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   I noticed a Bumper sticker once that shook me for a second or two, then made me smile when I put a different meaning to it. “Everything is much simpler now – since I’ve given up.” At first, I focused on the words, “given up,” and remembered what it is like to give up out of frustration, powerlessness, hopelessness, anxiety and depression. But, there was something positive in the first phrase, “Everything is much simpler now,” a phrase which brings a sense of relief. Then, I realized that the author of this rear-bumper advertisement was trying to convey that, “relief is gained by giving up a burden.” I thought of the Savior’s words in:

My Burden is Light
   Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in HEART (in thoughts and feelings) and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light, Matthew 11:28-30. (NASU used throughout unless otherwise noted)
  He was repeating the message He gave to Jeremiah, as recorded in Jeremiah:
  Thus says YAHWEH, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ANCIENT paths, Where the GOOD way is, and WALK in it; And you will find REST for your SOULS.” But they said, “We will NOT walk in it.” And I set watchmen over you, saying, “Listen [for] the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not listen.” Therefore hear, O NATIONS, And know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of THEIR plans, Because they have not listened to My words, And as for My LAW, they have rejected it also, Jeremiah 6:16-19.
  What is Yahweh of Hosts, Yahshua the Messiah, saying here? He is pointing to the Law as He gave it to Israel, and as he is giving it to us, spiritual Israel, the Sect of Nazarenes, the People of the Way, Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua, today. He is calling us out of Babylon to follow the WAY of LIFE, which was given ONCE for ALL.
  “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, ‘until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished’. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:17-20.
  In what WAY is Yahshua asking us to surpass the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees? In this same teaching, beginning at Matthew 5:14-15, He says:
  You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on THE LAMPSTAND, and it gives light to all who are in the house (as in the House of Elohim or the House of Yahweh, Beit Elohim or Beit Yahweh). Let your light (the Light of the Menorah) shine before men in such a way that they may see your … (What? Your belief? Your heart? Your faith? No! He says) that they may see your GOOD WORKS, and glorify your Father who is in heaven, Matthew 5:15-16.
  What light? And Elohim said, “Let there be LIGHT:” and there was LIGHT. And Elohim saw the LIGHT, that [it was] GOOD: and Elohim divided the light from the darkness, Genesis 1:3-4, KJV.
  The word “lampstand” in the King James’ English is “candlestick”, which it uses in both the Old Testament and New. The Hebrews did not use candlesticks in Biblical times, to the best of my knowledge, they used olive oil lamps. In the Old Testament of the King James Version, the Hebrew word for “candlestick” is “Menorah” – and I have no problem using that word in the New Testament. For me, the light of the Menorah is the light of the truth of the Word of Yahweh, and the light of His Law.

I Know Your Works
   Don’t tell me that works are not important, or even that we cannot “work our way into the Kingdom of Heaven.” The Creator EXPECTS us to do works. It is a lie from the mind of Satan that Keeping the Law is no longer required. We are in a covenant with the Almighty, Yahweh. He has paved the Way for us to walk. He paved it with His Son, Yahshua, who was tortured for our sins, and killed as a blood sacrifice that we might be forgiven of our sins – our transgressions against His Law. The Ten Commandments. Our part of the covenant is to obey Yahshua’s Word, the entire Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, from the Aleph to the Taw. Our “works” are comprised of obedience to the Law, to Love the Father and to Love one another. Both are to be equally fulfilled by us.
  To the angel of the Assembly in Ephesus write: “These are the words of Him who holds the seven stars in his right hand (the seven assemblies as noted in Revelation 1:20) and walks among the SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS (presumably, the Menorahs which are set in each of the seven assemblies Yahshua is speaking to): I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance (in the KJV, your works, your labor and your patience). I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for My Name (whose name is that? And, in whose name did He come? Yahweh! HalleluYah!) and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your FIRST LOVE” (John 14:15: “If you LOVE Me, keep My commandments”). Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your (Menorah) from its place Revelation 2:1-5, NIV.
  He will remove His LIGHT from your house, from your temple, from your life – if you do not keep His commandments.
  When asked by one of the teachers of the law, Of all the commandments which is the most important? “The most important one,” answered Yahshua, “is this: ‘Hear, O’ Israel, Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is one. Love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Deut. 6:4-9) There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-34.  
  When this teacher of the Law agreed with Yahshua and added that these are more important than all “burnt offerings and sacrifices,” Yahshua told him that he was “not far from the Kingdom of Elohim.” 

Forgiveness of Sins
   To many in churchianity, this “surrender” – ALL your heart, soul and mind – means to give up trying to obey the Law of Yahweh. They’ve said, “The Law is dead, it was nailed to the tree; and our sins – past, present and future – have been forgiven.” Really?
  Him hath Elohim exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and FORGIVENESS OF SINS, Acts 5:31, KJV.
  Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the FORGIVENESS OF SINS, Acts 13:38, KJV.
To open their eyes, and to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto Elohim, that they may receive FORGIVENESS OF SINS, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me, Acts 26:18, KJV.
  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the FORGIVENESS OF SINS, according to the riches of his grace, Ephesians 1:7, KJV.
  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the FORGIVENESS OF SINS, Colossians 1:14.
  Nowhere have I found the words, “forgiveness of SINFULNESS.” We are not saved by “grace alone.” That phrase does not exist in Scripture. That which is being forgiven is, “Sins,” PLURAL, meaning “instances of LAWLESSNESS”; not SIN, singular, the “quality of SINFULNESS.” According to these verses, we are NOT being forgiven of our sinful nature,
  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Yahweh forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2, KJV.
  For all HAVE sinned, and come short of the glory of Elohim; Being JUSTIFIED freely by His grace through the REDEMPTION that is in Yahshua the Messiah: Whom Elohim hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of Elohim, Romans 3:23-25, KJV.

Salvation, Justification and Redemption
   We are Justified by Yahshua’s blood sacrifice. Yet, are we REDEEMED?
  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH, Luke 21:27-28, KJV.
  Which is the earnest of our inheritance UNTIL THE REDEMPTION of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory, Ephesians 1:14, KJV.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of Yahweh, whereby ye are sealed unto the DAY OF REDEMPTION. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, (along) with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as Elohim for the Messiah’s sake hath forgiven you, Ephesians 4:30-32, KJV.
  What does the writer of Hebrews mean when he writes in:
    If a man sins willfully, after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for SINS, Hebrews 10:26. 
  We can lose our salvation. We can come to a point where we are no longer justified by the blood shed by Yahshua for our past sins. The phrase, “Only Believe” is a lie. Simply believing in the Savior does not guarantee that, “Once saved, always saved.” This is a fundamental law of Yahweh: there is NO forgiveness for INTENTIONAL sins.
  The priest shall make atonement before YAHWEH for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be forgiven. You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them. But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming YAHWEH; and that person shall be cut off (killed) from among his people. Because he has despised the word of YAHWEH and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him, Numbers 15:28-31
  And, why in the world would Yahshua turn away those who have performed mighty works in His name, with the rebuke, “Depart, you who commit iniquity?” Iniquity is sin; and sin is lawlessness. No. To surrender does not mean to stop abiding in that Law of which Yahshua said, “If you love Me, you will obey My Commandments.” We are NOT to surrender the Law of Yahweh, but to surrender the “law of sin” that Paul talks about in Romans 7:22-23:
  For I delight in the law of Yahweh after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the LAW OF SIN which is in my members, KJV.
  He is speaking of the law of the flesh, of moral frailty, that fights AGAINST the Law of Yahweh. To SURRENDER means to STOP FIGHTING the Law, it means to surrender TO the Law, to GIVE UP the battle against Yahweh’s Law, to ADMIT DEFEAT, to lay down our arms, to sign a truce (an armistice) with Yahweh, to SUBMIT to His will, to YIELD to His strength, to CAPITULATE to His judgments, to LET GO of our desires, to RELINQUISH our power, to HAND OVER our will to Yahweh, to PART WITH the comforts of material pleasure and SACRIFICE to those in need, to CONCEDE (the “game is over”), to FORFEIT (because we don’t qualify), to RESIGN (or, to reSIGN the contract), to throw in the towel (point, game and match), to GRANT the Deed to our Heart to Yahshua, to DISCLAIM what is wrong, and finally, to ADMIT that “I am wrong” and place ourselves at the Mercy of Yahweh. THAT’S what surrender means. 
  I must conclude that salvation has been held in reserve, or promised, to me, but I have NOT yet been redeemed. I await that Day, and I pray to stay in the heart, mind and will of my Heavenly Father, Almighty Yahweh, that I might hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).
  May it be so. And, may we stand together on that Day, when all of our trials, tribulations, challenges and personal defeats will have only strengthened our hearts to remain His Children. HalleluYah!

- -Elder John Fisher (deceased)

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