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Be Not Deceived!
Part 2: The Grace Deception
(Note: Except where otherwise stated, Bible references are taken from the New King James Version – NKJV with the Holy Names inserted. The author for emphasis has sometimes shown parts of quotations in bold or block capitals.)
In Part 1 of this series, we showed how the tempter succeeded in seducing Eve who thought she knew the word of Yahweh, but instead of acting upon that word, she chose to do that which promised satisfaction, without giving any thought to the consequences that Yahweh had said would follow disobedience. By contrast it was demonstrated that Yahshua, though very hungry, did not give in to the demands of His body or to Satan’s suggestion for appeasing His appetite or of gaining instant worldly acclaim. Yahshua not only knew the word of Yahweh but also acted accordingly and finally drove Satan from His presence.
Yahshua warned us in Matt 24:11 and 12: “many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold”.The days of gross deception on a global scale are here. True believers, that is, those who know and are genuinely willing to walk in ALL of Yahweh’s ways, do not have to be deceived.
Anyone is deluded who thinks he/she is pleasing Yahweh but does not do what Yahweh says. Indeed, the Scriptures make it clear that such persons are liars, do not know the truth or the truth is not in them, and they neither really love nor are true followers of Yahshua. In the end they will be like the foolish virgins who all along thought they were ready for the Bridegroom but were finally barred from His presence.
In this part of the series we shall consider one reason why many who claim to believe in Yahshua are ignoring His words. It is intended to remind us all that lip service and a passive belief are not enough to get us into the kingdom. We are required to be doers of the word, and not hearers only, James 1:22. The challenge that Moses gave to the children of the Israel are applicable to us all: “What does Yahweh your Elohim require of you, but to fear Yahweh your Elohim, to WALK IN ALL HIS WAYS and to love Him, to serve Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul,” Deut 10:12.
Grace Without Law
The majority of Christendom maintains that in order to have eternal life we need only to accept the grace or unmerited favour that Yahweh freely offered to the human race when Yahshua His Son died for all. They affirm that there is nothing we need to do. Just believe (have faith) in Yahshua’s finished work and we shall inherit eternal life. They combine this with saying that Yahweh’s laws are abolished. It follows from such a misguided doctrine that a practicing liar, murderer, adulterer, thief or homosexual, for example, only needs to have faith in Yahshua’s finished work, do nothing, and continue to live as before for there is absolutely nothing he/she needs to do. ‘Grace’ has done it all for them. When grace came in Yahweh’s laws went out. No human effort is required. Yahweh’s laws are irrelevant or totally obsolete.
In other words, they believe in a lawless salvation. Now compare this with Yahshua’s words that in the last days lawlessness will abound or as Weymouth renders it there will be a prevalent disregard of [Yahweh’s] laws, and ask yourself if this ‘grace only’ theology is not the direct fulfilment of Yahshua’s prophecy in Matthew 24:11,12, of the lawless deception that would be prevalent.
Christendom at large thinks that their stance is a reasonable inference from John 3:16, which says “Yahweh so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Yahweh’s gift is indeed free. As Isaiah said:
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price, Isaiah 55:1.
Salvation is freely available to all who will accept Yahweh’s free gift. It cannot be earned. Yahshua has paid the price. But the Bible is very clear in many places that by receiving the gift, one is committed to accepting the responsibility that comes with it. If a car manufacturer gave you the gift of a new car, you would have paid nothing for it, but with accepting the gift would come the responsibility to use the car in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If you did not, you would be abusing the free gift and this could lead to unnecessary risks or damages that would quickly cause the free gift to be useless. On the other hand by taking care of it, you are not attempting to earn the gift. It has been already given to you. Similarly the free gift (grace) of Yahweh is given to you. You did not and cannot earn it but you have a duty to value it and obey the ‘Manual.’ This simple fact is incomprehensible to those who prefer a carefree lawless salvation and ignore large sections of the Bible. John, in his first epistle, wrote:
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 Yahweh is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked, 1 John 2:3-6.
Belief in Yahshua is much more than an affirmation of who He is and what He did. It also entails an unswerving acceptance and obedience of all that He said. Yahshua said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” John 14:15. To say we love Him, yet treat lightly or ignore what He says, is contrary to the teachings of Yahshua and demonstrates a lack of faith in Him.
Yahshua warned us of the need to be careful to ensure that we are travelling on His road and not following the large crowd on the easy road to damnation. He said,
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it, Matt 7:13, 14.
Make no mistake about it, a lawless person, organization, society or nation is recklessly heading for disaster. Life’s experiences teach us that the absence of laws leads to chaos, anarchy and confusion. At home, in sports, the workplace, our neighbourhoods and while driving for example, except we adhere to some accepted standard of behaviour we can only expect danger, confusion, disappointment, hardship and suffering for ourselves and others. Even nature obeys Yahweh’s commands:
He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, Prov 8:29.
Again, Psalm 148:8 refers to “Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word.”
Can you begin to imagine what would happen if every element in nature were uncontrolled and allowed to do as they pleased? Yahweh in His wisdom gave boundaries to all of His creation, and made laws to guide humanity in the right paths. Satan, the deceiver, has fed and spread delusive doctrines that the laws of Yahweh are not applicable to our age or to Gentile people, thus excluding this age and Gentiles from the guiding and controlling wisdom of Yahweh, and releasing them from the need to obey Yahweh. Like Eve in the Garden of Eden, the majority of worshippers in Christendom prefer to heed Satan’s lies than to obey the truths that were “once for all delivered to the saints,” Jude 1:3. The very places that should be bastions of truth and shining examples of uprightness have accepted and are propagating a theory that is not only contrary to the Bible but also defies the overwhelming evidence in all areas of life, including nature.
While Yahshua did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, He said to her “sin no more,” John 8:11. This woman was told in effect to make an effort from that time onwards to stop her sinning. After healing the infirmed man who had been at the pool of Bethesda, Yahshua said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you,” John 5:14. His newly found freedom from his infirmity was not to be a license for him to continue to sin.
There can be no doubt that we are saved by the favour (grace) of Yahweh and not as a payment for any work we have done or can do. It is incorrect to deduce that there is therefore nothing we need to do. Yahweh has not forgiven our sins so that we can continue to break or ignore His commands. We are saved by His grace so that we can follow Him in spirit and in truth. As an expression and evidence of our appreciation for what He has done we are obliged to obey Him. Obeying Yahweh is the proof that we are His followers. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 1 John 2:4.
Yahshua said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” John 14:15. In John 15:14 He said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” John, in his first epistle, said: “By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments,” 1 John 2:3. At the end of his discourse in Ecclesiastes on the purposes of man’s life, Solomon concluded that “the whole duty of man” was to “fear Yahweh, and keep his commandments,” Eccl 12:13 KJV. His laws will continue to the end. In Rev 22:14, we are told,
Blessed are those who do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
The theory that there is no need to keep Yahweh’s laws is unscriptural, untrue and irrational.
|Yahshua and Paul
Yahshua taught that
|We must build upon the rock of His words, Matt 7:24;|
|His way is the right way. I am the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6;|
|Doing what He says is the proof that we love Him. If you love Me, keep My|
|commandments, John 14:15;|
|The right way is unpopular, because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way|
|which leads to life, and there are few who find it, Matt 7:14;|
|He did not come to abolish the law: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law|
|or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil,” Matt 5:17; and|
|He would disown any who practiced lawlessness by not keeping the|
|commandments. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Rabbi Rabbi, 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!’,” Matt 7:22, 23.|
All of these signify the importance and necessity of obeying His word and not becoming lawless by doing whatever is fashionable, convenient or sounds good. Nevertheless, many socalled ‘believers’ have chosen to put aside the consistent teachings of Yahshua in preference to some of Paul’s misunderstood writings. In doing so they convey the impression that they are elevating Paul above the One who brought them grace. “Was Paul [impaled] for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor 1:13) Yahweh’s Son Yahshua, who is the Messiah, our Saviour and the highest authority who ever walked this earth, taught quite clearly that the law is not abolished. Nevertheless, using only some of Paul’s writings, the lawless majority have built up a worldwide doctrine that grace replaces the law, and by this have implied that the words of Paul are of more significance than those of Yahshua. This is most unfortunate, for Paul never sought to put himself on par with Yahshua, far less would he have considered his teaching to be of greater import than that of Yahshua. Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate the Messiah,” 1 Cor 11:1. Here Paul was clearly giving to Yahshua His rightful place of authority. Yahshua’s teaching has not once conveyed the impression that grace has abolished the laws. On the contrary, He said,
Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven, Matt 5:20.
Yahshua illustrated what He meant by the examples in Matt 5:21- 29, which were all taken from the law. He introduced each concept with the expression: “You have heard that it was said … but I say.” In each case, rather than taking away anything from the law, He added a more stringent clause that struck right at the heart of the matter. Yahshua did not come to abolish the old but to bring out its true meaning and take the law to a new dimension. He wanted obedience to the law to begin in the heart and work its way outward. This is why He was so critical of the Pharisaic hypocrisy that focused only on external shows of righteousness to impress others and completely missed the deeper intent of the law.
Yahshua said to the Pharisees,
Woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of Yahweh. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone, Luke 11:42.
“Yes,” Yahshua was saying, “you ought to keep the law of tithing as commanded in the Old Testament, but you should also do justly, … love mercy, and walk humbly with your Elohim (Micah 6:8). Yahshua was so much in support of adhering to the law that He cautioned
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, Matt 5:19.
When Yahshua was asked by the rich young man “what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matt 19:16) Yahshua replied, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments,” Matt 19:17.
These are not the words of someone who was getting rid of the law. On the evidence of these and many other consistent sayings by our Teacher, it is clear that if we are to be obedient to Him we cannot follow and promote a lawless doctrine and fall into the end-time snare of lawlessness that Yahshua said we are to avoid.
The adherents of a lawless religion have chosen to overwork some of Paul’s writings to prove that the law is abolished, when many distinctly opposite evidences could also be cited from Paul’s own statements to prove that he upheld and kept the law. Paul said:
|This I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I|
|worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the|
|Law and in the Prophets, Acts 24:14;|
|We know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 1 Tim 1:8;|
|The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good, Rom 7:12;|
|Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except|
|through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had|
|said, “You shall not covet,” Rom 7:7; and|
|I delight in the law of Yahweh according to the inward man, Rom 7:22.|
‘Grace only’ is an unbalanced doctrine that is based solely on some statements of Paul and ignore his other sayings as well as the abundant evidences in support of the law that are found in Yahshua’s teachings and throughout the rest of the Bible. Those who intend to disobey Yahweh need no excuse for doing so. Disobedience begins in the heart and takes hold of any opportunity to further its purpose. By building their theology on only one side of Paul’s teachings and ignoring Paul’s other sayings, and the rest of the Bible, many have been ensnared in the manner to which the apostle Peter had alluded. In 2 Peter 3:15-17 he wrote:
Our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.
We do not have to try to explain or reconcile the sayings of Paul that are “hard to understand.” For now it is good enough to obey him in the manner and to the extent that he himself advocated by following him where his message is aligned with Yahshua’s. We can put seeming contradictions on hold for discussion with Paul when we see him. This stance is far better and safer than to brush aside Yahshua’s message and the rest of the Bible and be “led away with the error of the wicked.”
Supremacy of Yahshua
In John 7:16 Yahshua said to the Jews who were perplexed by His profound knowledge, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” He also said in John 10:30, “I and My Father are one.” At Yahshua’s transfiguration “suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’” Unlike anyone else, Yahshua “[came] down from heaven, not to do [His] own will, but the will of Him who sent Him,” John 6:38, and Yahweh Himself gave His personal stamp of approval on Yahshua’s words.
“He who comes from above is above all,” John 3:31. Above all words of all mortals, Yahshua’s words are supreme. When Yahshua spoke, He carried the force and authority of Yahweh. His was and still is the voice of Yahweh on the earth. We can get no higher than this. Yahshua is the ultimate authority on any subject that He discussed. Yahshua told us that if we want to build a solid and sure foundation, we must build upon His words (Matt 7:24-27). No other words are as sure as His. You do not have to be deceived. When there is doubt you can find safe refuge by seeking to know what Yahshua had to say on the topic. Yahshua said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away,” Luke 21:33.
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of Yahweh abides on him, John 3:36.
You do not really believe in Yahshua if you treat His words with contempt and ignore Him as if He had never spoken. Without active belief in what He said, you will be barred from His presence, and you will not be able to use Paul as the excuse for your disobedience. Yahshua said to the Jews: “if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?” (John 8:46) Why is it so difficult for those who claim that Yahshua speaks the truth, to believe His words?
Yahweh, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds, Hebrews 1:1, 2.
Since Yahshua, who is Yahweh’s spokesman, has taught that the law still stands, then those who genuinely love Him and believe in Him will not accept that the law is finished and superseded by grace. To dismiss Yahshua’s words is to disregard the words of Yahweh. There is no greater error possible.
Because of the grace-overthrowinglaw fallacy, many have taken grace to be the license for their licentious behaviour and to avoid obeying Yahweh. Thus we have the scandalous contradiction of practicing homosexual ‘priests’, who break the Old Testament law as stated in Lev 18:22,
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
This they do because they think that this law is now obsolete. In doing so, they also ignore the words of Paul whom they revere and whom they regard as giving them freedom from the law. Paul came out very strongly against any misconception that practicing sinners would enter Yahweh’s kingdom. He said:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of Yahweh, 1 Cor 6:9- 10.
These so called ‘priests’ are deceived. They listen to the voices of Satan and of their passions, lusts and depraved minds, but follow neither the directives of the Old nor the New Testaments.
There is no section of the Bible that condones homosexuality. Homosexuality is not only a detestable sin that Yahweh hates and punishes except one repents, but is itself a punishment for sin. Romans 1:18 31 shows that as a result of man’s failure to acknowledge the power and deity of Yahweh,
He gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, Rom 1:26, 27.
Homosexuality is a symptom of the degradation to which man has plummeted. As man has turned away from and despised Yahweh, so the incidence of the insidious and abhorrent aberration of homosexuality has skyrocketed. As it was indicative of the sinful state of Sodom and Gomorrah, so its prevalence today is a measure of how far our society has turned from Yahweh.
Yahweh sent His angels on a destructive mission “because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah [was] great, and because their sin [was] very grave,” Gen 18:20. Sodom and Gomorrah had gone beyond the point of cleansing. In the midst of their depravity they were totally destroyed. The outcry against our cities and nations has risen to Yahweh. His endtime work of punishing our evil world has begun, yet mankind continues to multiply its iniquities. The preponderance of lawlessness (sin) tells us the end cannot be far away. The day of a new heaven and new earth is fast approaching.
Like Sodom and Gomorrah, our world will not repent and will therefore be finally obliterated. Nevertheless, Yahweh will forgive the sins of any penitent sinner, but when He forgives, He also says, “Go and sin no more,” John 8:11. Yahshua’s forgiveness is grace. Sinning no more involves adherence to Yahweh’s laws, for “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness,” 1 John 3:4. We need grace - the favour of Yahweh in forgiving our sins. But we also need to obey all the commands of Yahweh to keep us from straying away from His paths into our ways of unrighteousness. Grace is no license for anyone to keep on sinning. Satan has beguiled genuine worshippers of Yahweh into thinking the choice is between ‘grace’ and the law. This is a lie. It is not ‘either, or’ but BOTH!
Homosexual ‘priests’ are victims of Satan’s lies and deception. Just like Eve, they believe the word of the adversary rather than the word of Yahweh. They prefer to yield to their passions and lusts than to “present [their] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Yahweh,” Rom 12:1. This is bad enough, but to wear what is conceived to be the righteous garb and to use their respected positions to lead others astray is a scandalous example of delusion and “spiritual wickedness in high places,” Eph 6:12. They are reminiscent of the ignorant, arrogant and lying prophets of Jeremiah’s day who prophesied lies in the name of Yahweh. These are some of today’s true Pharisees who are “like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness,” Matt 23:27. Homosexual ‘priests’ and those who support or condone their actions do disservice to Yahweh’s cause. As Peter said, “Many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed,” 2 Pet 2:2.
The degradation and example of practicing homosexual ‘priests’ should be an eye-opener to those who believe they can flout the commands of Yahweh and still serve Him. It is one of many examples that could be given to show how far mankind has strayed and will stray when they are deluded and replace Yahweh’s thoughts and words with those of the adversary and their evil hearts. Nevertheless, we must not allow the repugnance that we feel towards homosexual ‘priests’ to cause us to experience and develop a secure and smug sense of selfrighteousness. Homosexuality is the symptom of man’s disobedience of Yahweh. Deception comes in many different forms. Anytime we flout Yahweh’s laws we are no better than those ‘priests’. Sin is sin. To transgress Yahweh’s laws in one area is as bad as in any other area. “For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder’,” James 2:1. Putting self-interest before Yahweh’s commands is idolatry, for He is His word and vice versa. To dishonour His word is to dishonour Him. Yahshua said that if we build upon His word we are building upon a rock. Any other foundation for our belief is just the same as if we built a house on sand. When the final time of testing comes at the end of the age, no relic of false doctrines will be able to stand. Instead all law-breakers, (including fornicators, … idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners) will be told, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt 7:23)
Perhaps the most popular way in which Christendom has chosen to disobey Yahweh’s commands, is with regard to the fourth commandment, given in Exod 20:8-11 for the observance of the seventh day Sabbath. Without hesitation the majority accept nine of the Ten Commandments to be applicable for all times and peoples, but insist that the fourth commandment is only ‘for the Jews.’ For some inexplicable reason ‘grace’ has done away with this one commandment, but has retained the other nine! The Bible makes no such distinction. The Ten Commandments are the basis for man’s relationship with Yahweh and his fellow man. It is an indivisible package of basic instructions that Yahweh gave to mankind. Yahweh’s word says that the seventh day is holy, so that is the day He has set aside above all others, including Sunday. Man cannot make any day holy.
Sunday worship is the result of a delusion that
|a) Yahshua was impaled on a Friday and arose on a Sunday, and that|
|b) Because of this, the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day to the first day of the|
On both counts the deceiver has caused Christendom to question the authenticity and significance of Yahweh and Yahshua’s words. In the case of the day on which Yahshua arose, this error could be removed if one simply started with a firm belief in Yahshua’s words. If we do not have confidence in what Yahshua said, then we are open to accept any theory of man, in just the same way as Eve, without hesitation accepted the words of Satan rather than those of Yahweh. When the scribes and Pharisees asked Yahshua for a sign that He was who He claimed to be,
He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” Matt 12:38-40.
Yahshua specifically said that He would remain in His grave for three days and three nights. Friday evening to Sunday morning is neither three full days nor three full nights, Therefore, if Yahshua’s body were placed in the tomb on Friday, near the beginning of Sabbath but was resurrected early on Sunday morning, then His one promised sign did not come to pass as He had said, and there is no proof that He was really the Messiah. If He were not the Messiah then He was a false prophet and our belief in Him is misplaced!
We cannot accept the popular theory of the interval within which He remained in the earth as well as the words of Yahshua. There is a distinct irreconcilable disparity between the two that cannot be brushed aside. If, instead of totally ignoring Yahshua’s words, we started with the premise that His word is infallible, then rather than accepting the Friday to Sunday theory, we would seek to find out why this popular notion that is conveniently used to bolster Sunday worship is fundamentally flawed. “Let Yahweh be true but every man a liar,” Rom 3:4. When we delve into this we discover within the Bible itself vital clues that lead to the revelation of the truth.
John records that on the day on which Yahshua was impaled that it was the Preparation Day for the Sabbath, but adds the invaluable information that that Sabbath was a high day, John 19:31. The weekly Sabbath was only one of many Sabbaths that Yahweh had instituted on which no work should be done. (See Leviticus 23) Since creation, the weekly Sabbath has always fallen on the seventh day (Gen 2:3), whereas His special Feast Days or Holy Days occurred at His appointed times and were not tied to a particular day except for the day of Pentecost, which was always on the first day of the week. Many Bibles correctly cross-reference the ‘high day’ mentioned in John 19:31 to Exod 12:16 or 18, which refers specifically to the First day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and is a Holy day or annual Sabbath. Leviticus 23:5-8 gives the following information on that day and the Feast,
On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is Yahweh’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.
If we accept, as we ought, the infallibility of Yahshua’s actions as well as of His words, the evening before His death, when He ate the Passover Feast with His disciples, would have been at the beginning of the fourteenth day of the month of Abib. He was put to death on Passover Day, which is not a holy day. On the evening after His death was the beginning of the fifteenth day, which was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and is a Holy Day. It was to this day John was referring when he wrote:
Because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the [tree] on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away, John 19:31.
Yahshua’s prophecy concerning the length of His entombment, as well as the accounts in the evangels, make it clear that this Holy Day could not have coincided with the weekly Sabbath, for, counting three days and three nights from Friday evening, the resurrection could not have taken place before Monday evening. This would have been contrary to all records in the evangels of Matthew- John. Therefore, the first day of Unleavened Bread that began the evening of Yahshua’s death had to be on a day of the week other than Friday evening.
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of Yahweh descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Yahshua, which was [impaled]. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where Yahshua lay, Matt 28:1-6 KJV.
The Darby Version of Mathew 28:1, 2 states,
Late on sabbath, as it was the dusk of the next day after sabbath, came Mary of Magdala and the other Mary to look at the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of Yahweh, descending out of heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it, Matt 28:1, 2 Dby.
This is rendered in the American Standard Version as follows:
Now late on the sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of Yahweh descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it, Matt 28:1, 2 ASV.
As the Jewish and Yahweh’s days begin at sunset, the expression, as it began to dawn is not referring to the early morning but rather to the commencement of that day, which began at the end of the sabbath (KJV), after the sun was set, or at dusk … after Sabbath, according to the Darby version.
These and other translations make it clear that the two Marys came to the tomb after the Sabbath as it was getting dark, when the first day of the week (according to Jewish and Yahweh’s method of determining days) was just beginning. On that evening the angel told them
Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Yahshua who was [impaled]. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where [Yahshua] lay, Matt 28:5, 6.
Combining this verse with other evidences in Matthew to John, it is clear that He was resurrected at the end of the weekly Sabbath, that is, on a Saturday at dusk.
Counting backwards for three days and three nights we can find out when He was put into the tomb. Three full nights preceding Saturday evening would have been Friday, Thursday and Wednesday. Three full days from that Saturday evening would have been Saturday, Friday and Thursday. This suggests the following order of things: Yahshua had the Passover meal with His disciples on the Tuesday evening, was impaled on the Wednesday, and buried that evening just before the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He remained in the tomb for three days and three nights and arose at dusk on Saturday, as the new day was about to begin. This vital conclusion is derived simply by taking as the starting position a firm belief in the authenticity of Yahshua’s words, and working backwards from the known evidence of the time of His resurrection.
A verse that is often used to prove that Yahshua rose on Sundaymorning is Mark 16:9, which states:
Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons, Mark 16:9.
There are two objections to this verse being used as evidence of a Sunday resurrection. Firstly, the NUText brackets this verse together with verses 10-20 in this chapter as having not been in the original as they are lacking in the Codex Sinaticus and Codex Vaticanus. The NU is an acronym for the twenty sixth edition of the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament (N) and third edition of the United Bible Society (U).
Secondly, even if it had been in the original, the manuscripts did not have punctuation marks. They were added at some time later. If the comma were placed after the word ‘rose,’ the verse would read: “Now when He rose, early on the first day of the week He appeared first to Mary Magdalene,” This is not doing injustice to the Scripture since originally there had not been any punctuation. In the light of the very strong evidence that proves Yahshua arose at the end of Sabbath at dusk, it would be a very flimsy position to insist on the Sunday morning resurrection, based only on the position of a comma that had not been in the original manuscript, and at the same time discard Yahshua’s words of the length of time He said He would have remained entombed. If, however, we accepted the possible alternative punctuation, then the last shred of evidence that He arose on a Sunday is removed and there is no Scriptural basis whatsoever for believing that Yahshua rose on the Sunday morning.
Since Yahshua arose at the end of Sabbath, which is known as Saturday evening, then the case for observing Sunday as the day on which He arose is no longer valid. It is important to bear in mind that this conclusion is deduced mainly as a result of believing the words of Yahshua.
The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple, Psa 119:130.
Here, an implicit belief in Yahshua’s words has dispelled the darkness and removed the confusion, mathematical impossibility and implications of a Sunday resurrection. It is inconsistent to express a belief in Yahshua and at the same time pay no attention to what He says. Yahshua said:
Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall, Matt 7:24-27.
Man’s theology will be always warped, confusing and erroneous as long as they ignore Yahshua’s words. Yahshua said,
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil, Matt 5:17.
Therefore, if once again we believe His words, He has not abolished the fourth commandment of Yahweh. Yahshua was not resurrected on a Sunday and the Sabbath is not changed. It is still the seventh day as Yahweh had declared at Creation. Grace has not displaced the Sabbath law. If you seek to align all of your beliefs with the authentic words of the Bible, you shall discover for yourself the truth and the truth shall set you free from false teachings. “Let Yahweh be true but every man a liar,” Romans 3:4. Be not deceived!
The contrasting examples of Eve and Yahshua teach us that the sure way to avoid being deceived is by standing firmly on Yahweh’s word. There can be no room for compromise. With sin and deception on the increase and the genuine love of Yahweh’s truths on the decline, Bible end-time prophecies are being fulfilled. The spiritual barometers of our time all indicate that the end is almost here. Now is not the time to modernize our beliefs, play around with experimental theology or to seek a comfortable pathway to the kingdom. Party time is over. The shaking has begun. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken. Now more than ever we must be firmly rooted and unshakable by standing firmly upon Yahweh’s truths. Other religions are gaining a foothold right in our midst with a clear vision and purpose while most of Christendom remains apathetic, uncertain of its beliefs and strays from its foundational doctrines.
Let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7.
If we are to be true followers of Yahshua, then we cannot, at the same time, be participants in the lies and deluded doctrines of the majority in Christendom or in our society, which are at variance with Yahshua’s words. Since Yahshua has said that the laws are still valid, they have not been superseded by grace or replaced by any popular beliefs. When it comes to the truths of Yahweh there is no room for a majority vote. Yahweh’s words win every time. Whenever His commands are violated or compromised, there is no limit to how far this will lead. Eve may have thought that her decision was only related to eating one fruit, but that one act of disobedience brought about all the evils and sufferings that have plagued mankind ever since. The world is still reeling from the aftershocks of her folly. It is our responsibility in this lawless age to stand firm upon Yahweh’s word, without giving in to any suggestions for diluting what He has said. The indecisive attitude of Christendom has only served over the ages to fuel the raging fire of false doctrines that is threatening to destroy our basic rights, moral standards and, above all, our freedom to worship and obey Yahweh. It is time to be willing to be the solitary light on a hill and dispel the darkness around us. It is time to boldly defy the lies and deception of Satan and declare with an authoritative voice “Thus says Yahweh!” This is only possible when we are quite clear in our minds of what Yahweh’s word says, willingly obey it ourselves, and accept that “the word of our Elohim stands forever,” Isa 40:8.
If we cannot stand firmly on Yahweh’s words at the present time when we are generally allowed freedom of worship, how will we obey Him and defy all opposition when our freedom and lives are threatened because of our beliefs? Now is the time to practice obedience or we will never survive when the heat of the ‘furnace’ is intensified.
The examples of homosexual ‘priests’ and the replacement of the Sabbath represent a minuscule percentage of the myriad of instances in which ‘believers’ have been led astray by thinking that Grace replaces the Law, and have dishonoured Yahweh by substituting His commands with their own. Whenever we say, do, or believe anything that is contrary to what Yahweh has said, we have fallen into Satan’s traps, and are deceived. The words of Yahweh and of Yahshua have precedence over all others and are always trustworthy. Yahshua said,
I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life, John 8:12.
The majority in Christendom have not been walking in the light of Yahshua’s words but have been led astray and are leading others off course by failing to follow, heed and obey Him. When the words of Yahweh and of Yahshua are no longer the bedrock of our beliefs then our profession is false, empty and futile.
We are saved when we accept the grace (favour or gift) of Yahshua. But it is a lie to teach that we therefore do not need to walk in obedience to the law, when the law is upheld throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation with the exception of some misunderstood sayings of Paul. Grace does not replace the Law and neither can the Law take the place of grace. They serve two distinctly different purposes and are neither in conflict nor in competition with each other. ‘Grace’ displacing the law is a deception on a global scale, which fulfils Yahshua’s prophecy in Matt 24:12 that, “lawlessness [or disregard of Yahweh’s law] will abound.” Those who should be the citadels of truth and leaders by example are themselves playing leading roles in defying and undermining the words of Yahweh and of Yahshua, and are causing many to be led astray,
But woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born, Mark 14:21.
Without exception, we all need to be vigilant and to cry out regularly with all of our heart to Yahweh, asking Him to reveal the extent of our blindness, to open our eyes to His truths, to forgive us for the many callous ways in which we have shown contempt of Him and, then, to give us a heart that is determined to obey Him. When we meet Yahshua, we will not be pardoned by using either Adam’s excuse that someone else caused us to disobey, or Eve’s that we were beguiled by Satan. We each have a personal responsibility to ensure that our beliefs are based solely upon His doctrines. Any other basis for our beliefs emanate from Satan. There is only ONE safe way that is guaranteed to take us into the kingdom. It is the narrow and unpopular way that Yahshua taught and was practiced by His earliest followers. It involves more than a mental or emotional acknowledgement of Yahshua, but, more importantly, a steadfast compliance with all that He said. No endearment of Him can take the place of obeying Him. Demons believe Him and tremble, but disobey Him just the same. Eve claimed to know what Yahweh had said but obeyed Satan instead.
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? (Romans 6:16)
Accept the grace of Yahweh and keep His commandments, for
The law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple, Psa 19:7.
BE NOT DECEIVED!
-Elder Buel Hallpike
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