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Where’s the Belief?

And how many people today really practice what they believe?

   Everyone knows from observation that no one can save himself from physical death. Instinctively, everyone also knows that only a giver of life could restore the dead to life.
   Scripture says,
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned, Mark 16:16.
   But now notice.
The ones along the path are those who have heard: then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved, Luke 8:12 RSV.
   Believe what? Yahshua's parable of the sower and his seed explains what must be believed. Yahweh's Word must be believed. Mark 16, John 8:24, and John 1:41 - 45 tell us that Yahshua is the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, Who was raised from the dead. These truths from the Word must be believed. If no one believed these facts about Yahshua, would anyone be-lieve He could save others?
   “Believe the Word” means believe the whole Word. It does not mean believe only that part of the truth that bares witness to the death and resurrection of Yahshua the Messiah. Certainly a person must hold fast to these beliefs, but to be among those symbolized by the good soil a person must hold fast to every word of truth.
   Moses wrote,
Man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh, Deuteronomy 8:3.
   To be saved, meaning to enter into eternal life with the Messiah, one must not only believe the Word but also live the Word. James affirms this by saying,

One Way Satan Deceives
   The problem is not that people do not believe the truths about the Messiah. The problem is that few people are really doers of the Word. They will not obey, nor will they call upon "the only Name under heaven given among men by which they can be saved," Acts 4:12.
   Others, who claim to be believers, do not even know what the Bible says.
   Those who do know a little of the Word generally know little more than the elementary truths about the Savior Yahshua,
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of Yahweh. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Yahshua Messiah, and Him crucified,1 Corinthians 2:1 - 2.
   The very few who seem to know more than the elementary truths seldom understand anything beyond traditional interpretations of certain Scriptures that seem to support their doctrines.
   Such people know what they believe and nothing is going to deceive them into being blown about by winds of doctrine,
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, Ephesians 4:14.
   In their own eyes they are standing firmly upon the Rock and everything else is shifting sands of false doctrine.
   Consequently, changes in the wording of a verse in recent translations that change the traditional understanding of the Scripture are rejected and the doctrine founded upon traditional understanding remains unchanged.
   Could it be that Yahshua's statement is as applicable to such people now as it was to the Pharisees?
In vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men, Matthew 15:9.
   Could it be that such people are among those along the path from whom the Word will be taken unless they believe truth and be saved? Considering such a possibility includes knowing how Satan removes the Word from those along the path.
   There are fragments of the original writings of the prophets and the apostles in existence. However, complete copies of the New Testament dating from about 325 C.E. to about 350 C.E. do exist, as thousands of fragments of older copies no longer exist. Scholars have studied these copies and fragments along with thousands of references to and commentaries about Scriptures written by ancient rabbis and so-called early church fathers.
   The consensus of the scholars is that the Scriptures we have and use are essentially the same as originally written. This is very crucial to Satan. If it could be proved that any part of the text had been altered from the original, the credibility of Scripture would be destroyed and the Bible would no more be the Word of Yahweh than the writings of any pagan religion.
   Satan has operated far more subtly than even this. Through nearly undetectable changes in Scriptures, such as the mistranslation of some key words that cause people to misunderstand the author, Satan has caused people to exchange the truth for lies and to forget the Names of Yahweh and His Son.
   Satan has operated on the principle of the adage, "The biggest lie is the one that contains the most truth." Such a lie is the most deceptive and the most difficult to discover technique of Satan.
   He has not literally removed Yahweh's Word. He has merely changed people's understanding of Scripture in a way that does not prompt them into really seeking truth. His technique leaves them thinking they already know the truth.
   They adhere to the passage reading,
And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free, John 8:32.
   When asked, “Freed from what?” most will answer (from Romans 8:2), “ Freed from the law of sin and death.” They think the Apostle Paul means that the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yahshua has removed them from the requirement of obedience to Yahweh's law. If this is true, then Paul contradicts himself, for he also wrote,
   You are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin [transgression of the law, 1 John 3:4] which leads to death [“For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23], or of obedience, which leads to righteousness, Romans 6:16.
   Note the word “obedience” in verse 16. Eternal life results from obedience in verse 16. Eternal life results from obedience to the law; death results from disobeying the very same law. Paul is not telling us that on one hand the believer is not required to obey Yahweh's law and that on the other hand the believer is required to obey the law. Many are confused about this.
   This is only one illustration of how Satan takes away the Word. By altering people's understanding of the Word, he has caused them to misinterpret many truths, build precepts and doctrines upon erroneous interpretations, and, worst of all, fail to fulfill other requirements besides believe and be baptized to be saved.
   According to Paul, a person must be sanctified by the obedience that leads to righteousness to enter into eternal life. That means that obedience to Yahweh's law is as much a requirement as belief and baptism. These are not the only requirements Yahweh's Word re-veals to those who seek salvation. The mystery of iniquity or lawlessness began working in the Gar-den of Eden and has never ceased.

The Only Name for Salvation
   Scholars have written volumes explaining how the Hebrew T etragram YHWH was altered so as to be pronounced "Adonai" meaning "my lord," and was translated "the Lord" in English every place.
   "YHWH" appeared in the Hebrew text.
   Other volumes have been written attempting to prove that titles like Elohim and Mighty One are often used by the prophets as names for the Eternal of Israel. The prophets often referred to Yahweh by a title, as was just done here, but it is not true that they used titles for His Name.
   The Hebrew Name Yahshua, meaning "Yah's Salvation," has been corrupted to Joshua in English. Yahshua or its equivalent in Greek is not used in Greek New T estament manuscripts.
   This is puzzling because a brother to the high priest Onias, about 175 B.C.E., supported the efforts of Antiochus IV of Syria to Hellenize the Jews. This man's Hebrew name was Yahshua, but he called himself by the Greek name Jason. If Jason in Greek is equivalent to Yahshua in Hebrew, why is Yahshua the Messiah's name changed to Iesous in the Greek manuscripts?
   Not even learned scholars can explain why an angel of Yahweh, speaking the Hebrew dialect of Aramaic to a Galilean Jewess, would command her to name her child Jesus, a name of uncertain meaning, in a language that would be foreign to her and an abomination to her.
   It is a well-known fact that nearly all Galilean Jews of her day were adamantly opposed to the infusion of anything Greek into Judaism. This had been the Jews' attitude since the time of the Maccabees and the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes.
   People who are complaisant in the belief that they are among those who hold fast to the Word should ask themselves:
   • How can people call upon the only name by which Scripture says they can be saved, if they do not know the name?
   • How can people call upon the only name given, if they refuse to use it?
   Matthew 7:7 - 11 does not imply that Yahweh is limited to answering prayers only in Yahshua's Name, but, in Luke 11:13, we read,
   If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?

Requirements for Salvation
   We know from Acts 2:38 that the Holy Spirit is given to those who repent and are baptized in Yahshua's Name. Acts 5:32 tells us the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him.
   It should be understood from these considerations that the Holy Spirit is not given except to those who fulfill the requirements for salvation, even if Yahweh does answer prayers prayers in Yahshua's Name.
   Something to really think about is Romans 8:9,
   Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Messiah does not belong to Him.
   The Bible reveals five requirements for salvation that must be fulfilled to be saved:
   • Believe — that Yahshua is the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, and that He was resurrected from the dead.
   • Repent — feel total re- morse for past sins and make a complete turnaround in one's conduct.
   • Be baptized — baptism must be in Yahshua's Name.
   • Obey — transgression of the law is sin; obedience leads to righteous-ness.
   • Call on the Name — pray in Yahshua's Name.
   The idea of obedience to the law has been a real bugbear to believers in the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Much of the writings of the Apostle Paul has been twisted to supposedly support this doctrine, in spite of the fact that James flatly contradicts it by saying justification is not by faith alone.
You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only, James 2:24.
   We are admonished in 1 John 5:3 that Yahweh's commandments are not burdensome.
   Satan has caused people to fail to understand that all Yaweh's commandments, even the Ten Commandments, are law and that all His laws are commandments to be obeyed with Yahweh's grace. Grace is the influence of Yahweh's Holy Spirit. That influence is what enables one to obey the law.
   Our prayer is that reading about these requirements for salvation will stimulate your study of the Scriptures. We will gladly help anyone who desires Bible understanding.
   Our lives are always influenced — sometimes even forced ― by others. Beliefs, feelings, emotions, and attitudes are an individual's own choices. Satan does influence people into making wrong choices, but Yahweh's Holy Spirit will show a person the path to choose.
Saints can help in understanding, but they can only pray that a person will choose life.

-Elder Ralph Henrie (deceased)

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