Judaizer!?!

It invariably happens as you study the text . . .

You start running across things that conflict with theological suppositions you may believe or subscribe to – Things that you have been taught in the past and have accepted, made a check mark by, and filed away as “truth.”

Why do I say invariably?  Isn’t that kind of an arrogant statement to make?  It can be unless you consider what a theological supposition is.  It is a reference point – a reference point in the rational and systematic study of religion. Dogma is another name for theological supposition.  In fact, dogma and theological supposition are synonyms for theological theory because theory has many synonyms along this line:  argument, concept, conjecture, dogma, ideology, philosophy, rationale, system or systematization, supposition  . . .

You see, you could call theological supposition something else just as easily.  Insert one of the above words and you will come up with with a number of synonymous terms such as: theological conjecture, theological theory, theological rationale and theological systematization just to offer a few examples.

Would you like an example?  How about “Sola fide (faith alone)?”  Some of you right now are saying. “Wait a minute . . .!” You are bristling up – getting defensive – quit bristling.  I am not going to go delve into this topic either for or against.  I am just going to show you some of the theological suppositions around one the main divides between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.

Alone – yes, this is a supposition. Many in Protestantism subscribe to this.  Many consider this THE biblical foundation of their faith.  It is based on a theological supposition around a specific verse in the text:

Romans 3:28 (KJV)

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith

without the deeds of the law.

We are not to the supposition part yet – the text is NEVER supposition!  The supposition parts are the result of conjecture, ideology, rationale and other synonyms that are APPLIED to the text.  I am going to let that sink in for just a minute because some of you may not be following me here.

As I said before, “alone” is a supposition.  It is not in the text here.  I want to make it clear that I am not arguing that suppositions are necessarily wrong because I am not.  Just because something is a rationale or a theory doesn’t make it incorrect.  That being said, many times suppositions lead to error either at the onset of the supposition or much later on as the theology develops because it assumes by its very nature that it is correct – It becomes a foundational structure even though it may or may not be in error.  Let’s add the supposition part to to the text so that you can see it what I am presenting more clearly:

Romans 3:28 (KJV: “Alone” added)

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith ALONE

without the deeds of the law.

In this supposition, “ALONE” is added to the text as a foundational understanding of this verse. Okay, maybe you are asking yourself, how is this a theological supposition?

  1. Alone is not in the text here, it is added to the text.
  2. It supposes or assumes that nothing in the text contradicts it.  It assumes by its addition or inclusion that this can be the only understanding of the text here.  It is a theory that becomes accepted as biblical fact.
  3. Maybe the hardest part to reconcile in this supposition (or others for that matter) is that it also supposes that God, in his divine inspiration to man to write the text, needs some extra help in that inspiration – tie up loose ends for God, the biblical writer, or both as it were.

You see, we have another part of the text that seems to contradict this supposition.  Without a doubt, Martin Luther believed that it did, and as a result, he considered the following verse, and the entire book of the bible that this verse comes from for that matter, to be a “right strawy epistle.” In other words, fit only to be burned.  This is important to understand because Solo fide was one of, and maybe the main rally call, by Luther and the protestant reformation.  The verse (and therefore book) of the bible that caused Luther so much discomfort is from Ya’akov (James):

James 2:24 (KJV)

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Luther could not reconcile his supposition of alone with this verse where alone is NOT supposition but actually in the text (only means alone).  As a result, another error happened:  To support his other supposition, he had to make a new supposition:  The book of  Ya’akov (James) should not be included in the canon.  This is verifiable history here folks, I am not making this up.  There is a lot more to this story. I am trying to keep it simple  because it is a huge subject and a huge divide between many that would call themselves believers.  I do encourage you to research it on your own.

Why do I bring all of this up and then not go into it in detail or take sides?

Simple.

It is not the topic of this paper.  It is however necessary to the foundation of this paper – to understanding how suppositions can color what we read in the text. Think of theological supposition as a pair of glasses that filter out a certain light spectrums.  You can also come at it from the exact opposite as a pair of glasses that only see one light spectrum.  In other words, glasses that prevent you from seeing the text more than one way or that allow you to see the text only certain ways.  History tells us that these glasses are not something new.  They have been around since before the time of Yeshua (Jesus).  For example, the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead, the Sadducees didn’t.

So for the sake of argument, I encourage you to take off any theological glasses you may have on at this moment, set them on your computer desk, and let’s carefully explore and study the text together without supposition as much as that is possible for any of us to do.

The Setting:

In Acts 14, Sha’ul (Paul) and Bar-nabba (Barnabas) are traveling together announcing the Good News which is Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ).  They end up in Antioch where they report all that God had done through them and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. However, after staying there for some time with the talmidim (disciples), they run into a tough problem with some men from Y’hudah (Judea) who come down to Antioch and begin teaching the brothers the following:

Acts 15:1 (CJB)

1 But some men came down from Y’hudah to Antioch and began teaching the brothers,

“You can’t be saved

unless you undergo b’rit-milah (circumcision)

in the manner prescribed by Moshe (Moses).”

This causes a lot of problems: Problems for Sha’ul (Paul) and Bar-nabba (Barnabas). Problems for the congregation at Antioch.  The gospel message Sha’ul (Paul) and Bar-nabba (Barnabas) were sent to proclaim and are recounting necessarily gets lost in what the text calls “dissension and debate” concerning the teaching by the men that came down from Y’hudah (Judea) that  began teaching that“You can’t be saved unless . . .”

The congregation at Antioch decides to send Sha’ul (Paul), Bar-nabba (Barnabas), and some of their own congregation to address this issue with the elders up in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).   After telling about all the good things God had done through them, they run into same problem again – (kind of):

Acts 15:5 (CJB)

5 But some of those who had come to trust

were from the party of the P’rushim (Pharisees);

and they stood up and said,

It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them

to observe the Torah of Moshe.”

Why do I say kind of?  The men from Judea said “can’t be saved.”  The text tells us here that the Pharisees are believers in Yeshua (those who had come to trust ) and that they are saying “It is necessary.”  You may think that I am trying to split hairs here, but I refuse to read something into the text here that isn’t here regarding theological suppositions some may have regarding Pharisees (eisegesis).  In other words, I am going to give these “believers” the benefit of the doubt.  Why, you might ask? I will show you why with the text:

Acts 15:12 (CJB)

12 Then the whole assembly kept still as they listened

to Bar-Nabba and Sha’ul tell what signs and miracles

God had done through them among the Gentiles.

Whole assembly” includes the believers that were from the party of the P’rushim (Pharisees) which spoke up earlier but listened and kept still while Sha’ul (Paul), Bar-nabba (Barnabas) told about the signs and  miracles God had done through them among the Gentiles.

They listened to what Kefa (Peter) had to say.  They listened to what Ya’akov (James) had to say. That is one of the reasons why.  Here is another:

Acts 15:22 (CJB)

22 Then the emissaries and the elders,

together with the whole Messianic community (the whole church),

decided to select men from among themselves

to send to Antioch . . .

The dissension and debate that was raging in Antioch is absent here.  This is unity.  Good thing we took off those glasses earlier or “believing Pharisees” that are in unity with the body might be a hard thing to see here.  In the very letter itself that they decide to compose and send, we see this unity confirmed again:

Acts 15:25 (CJB)

25 So we have decided unanimously . . .

Now that we have that cleared up, let’s go back and address the problem in Antioch concerning

You can’t be saved unless . . .”

The problem with these rogue teachers that brought division (dissension and debate) to the body of believers in Antioch is that their teaching of“You can’t be saved unless . . .” is actually contradicting the very message of the Gospel.  It fact, it is not only contradicting the Gospel message, it is hostile to it! It is literally saying that the curse that Yeshua (Jesus) endured for us, on the execution stake, is not enough.  More succinctly, it is saying God’s grace is not enough to save us.  It breaks my heart and makes me sad just writing it.

You know what else is really sad?  It has been around 2000 years since this happened and we don’t seem to have learned a thing from all of this.  We have modern day churches and religions that still teach this same“You can’t be saved unless . . .” doctrine that was unanimously rejected by the elders and entire assembly in Jerusalem known as the Jerusalem Council.  We have modern day denominations and churches teaching that God’s grace is not enough to save us!  I will give you a few very real examples:

      • You can’t be saved unless . . .” you are baptized in water
      • You can’t be saved unless . . .” you can and do speak in tongues
      • You can’t be saved unless . . .” worship on Saturday
      • You can’t be saved unless . . .” unless you eat pork to prove you are no longer under the law

Do we really insist on putting God’s grace on trial here?  Do we really want to insist on repeating history in this way?  Do we want to insist on perverting the gospel message with man-made stipulations?  Brothers and sisters, it is one of my most burdening and heartfelt prayers that you have ears to hears this and eyes to see this for what it is.

Because some of you may not understand, I offer a simple example for you to consider in contrast to the above “You can’t be saved unless . . .” statements.  It is from the Harmony of the Gospels:

One of the criminals hanging there reviled him, saying, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But the other, rebuking him, said, “Don’t you even fear God—you who are receiving the same punishment? And we rightly so, for we are receiving a proper reward for what we did; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

“I tell you truly,” said Jesus, “today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., Harmony of the Gospels: Concerning the Greatest Life Ever Lived, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1986), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 329.

How was this simple thief saved?

Please understand this: God’s commands, laws, precepts, Torah are all VERY important! Yeshua tells us that the 2 most important commands in the text are:

  1. Love the Lord your God with everything you have
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself

These are commands!  These are laws!  These are precepts!  These are Torah!

Do you “know” Yeshua?  Do you know “Salvation?”  Are you sure?  Would you like to know a way to be sure that you “know” Him?

1 John 2:3 (CJB)

3 The way we can be sure we know him is if we are obeying his commands.

What about if we are not obeying his commands?  The text has an answer for that too:

1 John 2:4 (CJB)

4 Anyone who says, “I know him,”

but isn’t obeying his commands

is a liar — the truth is not in him.

After reading this verse, you may indeed want to read “You can’t be saved unless . . .” into this verse.  If you do, you miss the whole point!

It is God’s grace, not the act of circumcision, that offers us salvation.  You see, those men in Antioch were telling the brothers there that they couldn’t be saved unless they were circumcised.  They were making theological suppositions. In making this particular supposition (“You can’t be saved unless . . .”), they were saying God’s grace wasn’t enough – that God’s grace needed an additional act to go with it.  They were saying the gospel wasn’t enough.

These men were what the text calls Judaizers.  They were teaching those brothers that they had to become Jewish, through circumcision, before they could be saved.  They were teaching that they had to become Jewish, through circumcision, before God’s grace would apply to them.

What does the world define Judaizing as?

Judaizing is a tough concept.  Is this because it is exasperated by some forces external to the text?  For example, what if we Google “Judaizer” and “definition” together?  We get the following:

      • The Free Dictionary:  To adopt Jewish customs and beliefs
      • Webster’s Online:  those Jews who accepted Christianity but still adhered to he law of Moses and worshiped in the temple at Jerusalem.
      • Dictionary.com:to conform to the spirit, character, principles, or practices of Judaism.
      • Oxford:  make Jewish; convert to Judaism.follow Jewish customs or religious rites
      • Baker’s Evangelical:  Those who adopted Jewish religious practices or sought to influence others to do so . . .
      • Catholic Encyclopedia:  A party of Jewish Christians in the Early Church, who either held that circumcision and the observance of the Mosaic Law were necessary for salvation and in consequence wished to impose them on the Gentile converts, or who at least considered them as still obligatory on the Jewish Christians . . .

A couple (the last 2) of the above are very long so I only took a small part.  A definition shouldn’t have to be a page long to explain but I include them because it is my experience that people get their theological views and suppositions more by what they are taught and read about than by what they learn by studying the text on their own individually. Imagine how big dictionaries would be if they all did that and on every single definition in them!  Simply put, dictionaries define and commentaries discuss.

Based on what we have just read and been discussing in the text, do any of these definitions above accurately portray what Judaizing is?  Let’s see . . .

In the first definition, we are told that Judaizing is To adopt Jewish customs and beliefs.” Seems simple enough.  If you have followed this blog for any time now, you know I am going to throw a wrench or two into the mix here concerning this definition.  I like to ask “Simple Questions” that force us to examine what the root of our beliefs actually are – what our theological suppositions are.  Sometimes I make posters to do this which you can find here:

https://evenifministries.wordpress.com/category/simple-question-posters/.

There are a ton of things I could and can ask here.  However, one “simple question” will be sufficient for the purposes of our discussion.  The Messiah (Christ) is a Jewish belief.

Is adopting the Jewish belief surrounding and concerning

“the Christ (Messiah),” Judaizing?

Let’s look at another.  In the Oxford dictionary online, we are told that Judaizing is to “follow Jewish customs or religious rites.” The text tells us that both Yeshua (Jesus) and Sha’ul (Paul) attended synagogue on Shabbat (Sabbath) “as was their custom.” Again, one simple question is sufficient for this discussion as well:

Were Yeshua (Jesus) and Sha’ul (Paul) Judaizers as a result

of their Jewish custom of attending synagogue on Shabbat (Sabbath)?

Summary

We could have went into this subject a whole lot deeper.  We could bring up other verses which I had originally intended to do.  We could have explored how the church has viewed this subject throughout history which is also something I had originally intended to do in this piece.  However, I am not going to. I am not going to because a very much loved brother in the Lord felt very strongly that I shouldn’t follow those paths after I relayed to him what I was writing about.  I seek accountability from my brothers in Messiah.  I pray for God to lead me in my writings.  This accountability and this prayer tell me what I have written here is enough regardless of where I wanted to go or thought I should go.  As a matter of fact, my writings rarely, if ever, go where I see them going in the beginning as a result of the prayers I give and the accountability I seek.  The Jewish Rabbi Sha’ul (Paul) said:

1 Corinthians 11:1 (CJB)

1 try to imitate me, even as I myself try to imitate the Messiah.

So I will stop here by asking a final “Simple Question” based on this verse:

Is trying to imitate the Jewish Rabbi Sha’ul as he tries to imitate Messiah Judaizing

or

is Judaizing trying to force someone to covert to Judaism before they can be saved?

Blessings to you all,

Bill

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About Even If Ministries

Dani'el 3:17-18 (CJB) 17 Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up.”
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8 Responses to Judaizer!?!

  1. nice job…it is a tough subject and one you have felt the impact from many times and in many ways.

  2. tiva82 says:

    The Apostle Peter opposed the
    Judaizers by reporting on how God
    poured out His Holy Spirit on the
    gentiles: “So God, who knows the
    heart, acknowledged them by
    giving them the Holy Spirit, just
    as He did to us, and made no
    distinction between us and
    them, purifying their hearts by
    faith. Now, therefore, why do
    you test God by putting a yolk
    on the neck of the disciples
    which neither our fathers nor
    we were able to bear?” Acts
    15:8-10
    The Apostle Paul and Barnabas
    testified to the miraculous works of
    God among the Gentiles. James
    pointed out how this was the
    fulfillment of many prophecies and
    he declared: “Therefore I judge
    that we should not trouble those
    from among the Gentiles who
    are turning to God, but that we
    write to them to abstain from
    things polluted by idols, from
    sexual immorality and from
    things strangled and from
    blood.” Acts 15:19-20
    The conclusion of the Jerusalem
    Conference is recorded in Acts
    15:22-29. In it the Apostles, elders
    and brethren of the Church in
    Jerusalem dissociated themselves
    from the Judaizers who were
    “unsettling your souls” by
    requiring observance to Jewish
    ceremonial law “to whom we
    gave no such commandment.”
    The council decreed: “For it
    seemed good to the Holy Spirit,
    and to us, to lay upon you no
    greater burden than these
    necessary things:” to abstain
    from idolatry, immorality and
    blood. There is no mention here of
    the Jewish Sabbath or any of the
    many distinctives being insisted by
    modern Judaizers.

    • tiva82, thanks for you comment.

      I write this long response in hopes that you will see that I care about right thinking and right teaching and that I also care about you. I am not pointing any of the following out to attack or hurt you, I am pointing it out to help you see what the text itself says in regards to your statements.

      It is interesting that your comment starts with Peter. I point this out because in Galatians 2 Sha’ul (Paul) recounts what happened in Antioch which is

      prior to what takes place during the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15.

      Sha’ul tells the Galatians in 2:11-12 how Kefa (Peter) was clearly in the wrong because he had been eating with the Gentile believers but withdrew when the unauthorized circumcision faction from Ya’akov’s (James) own community went to Antioch and unsettled their minds:

      Acts 15:24 (CJB)
      24 We have heard that some people went out from among us without our authorization, and that they have upset you with their talk, unsettling your minds.

      Compare this in juxtaposition with what Sha’ul recounts to the Galatians concerning this event:

      Galatians 2:11-12 (CJB)
      11 Furthermore, when Kefa came to Antioch, I opposed him publicly, because he was clearly in the wrong.
      12 For prior to the arrival of certain people from [the community headed by] Ya‘akov, he had been eating with the Gentile believers; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he was afraid of the faction who favored circumcising Gentile believers.

      What was Kefa guilty of doing prior to the Jerusalem Council that Sha’ul had to publicly correct him for? Not only did Kefa separate himself when they came, he led others like Bar-Nabba (Barnabas) astray with his hypocrisy:

      Galatians 2:13 (CJB)
      13 And the other Jewish believers became hypocrites along with him, so that even Bar-Nabba was led astray by their hypocrisy.

      In other words, Kefa was teaching wrong thinking and doing in his actions – setting a bad example to everyone around him (Jew and Gentile) which required Sha’ul to correct him publicly:

      Galatians 2:14 (CJB)
      14 But when I saw that they were not walking a straight path, keeping in line with the truth of the Good News, I said to Kefa, right in front of everyone, “If you, who are a Jew, live like a Goy and not like a Jew, why are you forcing the Goyim to live like Jews?

      It is from this verse that we get the lone instance of the Greek word ioudaizein (Judaize) being used in the Greek of the New Covenant (New Testament) and it is pointed at not only Peter, but those he led astray like Barnabas too.

      I understand the point you are trying to make and why, however, I would caution you regarding reading anything into the text that is not there (eisegesis). For example, you state:

      “ In it the Apostles, elders
      and brethren of the Church in
      Jerusalem dissociated themselves
      from the Judaizers who were
      “unsettling your souls” by
      requiring observance to Jewish
      ceremonial law “to whom we
      gave no such commandment.”

      The Jerusalem Council was made up of Jews. They didn’t abandon their Jewish practices including ceremonial law as you called it above because circumcision was not ceremonial law, it was Torah:

      Leviticus 12:3 (CJB)
      3 On the eighth day, the baby’s foreskin is to be circumcised.

      Yeshua (Jesus) followed Torah and was not guilty of breaking it. The same Torah Yeshua instructed the people (Jews) to follow:

      Matthew 23:2-4 (CJB)
      2 “The Torah-teachers and the P’rushim,” he said, “sit in the seat of Moshe.
      3 So whatever they tell you, take care to do it. But don’t do what they do, because they talk but don’t act!
      4 They tie heavy loads onto people’s shoulders but won’t lift a finger to help carry them.

      In fact, the only thing Yeshua corrected was the man-made laws that were passed off as Torah commands from Mark 7:6-8 where He restates Isaiah 29:13:

      Mark 7:6-8 (CJB)
      6 Yeshua answered them, “Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites — as it is written,

      ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me.
      7 Their worship of me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’

      8 “You depart from God’s command and hold onto human tradition.

      The “4 laws” that you end with are also Torah:

      “For it
      seemed good to the Holy Spirit,
      and to us, to lay upon you no
      greater burden than these
      necessary things:” to abstain
      from idolatry, immorality and
      blood.

      Not to nitpick, but idolatry is not what it says. It says abstain from what has been “sacrificed to idols” or eidōlothutos as it is written in the Greek. Revelation 2:14 and 2:20 reiterate this same command:

      Revelation 2:14 (CJB)
      14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have some people who hold to the teaching of Bil‘am, who taught Balak to set a trap for the people of Isra’el, so that they would eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and commit sexual sin.
      Revelation 2:20 (CJB)
      20 But I have this against you: you continue to tolerate that Izevel woman, the one who claims to be a prophet, but is teaching and deceiving my servants to commit sexual sin and eat food that has been sacrificed to idols.

      You also left out the forth law – strangulation. Strangulation was a cultic practice by the pagans and therefore inappropriate by God’s people and against Torah.

      Finally I leave you with Acts 21 where the same brothers from Jerusalem meet with Sha’ul again to hear what he has done since they last saw him. Even though Sha’ul had been warned by Agav, he went back to Jerusalem and met with the elders and Ya’akov (James) again.

      Acts 21:17-19 (CJB)
      17 In Yerushalayim, the brothers received us warmly.
      18 The next day Sha’ul and the rest of us went in to Ya‘akov, and all the elders were present.
      19 After greeting them, Sha’ul described in detail each of the things God had done among the Gentiles through his efforts.

      Here is the important part to see and understand because this is all AFTER the Jerusalem Council:

      Acts 21:20 (CJB)
      20 On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him, “You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah.

      This one is hard to reconcile if you take the stand that Torah is no longer binding or important to Ya’akov and the elders in Jerusalem. In fact, the next part makes it even harder because there were people accusing Sha’ul of teaching people to NOT follow Torah. This is what they decided to do to COUNTER that accusation:

      Acts 21:21-24 (CJB)
      21 Now what they have been told about you is that you are teaching all the Jews living among the Goyim to apostatize from Moshe, telling them not to have a b’rit-milah for their sons and not to follow the traditions.
      22 “What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come.
      23 So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow.
      24 Take them with you, be purified with them, and pay the expenses connected with having their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to these rumors which they have heard about you; but that, on the contrary,
      you yourself stay in line and keep the Torah.

      Stay in line and keep the Torah (instruction – law)? Yes, Sha’ul kept Torah. He was a Jew. They all were. The decision of the Council of Jerusalem is recounted concerning the Torah commands that the Gentiles are to obey:

      Acts 21:25 (CJB)
      25 “However, in regard to the Goyim who have come to trust in Yeshua, we all joined in writing them a letter with our decision that they should abstain from what had been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled and from fornication.”

      And finally, Sha’ul does purification and the offering according to Jewish law:

      Acts 21:26 (CJB)
      26 The next day Sha’ul took the men, purified himself along with them and entered the Temple to give notice of when the period of purification would be finished and the offering would have to be made for each of them.

      As for the Sabbath in your final comment:

      There is no mention here of
      the Jewish Sabbath or any of the
      many distinctives being insisted by
      modern Judaizers.

      I recommend that you read the3 part series I posted in September:

      “How Keeping the Jewish Sabbath was Abolished in Christianity.”

      Part 1
      http://wp.me/p2nZKA-6e

      Part 2
      http://wp.me/p2nZKA-6h

      Part 3
      http://wp.me/p2nZKA-6n

      Blessings to you,

      Shalom!

  3. You are very welcome! Be blessed!

    • tiva82 says:

      Shalom

      Modern day Judaizers has been risen they taught us that for a Christians to be a true followers of Yeshua one must not uses the names God, Jesus, Holy spirit and stop even celebrating Christians holidays but rather simple pay attention to Jewish feasts and this really confused some brethren because they dont even know what to do

      • Confusion is out there for sure. Division is out there for sure. The big problem is that many different denominations promote a thinking along the same line as Judiazing: “you must do what we do/say or you won’t/can’t be saved.” I can think of 4 major Christian denominations that do this, and sadly, people fall prey to it as well.

        The crux of it comes down to this – are we honoring God in what we say and do?

        Yeshua (Jesus) reiterated and gave us a simple point of reference from the Torah that is the most important command:

        Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (CJB)
        4 (A:vi, S: v) “Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one];
        5 and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.
        6 These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart;
        7 and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
        8 Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead,
        9 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.

        He gave us a second one that he said was just as important:

        Leviticus 19:18 (CJB)
        18 Don’t take vengeance on or bear a grudge against any of your people; rather, love your neighbor as yourself; I am Adonai.

        If we love God in the way that God instructs us to and we love our neighbor and treat them in the way that we want to be treated, we will understand what Yeshua was teaching in Matthew 22:37-40.

        Our loving father gave us His son and He gave us instruction on how to avoid all of the things that bog us down because He gave us a book that tells us how to love Him and how we can have a relationship with him. All of the extra stuff that man piles on top of it is just man messing it up.

        I would reccomend a good book for you to read bythe respected scholar Dr Marvin R Wilson who was the lead Old Testament scholar on the NIV translation of the bible:

        http://www.amazon.com/Our-Father-Abraham-Jewish-Christian/dp/0802804233

        It helps avoid some of the confusion that is out there by a very smart and loving scholar who is not Jewish but understands biblical Judaism as well as anyone I have encountered – Jewish or otherwise.

        Blessings!

  4. Pingback: Once saved, NOT always saved . . . | evenifministries

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