By Brother R. Michel Lankford
In This Study:
God’s Word is Truth – it defines WHAT TRUTH IS.
God’s Word sets us apart – it SANCTIFIES believers.
God’s Word COMMISSIONS.
What Paul TESTIFIED about what he BELIEVED and DID, and DID NOT DO.
As it is written:
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”(John 17:17, NKJV)
FACT: Shortly before Jesus Christ the Son of the living God died to make atonement for our sins, He specifically prayed to the Almighty Heavenly Father, asking His Father, to SANCTIFY the disciples.
FACT: Notice that Messiah DID NOT SAY, Father, sanctify them by the words I speak, but Messiah specifically asked the Heavenly Father to SANCTIFY them by the FATHER’S Word. We will deal with the huge significance of that statement momentarily, but please remember it.
FACT: To SANCTIFY– (hagiazō- Greek Strong’s #39). It means to be dedicated and devoted as loyal; to be set apart as holy; belonging to Almighty God; and also for special service.
Q: So, according to Messiah HIMSELF, by WHAT MEANS, and by WHAT method were the disciples to be SANCTIFIED; dedicated and devoted as loyal; belonging to the Creator?
Q: So, according to Messiah HIMSELF, by WHAT MEANS, and by WHAT method were the disciples to be SANCTIFIED; What vehicle so to speak, would the Almighty use to set the disciples apart as belonging to Him, and also for special service?
A: Of course, according to Messiah HIMSELF, The central thing that set the disciples apart as dedicated, as loyal; the very thing that guaranteed that the disciples were set apart as belonging to Yahweh, and were commissioned for special service, was the CREATOR’S WORD. That is what Messiah SAID.
DILEMMA: Since the Creator’s Word is what sanctified the disciples; since the Creator’s Word is what dedicated and devoted the disciples as being loyal and belonging to Yahweh Almighty; since the Creator’s Word, is what set the disciples apart as belonging to Yahweh, and it’s also the Creator’s Word which commissioned and set them apart for special service, then IF the Creator’s Words were actually done away with at the cross, as most Christians are mistakenly taught to believe, then that means that the sanctification of the disciples would also have to have been done away with at the cross.
Was the sanctification of the apostles done away with at the cross?! No way!
Since the Word of Yahweh is what sanctified the disciples, if the Word of Yahweh was done away with at the cross, then that would mean that the disciples were no longer dedicated as belonging to Yahweh after the cross! That’s impossible. Our violations of the Word were done away with at the cross, but God’s ETERNAL Word COULD NOT be done away with, as most Christians mistakenly believe today.
DILEMMA: Messiah gave us a CLEAR definition of what truth is, even in the New Testament. Messiah clearly tells us that the WORD of the CREATOR, IS TRUTH. Since God’s Word Is Truth, then any apostle who would be teaching people not to obey God’s Word, would NOT be TELLING you the TRUTH by definition.
So when Christians misinterpret and misunderstand Paul’s writings, and they claim that Paul the apostle taught people to ignore, to disobey, and to do the OPPOSITE of what God’s Word specifically tells us to do, then without realizing it, they are literally claiming that Paul taught against the truth. That’s not possible. We must have misunderstood Paul somewhere. If he is a legitimate apostle, then Paul could not have taught against the established Word of God, because that would be coming against the truth, by definition.
Any apostle that would speak opposite or contrary to Yahweh’s Word, would be coming against the very thing that sanctified them and set them apart in the first place! If they went against God’s Word, according to Messiah’s own definition, they would also be coming against the very thing that set them apart to serve, at the same time.
- YHWH’s Law is Truth and Everlasting Righteousness, (Psalm 119:142)
- ALL of YHWH’S Commandments are Truth, (Psalm 119:151)
- The sum of YHWH’s Word is Truth, all of His Righteous Ordinances is EVERLASTING
A Mark of Apostleship
As it is written:
“I assure you: A slave is NOT greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.”(John 13:16, HCSB- with emphasis)
FACT: Depending on the translation of Scripture which you use, Paul SPECIFICALLY referred to himself as a servant, a slave, a bondservant or a messenger for Jesus Christ at least 12 times throughout his letters.
FACT: the word (APOSTLE Greek Strong’s #693-apostolos); it most precisely means one who is sent with a message.
FACT: According to Jesus Christ the Messiah Himself, the messenger who is sent with the message is NOT greater, then the one who sent him to deliver that message. Since Jesus is the one who sent Paul with the message, then Paul CANNOT rightly OVERRIDE or OVERRULE what Jesus Christ has already said, according to what we just read.
Jesus had already specifically SAID that Lawlessness – ANOMIA would NOT ENTER the Eternal Kingdom (Matthew 7:21-23).
Jesus had already said that Lawlessness – ANOMIA will be condemned to the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth on the Day of Judgment (Matthew 13:41-42).
Jesus had already said that those who persevere and overcame Lawlessness – ANOMIA would be saved (Matthew 24:12-13).
Please remember and do not forget, according to the original languages, this is what Lawlessness – ANOMIA literally means:
1. The condition of being without Law.
2. Being ignorant of the Law.
3. Violating/ Breaking the Law.
4. Having contempt for the Law.
5. “To be destitute or in violation of the Mosaic or Jewish Law“ A.KA. Illegality; iniquity; to break, transgress or walk in violation of the Law- (see also 1 John 3:4).
(See Thayer’s and Strong’s Lexicons. So we have two New Testament dictionaries specifically defining lawlessness in the same manner)
DILEMMA: Jesus Christ the Messiah already said that those who practice the above concepts, (Lawlessness – ANOMIA, and those who cause other people to stumble into the above concepts will be CONDEMNED, (Matthew 13:41-42); then how could a servant and messenger of Jesus Christ rightly preach that the same things which Jesus condemns is allegedly now the new definition of what it means to live under God’s grace?!
If Paul took concepts which Jesus condemns and he declared that what Jesus already condemns is now the new definition of grace, Paul would be overriding and overruling the One who sent him to deliver the message. By Messiah’s own definition that would mean that Paul would be undermining his own apostleship.
Since Jesus already said that those who cause others to stumble into ANOMIA – Lawlessness, will be condemned to the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:41-42), IF Paul promoted doing the opposite of Yahweh’s Laws commandments and instructions, as most Christians mistakenly believe that Paul was teaching, then according to Messiah’s own definition, Paul would be CONDEMNED. In that case, Paul would not even be saved according to Messiah, let alone a legitimate apostle!
My contention is that PAUL COULD NOT POSSIBLY have been teaching people to do away with the Laws Commandments and Instructions which YHWH Almighty gave to Moses, because that is the very definition of what Jesus said WOULD NOT enter the Father’s Kingdom, it will be CONDEMNED to the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, therefore by definition; doing the OPPOSITE of YHWH’s Laws Commandments and Instructions, CANNOT truly be Grace. It cannot be what Paul was teaching to be grace, because then Paul would be contradicting what Jesus already said, and by definition he would be undermining his own apostleship at the same time. We must therefore be misreading and misunderstanding Paul’s meanings in some way.
Paul Himself DENIED Teaching AGAINST the Law
FACT: It’s a reality that most Christians are unaware of, and some blissfully ignore, but the biblical fact is that Paul HIMSELF DENIED that He was teaching against Yahweh’s Laws Commandments and Instructions. In the book of Acts , Paul SAID he was NOT teaching against the Law:
See Acts 28:17-21
“I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.”
“I have done no wrong to the Jews”
“I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers”
“I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.”
“I always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”
Remember and do not forget that Paul made these statements long after the death and resurrection of Messiah.
IF Paul was truly teaching that believers in Messiah could now BREAK and not keep YHWH’S ETERNAL Laws & Commandments “under Grace,” then EVERY ONE of the statements Paul made shown above would be a LIE.
I firmly believe that Paul the apostle was NOT teaching that the Grace of God means that we can now do the OPPOSITE of YHWH’S Laws Commandments and instructions given to Moses. I believe Paul was NOT teaching against the Law, partly because HE SAID he wasn’t.
Paul specifically SAID, “I worship the God of my fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS which are WRITTEN in the Law and in the Prophets.” That’s what Paul SAID he believed. Now, either Paul was telling the truth about what he believed or he was lying. Those are the only two options.
Beloved, either Paul told the TRUTH or he did not. Either Paul told the truth, when he said that he worshipped the God of his fathers, and that he BELIEVED EVERYTHING that is written in the law and the prophets, or he didn’t really believe that anymore, and he was lying when he said he believed something which he did no longer believe.
For example, if Paul the apostle was telling the truth, if he in fact was BELIEVING ALL THINGS which are written in the Law and the prophets, then he still believed that Isaiah 40:8 was true:
As it is written:
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8, NKJV)
- If Paul still believed EVERYTHING written in the Law and the prophets, as Paul said he did, then Paul believed that YHWH’S Word stands FOREVER. By definition, if Paul believed EVERYTHING which is written in the law and the prophets as he said he believed, then he COULD NOT have believed that Yahweh’s Laws Commandments and Instructions given to Moses were abolished at the cross, because something that stands FOREVER cannot be abolished by definition.
- Hosea 8:1 specifically says that rebelling against YHWH’S Torah, (His Law), is rebellion and sin. If Paul believed everything that is written in the prophets as he said that he believed, that means that he believed that rebelling against the Torah of Yahweh is sin. That means according to what Paul SAID HE BELIEVED, if Paul was teaching people to disobey or disregard, or to do the opposite of YHWH’S Torah, then he would be teaching people to rebel and to sin, according to his own testimony.
- Daniel 9:11 specifically says that transgressing against YHWH’S Torah, (His Law), is the biblical definition of sin. IF Paul believed everything that is written in the Law and the prophets, as Paul claimed to believe, then Paul believed that transgressing Yahweh’s Torah is the definition of sin. According to Paul’s own stated beliefs, IF Paul was truly teaching people, to do the opposite of Yahweh’s Laws Commandments and Instructions in the Torah, then Paul would be teaching people to do what he said that he believed to be sin, according to his own testimony.
Many Christians MISTAKENLY believe that in Romans 14, Paul the apostle was supposedly teaching that maintaining the biblical Sabbaths did not matter anymore because of Christ. However, Paul specifically said that he believed EVERYTHING which is written in the Law and in the prophets.
- Ezekiel 22:26-31 specifically teaches that failing to keep YHWH’S Sabbaths as being holy and set apart is part of what causes God’s people to PROFANE the LORD.
So according to Paul’s own stated beliefs, if Paul was teaching believers to disregard the biblical Sabbaths in Romans 14, (as most Christians mistakenly believe that Paul was teaching), then he would also be teaching people to PROFANE the LORD, by his own testimony. I say that based on what Paul SAID that he believed.
- Isaiah 5:20-24 specifically teaches that If a person takes a concept which Almighty God has already identified to be evil, and they call that same concept good which God calls evil, they invite God’s wrath, judgment, and punishment.
If Paul was telling the truth, and he believed everything which is written in the Law and in the prophets, then by definition he could not take a concept which Yahweh identified to be sin, and call that same concept, “The new definition of Grace.” If Paul was truly teaching that disobeying or doing the OPPOSITE of YHWH’S Laws Commandments and Instructions, is now grace because Jesus died, then in that case, Paul did not truly believe that Isaiah 5:20-24; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Daniel 9:11; Isaiah 40:8, is true anymore; (not to mention making countless other Scriptures meaningless).
In that case Paul would have been LYING when he SAID that he believed EVERYTHING that is written in the law and in the prophets.
Beloved of God, Christians cannot have it both ways. Paul specifically said that he believed everything which is written in the law and in the prophets. He specifically said that he did NOTHING against the customs of his fathers. So IF Paul was teaching people AGAINST KEEPING the Father’s Laws Commandments and Instructions given to Moses, in that case, Paul would clearly be LYING, about what he said he believed and what he said he did and did not do.
If Paul truly believed EVERYTHING which is written in the Law and the prophets; if Paul truly did nothing to offend the customs of his fathers, as Paul claimed, then by definition Paul COULD NOT POSSIBLY have been teaching against keeping YHWH’S Laws Commandments and Instructions, regardless of what we have been trained to believe that Paul was teaching.
By his own testimony, he was not teaching that. Assuming Paul told the truth, we clearly must have misunderstood Paul when we interpret his epistles as if Paul was teaching us to do something opposite of what Paul SAID he believed.
Please keep this crucial concept in mind as we continue to study Paul’s writings more closely in the coming days.
“The stability of your Eternal Salvation rests upon the reliability of God’s Eternal Word. YHWH God Almighty Promised that His Laws and Ordinances would be ETERNAL and EVERLASTING. If His Eternal Laws and Ordinances can be abolished and done away with, (even at the cross), then how can your Eternal Life possibly be considered safe and secure? Both God’s Eternal Laws and Eternal Life were PROMISED to be ETERNAL by the SAME God. If His Eternal Laws and eternal ordinances are not eternal, but can be abolished, then your Eternal Life is not Eternal or secure either. If one eternal promise can be broken, then the promise of Eternal Life is not guaranteed either. If one promise can be abolished, then the other promise can also be abolished, and it cannot be thought secure either. When you undermine God’s Eternal Law, you also undermine the stability of your own Eternal Life at the same time, whether you understand that or not.”RML
Brother R Michel Lankford