Have you ever wondered why so many different Protestant denominations exist, each with contradictory teachings? Some say the total is as high as 33,000 worldwide, each claiming to teach the same Bible yet unable to reconcile their doctrines and understanding with other denominations.
One cause for the confusion is that the Bible, which teaches about man’s salvation and how to attain it, is both the world’s all-time bestseller and the least understood book in existence.
An effort to correctly harmonize all of the Bible’s teachings has been ongoing for centuries. More than 90 English translations of the Bible are in print, each with a goal to present the Scriptures better and more accurately than any other. So why is there so much disagreement about what it teaches? And why are so many traditional doctrines and practices difficult to prove from the Scriptures?
Are You Serious?
You may be astonished to learn that the Bible nowhere promises eternal life in heaven or endless suffering in sulfurous flames of hell. Nor does it command or teach the observance of the most popular holidays like Easter, Christmas, or even worship on the first day of the week.
We could hardly get away with such provocative statements if they weren’t true. Make no mistake. These are verifiable facts from Scripture itself and we challenge you to confirm everything written in this brochure by simply looking it up in your own Bible. Don’t let anything go unproved.
Increasingly rare is the church or ministry that encourages its members to study the Textbook of their faith, let alone take along a Bible to worship services and prove what the minister is saying. This pervasive malpractice is one of the reasons that popular error continues to go unchallenged and uncorrected.
What is offered as scriptural teaching today is light years away from what was taught only 100 years ago in the name of biblical truth. Many are sitting in their pews without the slightest idea that key doctrinal statements they hear week after week have nothing in common with Scriptural teaching. Just hearing a tired string of platitudes interrupted by a touching story in a 20-minute sermon is not going to cut it, either.
If you are serious about what you believe, if you care about your eternal salvation, then it is time to dig into the Word. It is time to learn the facts from the Scriptures alone.
To understand the textbook of your faith you must first read the book. You cannot rely on someone else to make the effort for you. Don’t leave to the “experts” something as important as your personal salvation. The Bible says you are entirely accountable for yourself: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:12.
You are responsible for your own understanding and what you do with it. You can’t look to someone else to answer for your beliefs or the way you lead your life.
In the spirit of this Biblical command we will detail some of the more startling truths presented in both Old and New testaments. These are facts that have been hidden for centuries – some of which may absolutely shock you. And remember, don’t accept anything you hear or read without proving it first from your own Bible.
Identity Theft of the Father and Son
Imagine a baby boy born to a typical American family in Iowa being given a Russian name like Vladimir. It just wouldn’t happen! But think about this: Your Savior was born a Hebrew of Hebrew parents. Yet the Hebrew Name they gave Him was eventually stolen away and replaced with a Greek name (Jesus) that He never knew the whole time He walked this earth.
Look up the letter “J” in a comprehensive dic-tionary or encyclopedia and you will discover that the J is only 500 years old. It was the newest letter to join the alphabet – any alphabet. We must conclude that with no J in existence the name “Jesus” did not exist either – not in any language – prior to the time of Christopher Columbus.
The Book of Matthew tells us that an angel told the Hebrew Miriam (Mary) and Yowceph (Joseph) what to call their newborn son. “And she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Yahshua: for He shall save His people from their sins,” 1:21. This Hebrew Name, Yahshua, means “Yah Is Salvation” (Yah-shua). In spite of this fact most Bible translations continued to promote a Greek name He never knew, which has led millions to believe it is genuine. But scholars everywhere know better, as do most ministers from their seminary training.
A good study Bible like the Companion explains that His Name is the same as Hoshea, prefixed with the word “Yah” – hence Yahoshea or Yahshua as it was pronounced at the time of His birth. (The “o” in Hoshea began to be dropped after the Babylonian captivity.) If you saw The Passion movie you will recall that the Savior was known exclusively by the Hebrew-Aramaic name “Y’shua.” The Anchor Bible explains His Name Yahshua in a note on Matthew 1:1: “The first element, Yahu (=Yahweh) means ‘the [L-rd],’ while the second comes from shua ‘To help, save’” (vol. 26, p. 2).
In Hebrew all names have meaning. Recall that the angel said that the Son would be given a specific Name because He would “saveHis people from their sins.” The last part of His Name in Hebrew means just that – “salvation.” But that is not all.
The Bible also quotes the Savior Himself saying that He came in His Heavenly Father’s Name. “I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive,” John 5:43. The prefix “Yah” in His NameYahshua comes directly from the Father’s NameYahweh. He literally and truly came in His Father’s Name!
The short family name “Yah” is found in many names in the Bible, including IsaYah (Isaiah), JeremiYah (Jeremiah), Yahel (Joel), and EliYah (Elijah). You even use it when you say the word “halleluYah”! Translators pirated away the family Name when they substituted the letter “y” with “i” or “j” in various names and words.
You will find the Father’s Name in the complete form YHWH (Yahweh) no fewer than 6,823 times in the original Hebrew manuscripts that produced the Old Testament. The Teutonic term “God” does not appear in the Hebrew Old Testament. Nor does it appear in the ancient Greek of the New Testament from which most all modern versions are derived. You can confirm this fact for yourself in any concordance. In the ancient Greek New Testament the term used is the Greek theos or a close variant thereof.
To whom are you really praying if the two most popular names used for the Father and Son are not even in the original Scriptures? Some may be saying, “Well, it doesn’t really matter. He knows who I mean.” How can the worshiper say to the One he or she worships, “I’ll decide what I will call you”? Especially when the Father is so adamant that we call on His Name! Does He need to reveal His Name more than 6,823 times before we will grasp its importance?
No one can change your name without your consent. Neither is it an option for us to call our Creator whatever may be traditional or popular – but incorrect.
Isaiah 52:6 equates being a child of His by this specific characterisitic: “Therefore my people shall know my name.” That is how important His Name is to Him, just as your name is dear to you. How annoying when someone mispronounces or otherwise misuses your name, especially when they know what your name is. Imagine how the Father in heaven feels when you substitute His Name with something else entirely. especially if that substitute name relates to a heathen deity.
Open a Bible concordance like Strong’s or Young’s to the heading “name” and note how many times the Scriptures command us to honor and glorify His Name. Names show identity. You cannot change names without altering an individual’s identity and person. Doing so is identity theft.
In Isaiah 42:8 the Father clearly says, “I am Yahweh [“YHWH” in the Hebrew]: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
Fourth Commandment Upgrade?
The Fourth Commandment tells us to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” meaning set apart. If there were any question about which day of the week is the Sabbath, the commandment nails it down: “Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim…For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it,” Exodus 20:9-11.
Common wall calendars show that the week ends on Saturday, the seventh day, while Sunday starts a new week. Nothing we can look to in creation tells us when the Sabbath day is. It was divinely instituted at creation by the Father Yahweh Himself, and the sequence of days has remained the same since.
The Messiah Yahshua kept the same commanded Sabbath that His Father Yahweh rested on. He went to the temple and worshiped on the seventh day of the week, as did all of His disciples all of their lives. Not a single passage of Scripture gives anyone permission to switch the day of rest and worship from the Sabbath to Sunday.
That unauthorized change was the work of Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. His edict made Sunday the official day of rest in his realm – a political move in utter disregard of the Fourth Commandment. Major encyclopedias confirm Constantine’s historical substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath. Most of Christianity has honored this unauthorized substitution ever since, justifying it by saying it was on the first day of the week that the Messiah was resurrected.
First, He was already gone from the tomb by sunset Saturday evening. Second, nowhere does the Bible say that a resurrection day creates a Sabbath day. This change was made purely on the authority of the Roman Church alone, which it freely admits.
A concordance will reveal that references to the seventh-day Sabbath appear 60 times in the New Testament. But only 8 verses out of the entire New Testament speak of the first day of the week – none of them enjoining worship on that day.
Even more questionable, none of those 8 “first-day” references is even clearly speaking of the first day of the week. The word “day” was added by translators, indicated in most translations because “day” appearing in italics. These 8 verses could just as easily mean the first part of the week rather than the firstday of the week.
A key reference to the Sabbath in the New Testament is found in Hebrews 4:9: “There remains therefore a rest to the people of Elohim.” “Rest” is from the Greek sabbatismos, which means “a keeping of Sabbath.” The Book of Hebrews tells us that the Sabbath remains the day of rest, and the day that was kept as the Sabbath at that time, as any biblical reference will tell you, was the seventh day – Saturday. The Sabbath had always been Saturday ever since Yahweh established it by resting Himself on the seventh day after creation, Genesis 2:2-3. The seventh day continued as the day of rest among New Testament believers.
As a Jew, Yahshua went into the synagogue on the seventh-day Sabbath to read and teach, Luke 4:16. In His prophecy of the last days He admonished in Matthew 24:20, “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” He never would have prophesied this if He knew that the Sabbath would no longer be binding.
Following his conversion the Apostle Paul proceeded to keep the seventh-day Sabbath both with Jews as well as Gentiles, Acts 13:42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4. This was many years after the Savior’s resurrection.
These New Testament references tell us that we have no authority to change the day set apart as holy by Yahweh Himself. To do so is to make our worship fit our own desires.
Prophecy says that in the Kingdom all people will come to worship Yahweh “from one Sabbath to another,” Isaiah 66:23.
Heaven on Earth
The typical funeral sermon announces that the deceased is now “in a better place”– meaning in heaven – and smiling down at the gathered loved ones. Although such a statement may comfort the grieving, do the Scriptures themselves support it?
Yahshua the Messiah said plainly and clearly in John 3:13, “No one has ascended up to heaven…” Of all the millions of people who had died up to that point in history not one went to heaven. That fact is on the direct authority of our Savior Himself. Certainly there had been good people deserving of salvation who never went to a heavenly reward. Take King David, for instance. He will rule directly under Yahshua in the Millennial Kingdom, Ezekiel 37:24-25. But where is David now – in heaven?
Acts 2:29 explains about this man that Yahweh loved: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” For nearly a thousand years up to the time Yahshua walked this earth David lay in the grave, and he is still dead in the grave, having gone nowhere but to his rest for the past 3,000 years.
Paul explained that we get everlasting life only at the resurrection when our Savior returns to earth. In 1Corinthians 15:22-23 Paul wrote: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then they that are Messiah’s, at his coming.”
After searching the Scriptures for 40 years we have not found one verse that says, “When we get to heaven,” or “I’ll see you in heaven,” or “Rejoice for you will one day be in heaven,” or anything similar. The notion of a heavenly reward stems from teachings of Greek philosophers and Gnostic traditions, ultimately embraced by the church.
What we do find in the Scriptures are many passages that speak of the earth as our reward, such as Psalm 37:11: “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
We offer many more fascinating truths about the Bible and the proper worship of our Father Yahweh. We invite you to contact us.
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