It’s Time to Fix the Breach
With an assault on the Old Testament and its central teaching of obedience, Churchianity early on fabricated a clash of doctrines over the centuries in what should have been a seamless succession of teachings brought over from the New Testament. Beyond that, what was taught in the New Testament should reflect what is taught today.
A number of prophecies tell us that before Yahshua returns there will be another return – a movement of returning to teaching true biblical principles founded on obeying Yahweh’s statutes and laws.
This prophetic key has been universally overlooked, but not because it is hidden. In fact, it goes to the very core of how the plan of salvation is designed.
Before we investigate, turn to a runner-up prophecy in Isaiah 58:12: “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.”
This is a prophetic announcement for the last days. It is about getting back to what was originally given to Yahweh’s people, meaning His foundational pledge. It is about fixing what has been neglected for 2,000 years.
The prophet calls it a breach. A breach is a break or rupture. Something fundamentally important has undergone a serious and destructive separation. To fix this critical problem there must be a return to original ways and teachings of the Word.
The Scriptures don’t leave us clueless when it comes to the design of the Bible. We have been given a bridge between Old and New testaments that shows a dynamic bond between the two.
Sadly, this essential link is universally ignored today, even though it is key to understanding the truth of the New Testament and the plan of salvation. We find this dynamic link in the final verses of the last book of the Old Testament, just where we would expect it. As we move to the New Testament, we will find it again.
Malachi’s Prophetic Link
The prophecy is in Malachi 4:5-6 , “Behold, I will send you Elijah [Eliyah] the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Although it ends the Old Testament, the passage leaps forward to the end of the age, providing a key link to our day.
First, notice that it warns about smiting the earth with a curse unless hearts are turned. Why historically did Yahweh send curses on people? The most well-known collection of blessings and curses is in Deut. 28. In this chapter, the first 14 verses promise His blessings for obedience. The last 54 verses are a warning of the curses we earn for disobedience. It is quite clear that disobedience is the leading problem in the scriptural hall of shame.
Throughout His Word Yahweh disciplines His people for failing to worship Him by following His statutes and judgments. Today, as the culture increasingly leaves the Bible for secular ways and humanistic thinking, we progressively see Yahweh’s judgment in response.
Whenever Israel of old followed the same pathway of rebellion that our culture is on, their problems increased proportionately. The final straw was when their enemies rose up and conquered them. We are facing the same judgment and it will hit this world like a ton of bricks.
The list of potential threats is great and runs the gamut from Eboli infection to electromagnetic pulse radiation that could grind all electronics to a standstill and literally put us back into the dark ages for years. Miniature atomic bombs, terrorist attacks on our big cities, all kinds of natural earth calamities and disasters originating from outer space …these are just some of the threats we face.
Once Yahweh takes His protective hand away, watch out. In the September 11 tragedy, we had just a taste of what looms ahead.
The classic passage that defines judgment for disobedience is Deuteronomy 28:15, 20: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy Elohim, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Yahweh shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.”
The Heart of Malachi 4:6
The prophet Malachi tells us that there will be a turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children and vice-versa.
This does not mean simply a renewed, loving relationship between fathers and children. Nor does it mean only a reaffirming of paternal respect.
It means giving later generations the same faith and conviction the fathers of old had in following Yahweh. It is about walking the same path of obedience walked by Israelite forefathers.
The Adversary is ramping up his opposition to Yahweh. Bible believers are being murdered in the Mideast, Africa, and elsewhere because they refuse to convert to another belief. The culture is turning to the dark side as it redefines morality. We are inundated with moral evils everywhere, and this is just the beginning.
The essence of the Hebrew in Malachi 4:6 is, “To restore the hearts by turning the disobedient to the insight and obedience of the righteous in order to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”
Verse 4 is the key lead-in, where the prophet says, “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” This clearly connects the phrase, “turn the heart” in verse 6 to mean go back to obeying Yahweh’s statutes and judgments.
The Same Prophecy Found in Luke
We pick up this Old Testament prophecy in the New Testament book of Luke. It reflects the purpose for which John the Baptist came, readying the way for Yahshua the Messiah: “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh,” Luke 1:17.
This passage is even clearer in defining the expression, “turn the hearts” to mean going from disobedience to the “wisdom” (moral prudence) of the “just” (holy, righteous ones).
The prophet Eliyah’s principal mission was to save as many as he could from being cursed. He did this by revealing the true Creator and Father Yahweh over the false idol Baal, and by teaching obedience to covenant law.
John the Baptist mirrored the message in the refrain “repent.” Repent means to stop sinning. Stop rebelling. Stop disobeying. Turn your life around. Obey the commandments, statutes and judgments given by Almighty Yahweh.
Malachi 3:1 prophesies the sending of this messenger to prepare the way of the Son. He is a messenger on a mission to uphold the covenant Yahweh made with His faithful. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Sovereign, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith Yahweh of hosts.”
Who exactly is this messenger coming in the spirit and power of Eliyah? Is the OT prophet Eliyah himself going to be resurrected in our time? Jewish Seders include an empty chair at the table in anticipation that Eliyah will return to herald the Messiah in fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy.
When questioned, John the Baptist denied being Eliyah. When Yahshua said Eliyah was come now, He meant only in a sense, through John the Baptist.
If the Jews had accepted Yahshua as the Messiah, John the Baptist would have been this Eliyah preparing His way in every sense of the word., as we read in Malachi. That is what Yahshua was waiting to see.
Other Striking Similarities
Comparing just their physical appearances, Eliyah and John the Baptist bear striking resemblances.
About Eliyah, 2Kings 1:8 reads, “And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Eliyah the Tishbite.”
Concerning John the Baptist, Matthew 3:4 reads, “And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins.”
Both men preferred to work alone, out in the hinterland. Eliyah dwells in the cliffs of the brook Cherith, sleeps under juniper trees, lodges in caves, and haunts the slopes of Carmel. If he does enter a city it is only to deliver a message from Yahweh and then vanish. He’s a mysterious prophet with his startling appearance, abrupt speeches and stealthy appearances. He’s also the loftiest prophet in the Old Testament.
Similarly, John the Baptist is described as one crying in the wilderness. He was startling in his own right, coming around the corner munching on a grasshopper and licking wild honey. Yahshua said there is no one greater.
Eliyah’s life-long task is to protest against a corrupt civilization. He is called by Yahweh to save the nation from lapsing into heathenism and false worship. He takes his stand on traditional principles and bears witness of fundamental truths that should never have been neglected. Baal worship would likely have overrun the nation if not stopped. His mission was to stop it.
John the Baptist also came preaching repentance and returning to Yahweh’s statutes and laws. He was just wasting his breath if the Messiah intended to abolish those statutes and laws with His death.
Both Eliyah and John withstood kings and had high-profile enemies (Eliyah had Ahab to contend with, while John had Herod as his rival).
Luke 1:17 mirrors Malachi 4:6 with the same mission for John the Baptist that Eliyah had. “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to Yahweh their Elohim. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”
Luke 1:17 in other translations reads – “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”
The New English Bible reads, “to convert the rebellious to the ways of the righteous.”
In Matthew 17:11 Yahshua said Eliyah would pave the way for His own return and “restore all things.” This was in explaining the vision of the transfiguration showing Moses and Eliyah.
Moses and Eliyah
Can you see the connection? Moses is the transmitter of Yahweh’s laws and mediator of the first covenant, and Eliyah is the prophet who was sent to restore the law and obedience to Israel. But the association goes further: Yahshua as the third person in the vision showed us how to keep that law as intended. The vision is now complete!
Back to Matthew 17. Remember that Yahshua said in v. 12 that Eliyah had come already. Had the people accepted Yahshua, then John would have been the prophesied Eliyah preparing His way. Not understanding this, Yahshua’s words are an enigma to many. It can only mean that we today are still awaiting the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.
A sister prophecy is found in Acts 3:20-21: “And he shall send Yahshua the Messiah, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which Elohim hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
True worship will have a presence in this world before the Savior returns to establish His Kingdom on earth. A restoration is necessary because the Bible has been abandoned in our day. What is commonly preached and taught today is not a succession of Apostolic teachings.
A Baptist thinks that what he is hearing each week is exactly the same thing the apostles taught and preached.
The Presbyterian thinks that what he is hearing from the pulpit is the same thing the apostles taught and preached.
Today’s Catholic thinks that what he is hearing each week is exactly the same thing Peter and the apostles taught and preached.
Who is right? All of them? There were 21 Ecumenical Councils called by the early Roman church spanning 16 centuries. These councils were convened for the very purpose of stopping the doctrinal turmoil that embroiled the church in controversy while establishing the doctrine that all the church would follow. The first was called by Roman Emperor Constantine in the year 325, known as the Council of Nicea because it was held at Nicea in Bithynia.
The Nicean Council was the first attempt to have a uniform Christian doctrine. “You mean Catholic doctrine,” some might say. Same thing. Christian doctrine is Catholic doctrine, which was formally adopted at these church councils.
From these 21 councils the Roman church adopted the following teachings embraced today:
- Yahshua was deity on earth.
- Establishment and dating of Easter
- Defining the Holy Ghost as a divine person
- Mary as the mother of G-d
- The Trinity
- The nature and purpose for icons in worship
- Bread and wine as the literal body and blood in the eucharist
- Immortal soul; purgatory; prayers for the dead.
Caustic Gnostic Beliefs
A lot of these teachings grew out of Gnosticism through Greek philosophy.
Gnoticism is an umbrella term for a collection of teachings from Greek philosophy through Platonism, mysticism, and Oriental superstition. These pagan beliefs began to mingle with Christian teachings. The results are the many nonbiblical teachings extant today in churchianity, like the immortal soul and heaven and hell doctrines.
The heretics that the apostles had to contend with, like Marcion and Simon Magus, were powerfully influenced by Gnosticism. So we see early on that the apostles were already contending with this heresy. Paul was on the front line defense, as Gnostic teachings began to infiltrate assemblies he established in Macedonia.
On Mars Hill he observed that the Greeks liked to sit around and discuss some new thing. That is what they were best at. They loved their philosophy, and much of it was Gnostic in origin and flavor. As pagan teachings entered in, the Hebraic basis of the faith was pushed out.
Gnostic Basis for Heresies
Today we ask, as for keeping the Ten Commandments, where did the Sabbath go? Where are the Feasts that were observed in Old and New testaments? What happened to the clean food laws? What about dead meaning dead rather than living on in total awareness? What about ever-burning hell, from the words sheol and hades, when both terms mean the grave?
Many New Testament teachings were abandoned and replaced by Gnostic-centered church teachings having no basis in Scripture. Counterfeit practices bestowed by heathens also became common fare.
Discounting Everything Physical
Gnostics saw the material world as the work of a lesser, evil deity. Everything physical was evil and we must get beyond it to experience the divine. This leads inevitably to the notion that what we do in our physical actions has virtually no spiritual impact. Carry this over to today’s belief that works are unnecessary.
The Gnostic held that to know is the highest truth, and that is where the word Gnostic comes from – the Greek word, “to know.”
Another way that Gnostic or Platonic Christianity downplays the material is the way it teaches that the soul is immortal. The body, then, is considered unnecessary baggage that compromises the reality of, or the need for, a resurrection. For both the Gnostic and Christian, the individual lives on after death, as he or she automatically ascends to the spiritual.
The physical world is the starting point, the proving ground. Why would Yahweh ever place us in an evil environment? Talk about defeating His purpose!
It was mankind’s sin that polluted this world, not an inherent evilness in the material.
Yahshua said in His prayer in John 17:17 that the Word is truth and that we are sanctified through the truth. Sanctified means set apart as we willingly obey what the Word tells us to do.
Yahweh Challenges Us
Another prophecy informs us that going back to right teachings will result in the kind of blessing everyone wants. Malachi 3:12 shows us what happens when a people submit to their father in heaven: “And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith Yahweh of hosts.”
Imagine a whole nation like ours turning to Yahweh with one mind and heart in humble, willing obedience! But that’s highly unlikely. Most fear what they think would be losing their freedom and ability to live their lives their own way. They don’t understand the blessings of obedience.
Just the thought of following the Scriptures puts some into paralysis. They fight it with every inch of their being. They obviously haven’t a clue about the life-changing impact doing so will have on them from now and into eternity.
Yahweh issues a direct challenge in the book of Malachi. He says prove Me. Experience the joy, peace of mind, and happiness that come with following Me. Walk in newness of life, Paul said in Romans 6.
Turn from the dead-end ways of this world and experience peace, joy and deep-down fulfillment and contentment in your life just by conforming to your Father’s will. Rather than putting off a commitment yet again, try it, and see how Yahweh always keeps His promise. He will never forsake those who follow Him.