My Scripture Studies
Not about Religion - About Relationship

Friday, April 22, 2011

Truth or Tradition?

Have we unwittingly become just like the Pharisees?
But he answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Matthew 15:3
There is a redeemer from this transgression called tradition.

His name is a Hebrew name. It is Yeshua, and it means "Salvation". This Jewish Rabbi kept all of the Feasts of The Lord and in His first coming He fulfilled Passover, the Feasts of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Shavuot the Feast of Weeks many call Pentecost... and He taught others to do the same.

Many know Him as Jesus of Nazareth:
And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. Matthew 26:18-20

After two days was [the feast of] the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put [him] to death. Mark 14:1
It shocked me when I learned that over time, "tradition" and translation morphed the Savior's Hebrew name as it became Jesus from the Latin name "Iesous". But Jesus was not from Italy or teach in Latin. Amazingly, most dictionaries will even tell you there was no letter 'J' in use prior to the 14th century. Are you kidding me, no "J" for Jesus!?

Jesus, Iesous is Yeshua. He is Messiah coming to establish His Kingdom on the earth with that name... His Hebrew name.

From this shocking lesson on a name tradition, let's tackle another one. Many Christians believe Jesus died by crucifixion on Good Friday and was resurrected on Easter Sunday, but the truth is, it was Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The tradition of Easter in the "Church" arose when Constantine became emperor of the Roman Empire. One of the purposes he set forth for the Council of Nicea in 325 was to settle the matter, follow Scripture and Jews or follow the Emperor and the "Church". Constantine despised the Jewish people and wanted Christianity to be totally separated from Judaism. His goal was to change the times and seasons because He did not want Easter to be celebrated on the Jewish Passover. The Council of Nicea accordingly required the feast of the resurrection to alway be celebrated on a Sunday and forget the Bible's timing for Passover. So they set their own tradition for Easter to be celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Wait a minute... do we follow truth or tradition?

We can learn to return to Yeshua and Passover and skip the Easter bunny eggs.

Seeking truth is a process of re-learning the Jewish roots of the faith. This is the "fullness of the Gentiles" that Paul prophesied of when he wrote:
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles {nations} comes in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. Romans 11:25-27
"All Israel" includes the ingrafted nations of believers that so many today call “Gentiles”, they are those that come into the fullness of "all" Israel following Messiah Yeshua, aka Jesus the King of the Jews.

The fullness of the Gentiles refers to keeping the way, the Torah walk and the Feast Days of Messiah Yeshua.

Paul was revealing an amazing prophecy of the time we are in today as Gentiles (non-Jews) like me are returning to the Jewish roots of their faith.

After all that word fullness in Greek is plērōma and a key meaning is “keeping” and in Deuteronomy we see it 7 times as the Hebrew word shamar: to keep, guard, observe.

Gentiles are doing this because:
“I ask instead: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says: "I will make you jealous by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation without understanding." Romans 10:19

“I ask then, did they stumble so as to lose their share? Absolutely not! However, because of their trespass, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous.” Romans 11:11

“I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, in the hope that I may provoke my own people to jealousy and save some of them.” Romans 11:13-14
The fullness of the Gentiles will open the eyes of the Jewish people. It will be a time when every knee will bow, every tongue will recognize that He is The Lord. He will keep His promises to Israel, and they will be fulfilled. The King will return to Zion where He will save and regather His people.

All of them... Jew and Gentile.

Yeshua wants the Gentile Believer to walk the narrow road and live in the manner that will cause a miracle. A jealousy within the Jewish people who are called and ready to receive Messiah. They just need a witness to truth. The true worshiper's assignment is to witness in spirit and truth. Jesus (aka Yeshua) said:
“Yet a time is coming when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth for they are the kind of worship the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24
To walk in His Spirit and in the truth of Torah as Jesus did, we must repent of tradition, we must return to walk in the way of the Jewish Rabbi Yeshua. His way is a walk in His light. The way of Torah is to love God first and foremost and to love others as ourselves. When we love our Heavenly Father, we show it by doing as He asks, by worshipping Him as he desires.

The existence of the modern state of Israel proves that the Bible is the word of God and that he has His sights set on the salvation of the Jewish people, so if your are a Believer, and want to be a true worshipper, its time to repent and be a witness in Spirit and in Truth. Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).

The key to understanding repentance from tradition is to understand God gives us His teaching and instruction for living because He loves us. God teaches us some very simple guidelines about how we are to live like Messiah.

It's the original message of the deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't listen to that message any longer. Return to your roots. The cross of Yeshua is about the Feast of Passover.

Type the term in for yourself and you will see that The Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, defines "Easter":
"mistranslated "Easter" in Acts 12:4, AV, denotes the Passover (RV). The phrase "after the Passover" signifies after the whole festival was at an end. The term "Easter" is not of Christian origin, its an ancient traditon from Babylon. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven.

The festival of "Pasach" held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation of the Jewish feast, but was not instituted by Christ, nor was it connected with Lent. From this "Pasach" the pagan festival of "Easter" was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity" (W.E. Vine, 1940)
The resurrection is about the Feast of First Fruits, the giving of the gifts of the Spirit is about the Feast of Shavuot. So imitate the Messiah, seek the truth and walk away from tradition toward our Risen Savior and King of the Jews. One of the best ways to do that is to start by returning to keep the Sabbath and the celebration of Passover, just as Yeshua, the Lord of the Sabbath taught His disciples.

Passover is about a lamb, not an Easter ham. The disciples did not eat hot cross buns at the Last Supper, the bread that Jesus broke was unleavened. He did not start a new tradition of communion with the bread of affliction, He kept the thousands year old instruction that came from the Exodus command of The Almighty.

The Passover was instituted in Egypt forever by God Elohim and its witness to the world and the Jewish people is why we are to keep it.

Paul understood this. His exhortation to keep the feast is found in a letter he sent to Corinth:
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Rest assured, the gospel, the good news is that Jesus, the One whose name is Yeshua will return as King in Jerusalem. So, how then, should we live today? In sincerity and in truth or by our tradition?

Be a witness, choose truth in your life and in all the Scriptures.
"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." Luke 24:27

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14

"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" John 5:46-47
Now, what are we to do as disciples?
"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22
When we don't just hear, but do as James says, we get to live in the spirit of grace and in the truth of God's Word because we choose to.

Noah did. Why Noah? Because grace is the reason he and his family were saved. If you don't believe that... read the Bible!
"And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." Genesis 6:7-8
What does this all mean?

It means that it is now time for you to repent and return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path of Yeshua Jesus so that you can ready your lamp for your assignment to be a witness of the gospel of the Kingdom to everyone you meet.

God is a sovereign God. He is a loving God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua. Do it now and...

Let the harvest begin.


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