What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?
(What the Bible Teaches)
So what does it mean to be a Christian? The common consensus amongst most people, particularly Christians, is that the designation or recognition of being a Christian comes from being a follower of Christ. Being a Christian then, most commonly means that we dont have to follow Old Testament laws. Furthermore, in many instances we really dont have to do anything because Christ came to do away with everything. Exploring this issue even further we find that many Christians believe that all you have to have is faith in Christ and that works to earn salvation are not necessary.
You may be surprised to learn that this loose definition and most of the current practices of Christians are fairly new and were not practiced by the original Christians. What may be even more shocking is that being a Christian is not, and was never defined by the Bible as a stand-alone religion separate from what the Bible teaches. Rather the Bible proves that being a Christian is a condition or state of being or becoming anointed! In other words being a Christian is simply the condition or act of being anointed by receiving the Holy Spirit. In essence we are Christians not so much because we are followers of our Messiah, but because like him, we have also received the set-apart spirit of our Heavenly Father. Hence being a Christian is a condition (or state) of being anointed, sealed, or marked by our Father when we receive the Holy Spirit. This study will prove that nowhere in the Bible are we told or taught that being a Christian is to be a separate religion apart from what was given to the Israelites, the Jews.
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Master is Master of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of Yahshua will be saved.”
Most people have been taught to believe that the original Christians were gentiles. Nothing can be further from the truth! In fact this study will also prove that the original Christians were not gentiles but they were in fact, Jewish believers who were keeping, and who taught Old Testament Laws. In other words, they lived a life guided by Old Testament Laws, Decrees and Statutes (The Torah) and they accepted our Savior as the prophesied Anointed One.
The example of John the Baptist
Understanding what happened to John the Baptist will help us understand how and why the Jews came to be called Christians. First and foremost we have to understand that John the Baptist was not a name as it is recognized today. Rather, John or actually Yahkhannan in Hebrew was called by what he did. He went about and baptized people for the remission of sins.
4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
John was recognized as the Baptist a person who baptized or immersed, after he began his work of baptizing, not before. If he would have gone about doing carpentry during his ministry, today we would refer to him as John the carpenter. The message that he shared with the people of course and the mission that our Father appointed for him was to go about and immerse. Hence he became known as John the Baptist or John the one that immerses. Similarly to this example, the disciples were going about telling people to both be baptized (the message of John) and then be anointed by receiving the Holy Spirit. In essence the core of their message was to be baptized so that you can receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. So just as John was referred to as the immerser because of his ministry, the disciples were referred to as christians because of their message of the anointing. They knew what the Bible teaches us, that Yahshua our Savior was baptized, received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and thus all of us who believe in him must likewise be baptized to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Our Savior is anointed by the Holy Spirit
Notice what Paul says in 2 Cor 1:21-22
21 Now it is Elohim who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ [literally-the Anointed One]. He [the Father] anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Acts 10:38 tells us how our Savior was anointed:
38 how Elohim anointed Yahshua of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power
Our Savior verifies that it was through the Spirit of His Father that he received the anointing and that what Isaiah had written centuries earlier was being fulfilled in Him:
Luke 4:18; 20-21
18 “The Spirit of Yahweh is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Acts 2:33 verifies that our Savior did in fact receive the promise of the Holy Spirit and that he is now seated on the right hand of our Father:
33 Exalted to the right hand of Elohim, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
The Holy Spirit given to believers
Just like Yahshua, those that believe in him were also given the Holy Spirit.
2 Tim 1:14 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you-guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
1 Thess 4:6-8 7 For Elohim did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but Elohim, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Ephesians makes it clear that those of us who have been called out were predestined to be called and we were given the Holy Spirit as a means to seal (mark) us for the glory of Yahshua. All of this was done so that through Yahshua we would receive forgiveness from our sin, on our roadway to salvation. Hence the Holy Spirit is given to us as a guide to lead us to our Father Yahweh through the one that He loves, Yahshua!
Eph 1:3-14 3 Praise be to the Elohim and Father of our Master, Yahshua Messiah who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Messiah. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Yahshua Messiah, in accordance with his pleasure and will- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Elohims grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Yahshua, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Yahshua. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Yahshua, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Yahshua when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are Elohims possession-to the praise of his glory.
Acts 13 tells us that the disciples received the Holy Spirit, because as it was noted above, the Holy Spirit is the mark that connects you to Yahshua the Messiah and in turn you belong to Yahweh the Father:
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
The Disciples are called “Christians”
As already mentioned some people think that the gentiles, non-Jews were called Christians and that this title or designation was exclusive to them. In other words, Christians were believers who were not Jews and they had a whole new way of worship which separated them from the Old Testament Laws. Nothing can be further from the truth! The Bible makes it clear that it was the disciples not the gentiles who were called Christians. These men were Jews who not only kept the Old Testament Laws but also taught none-Jews, gentiles (converts) to do the same.
25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch . So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch .
This title or designation/name given to the disciples stuck with them throughout their ministry. These men accepted this recognition because they understood that being called a Christian was not a religion or a separation from the Old Testament Laws. But rather it was a condition of their faith in Yahshua the Messiah. They understood, that being called a Christian only meant that they were in the condition of being anointed by the Holy Spirit because of their faith in Yahshua. Let us take a minute to dissect this word so that we can have a better understanding of what it means.
We learned that Yahshua was the anointed one of Yahweh. In Hebrew he would have been called Yahshua Ha Mashiach, which in English it would mean Yahshua the anointed one. Much like John the Baptist means John the one who immerses; Yahshua the Christ simply means Yahshua the anointed one. The word Christ is simply the English form of the Greek word Christos which means anointed one. So to reiterate, the title or word Christ simply means anointed. The Hebrew word for anointed is Mashiach however most people are familiar with the more modern word Messiah; In either case, Christ, Mashiach and/or Messiah all mean anointed:
John 1:41-42 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Yahshua.
If we had a copy of the book of Acts written in Hebrew and if we all spoke Hebrew this would all be much easier to understand. However given the fact that we have the Holy Spirit, we are able to discern truth from the available (Greek) material that we have. Having said that, we can utilize the Greek to make the point and recognize what Yahweh wants us to understand about his ways and His plan of salvation. In other words we dont have to learn Hebrew and we dont have to have a Hebrew New Testament for us to understand his overall plan. The set-apart Spirit is able to teach and clarify our misunderstandings despite any condition that we may be under. It is imperative however that we understand that the word Christ simply means anointed. In truth Christ is not our saviors last name as some people have been taught to believe. It is simply a condition of being anointed or set-apart for a specific purpose. In other words, He was chosen as the only true sacrifice that could and would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Our Savior is the doorway by which we can enter the spiritual House of our Heavenly Father Yahweh. None of us would have had this opportunity if it were not for our Master Yahshua.
Defining the words Christ and Christians
Now if the Greek word Christ is simply the singular form of the word anointed which it clearly is; the word Christians a word derived from the Greek Christianos, is actually the plural form of the word Christ. Just like the word Christ simply means the anointed one (singular) the word Christians simply means the anointed ones (plural).
To reiterate, notice below that the word Christianos comes from Strongs word # 5547 which is the word Christos or Christ or the anointed one. Therefore the word Christians is simply the plural form of the word Christ and thus it means the anointed ones.
NT:5546 Christianos (khris-tee-an-os’); from NT:5547; a Christian, i.e. follower of Christ:
NT:5547 Christos (khris-tos’); anointed
Hence we can see that both Paul and the disciples would have accepted being called The anointed ones because they didnt see it as being the starters of a new religion but rather seeing themselves as Jews, they recognized that they were being set-apart or anointed by agreeing to enter into a new covenant through our Savior. The idea of being consecrated (anointed, set-apart) is found all over the Old Testament. So this would not have been new or strange to them. They would have understood that in the Old Testament, prophets and kings would be anointed upon receiving their kingdom.
1 Kings 1:39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!”
As we read earlier the disciples were anointed, consecrated by the Holy Spirit and they saw it as a blessing. They didnt see it as something that gave them the liberty to walk away from the teachings of the Old Testament. They knew that there were many things written in the Old Testament that they would still have to keep despite the fact that they were now being called Christians or rather anointed ones. Besides the example we already gave in Acts, there are two other instances in which the word Christian is found in the New Testament:
Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
1 Peter 4:12-19 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Yahshua, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Yahshua, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of Elohim rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian [anointed ones], do not be ashamed, but praise Elohim that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of El; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the unjust and the sinner?”
How can a Jew be a Christian?
The fact is that the disciples never saw themselves as Christians as it is commonly taught today. Today if you asked the question: Can you be both a Jew and a Christian? Most circles would probably say No! However the Bible teaches that Paul recognized that he was a Jew; remember that we already pointed out that he did not have a problem being called an anointed one.
Acts 21:39 39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”
Acts 22:2-3 Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for Elohim as any of you are today.
Notice that in both examples above, Paul said I am a Jew meaning that he considered himself to be a Jew. The above incidents occurred long into his ministry. This is important because by this time he knew that he was commissioned to be a light unto the gentiles, who were not Jews, and yet he never referred to himself as a Christian who used to be a Jew.
What about Peter? Did he ever claim to be a Christian; one who had forgotten that he was a Jew? If he had then he would not have told Cornelius, the gentile, the following:
Acts 10:28-29 28 He [Peter] said to them [Cornelius family]: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jewto associate with a Gentile or visit him. But Elohim has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection .
In analyzing this passage we have many things to consider, first of all this incident occurred approximately ten years after our Savior had ascended to heaven. And yet here is Peter telling Cornelius that he is a Jew and as a Jew he still keeps laws that apply to Jews and given in the Old Testament. This law that Peter is referring to of course is the law given to the Israelites not to defile themselves with the idolatrous practices of gentiles. (See Lev 18:24-30; Deut 7:3-12; compare Ezra 9:11-12) Keep in mind that this would have been an excellent time for him to say that he became a Christian when Yahshua arose and that he no longer considered himself a Jew. He didnt! But being consistent with his message, he baptized them and they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. In other words they became members of those Jews that had been anointed before them. Peter understood that the message that he had received in the dream was that our Father Yahweh, was not going to show favoritism. He hints to the fact that salvation is now afforded to all those who have faith, call on the name of Yahshua; receive baptism (Holy Spirit) and are obedient to His word. Peter never once eluded or hinted that he was now able to go and fellowship with the pagan gentiles that were in the custom of going into their temples on Sunday (the day of the sun) to worship their idols. Nor did he insinuate that it would be ok for him to eat any of the unclean animals discussed in Lev. 11. Peter knew that the law in the Old Testament not to associate with none believers was still active. This line of thinking was reiterated by Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians:
2 Cor 6:14-16 14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ [the anointed one] and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of Elohimand idols? For we are the temple of the living Elohim. As Elohim has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their Elohim, and they will be my people.”
It is clear by what we are told in the Scriptures that Peter understood that he did not have to separate from the called-out, converted gentiles. Why? Well because as we will see a little bit later, those gentiles stopped going into the temples on Sunday, the first day of the week, they stopped worshipping idols and they started keeping the Sabbath (the Seventh day), the Feasts and the Clean Food Laws.
It is evident that both Peter and Paul understood that because of our Savior, both Jews and Gentiles could be anointed by the Holy Spirit. That was one of the missions of the disciples, to anoint both Jews and Gentiles and to teach them that through Messiah all are equal. All have the ability to come to the Father and be saved:
Gal 3:28-29 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Messiah Yahshua. 29 If you belong to Yahshua, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
We see then that Paul recognized that he was a Christian by the fact that he was anointed, however he never denied his Jewish roots. Furthermore he never saw himself as the beginner of a new religion that could go and worship in the pagan temples that would be open on Sun-day (the day of the sun). In fact the Bible tells us that he continued to keep the Sabbath according to the Old Testament. The Bible says that we should keep the seventh day (Saturday) holy, not the first. During Pauls time he could have easily started the custom of going in the temples on Sunday. He could have easily walked into those temples and taught Gentiles that they were doing the right thing by honoring the first day of the week but that they just needed to accept the Savior. He didnt! For that matter neither he nor the other disciples ever told the believing gentiles that they needed to start worshipping on the first day of the week. The Bible clearly teaches that Paul kept the Commandment to honor the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week.
Acts 17:2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Unfortunately many of those that call themselves Christians have been taught that many if not all of the commandments, judgments and precepts given in the Old Testament have been done away with. As a consequence many of them do not read the Old Testament with as much enthusiasm as they read the New Testament. You would have thought that Paul himself would have stated, Brethren now that we are now Christians and that we can keep Sunday Holy instead of the Old Testament Sabbath, we dont have to read the Old Testament, just read my letters. Not only did he not teach them such things but he commanded and taught them to read the Old Testament publicly so that all would hear the word of Yahweh!
1 Tim 4:11 11 Command and teach these things .devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
Now obviously he could not have been asking them to read the New Testament publicly because at the time there was no such thing. The New Testament was not put together until almost four-hundred years later. Also he didnt say read this letter publicly, which he had said at other times, what he said was read the Scriptures; the Old Testament, publicly. In reference to the Old Testament Paul said:
2 Tim 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is Elohim-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of Elohim may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Many Christians are taught that only the New Testament should be read and followed and yet here is Paul telling Timothy to read and to walk according to the ways of the Old Testament. Surely I am not saying that the New Testament does not have its place in teaching and instructing, however, we must recognize that there is a perfect balance between obeying the commandments, laws, and decrees of the Old Testament, many of which still apply, and the examples that we have in the New Covenant.
The Gentiles (converts) kept the Seventh Day Sabbath
To continue with this point let us regress to the Sabbath for a minute. We read that it was Pauls custom to go in the synagogues on the Sabbath. We find that in some instances people would accept his teachings and at other times they wouldnt. There is at least one instance in which we can prove that Paul never worshiped on Sunday nor did he change the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. In Acts 13 we read of an instance in which Paul and Barnabas were teaching on the Sabbath day (Saturday). Initially the people accepted their teaching, however on the following Sabbath, the Jews aroused the crowds and Paul and Barnabas were forced to leave. Before they left, Paul and Barnabas made a declaration that since they would not accept the word and the message about Yahshua, they would instead turn to the Gentiles.
Acts 13:42-47 42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of Elohim. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of Yahweh. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of Elohim to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.
So the declaration is made: We now turn to the Gentiles. Did Paul and Barnabas go to one of the many temples that were opened on Sunday (the first day of the week) where many Gentiles were in the custom of worshipping? Not hardly! We are told that after they dusted the feet from their shoes Paul and Barnabas went into another Jewish synagogue where both Jews and Gentiles were gathered. Undoubtedly the Gentiles were keeping the Sabbath on the Seventh Day and they would surely have been familiar with the Old Testament Laws, decrees and judgments.
Acts 14:1 14:1 At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.
In Acts Chapter 14 we are told that many believed and many more did not. However we are nottold that Paul encouraged the believing Gentiles to stop keeping the Sabbath and because they were now Christians they should meet with him on Sunday instead of Saturday. We are not told that because it never happened! We are told however that eventually Paul and Barnabas had to leave Iconium. They continued to move about teaching the Salvation of Yahshua to those people that understood that Yahshua did not do away with the Old Testament but that he was in effect fulfilling the prophecies that they read about.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfillthem. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
These believers composed of both Jews and Gentiles, who were anointed by the Holy Spirit understood that they were simply a part of the plan of salvation that is mentioned in the Old Testament and they did not work to establish a way of worship which completely contradicted the Old Testament. They recognized that you can be both a Jew and a Gentile and be considered a christian (anointed) because of our Fathers Spirit. They knew that being a Christian did not mean that they were establishing a new religion but that they were a part of the plan of salvation mentioned in the Old Testament and being fulfilled from the period of Yahshua even until now. They knew that being a Christian is not and was not a religion but in fact it was a condition of being set-apart or chosen for salvation.
Our Savior establishes the Law and the Prophets!
Amazingly many modern Christians are taught and encouraged to go against the words of our Messiah; In Matt 5:17, He says that He did not come to do away with the Law or the Prophets, but they contradict him by saying and teaching that he did do away with those things. This error comes from the misunderstanding of what the word fulfill means. Modern Christians are erroneously taught that since our Savior fulfilled them, that he essentially did away with them. That teaching does is simply not supported in the New Testament. The word fulfill in Matt 5:17 is the Greek word Pleroo it is #4137 in the Strongs. This word is found 91 times in the New Testament. It is never used in the sense that modern Christians have been taught. In other words it does not mean to do away with or to end. A good example of this is in the following verse where we find the same word fulfillthat we find in the noted scripture (Matt 5:17).
13 Then Yahshua arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Yahshua answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill#4137all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.
Now it stands to reason that if our savior was saying that he was doing away with the law and the prophets in Matt 5 then he would also have to be saying that he did away with baptism (He did it so we wouldnt have to). He obviously did not do away with baptism and he did not do away with the law! What he did was that he established the laws and baptism on a spiritual foundation rather than on a carnal one. In truth, modern Christians have been taught many things that completely contradict the Scriptures. Each one of us has to decide whom we will believe, either our Savior who said that he did not abolish the Law or the prophets or those that say he did!
We must walk in His footsteps
There is absolutely no proof in the Bible that the disciples or for that matter that our Savior, ever told the believers/converts that they were to forget the seventh day Sabbath and instead worship on Sunday. Not only did the Christians keep the seventh day Sabbath, the Bible tells us that they kept the Feast Days and many things that still apply. In essence there is a perfect balance between the Old and the New Testaments. There are many things in the Old Testament that have not been done away with. All the things in the New were established or mentioned in the Old. Our Savior came not to do away with the Law, he came to establish it. The Jewish disciples, the original Christians, never used the excuse commonly heard today, He, our Savior did away with those things so we wouldnt have to do them. The Jewish disciples, the original Christians and the gentile converts taught that we must also walk in the footsteps of our Messiah.
John 10:27-30 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
John 12:26 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
Notice what Paul says:
1 Cor 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ [the anointed one].
Notice what Peter says:
1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ [the anointed one] suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
These verses are very clear and consistent with the message that we should follow in our Saviors footsteps. He kept the Holy Festivals, the clean food laws, the Sabbath and he was also baptized (received the Holy Spirit) as an example for us to follow. The disciples in turn followed his footsteps and we should too! These converts and Jewish disciples did not adopt a new religion separate from the Old Testament but understood through the Holy Spirit that many laws, decrees and judgments are to be established even to this day:
Matt 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Given the fact that the new converts were keeping the Sabbath, being baptized and following in the footsteps of our Savior; they understood that they were being grafted into the olive tree whose roots and foundations are from the Old Testament:
Rom 11:13-26 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if Elohim did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of Yahweh: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for Elohim is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! 25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
Works to earn Salvation or acts of Obedience?
As the anointed ones of Yahweh it is our responsibility to live moral and quiet lives. We need to love and properly discipline our children. We must stay away from negative addictions and many of the plagues that affect the people of this world, i.e. gambling, pornography, divorce, homosexuality, fornication, adultery etc. We need to love the Father and honor the King. It is not enough to say that we love our Savior; we must walk in his footsteps and obey him. Furthermore we must be righteous witnesses so that those who are in error can be converted (taught) with love and humility. Certainly this message will be new to many of you, please take this study to prayer, and examine the Scriptures. Modern Christians have been taught that acts or works to obtain salvation are not necessary. They are right! However by keeping the Sabbath, the Feast Days, the Clean Food Laws, etc, we are in fact keeping acts of obedience not acts of salvation. It is clear that acts of obedience are necessary for us to receive the blessings that our Father has promised us. By keeping the seventh day Sabbath, the Clean Food Laws, The Feast Days, the Ten Commandments and New Moons we join the original Christians (anointed ones) in keeping acts of obedience not acts to obtain salvation.
2 Cor 9:13-15 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise Elohim for the obediencethat accompanies your confession of the gospel of Messiah, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace Elohim has given you. 15 Thanks be to Elohim for his indescribable gift!
It is through the acts of obedience by which we demonstrate our love for our Father and Savior. Our Father has wanted us to obey him from the beginning. Remember that the first sinful act was disobedience by Adam and Eve:
2 John 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
John 14:20-21 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them,he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
John 14:15-17 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-
Acts of obedience have not and will never be done away with. It is because of obedience that the disciples and the converts, gentiles, Greeks, kept the Laws of the Old Testament that still apply to this day. It was because of obedience that they followed and preached the good news. Our Father has declared that obedience is more important than sacrifices. Our Savior although reluctant at first understood the importance of obedience to his Father; that is why he died on the stake:
Matt 26:39 Going a little farther, [Yahshua] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will [as you command].”
Just like our Savior obeyed the commandments of our Father, we must do the same. We must keep those things that he commanded not because they bring salvation but because it is an expression of our willingness to obey Him. We must quit making excuses and following a way of life that is not supported and that completely contradicts the Scriptures. We must adopt the mind of those that were called the anointed ones and we must understand that we can be Jews, Greeks, Gentiles, any race and/or gender and still be citizens of the city that comes from heaven:
Phil 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Master Yahshua Messiah, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Let us therefore examine our lives, pray for truth and understanding and trust that our Savior will hear us! May He call all those who have ears to hear, eyes to see and an obedient heart! Shalom! HC