In the book of Jude we are warned to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Now if we have to strive for something then evidently it’s not already in the bag. But why do we have to strive? One of the main reasons is that evil men have secretly crept in and attempted to redefine some of the basic concepts and terminologies that comprise our faith. Jude says they have changed the grace of Yahvah into a license to sin. If he could only have seen into the future and seen how far that deception would go and what those seeds of perversion would bloom into, he would have been horrified. I hope you are horrified at the demise of Yahvah’s people today, and likewise I hope you are elated every time you see someone breaking out of that bondage. As we see evil men waxing worse and worse we also see a remnant of people who are returning the ancient paths.
But right now I’d like to focus in on two things.
Identifying the faith of our fathers.
Defining the word grace
The first step in striving for something is to clearly identify what you are looking for. Otherwise you are just groping in the dark. We need something definite; we’d like it to be concrete. But the faith is not concrete- it’s spiritual. We must worship in spirit and truth. Now it is important that our quest for truth be a joint effort. Phil.1:27 Because as we will see this faith is concerning a spiritual family made up of individuals who are being called out to join together as a body. We are not intended to be lone rangers.
So where do we begin looking for this faith once delivered to the saints? We could start many places but I have chosen to start with the Apostle Paul (Shaul) because he had many direct revelations from our savior Himself.
In 2Tim. 3:13-17 he told Timothy to continue in the things that he had learned from childhood. Specifically the Holy Scriptures because they were able to make him wise unto salvation if that knowledge is accompanied by faith in Yahshua. Paul implied that these scriptures were like a schoolteacher that prepares you for your future but he made it clear that this teaching was not to be abandoned when faith appeared. This seems to be the great deception that has accompanied the great falling away.
What scriptures do you suppose Paul was referring to? My guess would be Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, etc. clear through to the book of Malachi. Of course Timothy also would have had access to books like the book of Jasher and the apocrypha with which most of us are not familiar. But Timothy was told to continue in these precious things, to study them and by correctly interpreting them, he could actually show himself approved unto Yahvah.
But some would say that Yahshua brought a new and different way that departed from the faith of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, etc.
Let’s see how Yahshua skillfully handled the word of Yahvah. In Luke 4 Yahshua repeatedly told Satan, it is written…. Every time he quoted the scriptures to resist the evil one. MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE.
THOU SHALT WORSHIP YAHVAH AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE
THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT YAHVAH
Did this new and living way depart from the law and the prophets?
Yahshua made it clear that some people worshipped Him in vain because they were teaching traditions of men instead of the law and the prophets. How much acceptable worship do you suppose is going on today? Of all the teachers in the land today how many are teaching the truth, much less obeying it? Before we judge any one to harshly we need to remember that just because we have discovered a nugget of truth doesn’t mean we have achieved, but we need to continually strive for the precious faith and long to grow in grace and knowledge. There is that word “grace” again. How do you “grow in grace?” We will get to that later.
Did this new and living way depart from the faith of Moses? John 5:39,45-47 John 7:19 Here Yahshua said only those who really accepted Moses’ teaching would be able to believe His message. He sharply rebuked those who refused to obey Moses decrees.
Then in Acts 7:51-53 when Stephen was about to be stoned he spoke one last word of admonition. He said they had resisted the Holy Spirit and had refused to obey the law which they had received by the hand of angels. Their rejection of the Holy Spirit accompanied their rejection of the law. This is a pattern that Stephen said had been going on since the time of their ancestors.
But he said it was delivered by angels. This word angels could easily be translated “messengers”. Obviously when Yahvah spoke the ten commandments He spoke directly to the Hebrews so there were not angels or messengers used. But Moses was used as a messenger of mediator of Yahvah to convey the intended message. Down through the ages there have been many messengers, such as prophets and teachers, etc. My parents were part of that relay team as they taught me the principles of faith that they had learned. But Moses wasn’t perfect and neither was the first covenant given at Mt. Sinai. It was added to the Abrahamic covenant for a reason. It’s purpose was to define sin, and that was a glorious purpose- it made Moses’ face shine. But then Yahshua came. Did He come to do away with the law? Of course not. He came to magnify the law and make it honorable. The religious leaders of the day had given the law a bad reputation but Yahshua came to clarify the law and more importantly to empower people to live a righteous life, so that the righteousness of the law could be fulfilled in us.
Today the law has been given a bad reputation by religious leaders. Some teach it and some teach against it, but very few obey it. But when Yahshua visits today He once again magnifies the law and makes it honorable. As the Holy Spirit comes it brings harmony and peace and honor and respectability, and order. If we are lacking these things then we can give people a bad taste in their mouth, which only the Holy Spirit can erase.
Here the people were criticized because they were not doing the works of Abraham. What did Abraham do? He believed Yahvah. This is faith in a nutshell. That’s not a cop out. There is no precise blueprint that I can give you. You must work out your salvation with fear and trembling like Abraham did. Remember Abraham obeyed Yahvah’s voice. That’s why I frequently ask people if they have ever experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit, because that is where faith starts—by hearing His voice. Where did that voice lead Abraham? Gen. 26:5 It led him to obey Yah’s commandments, statutes and laws. That’s where it will lead you too if you allow it. What is so great about these strange laws that Yahvah gave to Israel -- what is the point of these things? These are signs that we are His people. These are hidden treasures that only His people have been given. Do you want to be his precious possession? Then keep/guard his commandments -- that’s what sets you apart from the world.
Psalm 147:19, 20
The world is preoccupied with self preservation. Yahshua enables you to lay your life down for your brother or even your enemy. To love your neighbor as yourself is not a new concept. I believe Adam was well aware of this concept. Would Yahvah hide these things from his precious people?
1 John 1:1-3
1 John 2:7-10
Yahshua was full of grace and truth? What does it mean to be full of grace? We’ll go into that next time.
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