My Scripture Studies
Relationship - Not Religion

Friday, April 22, 2011

Truth or Tradition?

Have we unwittingly become 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.

The redeemer is a Jew. His name is a Hebrew name. It is Yeshua, and it means "Salvation". This Jewish Rabbi of Nazareth kept the Sabbath and all of the Feasts of The Lord and in His first coming He fulfilled Passover, the Feast 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:
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 nor did He 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 Salvation.

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, either follow Scripture and Jews or follow the Emperor and his "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 be celebrated on a Sunday and forget the Bible's timing for Passover and Unleavened Bread. So Constantine adopted his own tradition for Easter to be celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon of the spring equinox.

Wait a minute... are we to follow: truth or tradition?

Yeshua or Constantine?

We can learn to return to Yeshua the Jew and His Passover and skip the Easter bunny eggs and baked ham. All we have to do is read the truth of the Bible.

Seeking truth is a process of re-learning and returning to the root of faith. Believe it or not, this is a part of the "fullness of the Gentiles" that Paul wrote about when he taught on the revelation of Jacob's prophecy regarding Ephraim found in Genesis 48:17-20:
"For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you 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
If you are not familiar with the story of Genesis 48, you need to be. All the details are there declared from the beginning. Take note that Jacob, aka "Israel" is partially blind (Genesis 48:10), but he recognized God's promise would be fulfilled by his grandsons born in Egypt: "I will make you a company of peoples" (Genesis 48:3).

In Jacob's blessing Ephraim and Manasseh were "born again" adopted by Jacob as his own children. "All Israel" includes the ingrafted nations of believers that 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 also refers to keeping the faith, 
the way of a Torah walk of The Lord.

Paul was revealing to the Romans that Jacob's amazing prophecy would be the time we are living in today as nations, aka Gentiles (non-Jews) are returning to the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

That word "fullness" that Paul used is plērōma and the key meaning of the Greek word is “keeping” and in Deuteronomy we see it seven times as the Hebrew word shamar which means: "to keep, guard and observe."

Many mistake the depth of the word "fullness" in the Roman letter to be reserved for a number like a census; but the full understanding includes keeping the faith. The “fullness” of faith that will provoke Israel to envy for a relationship with Ephraim and Messiah does not require a conversion to a new "religion" that has been portrayed by a Constantinian shift that turned Christianity from the persecuted into a persecuting religion with a bizarre history of anti-semitism, inquisition, pogrom, expulsion and forced conversions.

A proper understanding of the “fullness of the Gentiles” as Paul described means that like the Jewish people, Gentiles will seek to demonstrate their love for The Lord by the way they walk the walk of Messiah, which is the Torah.

This walk will lead to the door of understanding as Jewish people see their Jewish Messiah Yeshua is not hanging on a Easter cross.

It is time for the restoration of God's appointed Feast Days under The Lord's ownership and leadership including the Sabbath. It is time for renewed worship in vigor and purpose freed from identity issues that divide. It is time to say good bye to Constantine and the Council of Nicaea. Good bye to Nimrod, Ēostre and Ishtar too.

It is time to wake up and be restored to God's Hebrew Bible and thank the Jewish people for keeping it! So like Ripley would say, 'believe it or not' Christians should look Jewish to the world.

After all, it is time to begin to look and act like Messiah Yeshua the Jew. Pastor John Piper has thing or two to say about this that you should consider.

If you open the back of the book you'll see the Lord says, "Come out of her my people."

The reason... the Easter bunny did not morph from the Passover lamb into an Easter ham.

Passover is the holy, set apart Feast week of The Lord established in the Hebrew Bible and fulfilled in the good news Gospels of Messiah. Jesus’ death paid the Passover price required to satisfy the debt of sin and His resurrection opened the door to the Kingdom of God.

Jesus entered Jerusalem on the 10th of Nisan, he was inspected as the Lamb of God. His crucified blood was on the wood of the cross and He was put to rest in the grave before the high Sabbath, the 15th of Nisan. He stayed there two more days. After the third day and night, at the end of the weekly Sabbath His work was complete as He was quickened to resurrection life before the Father on the third day.

Non-Jews or Gentiles (Goyim) of the nations are coming into the fullness of the root of their faith because of a move of the Spirit of God that Moses was promised would occur. Paul describes what is happening today:
“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 be used by Almighty God to open the eyes of our brothers and sisters - the Jewish people. It is leading to a time when every knee will bow, and every tongue will recognize that Yeshua is indeed The Lord and Messiah.

He will keep the promises given to "all" Israel, and the words of covenant will be fulfilled. The Priest King will return to Zion where He will save and regather His people in a great harvest.

All of them... Jew and Gentile.

Yeshua wants every Believer to walk the narrow road and live in the manner that will cause a miracle that has only been unimagined. A jealousy is arising within the Jewish people who are called and ready to ask for Messiah because of what they see in the Gentile. All that is needed is a witness to the truth untarnished by religion, tradition and a mixture of things pagan.

Every true worshiper's assignment is to witness in spirit and truth as Jesus (aka Yeshua) prophesied and it will be so because The Father seeks it:
“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 the spirit and in the truth of Torah as Jesus did, we must repent of the tradition of lies of our forefathers, we must return to walk in the way of the Jewish Rabbi Yeshua of Nazareth. His way is a walk in the light of Torah with God's focus on lovingkindness.

The light of Torah is to fulfill the first and second greatest of all the commandments, 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 teaches, by worshipping Him as He instructs.

The very 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 because faith without works is dead (read 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 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 serpent's lie any longer.

Start the return. After all the cross of Yeshua is about the Passover lamb.

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, and the giving of the gifts of the Spirit is all about the Feast of Shavuot.

So imitate 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 His 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. Jesus did not start a new tradition of communion with His 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 all to honor 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 family and friends called Him Yeshua will return as King in Jerusalem. So, how then should we live today... in sincerity of truth or by our tradition?

Be a witness, choose truth from 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. 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 the 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 in Messiah Yeahua. Consider carefully what your life is like, after you take a look repent of your sin, ask God's favor of forgiveness and accept His gift of love through His Son Messiah Yeshua. Do it now and...

Let the harvest begin.


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