

“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.’ I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and Yahweh has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her’” (Rev. 18:1-6).

Yahweh will severely judge Babylon and those associated with it. Babylon the Great represents grossly corrupted religion. But it applies also to groups like the Pharisees of Yahshua’s day. As the caretakers of the sacred Scriptures within the confines of synagogue worship, the Pharisees were part of the corruption of Babylon. Being a close counterfeit of the Truth made them the greatest threat to True Worship.

Yahshua chastised them for fol-lowing the traditions of men (which were derived from Babylon) rather than keeping the true commandments of Yahweh.

Notice what Yahshua says in Mark 7:5-10. “The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, ‘Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?’ And He said to them, ‘Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the precepts of men. Neglecting the commandment of Yahweh, you hold to the tradition of men.’”

He was also saying to them, You are experts at setting aside the commandment of Yahweh in order to keep your tradition.

We must especially beware of those modern-day Pharisees who pay lip service to the Truth while they teach the doctrines of a man or men while they neglect the commandments of Yahweh. Any association with them will bring judgment from Yahweh. The time for separation is now!

Breaking from Corruption

Those of us who have been involved with Truth-oriented organizations need to thoroughly examine the workings of those groups to see if indeed they are “True Worship.” Just because they keep the Sabbath and feast days, just because they use the Sacred Names, just because they eat clean foods, and just because they even keep the sabbatical year, does not in and of itself mean that these groups are in fact True Worship. As the saying goes “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” and the proof of doctrine is in the doing.

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Master, Master, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness,’” Matthew 7:22-23.

It is an incredible thought that Yahshua will reject many who practice lawlessness even though they use His Name. There are modern-day Pharisees who outwardly are totally circumspect with keeping the law. Inwardly, they lack the true love of Yahweh. They therefore are guilty of practicing lawlessness. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all,” James 2:10.

The brethren involved with this ministry have made a break from the corruption of former religious affiliations. Some tried their best (without success) to remove what polluted those bodies. It therefore be-came necessary to follow the precept of Revelation 18:4 and come out of the corruption of Babylon.

This ministry is in fact not some-thing new. It is a continuation of Yahweh’s True Worship. Just as Yahshua separated himself from the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees of his time so we have separated ourselves from their modern equivalents.

End-time Prophetic Fulfillment

We have seen the fulfillment of various prophetic passages of Scripture. This has caused us to join as a body of believers for the purpose of preserving Yahweh’s True Worship in these end-times. It is our intention to warn others of the corruption that they face in their religious affiliations and to offer those who heed that warning a place in which to go.

The Apostle Paul cautioned his disciple Timothy of this subversive corruption today. “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (1Tim 4:1-2).

We are living in the latter days spoken of here. It is important to our salvation that we be aware of how this prophecy applies to us as Yahweh’s end-time believers. Yes, the fallen ones are at work as they follow deceitful spirits instead of the Holy Spirit. They teach their own ideas rather than sound Biblical doctrine.

A corrupt leadership makes void the Law of Yahweh with oppressive doctrines of demons. They forbid marriage of some and advocate abstaining from food which Torah legislates as being clean. Consequently, they are guilty of transgressing the covenant by adding to and diminishing from Yahweh’s Word, Deuteronomy 4:2.

What the Apostle Paul writes here ties in with what we have already learned. These hypocrites teach counterfeit and confusing doctrines that come from the paganism of ancient Babylon. The doctrines of demons are in effect the teachings or policies of any man that take precedence over the Word of Almighty Yahweh. Yahweh will always further His Truth by bringing forth His true people from the spiritual Babylon of the modern-day Pharisees.

In Spirit and Truth

During His ministry, Yahshua was continually being confronted by the religious establishment of his day. For the most part that was the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees were of the priestly Aaronic aristocracy. They controlled Temple worship and were strongly associated with King Herod and his governmental control.

On the other hand, the Pharisees functioned on the local level, as they were the ones who controlled the synagogues. Yahshua’s ministry was totally separate from these groups. He recognized that it was impossible to reform them because of their corruption. He chose rather to bring forth a continuation of the Truth from the various followers of those groups who chose to join his ministry.

This is key. Yahshua did not start something new. He brought forth purity from that which was corrupt. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22).

Yahshua is proposing here the continuation of the Truth by putting new wine in fresh skins. The religion of the Pharisees would have represented one aspect of the old wine skins that cannot hold the new wine. Mainstream Judaism for the most part had the Truth, but they obviously lacked important spiritual aspects.

Yahweh seeks out people who will worship him in a specific way. They must be new wine skins if they are to hold the new wine. They must worship Him in both spirit and truth. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “Yahweh is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). We see from this passage two main components of True Worship. They are the Holy Spirit of Yahweh and the Truth of the Word. There are many truth oriented religious groups. But, having the Truth alone is not enough. The true body of the Messiah must have the Holy Spirit along with that Truth. Bear in mind that it is possible to have the Truth and not have the Holy Spirit. The Apostle John has warned us that there is the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. Once again, we must beware! “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from Yahweh, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of Yahweh: every spirit that confesses that Yahshua Messiah has come in the flesh is from Yahweh; and every spirit that does not confess Yahshua is not from Yahweh; this is the spirit of the anti-messiah, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from Yahweh, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from Yahweh; he who knows Yahweh listens to us; he who is not from Yahweh does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1John 4:1-6).

The Word of Yahweh shows repeatedly that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. See John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13 and 1John 4:6. Each of these verses refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth! True Worshipers will always have the Holy Spirit of Yahweh along with the Truth.

The Fruit of the Spirit

Those who have the Holy Spirit of Yahweh are keeping Almighty Yahweh’s commandments, Acts 5:32. Along with that, they are bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Love is at the forefront of the fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Messiah Yahshua have impaled the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another” (Gal. 5:22-26).

It is our desire to possess the Spirit of Truth along with the fruit of the Spirit. For this reason we have separated ourselves from former religious affiliations. Ironically we have seen firsthand how the corruption of the Pharisees is still at work.

Outwardly, what many of these groups teach is very close to the Truth. Inwardly, these organizations are corrupt. We would not argue against teaching that the leaders of these groups are the ones who presently sit in Moses seat. We totally agree with Yahshua’s assessment of them, their position, and their corruptness due to hypocrisy. People in this category are not bearing the fruit of the Spirit.

“Then Yahshua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Messiah. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Matt 23:1-12).

Sadly, we have had to face the fact that those like this and the organizations that they control are not reformable. They lack the humility to admit that they are making mistakes and to correct those mistakes. Outwardly, as they pay lip service to the Truth, they appear to be perfect. Inwardly they are something quite different, hypocrites who refuse correction.

Woe to Hypocrisy

Salvation is not to be found with these people. They obviously lack the Holy Spirit in their lives. Yahshua strongly denounces them for their hypocritical leadership.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? And, Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of Yahweh and by Him who sits upon it.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets. So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and impale, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation” (Matt 23:13-36).

Considering what Yahshua brings out against the Pharisees, it is no wonder that He choose not to reform them. Instead, he rose up a continuation of the Truth from the perverseness the Pharisees had created. By having the fruit of the Spirit and most importantly by having true love, Yahshua and his disciples were in opposition to the Pharisees and all that they stood for. He showed the distinction by His life.

Yahshua’s life was a living testimony to what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 13.

He teaches that regardless of the greatness of a person, if he doesn’t have love, he doesn’t have anything. Love is the great barrier between Truth and error. Obviously ancient and modern Pharisees still lack the important fruit of love.

by Bob Wirl

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

March of Truth

At times in the history of Israel the work of Yahweh’s true ministry reached a point where course corrections were necessary for the preservation of truth and righteousness. Corrupt influences crept in and threatened to destroy Yahweh’s true work. Men such as Noah, EliYah, Jeremiah and even our Savior Yahshua stood in the gap to choke off the occasional evil threatenings.

Yahshua the Messiah has warned us to come out of the corruption of Truth represented by Babylon. Babylon encompasses all of corrupt religion, including all religious groups that are not keeping the Truth in accordance with the Sacred Scriptures no matter how great or small their defection is from the Truth.

Consider the following in light of the prophetic plea that Yahshua makes to his people in the Book of Revelation:

“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.’ I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and Yahweh has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her’” (Rev. 18:1-6).

Yahweh will severely judge Babylon and those associated with it. Babylon the Great is usually understood to represent grossly corrupted religion. It also applies to groups like the Pharisees of Yahshua’s day.

As caretakers of the sacred Scriptures within the confines of synagogue worship, the Pharisees were part of the iniquity of Babylon. Being a close counterfeit of the Truth made them the greatest threat to True Worship. Yahshua chastised them for following the traditions of men (which were derived from Babylon) rather than keeping the true commandments of Yahweh.

Notice what He says in Mark 7:5-10. “The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, ‘Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?’ And He said to them, ‘Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. Neglecting the commandment of Yahweh, you hold to the tradition of men.’”

He was saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of Yahweh in order to follow your tradition.”

We must especially be aware of modern-day Pharisees who pay lip service to the Truth while they teach man-made traditions and neglect the commandments of Yahweh. Any association with them will bring judgment from Yahweh.

Breaking From Corruption

Those seeking truth must thoroughly examine the workings of groups to see if indeed they are “True Worship.” Just because they keep the Sabbath and feast days, just because they use the Sacred Names, just because they eat clean foods, and just because they keep the sabbatical year, does not in and of itself mean that these groups are in fact True Worship. As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the proof of doctrine is in the doing.

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Master, Master, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’” (Matt 7:22-23).

It is an astounding thought that Yahshua will reject many who use his Name because they practice law-lessness. Again, be advised that there are also modern-day Pharisees who outwardly are circumspect about keeping the law. Inwardly, they lack the true love of Yahweh. They therefore are guilty of practicing lawlessness. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all,” James 2:10.

The brethren who are involved with this ministry have made a break from the error they found in former religious affiliations. It became necessary to follow the precept of Revelation 18:4 and come out of the sins of Babylon.

This ministry is in fact not something new. It is a continuance of Yahweh’s True Worship. Just as Yahshua separated Himself from the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees of His time so we have separated ourselves from modern equivalents.

Prophecy Being Fulfilled

We have seen the fulfillment of various prophetic passages of scripture. This has caused us to join as a body of believers for the purpose of preserving Yahweh’s True Worship in these end-times. It is our intention to warn others of the falsification that most face in their religious affiliations and to offer those who heed that warning a place in which to go.

The Apostle Paul warned his disciple Timothy of this subversive corruption. “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which Yahweh has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim 4:1-3).

We are living in the latter times spoken of here. It is important to our salvation that we be aware of how this prophecy applies to us as Yahweh’s end-time believers. The fallen ones are busy following deceitful spirits instead of the Holy Spirit. They teach their own ideas rather than sound Biblical doctrine.

Corrupt leadership on a massive scale makes void the law of Yahweh with doctrines of demons. They are guilty of violating the covenant by adding to and diminishing from Yahweh’s Word, Deuteronomy 4:2.

What the Apostle Paul writes here ties in with what we have already learned. These charlatans are at work teaching counterfeit and confusing doctrines that come from the paganism of ancient Babylon.

The doctrines of demons are in effect the teachings or policies of any man that take precedence over the Word of Almighty Yahweh.

Yahweh will always continue His Truth by bringing forth His true people from the spiritual Babylon of modern-day Pharisees.

New Wine, New Wineskins

During his ministry, Yahshua was continually being confronted by the religious establishment of his day, typically the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

The Sadducees were of the priestly Aaronic aristocracy. They controlled Temple worship and were strongly associated with King Herod and his governmental control. The Pharisees functioned on the local level, being in control of the synagogues.

Yahshua’s ministry was totally separate from these groups. He recognized that it was impossible to reform them because of their corruption. He chose rather to call out the various followers of those groups to join His ministry.

Yahshua did not start something brand new. He brought forth purity from that which was corrupt. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22).

Yahshua is proposing here the continuation of the Truth by putting renewed teachings in a fresh structure. The religion of the Pharisee’s would have represented one aspect of the old wine skins that cannot hold the new wine of His teachings.

Mainstream Judaism for the most part had Truth, but they obviously lacked important spiritual aspects. Yahweh seeks out those who will worship him in a specific way. They must be new wine skins if they are to hold the new wine. They must worship Him in both spirit and truth. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. Yahweh is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).

We see from this passage that there are two main components of True Worship, the Holy Spirit of Yahweh and the Truth of the Word. There are many Truth-oriented religious groups.

But, having the truth alone is not enough. The true Body of Messiah must have the Holy Spirit along with that Truth. Bear in mind that it is possible to have the Truth and not have the Holy Spirit. Yahweh grants His Spirit to those who obey His Truth, Acts 5:32.

The Apostle John has warned us that there is the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. Once again, we must beware!

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from Yahweh, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of Yahweh: every spirit that confesses that Yahshua the Messiah has come in the flesh is from Yahweh; and every spirit that does not confess Yahshua is not from Yahweh; this is the spirit of the anti-messiah, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from Yahweh, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from Yahweh; he who knows Yahweh listens to us; he who is not from Yahweh does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1John 4:1-6).

The Word of Yahweh shows repeatedly that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Truth (see John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13, and 1John 4:6). Each of theses verses refers to the Holy Spirit as the spirit of Truth! True Worshipers will always have the Holy Spirit of Yahweh along with the Truth.

The Fruit of the Spirit

Those who have the Holy Spirit of Yahweh are keeping Yahweh’s commandments, Acts 5:32. Along with that, they are bearing the fruit of the Spirit.

Love is at the forefront of that fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Messiah Yahshua have impaled the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another” (Gal. 5:22-26).

We want to possess the Spirit of Truth along with the fruit of the Spirit and thereby worship Yahweh in Spirit and in Truth. For this reason we have separated from former religious affiliations.

Considering what Yahshua brings out against the Pharisees, it is no wonder that He chose not to reform them. Instead, He rose up a continuation of the Truth out of the perverseness the Pharisees had created. By having the fruit of the Spirit and most importantly by having true love, Yahshua and his disciples were in opposition to the Pharisees and all that they stood for.  Yahshua’s life was a living testimony to what the Apostle Paul taught in 1Corinthians 13. He teaches that re-gardless of the greatness of a person, if they don’t have love, they don’t have anything. Love is the great barrier between truth and error. Obviously ancient and modern Pharisees lack that important fruit, love.

Persecution Energizes True Worship

The corruptness of these hypocrites, then and now, is such that they are the ones who do in fact persecute Yahweh’s true people. Literally and figuratively, the forefathers of these people persecuted the prophets of Yahweh in ancient times. They themselves persecuted Yahshua and the apostolic assembly. And, in these end-times, the modern-day Scribes and Pharisees persecute the saints.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:10-12).

Don’t be discouraged by oppression from false worshipers. Yahshua revealed them for what they are so that his true people could be encouraged and raised up from the depths of depression. Yahweh has made a way for his people to go whereby they can find safety in a spiritual body of believers, who are the continuance of Truth. Yahweh brings them out of the corruption of the modern-day Pharisees.

The emergence of the spiritual Body of the Messiah at the end of the age is the direct result of persecution.

Although it is difficult to deal with, persecution is the fire that purifies Yahweh’s true spiritual people. It is the force that brings forth the true end-time members of Yahweh’s ministry.

“Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1Cor 3:12-15).

Those who keep His Word will be persecuted but Yahshua shall keep them safe during the tribulation that is to come on all the earth. “And to the angel of the [congregation] in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: “I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

“Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie. I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. “I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown” (Rev 3:7-11).

The persecution of the saints at the end of the age will most certainly have the effect of separating the spiritual body of the Messiah from those of the synagogue of Satan (those who have defected from the truth). Remember that those whom He and his disciples separated themselves from were the ones who persecuted Yahshua to death. Yahshua, the Apostles and disciples remained separate from the religious corruption around them.

Devotion Causes Separation

Many times Almighty Yahweh has allowed divisions to occur within the physical body of believers to separate the good who possess a spiritual attitude from the evil who are motivated by the flesh. That was the case in the Corinthian congregation. “For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you” (1Cor. 11:19).

Spiritual hardships that some of Yahweh’s people face are difficult to bear. Yet, these things are happening for good reason, the revealing of the true Assembly of believers in these last days. They are known by their good fruits. They are contradicted and opposed by wicked counterfeits of whom they must beware.

Yahshua tells us to watch out for false prophets. “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:15).

The fruit that comes forth must determine our religious affiliation. Those who associate with corrupt people will ultimately be corrupted!

We must be willing to separate from evil and corruption. The Truth will continue and Yahshua will return regardless of the stand we take or our position on Truth. Yahweh does not need us, we need Yahweh. The choice is ours.

by Bob Wirl

against organized religion

Going Solo

Perhaps you have searched for a group of people who endeavor with all their hearts to remain true to the Bible.

Many will tell you that they are that group. Just check any newspaper “church page” and you will find a plethora of churches advertising themselves as giving, caring, sharing, and Bible-believing. What more could one want? How about … the truth?

The problem with many is that instead of looking into Scripture with an open mind in search of the truth, they seek out a group that is teaching the doctrines they already be­lieve. And those tenets do not necessar­ily need to come from the Bible.

Tradition is the most popular teacher, which is why doctrinal errors like the immortal soul teaching, the rapture, ever-burning hellfire, heaven as the ul­timate reward, worship on the first day – and many more nonBiblical teachings continue to abound. Basing their belief on the fact that they have always be­lieved them, people accept such doc­trines as truth.

Others are not as concerned with the teachings as they are with the group’s prestige, its comfortable sanctuary, gifted choir, handsome minister, or any number of other reasons that have noth­ing to do with what is taught there.

For many, a religious affiliation is a marriage of convenience, a compromise for the sake of the spouse or children. For others it is used to enhance their worldly status.

Just as perilous is the person who believes he or she is justified in worshiping Yahweh alone. Maybe some problem in their former affiliation prompted them to go it alone. They may even pride them­selves with going solo.

Should we reject organized worship when problems arise? Are we given the Scriptural alternative to wor­ship separately from everyone else? Is that the arrangement we find taught in the Bible? What does Scripture reveal about becoming part of a group of worshipers and working with and through the Body of Messiah? Could private worship signal spiritual defeat or does it have Yahweh’s complete blessing?

‘I Will Build My … lndividual’?

Scripture is clear on the subject of wor­ship. It also has much to say about group affiliation. Clearly, the command to assemble is there: “And let us consider one an­other to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching,” Hebrews 10:24-25.

We are directed to join in fellow­ship, encouraging and exhorting one another to good works and sacrificial love by word and example. We must se­riously consider the Savior’s words about those called out from the world to be a part of the Body of Messiah. It is obvious that He expected His fol­lowers to become a part of a greater Body of believers who would be close to one another and who would help guide one another.

Yahshua said there would always be a group of True Believers on earth teaching the truths he magnified and brought to light: “And I say also unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my assembly; and the gates of [the grave] shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16: 18). He established an orga­nized worship based on Peter’s confes­sion that Yahshua was the Messiah.

If we seek salvation, we must become a part of that Body. His assembly was to continue until His return, 1Pe­ter 4: 17. Teaching the truth of Scripture, His Body would be the physical repre­sentation of Him on earth. This Body would be the repository of His truth and mirror the example He set.

The writers of the New Testament, and especially Paul, shared the belief that Believers must congregate as a body when­ever possible. Acts 2:42 relates that af­ter Yahshua’s death that the early apostles continued steadfast in fellowship and prayer. The apostles were in constant fellowship with one another throughout the Book of Acts. They were aware that persecution was soon to fall on them and they used every opportunity to en­courage one another and to preach the Word wherever they could.

It is up to all who have been called to proclaim the Good News and encourage others in the truth of the Name, Sabbath, Feasts, clean foods, and other truths neglected for millen­nia. These are the bedrock teachings that must be reintroduced before the Savior returns, Jude 3. Those who have this knowledge are to be teachers and guides of others searching for it, 1Peter 2:9; Romans 2:21.

The only real way to get the message out effectively is through a united effort!

Message Through the Body

For a number of important reasons Yahweh’s people are to congregate to study His Word. The overriding con­cern is to help sinful lives change to lives of righteous obedience. The Book of Acts is filled with examples of con­versions to Messiah. The Apostle Paul himself was struck down on the Dam­ascus road in Acts 9, where he actually heard and spoke to the risen Messiah (vv. 1-6). Although Yahshua spoke to Paul, He did not tell him the entire plan at that time.

Rather, the plan of salvation was to be found in going to the city and letting those in the ekklesia – the Body of believers – tell him what had to be done. Yahshua had given the keys of the Kingdom to His called-out ones, and although He could just as easily have told Paul what to do for others directly, that was the job of the Body. It still is today.

The early assembly was busy show­ing the path to those who were seeking the strait gate and the narrow way. For example, the Ethiopian treasurer was trying hard to understand the Book of Isaiah (Acts 8). Philip explained the Scriptures to him and brought about his conversion and desire for baptism. This is a prime example of Yahweh’s Spirit working through His people to help others find the way of salvation. That truth is lodged in the Body of believers.

Yahweh could just as easily have spoken to, or in some way moved, the people He was dealing with to do His bidding. Instead, He used those who had prepared themselves and were qualified, to help others seeking truth. It is up to the Body of Messiah to preach the Good News of salvation as Yahshua said in Matthew 28: 19.

Although signs, visions, and miracles were used on occasion by Yahweh in the New Testament Assem­bly, the message of salvation was given and expounded to others by those in the ekklesia, the called-out ones.

Shaping the Building Stones

Another reason for the necessity to gather with others of like faith is that all those placed in the Body of Messiah have a particular gift that is to be used to edify and build the Assembly, 1Corinthians 7: 7. That gift is to be used for the ekklesia and is not for personal glorification, 1Corinthians 14:12.

We are placed in the Body of Mes­siah as living stones making up a spiri­tual temple. Each member of the Body has been selected to be a part of that temple and is even in this life being fit­ted for an individual place in Yahweh’s spiritual temple.

The chipping, shaping, and fitting of each of the called-out ones goes on as we live our lives and change according to His Word. Yahshua is the chief cor­nerstone of the entire living, spiritual temple. He is not a lone rock on the sea­shore. We are to be formed collectively into a spiritual house, 1Peter 2:4-7, founded on Yahshua.

Yahweh has a purpose for gathering His people. We are to use whatever gift He has given each of us for the edify­ing of the temple. If we never associate with others of like faith, how can we exercise the gift we have received? Only through interaction with others do we learn to subjugate our own wants and desires as we uplift, edify, and strengthen others in the truth and faith.

“Living stones” that make up the body fit together only once they have been chipped and shaped and smoothed through contact with other living stones. The finished, polished pieces fit into a harmonious building where Yahweh’s Spirit dwells.

As an individual member of the Body of Messiah begins to pattern his life after that of the Messiah, he stops committing acts that he learns are sin­ful and against Yahweh. He starts fol­lowing a course in accord with Yahweh’s way of life.

His mind is stayed on the Messiah. He no longer is taken up with satisfy­ing his flesh and former way of life. He now longs to please the Heavenly Fa­ther and no longer indulges in wicked­ness of the lower nature: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivious­ness,idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, vari­ance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedi­tions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim” (Gal. 5: 19-21).

Advantages of Fellowship

Through the Body of Messiah the fruits of Galatians 5:22-23 are grown, nur­tured, and matured: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek­ness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Examples of the kind of people we are to become should be visible in each assembly.Here we meet with those who are also trying to become more like the Messiah, growing in His like­ness and stature. This is not possible to fulfill alone, which is why it is all the more important that we fellowship with other saints. Regardless, we should always live as if the Messiah were living right here among us no matter where we are.

By fruits is that person known, Matthew 7:20. Just as Yahshua sought fruit from the fig tree (Matt. 21), so we should be bearing fruit not only for Him, but also for the brethren.

Another great advantage of regular fellowship is the mutual understanding one can derive from others. Often we learn of a strange new doctrine that arises from an isolated individual who does not “test out” his idea with others for validity and harmony with the Scrip­tures. How often have we all been cor­rected or redirected by a brother or sis­ter who had more insight on an idea or teaching! We need one another to stay balanced and on track. This is just another advantage of regular fellowship.

Believers Same as Yahshua

While most of us fully recognize the great debt of gratitude we owe Yahshua the Messiah, we often forget the most obvious way we can show our apprecia­tion and love to Him for the price He paid that we might have life.

The Apostle Paul got the message in a big way. Supernaturally struck down on the Damascus road, he heard a voice asking him, “Shaul, Shaul, why do you persecute Me?” Who was this he was hearing? The answer comes: “I am Yahshua whom you persecute,”Acts 9: 1-5.

Suddenly Paul realized the astound­ing fact that Yahshua was so close to His disciples that anything Paul had previously done in persecuting them was the same as attacking the Messiah Himself! That is how important the Body of Messiah is to our Savior, and that is why each person must have a place in it and work through it. To work and worship with the Body is to work and worship with the Savior!

Paul never forgot the lesson. On fre­quent occasions he would mention that he – more than anyone else – needed forgiveness because he had persecuted the Body of believers, and through them Yahshua Himself. Philippians 3:6; Galatians 1: l3, 1Timothy 1: l3.

Yahshua again revealed the deep and intimate feelings He has for His True Worshipers when he spoke of the righteous saints who inherit the King­dom, Matthew 25:34-40. He said that doing good to the saints is the same as reaching out to Yahshua Himself. He likens His spiritual Body to his own body. When we do anything to a fellow believer we are in essence doing the same to Yahshua. When we refuse to fellowship with the Body, we are refus­ing Yahshua.

In verses 41-46 He makes the same point with the wicked who have not shown compassion and love for the Body. He speaks of not having cared for the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, and imprisoned.

Some hunger for the Word; we should feed them. Some thirst for the Holy Spirit; they should be taught. Strangers should be taken into the camp and made spiritual Israelites wherever possible. They should be clothed in the robes of righteousness. If they are sick, they need healing and should be made whole. Those in prison should be freed from the captivity of sinful living.

Yahshua identified the group of be­lievers in Matthew 12:48-50 when He stretched forth His hand toward His dis­ciples and said, “Whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sis­ter and mother.”

Keeping His words in mind will help us to think of one another in the ekklesia as brothers or sisters. Whatever we do to these followers of the Messiah we also do to Him. He said that the ekklesia was also His Body. He refers to the called-out ones as the spiritual mother of the Body of believers. This is the same thought Paul had when he re­ferred to the spiritual Jerusalem as the “mother of all,” Galatians 4:26.

Strength Through Fellowship

It is quite apparent that Yahshua ex­pected the Body of believers to assem­ble as often as they could. Not associ­ating with the saints leaves much of the development of the spiritual aspects of our lives unfinished. The interaction between the believers is necessary not only to help us become better followers of the Messiah, but also to learn from others who have met and overcome many of the same problems and diffi­culties. It strengthens us as well to see how others have overcome their trials.

Becoming associated with a group of True Believers allows one into a training ground or preparation for the work in the Kingdom. We develop tal­ents or gifts that Yahweh has given us so they become ability. We use that abil­ity to edify and build up the ekklesia.

In interaction with the saints we not only help them be better followers of the Messiah, but we also perfect ourselves. It is difficult or impossible to de­velop and use the spiritual gifts Yahweh gives us if we are alone.

Another purpose for assembling to­gether is to make recommendations and judgments on the qualifications of the brethren. This was true in Acts 15:1-2 when the brethren determined who would go to Jerusalem. It was the breth­ren who decided the candidates for the role of deacon in the early assembly, Acts 6:3-6. In Acts 11:22 it was the ekklesia that sent Barnabas to Antioch. Later (Acts 15:22-23) it was the ekklesia that joined with the apostles and elders to send men they had cho­sen to visit the gentiles.

Cooperation Is Key

All through the New Testament we find that the Assembly played a vital part in the direction of the ministry. Decisions were made by the Body. There is no such term as head elder or directing elder in the New Testament, unless it refers to Yahshua. Examples of a plu­rality of people making the important decisions are found in the following:

Acts 15:25 and 40; 16:1-2; lCorinthians 16:2-3; 2Corinthians 8:19, and Philippians 2:25.

Yahshua established the Assembly (Matt. 16:18), and to make it run He guides it by His Holy Spirit working through His people. It was the apostles or elders who recognized the choice of the brethren in ordaining individuals for the special task of serving the Body.

Most of us can look back on our Bib­lical pursuits and recall that we assimi­lated Bible knowledge by degrees. After we accepted one truth we went on to study deeper knowledge. Significantly, we learned through the help of others. Who can say that he learned all the truth totally without the help and direction of other people guided by Yahweh?

To say that we no longer need the fellowship and help of others in the Body is to reject the blueprint Yahshua established by which the truth is spread to all the earth.

One of the biggest thrills yet to come is when Yahshua returns to set up His Kingdom. It will not be the individual who thought it was “just you and me, Yahshua” who will make up that Kingdom. It will be ALL those who have been faithfully keeping the command­ments and living daily the precepts they have proved true. It will be His entire ekklesia, the firstfruits, that will make up the core of His Kingdom of which there will be no end.

Serving the Body

In any organization, obligations and duties befall some for the good of all. For some, the reluctance to meet with a group is born of the fear of the respon­sibilities involved.

Yet that is exactly what the King­dom will involve … responsibilities! We are in training now to handle the smaller duties of service so that we will be able to take on the much greater re­sponsibilities to befall us in the King­dom. If we shirk the little assignments of service now, how do we think Yah­weh will consider us for the far greater and more demanding ones of ruling in His Kingdom? (Rev. 5:10)

A muscle that goes unused withers away. Yahweh wants involvement from His people. They in turn will grow with the responsibilities, ultimately to be qualified for a greater role to come. No one can presume to be an effective ruler in the Kingdom if he has not learned how to interact with others now.

This is one of the great truths of the Assembly. The ekklesia is a training ground, both for now and also for a more important role in the future. No one can effectively rule in the Kingdom if he has not learned to get along suc­cessfully with others now.

Traits of the True Group

How can we know which is the correct group of True Worshipers? The Bible gives us a clear understanding of the characteristics of truth seekers. Many teach that the law of the Old Testament has been done away. But Revelation 14:12 and many other New Testament verses maintain that Yahweh never changed His mind. His precepts are still binding. Besides boldly teaching the truth of the Word, other significant characteris­tics identify the true Assembly.

Revelation 14:12 tells of the patience of the saints who keep the commandments of Yahweh and have the faith of Yahshua. The saints, then, must be willing to endure situations that may not be pleasant. They must be willing to sacrifice all for the sake of the truth. Conditions will come to pass that will severely test their dedication and resolve to be faithful to the Father they serve. Will they keep the com­mandments? Will they be willing to suf­fer shame for His Name?

Notice specifically in Revelation 14:12 that the True Worshiper keeps the faith OF Yahshua, not the faith IN Yahshua – but the same faith He had. Part of His faith was that He was obe­dient in all things, 1Peter 2:22. He kept all the commandments. All the Feast days. All the Sabbaths. He is our ex­ample, our model, and our goal.

Another characteristic setting apart of True Worshipers is that His people will know and use His Name, Isaiah 52:6. His people will also be hated because of His Name, Matthew 24:9, but they will never deny it, Revelation 3:8.

The way is narrow and the gate is strait that leads to the Kingdom, and few will find it. The closer an organiza­tion follows the truth the fewer there will be in that group.

But seek the Kingdom we must, and with all our determination follow the Savior. This is not just a hobby for the Truth Seeker, it is his and her very rea­son for living.

May you also join with us as we endeavor to fulfill all that the True Assembly means in these final days. Check out our Sabbath Fellowship you don’t have to “Go Solo”!  Also, Check out our live sabbath services every Sabbath at 1:30 (Central time)

Qualifications to be a minster

Qualifications for the Ministry

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The following actually happened to men in the ministry:

On a ministerial tour, a minister entered a particular home with the hope of explaining Yahweh’s truth. During the conversation the man of the house asked whether the minister’s wife ever accompanied him on such trips. “Oh, she never comes with me,” the elder answered. “She isn’t in the faith.” The incredulous man responded, “Then I have some advice for you — why don’t you go home and convert your own wife first before you presume to teach me.”Struggling with marital problems, a couple sought counseling from a minister. After a few extraneous responses to their questions, they asked him, “Are YOU married?” “Well, no, I’ve never been married,” he answered. They were skeptical. “If you have never experienced married life firsthand, how can you really help us solve our marital problems?”An elderly man who had been ordained for a couple of years was asked some questions from a somewhat younger elder. The younger minister hoped to gain some special insight from the older man’s wisdom and knowledge of the Word. To his surprise and dismay, it was soon obvious that the older minister’s vague answers were indicative of one who had done little Bible study.A very young minister was sent to counsel a middle-aged man experiencing personal trials. The session failed, mostly because the older man was put off by the fact that someone less than half his age was trying to give him advice about life.

Each of these events is real. And they all emphasize an important fact when it comes to the office of ministry: It is crucial that those who are ordained meet certain Biblical standards and qualifications. Before they receive ordination, they must have first proved themselves, as Paul clearly explains in 1Timothy 3:10. If an elder who does not qualify Biblically is placed in authority before an Assembly, that ministry will inevitably suffer. Yahweh’s blessing will be lacking, and those responsible for ordaining him will suffer the consequences for their negligence.

This is a serious problem in some Assemblies today and the consequences have proved devastating.

Men are being ordained who fail in one or several key qualifications laid down in the Word. It is nothing less than a sin to lay hands on a man who does not have the Scriptural credentials, because to do so violates plain commands of the Bible. It also reveals a disturbing lack of a minister’s responsibility to his Assembly to ordain men who do not measure up.

When Yahweh sets the qualifications for eldership in two New Testament chapters – 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1

–  the criteria He emphasizes foremost are not about the man’s ability to preach or teach, but about his character. Behind everything a man says is the testimony of his own life. This is vital, because above all else the office of minister is a spiritual trust. He is responsible for the spiritual guidance of those he serves. If he isn’t living what he preaches and teaches, he has lost his ability to convince. He is his own opposition.

We are told to examine the man’s marriage and family life. Nothing tells us more about a man than his relationship with those closest to him. Is he a good husband and father who receives praise from all? Does even the world recognize him as an honorable individual?

Are his wife and children in the faith? Has he proven himself by converting those closest to him? Paul is quite specific on this point. The candidate for eldership must have already led his family to the truth he holds dear, which is the same thing he will be doing in the ministry.

This qualification speaks volumes about the man and his ability and desire to admonish, guide, and influence others for Yahweh. As Paul admonishes, “For if a man knows not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Assembly of Yahweh?” 1Timothy 3:5.

Yahweh’s Standards Are Non-Negotiable

In essence, Paul says that the man considered for leadership in the Assembly has already demonstrated his spiritual qualifications in the most intimate place — his own family. Often Paul refers to saints in his life as his children.  John calls them his “children in the faith.”  Peter refers to believers as “children.”  Why?  Because spiritual leadership is like parenting, where you interact with others and set a living example for them, besides teaching and instructing them.

The standards Yahweh establishes for the office of ministry are not debatable. Simply put, certain men are fit for leadership while others are not. ALL the qualifications set forth in the Bible must be met before one is considered for such an important and influential office.

Any minister who ordains men for their tithing record, friendship or their ability to massage his ego is falsifying the Word and doing irreparable damage to those brethren he has vowed to serve scripturally in all things. Such dereliction of duty and lack of concern for the Body of Messiah are inexcusable.

Yahweh went to great pains to ensure that the right men were chosen for His service. Consider His selection of Noah, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, David, and the Apostles. Each was specifically chosen out of the world to serve Him, some with much effort. Are we to do less today? Mistakes made in choosing such men will assuredly return one day to plague and even destroy a work.

A true minister is a man who teaches, counsels, guides, manages, and produces for the sake of Yahweh’s truth. Above all, a minister is a leader. A leader is one whose life is so exemplary that others want to copy it. At its essence, leadership means being an example. Therefore, the very character of a man forms the basis for his ministry. If he fails to be a model of what he speaks and teaches, he will not be believed. Such a man is a hypocrite and a mockery to Yahweh’s Word.

Paul constantly had to remind himself not to act with duplicity. He wrote in 1Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

The strength of what a man says rests in his own virtuous life. All admonishment he gives to others ultimately is judged by whether he lives what he says. Paul explains that a minister like himself must be a good example. “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” (Phil. 3:17, NIV).

Elders don’t just teach the word, they live it. It is similar to the parent-child relationship, and that is one reason Paul emphasizes that a man’s family life be right. He will be doing much the same for the Assembly as he does for his family.

People need a proper standard to follow, because in essence, everyone should strive to attain the ideal expected of elders and deacons. We respect and emulate those who have the highest of character. Where else should we expect to find such examples if not in the ministry? In 2Thessalonians 3:9 Paul writes that he and his evangelists “make ourselves an example unto you to follow us.” Hebrews 13:7 issues this admonishment: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of Elohim to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”

An elder’s life is like a giant video screen on display behind his pulpit, revealing the truth about him for all to see every time he speaks. If he doesn’t measure up to his own teachings, it will quickly be evident.

In no profession is it more crucial to embody the highest standards in all aspects of life than for a man who represents the very teachings of the King of the universe! An elder is a servant and the finest example of the kind of life Yahweh expects in all His people. A unique life — proclaiming truth and living it with integrity — is going to have a tremendous impact on others.

What is astounding is how many ministers themselves don’t seem to comprehend this basic fact. They are too wrapped up in achieving personal goals in a position they see not as a righteous witness in humble service and sacrifice, but as a position for power and personal glory.

In 1Corinthians 10:31, Paul writes, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of Elohim.  Don’t give an offense to a Jew or to a Greek or to the Assembly.”  He says, “Just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”

First and Foremost Is Character

Let us examine Titus 1, where we find the specific standards that a man must meet in order to qualify for ordination: “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of Elohim; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

No honest minister can ever read these qualifications without reevaluating himself each time he reviews them.

The qualifications for eldership, from verses 6-9, can be divided into four categories.  The first is sexual purity, then family leadership; the third is general character, and the last is ability to teach. A candidate for ordination must qualify in all four areas. When he does, he will be above reproach. If he fails to measure up to any one of these, he must not be ordained.

“But that isn’t fair,” some will argue. “The man is a great speaker, we can overlook some of his shortcomings.” Not Scripturally, you can’t. Some will have trouble accepting Paul’s specific requirements for ministers, especially those who desire to be ordained but who fall short somewhere. Remember, Yahweh Himself set up those standards to be followed.

Those men who would argue and contest the standards because they would be permanently disqualified need to consider that half the population is prohibited from the ministry simply by their gender. Women are unable to serve as elders (1Cor. 14:34-35). Right-hearted women accept the fact that Yahweh made them females and go on living their lives to please Him, knowing they can never be ordained. Similarly, men who are not qualified should simply accept that fact. There are other important and necessary ways each can serve the Body.

More Specific Requirements in 1Timothy 3

As a senior minister once wrote, “As goes the eldership, so goes the Assembly.” Moral and spiritual looseness  by elders breeds the same in the people. No wonder that this issue was of the utmost concern to the Apostle Paul, and others. Paul is the senior elder speaking to the young evangelist Timothy in 1Timothy 3.

Paul’s obligation was to ordain men in various cities who would carry on the work that he had started. He realized that the congregation may not always like the selections. To arm the leadership in their choices, Yahweh inspired Paul to establish very specific qualifications they were to follow.

The highest of standards along with the right motivation will give the people the right example they desperately need. All of this is to say that no one but those of impeccable integrity and the right qualifications must be considered for ordination. Therefore, Paul warns in 1Timothy 3:2-11 not to lay hands on any man if he:

  • is not blameless in his life
  • has more than one wife (was married before)
  • lacks self control
  • is not respectable
  • is not hospitable
  • does not know his Bible well and cannot teach it in an inspired way
  • is a drunkard
  • is violent
  • is argumentative
  • loves money
  • lacks control of and honor from his own family.
  • is a recent convert
  • has a bad reputation in the community
  • lacks a respectable, trustworthy wife who does not gossip.

These qualifications reveal and reflect the actual character of a man.

Is it wrong to expect more from elders and deacons? Of course not. That is exactly what we are to do. The 12 Apostles told the early Assembly, “Look you out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom,” Acts 6:3. These were exceptional men. Men of proven dedication and ability who had impeccable reputations. They were to serve as deacons, showing us that even the lower levels of office demand the same high qualities in a man, 1Timothy 3:8-13.

Rather than defending moral failure, twisting the Bible to accommodate unqualified men, and passing the buck for mistakes in ordinations, Yahweh’s people must demand high standards in their elders and deacons from the start. Yahweh Himself does!

The man with a wife who has not submitted to baptism in Yahshua’s Name is also unqualified for the position of elder or deacon. Paul’s mandate is clear that the wife must be dedicated  in every way, 1Peter 3:1, 5. “Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things,” 1Timothy 3:11. She cannot be faithful in all things if she is rebellious when it comes to the Faith. “Faithful” is from the Greek pistos and is translated “believer,” “he that believes,” “sure” and “true.”

A man whose wife and family are not with him in the Assembly is not the proper example to the membership. His ability to convince and convict is seriously lacking, notably through his lack of initiative with his own family.

On the other hand, if he has children who believe and are not rebellious, they will never bring scandal upon his good name and leadership. Now we can see more clearly some of the reasons behind these qualifications.

Suppose you as a father have older children who have not followed Yahweh or been dedicated to the faith, despite all your efforts. You are not responsible for their rebellion if you have done all you can as a believing parent. But neither would you qualify for ordination, according to clear, Scriptural requirements.

Paul’s guidelines about a wife presuppose that a minister is to be married, as Paul previously was. Being a   member of the Sanhedrin meant Paul had a wife at the time he served in that council. We specifically read that Peter had a wife, Matthew 8:14, Luke 4:38.  Also note what Paul wrote about the rights of an Apostle in 1Corinthians 9:5: “Don’t we have the right to take abelieving wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the [Master’s] brothers and Cephas [Peter]?” [NIV]

‘But…Can’t a Person Change?’

A common argument is that expecting a man to meet all of these qualifications is holding him to an impossible standard. Listen, if the standard were impossible to meet, then Paul deceived us and no one can ever be qualified.

“But what about conversion?” some may ask. “Doesn’t baptism wash away all sins?”

If this were an issue purely about sin, then there would be no point in setting down the requirements in the first place. A man’s conversion and washing away of his sins would make him instantly qualified no matter what his prior sins were. Obviously sin is not the only issue here. In fact, of the 14 prerequisites we find in 1Timothy 3, at least nine are unrelated to sin or are only indirectly associated.

Consider:

  • A man either has had two wives (through remarriage) or he has not. Baptism cannot wash away that fact. (“one wife” does not mean one at a time. See our Web study: Online Studies/Marriage Studies: “Man of One Wife”)
  • A man’s wife is either converted at the point of his ordination or she is not. Again, his baptism does not affect that, either.
  • His being a recent convert does not change with his baptism. In fact, the lateness of his immersion is what makes him a recent convert.
  • His conversion does not immediately affect his Bible knowledge.

All of these are simple facts in a man’s life that cannot be changed by repentance and immersion.

The criteria listed in 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are prior qualifications. He is already supposed to be blameless, husband of one wife (one-woman man; married only once — Moffatt, Jerusalem, NRSV), with faithful children, of good character and able to convince the contradictors by his good Bible knowledge.

This is not a position for novices or one that a man eventually grows into. He is already there. His reputation precedes him and so does his knowledge of the Word. This is because he is to be a special example to everyone from the very start of his ministry.

A teacher is not there to learn himself. He is there to teach, and show by example.

Don’t Accept Compromise

The minister is not like the head of a company.  He is like a father in a family. He is loving, compassionate, and patient. He has a concern for others far exceeding his care for himself, no matter how great the sacrifice. At the same time he is persuasive, courageous and able to motivate. It goes without saying that he exemplifies the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-25.

His attributes are also an example for children.

To persist in attending an Assembly where the elder is a hypocrite is unacceptable with Yahweh. Some parents will close their eyes to a minister who is morally tainted and continue under his leadership.

A child must believe that his spiritual leaders, for all their human failings, are basically honest and obedient to Yahweh’s laws. Children, and especially teens, will spot the hypocrite a mile away and know that phonies do not belong behind a pulpit.  Such a man has no business counseling people about their problems while reveling in the same problems himself.

Adult example is critical to children. If parents continue to bring a child under the teaching of a man he distrusts, the child may conclude that his own parents are hypocrites as well. As a result, he may rebel or also become hypocritical, thinking that if it doesn’t matter to the minister or to my parents, it shouldn’t matter to me.

Showing others the power that repentance and conversion can have in a transformed life is one of the most powerful tools that Yahweh has in bringing people to the truth. A minister must be just that.

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