IN SEARCH OF THE TRUTH
* * * * * * *
YAHSHUA (Jesus) SAID:
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
(Based on John 8:31 & 32)
I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
(John 17:14 – 17)
This essay was born out of a need to establish a sincere view of God’s word, based solely on the bible. I found that I had to do this as I became confused when I became a believer because of changed attitudes from friends and other people  ; and also because I heard preachers preach a type of truth that did not agree with the word of God as I understood it . I changed my day of rest and worship from Sunday to Saturday (the seventh day of the week*), and began to study the law of God in order to follow a form of obedience and teaching that holds more truth. I then realised that some members of my family were against this, and at the time of writing this tract we live in a mode of disagreement  concerning many aspects of God’s word. Again at the time of writing, I still have not found the church I am looking for, not even perfectly in my heart – though I strive through Yahshua Messiah to realise it. This tract details some of the inner conflicts I have, and also examines some difficult issues within “Christianity”. I have done this because; firstly, I felt that I needed to sort out these conflicts and issues for myself; and secondly, because I also believe that these conflicts and issues need to be looked at by believers as a whole.
THE SABBATH ON A SATURDAY?
For God said; “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  Therefore I keep the Sabbath on Saturday as God has instructed, that I may enter the Lord’s rest, and remember that God created the earth by his power, despite what the evolutionists and other peddlers of error may say . Consider, why is this commandment part of the 10 commandments with others like, “You shall not murder”, and “You shall not steal”? If we are prepared to keep the other 9 commandments, why not this one, especially as Gentiles were able to keep the Sabbath under the Old Covenant as Isaiah 56 demonstrates? In addition, Acts chapters 16-18 show that both Jews and Gentiles met together on a Sabbath to hear the Word of God. So as that was the case then, why should it be any different now?
MORE THAN THE SABBATH
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote; “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.”  It is not just the Sabbath that is important but all the law, the prophets, *AND* the testimony of Yahshua. In Revelation we read; “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring–those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Yahshua”. “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Yahshua.” 
THE TRADITIONS OF MEN, OR THE COMMANDS OF GOD?
Yahshua rebuked the Pharisees and teachers of the law saying; “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ” `These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!  There are many rules and traditions that are man made, for example, ‘the Lords day is Sunday’ as a day of rest and worship. This is a command that never came from the mouth of God (consider also Christmas, Easter and Christening). Indeed, there are many ‘Lords’ but there is only one God, and we need to be aware of Satan’s subtlety, for people who distort this and other elements of the law are doing Satan‘s work . If we worship God and we love Messiah Yahshua, does it not make sense for us to follow his words? How can we accept the teachings of men as having more authority than the teachings that came directly from God whom we worship?
AN ANCHOR IN THE TRUTH
Yahshua said: – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. 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. Anyone who breaks 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 practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Yahshua also said; “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. 
AN ANALOGY ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
“A son honours his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the LORD Almighty (i.e. God). “It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.”  If you read the Gospel, you will notice “our High Priest” and the Son of God, Yahshua, always did his father’s will. Yahshua tells us that those who do his fathers will are his ‘family’ . God is our Father, for he created us all and we have a duty to obey him because he knows what is best for us, and we may run into difficulties if we do not . Yahshua said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  In context with this analogy, this means that if we judge for ourselves what truth is instead of humbly accepting the will of God our Father, as revealed to us in his word. Then, we are judging God’s ability to supply us with the truth. However, the bible tells us that God is ‘the God of truth’ , and these two principles cannot be held in anything but an ambivalent and unstable mind . Consider therefore, that we may expect the same measure of obedience and cordiality from our families, friends, and from society in general , as we express toward God and his word. Still yet, God may choose to show us kindness and mercy through the means of his grace.
REFORM OR OBEY?
How then, with our God being ‘the God of truth’ can his church be ‘reformed‘. Was the God who created the heavens and earth in all their beauty  ungenerous in his provision of the law to govern our relationships between one another and himself, and his creation? Did God act with restraint by using the prophets to reinforce his messages, and did he hold back when he sent his Son Yahshua to die for us? Of course not! What more could God have done ? Isn’t it our hearts that have to be ‘reformed’ as Yahshua and his apostles proclaimed to us? Yahshua said, “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.”  The truth is, we should not obey the doctrines of any man or woman to any lesser or greater extent than they agree with the teaching and example of Yahshua; not the Pope, Luther, Calvin, Whitfield, or even the apostle Paul – for “No servant is greater than his master” .
The history of the nation of Israel as recorded in the bible serves as an example for the church . In times of trouble or otherwise, men such as Nehemiah, Ezra; and the Kings; Joash, Josiah, and Jehoshaphat emerged as leaders that promoted *obedience* rather than *change* . Instead of creating divisions within the church by seeking to implement and defend new ideals, or neglecting parts of God’s word because of contemporary practice, they turned the peoples minds to God and the law . This is amplified in the missions of John the Baptist  and Yahshua.
WARNINGS CONCERNING GRACE
I can add little more to what has already written, I hope the reader will find it plain to understand. The biblical definition of sin is this, “Whoever commits a sin, also breaks the law, for sin is the breaking (transgression) of the law.”  “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, he does not belong to Messiah. But if Messiah is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Yahshua from the dead is living in you, he who raised Messiah from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”  Again Paul writes; “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Messiah even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.” 
Again Paul writes “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”  “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”  “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” 
Does the fact that we live under grace give us the justification for ignoring the law, or even asserting that we should not obey it? I think not, biblical teaching does not teach that we should break the law. Paul writes “Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”  Grace is not only an atonement and covering for our sins, but a preventative against sin. This is clearly what the passage in Romans 8 is saying, as I quoted earlier (see footnote 28). The power of Messiah, and our union with Him in the body of Messiah gives us power to overcome sin and death, this is the law of sin and death Paul is referring to – because sin leads to death as surely as sunset is in due course followed by darkness. How does sin and death relate to someone who is born of Messiah? For Paul writes ”If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Messiah, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Messiah was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Messiah Yahshua.” 
“Love for God is to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Yahshua is the Son of God.”  Yahshua’s task on earth was completed to perfection, by his teaching and in the example of his lifestyle, he left us lacking nothing to fit us for our lives on earth, and in heaven. We need only feed on the bread of life that he has freely given us, and accept that his truth is the whole truth, and the only truth.
1 See 1 Peter 4:12-19.
2 See Isaiah 59:12-15.
* See ‘Sabbath’, Brewers Concise Phrase & Fable pg 898. Properly the seventh day of the week, enjoined on the ancient Hebrews by the fourth commandment as a day of rest and worship. The Christian ‘Sunday’, “the Lord’s day”, the first day of the week, is often inaccurately referred to as “the Sabbath”. Check your own dictionary definitions of the words ‘Saturday’ & ‘Sunday’. Note Ephesians 5:6&7.
3 See 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, & Philippians 2:1&2. How can there be true unity when we follow different teachings?
4 Exodus 20:8-11. Note Hebrews 4:1-11, Matthew 12:1-14, & Isaiah 66:22&23 – is not the Sabbath an eternal observance?
5 See 2 Peter 3:1-13, & 2 Timothy 3:5.
6 Isaiah 8:20. (prophecies about Messiah, Isaiah 9:1-7, & 53:1-12).
7 Revelation 12:17, & 14:12 respectively. Note John 3:1-21.
8 Mark 7:6-9, note Deuteronomy 4:2, Matthew 7:21, & John 6:32.
9 See Ephesians 5:6&7, Proverbs 27:6, 2 Peter 3:14-16, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, Daniel 11:32, 36&37, Revelation 17:12-14, Mark 8:34-38, Proverbs 16:16, Proverbs 28:4, Proverbs 28:9, Matthew 19:17, Isaiah 29:13-16, & Proverbs 11:5.
10 Matthew 5:17-20. Note Mark 12:28-34, Isaiah 66:2-4 & 1:10-31.
11 Matthew 7:24-27.
12 Based on Malachi 1:6, also see Hebrews chapters 8 – 10.
13 See Mark 3:31-35, & John 14:28-30, also see Hebrews 2:5-18.
14 See Exodus 20:12, Romans 10:1-4, & Proverbs 28:14.
15 Matthew 7:1&2.
16 See Psalm 31:5, Psalm 19:7-11.
17 See 2 Peter 2:1 – 3:18, note 2:12 & 3:16.
18 See Proverbs 19:23, & Psalm 62:5-8.
19 See Psalm 19:1-6, & Romans 1:18-20.
20 See Isaiah chapter 5, note verse 4, note Matthew 21:33-44.
21 John 5:43, also see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.
22 John 15:20, & note Matthew 10:24&25.
23 See 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.
24 See Psalm 119:1-8, note v. 4; also see 2 John 1:1-13, note v. 9.
25 See Isaiah 3:12 & James 1:22-25; also see Jude 1:19.
26 See Malachi 4:6 & Matthew 11:13&14; also John 17:20-26.
27 Based on 1 John 3:4, also see James 2:10&11.
28 Romans 8:5-11.
29 Ephesians 2:1-5. Also see Romans 3:21-24.
30 Romans 6:1&2. Also see Psalm 19:12&13.
31 Hebrews 10:26-31, also see the book of Jude, & Proverbs 26:11.
32 Hebrews 4:13.
33 Romans 3:31.
35 Romans 6:5-11.