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The Faith of Yahshua
You’ve seen it in others. You’ve probably done it yourself. How many different churches or assemblies or synagogues have you attended, in search of “the true faith?” Or, perhaps you have searched for that religion that “just feels right?” Like the story of Goldilocks, you know: “This church is too hard, this church is too soft, but this church is just right.” My mother was Catholic, my father was Presbyterian, and in my entire childhood I never attended services with either, or both, of them. A neighbor took pity on my sister, and, with my parents’ permission, took us, both pre-adolescents, to the First Baptist Church, where I had my first religious, and, later my first spiritual, experience. As a teenager, the hand of Yahweh was revealed to me in that church; however, when I answered the altar call, I was ushered into a room with a young counselor, asked if I wanted to be baptized, and, not really understanding the meaning of baptism, replied, innocently, “no.” I was then ushered through a door in that office … out into the parking lot! Talk about confusion. Later, I continued my search. I attended a number of various congregations. I became a Mormon, tried to live a righteous life, paid my tithe, went through the Temple as an Elder and was married for “time and eternity” to a woman from whom I am now divorced. One of the strong tenets of Mormonism is perfectionism, and I took the phrase, “Be ye therefore perfect,” literally; and, failing to meet their expectations, I left Mormonism and separated myself from the Creator, believing I would never please the Almighty.
Searching for a True Assembly
I’m telling you all this because I believe many of you have done this, too. You searched for the truth, and searched for a congregation that seemed correct. Well, if my experience has any validity, then I suggest for your consideration that, there IS no ABSOLUTELY CORRECT church, assembly, synagogue or house of worship … not even the one in which I am currently a member. We are not THE PERFECT assembly, nor is OUR faith THE perfect faith. And I am quite sure I don’t need to say this, but just for the record, I am not THE holder of THE truth.
    And, by the same token, as well as by the virtue of the following set of verses, neither is YOUR assembly THE perfect assembly with THE perfect faith. And, neither are you THE holder of THE truth.
    The fool has said in his heart, "There is no Elohim." They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. Yahweh looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek Elohim. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one, Psalm 14:1-3
    Now, if you can understand what the word “corrupt” means, and what “abominable works” means, then you will understand that this chastisement is about sin, the transgression of the Law of Yahweh (1 John 3:4), the Word of Yahweh. Sin means to cease from obedience to the will of the Father. In short, there are none who are perfect. And, apparently, all are far from it.
He [Yahshua] said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of Yahweh, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban" -- ' (that is, a gift to Yahweh), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of Yahweh of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do," Mark 7:9-13.
    The Word of Yahweh IS the Commandment of Yahweh; and, though Word and Commandment are grammatically singular, they refer to everything Yahweh has said.
    Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of Yahweh, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yahweh,'" Matthew 4:3-4. (He is quoting Deuteronomy 8:3)
    Eternal life is obtained through obedience to Yahweh; but, since there are none who have obeyed the Law of Yahweh perfectly, we are all under the penalty of death. Now, we all know there is one individual who was, is and forever will be, perfect. He now sits at the right hand of Yahweh, Yahshua ha Mashiach, the Son of Yahweh, who did ONLY and EVERYTHING that His Father told Him to do. He was perfect … and, His faith was perfect.
    His faith was perfect. This begs the question, “What IS the faith of Yahshua?” What did He believe? How did He worship His Father? And, most importantly for our discussion, “Are we to do the same?”
Law versus Faith
But, before I answer these questions, I want to reconsider the often-taught concept that we are no longer required to obey the Law of Yahweh. One of the “proof-texts” used to justify this doctrine is found in Galatians 2:16:
    A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Yahshua the Messiah.
    Now, this verse has been quoted as “proof positive” that we no longer are “under the Law” as some like to say it, mistranslating, misquoting and misunderstanding Paul. In Galatians 2:16, there is a flagrant flaw, foolishly favored in a formal and fundamentally flourished fashion, founded on frivolous findings. (And, you can quote me on that). What I mean is, this passage has been translated incorrectly and preached AGAINST the teachings of Yahweh. And, it involves only one error in one word, the conjunction, “but.”
    “A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Yahshua the Messiah.” Can you hear how this separates and puts at odds the phrase “works of the law” and “faith in Yahshua”? In other words, the translation emphatically implies that “You cannot keep the law and believe in Yahshua at the same time.” The English word, “but,” here is made up of two Greek words, eán-meé, which is literally translated “if not.” This pair of words is found a total of 41 times in the New Testament and translated “except” 39 times. The other three times, they are translated “unless” in most of the other versions of Scripture. So, truly, the word “but” has NO place in this verse. It is absolutely incorrect. It should have been translated literally as “if not,” “except” or “unless”, not “but.”
                  Looking at Galatians 2:16 again:
    A man is not justified by the works of the law IF NOT by faith in Yahshua the Messiah.
    The meaning here is clear that justification requires BOTH the Law and faith in Yahshua; however, I believe it is not the best translation. Rather, all other translations for eán-meé use “except” or “unless.”

    Does the following make more sense? More importantly, does this ring true?
    “A man is not justified by the works of the law EXCEPT by faith in Yahshua the Messiah.” Or,
    “A man is not justified by the works of the law UNLESS by faith in Yahshua the Messiah.”
    Paul is saying that, “Unless you have the faith of Yahshua the Messiah, your obedience to the Law of Yahweh is not justified!”
    Is it also now clear what James (Yaacob) meant when he said, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:26)”?
What Is the Faith of Yahshua?
Alright. Now, to answer the questions posed earlier: “What IS the faith of Yahshua?” What did He believe? How did He worship His Father? And, most importantly for our discussion, “Are we to do the same?”
    There are seven witnesses to the faith of Yahshua that can be pointed to in the Book of Revelation. Let’s look at them.
Witness #1
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of Yahweh and the faith of Yahshua, Revelation 14:12.
    Patience means “hopeful endurance” in the Greek; faith means “persuasion, belief, fidelity, credence or moral conviction; and, by extension, the word ‘faith’ can refer to a system of religious truth itself.” A system, you know, like the Bible. “To keep” means “to guard, hold fast and serve.” Saints means “the righteous ones.” So, a “revealing” translation of Revelation 14:12 might read: “Here is the enduring hope of the righteous ones; here are those who guard, hold fast and serve the commandments of Yahweh with fidelity to the Scriptural truth of Yahshua.”
    Yahshua is saying to John, in essence, “Here is what those who are seeking righteousness will do to find hope that will endure to the end: Serve Yahweh by obeying His commandments, as I have done.”
    So, what is the faith of Yahshua? Simple. His faith is “Obedience to Yahweh.” Pure and simple, but agreeably not easy. Is this your faith, to obey Yahweh? As I look back to all of the congregations I’ve attended, I see that, yes, there was a semblance of obedience to Yahweh, whether the congregations were Jewish, Messianic, Catholic, Christian … or even Buddhist! I can see a semblance of obedience to Yahweh in all of these religions, and this is how people become entrapped within false religions. But, is that what Yahweh wants? Is that what Yahshua believed? Is His faith based on a membership in a particular congregation? No! Yahweh forbid!
    In truth, although it is widely taught that “no one can obey the Law, perfectly,” it is within everyone’s power to do so. Think about it. When was the last time you murdered someone? Committed adultery? Stole something from someone? Bore false witness in a trial? Made an idol and bowed down to it? Is it impossible to call upon and praise the name of Yahweh and worship Him on the 7th day of the week? Who can obey these laws? Everyone! However, since Yahshua came as the Messiah of Yahweh, the bar of obedience has been raised to a Spiritual level, i.e., it’s not simply murder, but anger; or, it’s not simply adultery, but lust. We have been granted the Holy Spirit while living in this flesh, and we are now charged with the responsibility to follow Yahshua in Spirit and in truth. This in no way negates the letter of the Law of Yahweh; rather, obedience is now a matter of an inward change of heart. However, who understands this more than Yahweh? After all, He created us and then cursed this earth for our benefit when we (through Adam) disobeyed Him. Yahweh instituted the Law of Sin and Death: If you sin, you die. But, Yahweh sent a Shepherd to gather the lost sheep into a flock of righteous ones; “sheep” who would follow the Shepherd and walk His path [that is, His “Cycles” – an allusion to the Appointed Times of Yahweh] to the green pastures and still waters of the Kingdom of Yahweh. Shall we walk together on His path, or shall we each go our own way?
Witness #2
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of Yahweh and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah, Revelation 12:17.
    Testimony means evidence given, a record, report or witness. The testimony of Yahshua is the evidence, the WORKS of His obedience to the Father. We, being the “rest of her offspring,” that is, of the Seed of Yahshua, filled with the Word of Yahweh, do the same. We believe, and we have faith that Yahshua is the Messiah of Yahweh, sent to guide us to the Father.
    I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me, John 5:30.
    Yahshua said to them, "If Yahweh were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from Yahweh; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of Yahweh hears Yahweh's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of Yahweh,” John 8:42- 47.
Witness #3
The Revelation of Yahshua the Messiah, which Yahweh gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word [the Law or commandment] of Yahweh, and to the testimony [the faith, including the righteous works] of Yahshua the Messiah, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near, Revelation 1:1-3.
    What a wonderful way of saying, “Here’s what I want you to do, read the Word of Yahweh to others, listen to what the Word of Yahweh says, and do it. Righteous works provide evidence that the Spirit of Yahweh is bringing life to one’s faith.
    Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7.
Witness #4
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Yahshua the Messiah, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word [because he honored the Law or commandment] of Yahweh and for the testimony [the faith, including the righteous works] of Yahshua the Messiah, Revelation 1:9.
Witness #5
Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of Yahweh is complete. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of Yahweh. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of Yahweh, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Yahweh El Shaddai! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Yahweh, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested," Revelation 15:1-4.
Witness #6
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Yahshua and for the word [the Law or commandment] of Yahweh, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years. [But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished]. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of Yahweh and of the Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years, Revelation 20:4-6.
    Consider the phrase, “priests of Yahweh and of the Messiah” The priests of Yahweh would be Levitical priests, would they not? And, since Yahshua is of the priesthood of Melchizedek, would we not also be Melchizedek priests? I think both will be necessary in the Kingdom, since there will be offerings made in the one thousand-year reign of the Messiah.
Witness #7
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word [the Law or commandment] of Yahweh and for the testimony [the faith, including the righteous works] which they held [which they guarded], Revelation 6:9-10.
    Listen to what Yahshua says about the assembly at Pergamos:
    These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: "I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells,” Revelation 2:12 14.
    You did not deny My faith. It doesn’t say what Antipas was martyred for, but what I understand about paganinity is that the authorities really didn’t care what your religion was; however, they got bent out of shape when people refused to give offerings to Zeus, the god of the pagan temple in Pergamos. I suspect that Antipas refused to bow down, worship and give an offering to this pagan deity. Since Zeus was the sun deity, who knows, maybe Antipas got caught working on Sunday. Or, alternatively, Antipas may have refused to bring a present for Zeus on December 25. Whatever is was, it cost Antipas his life.
One More Witness
So when Yahshua came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Yahshua was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Yahshua, "Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of Yahweh, Yahweh will give You." Yahshua said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Yahshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Master, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, who is to come into the world,” John 11:17-27.
    It is not just believing in Yahshua that guarantees our eternal life, but living in Yahshua that will bring that reward. We are to live the life He lived, in obedience to Yahweh. May Yahshua lead us through the judgment coming down from Heaven and into the promised land! HalleluYah!
-Elder John Fisher

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