John 3:36 (NKJV) "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of Yahweh abides on him."
Pretty simple isn't it? Just believe and you have everlasting life! As many say, "All you need to do is believe!" But the question must be answered, "What does it mean to believe?"
John 5:45 (NKJV) "Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is [one] who accuses you--Moses, in whom you trust. 46 "For if you believed Moses , you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?
Here, Yahushua is telling the Scribes and Pharisees that if they had believed Moses, then they would have understood that He was the Messiah. Sure, they believed that Moses existed and that he wrote all that he wrote. But did they understand what he said and put it into practice in their own lives? Clearly there is more to believing than a mere recognition that someone exists and what someone has done.
Jame 2:17 (NKJV) Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one Elohim. You do well. Even the demons believe --and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
So we can begin to see here that Yahweh's people do indeed believe, but the evidence that shows that they DO believe is their works (The things they do) Now, what works are we talking about here? Continuing in James 2..
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed Yahweh, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of Yahweh. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
OBEDIENCE to Yahweh's word is works. And at ANY COST! Abraham was ready to give up his son to obey the word of Yahweh. In the same way, Yahweh expects us to give up our own will and conform it to His will. Yahweh is love. He wants us to love Him and love other people. That is His word.
Matt 22:35 (NKJV) Then one of them, a lawyer, asked [Him] [a] [question], testing Him, and saying, 36 "Teacher, which [is] the great commandment in the law?" 37 Yahushua said to him, " `You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 "This is [the] first and great commandment . 39 "And [the] second [is] like it: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
So that is all we need now. Just to love Him and love our neighbor. That is what the law and prophets were all about anyway right? So that's all we need now then right? Just remember those 2 commandments and that's all we need to know, right? Well, yes as long as we are knowledgeable of HOW to love Yahweh and HOW to love our neighbor. That is what His commandments are about! We can't truly claim to love Yahweh and love our neighbor unless we are keeping those commandments.
The Ten Commandments
Take a look at the ten commandments in Deuteronomy 5. Notice that the first four commandments deal with loving Yahweh. The last six deal with loving our neighbor although the commandment to honor our parents could possibly also apply to Yahweh, our Heavenly Father. Today, it seems that many believers do try to keep the commandments that have to do with loving our neighbor. Yahushua the Messiah often stressed these commandments in His teachings because they were often ignored by the religious leaders of that day.
Matt 23:23 (NKJV) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier [matters] of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
Notice that Yahushua says "These you ought to have done". But in this day and age, the majority of Christians ignore the first four commandments that have to do with loving Yahweh. Catholics make and bow down to idols. The vast majority of Christians are taking His name in vain without even realizing it. And the Sabbath? What Sabbath? It has been either changed or ignored. Sadly, people are only concerned about keeping the commandments that have to do with loving their neighbor. While this is a good thing to do, the most important thing that we need to be doing is loving Yahweh (without neglecting loving our neighbor of course). For this is the first and greatest commandment according to Yahushua. Part of loving Yahweh is worshipping Him in the way HE desires us to. He says that He wants us to keep the Sabbath day holy and keep all His feast days and honor Him in our actions.
Many people would even be surprised to hear that Yahushua mentions Justice, mercy and faith as all part of Yahweh's law! (verse 23 above) Today, the law has been branded harsh...and "a burden" and "bondage". But these are the words of our Creator and His words are NOT bondage. They are freedom!!"
Psal 19:7 (NKJV) The law of Yahweh [is] perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of Yahweh [is] sure, making wise the simple;
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
John 14:15 (NKJV) " If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you .
Luke 6:46 (NKJV) " But why do you call Me `Master, Master,' and do not do the things which I say? 47 "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 "But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."
The one whose house was built on the rock had obedience to Yahweh's word as His foundation. The one whose house was built on sand had only acknowledged his word and did not act them out.
Now, there is more than just knowing and keeping the commandments. There are many out there who believe they are doing these things but it is all in pretense. A person that loves Yahweh and His neighbor will show this love in their personality and the overall "spirit" about them will be a spirit of love. Here are the fruits of the Spirit that are characteristic of Yahweh's people:
Gala 5:22 (NKJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those [who] [are] Messiah's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
So this what Yahweh's commandments are all about. Genuinely Love Yahweh show it by worshipping Him the way He wants us to. And Genuinely love others and show it by the things we do and the way we act.
Now lets look into some other characteristics of Yahweh's people as a whole.
Not all small groups are Yahweh's people, but Yahweh's people ARE small.
Luke 13:23 Then one said to Him, "Master, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, Luke 13:24 "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Luke 13:25 "When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, `Master, Master, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, `I do not know you, where you are from,' Luke 13:26 "then you will begin to say, `We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.' Luke 13:27 "But He will say, `I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.
Matt 7:21 (NKJV) " Not everyone who says to Me, `Master, Master,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, `Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me , you who practice lawlessness!'
Matt 7:13 (NKJV) " Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 "Because narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it .
"FIND IT". If we must "find it" then we must be looking for it right? It isn't going to just come along and pop up in our face and then we just say, "Oh, there it is! There is the narrow gate!" The narrow gate is the way of truth. A gate that few truly seek, let alone find.
Now here is the key:
It is so much easier to go where everyone else is going. But if you are on a path that everyone else is on, then how can you be on a path that few find??? When in history has the majority ever been right? Where in scripture was the majority ever right before Yahweh? Once again, the narrow gate is a the way of truth. So how do we obtain truth??
The eyes of our Creator seeks those whose heart is perfect toward Him
He is speaking Here to an unruly King:
2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of Yahweh run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
Even if there are some who have not yet been convicted on things that I have been convicted on such as keeping the Sabbath and using Yahweh's name this does not mean that these other people are not Yahweh's people! As we can see by this verse, Yahweh is looking for those whose HEART is perfect toward Him. Those who are walking according to the light and truth that He has shown them. For Yahweh does not see as man sees. Yahweh looks at the heart. But beware if you are just following your heart, for Yahweh says:
Jeremiah 17:9 " The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
But what if we are blind to certain truths in His word? Yahushua, when speaking to the Pharisees said:
John 9:40-41 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?" Yahushua said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, `We see.' Therefore your sin remains.
So if a person is blind in an area that they have not been enlightened, they have no sin. But that person should beware if they claim to know all the truth and thereby say "I see". In this case, their sin remains. It all has to do with a persons heart. One should be very careful about judging someone's heart. Although the scripture says that "Out of the heart a man speaks" (whether it be evil or good) we still must beware and judge not according to appearance but judge righteous judgment. Still, it is better not to judge at all!
So how does one keep from being blind?
Matt 15:13 (NKJV) But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
Stay away from blind leaders! We should never trust in a man for our salvation, or knowledge of how to achieve salvation. Scripture says:
Jere 17:5 (NKJV) Thus says Yahweh: Cursed [is] the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from Yahweh.
If a person is just sitting back and not seeking Him, then there is no excuse for this person for not seeking the truth. An important characteristic of Yahweh's people is that they are continually seeking Yahweh's ways. Yahweh does not want us to be "lukewarm". Lets look at the example of the assembly in Laodicea:
Reve 3:14 (NKJV) " And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ` These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of Yahweh: 15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 "So then, because you are lukewarm , and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 "Because you say, `I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-- 18 "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, [that] the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Historically, this assembly of believers lived in a very rich city. Those living here were very wealthy. It is easy to understand why they were sitting back and being lukewarm. They weren't really denying Yahweh but just not seeking Him and being on fire for Him. I imagine they felt that they had all their needs met. This is not unlike this nation (United States). Whether or not we realize it, we in this nation are very wealthy. Many poor in other 3rd world countries would consider OUR poor, "RICH!" It is very easy to forget Yahweh when things are going well. But in doing this we don't realize we are "WRETCHED, MISERABLE, POOR, BLIND and NAKED!" So what are we to do?
If we refuse to do these things, He will spit us out of His mouth. In other words, separate us from His body, the true Assembly of Yahweh's people that only Elohim knows.
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of Elohim stands, having this seal: "Yahweh knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Messiah depart from iniquity."
Seeking truth is the key to finding it and walking in it. Here Yahweh is telling Jeremiah that if He can find ONE PERSON in Jerusalem that really seeks the truth, He will pardon the whole city!
Jer 5:1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be [any] that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.
Here, Yahushua is speaking of the importance of knowing truth:
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 Yahweh [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
The Spirit is what guides us into all truth:
Joh 14:17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Joh 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
The path to truth will stop if we don't obey the truth He has given us:
Ac 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom Yahweh hath given to them that obey him.
1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently
Those that ignore His ways will never find Him, though they seek:
Pr 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; THEY SHALL SEEK ME EARLY, BUT THEY SHALL NOT FIND ME: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of Yahweh: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
Pr 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
So, in summary we can see that Yahweh's people are a small remnant of people that are obviously scattered throughout the earth. What matters is the heart. Are we ignoring Him or seeking Him? Are we obeying Him according to the light shown them or disobeying the light shown? People in this day and age are not going to have many excuses on Judgment Day. The scriptures are there for all of us to read and seek. And if we obey what we find, the Spirit of truth will come and reveal more truth to us. In this, we love the Father and do not have pleasure in unrighteousness.
2The 2:7 (NKJV) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains [will] [do] [so] until He is taken out of the way. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains [will] [do] [so] until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Master will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the [lawless] [one] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason Elohim will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie , 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness
Having pleasure in unrighteousness is the same as not obeying the truth He has given us. And the Mystery of Lawlessness? What is Mystery of Lawlessness?