My Scripture Studies
Engage with the Bible, start in the beginning.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Truth or Tradition?

Have we unwittingly become transgressors by our traditions?
But he answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Matthew 15:3
In my Scripture studies I found some traditions can be a problem when traditions infringe and go beyond the bounds of God's commandments.

His Hebrew name means "Salvation." He kept the weekly Sabbath, ate kosher and kept all of the Feasts of The Lord, he even showed up at the Temple during Hanukkah.

He fulfilled the spring time lamb offering of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits.

Many know Him as Jesus, but His disciples called Him Yeshua and Peter called Him Rabbi (see Mark 9:5 and Mark 11:21).

It shocked me when I learned that over time "tradition" and translation morphed His Hebrew name to a Latin replacement sometime around 400 AD and it only became Jesus with a "J" in modern English.

Jesus is from the Latin "Iesous" and that name stuck when John Wycliffe translated the New Testament to English from the Latin Vulgate long before Gutenberg invented his printing press. I was shocked to discover what most dictionaries will tell you the fact that that there was no letter 'J' in use prior to the 14th century.

Jesus was never written in the Bibles that arrived on the Mayflower. Are you kidding me, the Pilgrims didn't know about the name Jesus!!??

Whether people over the years have called Him Jesus or Iesous,  one truth is certain, Yeshua is the Messiah restoring the breach between heaven and earth. Yeshua will establish God's Kingdom on Earth.

From this shocking lesson on tradition, let's tackle another truth.

Many think by tradition, that Jesus died by Roman crucifixion on "good" Friday and was resurrected on Easter Sunday. But that tradition leaves us with only two days and two nights, not three. That tradition can't count.

Yeshua declared He would fulfill the sign of Jonah.

The truth is, Yeshua willingly gave His life on the cross to overcome the penalty of sin. Three days and three nights later, like Jonah He arose. He was seen the next morning and the tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea was already empty.

The two day Easter tradition was developed in the "church" as it took a departure from the Jewishness of Jesus after Constantine became emperor of the Roman Empire. One of the goals Constantine set forth was religious control and assimilation. He did that with the rulings from the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD with his goal to settle a matter he brought before the council to either follow Scripture and the faithful Jewish people or follow the emperor of Rome.

The truth is Constantine despised the Jewish people and he desperately wanted his own brand of Roman Christianity to be separated from Jews and Judaism, so he mixed in some Mithraism.

Constantine's mithra goal was to change Biblical times and seasons because as emperor he did not want the ancient Sun-god traditions of Easter to be connected with the Passover that had been honored by the Jewish people since the exodus from Egypt.

The Council of Nicaea required the feast of the crucifixion be fixed on a Friday while forgetting the Bible's calendar for the Passover offering, First Fruits and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Constantine influenced church traditions from the roots of Mithaism so that an Easter tradition would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the spring equinox.

There's a reason Constantine chose the pagan symbols of Sol Invictus and Mars to be engraved on his coins. He was stuck in the roots of paganism, Roman tradition and ignored Biblical truth.

Wait a minute... are we to follow:
  • Truth or tradition?
  • Yeshua or Constantine?
The choice is yours, choose truth.

Yeshua was a Jew and we can honor His Passover. and skip the Easter bunny eggs and the Sunday baked ham traditions. To do that we just need to read and walk in the words of the Bible because truth always comes from the Word of God, not the traditions of men no matter who they are.

By the way, back in 326 AD, a year after the Council of Nicaea, Constantine outlawed worship on the Biblical Sabbath.

Most still follow Constantine and call themselves saved Gentiles, but seeking truth is a process of repenting and returning to Scripture as the root of our faith not an emperor.

Repentance is a BIG part of the "fullness of the Gentiles" that Paul wrote about in Romans.

I don't think Paul was referencing a head count, but he taught on the revelation of Jacob's prophecy regarding Ephraim that is found in Genesis 48:17-20 when he penned these words:
"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. The "fullness" details are declared there. First take note that Jacob, aka "Israel" knew God's promise that began with his grandfather was a blessing for all nations. Jacob knew it would involve his grandsons. Both of them were born in Egypt and their mother was tot Jewish, she was daughter of a pagan priest but Jacob told Joseph: "I will make you a company of peoples" (Genesis 48:4).

In Jacob's blessing to Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh were "born from above" with a promise.

They were adopted by Jacob as his own children to receive the blessing promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob passed that blessing on and today, many nations of believers that call themselves “Gentiles” have begun to enter into the "fullness" of the Gentiles, but how?

They are returning (repenting) to follow the ways of the Jewish Messiah. His name is Yeshua, aka Jesus, the Sabbath keeping, Torah keeping Messiah King of the Jews.

The fullness of the Gentiles points to keeping the faith, 
the way of a Torah walk in Messiah.

Paul was revealing to the Romans that Jacob's amazing prophecy would be revealed in the time we are living in today as many nations, aka former Gentiles are returning to truth in the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not Constantine. 

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary sheds some light on former Gentiles saying: 

"GEN'TILE, noun [Latin gentilis; from Latin gens, nation, race; applied to pagans.]

In the scriptures, a pagan; a worshipper of false gods; any person not a Jew or a christian; a heathen."

Mr. Webster points to the issue of idol practices as being their character distinction. They were linked to the heathens, the image-worshippers according to the 1880 McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia:

"As to the religion of heathenism, it is "a wild growth on the soil of fallen human nature, a darkening of the original consciousness of God's deification of the rational and irrational creature, and a corresponding corruption of the moral sense, giving the sanction of religion to natural and unnatural vices."

Paul agrees with Noah Webster, he called the Ephesians “former Gentiles”… you once were separate, excluded "strangers" from Messiah and the identity of none other than… Israel!
“Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles… remember that you were at that time separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” Ephesians 2:11-12
The Greek word for "fullness" that Paul used is "plērōma" and the root meaning of the word is “keeping” as in Deuteronomy where we see it seven times as the Hebrew word "shamar" which means: "to keep, to guard and to observe."

English cuts short the depth of the word "fullness" in the Roman letter. It's not just a word reserved only for a number, it's deeper and tied to a fuller understanding of Abraham's blessing that includes keeping the faith in spirit and truth as Yeshua kept it.

Paul was pointing out that the “fullness” of faith will provoke Judah for a relationship with long lost Ephraim.

For the Jewish people, believing in Messiah does not require a conversion to a new "religion" like Constantine's that is mixed with an emperor's decree against the Sabbath and turned Christianity from the persecuted into a persecuting religion. Constantine's decrees rooted a bizarre history of anti-Sabbath, anti-Torah and anti-semitism which led to inquisitions, pogroms, forced conversions and eventually the Holocaust in the perverted mind of Hitler because he believed and carried out Luther's warped treatise, "On the Jews and Their Lies."

Luther instigated a tradition of hatred writing: “Set fire to their synagogues or schools” and that Jewish houses should “be razed and destroyed.” Not only that, “their rabbis be forbidden to teach on pain of loss of life and limb” and he insisted that “safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews” and that “all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them.”

Yet there's light on the horizon, a proper understanding. Eyes will be opened and hearts demonstrating their love for The Lord by the way they walk the walk of Yeshua the Master Rabbi.

The Bible written by Jewish men declares that walk to be the Torah path of God's teaching and instruction. Understanding and keeping it is leading to a door of understanding and reconciliation as Jewish people see their Christian friends following the Jewish Messiah, not the image seen dead hanging on a Easter crucifix that started a new religion by Rome's tradition but the arisen First Fruits Messiah.

Today is the time for the restoration of that truth and God's purpose for the Sabbath and His Feast Days. Now is the time for renewed friendship and worship in vigor and purpose freed from an identity crisis that divides the Bible with a blank page.

It's time to say good bye to Constantine and the Roman creeds of the Council of Nicaea. It's time to say good bye to Nimrod, Ēostre and Ishtar too, because today is the time to wake up to the truth and waive goodby to those traditions.

It's time to be restored to the Hebrew Bible and thank the Jewish people for keeping it!

So, like Ripley might say: 'believe it or not' Christians should look Jewish because it's time to follow Messiah Yeshua the Jew.

If you open the back of "The Book" you'll see the Lord says: "Come out of her my people" (Revelation 18:4).

The reason... the Passover lamb did not morph in an Easter ham.

Passover is the holy, set apart day before the Feast week of Unleavened Bread that The Lord established in the Hebrew Bible. That's the storyline shown in the good news gospels no matter what you have heard from tradition.

Jesus’ death paid the Passover price willingly. It was required to satisfy the debt of sin against God and His resurrection to life opened the door to life in the Kingdom of God for all people that repent.

When Yeshua entered Jerusalem on the 10th of Nisan almost 2,000 years ago riding a donkey, He was inspected as the Lamb of God. His blood stained the wood of the cross and He was put to rest in the grave before the 15th of Nisan, the first day of the Unleavened Bread week. After the third day and night, as it grew dark at the evening end of the weekly Sabbath, His work was complete. It was a new day as He was quickened to resurrection life by Almighty Abba Father.

Now, almost two thousand years later, non-Jews of all nations are beginning to come into the fullness of the root of the faith of the King of the Jews because a great move of the Spirit of God that Moses promised in Deuteronomy 32:21 is happening right now.

Paul describes it and we are living in real time Bible time right now:
“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 former Gentiles will be used by Almighty God to bless our brothers and sisters, the Jewish people to their Jewish Messiah. Today, is leading to a time when every knee will bow, and every tongue will recognize that Yeshua is indeed the promised Messiah of Israel.

Almighty God 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 regather all people in a great end-time harvest.

All of them...

That's a big part of the reason the Jewish people are back in Israel today. They are there to prepare the land for its Messiah King and show the world God keeps His promises.

Messiah Yeshua wants every believer, Jewish or not, to walk the narrow road and live in the manner that will cause a miracle that has only been unimagined before now. That miracle is a friendship arising within Jewish people in Israel because of what they see in a former Gentile.

What is required for friendship is a witness to the truth untarnished by the tradition of Constantine's new religion mixed by old pagan things from Babylon.

Every worshiper's assignment is to witness in spirit and truth as Jesus (aka Yeshua) prophesied and it will be so because is the kind of worship The Father seeks:
“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, we must repent of the traditional lies of church forefathers, we must return to walk in the way of the Jewish Rabbi Yeshua of Nazareth. His way is a faith 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 and 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 on the covenant He gave to 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 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 not an Easter bunny.

To learn more, type the term Easter 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)
Resurrection is about the Feast of First Fruits not Easter egg hunts, and the giving of the gifts of the Spirit is all about the Feast of Shavuot.

So it time to 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 Sabbath, just as Yeshua, the Lord of the Sabbath taught His disciples.

I repeat, Passover is about a lamb, not an Easter ham. The disciples did not eat hot cross buns at the Last Supper and the bread that Jesus broke was unleavened. Jesus did not start a new tradition of communion with His bread of affliction.

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 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 not new, it's 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
For further learning, consider a four part teaching series from Restoration of Torah Ministries.

What does this all mean?

Consider a prayer: Please, God, guide me as to what I should do.

It's time for you to repent and return to God's voice, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment. 

God is a sovereign God. He is a loving God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation and forgiveness.

You can accept His gift of life in Messiah Yeshua. Consider carefully what your life is like, after you take a look, repent of your sins, turn away from them and ask God's favor of forgiveness and accept His gift of love through His Son Messiah Yeshua. Do it now and strat putting your own Scriptures studies into practice...

Let the restoration begin.

Shalom ya'll.