My Scripture Studies
Remove the Blinders - Read and Study the Bible!

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
There is a redeemer from the transgression of tradition.

The redeemer is a Jew. His name is a Hebrew name and it means "Salvation." This Jewish Rabbi of Nazareth kept the Sabbath, ate kosher and kep all of the Feasts of The Lord. In His first coming He fulfilled the spring time offering of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and filled Shavuot the Feast of Weeks many call Pentecost with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Many know Him as Jesus, His disciples called Him Yeshua.

It shocked me when I learned that over time, "tradition" and translation morphed the Messiah's Hebrew name to the Latin name Iēsous sometime around 400 AD and now most recently it has become Jesus in modern English. That modern name is from the Latin "Iesous" and that name stuck when John Wycliffe translated the New Testament to English from the Latin Vulgate.

I was shocked to discover the truth that most dictionaries will tell you there was no letter 'J' in Jesus use prior to the 14th century and it only arrived with the King's English in 1611. Are you kidding me, no "J" for the traditional name Jesus!?

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

From this shocking lesson on a name tradition, let's tackle another one.

Many think by tradition that Jesus died by Roman crucifixion on "Good" Friday and was resurrected on the morning of Easter Sunday. That tradition gives us just two days and two nights, not the three He declared as the sign of Jonah.

The truth is, He gave His life on the cross and three days and three nights later He arose, He was then seen the next morning after the tomb was empty.

The tradition of Easter in the "church" departed the Jewishness of Jesus as Constantine became emperor of the Roman Empire. One of the purposes the Emperor set forth for the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD was to settle a matter he brought before the council: either follow Scripture and the faithful Jewish people or follow the Emperor and his "church."

Constantine despised the Jewish people and he desperately wanted his own brand of Christianity to be separated from Judaism. His goal was to change both times and seasons because as Emperor he did not want the tradition of Easter to be connected with Passover.

The Council of Nicaea in 325 AD accordingly required the feast of the resurrection to be instituted on a Sunday while forgetting the Bible's calendar timing for the Passover offering and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Constantine established his pagan traditions for Easter to be celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon of the spring equinox as the pagan symbols of Sol Invictus and Mars appeared on his coins.

Wait a minute... are we to follow:

  • Truth or tradition?
  • Yeshua or Constantine?

We can relearn to follow Yeshua and honor His Passover. We can skip the Easter bunny eggs and all the baked ham. All we have to do is read and walk in the truth of the Bible because sound doctrine must always come from the Word of God and not traditions of men no matter who they are.

In 326 AD, a year after the Council of Nicaea, Constantine had his son Crispus murdered accussing him of adultery. Later by his Roman decree, he outlawed worship on the Sabbath.

Seeking truth is a process of re-learning and returning to Scripture as the root of our 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" if you will adopted by Jacob as his own children. Today many nations of believers that call themselves “Gentiles” have come into the fullness following Messiah Yeshua, aka Jesus the King of the Jews and Son of the The God Of Israel.

The fullness of the Gentiles points to keeping the faith, 
the way of a Torah walk with The Lord.

Paul was revealing to the Romans that Jacob's amazing prophecy would be the time we are living in today as many nations, aka Gentiles (non-Jews) are returning to truth in 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 cut short the depth of the word "fullness" in the Roman letter to be reserved only for a number like a census; but the full understanding includes keeping the faith. The “fullness” of faith that will provoke Judah to envy for a relationship with Ephraim.

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, inquisitions, pogroms and 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 path of God's teaching and instruction.

The Bible declares that this walk will eventually lead to the door of understanding as Jewish people see their Jewish Messiah Yeshua is not the one seen dead hanging on a Easter cross.

It is time for the restoration of truth and God's appointed plan for His Feast Days under The Lord's ownership and leadership including the Sabbath. It is time for renewed worship in vigor and purpose freed from an identity crisis that divides. It is time to say good bye to Constantine and the Council of Nicaea. Good bye to Nimrod, Ēostre and Ishtar as well.

It is time to wake up to truth, say goodby to tradition and be restored to God's Hebrew Bible and thank the Jewish people for keeping it!

So, like Ripley might say: 'believe it or not' Christians should look Jewish.

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 truth 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 day before the Feast week of Unleavened Bread that The Lord established in the Hebrew Bible and fulfilled as shown in the good news Gospels of Messiah. Jesus’ death paid the Passover price required to satisfy the debt of sin and His resurrection to life ripped the door open to the Kingdom of God for all people that believe.

When Yeshua entered Jerusalem on the 10th of Nisan almost 2,000 years ago, He was inspected as the Lamb of God. His crucified blood stained the wood of the cross and He was put to rest in the grave before the high Sabbath, the 15th of Nisan.

After the third day and night, as it grew dark at the end of the weekly Sabbath, His work was complete as He was quickened to resurrection life by the Father.

Now non-Jews or Gentiles (Goyim) 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 would occur. Paul describes it and it 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 to their Messiah. It is leading to a time when every knee will bow, and every tongue will recognize that Yeshua is indeed the promised Messiah of Israel.

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 end-time harvest.

All of them... both Jew and Gentile.

Messiah Yeshua wants every Believer to walk the narrow road and live in the manner that will cause a miracle that has only been unimagined before now. A jealousy is arising within the Jewish people who are called and ready to seek Yeshua as Messiah because of what they see in the Gentile.

All that is needed is a witness to the truth untarnished by the tradition of Constantine's religion mixed by things pagan.

Every true worshiper's assignment today 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 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.

To learn more, 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 not Easter, 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
For further learning, consider a four part teaching series from Restoration of Torah Ministries.

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.

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 harvest begin.