“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
It is with a deep sense of urgency that I type this. This is a message, a desperate and longing call, to those who desire to be faithful. These are not delicate or soothing words, but words meant to be a challenge to your souls. I want to see the Father breath new life into dry bones. I want to witness a return of the faithful. I do not cry, “Peace!” where there is no peace, for those who are calling themselves children of the Most High have forsaken their God.
The children of the Father are the ones who keep the commandments of God as well as their faith the Yeshua is the Promised Messiah!
“Here is a call for the endurance of the dedicated ones, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Yeshua.”
As I talk with others about searching out the Scriptures on challenging topics, people continue to give excuses. “I’ll take a look after I finish the book I’m reading.” Or, “I definitely should read up on that at some point.” Here’s my urgency with the matter. We cannot be a luke-warm people. God wants passionate people who endure the fight.
Searching the Scriptures and seeking the Kingdom of God so we can glorify the Father must be our utmost priority. God instructs us to love Him with everything we have, and love others. We cannot even begin to comprehend what that means without diligently searching the Scriptures.
These next words are for a relatively few people, I would guess. This is for those who desire to endure in following the Messiah until the end. This is for those who love the Word of God and long for it to be the daily bread and nourishment for their souls. This is for those who would rather search out the truth of God for themselves and live it, no matter how counter-cultural. These words are for the dedicated ones who hold the Word of God higher than the teaching of man.
I want to challenge anyone truly seeking. Search the Scripture on these things. Do not rely on commentaries or footnotes. Do not find a book on the topic, although there may be good ones. Dig into the Living Word. Read the whole thing. Ask the Holy Spirit if there is something more. Search the Scriptures for yourself!
- What is sin? Has the definition of sin changed since the death and resurrection of the Messiah? Does the definition change from person to person? Do a word search on “detestable” in the Bible. Are these things still detestable to God? What does the Bible say about being a slave to sin versus a slave to righteousness? In Romans, Paul actually says that being free from righteousness, meaning you are not a slave of it, is equal to being a slave to lawlessness. Interesting word choice. We usually argue for our freedom but we are at the same time slaves, we must reject sin and live out righteousness. We should know what that is…or at least be continually asking the Father to reveal sin to us.
- Who is the “church”? This word is “ekklesia” in the Greek, and means “gathering, congregation”. This is not a “Christian” word in and of itself. Search for all the passages where the apostles and believers were meeting in the synagogues and on Sabbath. It was not until a century later that followers of the Messiah were split from the people of Israel.
- Do we view the Hebraic Scriptures, the “Old Testament”, as foreign and for a different people? Or do we claim them as our own, because we are part of God’s people by faith? Do we claim the blessings only or do we understand the curses and warnings as well? Do we pick only parts that we deem relevant to our culture and age? Our Messiah and his apostles claimed that the entire Scripture, and all that was around when they spoke these words were the Hebraic Scriptures, is God-breathed and useful for life.
- What is Sabbath? What day is it? Is it any day we choose to rest in God? It was instituted at the creation of the world, even before sin entered. Who should keep it? Jews? Search diligently to find passages that abolish sanctifying the Sabbath. What is the Lord’s Day? Did either God’s Word or the Messiah command His people to switch the holy, set apart day from Sabbath to the Lord’s Day?
- Does what we eat matter? Did God command his people to eat a certain way? What did that entail? Look these passages up. If you just think you know the answers but don’t search for yourself you will never actually hear the Word. There are two or three standard “New Testament” arguments for why these food issues don’t apply to “Christians”. Find them. Read them over and over. Ask God to give you clarity. For example, the account in Acts of Peter’s dream of all the unclean animals is often used to discount a previous command of God. Three times in this passage the meaning of the dream is explained. And it has nothing to do with food, or ignoring a command of the Most High God. Honestly if it did, we should have thrown out that passage long ago as heretical!
- Study the Biblical Feasts. There are seven and they are rich with meaning. Genesis and the Psalms notes that the sun, moon and stars were created to be signs of the festivals. They were to mark the time so we would know when God commanded His people to meet with Him. Who is commanded to keep these? Find out. Because if it is you it might be worth knowing. What are the purposes of the feasts? I’ll help you begin; each has a historical significance and a future fulfillment in the story God is telling. Have any been fulfilled? Are there some that haven’t yet been realized? Will the people of God be celebrating any of these when the Messiah returns?
- How has extra-Biblical culture seeped into the lives of the faithful ones? Is American “Christian” culture more important than Biblical culture? Do we know the foundations of “Christian” practices, especially those that are not Biblical? Easter, Christmas? Or Halloween? Do we really root out all foreign gods for the sake of the King of Kings?
- What does it mean to walk in the way of the Messiah? As He has perfectly live out obedience to the Father, He asks his followers to walk as He walked. In what practical ways to we do that? I mean, other than “love”. Do you want to know every detail about how your Messiah walked so that you can emulate Him? A disciple of a rabbi lived with his rabbi and spent every waking minute with him. The disciple watched how he walked and talked, taught and studied. He wanted to be exactly like his rabbi. Actually, disciples wanted to grow up to “be” their rabbi. Do we know and walk with our Rabbi this closely?
- What is obedience? Other than loving God and our neighbor, are there specific ways God asks us to obey? His Son said to obey His commandments and that His commandments were the same commandments of the Father. What are the Messiah’s commandments? What are the commandments of the Father? Are they different? Does the Father and the Messiah address two different audiences or the same? What are the implications of walking in obedience if the commandments of the Messiah are the same as the commandments of the Father? Do we use grace as an excuse not to try to walk in obedience? The freedom we have in salvation is that we are not condemned for our sin, but does that keep us from desperately seeking righteousness and obedience?
So my challenge is to search for yourselves. We live in an age now where many resources, original texts, interlinear translations, cultural commentary and much more are widely available. There is no reason not to engage these in your search for truth.
What do you have to lose?
If your humble and diligent seeking proves nothing new to your understanding, then at least you are confident in that.
But…if, though pouring yourself over these forgotten Words of God, you find that God reveals new truth, isn’t that worth it? Wouldn’t you want to know if our generation were misunderstanding the truth? What if we have been taught ideas about God and our Messiah that don’t fully line up with Scripture. I want to know if I have missed out on what God intended.
Are you willing to risk the consequences if you don’t search for yourself?
To the devoted ones, those who truly desire to worship and glorify the Father with their lives, let us seek Him, seek to understand His commandments, and seek to faithfully follow after the Messiah!!
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”