There is something on my heart that I need to share with you all…
Most of you know that we began to get serious about our faith in Jesus, the Messiah, several years ago and that led us to start a music ministry.
[Note: run your cursor over each scripture reference for a pop up window with the scripture verse.]
We recently received a newsletter from a church organization, which included an article about a newly formed Lutheran church in Brenham, TX. In the article, was this sentence, “We believe God is always with us, continuing without change, and the Holy Scriptures through which we know Him also continue without change.”
Now, on the surface this seems like a very reasonable statement that would be agreed with by most believing Christians. But, the ‘catch’ phrase is, continuing without change. Do they really believe that God is without change or that the Holy Scriptures are without change?
And here is why I ask this. (And, by the way, it’s not only the Lutheran churches that do this…it’s most all of them.)
The Bible does indeed say that Jesus (the Living Word) is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) And that God does not change. (Malachi 3:6) Of course, Malachi is in the Old Testament, which happens to be the only scriptures that Jesus or the Apostles ever referred to. The Old Testament makes up about two-thirds of our Bible. There was no New Testament in the time of Jesus. And, in the last words of the “Old” Testament, we are reminded in Malachi 4:4-5, “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. Behold, I will send you Eli’jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.”
When Jesus was walking to Emmaus with two disciples after the resurrection, “He interpreted to them in all the scriptures the thing concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27) What scriptures was He referring to?
So, are we really following God as He continues without change? Here is a Scriptural example:
“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD’S appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these: ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings.
[He then gives the instructions about His Feasts in verses 4-21.]
And ends up with this statement in Verse 21…
“It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.”
This is God’s Word to God’s people. Right? Perpetual and throughout your generations pretty much means from now on… forever… ad infinitum, without end, right?
Fast forward to the time of Jesus and His Apostles… Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17) The Torah — the first five books of the Bible — are His instructions, which He gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The word, fulfill, was translated from the Greek word, pleroo, which also means, “to fully preach”… The same word is used in Romans 15:19 where it is translated to fully preach. ( “…I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”) Jesus came to fully preach the Law of Moses, not destroy it or make it of no use.
Then, we learn from Paul in his letter to the Romans, in Chapter 11, that we, as believers in Jesus, are “grafted in” to the “cultivated olive tree,” the commonwealth of Israel…a people chosen by God to be a light to the world! We are adopted into His Family! No where does it say that Jesus came to “start a new religion” or, a “new church.” In fact, the believers in Jesus at that time were known as “The Way,” a sect of Judaism!! (Acts 24:14)
We look at how Jesus and His disciples lived… and we see that they kept the same Sabbath Day that had been kept by their people since the Exodus; they kept the Feasts that God had said were “His Feasts” (not Jewish Feasts); they kept the Commandments/the Law… the Torah. Actually, “instructions” would be a better way to define “the Torah” rather than “Law.” In fact, Jesus instructed the people to listen to the Pharisees when they “sat in Moses seat” and do what they say, but don’t do as they do, because they don’t practice what they preach! (Matthew 23:1-3) [When a Torah teacher sat in Moses seat, he could only read from the Torah scroll, he could not make a commentary or preach his own sermon, etc.]
And Paul… Paul went to great lengths to prove that he was NOT teaching against the Law of Moses! (See Acts 21:24 & Acts 24:14 but also most of Chapters 21-28.)
Now, fast forward again… to 325 A.D. The Roman Emperor, Constantine, merged paganism with Christianity. He changed the day of worship, the festivals celebrated, the days of the celebrations, etc. He did away with everything “Jewish”… [our Lord and Savior was born into a Jewish family, He was Jewish, of the bloodline of David.] And Constantine decreed that if anyone was found keeping the “Jewish Sabbath” or “Judaizing” that they be put to death! Constantine, prior to “converting” to Christianity, worshiped the Sun god, Mithra, whose birthday was December 25.
Do your own research on the history of the Christian church and its holidays. I think you most likely can see where all this leads. Gene and I have done an extensive study on the history of the Christian church and its days of worship and celebrations. The Constantinian church ultimately became the Roman Catholic Church. The reformation was led by Martin Luther and others centuries later. But they never “reformed” or, restored, the church to its original form… The Way.
So, back to my opening paragraph regarding the comment in the newsletter… Most all churches, pastors and Christians in general, say that they believe God’s Word is unchanging, that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and yet, many teach that Jesus did away with some or all of the Law, that the “New Covenant” has replaced the “Old Covenant,” that the Old Testament is old and the New Testament has replaced it…and, even that “the Church” has replaced Israel with regard to all the promises of God! Not so, according to Scripture!
Amos 3:7 says that God will not do anything without first telling His prophets!
“Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” And nowhere in the Books of the Prophets or anywhere else does it say that God will be changing His Sabbath Day to the first day of the week, or that He will be discontinuing His Feast Days, or that His Law will become irrelevant. He gave instructions that no one was to add to or take away from His Law. (Deuteronomy 12:32)
According to the Scriptures, there will be a “restoration of all things” in the Last Days. (See Matt. 17:11 & Acts 3:21) And that is what we see happening just since we first began our music ministry in 2004. Many people all over the world are learning about the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith; they are studying and following the Torah teachings that Jesus taught! He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Let me ask you… what “commandments” was Jesus referring to?
“He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4)
Also, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” (1 John 2:6) (There are many other such scriptures.)
“Sin” is the transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4KJV) Jesus was without sin. He did not break the Law… the Law of Moses…the Torah. He rebuked the Pharisees for their “doctrines & traditions of men,” their “Oral Law,” which did go against the Torah.
Long held traditions are not easily set aside or let go of. Very often fond memories are attached to these traditions. Memories can remain. Traditions can change which will, in turn, bring about new memories! Should not our traditions follow a biblical pattern? A pattern, which holds to what is true? You may ask, why is this so important? Jesus seemed to think it was. “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches [them], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)
Because of all the research and study that we have done, we do the best we can to walk as Jesus and His disciples walked… they kept all the Commandments. We have been so blessed since beginning this walk of faith! Keep in mind, we are not talking about obeying the commandments for our salvation! Jesus, Yeshua, paid the price on Calvary for our sins, but because we love Him, we keep His Commandments! And we do it with the help of the Holy Spirit!
Also, keep in mind, He said this immediately after He stated that He came to “fully preach” the Law….and that UNTIL HEAVEN & EARTH PASS AWAY NOT ONE JOT OR TITTLE WOULD PASS FROM THE LAW UNTIL ALL BE FULFILLED! (Matthew 5:18) It is interesting to note that a different Greek word was used here to translate into the English word, fulfilled. It was ginomai, which means to become, to come into existence, to be made, finished, etc. Makes you wonder what the motive was to translate pleroo as fulfilled in Matthew 5:17, but as fully preached in Romans 15:19…and then when they really did have the word ginomai they correctly translated it as fulfilled!! Just a thought…
The more we learn, the more there is to learn! We are seeking the truth from His Word and we get help from many teachers of the Holy Scriptures. We do believe that errors have been made by the Church because it has discarded its Hebraic roots, which need to be restored. The world doesn’t need another “church.” If the truth matters, then it should be sought after!
If you would like to know more about this, please get in touch with us. There are many believers around the world who have begun this walk of faith at this time, which we believe the Bible refers to as “the Last Days.”
Love and blessings,LaVada
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