When we add to God’s commandments, take away from, change or replace do we sin and are any of those things acceptable by God? We should first see if God gave any instructions about such actions and any consequences of violating any such instruction.
Many people turn to Rev 22:18 but they take it out of context when applying it to the question above. Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
However, that relates to the “prophecy of this book” being the book of Revelations and the prophecy of Yahshua the Messiah that started in Revelation 1:1 not the book of the Bible. Whether or not man adds to or take away from what God has prophesied, their action would not change the event only the plagues added to them. God says Isa_55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
However, included in that prophecy is the criteria for salvation Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. So anyone that teaches only one thing is needed i.e. faith, grace, love has taken away from the prophesy and will suffer the said consequences.
The answer to our question is found in Deu_4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Deu_12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Deu 4:2 is part of Moses last speech to the congregation of Israel before they enter the Promised Land which they took forty years to reach. He precedes making that point with a little of the history of their journey. How they disobeyed God along the way and even got him to disobey God by striking the rock rather than speaking to it to bring forth water for them to drink. As a result he, as well as Aaron, would not be entering the Promised Land. So he reminds them of former consequences of not being obedient to God and then says Deu 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it...
“Now therefore harken...” was his way of saying, you see it makes sense to obey God for your own good. In verse 3 he says Deu 4:3 Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. Deu 4:4 But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day. Deu 4:5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Deu 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
In other words, you should not need me to tell you as your own eyes are the witness. Those who strayed from God died and those who cleaved to Him lived to reach and enjoy the land He promised. He adds, to obey God and keep His commandments would bring such blessings that other nations would be envious of their wisdom and understanding.
Deu 12:32 is about where to worship. Chapter 12 starts with Deu 12:1 These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Deu 12:2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: Deu 12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Deu 12:4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God. Deu 12:5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: Deu 12:6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:
All the days they are on the earth they are only to go to certain places not any and every place of worship. Infact they are to eradicate their land of any other forms of worship to other gods and such gods names. Only God’s name and places of worship should remain. Then their tithes, offerings etc are only to be made via that place and system. Strong instructions. No room for liberalism. I suppose God knows the threat of a little leaven spoiling the whole lump, congregation and nation. He takes our views and understanding of how to worship Him out of the equation. Deu 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
Nor was there to be any possibility of another system creeping into the land via servants etc. Deu 12:12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you. Deu 12:13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest: Deu 12:14 But in the place which the LORD shall choose...
Like he did in Deu 4:4, Moses again reminds them of the benefits of keeping God’s commandments in their entirety. Deu 12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee forever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
Moses also warns of the trickery of the other nations. They may remember the one of Balaam in getting the Moabite women to camp near them and seduce the men. They may have known of satan’s subtlety with Eve in the garden; but he puts it this way. Deu 12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Deu 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. Deu 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
In other words do not even enquire how they do things. Curiosity kills the cat as a saying goes. What other nations may think is a good idea and convince you is a good idea is not a good idea to God. If He wanted it, He would have instructed it.
What about misunderstanding or misinterpretation of God’s instructions, does that matter and have any consequences? Well we saw Moses striking the rock rather than speaking to it as instructed had dire consequences for him. I do not think Moses intended to get it wrong. It was the factors of the mourning people that led to his error. We have similar examples in 1 Samuel 15:13 where king Saul told Samuel “I have performed the commandment of Yahweh”. In his eyes, as with his actions in 13:12, he thought he had done good; but to Samuel and God, he had not kept to the letter of the law, so the kingdom was taken away from his lineage and God left him. A last example is the man of God in 1 Kings 13:21 he had a meal with the prophet, thinking it was ok. The test is simple, did you perform what was commanded as and when commanded or not? We have the same concept in our laws. If you contracted to go to house number seven and perform a task and you went to house number six and did it. You have broken to contract. If you were to meet someone to pay a certain sum of money at a certain time and you missed the time, either earlier or later and did not find the person there, you have broken the contract. Whatever, the reason, if you did not keep to the terms or wording of the contract through its misunderstanding or interpretation, the court and judge must rule against you. So misunderstanding God’s bible does have consequences. 2Ti_2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I don’t know if you have noticed; but God’s system is very simple, easy for us to do. It is simply, these are my laws. Learn and obey them. No long explanations are needed in hours and hours of sermons with a pastor’s spin or explanations. Do not kill, do not steal, keep the seventh day and a few others God has chosen holy etc. Once learnt we can self govern ourselves as individuals without the need for enforcers, teachers etc. That is the message of the New Testament. To renew our minds from that of the world. Have God’s laws in our hearts so that no man needs to teach us. Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
If we did that we would become the new creature of which some other verses speak.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Col 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
The book of Acts narrates the early church after Messiah’s ascension. It states Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Act 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
These were the first recruits spoken of to the Church. They continued attending the temple, keeping the commandments and holy days as before; but now with the added belief the Messiah had come and risen. They did not stop attending the Jewish temple or synagogue congregations as many Christians today teach and believe. Their house meetings were simply additions as today we have bible study in members’ homes with snacks (breaking bread). It was not the intention of the Messiah or the apostles to start another religion. This is later made clear in Acts 7:38 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: They were a third sect of the Jewish system as was the Saducees and Pharisees. They followed the risen Messiah of Nazareth. Act_24:5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
We see from the New Testament that disagreements first arose between Jewish Believers after the Gentiles began coming to faith in their Messiah. One was whether gentiles needed to be circumcised for salvation. The conclusion of Acts 15:20 was they did not; but note verse 21. Though they did have to learn and keep the commandments of God of which circumcision was not one. It was a covenant sign between Abraham’s lineage. The law was always to be easy to keep and in the hearts of believers Deu 30:14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See also Rom 10:8). And so we see here a picture of Gentiles and Jews uniting in one sheepfold as Yahshua promised in John 10:16: “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
This was also the intention of God Isa 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Isa 56:3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. Isa 56:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;... Isa 56:6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Isa 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. Isa 56:8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
Peter was given this same teaching in Acts 11 in regard to Cornelious. Paul also taught the same Rom_3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
He went on to explain in Romans 11:11-31 that gentiles believers were grafted into the one olive tree with the Jews. A Jewish tree and all are nourished from the same root. Gentiles have been grafted into this tree as wild olive branches while Jewish believers, who initially may not have accepted Yahshua as the Messiah, are grafted into the same tree, which is their own tree. Rom 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. Rom 11:17 And if SOME OF the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Rom 11:20 Well; because of UNBELIEF they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: Rom 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Rom 11:23 And they also, if they abide NOT STILL IN UNBELIEF, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in AGAIN.
We read that Paul had to address some arrogance among Gentile Believers who looked down on those of the Jews that did not accept Yahshua as their Messiah nationally. In the early congregations, Jewish and Gentile Believers prayed together and celebrated the Jewish festivals and holidays, as did Yahshua. As the nations outside Israel came to faith in Yahshua, Gentile Believers maintained a relationship with the Jewish People. For instance, to celebrate the resurrection of Yahshua, they consulted with the local rabbi who would tell them when the Passover holiday was to take place. How then did the celebration of Passover among Gentile Believers develop into the Easter tradition? The first accounts come from the second century AD. Some Gentile believers kept very close to the Jewish roots, celebrating Yahshua as the Passover Lamb on the first night of Passover, which is the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nissan. Most of these believers lived in Asia Minor. Others emphasized the resurrection, which occurred on the first day of the week. The believers in Rome moved the observance of the resurrection to Sunday and began the celebration of Easter. A controversy arose when those called the Quartodecimans (Latin, referring to “fourteenth”) followed the Jewish practice of fasting on the eve of Passover. This tradition was established by the apostle John and practiced by his disciples, including Polycarp (c. 69–c. 155) who was the bishop of Smyrna, one of the seven churches of Asia, and by Melito (died c. 180) of Sardis, another church in Asia as mentioned in Revelations 2 and 3. This fast was followed by the Passover celebration beginning at sundown on the 15 of Nissan in close adherence to the Jewish tradition.
Yahshua’s followers met together to break bread after the Sabbath, sunset on our Saturday evening. And so, we find an account in Acts 20 of Paul talking late into the night in Troas. It seems that a young man sunk into a deep sleep and fell three stories to his death around midnight. Paul stopped talking and went down, throwing himself on the man and raising him from the dead. Then he went back upstairs, broke bread and continued talking until daylight, Sunday morning, before going on his way.
Without going into detail of the persecution and laws passed by the Roman authorities to separate believers from their association with the Jews and their religion, eventually Gentile Believers were forced to meet on Sundays or face severe consequences including death. Although Jewish Believers continued to attend the synagogue, they began to experience some pressure, especially after the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70. While the original Believers who lived in Jerusalem practiced Judaism and visited the Temple on a daily basis, the emergence of the Jewish Revolt against Rome’s persecution in the early 60’s reminded Believers of Yahshua’s warning:
Mar_13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
The Jewish believers escaped Jerusalem, as described by an early church father Eusebius, and crossed over the Jordan and went to Pella, a Nabataean fortress in the mountains. They thus escaped the onslaught of another Roman general, Titus, who totally destroyed the city and Temple; still, they incurred the wrath of their fellow Jews who now saw them as deserters. It is generally believed that the entire body of Jewish Believers managed to leave Jerusalem and avoid its destruction by the Roman forces. Pella became a major centre of worship.
Following the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, the Rabbis considered Jewish Believers to be Jews, but some began to discourage their presence in the synagogues.
One factor that contributed to Jew and Gentile Believers separating themselves from their orthodox Jewish brethren was Rome's institution of the Fiscus Judaicus or Jewish Tax. The Roman Empire imposed this tax on Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70. It replaced the Temple tax and was used for the upkeep of the Temple of Capitoline Jupiter in Rome. Only those who had abandoned Judaism were exempt from the tax. The tax, therefore, motivated such believers, who up until then were considered a sect of Judaism, to disassociate themselves from Judaism. Another force that contributed to division in the late first century was the inclusion of the Birkat HaMinim—the 19th blessing in the Amidah, a request of divine punishment (a curse) from God directed against the paroshim—those said to have separated themselves from the community. The paroshim were associated with the minim or heretics, which were understood to be the Jewish Believers in Yahshua and perhaps the Essenes.
In this way, Jewish Believers were no longer able to lead prayer without actually evoking a curse on themselves. This benediction went a long way to make Jewish Believers feel unwelcome in the synagogue, causing them to worship separately. Early writings confirm this cursing, including Justin Martyr in his 2nd century Dialogue with Tryphon and Origin, who lived in the third century AD.
Epiphanius, who lived in the fifth century AD wrote, “Three times a day they say: ‘May God curse the Nazarenes.’”
[The term Nazarenes (Notzrim) referred originally to the first Believers in Yahshua; however, it also refers to the 4th century sect of the Nazarenes, Believers who considered themselves Jewish (thought to have originated with the Believers who fled Jerusalem) and kept the Torah. The term could also apply to Gentile followers of Yahshua in general.]
The First Council of Nicaea.
Over time, Gentile Believers began to incorporate more pagan observances and rituals over Jewish practice in their worship. Remember, Paul addresses some of these things in his epistles as speaking in pagan worship tongues. In AD 325, the First Council of Nicaea was convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine in order to set church doctrine. None of the 318 bishops attending were of Jewish ancestry. One of the main acts of the Council was to establish a separate celebration of the Passover from the Jewish Passover.
This later became identified by the pagan name of Easter (from the Babylonian fertility goddess Ishtar). The Council also established Sunday as the new Sabbath, as opposed to the Biblical seventh day Sabbath. The following Council of Antioch prohibited Christians from celebrating the Jewish Passover. The Council of Laodicea shortly after, prohibited celebration of the Biblical or Jewish Sabbath. Christians were even prohibited, under penalty of death, to marry Jews. Jews became second-class citizens. Anti-Semitism was so rampant at this time that a 4th century church in Constantinople held the following creed:
I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms, unleavened breads and sacrifices of lambs of the Hebrews, and all other feasts of the Hebrews, sacrifices, prayers, aspersions, purifications, sanctifications and propitiations and fasts, and new moons, and Sabbaths, and superstitions, and hymns and chants and observances and Synagogues, and the food and drink of the Hebrews; in one word, I renounce everything Jewish, every law, rite and custom and if afterwards I shall wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition, or shall be found eating with the Jews, or feasting with them, or secretly conversing and condemning the Christian religion instead of openly confuting them and condemning their vain faith, then let the trembling of Gehazi cleave to me, as well as the legal punishments to which I acknowledge myself liable. And may I be anathema in the world to come, and may my soul be set down with Satan and the devils. (The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue, by James Parks).
Did God intend such a disassociation from Judaism? No. In fact, what ties together Jewish and non-Jewish believers is their shared faith in the Jewish Messiah; it is their common root, described by Paul, the Torah and Jewish faith and beliefs. We know from the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) that Yahshua lived as a Jew in His time, that He observed the Jewish festivals and holidays and that He kept the commandments. Yashua never taught His disciples to break these commandments, although He sometimes called into question the traditional laws or teachings, such as not eating without first ritually washing hands (Luke 11:38).
Replacement Theology Versus the Word of God.
In addition to authorizing that Jewish practices be replaced with non-Jewish practices, the Catholic Church considered itself to be the new inheritor of the promises that God had given to Abraham and his seed, an idea that precludes the unity of the One New Man. Thus began replacement theology, the Christian belief that their Church and customs has replaced Israel and theirs. An idea that remains until today. The Bible makes it clear that it is God’s intention for the Jewish People to be a light to the nations (Isaiah 49:6), and that the nations will stream to Israel: “And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.” (Zechariah 8:22). Also Ezekiel speaks of the restoration of Jerusalem. In Ezekiel 34:23–24 we read, “I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them.”
All present day Christian denominations have added or taken away from God’s sect of the Nazarene system of commandment keeping and faith in the Messiah Yahshua as said in Rev 14:12. First the Church of Rome (Roman Catholic Church) as stated above. Then when the Protestants broke away from the Pope’s authority in the 16th Century, they kept all the former changes of the Roman Church; except for the denial of the Pope for the forgiveness of sins. They then went on through people as John Calvin to add other doctrines as when saved. Some emerging denominations as the Seven Day Baptist and Seventh Day Adventist returned to the biblical seventh day Sabbath; but as in the case of the Adventist, added their own theology as Ellen G. Whites writings and interpretation of the book of Daniel.
Later came denominations as Jehovah Witness and the Pentecostal movement of the twenty century. The Pentecostal’s, added the concept of speaking in tongues and being filled with the Holy Spirit via teachings of Charles Parham. Today, through numerous false preachers and television evangelist, they have taken that denomination or similar so far from God, in some cases, that many congregations are like music venues, market places, business empires and other.
So over time, it is humans who have added so much more to what God gave, Yahshua and the apostles gave us and what God requires. Whether of paganism or our own preferences. Both Jews and gentile seekers of God. When we do this we violate God’s instructions by adding to or taking away and, in effect, bring on ourselves the consequences of such actions.
(INSERT VIDEO CLIPS https://youtu.be/XUunXrBY8yc).
Mat_15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Mat_15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Mar_7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. Mar_7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. Mar_7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Yahshua said not one “jot” meaning smallest part, would be taken away from God’s laws. The Bible definition of sin has not changed through him. Sin comes from a word meaning to miss the mark. Like an archer aiming at a bullseye on a target. One degree off on your aim and you miss the mark, the promised destination of God. End up being one of the ones of Mat 7:23 saying Lord Lord let me in. I did a lot of good things in your name and He replies you cannot come in. You missed the mark, the entrance gateway.
So what additions, deductions, changes or replacements have seekers of God via His Bible made that would lead to them missing the mark? There are many; but let me mention a few.
- Changed the Messiah’s name, religion and purpose and think it does not matter. Yahshua become Jesus who is a Christian not a Jew and came to save everyone simply by their superficial belief in Him. Act_4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 1Co_14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? A name is a distinct sound. The bible does not change people’s names except in a few cases when they had religious implications as with Abraham, Jacob, Daniel 1:7, 2 Kings 24:17. So the I.D. theft of the messiah attributed to another name is spiritually significant.
- Mat_28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Of all those getting baptised, most are not in the name of the Father and son; but word father and son.
- Saying there are only ten commandments or that they ar divided into moral and ceremonial when God gave a lot more than ten and never called them ten commandments nor divided them into moral and ceremonial. Despite most translations calling them that in our bible. An imposed tradition that many now take as fact.
- Saying it was the ten commandments of Exodus 20:1-17 that were written on the tables of stone. When by reading our bibles we can see they were written in a book by Moses at Exodus 24:4-7 and it was chapters 24:12 to 31:18 that was written on the stone tables by God.
- Saying the day starts at midnight when the bible says it starts at sunset, being the evening i.e. Gen 1:5, 8, 13.
- Saying the commandments started with Israel and were only for Israel when the bible says they started before Israel i.e. Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. And were for everyone Exo_12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
- Changing the day we are to attend God’s place of worship i.e. weekly Sabbath day of Exodus 20:8 from Saturday to Sunday and thinking the seventh day is Saturday rather than our Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
- Thinking Sabbath means rest rather than the name of a period of time unlike the other period of times / days which God gave numbers i.e. first day, second day etc. So that seekers think if they rest from work on Saturdays they are keeping the Sabbath. Wrong, it is a day of holy convocation as the annual days of Lev 23. Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Lev 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. Lev 23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
So instead of keeping God’s holy days of Passover, Tabernacles etc many keep pagan Christmas, Easter, and other man’s holidays.
- Saying people are saved at baptism rather than it being a sign of one answering the call TO BE saved if they endure to the end. In fact many even add that when people die they go straight to heaven before judgement day.
- Saying we are not saved by keeping the commandments; but by faith when the bible says Abraham had both obedience to the commandments and faith in God and we are told we need both obedience and faith. Heb_11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Rom_3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
If one degree can make us miss the mark, think what effect more than one of the above could have on our destination. Most importantly, many now go to church not to learn God’s commandments and obey them; but to sing, dance, meet friends, dress up and as social gathering for themselves. What is taught or impressed on them are words of the pastor not of God. One or a few verses of the bible is preached on with the pastors own words for an hour or more when Acts 15:21 says people went and are to go to the place of God to learn about his laws.
Why does Yahshua or the apostles in Jerusalem never speak of some of the things Paul speaks of in his letters to gentiles as speaking in tongues and gifts? Because it was not part of God’s system. God’s system and what He wanted seekers to know was simple. Learn and obey my laws, do righteous judgement to each other as taught through my laws. If you cannot decide, go to my priests who knows and lives by my law to guide you.
2Ki 22:10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 2Ki 22:11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 2Ki 22:12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, saying, 2Ki 22:13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
2Ch 19:4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers. 2Ch 19:5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, 2Ch 19:6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. 2Ch 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. 2Ch 19:8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem. 2Ch 19:9 And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. 2Ch 19:10 And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass.
The kings were also to have a copy of the book of the law and rule from and by it. Simple. If they and we today, all did what was written in the law there would be no need for the teachings of the prophets which was to bring people back the distance they had gone from God’s laws. Repent and return to obedience of a lifestyle by them. No one needed to speak in tongues, or a supernatural gift.
God only instilled supernatural gifts of selective individuals for a purpose and period of time. Exo_28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. Exo_31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
With Joseph and Daniel, it was for the purpose of interpreting those dreams so that they would be elevated to positions of leadership in foreign lands in order to bring about a future plan of God. Do we read of them interpreting dreams on a common basis or other than the occasions mentioned, NO. Yet today, people are regularly claiming to have dreams and interpretations. Messiah and the apostles in Jerusalem taught repentance, acceptance of Yahshua as the promised messiah to their fathers and, in Yahshua’s case, the kingdom of God. They taught Jews who did not have the pagan beliefs of the gentiles. Paul on the other hand taught Jews who lived in gentile nations and adopted their superstitious beliefs. Those beliefs incorporated contact with the dead, spirits and other gods. We read of such beliefs of the gentiles in the Old testament as southsayers, dreamers etc Dan 2:27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; Dan 4:8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
Deu_14:1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. Eze 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
Those nations had so many ungodly beliefs and connections with their false god’s that Paul had to address them. He was not saying those things should be done; but not done. However, today, many denominations as the Pentecostal and its offshoots, have adopted such paganism into God’s faith, just as the New Testament gentiles did when they came to join the faith being taught by the apostles i.e. those of Corinth. The same as happened today in many African countries that hold superstitious beliefs.
So first we had the introduction of traditions of the Jews as spoken of by Yahshua. Then those of paganism as introduced by the original Catholic church of Rome who persecuted the apostles and early church and lastly of the Pentecostal like denominations with their tongue speaking, spiritual and charismatic music styles of worship. Similar to what God heard and Moses found when he came down from communing with God in Ex 32 and saw the craziness the people were doing as learnt in Egypt.
I spoke above of some of the additions and alterations man has made to God’s way. One being thinking that way started with Israel and the writing down of the laws. If we rely on written laws we are doomed when for one reason or other we lose the writing. God told Moses to tell the people to tie something on their wrists or skirts so they would remember the laws. He did not tell them to carry around a book; but to have the laws in their minds. God did not write down His law for Adam and Eve nor did they. Yet we are told Eve knew them enough to correct the devil in Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Isaac knew of the laws without reading from a book Gen 22:7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And as I said, Abraham knew and kept them Gen_26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
No one relied on them being written in a book; but on learning them as many things were learnt and passed on before writing and writing material was invented. So it is a deceit and false teaching to think God’s laws needs a book and to be written down. They were always meant to be in our heads and hearts to self govern ourselves through knowledge and self control. Then pass the same onto our children and others.
Infact when God spoke to the people in Exodus 20 they were to learn and obey by hearing and remembering. Moses wrote them in a book for memorising; but also as evidence of the covenant they made and what it contained. So try to grasp that point. We were meant to be self governed and answerable to God not man or a government of man. The same way Cain knew he did wrong in Gen 4 and was answerable to God, is the same with each one of us, Jew or gentile, regardless of government, church or pastors teachings and laws. We are answerable to God on our judgement day where our actions will be compared to His laws. God knows if He gave us kings and governments we could and would blame them for our transgressions; but we cannot. Joseph did not succumb to Potiphars wife. He knew his sin would be against God. Daniel and his colleagues did not give in to the kings commands, they knew they would be sinning against God and be personally held liable. Most of the laws governments of today pass as do not kill, steal, children control, etc are trying to get people to self govern via an external control or threat of imprisonment or a fine. None would be needed if people followed God’s self government laws.
So if you can achieve the character of governing and controlling yourself along the road God has mapped out for you in His laws and have faith He is a keeper of His word, you should get to the eternal Promised Land. Do not add to, take away from nor alter. Only God can make a period of time, place of worship or way of life holy and He has informed us of those things. Any departure, even by one jot, is unholy and common. Transgression is sin.
Rom_6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Yahshua our master.
Let us learn what the word of God calls sin, repent of any we have done and seek forgiveness through God’s son Yahshua. Let us strive for that gift by reverting to the character of the original man God created. Let us put off the things of the world, church, denomination, pastor’s teachings etc that we have put on which are contrary to the word of God and return to Him. For example as those listed above and don’t do them, i.e. as keeping Christmas for the sake or pleasure of the children or self.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Yahweh God had a vision for a world of unity and peace via humans living a life as detailed in His laws. He taught them to a separated group of people called the congregation or nation of Israel and they were to be an example to and teach the world. Jealous deceiving satan wants a totally different world where we disobey God. He derailed God’s vision by getting into the minds and actions of humans. God sent prophets and finally His son to rekindle that vision, bring peace to our lives, freedom from the deceits of satan and the death trap to which he leads us. Yahshua passed that vision and method to His apostles. I and this teaching centre would like to be part of the fulfilment of that vision. As can you be wherever you are in the world by yourself returning to keeping God’s commandments inclusive of His correct holy days of convocations of Lev 23 in the method He set up. Of course adding to that, the faith in His son’s sacrifice for your repented sins. In other words, believe God that when He says He would forgive our transgressions of His laws if we repent and call on the sacrifice offering of His son, that He God would accept it and cleanse us of that sin just as He did with the former Temple animal sacrifices. Simply, commandment keeping plus faith in Yahshua equals salvation if we keep and endure to the end of our life. It is not about claiming to be a prophet, prophesying or trying to predict the future. Not claiming to be a healer or other gift. Let’s leave that to those with egos and be satisfied in being a simple obedient believer.