Today, there are over 2000 Christian/Messianic denominations in the world and, of course, the main reason why is because they are all separated by doctrine! 2 Timothy 4:2-4 states, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” The Apostle Paul admonishes Believers to “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). Thus, this begs the question, “How should Believers test doctrine?” What standard should we rely on?
Initially, the Body of Messiah was comprised solely of a remnant of Israelites (Deut. 4:27-31; 28:62-68; 30:1-10; 1 Kings 19:14-18; Rom. 9:27; 11:1-5; Rev. 12:4) who had repented and established the new covenant with God (Acts 2). Yeshua1 knew that it wouldn’t be long before Satan attacked His congregation! He prophesied, “...Take heed that no one deceives you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah2,’ and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5; cf. Rev. 6:1-2; Shortly after Yeshua’s death, the gospel was opened to the Gentiles (Acts 10:9-36; Rom. 11:13; Gal. 2:7-10) and a great number of converts were added to the Body of Messiah. These converts and their congregations raised up by Paul were “...imitators of the congregations] of God which are in Judea...” (1 Thess. 2:14). They followed the same spiritual way of life the Jewish Believers practiced. As more and more Gentiles came to faith, though, a number of them rose to positions of power and influence within the Body. Some of these “leaders” were actually unconverted and were able to incorporate elements of their pagan rituals, customs and traditions into the faith.
Like Yeshua, a number of Apostles issued warnings regarding false leaders. The Apostle Paul states, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Messiah, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Messiah. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9). He also states, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work...” (2 Thess. 2:6). Again, he states, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Messiah. For if he who comes preaches another Yeshua whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it! ... For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Messiah. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15). The Apostle John warned the Believers in a certain congregation about an apostate form the truth! “I wrote to the congregation, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the congregation3” (3 John 1: 9-10; Emphasis added). John also states, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Anti—messiah is coming, even now many anti-messiahs have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. But you have an anointing from the set apart4 One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Yeshua is the Messiah? He is anti-messiah who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:18-23; Emphasis added). The Apostle Jude states, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only YHVH5 God and our Lord Yeshua, the Messiah” (Jude 3-4; Emphasis added). The Apostle Peter wrote, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Pet. 2:1-4) In time, “...the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints...” (Jude 1:3) was transformed into what became known as the Roman Catholic Church. About 1500 years later, the Roman Catholic Church gave birth to daughter churches, the Protestants churches.
Today, the Roman Catholic Church has three sources of revelation. Her first source, the one held in the highest regard, is revealed through the Pope while he is seated on his throne. The second source is church tradition. And the third source, the one held in least regard, is the Scriptures. When the Protestant churches arrived on the scene, they rejected the Roman Catholic Church’s first revelatory source, the Pope, but continued to hold church tradition in higher regard then the Scriptures! Furthermore, they also added an enormous amount of false doctrine of their own throughout the centuries!
What standard should Believers rely on to test doctrine? Isaiah 8:20 states, “To the Torah6 and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Emphasis added). The word “Torah” refers to the Old Testament (Luke 4:42-5:1; Luke 8:1-10, 21; Acts 8:4-25), the word “testimony” refers to the New Testament (Rev. 1:1-3, 9; 12:17) and the word “word” refers to the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 adds, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness....”
The purpose of this document, then, is to identify the Scriptures that have been grossly misinterpreted by mainstream Christianity and Messianic Judaism and to interpret them correctly, one by one! Regrettably, time does not allow me to address every incorrectly interpreted Scripture; however, I can address a few!
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
Scientists and theologians have been at odds for many years regarding the age of the Earth, dinosaurs, fossils, ice ages and geological formations. Scientists insist that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old based on carbon dating while most theologians insist that the Earth is approximately 6 thousand years old based on Genesis 1:1-2 and the genealogy of Adam and Eve. Sadly, this controversy was the result of the mistranslation of one word- the word “was.” Genesis 1:1-2 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void....” The word “was” was improperly translated from the Hebrew word, “hayah,” It should have been translated “became” as it is translated in Genesis 2:7; 9:15 and 19:26. The NIV and other study Bibles properly translate the word, “hayah,” as, “became,” in their alternate marginal renderings. Also, the Rotherham translation is properly translated, “Now the earth had become waste and empty.” Thus, these Scriptures should read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth became without form, and void….”
In addition, verse 2 states, “The earth was without form....” The words, “without form, and void,” were translated from the Hebrew words “tohu,” and “bohu” and are better translated, “without form, and waste.” Isaiah 45:18 states, “For thus says YHVH, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain.” The word, “vain,” was translated from the Hebrew word, “tohu,” the same exact Hebrew word translated as, “without form,” in Genesis 1:1. Notice that the alternate marginal renderings for the word “vain” in this verse are “waste” or “empty!” Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary states, “The original terms tohu and bohu which we translate without form and void, are of uncertain etymology; but in this place, and wherever else they are used, they convey the idea of confusion and disorder” (cf. Jer. 4:23; Isa. 34:11; 45:18).
The fact that Genesis 1:1 states that the Earth became, “tohu” and that Isaiah 45:18 states that God did not create the Earth in “tohu,” proves that something happened to cause the Earth to become waste and empty after God had created it. 1 Corinthians 14:33 states, “...God is not the author of confusion….” Why would God create the Earth in confusion and disorder just to have to straighten it out?
Those who understand the truth regarding the proper translation of Genesis 1:1-2 also understand that science and religion are not really in conflict at all regarding the age of the Earth. The truth is that God created the Earth approximately 4.5 billion years ago, which accounts for dinosaurs, fossils, ice ages and geological formations. Then, after the Earth was destroyed, God restored it in seven days approximately six thousand years ago, creating Adam and Eve on the sixth day. Thus, the “seven days of creation” are, in reality, the “seven days of restoration.”
“Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.”
Many Believers interpret this Scripture to mean that all plants are good for human consumption! This is not so!
The Bible teaches that Scripture must interpret Scripture. Isaiah 28:10 states, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” Thus, we must interpret the statement, “I have given every green herb for food,” in the light of every Scripture in the Bible that deals with the topic of food.
A careful topical study of the Bible will reveal that the statement, “I have given every green herb for food,” must be understood in conjunction with Genesis 2:9. This Scripture states, “And out of the ground YHVH God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Notice that plants only meet the requirements for human consumption if they are: (1) “pleasant to the sight” and (2) “good for food.” This criterion obviously disqualifies poisonous plants. Also, Genesis 1:30 reveals that certain varieties of plants are provided for insects.
“And YHVH God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Bible critics and scoffers commonly cite these Scriptures in an attempt to prove that the Bible is a fake. They contend that Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and failed to die on the exact day in which they ate as God had warned.
Yes! It is true that Adam and Eve did not die the exact day in which they ate. However, it is also true that when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they sinned (Rom. 5:12) and Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.” Thus, when Adam and Eve sinned, they sealed their fate. God considered them to be dead in their sins.
Below are a number of Scriptures that prove this principle to be Biblical. Ephesians 2:1 states, “And you He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins….” Colossians 2:13 states, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses….” 1 Timothy 5:6 states, “But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.” Revelation 3:1 states, “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” Finally, Luke 9:60 states, “Let the dead bury their own dead” (cf. Matt. 8:22; John 3:18).
This principle is also expressed in Romans 4:17 which states, “...God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did....”
After Adam and Eve sinned, “...YHVH God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Gen. 3:22). The fact that God now required Adam to eat from the tree of life, proves that He counted him as being “dead in trespasses and sins.”
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.”
Most Believers maintain that the phrase, “sons of God,” refers to angels and interpret these Scriptures to mean that angels were intermarrying with earthly women and creating a race of giants! This is not so!
While it is true that the Scriptures refer to the angels as the “sons of God” (Job 1:6; 2:1; Ps. 29:1; Jude 6-7), it is also true that the title refers to Godly men (Deut. 14:1; 32:5; Psalm 73:15; Isa. 43:6; Hosea 1:10; 11:1; Luke 3:38; 1 John 3:1-2, 10). Thus, it is left to us to search out the matter (Prov. 25:2)!
When the disciples asked Yeshua, “...Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matt 24:3), His reply included the following revelation: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:36-39). The phrase, “marrying and giving in marriage,” is a reference to both marriages and arranged marriages!
Notice, Yeshua equates what had happened in Noah’s generation with what will happen in the generation to which He returns! In other words, whatever happened in Noah’s generation must also happen in the generation to which He returns! Thus, if the sons of God in Noah’s generation were angels who were intermarrying with the daughters of men, than it follows that the sons of God in the generation to which Yeshua returns will also be angels who will intermarry with the daughters of men. Conversely, if the Sons of God in Noah’s generation were Godly men who were intermarrying with the daughters of men, than it also follows that the sons of God in the generation to which Yeshua returns will also be Godly men who will intermarry with the daughters of men!
Also, Scripture tells us that angels are spirit beings (Ps. 104:4; Heb. 1:7) and that they have appeared to a few of people in the Bible. Yet, there is no mention of them appearing as giants (Gen. 16:7-12; 22:11-18; 32:1-2; etc.). In fact, Hebrews 13:2 states, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Of course, in order to unwittingly entertain angels, they must appear as we do; not as giants!
Furthermore, God is all-knowing so had He known that angels would intermarry with the daughters of men, He would have included a commandment against that practice in the Torah. Yet, there is none! This suggests that God restricted angels from marrying! Furthermore, Matthew 22:30 states, “For in the resurrection they [Believers] neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (cf. Mark 12:25; Emphasis added).
While there is no command prohibiting angels from intermarrying with the daughters of men, there is a command prohibiting Israel, the sons of God, from intermarrying with pagans, the daughters of men! Deuteronomy 7:1-4 states, “When YHVH your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when YHVH your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of YHVH will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.”
Thus, the facts prove that his passage of Scripture should be understood this way: “Now it came to pass, when men [pagans] began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God [Israelites] saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose” (Emphasis added).
“Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.”
Most Believers interpret the Scripture, “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father...” to mean that Ham either saw his father, Noah, naked, or that he had a sexual encounter with him. This is not so!
Leviticus 18:8 states, “The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness.” Also, Leviticus 20:11 states, “The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness….” Thus, Ham’s sin was that he had intercourse with his father’s wife, Ham’s mother or stepmother, while Noah was incapacitated from drinking!
This sin of incest produced a child, Canaan. After Canaan was conceived, Noah cursed Ham’s descendants, condemning them to become “servants” (slaves) to Shem and Japheth. (The name “Canaan” means, “Humiliated,” and the verb form of his name means, “to bend the knee”). Of course, the fact that Noah cursed Ham’s descendants begs the question, “Why would Noah, who was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5), curse innocent children, especially his own descendants?” The answer may be that after sinning, Ham remained unrepentant and that Noah understood that he (Ham) would rear his children apart from God’s counsel (Prov. 22:6) and blessings (Deut. 28). Thus, it is likely that Noah cursed Ham’s descendents in order to bring them to repentance!
“Hear, O Israel: YHVH our God, YHVH is one!”
The Bible teaches that there is only one God! However, there are actually two Hebrew words translated as “one” in the Old Testament: “echad” and “yachid.” The word “yachid” means one in number (Judges 11:34; Prov. 4:3; Zech. 12:10), while the word, “echad,” means one in unity. The word “echad” is translated “first” in Genesis 1:5 to unify the seven days of recreation. It is translated “one” in Genesis 2:24 to describe Adam and Eve becoming “one flesh.” It is translated “few” in Genesis 27:44 to unify a number of days. It is translated “one” in Exodus 24:3 to describe all the people answering with “one voice.” It is translated “together” in Isaiah 65:25 to describe the unity in which the wolf and the lamb will feed during the millennium. Finally, the word “echad” is translated “one” in Deuteronomy 6:4 to express the unity of God, the Father, and Yeshua, His Son.
Shortly before Yeshua was crucified He prayed for His disciples. During His prayer He said, “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are” (John 17:11). If God, the Father, and Yeshua are one in number, than Yeshua prayed for His followers to become one in number also. Obviously, this is not the case. The truth is that Yeshua prayed for His followers to become one in unity, as God the Father and Yeshua are one.
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children.”
One of the “miracles” attributed to the rebirth of Israel on May 14, 1948 is the fulfillment of Isaiah 66:8. This is not so!
Isaiah 66:8 does not refer to the rebirth of the modern nation of Israel. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary under the article “Jerusalem” and the subheading “Modern Jerusalem” states, “In 1919, under a ruling by British officials in Palestine, Jerusalem regained its status as a capital city. During the following three decades, numerous Jews, whose ancestors had been barred from the city, settled in and around Jerusalem.” In 1947, the United Nations adopted United Nations resolution 181 which petitioned Palestine, giving 18% to the Jews and 82% to the Arabs. Jerusalem was intended to be an international city never to be under Jewish control. However, on May 14, 1948, Israel declared independence. Thus, the facts prove that Palestine was in the process of being populated by Jews decades before the rebirth of Israel in 1948. The truth is that the prophecy quoted above refers to the kingdom of God which will literally be populated in one day at the time of the resurrection of the saints when Yeshua returns. I Corinthians 15:50-52 states, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
“Behold, the days are coming, says YHVH, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says YHVH. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YHVH: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
Many Messianic Believers maintain that the word “new” in the phrase, “new covenant,” is properly translated “renewed.” This is not so!
According to the KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon, the Hebrew word “chadash” can either be used as a verb or as an adjective! When it is used as a verb, it is translated as “renew.” When it is used as an adjective, it is translated as”new.” According to Webster’s II New College Dictionary, a verb is, “The part of speech that expresses action, existence, or occurrences in most languages.” Also, according to the same source, an adjective is, “Any of a class of words used to modify a noun or other substantive by limiting, qualifying or specifying.” Clearly, in Jeremiah 31:31-33, the word “chadash” is used as an adjective because it modifies the noun, “covenant,” in the phrase, “new covenant!” Thankfully, Jeremiah 31:31-33 is quoted in Hebrew 8:8-13 in the New Testament, where we can also examine the word “new” in the Greek! There, the word “new” was translated from the Greek word “kainos.” However, unlike the Hebrew word “chadash,” which can either be used as a verb or as an adjective, the Greek word “kainos” can only be used as an adjective. And, according to the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon, it means, “new!” This confirms that the Hebrew word “chadash” in Jeremiah 31:31-33 was also properly translated as an adjective and means, “new.” In addition, Hebrews 8:7 states, “For if that first had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.” Notice, there are two separate covenants, not one covenant that was renewed!
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Charismatics and Pentecostals interpret this Scripture to mean that Believers must seek both the baptism with water and the baptism with fire. This is not so!
The context proves that John the Baptist is not speaking of two complimentary types of baptism, but two contrasting types of baptisms! The baptism with water is received by people who are represented by trees that bear fruit (vs. 11). They “bear fruits worthy of repentance” (vs. 8) and begin walking in “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). In contrast, the baptism with fire is received by people who are represented by trees that do not bear fruit (vs. 10), like the Pharisees and the Sadducees (vs. 7). Verse 12 concludes, “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Thus, to be baptized with fire means to be cast into the “lake of fire” (Rev. 19:20; 20:10) to be burned up (Rev. 20:14-15)! Of course, the baptism with water occurs during this age while the baptism with fire will occur at the end of the age! Notice that in verse 7 John told the Pharisees and the Sadducees, “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
“Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (KJV).
Most Believers interpret Yeshua’s words in verse 17 to mean that since no one can keep the Torah, Yeshua “fulfilled” or kept it for us, meaning that we ourselves are no longer required to keep it. This is one of Satan’s biggest lies!
Notice that verse 17 contains the word “fulfill” and that verse 18 contains the word “filled.” They were translated from two entirely different Greek words, which have two unrelated definitions.
According to the New Testament Greek Lexicon - King James Version, the word “fulfill” in verse 17 was translated from the Greek word “pleroo,” which means:
In contrast, according to the same source, the word “fulfill” in verse 18 was translated from the Greek word “ginomai,” which means:
The Complete Jewish Bible is properly translated! “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah -- not until everything that must happen has happened.”
Those who teach that Yeshua kept the Torah for us, in the sense that we ourselves are no longer required to keep it, interpret the word “fulfill” in verse 17 as “bring to an end” or some other synonym for “abolish.” In effect, they have Yeshua saying, “I have not come to abolish the Torah, but to abolish it.”
Incredibly, the King James translators deliberately mistranslated the Greek word “pleroo,” as “fulfilled” in order to support their preconceived doctrine that Yeshua abolished the Torah! This deception serves as a great example as to why the King James Version is better referred to as the King James Interpretation!
Let’s examine this Scripture in context!
Verses 17 through 20 state, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete [to render full]. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 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. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Read these Scriptures again, this time asking yourself if they support the doctrine that Yeshua “fulfilled” the Torah for us so that we ourselves are no longer required to keep it! Of course they don’t!
The reason why Yeshua declared that our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees is because they had the reputation of being the most righteous sect at the time! However, Yeshua, was about to expose them for keeping the Torah with a legalistic, letter-of-the-law, attitude.
In verse 21 and 22, Yeshua states, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment....” In verses 27 and 28, He states, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” In verses 31 and 32, He states, “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. In verses 33 through 35, He states, “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to YHVH.’ “But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; “nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.” In verses 38 and 39, He states, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” In verses 43 and 44, He states, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you....” Again, do these Scriptures support the doctrine that Yeshua “fulfilled” the Torah for us so that we ourselves are no longer required to keep it?
Thus, the context of Matthew chapter 5 clearly contradicts the interpretation that Yeshua “fulfilled” or kept the Torah for us, in the sense that we are no longer required to keep it ourselves. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The context proves that Yeshua raised the Torah up to its fullest significance and intent, thereby making it more difficult to keep! Yeshua commands His followers to keep both the letter-of-the-Torah and the spirit-of-the Torah (2 Cor. 3:5-6)! In fact, Yeshua fulfilled Isaiah 42:21, which states, “YHVH is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will exalt the Torah and make it honorable.”
Why does God require more from New Testament Believers? The answer is found in Luke 12:48 which states, “...For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required….” Acts 2:38 tells us that we receive the Holy Spirit upon repentance and baptism. The Holy Spirit is the power of God in us (Acts 1:4-8; 1 Tim. 1:7; Zech 4:6; Judges 14:6; Luke 1:35; Acts 1:8; 2:4, 33; Eph 6:8-10). It is our “Helper” (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-8)! And it enables us to keep the Torah! Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me.”
Most Believers, because they reject the Torah, do not understand the full significance of the Sermon on the Mount! Moses, as the mediator of the old covenant, delivered God’s commandments, statutes, and judgments on Mt. Sinai to his generation of Israelites (Ex. 19)! Likewise, Yeshua, as the Mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 9:15; 12:24), delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), in which He raised up God’s commandments, statutes, and judgments to their fullest intent and significance to a remnant of Israelites in His generation. Thus, Moses was a type of Yeshua!
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Many Believers maintain that the phrase, “seek, and you will find,” is an unconditional promise from God. This is not so!
The Bible teaches that Scripture must interpret Scripture. Isaiah 28:10 states, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” Thus, we must interpret the statement, “seek, and you will find,” in the light of every Scripture in the Bible that deals with the topic of wisdom and understanding.
2 Timothy 3:1-9 states, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” In other words, those who seek truth while breaking the Torah are those who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
One well-known televangelist constantly brags about how many hours of Bible study he has completed over the course of his lifetime and how many books he reads. He impressively rattles off Scripture like a machine gun. Yet, nearly every one of his doctrines are false and the reason why is because he teaches against the Torah!
Psalm 111:10 concludes, “The fear of YHVH is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”
Thus, if you truly seek wisdom and understanding with your whole heart, start keeping God’s commandments!
“Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; But he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Most Believers maintain that the phrase, “the kingdom of heaven,” refers to the place they will go to after death! This is not so!
God inspired each book of the Bible in the author’s own writing style, using his particular personal method of expression. Paul’s writings are distinctively Paul’s, John’s distinctively John’s; Matthew’s distinctively Matthew’s, etc, etc, etc. Thus, Matthew used the phrase, “the kingdom of heaven,” while other writers used the equivalent phrases, “the gospel of the kingdom,” and, “the gospel of the kingdom of God.” None of the phrases state that we go to heaven when we die!
The key to understanding this Scripture is to recognize that the phrase, “the kingdom of heaven,” states “of heaven,” not “in heaven.” The preposition “of” indicates possession, not location!
The Bible teaches that the kingdom of God will be established after the millennium, when it will come down from heaven on Earth (Rev. 21:2).
It is possible that Matthew uses the phrase, “kingdom of heaven,” because many Jews regarded themselves, since Mt. Sinai, as already being part of the kingdom of God. Matthew wanted to be sure his Jewish audience understood that the literal kingdom of God, or kingdom of the Messiah, would be a spiritual kingdom transcending any physical nation on this earth!
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Most Believers interpret this Scripture to mean that human beings have immortal souls that will continue to live after the body dies. This is not so!
The word “soul” was improperly translated from the Greek word “psuche.” It should have been translated “life” as it is translated in Matthew 16:25 which states, “For whoever desires to save his life [psuche] will lose it, but whoever loses his life [psuche] for My sake will find it” (Emphasis added).
Let’s examine Matthew 10:28 in context. The account begins with Yeshua preparing His disciples to send them out to preach the gospel (vv. 1-15). It was after He warned them that they would be persecuted and perhaps even be put to death that He made the statement, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The context proves that Yeshua attempted to assure His disciples that in the event they were killed, it would not mean that they would remain dead forever, for they would be restored to life in the resurrection.
Thus, Matthew 10:28 should read, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill life. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both life and body in Gehenna7.”
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Most Believers interpret this Scripture to mean that Yeshua established a new religion, Christianity, with a new people, Gentiles! This is not so!
Jeremiah 31:31-33 states, “Behold, the days are coming, says YHVH, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says YHVH. “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YHVH: I will put My Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Here, the phrase, “house of Israel” refers to the united kingdom!
Why would it be necessary for God to establish a new covenant with the house of Israel? Since the new covenant is, in effect, a second marriage contract there can only be one reason: Because God knew He would eventually divorce both houses of the divided kingdom! He had already divorced the house of Israel during Old Testament times for breaking their covenant with Him. Now, during New Testament times, He was about to divorce the house of Judah for the same reason (Ex. 19:3-6; Deut. 7:6-12; Josh. 24:14-25; Neh. 1:5).
The fact that God was establishing a new covenant with the house of Israel means that He was starting over again! The New Testament tells us that He accomplished this through one man, Yeshua, the Mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 9:15; 12:24). And it was in His position as the new covenant Mediator, that Yeshua made a startling declaration. In most translations of the Bible, it is rendered, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
A study of the word “church” will reveal that it is foreign to the Old Testament and Yeshua’s apparent use of the word seems to suggest that He intended to establish a new religion, Christianity, with a new people, Gentiles. Nothing could be further from the truth! The word “church” was translated from the Greek word “ekklesia” which, according to the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon, is a compound word that is derived from the two root words: “ek” and “klesis.” The word “ek” means, “out of” and the word “klesis” means, “a calling.” In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, published in the 3rd Century BC, the Greek word “ekklesia” was translated from Hebrew word “qahal,” which means, “congregation” or “assembly.” The Theological Workbook of the Old Testament states, “…usually qahal is translated ekklesia in the LXX.” Another Scripture where the word ekklesia was mistranslated “church” is Acts 7:38 in the King James Version, which is translated, “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us…” The context proves that phrase, “church in the wilderness,” applies to Israel and, as a result, should have been translated, “assembly in the wilderness” or “congregation in the wilderness.” The World English Bible, the Darby Translation, the Hebrew Names Version and Young’s Literal Translation, translate the word ekklesia in Matthew 16:18 as “assembly” while the New King James Version and the Power New Testament translate it “congregation.” Thus, Matthew 16:18 is properly translated, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My congregation, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”Let’s examine the true meaning of Yeshua’s declaration! First, His statement, “I will build My congregation,” is another proof that God was divorcing the house of Judah and starting over again through Yeshua. One cannot build that which has already been built! Second, Yeshua’s words, “my congregation,” is a reference to the Body of Messiah,” the new covenant congregation of Israel! They are a reference to remnant Israel (1 Kings 19:14-18; Joel 2:28-32; Rom. 9:27; 11:1-5; Rev. 12:17). Third, Yeshua’s statement, “and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,” is, in fact, the equivalent of God’s unconditional promise to Abraham, that He would make his descendants a great nation forever. Both statements are promises that Israel will exist forever! Thus, in Matthew 16:18, Yeshua made it clear that, even though God was starting over again through Him, God would keep His unconditional promise to Abraham to make his descendants a great nation forever. Both statements are promises that Israel will exist forever!
For more information on this subject read the article: Israel and the Church!
“Then Yeshua spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”
Many Messianic Believers interpret these Scriptures to mean that Believers must obey the scribes and the Pharisees, even when they teach against the Torah! This is not so!
Yeshua’s statement, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat,” means that it was their responsibility to teach the Torah, not to change what the Torah teaches!
Yeshua didn’t teach that Believers must obey the scribes and the Pharisees when they taught against the Torah! Matthew 15:1-14 states, “Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Yeshua, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”-- then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ “When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 states, “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which YHVH God of your fathers is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of YHVH your God which I command you.” Acts 5:29 states, “...We ought to obey God rather than men.” The Apostle Paul said, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness” (Rom. 6:16)?
Isaiah 8::20 states, “To the Torah and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
“And Yeshua answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”
Most Believers maintain that Yeshua’s Olivet prophecies, including the ones mentioned above, are fulfilled literally. This is not so!
History proves that the rise of dictators to power oftentimes sets in motion the universal sequence of war, famine and death. Clearly, Yeshua’s prophecies of Matthew chapter 24 are based on this principle, albeit with one fundamental difference; the prophecies of Matthew chapter 24 are initiated by false messiahs (Matt. 24:5), not by dictators! Still, just as dictators cause wars, and wars cause famines, and famines cause death, the false messiahs of Matthew chapter 24 cause wars of religion, wars of religion cause famines of the word and famines of the word cause spiritual death. Thus, the fact that the prophecies of Matthew chapter 24 are set in motion by false messiahs proves that they have a spiritual, not a literal application!
For a detailed explanation regarding the significance of the four horsemen read: The Genesis Code.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the set apart place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
Most Believers interpret this prophecy to mean that a third temple will be built in Jerusalem. According to their reasoning, a third temple must exist in Jerusalem in order for it to be desolated. This is not so!
In the Bible, the word “abomination” is used to refer to sin, which includes defiling the temple with something unclean (Deut. 23:18), idolatry (Deut. 28:15) and homosexuality (Lev. 18:22), etc, etc, etc. The phrase, the “abomination of desolation,” in verse 15 is a quotation from Daniel 9:27; 11:31 and 12:11. (cf. Mark 13:14) In Daniel, however, this phrase is more clearly translated, “the abomination that makes desolate.” Daniel’s prophecy regarding “the abomination that makes desolate” was initially fulfilled about 165 BC when Antiochus Epiphanes, the Greek ruler of Syria, placed an altar to the pagan god Zeus in the temple and sacrificed a pig, an unclean animal, on the altar of burnt offerings. As a result, the temple became “desolate” and the Jews would no longer worship there.
Of course, the fact that Yeshua prophesied, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the set apart place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” proves that there was to be a second fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy that would occur in the future!
Notice that the word “therefore” in Yeshua’s statement, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’…” is used as a conjunction. This means that Yeshua had already addressed the prophecy regarding the abomination that makes desolate in a previous statement. Of course, in order to identify the right statement we must work backwards and examine each Scripture one by one! Verse 14 states, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Obviously, the gospel of the kingdom is not “the abomination that makes desolate.” Verse 13 states, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Again, this is not it! Verse 12 states, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Clearly, this is it! The context proves that the phrase, “the abomination of desolation,” refers back to lawlessness! Why?
The word “lawlessness” was translated from the ancient Greek word “anomia”- a word derived from the root word “nomos,” which means “law” and the prefix “a,” which means, “against” or “in opposition to.” Significantly, when the Old Testament was translated into Ancient Greek in the 3rd century B.C., the translators rendered the Hebrew word “Torah” as “nomos.” Thus, the word “anomia” means, “against Torah” or “in opposition to Torah” and this Scripture is better translated, “And because opposition to Torah will increase, the love of many will grow cold.” The Complete Jewish Bible states, “and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah.” 1 John 3:4 makes the definition of the word “lawlessness” even more clear; it states, “...sin is lawlessness” or “sin is Torahlessness.”
Of course, since the context proves that the phrase, “the abomination of desolation,” which is sin, refers back to Torahlessness, it stands to reason that Yeshua’s statements in verses 13 and 14 are interjectory thoughts! Thus, the entire prophecy regarding the abomination that makes desolation, including the interjectory thoughts, is better translated: “And because Torahlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (“But he who endures to the end shall be saved. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.) “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the set apart place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
Why did Yeshua pause for a moment to address thoughts that were not directly related to the main context? The answer is found within the context! The disciples had asked Him, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (vs. 3) His answer included a series of terrifying prophetic events, starting with false christs (vv. 4-5) and building up to Torahlessness! It was immediately after He spoke of Torahlessnees that He addressed His interjectory thoughts! Why?
In order to understand why Yeshua spoke His interjectorily thoughts immediately after He spoke of Torahlessness, we must first understand bow the first-century Jews thought of Torah! The fact is that most Jews held Torah in the highest esteem! It defined who they were as a people! They couldn't imagine life without it! They knew that it held the key to eternal life (John 5:39)! Yeshua's initial prophesies were extremely disturbing! They must have taken Him a few minutes develop and, as one might imagine, as He revealed them one by one, the intensity level of the disciples increased more and more! Then, when Yeshua prophesied, “And because Torahlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold…,” the disciples must have been shaken to their very core, so shocked that they were unable to speak! That is why Yeshua paused for a moment, because it was necessary to reassure them that, regardless of their circumstances, God would save His people! Then, after calming His people down, He immediately returned to the main context connecting Torahlessness to the abomination that makes desolate with the word “Therefore!”
The New Testament teaches that the temple symbolizes both the individual believer (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:16-18) and the congregation (Eph. 2:14-22; 2 Thess. 2:4). And incredibly, this interpretation is consistent with that teaching! Thus, Yeshua’s prophecy regarding the abomination that makes desolate refers to a future event when the Body of Messiah was to become desolate as a result of Torahlessness or sin!
For a detailed explanation as to why the abomination of desolation occurred during the Protestant Reformation, read: The Genesis Code.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
Most Believers interpret this prophecy to mean that the signs in the sun, moon and stars will be fulfilled literally. This is not so!
A careful examination of this prophecy will reveal that it corresponds to the prophecy of Revelation 6:12-13 which states, “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.” Thus, since the book of Revelation is concealed in symbolism (Rev. 1:1), so too is this corresponding prophecy in Matthew.
The Bible reveals that the terms, “sun,” “moon,” and “stars,” symbolize Israel. Below are a few scriptural references that reveal their symbolic identity. In Genesis 15:5, God promised Abram, whose name He would later change to Abraham, “...Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” After that, Abram fathered Isaac, whose name God would later change to Israel and Israel fathered Joseph who was a dreamer of dreams. In Genesis 37:9-10, 34, Joseph shared one of his dreams with his brothers. He said, “...Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” Obviously, Israel understood the connection between the sun, moon and stars and his descendants, the twelve tribes of Israel. Later, the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Thus says YHVH, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (YHVH of hosts is His name): “If those ordinances depart From before Me, says YHVH, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever” (Jer. 31:35-36). Finally, the Apostle John wrote, “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1; cf. Ps. 89:34-37; Gen. 22:17; 26:4; Heb. 11:12). Of course, the woman symbolizes Israel!
One of the reasons why the sun, moon and stars symbolize Israel is that, just as the purpose of the sun, moon and stars is to illuminate the Earth, Israel’s purpose is to illuminate mankind through the preaching of the gospel. The Apostle Paul states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). While the gospel was to be preached to Israel first, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied that there would come a time when Israel would reject the gospel and, as a result, Israelite Believers would carry it to the Gentiles. Isaiah 49:6 states, “I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Notice that Israel was prophesied to be a spiritual light, just as the sun, moon and stars are natural lights. Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in Paul’s day! Acts 13:44-47 states, “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. “For so YHVH has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Thus, since the light emanated by the sun, moon and stars symbolizes the gospel, it follows, then, that the sun, moon and stars, the source of the light, symbolize Israelite Believers.
Now, let’s will examine Matthew 24:29 in context! It states, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn....”
Notice that this prophecy has two parts. The first part of the prophecy: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven...” is hidden in symbolism and means that Israelite Believers will mourn. The corresponding prophecy of Revelation 6:12 states, “the sun became black as sackcloth of hair….” The significance of this description is that sackcloth is a symbol of mourning (Joel 1:13; Jonah 3:5-6; Matt. 11:21). The second part of the prophecy: “and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn...” is plainly stated and means that Gentile Believers will mourn. Thus, this prophecy speaks of a time when both Israelite and Gentile Believers will mourn!
For more information on this subject read the article: The Genesis Code!
“And [Yeshua] said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Most Believers interpret this verse to mean that Yeshua and the thief on the cross entered Paradise together the same day they were crucified. This is not so!
Immediately after Yeshua was crucified, He was placed in the grave where He remained for the three days and three nights (Matt. 12:39-40; Mark 8:31; 9:31; Matt. 27:63; John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:3-4) He could not have been in Paradise because Paradise is located in the third heaven where God resides (2 Cor. 12:1-5; Rev. 2:7; 22:1-2). Thus, since Yeshua did not enter Paradise the same day He was crucified, neither did the thief, for Messiah has “pre-eminence” in all things (Col. 1:18). Moreover, when Mary came to the tomb after Yeshua was resurrected, Yeshua told her, “…Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” (John 20:17)
This apparent contradiction is cleared up by E.W Bullinger in appendix 5173 of the Companion Bible which states, “The interpretation of this verse depends entirely on punctuation, which rests wholly on human authority, the Greek manuscripts having no punctuation of any kind till the ninth century and then it is only a dot separating each word.” A comma placed before the word “today” is incorrect; the comma should follow it. Thus, punctuated correctly, this verse should read: “And [Yeshua] said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Furthermore, paradise is not yet finished. Yeshua said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. “And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:2-4). Our mansions in paradise will be finished after the millennium when New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-2; 22:1-2) will descend from heaven and be established on Earth (Rev. 21:2). Then, all repentant sinners, including the thief on the cross, will enter Paradise!
John 3:1-7 states, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'”
Many Believers interpret these verses to mean that the concept of being born again is an emotional event that occurs when an individual accepts Yeshua as Messiah. This is not so!
In order to understand the concept of being born again, we must first understand physical reproduction. The process begins when a man’s sperm cell unites with the woman’s ovum which becomes fertilized and develops into an embryo. Then, the embryo develops over a period of nine months, culminating in birth. In like manner, spiritual reproduction begins when our heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit unites with man’s spirit and develops into a spiritual embryo, so to speak. Then, the embryonic child of God (Eph 1:13-14; 2 Cor 1:22; 5:5) develops spiritually over the course of his or her lifetime (Rom 8:14) (Eph 1:13-14; 2 Cor 1:22; 5:5) (Isa 64:8; Job 14:14–15; Isa 43:7; Eph 2:10), culminating in a second birth at the resurrection (Rom 1:3-4; 1 Cor 15:42-54).Romans 8:11, 19-22 states, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. … For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. ”
At the time of Christ, Judea was under Roman occupation. Rome, ever fearful of a Jewish uprising, appointed leaders, the Pharisees, from among the Jews whose job it was to control the people. In return, Rome bestowed on the Pharisees lavish life styles (Luke 16:19-31). When Jesus began His ministry, He announced the coming kingdom of God (Mark 1:14). The Pharisees rejected Jesus’ message since they believed that Jesus was going to lead a revolt against the Romans, who were the source of their wealth and happiness. One of these rulers, Nicodemus, who wanted to know more details about Jesus’ proclamation came to Him by night and stated, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. ” (vs. 2) Jesus knew that Nicodemus was representing the Pharisees for he said, “we know. ” He also knew that the Pharisees, who were “lovers of money” (Luke 16:14-15), were concerned that the “kingdom of God” He proclaimed would end the Roman occupation of Judea as well as their exalted status as rulers under the Roman government. Hence, Jesus got straight to the point. He replied, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ” Confused, Nicodemus asked Jesus: “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. ” (vv. 4-6) Jesus explained that that there are two kinds of birth - one physical, the other spiritual - the physical being a type of the spiritual. When people are born of the flesh they are born physically, composed of flesh, but when they are “born again” they are born spiritually, composed of spirit. Jesus said, “That at which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”—no longer composed of flesh, but of spirit! (vs. 6).
Man is flesh therefore he cannot “see” (vs. 3), “enter” (vs. 5) or “inherit” (1 Cor 15:50) the kingdom of God. Jesus attempted to assure Nicodemus that His kingdom was no threat to the Pharisees since it “is not of this age” (John 18:36). He continued, “Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again. ’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. ” (vs. 7-8) In other words, when one is born again, he is like the wind, invisible and powerful. He is “born of the spirit,” born in a 2nd birth, a spirit birth, the birth we experience at the resurrection (1 Cor 15:42-54). Jesus was, “the firstborn over all creation” (Col 1:15), “the firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:15:18; Rev 1:5) and the “firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). He was born for the second time by a resurrection from the dead. Romans 1:3-4 states, “… Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. ” He is the first of the first fruits (Lev 23:10-11), for as surely as the first fruits were an indication and pledge of the harvest, so surely was the resurrection of Christ the proof that all mankind should have a resurrection from the dead (1 Cor 15:20-23; Rom 8:11).
If we are true Christians in God’s sight, we are already—during this mortal life—the “children of God” (1 John 3:1–2). But we are not yet inheritors of the Kingdom of God. We are only “heirs” of it (Romans 8:14–17), because we are now only the Spirit-begotten children of God the Father. It is when we are born of God that we will become inheritors of God’s Kingdom—Spirit-born members of the Family of God.
“Then each went to his own home…. But Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Yeshua, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Yeshua bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Yeshua was left, with the woman still standing there. Yeshua straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Yeshua declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Incredibly, this account was a deliberate addition to the Gospel of John! The marginal note in the New King James Version states, “NU brackets 7:53 through 8:11 as not in the original text. They are present in over 500 mss. of John.” The abbreviation, “NU,” stands for, “the most prominent modern Critical Text of the New Testament….” The note in the Aramaic English New Testament states, “This story does not appear in the Peshitta or the four earliest Greek manuscripts!” The fact that this account conflicts with Torah, which commands stoning in cases of adultery (Lev. 20:10), proves that it wasn’t in the original text! Furthermore, the Scriptures teach that, “A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Deut. 17:6; Matt.18:16: 2 Cor. 13:1). Yet this account appears in only one of the Gospels!
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
Most Believers interpret this Scripture to mean that Yeshua replaced all God’s commandments with just one “new commandment”- the commandment to love one another. This is not so!
The commandment to love one another is not a new commandment. It is an Old Testament commandment based on Leviticus 19:18 which states, “...you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am YHVH.” What is “new” about this commandment is the addition of Yeshua’s words, “...as I have loved you.” Yeshua’s perfect example of love raised the bar from where it had been earlier. He loved us so much that He gave His life for us!
Just two chapters later Yeshua said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:10-13).
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Yeshua came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Yeshua said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Yeshua came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Yeshua came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God! Then Yeshua told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Yeshua did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Most Believers maintain that they will be resurrected with a physical incorruptible body. As proof, they claim that Yeshua was resurrected bodily because He invited Thomas to touch His wounds (John 20:24-29; cf. Luke 24:36-43) and sat down to eat a meal (John 21:1-14; cf. Luke 24:36-43). Sadly, though, this is bad scholarship! The phrase, “a physical incorruptible body,” is a contradiction in terms. The law of physics dictates that all matter decays. Also, if Yeshua was resurrected bodily, He could not have passed through a wall and materialized Himself in the upper room where the disciples were gathered (John 20:26). Furthermore, He could not have appeared out of thin air over a forty-day period of time after His resurrection (Mark 16: 9-14; Luke 24:13-53; John 10:19; Acts 1:1-3). In contrast, not only can a spirit being pass through a wall, but He can also materialize himself with wounds (Gen. 18:1-8) and eat a meal! John 4:24 states, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” Obviously, the phrase, “God is spirit,” includes Yeshua in His present state!
Yeshua was the “firstborn among many breathen” (Rom. 8:29) and the “firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18). We will be resurrected the same way He was, with a spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15:42-54 states, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 states, “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Galatians 6:8 states, “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
“The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.”
Many Believers interpret these verses to mean that God made all unclean animals clean and lawful for human consumption. This is not so!
Peter’s life mission was to carry the gospel to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:5-6). He had no problem reaching out to the Jews; however, he didn’t feel the same way about the Gentiles.
After Peter’s vision, God arranged to have Him sent to the home of Cornelius, an Italian Gentile. When Peter arrived, he said, “…You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”
Thus, Peter’s vision had nothing at all to do with God making all unclean animals clean and lawful to eat. Even during New Testament times, pigs are still created after the pig kind; rats are still created after the rat kind; and buzzards are still created after the buzzard kind (Gen. 1:24-25). They are not fit for human consumption! The point of Peter’s vision was to help him overcome his prejudice against the Gentiles.
“And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” (KJV)
Incredibly, the word “Easter” in the King James Version was a deliberate mistranslation. The original Greek word “pascha” should have been translated “Passover” as it was rendered in every other translation of the Bible. The King James translators purposely substituted one of God’s Holy Days, Passover, with a pagan fertility festival because that is the day observed by mainstream Christianity. This deception proves that the King James translators translated the Bible according to their preconceived doctrines and, as a result, the King James Version is better referred to as the King James Interpretation. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 states, “Test all things…” Of course, this includes every Bible translation.
“Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, “but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.”
Protestants interpret these verses to mean that Gentile converts are not required to keep the Torah- that they’re only required to do the four things listed above. This is not so!
Let’s look these verses in their proper context. In verses 1 through 5, Jewish antagonists teach the Gentile converts that they must obey the law of circumcision and the Torah of Moses. In verses 6 through 18, these questions were brought before the Council of Jerusalem. Then, in verses 19 and 20, James, the head of the council, ruled: “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, “but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.” Why? Verse 20 concludes, “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” In other words, because Gentiles were converted form immoral societies, the Council of Jerusalem ruled that they take immediate measures to stop sinning relative to the trappings of their society, while they go to the synagogue every Sabbath to learn the Torah of Moses.
Are we to believe that Jews are required to keep the Torah while Gentile converts are only required to do the three things listed above? Is it acceptable to God that Gentile converts are allowed to take His name in vain, commit murder, lie, steal, or break any of His other commandments? Of course not! In fact, verse 9 states that God made “no distinction” between the Jews and the Gentile converts.
“So they said, ”Believe on the Lord [Yeshua, the Messiah], and you will be saved, you and your household.”“
Most Believers maintain that the statement, “Believe on the Lord Yeshua, the Messiah, and you will be saved” found in Acts 16:31 means that any person who accepts Yeshua as their personal Savior is “saved” unconditionally. This is not so!
Those who interpret this Scripture this way reduce the entire doctrine of salvation to a single Scripture. Instead, the Bible teaches that Scripture must interpret Scripture. Isaiah 28:10 states, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” Thus, we must interpret the statement, “Believe on the Lord Yeshua, the Messiah, and you will be saved” in the light of every Scripture in the Bible that deals with the topic of salvation.
Yeshua said, “But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt. 19:17) He also said, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:13) And He warns His followers, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11) The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16) He also encourages us to “...make our call and election sure.” (2 Pet. 1:10) And finally, he warns: “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins...” (Heb. 10:26) The Apostle John wrote, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:3-4)
James 2:19-26 states, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Notice verse 19 states, “Even the demons believe.” Does this mean they are saved? Of course not!
Thus, all Scriptures on the topic of salvation considered, the proper interpretation of Acts 16:31 is that those who “believe on the Lord” are those who obey the Torah and it is these people who will be saved.
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the [Torah].”
Many Believers interpret this Scripture to mean that, because a man is justified by faith, he is not required to keep the Torah. This is not so!
Let’s examine this Scripture in context! Just three verses later, verse 31, the Apostle Paul states, “Do we then make void the [Torah] through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the [Torah].” The New English Bible is better translated, “Does this mean that we are using faith to undermine the [Torah]? By no means: we are placing the [Torah] itself on a firmer footing.” In other words, Paul taught that through faith, the Torah stood on a firmer footing! James 2:24 states, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”
“For [Messiah] is the end of the [Torah] for righteousness to everyone who believes”.
Many Believers interpret this Scripture to mean that Yeshua ended the Torah. This is not so!
The key to understanding this Scripture is to understand that the purpose of the Torah is not to forgive, justify, or wash away sin. The purpose of the Torah is to define sin. Romans 3:20 states, “Therefore by the deeds of the [Torah] no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the [Torah] is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 7:7 states, “What shall we say then? Is the [Torah] sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the [Torah].”(cf. 1 John 3:4)
The Torah is like a spiritual mirror (James 1:22-25) A person looks into a mirror to identify dirty spots on his face. Once the dirty spots are identified; however, the person doesn’t use the mirror to clean his face; he uses water. Similarly, a person looks into the Torah to identify the sin in his life. Once the sins are identified, he doesn’t use the Torah to wash them away, only Messiah’s blood can do that!
Should we ‘end’ the Torah because it cannot wash away our sins? Of course not! It is not the purpose of the Torah to wash away our sins; the purpose of the Torah is to reveal our sins so that we will come to the realization that we need of a Savior.
In Romans 10:4, the word “end” in the phrase, “the end of the [Torah],” was translated from the Greek word, “telos,” which, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, has various meanings, including “the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose.” 1 Timothy 1:5 in the NKJV is a perfect example of a Scripture in which the word “telos” was translated as “purpose.” It states, “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart...” In the same verse, the NRSV and the NIV translate the word “telos” as “aim” and “goal,” respectively.
Thus, translated properly, Romans 10:4 should read, “For [Messiah] is the purpose of the [Torah] for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Many Believers interpret this verse to mean that any person who accepts Yeshua as their personal Savior is “saved” unconditionally. This is not so!
Let’s examine this verse in context! Verse 12 states, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.” Thus, the point the Apostle Paul was making in Romans 10:13 was that God shows no partiality as to who He saves, not that all one must do to be saved is accept Yeshua as their personal Savior.
Furthermore, calling upon the name of the Lord means much more than just accepting Yeshua as our personal Savior. The truth is that those who call upon His name obey Him! In Matthew 7:21-23, Yeshua condemned those who claim to call upon His name, while, at the same time, breaking the Torah. He states, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (See explanation for Acts 16:31) The word “lawlessness” means “sin.” 1 John 3:4 states, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob…”
Many Believers interpret the statement, “all Israel will be saved” to mean that after “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,” Yeshua will return, reveal Himself as Messiah to the Jews and, as a result, all Jews will accept Him and be saved en masse! Other Believers interpret this statement to mean that all twelve tribes of Israel will be saved en masse! Not only are these interpretations unrealistically optimistic, they also fly in the face of common sense!
Let’s examine these Scriptures in context!
The book of Romans was actually a lengthy letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Gentile converts in Rome (Rom. 1:1-7). Throughtout his letter, Paul goes to great lenghts to assure the converts that they are one with Israel. In Romans 2:28-29 Paul states, “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but God.” In Romans 9:1-8 he added, “I tell the truth in [Messiah], I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from [Messiah] for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the [Torah], the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, [Messiah] came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” Then, in Romans 11:16-24, Paul likens Israel to a cultivated olive tree (Jer. 11:16-17; cf. Ps.52:8; 128:3) and the Gentiles to a wild olive tree. He reveals that some of the branches of the cultivated olive tree were being cut off due to unbelief and that some of the branches of the wild olive tree were being grafted in. Paul explains that those branches that were being cut off the cultivated olive tree symbolize Israelite unbelievers- a people with whom God was in the process of terminating His covenant (Deut. 7:6-12; Gen. 17:1-8; Ex. 19:3-6). He also explains that those branches that were being grafted in the cultivated olive tree symbolize Gentile converts to Believing Israel- a people with whom God was in the process of establishing a covenant.
Immediately after using the analogy of the two olive trees, Paul added, “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob…” (Rom. 11:25-26) Many Believers interpret the statement, “all Israel will be saved,” to mean that after “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,” Yeshua will return, reveal Himself as Messiah to the Jews and, as a result, all Jews will accept Him and be saved en masse. Not only is this interpretation unrealistically optimistic, it also flies in the face of common sense! Notice that Paul does not state, “…blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And then all Israel will be saved…” He states, “…blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved…” The word “so” was translated from the Greek word “houto” which, according to the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon, means: “in this manner,” “thus,” or “so.” The context proves that Paul’s statement, “And so [in this manner or thus] all Israel will be saved,” is a concluding statement to the topic he had been addressing- his analogy of the two olive trees. Thus, the “Israel” he is referring to in his statement, “And so all Israel will be saved” is the Israel symbolized by the cultivated olive tree, which includes the branches that are grafted in.
God, because He is a loving God, will not wait until the fullness of the Gentiles has come to strip away Israel’s blindness. The truth is that He has been stripping away their blindness all along, even during the times of the Gentiles. Remember, Paul said, “…blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
Had Paul intended the statement to mean that after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, all Israel will be saved en masse, he would have included that statement in his letter to the Hebrews!
For more information on this subject read the article: Israel and the Church!
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the [Torah].”
Protestant churches interpret this Scripture to mean that Believers are no longer required to keep the Torah because “love is the fulfillment of the [Torah].” This is not so!
Let’s examine this verse in context! Verses 9 and 10 state, “For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the [Torah].”
A careful examination of these Scriptures will reveal that they do not state that the Torah was abolished by love; they state that the Torah is summed up by love. How can you lie to your neighbor, steal from your neighbor or commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife while, at the same time, claiming to love him!
The word love in verse 10 was translated from the Greek word “agape” which refers to a divine love- the love of God. Scripture reveals that Believers receive this type of love through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5; Gal. 5:22) and it is this higher love that enables us to keep or “fulfill” the Torah.
There is a very important principle revealed in Matthew 24:12 which states, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” The word “lawlessness” was translated from the Greek word “anomia”- a word which was derived from the root word “nomos”, which means Torah and the prefix “a”, which means “against” or “in opposition to.” Thus, this verse is more accurately translated, “And because opposition to the Torah will increase, the love of many will decrease.” This statement confirms that the Torah wasn’t abolished by love… the Torah is love!
The Apostle John taught, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” (1 John 2:3-5) He added, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:2-3) He also taught, “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.” (2 John 6)
Yeshua set the example all Believers are to follow (1 Pet. 2:21). He kept the Torah, and taught others to keep it (John 14:15; 15:10; Matt. 5:17-19; 19:16-19). The time is coming soon when the whole world, ruled by Messiah Yeshua, will live in peace and harmony as result of keeping the Torah (Isa. 2:2-3).
“[Messiah] has redeemed us from the curse of the [Torah], having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).
Many Believers interpret this Scripture to mean that the Torah is a curse. This is not so!
Let’s examine this Scripture in context! Verse 10 states, “For as many as are of the works of the [Torah] are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the [Torah], to do them.” Notice that this Scripture doesn’t state that the Torah is a curse; it states that a curse is pronounced everyone who breaks the Torah!
God had preordained that those who break the Torah would receive curses while those who obey the Torah would receive blessings (Lev. 26; Deut. 27; 28). Deuteronomy 30:19 states, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life…” Deuteronomy 27:26 states, “Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this [Torah]…”
With regard to those who were guilty of a capital offense, Deuteronomy 21:22-23 states, “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, “his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which [YHWH] your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.” Thus, Scripture reveals that the curse of the Torah is death!
Romans 3:23 states, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” and Romans 6:23 states, “… the wages of sin is death…” Yeshua, through His crucifixion, redeemed us from the curse of the Torah, the death penalty, by bearing the curse for us. 1 Peter 2:24 states, Yeshua, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree…” This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “[Messiah] has redeemed us from the curse of the Torah, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Most Believers interpret this verse to mean that they are not required to keep God’s commandments. Of course, this is not so!
In 1 Corinthians 15:46 the Apostle Paul addressed a very important principle of the Bible: “… the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” This principle applies to God’s blessings toward mankind, which are experienced in the natural, and God’s grace toward mankind, which are experienced in the spiritual.
In natural terms, when God created Adam, He blessed him with unmerited dominion over His creation and commanded him to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:24-31) and, in effect, extend his blessing of dominion to all mankind. In spiritual terms, God creates each believer a “new man” (Eph. 4:20-24; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:14; Col. 3:9-11), graces him with unmerited dominion over the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33; 25:34) and commands him to “Be fruitful and multiply”, so to speak, by preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 16:8-9; 2 Cor. 2:12; Col. 4:3-4), “... in all the world as a witness to all the nations…” (Matt. 24:14) and, in effect, extend his gift of grace to all mankind.
Furthermore, after God blessed Adam with unmerited dominion over the Earth, He commanded him to “tend and keep it” (Gen 2:15). Of course, if Adam refused to work, he would die. Likewise, after God graces Believers with unmerited dominion over the kingdom of God, He commands them to produce works. Of course, if Believers refuse to work, they too will die! James 2:20 states, “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”
Thus, despite the fact that Ephesians 2:8-9 and James 2:20 seem to contradict one another, they are in complete harmony!
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” There is a long-standing dispute among Bible scholars and commentators who offer varying interpretations for these verses! They include the following:
1) Protestants believe that the “handwriting of requirements” that were “against us” and were “wiped out” are the Ten Commandments. This interpretation is outrageous! The writers of the Bible did not believe that the Torah was against them. David wrote, “The [Torah] of [YHWH] is perfect…” (Ps. 19:7). He also wrote, “Oh, how I love Your [Torah]! It is my meditation all the day.” (Ps. 119:97) James called the Torah, “…the [Torah] of liberty.” (James 2:12) Paul wrote, “Therefore, the [Torah] is [Set Apart], and the commandment [Set Apart] just and good.” (Rom. 7:12) He added, “For we know that the [Torah] is spiritual…” (Rom. 7:14) Clearly, there is nothing wrong with the Torah. Instead, the writers of the Bible understood that the fault is with man. Isaiah wrote, “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags [minstrel] rags…” (Isa. 64:6) Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9) Paul wrote, “There is none righteous, no, not one…” (Rom. 3:10) He also wrote, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Rom. 3:23) This begs the question, then, would God nail His [Set Apart], perfect Torah to the cross in order to accept man in his sinful state or would He help man by enabling him to keep the Torah? Yeshua told His disciples that He would send them a “Helper” (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; Heb. 13:6). Paul made it even more clear; he said, “I can do all things through [Messiah] who strenghtens me.” (Phil. 4:13)
2) Seventh Day Adventists believe that the “handwriting of requirements” that were “against us” and were “wiped out” are the Old Testament ceremonial laws, meaning the sacrificial system. This interpretation is also wrong! The Colossians, the people to whom the Apostles Paul wrote his letter, were Gentile Believers who were in no way involved in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.
3) Some people believe that the “handwriting of requirements” that were “against us” and were “wiped out” are the extra-biblical laws added by the Scribes and Pharisees. These men actually added hundreds of these laws which, in time, became a part of their tradition. Yeshua addressed the validity of one of these laws in Matthew 15:1-9 which states, “Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to [Yeshua], saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? “For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ “But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— ‘then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (cf. Matt. 23) This interpretation is also wrong! Again, the Colossians were Gentiles converts; they knew nothing of the extra-biblical laws of the scribes and Pharisees. In addition, Paul makes no mention of them coming in contact with Jewish antagonists who could have tried to enslave them to their man-made laws.
4) Some people believe that the “handwriting of requirements” that were “against us” and were “wiped out” are the regulations and decrees made by unconverted people in their heathen worship prior to their conversion. They point out that the word “requirements” was translated from the Greek word “dogma” which was used five times in the New Testament (Luke 2:1; Acts 16 4; 17:7; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14, 20). They reason that since the word dogma was used four times in reference to man-made decrees, the fifth occurrence must have been used the same way. They cite Strong’s Greek Dictionary, word no. 1378, which states that the word dogma refers to a civil, ceremonial, or ecclesiastical law. While their point about the Greek word dogma is correct, their assumption that Paul used it the same way in Colossians 2:14 is incorrect. Thus, this interpretation is also wrong!
In order to understand the reason why Paul used the word dogma we must factor in Paul’s character, the context of his message and his scholarly writing style. Paul was zealous in winning converts to Messiah. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 he states, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the [Torah], as under the [Torah], that I might win those who are under the [Torah]; to those who are without [Torah], as without [Torah] (not being without [Torah] toward God, but under [Torah] toward [Messiah]), that I might win those who are without [Torah]; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” Paul plainly stated that he became, “all things to all men.” He said, “to those who are without [Torah], [he became] as without [Torah].” Of course, the people who were without Torah were the Gentiles who Paul so fervently tried to convert. In fact, when Paul was in Athens he, “… stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.” (Acts 17:22-24) Here, Paul became an Athenian so that he “might by all means save some” Athenians. He spoke to them on their level, drawing from their life experiences and knowledge in order to teach them spiritual truth and win them to Messiah. Thus, Paul’s use of the word dogma, not only in Colossians 2:14, but also in verse 20, is based on the same principle. Paul chose to use the Greek word dogma for two reasons: first, in his letter to the Colossians, he systematically contrasted the doctrinal pillars of the philosophy of early Gnosticism with that of Christianity. It was in this context that he employed the term dogma, in order to contrast the decrees of man (Col. 2:14) with the “decrees” of God (vs. 20) and second, because he was being “all things to all men” and chose a Greek term that the gentile, Greek-speaking people were familiar with. In other words, Paul stretched the accepted application of the word in order to make a spiritual point. This was consistent with his character and writing skills. Thus, just because the word dogma was used four times in reference to man-made decrees does not mean that the fifth time could not have been used in reference to God’s decrees.
5) A few Believers maintain that the “handwriting of requirements” that were “against us” and were “wiped out” is the death sentence decree (dogma) which was nailed to the cross. This is the correct interpretation. The word “handwriting” is properly translated “certificate of debt,” and the word “requirements” (NKJV) or “ordinances” (KJV) is properly translated “decrees.” Thus, Colossians 2:16-17 is correctly translated in the NASB, which reads, “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” 1 John 3:4 states, “…sin is the transgression of the [Torah]…” Romans 3:23 states, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Thus, since “…the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23), the death decree bearing our names stands against us. However, incredibly, that death sentence, which was paid by Yeshua who died in our stead (1 John 1:7-9), is mercifully commuted when we repent of our sins and seek God’s forgiveness. Isaiah 44:22 states, “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Thus, Paul used the crucifixion of Yeshua to illustrate that when He was nailed to the cross, so too was our death warrant.
Let’s examine Colossians 2:13-14 in context: “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements [decrees] that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Notice that the decrees that was against us were “wiped out” by the forgiveness of all our trespasses- not the abolition of the Torah.
If God were to abolish the Torah, we would be living in a totally lawless society, as God’s grace would be perverted into licentiousness, a license to sin. Jude 1:4 in the NIV states, “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny [Yeshua, the Messiah] our only Sovereign and Lord.” (cf. NASB)
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of [Messiah].” (KJV)
Mainstream Christianity interprets these verses to mean that the Feast Days, the new moons and the Sabbath days, which “are a shadow of things to come,” were fulfilled by Yeshua, who is their “body,” their “substance” or their “reality.” Furthermore, as a result of their interpretation, they conclude that Believers are no longer required to keep them. This is not so!
The key to understanding these verses is to understand that they weren’t translated properly!
In verse 16, the phrase, “in respect to” is a prepositional phrase and was incorrectly translated from the Greek word “meros” which is a noun and means, a “part,” a “portion” or an “aspect” of something. Had the Apostle Paul intended to convey the meaning “in respect to” or “regarding,” he would have used the preposition “peri” which means “concerning” as it is used in 1 Corinthians 8:4. Instead, he used the noun “meros” which, in this case, means a “part,” a “portion” or an “aspect” of God’s Feast Days, new moons and Sabbath days. This verse is more accurately translated in the Wycliffe New Testament Translation which states, “Therefore no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in part of feast day, or of new moon, or of Sabbaths…”
In verse 17, the word “is” in the phrase, “the body is of [Messiah]” is italicized in the King James Version. This means that it is not in the original text, but was added by the translators for clarification. While adding words into the text for the sake of clarification is common and even helpful in most cases, in this case it was unwarranted. Also, the word “body” was translated from the Greek word “soma” which can apply to a dead body, a heavenly body or a body of people. The word “soma” appears in the phrase, “soma Christos” seven times in the New Testament: (Rom. 7:4; 1 Cor. 10:16 [twice]; 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 4:12 and Col. 2:17). The King James translators rendered the phrase “soma Christos” the “body of [Messiah]” every time it appears, with the one exception of Colossians 2:17 where they incorrectly translated it, the “body is of [Messiah].”
Correctly translated, these verses should read, “Let no one therefore judge you in food or in drink or for any part of a Feast Day, new moons, or Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body of [Messiah].”
Now, let’s examine Colossians 2:16-17 in context! In order to achieve this goal, though, a little historical background information is necessary!
The Colossian congregation, the people to whom the Apostle Paul wrote his letter which includes the Scriptures in question, was located in Asia Minor and was comprised of Gentile, Greek-speaking Believers. The Greeks were renowned for their schools of logic and philosophy. Unfortunately, as they converted to the faith, some of them brought their pagan ideas with them. A careful examination of the Book of Colossians will reveal that the reason why Paul wrote this fledging congregation was because a heresy arose from within which he was compelled to condemn. While some scholars believe that the Colossian heresy was a fusion of influences from the Jewish Essenes, Greek philosophy, oriental mysticism and early Gnosticism, others believe the heresy consisted solely of early Gnosticism. Either way, early Gnosticism, to one degree or the other, stands guilty as charged!
Gnosticism is a philosophical / religious movement that flourished in the second century CE. The term “Gnosticism” is derived from the Greek word “gnosis,” which means “knowledge.” A careful examination of the book of Colossians will reveal that Paul condemned the early Gnostics in a series of stark doctrinal contrasts, attempting to topple the foundational pillars of their movement within the congregation. While it is beyond the scope of this study to address every Gnostic error, we will focus on the specific error relative to the Scriptures in question- Colossians 2:16-17.
The Gnostic teaching relevant to the Scriptures in question is that all matter, including the physical body, is evil and that spirit is good. Their disdain for the physical body led their various sects into either compulsive promiscuity or extreme asceticism.
Those Gnostics who practiced compulsive promiscuity rationalized that they could eat and drink excessively and practice immorality because doing so merely involves the physical body and; therefore, cannot make one unclean. Consequently, they embraced pagan festivals such as the Saturnalia, the winter solstice, which later became Christmas, honoring the birthday of the sun god, and Easter (Ishtar, Astarte), the spring equinox, honoring the pagan fertility goddess of spring, the whore-goddess of sexual promiscuity. They also embraced Sunday, again, honoring the sun god. At these pagan festivals, they held banquets where they sacrificed food to idols and ate excessively. Irenaeus, a Catholic Church father, says they lived “lives of unrestrained indulgence” and taught that adultery and eating things sacrificed to idols were matters of “indifference.” Tertullian, another Catholic Church father, characterizes them as destroying the sanctity of marriage in their “maintenance of lust and luxury.” Ignatius, yet another Catholic Church father, brands them as being “impure lovers of pleasure.”
Conversely, those Gnostics who practiced extreme asceticism rationalized that, since the body is evil, it must be neglected and among the most common of all ascetic practices was abstinence and fasting. This group believed that food was unclean and that demonic forces might enter the body while one is eating. This belief resulted in the establishment of strict regulations with regard to matters of eating and drinking, observing the Feast Days, new moons and Sabbath days (vv. 16-17). Encyclopedia Britannica states, “Fasting connected with religious festivals has very ancient roots.” (Asceticism, Book 2, P. 136).
The fact that Paul addresses the following errors in his letter: “false humility” (Col. 2:18), regulations such as: “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle” (Col. 2:21) and “neglect of the body” (Col. 2:23) proves that the type of early Gnosticism Paul was battling was extreme asceticism.
Understanding the proper translation of Colossians 2:16-17 and the historical context in which these Scriptures were written reveals the following truths:
First, the Gentile converts in Colosse were keeping the Feast Days, the new moons and the Sabbath about thirty years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection; otherwise, the heretics would have had no basis for their objections to the feasting on these days.
Second, the fact that Paul wrote, “Let no one therefore judge you in food or in drink or for any part of a Feast Day, new moons, or Sabbath days” proves that the issue at stake wasn’t whether or not to keep these days, but rather how to keep them. The context proves that the “part” of the Feast Days, the new moons and the Sabbath days the early Gnostic teachers were especially judgmental about was feasting. Feasting was not compatible with their idea of being “spiritual.” Still, while they objected to the feasting “part” of the Feast Days, they did not object to the observance of the Feast Days themselves.
Third, verse 17 states that these days “are” a shadow of things “to come,” not, “were” a shadow of things “in the past.” The phrase “to come” is a present active participle in the Greek. It means “things coming,” referring to the future, not the past. The fact that Paul’s states that the Feast Days, the new moon and the Sabbath days “are a shadow of things to come” in a letter he wrote about thirty years after Yeshua’s death, proves that Yeshua did not fulfill them at His death. Instead, it proves that Believers are still required to keep them. A shadow is cast by something real; therefore, these days, as a whole, represent God’s plan of salvation which is still in the process of being fulfilled. Passover foreshadows Yeshua’s death; the the Feast of Unleavened Bread, coming out of sin; the Fesst of Pentecost, receiving of the Holy Spirit; the Feast of Trumpets, Yeshua’s return; the Day of Atonement, the time when we are made to be at one with God; the Feast of Tabernacles, the Millennium; and the Last Great Day, Judgment Day. Thus far, Passover was fulfilled on Passover day upon Yeshua’s death; Unleavened Bread was fulfilled during the time immediately following Yeshua’s death when the disciples scattered and struggled to “come out of sin;” and Pentecost was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when 120 Believers received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). Since Passover alone was fulfilled upon Yeshua’s death and Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and the Last Great Day are to be fulfilled in the future, it is blatantly wrong to teach that all these days were fulfilled at the time of Yeshua’s death. Rather than being “fulfilled” and made obsolete, most of these Feast Days were recorded as being observed by the Body of Messiah even after Yeshua’s death and the resurrection. They include: Passover (1 Cor. 11:23-29); Unleavened Bread, (Acts 20: 6, 1 Cor. 5:6-8); Pentecost, (Acts 2:1-21, 1 Cor. 16:8); Day of Atonement, (Acts 27:9); and the Feast of Tabernacles, (Acts 18:21). With regard to the Sabbath, about thirty years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, Paul wrote, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest [sabbatismos] for the people of God.” (Heb. 4:9 – NIV) With regard to the new moon, it is a reference to God’s sacred calendar, whereby the observances of these days are reckoned. Moreover, even after all of these days are fulfilled sometime in the near future, they will continue to be kept as memorials forever (Lev. 23).
Fourth, Paul makes the point that it is the leaders within the Body of Messiah, not heretics, who have the authority to determine how these days should or should not be kept. They truly understand the Bible and are qualified to make the judgments regarding these issues (Lev. 23, Deut. 14:22-26). God’s Feast Days are times for joy and celebration. God commands us to attend them and rejoice with our entire family. Deuteronomy 12:5-7 states, “But you shall seek the place where [YHWH] your God chooses . . . and there you shall go. There you shall take . . . your tithes . . . your freewill offerings . . . and there you shall eat before [YHWH] your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which [YHWH] your God has blessed you.”
Again, with regard to Colossians 2:16-17, the King James translation reads: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of [Messiah].” Of course, as we have stated earlier, the resultant teaching is that these days, which “are a shadow of things to come,” were fulfilled by Yeshua, who is their “body,” their “substance” or their “reality”; therefore, Believers are no longer required to keep them. This mistranslation is yet another example of how the King James translators translated the Bible according to their preconceived doctrines and how; as a result, the King James Version is better referred to as the King James Interpretation. Correctly translated, however, these verses should read, “Let no one therefore judge you in food or in drink or for any part of a Feast Day, new moons, or Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body of [Messiah].” The context proves this to be true!
Ironically, these verses, which are often used to argue against the observance of God’s Feast Days, new moon, and Sabbath days, when translated properly, actually proof just the opposite, that they are still binding on Believers today.
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”
Many Believers assume that because the topic of fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews is the millennial rest (Ps. 90: 4; 2 Pet. 3:8-9), the statement, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God”, must also refer to the same time period. This is not so!
Let’s examine this verse in context! In the Scriptures leading up to verse 9 (Heb. 3:11; 4:1, 3, 4, 8), the word “rest” was translated from the Greek word “katapausis” and was translated properly as “rest.” In context, it refers to the millennial rest! However, in verse 9 the word “rest” was incorrectly translated from the Greek word “sabbatismos”, which, as most margins show, means “the keeping of the Sabbath.” The New International Version translates this Scripture correctly: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God.” The New American Standard Bible is also correctly translated, “There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” The Moffatt states, “There is a Sabbath-rest, then, for the people of God. And lastly, the Lamsa translation really makes it clear, “It is therefore the duty of the people of God to keep the Sabbath.
This mistranslation is yet another example of how the King James translators translated the Bible according to their preconceived doctrines and why; as a result, the King James Version is better referred to as the King James Interpretation.
Translated properly, this verse is a plain New Testament command to Believers that they must keep the weekly Sabbath rest now, in order to enter the millennial rest later! The context reveals that this is something Israel had always been unwilling to do. Paul warns Believers to carefully avoid Israel’s pattern!
The Apostle John wrote that this coming period, beginning with Messiah’s return to set up His Kingdom, will last 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-4) - a time Believers call: the Millennium.
“So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.”
The modern age in which we live has served to fuel the imaginations of most Believers who have identified the dreaded mark of the beast with a number of technological advancements, including Social Security cards, UPC codes and ATM cards. The most popular theory by far; though, is that the mark of the beast is a computer chip that the government, the beast, will implant into the hand or the forehead. Sadly, those who teach this doctrine unwittingly reduce the Bible and its message to that of a cheap science fiction movie!
The phrase, “the mark of the beast” is found two times in the Bible, both times in Book of Revelation: Revelation 16:20 and 19:20. A careful study of the Book of Revelation will reveal that the contents of the book are concealed in symbolism (Rev. 1:1) and that those symbols must be interpreted by the Bible. The “beast” is introduced in Revelation 13:1, which states, “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.” The interpretation of the term “beast” is found in Daniel 7:17, which states, “Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth.” In addition, the Bible also states that a king is synonymous with the kingdom over which he rules. Daniel 7:23 confirms this: “… The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces.” (cf.. Daniel 7:18, 22, 24, 27) Thus, the term “beast” symbolizes a kingdom or a nation, but in order to identify which kingdom or nation is associated with the mark of the beast, a little historical information is necessary.
When the Israelites inherited the Promised Land, they named their kingdom Israel and divided the land by lot between the twelve tribes (Num. 26:55; Josh. 7:14; 14:2; 1 Sam. 14:42). Later, under Rehoboam’s reign, the ten northern tribes seceded from the two southern tribes (1 Kings 11:11-13, 31-17; 12:1-24). The ten northern tribes retained the national name of Israel while the two southern tribes named their kingdom Judah, after the predominant tribe, Judah- the Jews.
In time, the northern nation of Israel broke their covenant with God, so God terminated His covenant with them, sending them into captivity in Assyria in about 720 BCE (2 Kings 17:5-29; 18:9-12). A short time later, the southern nation of Judah became sinful, which resulted in God allowing them to be taken into captivity in Babylon between 597 and 586 BCE. During their captivity, God gave the prophet Daniel a vision of four beasts rising up one after the other out of the sea. The first beast was like a lion, the second was like a bear, the third was like a leopard and the fourth was so “dreadful and terrible” it couldn’t be symbolized by any earthly beast (Dan. 7:1-7). Of course, the first beast, the lion, symbolizes Babylon, the first kingdom to rule over Judah; the second beast, the bear, symbolizes Medo-Persia, the second kingdom to rule over Judah; the third beast, the leopard, symbolizes Greece, the third kingdom to rule over Judah; and the fourth beast, the “dreadful and terrible” beast, symbolizes Rome, the fourth beast to rule over Judah. As each nation seized power from its predecessor it also, in effect, inherited rulership over Judah.
In about 90 CE, centuries after Daniel received his vision, God gave the Apostle John a similar vision. John saw a single beast rising up out of the sea having the body of a leopard, the feet of the bear and the mouth of the lion, and “…The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. (Dan. 7:1-7) Of course, John’s beast is a composite of Daniel’s four beasts. The reason why Daniel’s four beasts rose up out of the sea individually is that he lived during the reign of the first beast, Babylon, when the reigns of the three successive beasts were awaiting their future fulfillments. Conversely, the reason why John’s beast is pictured as a composite of Daniel’s four beasts is that he lived during the reign of the fourth beast, Rome, after the successive reigns of the three preceding beasts. John’s beast had absorbed and included the dominant characteristics of its predecessors: the royal splendor and kingly power of ancient Babylon, symbolized by the mouth of the lion; the massiveness and numerically powerful army of the Persian empire, symbolized by the feet of the bear; the swiftness, cunningness and cruelty of the Greek army, symbolized by the body of a leopard; and the “dreadful and terrible” beast, the Roman empire, was symbolized by a dragon. In speaking of this composite beast John states, “… The dragon gave him his power and authority.” (Rev 13:2) Of course, the dragon symbolizes Satan (Rev 12:9) who gives the beast his power and authority.
Since the existence of the beast extends back to ancient Babylon, it follow that the mark of the beast does also. Revelation 20:4 proves this point: “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to [Yeshua] and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with [Messiah] for a thousand years.” Notice that this Scripture states that everyone who rejected the mark of the beast will be included in the resurrection. Of course, this includes everyone from the time of Adam to the resurrection! Thus the fact that everyone from the time of Adam could have received the mark of the beast, proves that it has always existed.
Revelation 13:16 states, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads…” This symbolism that is based on a principle found in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 6:1–2, 8 states, “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which [YHWH] your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, “that you may fear [YHWH] your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. … “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” (cf. Ex. 13:9-10; 31:13; Deut. 11:1-18; Ezek. 9:1-8) Thus, just as Believers who keep God’s commandments receive a “sign” on their hand, which is symbolic of action, and their forehead, which is symbolic of a person’s will, those who keep the beast’s commandments, in contrast, receive a “mark.” Acts 5:29 states, “…We ought to obey God rather than men.” The Apostle Paul said, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16)
Revelation 14:9-12 states, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, “he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the [Set Apart] angels and in the presence of the Lamb. “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of [Yeshua].” Notice that verses 9 through 11 describe those who receive the mark of the beast on their foreheads or on his hands and contrasts them with in verse 12 who are described as “… those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of [Yeshua].” Thus, this symbolic “mark”, then, serves to identify those who worship the beast by breaking the Torah.
Finally, Revelation 14:10 reveals that those who receive the mark of the beast will suffer the wrath of God. Since Colossians 3:6 tells us that “the wrath of God” is coming upon the sons of disobedience”, it follows that the mark of the beast is a willful disobedience to God and the Torah.
The Scriptures are God’s communication to mankind! They contain the words of salvation and, predictably, many of the Scriptures addressed above deal with that very topic! They must not be marginalized. If they were important enough to God to inspire and them and protect them for thousands of years, than they should be important enough to Believers to study them, interpret them correctly and live by them!