Discerning His WillLet us now look at several Scripture passages that reveal the importance of the whole matter. From these verses we may see the absolute necessity of determining what the sayings of Yahushua are, and what Yahushua's commandments are.
Let's take particular note of the consistency and urgency of the following statements, as we try to listen for, and discern His will for us. And as you read along, remember this is the Word of Yahuweh, who is Yahushua Messiah, speaking to us in all of these passages:
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:6)
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:10)
Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway. (Deuteronomy 11:1)
For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; (Deuteronomy 11:22)
If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three: (Deuteronomy 19:9)
In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:16)
But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Joshua 22:5)
And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: (Nehemiah 1:5)
And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; (Daniel 9:4)
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide [remain] in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:10)
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. (1John 5:2)
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1John 5:3)Beloved, the above passages show the close connection of Love with keeping Yahuweh's commandments. We note from the above passages that the ultimate test of our love is based on whether or not we keep Yahushua's commandments. We must be absolutely sure what those commandments of Yahushua are if we desire to "keep ourselves [remain] in the love of Messiah," and desire to be found "loving Him, and loving the brethren" upon His return.
In the passages above, note that the New Testament references are to both Yahushua's commandments and Yahuweh's commandments — for even the disciples of Yahushua's day knew who Yahushua was — that He is the Messiah, the Word of Yahuweh seen throughout the Old Testament writings, and is the embodiment of Yahuweh Himself.
Just as the Disciples of Yahushua's day followed Yahushua, in the same way Yahushua gives us His example for us to follow today. Notice Yahushua tells us in John 15:10, "...even as I have kept my Father's commandments."
In this statement, Yahushua gives Himself as our example to follow; and then the apostle John reminds us in 1John 2:6, "He that saith he abideth [is remaining] in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." Yahushua kept Father's commandments, so we who desire to abide [remain] in Him, ought do the same.
Entering His Rest: The FulfillmentThere are 15 verses listed above. The number '15' speaks of "Rest." We are then reminded that the phrase 'My Sabbaths' occurs fifteen times in Scripture. This phrase reveals both the importance, and the means, of entering Father's rest. The Theologians, and most of their followers today, have dreamed up elaborate schemes to deceive their followers, listing reasons why the "Sabbaths" of Yahuweh are not for New Testament Believers. These Doctrines and Commandments of Men are not based on Scripture, and they actually turn men from the Truth (Titus 1:14), by causing men not to practice the Truths of Yahuweh, but to practice substitutes of those Truths — which is idolatry!
We are exhorted to enter into His rest, and we are warned that some will not do so. We have been told that the Israelites in the wilderness did not enter in, and we are told why they did not enter in. Then we are warned not to fail to enter into His rest, and not to fall after the same example or pattern of unbelief (disobedience) as they did. What was their example, and the reason they failed to enter His rest? The reason they were not allowed to enter in to Yahuweh's rest is related to do the above passages. For a detailed look at the Israelites, and why they were refused entry into the Promised Land, see The Way of Salvation: Part 2- Israel as Our Example.
We shall not go into great detail here, but the Reader is encouraged to look up the referenced article, outlining the Scripture passages that tell us exactly why Israel did not enter in, and how we are warned in the New Testament that if we choose to walk in disobedience to the Sabbaths and Commandments of Yahuweh, as the Israelites did in the Wilderness, we too will be refused entry!
Beloved, the implications are enormous. If we desire to be a "DO-er" of Yahushua's sayings, His commandments, then we must be talking about being a doer of not only the obvious ones in the New Testament, but a do-er of Yahuweh's 'Old Testament' commandments spoken by Yahushua, including the Ten commandments, His ordinances, and His Feasts, and all those things Yahushua has spoken, and in which He has prepared for His people to walk.
If there is any question about the matter we are discussing, let us remember that Yahushua is faithful to give us the proper meat in due season. He has hidden various New Testament Scripture passages for His sincere seeking ones for such a time as this. Let us look at a few more passages, recalling the little prophetic phrase, "from the beginning:"
Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. (1John 2:7)
And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. (2John 1:5)These passages, tell us plainly that John is talking about the Old commandment, or the commandments in the 'Old' Testament. Notice the following passage:
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)Beloved, whose commandment is the one shown above? Indeed, even Yahushua confirms to us that the above command in Leviticus is His commandment, although we were not taught that truth:
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:12)"Well, what about the New Commandment of Yahushua, that we love one another. Isn't that the only commandment we must obey?" Let us look at the following verse:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34)Notice that of the two verses shown above, they are shown in reverse order. In their normal order, one can easily skip over the truth that Yahushua wants us to see, namely two things. First, that the verse in Leviticus is His commandment; Secondly, that He is giving us a New commandment, having to do with how we love one another (as He has loved us – to the point of death).
This New commandment is much more demanding than the Old Testament command to love. This new commandment does not replace everything else He spoke, but is in addition to everything else He has said. Foolish teachers have taught, however, that this new commandment supersedes or replaces all the Old Testament commandments, thus they say we need not "obey" them. What rubbish! To the contrary, Yahushua merely summed up the commandments into two general summary categories, however, and did not say that the Law [Torah] or the commandments were superseded, replaced, or in any way done away with.
Let us notice the following words Yahushua spoke to those who sought to enter His Kingdom. First, in showing how the two greatest laws summarize all the rest, Yahushua said:
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:40)Showing how the Law and the commandments have not been done away with, Yahushua said:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)Moreover, we have further testimony that true love for Yahushua (Yahuweh) is shown by our obedience to His commandments, as John points out:
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1John 5:2-3)Now come to the discomforting part, where we go beyond what we have been taught, into seemingly uncharted waters. We could simply deny that this is all true, and go back to our familiar and comfortable understanding. We could take our chances that those Pastors and Leaders are correct, whom we have been hearing, and upon whose doctrines we have staked our entire eternity. Beloved, search the Scriptures for yourself, and discard the Doctrines and Commandments of Men, and lay hold of the Truth of the Scriptures!
We could simply continue to accept what we have been taught, thus denying Yahushua Himself, by not loving the Truth — for His Word is the Truth, and His Torah is the Truth (Psa 119:142; Mal 2:6). Or, we could ask Yahushua to reveal Truth of the Scriptures to us, no matter what it is, or where it takes us, or no matter how unfamiliar it is, no matter how uncomfortable it seems at first.
Those who are Yahushua's Disciples will follow Yahushua "whithersoever He goeth!" Only those who fully allow Messiah-in-them will be allowed to proceed to enter His Rest. For it is Messiah Himself who will enter in, along with those in whom He lives, just as Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of their generation to enter into the Land.
A WarningDear Reader, you are encouraged not to believe anything without first seeking Yahuweh in the Scriptures diligently as to the truth of a matter, including anything in this writing! We must be led by His Spirit, and as we approach maturity, or 'marriageable' age as a Bride. The Holy Spirit will lead us in places that we would not desire or want to go. However, as we put 'self' to death, we will allow Him to gird us, and we will then go where He leads. Only then do we begin to truly follow Him (John 21:18-19).
We must, however, find our point of departure into uncharted waters. We must confirm what we understand, and what we do not yet understand. Most find their current understanding is mostly 'Commandments of Men' based on twisted Scripture. We will now review a few basics of Scripture that Yahushua's Disciples should come to understand, by diligent seeking in the Scriptures, just as did the Bereans, who searched the Scriptures to see whether these things Paul was saying were true.
In our seeking, we must do two things. First, we must come to an unshakeable understanding of Biblical 'Grace,' in order that we may walk in the 'mystery' of 'Messiah-in-you' (Col 1:27); and second, we must discard any Traditions of Men that do not agree with Scripture, the Doctrines and Traditions we have accumulated in our understanding and practice. All our focus then begins to be upon the issues of Messiah-in-you.
Messiah-In-YouMost of the children of Yahuweh understand that by the Blood of the spotless Lamb of Yahuweh, who is Yahushua the son of Yahuweh, we have been redeemed from slavery to another master, called "Sin," and also by this shed Blood of Yahushua we have forgiveness of all Sins — our Transgressions of the Law [Torah] (1John 3:4). This forgiveness of our Sins places us in right standing with Yahuweh, without any works on our part whatsoever. It is by His Grace alone that we are forgiven, and are Born-again by the Spirit of Yahuweh. His Blood has cleansed us, and He has given us the 'Blessing of Abraham' — which is Righteousness by Faith.
As Believers, we have been set free, and forgiven, and cleansed for a purpose, just as a vessel must be cleansed before it is filled (Gal 3:14). Let us now look at the purpose for our cleansing. Notice the following passage:
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (Colossians 1:26-28)Notice the issue of 'Messiah-in-you' is listed as a mystery. Not many will understand it. Second, we see that 'Messiah-in-you' is the hope of glory. The use of the word 'the' shows exclusiveness, and tells us that this is the only hope of glory, of being counted among those called "My Glory," and of being among those who will be allowed to enter in to the City of the King. The word 'perfect' shows that the goal of informing others about 'Messiah-in-you' is that they would become 'perfect' or complete, a term referring to the preparation of the Company of Believers, just as a Bride prepares for her Husband.
Notice also that this description of perfection is not what man would call perfection, but is simply a Biblical term meaning complete, a term that describes the state of those in whom Messiah-in-them has been allowed to come to fullness, so that Messiah-in-them can bring them in to the Land.
As we look further, we can see in several passages the purpose of our cleansing. We are cleansed, so that we might be filled with the fullness of Yahushua, by His promised Spirit (Gal 3:14). This is done so that we might be directed into the Way of Truth, so that we may have right relationship and fellowship with Yahushua, and with His children; and so that we might bear the resulting fruit unto Yahuweh.
Just as a baby in the natural sense is the result of an intimate fellowship, so it is in the spiritual realm. It is in this way that we become Born-Again, in that Messiah becomes birthed within us, and "Messiah-in-us" is formed within us. This is how He comes forth in us, and how we grow up in Him, as we mature, and become increasingly obedient to all of Scripture (Gal 4:19; Eph 4:15).
Yahuweh desires that we walk together with Him, day by day. As we choose daily to allow ourselves to be conformed to the image of Messiah, we begin to notice that some of the dealings of Yahuweh are not as we expected. We go through many experiences of what we think is death to self, and it really is, but resurrection life is brought forth as a result! The Master deals with us about yokes of bondage, and how we are not to be yoked again, but then expects us to take on His yoke of bondage (Matt 11:29-30), the yoke of bondage in betrothal to Him, in the marriage Covenant with Him (Ezekiel 20:37).
This last step is very difficult for most Believers to do, since they have been trained by their teachers and false prophets to avoid all forms of bondage, including the 'Bond(age)' of Love between the Lamb and His Bride! It may be noted here that the main feature of the Mountain of Yahuweh's presence — His habitation, called Mount Zion in Scripture — is 'Bondage.' Everything of Truth in Yahuweh's kingdom appears as Bondage, and for that reason only the few, the very elect of Yahuweh, will attempt to come near, and touch the Mountain. This subject of New Covenant 'Bondage' and the Exchange of Yokes is described further in New Covenant Liberty: Freedom to Choose.
In our next item in this series, we will look at several vivid examples of what Scripture says, in contrast to what many have been taught today. We will see how this false teaching can change our behaviour, and can thus actually disqualify us from entering His Rest, and from being among the Bride-Company.
Proceed to Entering His Rest: Biblical Requirements and Hindrances.