By Brother Michel Lankford
- We Must Be Prepared to Respond When People Ask.
- Best Practices: Focus on HIS Instructions First, and Methods second.
- Basics of Defending the Faith.
- Knowing the Father.
- Knowing Messiah.
- We Have Sin Problem.
- Sin Has Dire Consequences.
- Messiah is the Solution.
- The Real GOAL of the Gospel is to TRANSFORM Us
- I Came to Messiah, Now What?
We Must be Prepared to Respond
As it is written:
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”(1 Peter 3:15, NASB95)
(Focusing specifically on WHAT we are being told to DO)
Sanctify Messiah in our heart… This means that we are to, “Set Messiah Apart as Holy; belonging to YHWH Almighty.”
Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.
We are to be constantly prepared to share what we believe with true reverence toward YHWH, but also with gentleness and respect for the person which we are addressing.
(Focusing on HOW to DO the Instruction)
We are commanded to, ALWAYS be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks us to give an account for the hope that we have in us,” concerning the gospel. In order to do this successfully, certain critical components must be in place.
How to DO 1 Peter 3:15:
Know WHAT You Believe
Know WHY You Believe it.
Know WHERE to verify it in rightly divided Scripture
Know HOW to communicate all of that with other people.
Know HOW to do all of that with reverence toward YHWH and Messiah, along with gentleness and respect for the other person.
If we do not know how to do this, then we are NOT mature enough, nor adequately prepared to give an account for the hope that we have, and we are violating this clear command of the New Testament.
* This is also one of the very first steps to overcoming, because it solidifies what you believe and that helps to defeat the adversary’s crafty lies.
Messiah Defined Eternal Life
(Always RETURN to God’s Definitions for Key Terms)
As it is written:
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3 (NASB)John 17:3 (NASB)
Knowing the Father
We need to KNOW that YHWH is God, and there is no other, (Exodus 3:14-15; Isaiah 44:6-8; Isaiah 45:5; Isaiah 45:18: Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 46:9).
We need to KNOW that YHWH is the Almighty Creator who made the universe, (Genesis 1:1-31; John 1:1; Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 11:1-3; Colossians 1:15-16; Revelation 4:11).
We need to KNOW that YHWH is a Loving Father, (1 John 4:7-8; Psalm 86:15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Romans 8:15-16).
We must also know that YHWH the Almighty Creator is the Ultimate Judge; (Psalm 96:10; Psalm 98:9; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Proverbs 3:5-8; Proverbs 16:25; Matthew 12:36-37; Matthew 16:27; Acts 10:42; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 21:7-8).
Obeying YHWH is Proof that we Know Him
One of the Key Proofs that We Have Truly been Born Again & We Have Come to KNOW YHWH the Only True ‘God’ is that we Obey the Father’s Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:29; Deuteronomy 7:9; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Matthew 7:21; Matthew 12:48-50; John 12:49-50; Romans 8:5-8; Philippians 2:13; 1 John 2:3-4).
As It Is Written:
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,(1 John 2:3–4 ESV)
* So, the Almighty Father, and His Holy Spirit will cause you to OBEY and to KEEP YHWH’S Commandments, and NOT to disregard, to disobey, or to reject His Commands and Instructions.
*This truth is so critical, that it cannot be overstated. If something is directing you or pushing you to disregard, to disobey, or to reject God’s Commands and Instructions; that is not rightly divided Scripture leading you to do that. It is not YHWH leading you to do that. It is not the Holy Spirit leading you to do that. It is not God’s Grace leading you to do that. Do not deceive yourself or allow yourself to be deceived. If you are being led or directed to disregard or to disobey the Heavenly Father’s Commands and instructions, that is a sign that you are being led by the devil. You are being led by your carnal mind and your sinful nature. Or, you are being led by the patterns of the sinful world, but it is NOT the leading of the Holy Spirit. It couldn’t be according to Scripture.
How-To John 17:3
To have Eternal Life, we must KNOW YHWH and KNOW Messiah, (John 17:3).
The proof that I know YHWH is to KEEP His Commandments.
The proof that I know Messiah is to KEEP His Commandments.
WHY? Because if I claim to know Him, but I do not practice keeping His Commandments, then I would be a LIAR and the truth would not be in me, (1 John 2:3-4).
That is why it can rightly be said that keeping the Commandments, WILL NOT CAUSE your salvation; however, being truly Born Again, and being truly saved WILL CAUSE you to progressively KEEP His Commandments.
- If we do not practice obeying YHWH’s Commandments, then in reality we DO NOT truly KNOW YHWH.
- If we do not practice obeying Messiah’s Commandments, then in reality we DO NOT truly KNOW Messiah.
- If we Claim that we know Him, while we refuse to practice obeying Him, we are deceiving ourselves and lying to our neighbor.
Understanding That We Have a Sin Problem
Sin is missing the mark of YHWH’s Highest Standards- (e.g. Romans 3:23, Romans
6:23). The key Greek words: HARMATIA (Greek Strong’s #266) it comes from an old archery term – which is literally to miss the bull’s-eye or to miss the mark of YHWH’s best Standards. (E.g. Romans 6:23). The Hebrew word for “sin” is חטאה (hhatah, Strong’s #2403) and literally means to “miss the mark.”
YHWH’s Torah & Messiah’s Example of doing Torah
IS the Bull’s-Eye, (Righteousness).
To SIN is to MISS the Bull’s-Eye. Therefore, anything that VIOLATES YHWH’s Torah, and/or Messiah’s Example of doing Torah, is SIN.
YHWH’S Law & Instruction Defines for Us What is Sin
“What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” (Romans 7:7).
“Put the trumpet to your lips! Like an eagle the enemy comes against the house of the LORD, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law. (Hosea 8:1 NASB)
“Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. (Daniel 9:11 NASB)
“Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. “(1 John 3:4 AKJV)
Anything in my Thoughts, Words, Motives & Actions that VIOLATES YHWH’s Torah, and/or Messiah’s Example of doing Torah, is SIN.
Sin is anything done outside of YHWH’s definition of Love (e.g. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Matthew 22:36-40; Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18; Leviticus 19:34).
Sin is anything done outside of faith in YHWH (Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 14:23b)-‘Whatever does not come from faith is sin.’
Sin is anything done outside of obeying YHWH and outside of obeying Messiah, who Himself also Obeyed YHWH (e.g. Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; John 5:19; 8:31-32; John14:15, 21, 23; John 15:10; 1 John 2:1-6; 1 John 3:24; 1 John 5:1-3; 3 John 1 6).
Sin is anything done outside of purposefully and intentionally glorifying YHWH (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17-23).
Sin is any time that I know what YHWH considers to be good, and I choose not to do it, or I choose to do something else instead of what YHWH has taught me to be what He considers good (James 4:17; cf. Isaiah 5:20-24).
- Is it done in Love?
- Is it done in Faith, toward YHWH Almighty God, and Messiah?
- Is it done in OBEDIENCE to the Heavenly Father and Messiah’s Commandments?
- Is it done on purpose to glorify and honor God?
- Did I do the good that I know to do, and that God has taught me to do in His Word?
- Did I act toward this person in the same way that I would want to be treated myself?
If you can honestly and truthfully answer yes to these questions, then you are doing right. If the true answer is no to those six basic questions, then you have sinned and you need to repent, and get back on track.
Lawlessness; Another Definition for Sin
Another common term for sin in the New Testament is, “LAWLESSNESS.” ANOMIA (Lawlessness – Greek Strong’s #’s 458-459 Literally meaning to walk outside or in violation of or to transgress YHWH’s Law which He gave to Moses. (E.g. 1 John 3:4).
As it is written:
“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.(1John 3:4)
Here is how TWO Greek New Testament Dictionaries define Lawlessness:
Greek Strong’s # 458-459 (ANOMIA Lawlessness IS SIN)
- The condition of being without Law
- Being ignorant of the Law
- Violating/ Breaking the Law
- Having contempt for the Law
- “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 both Thayer’s and Strong’s Original Language Lexicons*)
Walking outside of YHWH’s Laws and Commandments has been clearly defined even in the New Testament to be what it means to sin. That means that living outside of YHWH’s Law CANNOT be what it means to live in God’s Grace, as so many Christians wrongly believe today. Since violating God’s Law is the definition of what it means to sin, then it CANNOT be a work of God’s grace to violate, or to live outside of God’s Law.”
Sin Has Dire Consequences
Sin breaks our fellowship with YHWH and with Messiah and others, (Exodus 33:3; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 95:7-11; Proverbs 15:8-9, 29; Matthew 5:21-26).
Sin leads to captivity bondage slavery, including the captivity of deception (Hebrews 3:13; Isaiah 44:20; Matthew 8:31-34; Romans 6:16; Romans 7:11; 7:14; 7:25; Ephesians 4:22).
Sin leads to death; (1 Chronicles 10:13; Proverbs 11:19; Ezekiel 18:4; James 1:13-15; Romans 6:23).
Sin leads to everlasting torment and separation from YHWH and His Loving Presence; (Matthew 25:41; Matthew 13:41-42; Matthew 24:41; Matthew 25:30; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 14:9-11; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8). So, either we will learn to progressively separate ourselves from sin, or our sin will progressively separate us from YHWH.
Sin Causes Love to Grow Cold
(Keeping God’s Law and Commandments is NOT the problem).
As it is written:
“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.(Matthew 24:12-13)
One of the greatest heresies of modern and postmodern Christianity has been the idea that keeping YHWH’s Law and keeping His Commandments somehow causes people to have less love. In other words, the belief has been propagated for decades that if people didn’t try to keep God’s rules so much, they would be more loving. That idea feels good. On the surface it looks and feels more liberating. It mixes the ideas of modern psychology with Christianity. So, it sounds intelligent. The big problem is that it is false doctrine, and false teaching. The idea that keeping God’s laws and commandments somehow causes us to have less love runs 180° OPPOSITE of what Jesus actually SAID. Read the passage again.
Does Jesus say that because keeping the law is increased the love of many will wax cold? On the contrary, He specifically says that because lawlessness (anomia) commandment-BREAKING is increased, the love of many will grow cold.
“Because people are without His Law, the love of most will grow cold…”
“Because people are ignorant of God’s Law, the love of most will grow cold…”
“Because people are increasing in breaking/violating of God, s Law, the love of most will grow cold…”
“Because people are having more and more contempt; and less and less respect for God, s Law, the love of most will grow cold…”
Because people are increasing in violation of the Mosaic or Jewish Law” A.KA. Illegality; iniquity; breaking, transgressing or walking in violation of the Law, the love of most will grow cold…”
So, remember, it is NOT Commandment keeping that causes love to wax cold in the last days, it is Commandment breaking that causes a lack of love according, to Messiah. It is actually the commandments of the Law of God that teaches us HOW to love God, and how to love our neighbor. Without God’s law, we do not learn the mechanics of HOW to love. It is because breaking God’s Law has increased that the love of many is growing cold in the last days. That is one of the many horrible consequences of sin.
Messiah Is the Solution for Sin
Blood must be shed, and a life sacrificed for sin, (Leviticus 17; Hebrews 9:22; Leviticus 5:11ff; Romans 6:23).
The Old Testament Scriptures prophesied of Messiah’s coming. There are more than 400 prophecies of Messiah which Jesus, (Yeshua) fulfilled, but here are just some of the more critical ones, (e.g. Genesis 3:15; Genesis 22:8; Isaiah 53:1-12; Daniel 9:26).
As it is written:
“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.(Genesis 22:8 KJV 1900)
His contemporaries testified that (יֵשׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) of Nazareth is the Long-awaited Messiah. He Fulfills the promise. (1 Timothy 1:15; John 1:1, 12, 29; Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:1-6; 1 John 4:10).
(יהוה YAHWEH) physically resurrected Messiah from the dead; (Luke 24:2-3; John 11:25-26; Acts 4:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Mark 16:5-7; Matthew 27:65-66; Luke 23:46-47; Romans 6:8-11; Romans 8:34; Colossians 1:13-14; Ephesians 1:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 2:8).
As it is written:
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.(Romans 8:11 KJV)
(יהוה YAHWEH) and (יֵשׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) will accept EVERYONE who is willing and will come to Him, (Isaiah 41:17; Isaiah 55:1-11; Joel 2:32; Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37; Romans 10:13; Matthew 7:7-8).
As it is written:
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:(1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (KJV)
The Purpose of the Gospel
One of the most tragic casualties of the Free Grace/Ultra Grace Movements is that in the process of trying to convince people that the gospel is all about grace and nothing more than grace, they have forgotten and caused generations of Christians to forget the ultimate purpose of the gospel. So, what is the objective of the gospel? What is the ultimate goal of the gospel?
The Free Grace/Ultra Grace Movements function AS IF the ONLY goal of the gospel is to get people saved out of hell, and into heaven. The FG/UG movements also believe and functions as though all a person needs to do is make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and nothing more is required beyond this. According to FG/UG believers, anyone who tries to do any work of obedience beyond coming to Messiah is violating grace and is under bondage to legalism. They are accused of trying to achieve righteousness by their works, and not trusting Christ to be enough.
Now, on the surface, based on the way that most modern Christians understand, or rather misunderstand, grace, the FG/UG worldview, their theology, and their paradigm APPEARS good. The problem is that it is in reality a TERRIBLE worldview. It’s TERRIBLE theology, and it’s a TERRIBLE paradigm. It is the very OPPOSITE of good. I will explain in detail, step-by-step.
The FG/UG movement CANNOT be GOOD, because it forces believers to believe and walk CONTRARY to what Jesus actually SAID. They have pieced a theology together that is based on a misunderstanding of Paul’s writings, but the misunderstanding runs so far that it actually forces them to reject, deny or ignore the very words of Jesus Christ the Messiah. That’s a SERIOUS problem.
Messiah, clearly speaking of the future Day of Judgment, clearly SAID as follows:
As It Is Written:
““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21 NASB95)
Messiah clearly said that NOT everyone who says to Him, Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So, if all that is required to go to heaven is to make a profession of faith in the Messiah, then why did the Messiah Himself say that this was NOT true?
Second, Messiah clearly said that only those who DO the WILL of the Father will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So, according to the Messiah Himself, getting to heaven is not just a matter of mental belief and acceptance. Getting to heaven also involves what we DO. It DOES involve our works. It does involve our deeds. I believe it because Messiah SAID so. The Messiah Himself SAID that we are REQUIRED to DO the Heavenly Father’s Will, in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So then, by definition, any true Saint will be devoted to learning, and to practice DOING the Heavenly Father’s Will. Anybody who does not have the desire, the willingness and the growing ability to learn and to DO the Father’s Will, should not believe that they are saved, and headed for heaven.
Messiah goes on to say in reference to the same Great Day of Judgment:
As It Is Written:
““Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:22–23 NASB95)
This is and absolutely CRITICAL statement of the Messiah. According to Messiah there are MANY, ‘Christian Believers,’ who will NOT enter the Kingdom of Heaven. How do we know that Messiah is referring to Christians? Well, the CONTEXT informs us of this. Only Christians emphasize calling Jesus Lord.
- Only Christians emphasize prophesying in the Lord Jesus’ Name.
- Only Christians emphasize casting out demons in the name of the Lord Jesus.
- Only Christians emphasize performing miraculous works and signs in the name of the Lord Jesus.
- No other religion or philosophy attempts to do this. So, Messiah had to be referring to Christians, and specifically modern Christians in the context of this passage.
Did you notice what the people will try to give as a defense for themselves:
“Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name?”
“In Your name cast out demons…”
“In Your name perform many miracles?’
First, it is important to note that Messiah does not suggest that they did not do the things they claimed to have done. Messiah does not say that they did not do those things. Second, did you notice that everything that these believers will have claimed to have done, (prophesying in His Name, casting out demons in His Name, performing many miracles in His Name); all of those are manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit, (see 1 Corinthians 12). All of those are considered biblical signs that one has the Holy Spirit living and working in them. Third, these people have some faith. You don’t perform miracles and cast out demons in Messiah without some real faith.
Nevertheless, even having enough Faith to walk in the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifesting in your life is not necessarily the ultimate evidence that you are right with YHWH and with Messiah. Why? Because even the fact that future believers will have been walking in these manifestations of the Holy Spirit will not be enough to guarantee them entry into the Kingdom. We know this, because despite the fact that they were walking in the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, they were still ultimately REJECTED by Messiah on the day of judgment. So, this must mean that in the eyes of YHWH and Messiah there is something MORE important to them than for us to walk in the manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit. What is this more important thing? Well, Matthew 7:23 gives us the clue:
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
So, despite all of their good works for the kingdom; despite all of the prophesying in Jesus’ name; despite all of the deliverance ministry they had done in Christ’s name; despite all of the miracles that they had performed, (and despite all of the faith they had in Messiah to perform those works), it still was not enough to guarantee their salvation, because YHWH in Messiah was judging them by a higher and more specific standards. Ultimately many Christians will be rejected because they walked in LAWLESSNESS (Anomia). According to Messiah, walking in opposition to YHWH’s Laws, and Commandments, and Instructions will be enough to keep Christians out of the kingdom on the Day of Judgment, (Matthew 7:23). Those are Messiah’s words, not mine. If you truly believe the Messiah, then walking in lawlessness is extremely dangerous.
The GOAL of the Gospel is NOT only to get people to profess faith in the Messiah.
The GOAL of the Gospel is NOT merely to escape hell and to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Although that is a good result.
The GOAL of the Gospel is NOT merely to get people working in the gifts of the holy Spirit and exercising their ministries to do marvelous things for the Kingdom. That is certainly worthwhile, but it is not the ultimate goal of the Gospel.
If any of those things were the ultimate goal of the gospel, then the Christians described in Matthew 7:21-23, should be an absolute shoe-in to enter the Kingdom. Sadly, Messiah clearly indicates that not only will they not enter into the kingdom, but He will claim that He never knew these people at all, because they practiced anomia. They will have lived the lifestyle of lawlessness, walking outside of YHWH’S Commandments.
I believe that in part, Matthew 7:21-23, and especially the FG/UG movement is part of the description of what it means to have a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, (2 Timothy 3:1-7). The reason that I say that is because the FG/UG movement promises to save you without actually transforming you, and so it denies the ultimate power of the Gospel. The real power of the Gospel is a TRANSFORMED LIFE. Anything that promises to save you, without thoroughly transforming you, is having a form of godliness, but it denies the actual power of the Gospel.
First Steps after Coming to Christ
(Expect Growth and Transformation)
One of the very first things that I teach up-and-coming disciples is that we should expect progressive transformation. YHWH Almighty and Messiah will accept everyone who is willing and will come to Him. Initially, He will accept us just as we are, but the Almighty Father and Creator who is all loving, is also completely righteous; and that means that in all righteousness, He cannot leave us as we are. He cannot leave us as we were when we originally came to Him. He must progressively transform us to agree with His righteousness. Otherwise, we will not be able to walk together, (Amos 3:3; Romans 12:1-2). So, we should expect to be pushed to progressively cooperate with Him, to be transformed into what agrees and coincides with YHWH’s Character and His Desires. Remember, any Grace that is not strong enough to transform you is also not strong enough to save you.
He Promises to Transform Us: (Deuteronomy 30:6; Isaiah 55:1-3; Joel 2:32; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:25-27; John 3:3, 7; Matthew 18:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
As it is written:
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.(1 John 2:1 (NASB)
One of the key reasons that John the Apostle wrote this letter was so that we would NOT transgress the Commandments of YHWH and Messiah. A principle goal in writing his letter was that we would not sin. Anytime you see the word “sin” in your New Testament, you could insert the words, [transgress the Commandments], and you would be dead on accurate as to the literal biblical meaning of the word sin. A second reason that John wrote this letter was that if any one of us sinned, if we did violate one of YHWH’s or one of Messiah’s Commandments, then once we realize that we missed the target, then we would have an ADVOCATE with the Heavenly Father, who is (יֵשׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) Christ the righteous.
As it is written:
and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.1 John 2:2 (NASB)
In concrete terms, Messiah is the propitiation for our sins. That word propitiation literally means that Messiah is the atoning sacrifice that YHWH will accept, against His justifiable wrath over sin.
The second half of the verse makes it clear that this sacrifice of Messiah is made available to the entire world, and not just to an elite few. Unfortunately, some people have abused this verse to make the FALSE claim that because of 1 John 2:2, this supposedly means that the entire world will automatically be saved, without needing to come to Messiah. However, such a conclusion is extremely false. The reason we know this is because such a conclusion does not fit the context of the passage. It does not fit the context of the entire book in which this verse is found. It does not fit the context of the rest of the Scripture either. Therefore, such a conclusion cannot possibly be a correct interpretation of the verse.
As it is written:
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.1 John 2:3 (NASB)
There are many people who claim to know (יהוה YAHWEH) Almighty as their Heavenly Father. There are many people who claim to know (יֵשׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah as their Lord and Savior. The critical factor that many Christians ignore is the fact that Scripture, (even the New Testament Scripture), gives us the litmus test which PROVES that we truly do KNOW YHWH, and the proof that we KNOW Messiah.
Even according to the, “New Testament,” the PROOF that I truly do KNOW, (יהוה YAHWEH) Almighty, is that I practice KEEPING (יהוה YAHWEH) the Heavenly Father’s Commandments. Likewise, the PROOF that I truly do KNOW, (יֵשׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah, is that I practice KEEPING (יֵשׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah’s Commandments. If I do not practice keeping YHWH’s Commandments, then this demonstrates that, I truly do not know YHWH, according to Scripture. If I do not practice keeping Messiah’s Commandments, then this proves that I truly do not know the Messiah, according to Scripture. The definition of knowing YHWH Almighty, and knowing Messiah is keeping the Commandments.
As it is written:
The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;1 John 2:4 (NASB)
The New Testament Scripture could not be clearer. If I claim to know (יהוה YAHWEH) as my Heavenly Father, but I refuse to practice keeping YHWH’s Commandments, then I would be a liar and the truth would not be in me. Likewise, if I claim that I have come to know (יֵשׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah, but I refuse to practice keeping Messiah’s Commandments, then I would be a liar and the truth would not be in me, even according to the New Testament Scripture, (1 John 2:4). Now this passage is crucial for at least two reasons.
First, if the truth is not in me, then that would mean that Jesus is not truly in me, because He is the Way the Truth and the Life, (John 14:6). So, if the truth is not in you, then that means that Jesus is not truly in you.
The second reason that this passage is so crucial is that if I am classified as a liar, then I am not truly Saved, I am not headed for the Heavenly Kingdom under such circumstances. In fact, I would be headed for the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, and I would be headed for condemnation and the second death, (Matthew 13:41-42; Revelation 21:8).
At this point, if we were wise, we would be double checking ourselves. Does my life demonstrate that I truly know YHWH Almighty as my heavenly Father? Do I truly practice keeping YHWH’s Commands? Does my life truly demonstrate that I know the Messiah? Do I practice keeping Messiah’s Commandments? If not, I need to repent and to start practicing these. Otherwise, at a bare minimum I would need to quit claiming that I know the Heavenly Father; and I would have to quit claiming that I know the Messiah. If one refuses to practice keeping the Commandments, then at a minimum they need to quit claiming that they are saved based on John 17:3 and 1 John 2:3-4; because they really don’t know YHWH or Messiah, and if they claim they do while they refuse to practice keeping the Commandments, they are lying to themselves or to others or both.
As it is written:
but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:1 John 2:5 (NASB)
Do you practice keeping YHWH’S Words? Then you are in YHWH. Do you practice keeping Messiah’s words? Then you are in Messiah. It’s pretty straightforward.
Isn’t it interesting that the sign that we are maturing and growing in Yahweh and Messiah‘s LOVE is measured by the fact that we keep HIS Word; (A.K.A. His Commandments). This is clearly stated by what we read earlier with in the same paragraph of Scripture.
As it is written:
“ The one who says that he resides in him ought also to walk just as He walked.(1 John 2:6)
The New Testament is crystal clear. If I claim to reside or abide in the Messiah, then I am required to walk in the SAME manner that Messiah walked when He was here. So, that there is the question. How did Messiah walk when He lived here?
Now, we could spend a lifetime studying all of the details and nuances of the way that Messiah walked while He was on earth, but even looking at the main points can teach us a lot.
Messiah was full of BOTH Grace AND Truth. So, Grace and Torah worked together in perfect agreement inside Messiah. Grace and truth were not in opposition to each other, (John 1:14).
Messiah proved and demonstrated His love for the Heavenly Father by keeping the Father’s Commandments, (John 15:10). So, HOW could we walk in love toward the SAME Heavenly Father by doing the opposite of what Jesus did, and by breaking the same Father’s Commandments, which Messiah kept? That would be walking opposite of the way that Jesus walked, which would be violating 1 John 2:6.
Messiah had great passion. He lived to do the will of the Heavenly Father, (John 4:34).
Messiah taught people to KEEP the Commandments of YHWH. He never taught anyone to disobey or to disregard the Father’s Commandments. This is part of what proves that He is the Messiah, (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Matthew 5:17-20; Luke 10:25-28; Matthew 19:17).
Messiah purposely condemned and rejected lawlessness or anomia. He never promoted lawlessness in the name of Grace, (Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 13:41-42; Matthew 24:12-13).
Messiah openly rejected religious traditions of men, whenever those traditions violated a direct Commandment of YHWH (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13).
Messiah was full of grace and truth. The spirit of grace and truth lived in Messiah and caused Him to do all the things described above.
So how can the same Holy Spirit of the same grace and the same truth but it’s telling us to do the opposite of what Jesus did?! The same Holy Spirit of the same grace and the same truth is supposedly telling us to live in an opposite manner to the way that Jesus lived?! That cannot be. That kind of belief violates even New Testament precepts. Since the Holy Spirit lived in and empowered Jesus to live and walk in a particular way, the SAME Holy Spirit is not going to tell you to walk the opposite way then Jesus walked. It’s that simple.