Our Savior was born of the tribe of Judah, spent His life with the Jews in Israel, observed and taught the “Jewish” laws, and commanded His Jewish disciples not to go to the Gentiles but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Are these facts significant, or mere accident? By downplaying these and other basic truths and detaching itself from its own roots, could Christianity have done Bible believers a great injustice?
Yahshua the Messiah came at Bethlehem when the Jews again were back in their land. The Temple was standing and the Levitical priests played their part in worship of Yahweh. Although the Romans governed the land of Palestine, the Jews were allowed to worship in either the Temple or synagogue with comparative freedom.
The people of Judah were given sufficient time to get re-established in their homeland since their return under Ezra and Nehemiah. The Torah was read and expounded each Sabbath, and worship of Yahweh was again in vogue.
A Special Time and Place
The opportunity for salvation has always been “to the Jew first.” The Jew was allowed to become the root or source of the truth by having the evangel first revealed to him. If he refused to believe or spurned the offer, the Greek or Gentile was called. This is the gist of Paul’s message to the Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the evangel of Messiah: for it is the power of Yahweh unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).
Now under the Roman government relative peace and calm allowed the Jews to worship Yahweh as He had commanded. The message of the birth of the Messiah was given first to the Jewish shepherds.
The Savior was born at Bethlehem (“house of bread “), into a Jewish family, into a community that spoke Hebrew, the language of the Bible. The people were quite familiar with prophecies of a coming Redeemer and an air of expectancy was everywhere.
But They Rejected Him
The only place on earth where an entire class of people would comprehend the prophecies of the coming Redeemer was the Holy Land. The Torah was taught and studied. The Jews would have firsthand knowledge of Bible prophecies dealing with the coming Messiah. They would be the first to perceive that He was the exact fulfillment of these prophecies.
John reveals, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1: 11). The Jews who should have acknowledged that Yahshua had fulfilled these prophecies, rejected Him as the Redeemer of Israel.
They were looking for a Savior who would free them from the iron hand of Rome. They expected Him to come on a white horse with pomp and power and drive the Romans out of the Promised Land.
They were not conditioned to accept a babe in a manger, a meek and mild Teacher of righteousness. His rejection of their traditions and hypocritical customs angered the scribes and Pharisees.
Instead of freeing them from the hated Roman government, He spent His time showing their perversion of the Torah through their own pet doctrines. “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). The very people He came to save became His worst enemies.
The twelve disciples called out of Judaism were chosen to proclaim the truth Yahshua brought to earth. The writers of the New Testament were given the commission to proclaim His message to a lost and dying world.
Tearing Out the Roots
The first generation of leaders of the various congregations in the Middle East were Jews, and became known to the world as “Jewish Christians.” Eventually the Jews died off and were replaced by converts from paganism, known as “Gentile Christians,” who brought with them their heathen customs and ways of worship.
By the time of the Council of Nicea in 325 C.E., pagan customs and teachings overwhelmed the ekklesia, the “called-out ones,” popularly known as the “church.” Seventh-day Sabbath worship was moved to Sunday. The worship of the reborn sun at the season of Saturnalia became the birthday of the “Son.” Pagan holidays soon flooded in, such as New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, May Day, and Hallowe’en. None of these is found in the Bible.
Within a short time the “church” lost its Jewish flavor. It soon became filled with the unregenerate who continued as before with their pagan ways. The “church” accepted these foreign customs and days. Known assyncretism, their adoption with new understanding and new meaning allowed pagan ways and pagan days to become a part of worship. Heathenism became a tradition and part of churchianity. Much of nominal worship was nothing more than baptized paganism.
Only a few Jews became true converts to Yahshua the Messiah. In general the greater body of Jews continued their worship with animal sacrifices and offerings at the Temple and meetings in the synagogues. Circumcision was rigidly followed and was required in order to gain access to the Temple.
Fewer than 40 years after the impalement of Yahshua the Temple was destroyed and the priesthood could no longer function. Soon Jerusalem itself was off limits to Jews. Worship as given by Moses was no more. Animal sacrifices and offerings at the Temple ceased. Jews ultimately would be driven from the Holy Land.
For some 1900 years there was no place on earth that a nation as a whole gave witness to the greatness of Yahweh by keeping His Sabbaths, which He says are a SIGN to His people, Exodus 31: 13, 17 and Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
A Return to Original Truths
In 1948 Israel was recognized as a state by the United Nations. Today it is the only nation in the world in which Hebrew is the national tongue, which is the original language of the Bible and the heavenly language spoken to mankind.
Only in the tiny state of Israel do we find Yahweh’s weekly Sabbaths as well as His Feast days nationally recognized—but not always observed. The Old Testament Torah and its precepts are acknowledged as Yahweh’s law. Bible prophecy revolves around Israel and the surrounding nations of the Middle East. Armies will converge there for the final battle of the ages.
Yahweh has now brought back to the land of Israel a people who acknowledge Him as their Elohim. The establishing of Israel as a nation was a necessary preparation for the return of the Messiah. Just as a viable teaching of the Bible created an air of expectation of the Messiah at His first coming, it is fitting that Yahweh will have a people prepared to receive Him when He comes again. He will return to the land of Israel where Hebrew is spoken, Zechariah 14:4.
There will be a return to the teachings of the Bible before the return of the Savior. Just as John the Baptist was the EliYAH to come, there will be a revival of deeper Bible truth among the people in Palestine and others around the world. This was prophesied in the Old Testament: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh: And he shall turn the heart o f the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6).
True Worshipers in the Last Days
Though, the Jews of that time did not fully accept the message of John the Baptist, a small remnant of Jews did listen to John’s warning and turn to Yahweh. Malachi talks of the “great and dreadful day of Yahweh” which has not yet occurred. We know it as the Great Tribulation mentioned by Yahshua and others in the New Testament. This difficult time when Yahweh smites the earth with a curse is still ahead of us.
There will yet be a group of people who will seek the ancient ways and return to the truth of Scripture. Many of the truths yet to be taught will be radically different from the bland teachings of mainline churchianity.
The true message will be more than the social gospel, health and wealth, or the message to feel good about ourselves and maintain high self-esteem. It will be the teachings from the Bible as seen from Yahweh’s point of view; how He perceives man’s attitudes and activities on earth.
Yahshua must remain in the heavens until this restoration message is taught and accepted by a people prepared for His return. This is clear from Peter’s teaching following Pentecost, namely that the people should prepare to meet Yahshua our coming Judge:
Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of Yahweh; And he shall send Yahshua the Messiah, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times 0f restitution of all things, which Elohim has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20-21).
This was a clear message to the Jews to change their minds and attitudes concerning Yahshua the Messiah. This change of attitude is necessary to receive seasons of refreshing or renewed strength from the throne of Yahweh.
Yahshua’s return is dependent upon the true repentance of a people and their turning with heart and mind toward Yahweh. The recovery of lost truth must come first, even before the presence of Yahshua. The Old Testament will once again be studied with renewed interest, with new insight to learn the things Yahweh has spoken since the beginning of the world. An air of expectancy will soon stir up a people to a thrilling anticipation of Yahshua’s return.
The NIV translation is clearer, showing that Yahshua must remain in heaven until the time of restitution, which means “to restore everything.” This is the work yet to be accomplished by the coming ELIYAH (a Hebrew name meaning, “My Mighty One is Yah”). This message will be given at the end of the age according to our Savior:
“And Yahshua answered and said unto them, ELIYAH truly shall first come, and restore al! things” (Matt. 17: 11).
Name Truths Revived
Yahshua prophesied that both His Name and Yahweh’s Name would be widely proclaimed at the end of the age. Yahweh’s laws and way of life will again be taught to a lost and dying world before Yahshua’s return. A complete restoration of Bible truth is now going forth with increasing boldness in these latter days.
Many say they knew there was something wrong with their worship, and when the many pagan influences that had infiltrated the churches were pointed out, they were amazed. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New Years—all have their origin in pagan worship and have no place in Yahweh’s pure worship.
Many are surprised to learn that the Mighty One of Israel has a name, Yahweh, which we use exclusively. His Name is not Jehovah, which means in Hebrew, “I create mischief, destruction, ruin” – describing Satan himself! At YRM we are striving to fulfill that great commission in these latter days by proclaiming both Yahweh’s and Yahshua’ s Names and the clear Bible truths to all who have ears to hear and eyes to see.
Notice that the word messenger in the following verse (Mal. 3:1) evidently refers to John the Baptist who was the ELIYAH of his day. However, prophecy shows that an EliYAH group of people will again be preparing the way, actively fulfilling these prophecies. We are striving to do the work of that messenger! Take note: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and Yahshua (Hebrew =Adon), whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple, even the MESSENGER of the Covenant, whom you delight in: behold, He shall come, says Yahweh of hosts” (Mal. 3: 1).
Yahshua and Temple of Saints
First, the “messenger” (EliYAH) prepares the way for those who are converted and rejuvenated. With a nucleus of truly dedicated believers, the Savior Himself can return. Yahshua returns to His “Temple,” likely a physical building in Jerusalem, which His presence purifies, and He then refines and cleans up the sons of Levi, the priests, who are actively carrying out their duties.
The “messenger of the Covenant” plainly refers to Yahshua, Who will return to His Temple (Hebrew = hehkel, lit. palace). The Temple carries a spiritual meaning as well. Yahshua will return to the “spiritual Temple” composed of the saints who will welcome Him: “Know you not that you are the Temple of Yahweh, and [that} the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? If any man defile the Temple of Yahweh, him shall Yahweh destroy; for theTemple of Yahweh is holy, which [Temple] you are” (1Cor. 3:16- 17). “In whom you also are builded together for an habitation of Yahweh through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22).
Not only will the Savior return to Jerusalem and stand upon the Mount of Olives, but also the multitude of saints will meet Him in the air. Because Yahshua is then among His resurrected saints this will place Him within His “spiritual Temple,” surrounded by the myriad of the redeemed. The Temple at Jerusalem will be clean and garnished for Him; also the saints will have on their garments of salvation, clean and white.
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev. 19:8).
What About the Jews?
The Jews in general are not eager to divulge some of their deeper understanding of the Bible. They themselves are reluctant even to pronounce or spell out Yahweh’s Name!
A number of prophecies proclaim that Yahweh’s Name will be known by Jew and Gentile alike at the end of the age. Jewish writings and other records acknowledge His Name as Yahweh.
Bible prophecies are replete with warnings that at the end of the age will occur the great and terrible day of Yahweh and the special significance His Name will have at that time:
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of Yahweh come. And it shall come to pass, [that} whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call” (Joel 2:31-32).
The Psalms reveal the importance of obedience and calling on our Heavenly Father Yahweh’s Name. His wrath will be upon the disobedient heathen and those who have not called upon Yahweh’s name: “Pour out your wrath upon the heathen that have not known you, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your name” (Psalm 79:6).
At the end of this age, the saints are promised that Yahweh will allow His people to go through a cleansing period to perfect and purify them. His people will know His Name and call out to Him.
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say,Yahweh [is] my Elohim” (Zech. 13:9).
Both Zechariah and Zephaniah reveal that during the reign of Yahweh on earth that all people will call on His Name: “And Yahweh shall be king overall the earth: in that day shall there be one Yahweh, and his name one”(Zech. 14:9). “For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Yahweh, to serve him with one consent” (Zeph. 3:9).
The Name of the Savior
When we invoke Yahweh’s name, the response is hardly a raised eyebrow. But not calling upon Yahweh’s Name may well become the death knell of the future.
The Savior’s Name YAHshua incorporates the short form (YAH) within it, and we know persecution of those holding fast to truth is coming. Believers will suffer reproach for using Yahshua’s Name: “If you be reproached for the name of Messiah, happy are you .for the spirit of glory and of Yahweh rests upon you: .on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (1Pet. 4:14).
Yahshua Himself said that His Name would gender hatred from the world of unbelievers: “And you shall be hated of all [men] for My name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13:13). Encouragement to hold fast to Yahshua’s Name is found in the letters to the seven Assemblies in Revelation: “And has borne, and has patience, and for My name’s sake has laboured, and hast not fainted (Rev. 2:3). “I know your works, and where you dwell, [even] where Satan’s seat [is]: and you hold fast My name, and has not denied My faith …” (Revelation 2:13).
“I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name” (Rev. 3:8).
“Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the Temple of my Elohim, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my Elohim, and the name of the city of my Elohim, [which is] new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my Elohim: and [I will write upon him] my new name” (Rev. 3:12).
Not only do we find Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s Names to be vitally important, but our own names could be blotted out of the Book of Life if we do not overcome daily: “He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Rev. 3:5).
Our Redeemer promises that He would not remove our name from the Book of Life, but that He would confess our name before the Father and His angels if we are faithful. “Then they that feared Yahweh spake often one toanother: and Yahweh hearkened, and heard [itj, and a book of remembrance WtlS’ written before him for them that feared Yahweh, and that thought upon His Name” (Mal. 3:16).
Are YOU in Acts?
The Book of Acts does not end with “Amen.” It likely is unfinished, awaiting the final chapter yet to be written.
Could it be that you are being called now to have your name included in the concluding chapter concerning the activities of the ekklesia, the “called out ones?”
Today His people are sealed by baptism into the saving Name of Yahshua. The short or poetic form of His name “YAH” is here used, in addition to the Hebrew word “shua” meaning salvation. The name Yahshua means the “Salvation of Yah.” His name is the seal. Revelation 7:3 reveals that at the end of the age His servants will be sealed with His name: “… sealed the servants of our Elohim in their foreheads” (Rev. 7:3).
“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of Elohim in their foreheads” (Rev. 9:4).
The sealing with His name is accomplished by the act of baptism into Yahshua’s saving Name: “And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads” (Rev. 22:4). See also Galatians 3:26-29.
Determine now to seek Yahweh with all your heart and walk in the ways He has given in His Word so that you will not be taken unawares. Yahshua is coming soon to reward the faithful who have helped proclaim His Name and His truths.
We are diligently seeking to restore spiritual truth and encourage all readers to make certain your name is recorded in that book of remembrance. When that 29th chapter of Acts is finally written, may it include you as one who calls upon Yahweh’s Name and is found worthy to receive a crown of life.