Our Calling of Distinction:

Us and Them

     Many religious people today—both those who call upon the Name of Yahweh and those who don’t—believe that the Spirit of the Supreme Creator Being is manifest by a spirit of cooperation between differing religious beliefs. They believe that the most important sign of true spirituality is to demonstrate an attitude of peace that seeks to find and emphasize points in common, rather than differences, to resolve conflicts with compromise and to demonstrate similarities of belief in an atmosphere of love. Yes, we know from scripture that Yahweh is an Elohim of peace. In fact, He is called an “Elohim of peace” five times in the New Covenant. We also know that Yahweh is calling those not of Israel to be part of Israel (Isaiah 56:6, Romans 11:11-24).

     We recognize where believers in the gentile city of Ephesus were declared “no longer strangers” by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:11-22. Yet, we also know that the calling of Yahweh, in both the original and new covenants, is:

  • A calling to purity: 2 Corinthians 7:1, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of Yahweh.
  • A calling to separation: Revelation 18:4, I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues.”
  • A calling to spiritual dedication: Romans 12:1, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to Elohim, which is your spiritual service of worship.
  • A calling that makes us a special, spiritually-dedicated people, a people who are in the world, but not part of the world: John 15:19, If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this, the world hates you.

     We are commanded, quite ambiguously, in the Book of Revelation, by a voice direct from heaven itself: ...Come out of her, My people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues, Revelation 18:4.

     We see from this that Yahweh is an Elohim of love and inclusion for all peoples; yet Yahweh demands that we be a separate, kodesh and perfect people to Him. Is there a contradiction here?

     As stated in 1 Corinthians 14:33, Yahweh is not the author of confusion. Yahweh wants His people to know and be sure of what they believe and why. That is why He commands us to assemble and keep His seven annual appointed days. On these days, we are expected to study and learn from His words, discuss among us the truths He has gifted to us, call upon His Name and worship Him exclusively.

  • Deuteronomy 6:13-15, You shall fear only Yahweh your Elohim; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for Yahweh your Elohim in the midst of you is a jealous Elohim; otherwise the anger of Yahweh your Elohim will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.
  • Exodus 23:24-25, You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces. But you shall serve the Yahweh your Elohim, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst .
  • Joshua 23:6-8, Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you will not associate with these nations, these which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear by them, or serve them, or bow down to them. But you are to cling to Yahweh your Elohim, as you have done to this day.

 

     He warns us to:

  • Make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10)
  • Not be blown about by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14)
  • Know what we believe (2 Timothy 1:12-14)
  • Hold fast to those things we have been taught (Titus 1:9)
  • Contend for the faith [Strong’s 4102: religious truth] once delivered to the spiritually-dedicated people of Yahweh (Jude 3)

 

     Yahweh does not accept compromise between His people and the people of other religious understandings. You can see this quite clearly in many scriptures, especially 1 Kings 18:21 and 1 Corinthians 10:20-21. We know from scripture that there is good, sound and true doctrine and false, lying and corrupt doctrine—the doctrine of Yahweh and the doctrine of Satan.

     The Apostle Paul even asked in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, ...for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Messiah with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? The answer to his rhetorical questions is clearly, “None!” This being true then, it is incumbent on the people of Yahweh to examine and publicize the truth of Yahweh’s scriptures which He has so wondrously given to us. That truth, that special knowledge, is summarized and codified in the doctrines we profess and in the lives we lead. Our lives should reflect our doctrine—what we believe—just as our doctrines define how we live. James Strong defines “doctrine,” or the Greek word “didaskalía” (#1319), as “instruction” (something taught to us by our Master). We are not to put that instruction, that gift of wisdom which has been gained by the guidance of His Spirit working collectively through the assembly, under a bushel basket, but on a lamp stand so the light of the good news of the Messiah shines throughout the house (Matthew 5:15-16, 2 Corinthians 4:4). We should proclaim it to the world, just as we should demonstrate it in our lives. Doctrine is not something to hide, be ashamed of or watered down for fear of offending someone. It is the codification of what we believe, it is the definition of who we are!

     We, the people of Yahweh, need to decide, once and for all, whether we are just a socio-evolutionary derivative of historical Christian belief or whether Yahweh has continuously preserved His true assembly and His true worship down through the ages. Is Yahweh’s assembly today just a more purified descendant of the Roman Catholic Church, the root of all of what is called Christianity today, or are we of a different root altogether? Does the name of our Elohim really matter, or are the Christian churches of this world just sincerely wrong worshippers of the same Mighty One—with a little less knowledge perhaps, but with the same intent? These are questions we need to be sure we have the answers to, and Yahweh’s people must be absolutely sure of those answers. Those answers are something we must fix firmly in our minds and in our doctrines. Uncertainty in our minds as to who and what we are, equivocation in our beliefs, confusion as to whether or how we differ from Christianity or Judaism will surely lead to compromise, syncretism and finally, the death of this incarnation of the body of the Messiah today! It has happened before.

     The Apostle Paul explains to us in 1 Corinthians 10 that the record of the wandering of children of Israel in the desert of Sinai is an example to us, a warning from Yahweh Himself, of how He deals with rebellion and religious compromise. We are told that they repeatedly longed to return to Egypt where their food (i.e., doctrine) would be provided for them; where they would not have to think or fight for themselves; where their masters could be seen, heard and felt; where they wouldn’t have to trust in the One Who is not seen: But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” (Exodus 33:20)

     Later, once they were given their space in the land of Israel, with Yahweh as their King, they again longed to return to Egypt—this time in their minds. They told Samuel who was Yahweh’s appointed judge and servant in that day: Appoint for us a king, to judge us, like all the nations (1 Samuel 8:5). Samuel was hurt and displeased, but Yahweh told him: Listen to the  voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them (1 Samuel 8:7). They wanted to be like all the pagan nations around them. They thought it would be easier not to be different. In the same way today, some in Yahweh’s assemblies want to be more like the religions around them. They don’t want to be different than their Christian friends and neighbors.

     But remember, there is a day coming, probably in the not too distant future, when the people of the western world will once again be persecuted, tortured and brutally murdered for the religious beliefs they hold. We, Yahweh’s little flock, will not be excepted—His word predicts it: But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name (Luke 21:12-17); and They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to Elohim (John 16:2).

     So, if we don’t know what we really and truly believe, if we don’t recognize how different we are supposed to be, we won’t be different for very long. No one on earth will die for a difference of which they are not firmly convinced. However, if we know how we differ, and if we know who we are, that we are Yahweh’s called-out, chosen, spiritually-dedicated people of the one true Elohim, we will be able to stand against all opposition without compromise. We will be able to resist, if necessary, even unto death (Revelation 2:10)!

     So, what is it that makes the people of Yahweh different? What doctrines and what insight has Yahweh given to His people in these last days that need to be emphasized? We detailed earlier that Yahweh is an Elohim of love, but what is that love if not to do the works of the One who sent us; to keep the commandments; to not find commandment keeping a burden, but a blessing—a great and loving gift given to us through the wisdom of the Spirit of our Great Rabbi and Elohim, Yahshua the Messiah? This is confirmed by:

  • John 9:4, I must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.
  • 2 John 1:6, And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
  • Deuteronomy 11:26-27, See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, which I am commanding you today.
  • John 1:49, Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of Elohim; You are the King of Israel.”
  • Titus 2:10, Not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of Elohim our Savior in every respect.

     A chart would be of use here, highlighting the differences between the beliefs, understandings, doctrines and actions of the people of Yahweh, on the one hand, and those of Christianity, the dominant religion of the western world, on the other:



 

US: The People of
Yahweh throughout the World

US: The People of
Yahweh throughout the World
~~~~~~~~~~

 

THEM: The People of the Prominent Religions of the Western World

 

We worship Yahweh, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Israel (Exodus 3:15, John 4:23, Matthew 4:10, Philemon 3:3, Galatians 3:7, 3:29)

 

They worship the “Lord God,” “Jesus,” Mary, saints and sometimes, the statues representing them.

 

We call upon the Name of Yahweh, and our Master and Savior, and Yahshua His Son, for deliverance from evil (Matthew 1:21, Acts 2:21, 4:12, 1 Corinthians 10:4, Deuteronomy 32:4, Joel 2:32)

 

They call upon some or all of the above when “times get tough.”

 

We acknowledge Yahshua as our rescuer, our offering for sin (Matthew 1:21, John 1:29, Zechariah 9:9, Luke 24:47, Hebrews 10:12)

 

They say “Jesus saves!”

We repent (turn away) from sin, the breaking of Yahweh’s just and righteous laws, as detailed in the Torah, His written word (Exodus 20:1-18, Matthew 19:17-19, Acts 2:38, 11:18, 1 John 3:4)

They show sorrow over their previous separation from their personal concept of “God” and from alienation from their fellow man.

We repent (turn away) from sin, the breaking of Yahweh’s just and righteous laws, as detailed in the Torah, His written word (Exodus 20:1-18, Matthew 19:17-19, Acts 2:38, 11:18, 1 John 3:4)

They show sorrow over their previous separation from their personal concept of “God” and from alienation from their fellow man.

We acknowledge that Yahweh’s laws are perfect, just, good, a blessing and eternal (Psalm 19:7-8, Romans 7:12, Psalm 33:11, 111:7-8, 119:44, 119:89, 119:111, 119:152).

They believe that the law was a burden, “nailed to the cross” and done away with

We understand that the scriptures speak only of Father Yahweh and His Son, Yahshua as Elohim, or Supreme Spirit Beings (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 4:10, Exodus 3:14-15, Genesis 19:24, Proverbs 30:4, John 1:1-4, 8:58, 10:28-30, 1 Timothy 3:16, 6:14-16, Colossians 1:14-19, Philippians 2:6-8, Revelations 1:1,8, Titus 2:10).

They philosophize that the “godhead” is a “trinity,” of Father, Son and Holy Ghost and the three are one.

In imitation of our Savior and His Apostles, and by the command of our Elohim, we desist from work and assemble together to worship Yahweh on the Sabbath, the 7th day of the week (Mark 1:21, 6:2, Luke 4:16, 4:31, 13:10, 23:56, Acts 13:14, 13:44, 15:21, 16:13, 17:2, 18:4, Exodus 20:8-11, 31:13-17, 35:2-3, Isaiah 56:2-7).

They say that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday, or was done away with all together in obedience to their earlier king, Constantine, and the Pontificus Maximus, the leader of their ancient Roman mystery religions.

We also assemble together three times each year to worship on Yahweh’s 7 commanded days of assembly, as did the Apostles (Leviticus 23, Ezekiel 17:17-24, Nehemiah 1:5, Zechariah 14:16-18, Acts 2:1, 18:21, 27:9, 1 Corinthians 5:8, Colossians 2:16-17).

They assemble for worship on Christmas and Easter, and pay tribute to Halloween and Valentine’s Day, “holidays” derived from a slightly more primitive form of paganism.

We memorialize the death of our perfect Passover Lamb sin offering, Yahshua, on the “night before He suffered” by ingesting the symbols of His broken body and shed blood on the evening (the beginning) of the 14th day of the scriptural first month of the year (Exodus 12:2, 5-6, Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 9;2-5, Deuteronomy 16:1, Luke 22:7, 19-20, John 6:54, 63, 1 Corinthians 5:7, 10:16-17, 11:23-26, Acts 20:6).

They believe that they (or at least their black-robe-covered priests of Baal) are able to convert sun-shaped flour wafers into the flesh of “Jesus” which they eat on an occasional or even frequent basis

We fast, afflicting our bodies as a sign of remorse and repentance, and to honor the work of our appointed High Priest, Yahshua, on the Day of Atonement, the 10th day of the scriptural 7th month of the year (Leviticus 16, 23:26-32, Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:20, Acts 27:8).

They sometimes give up “something special” for Lent—a special candy, or maybe their favorite TV show. Some eat only fish on Friday (in honor, perhaps of Dagon?).

We are completely immersed in water as willing, comprehending, repentant adults, as a sign of the death of our “old man of sin” and our past rebellion (Matthew 3:16, John 3:23, Acts 2:38, 8:38, Romans 6:3-11, 1 Corinthians 12:13).

They sprinkle “holy water” on innocent babies and declare them “saved,” because “Mystery Babylon” believes in the magic of “the 7 Sacred Mysteries,” including the “mystery of baptism”.

We avoid the ingesting or use of those animal products declared unfit for human use by the scriptures (Genesis 7:2, 8, Leviticus 10:10, 11:all, 20:25-26, Deuteronomy 12:23-25, 14:1-21, Ezekiel 22:26, 44:23, Acts 10:14, 2 Corinthians 6:17, 7:1).

They say that “Jesus declared all foods clean,” and they celebrate their religious holidays with a dinner of roast pork.

The scriptures tell us that man is a mortal creature and that only Yahweh has natural immortality (Genesis 2:7, Ecclesiastes 3:19, 9:5, Ezekiel 13:19, 18:4, 20, Romans 2:7, 1 Timothy 6:16).

They believe that they have an indestructible, non-material “soul” that consciously survives death.

We understand from scripture that Yahweh promises eternal life to us, one of purpose with His Son, actualized by a future resurrection from death (Job 14:14-16, Psalm 17:15, Isaiah 26:19-20, Daniel 12:2, Mark 12:18-27, Luke 14:14, John 5:29, 11:23-26, Acts 4:2, 17:18, 23:6, 24:15, Romans 6:5, 1 Corinthians 15:all, Philemon 3:11, Hebrews 6:2, Revelations 20:5).

They believe that the immortal, disembodied souls of the “righteous” dead are now already doing “something” (or nothing) in their heavenly reward

We recognize that Yahshua, the only-born Son of Yahweh, truly died on an execution stake and had to be resurrected by the power of His Father, Yahweh, exactly three days and three nights later, toward the end of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:40, 27:63, John 19:42, Mark 16:1-6, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Acts 5:30, 10:38-41, 2:24, 32, 3:15, 4:10

They conjecture that the body of Jesus, the son of God, died on a cross, the historical symbol of Tammuz, on “Good Friday” afternoon, visited spirits in the underworld, and finally raised himself up from the grave 1-1/2 days later on Easter Sunday morning.

We believe that Yahshua is now our only High Priest and Advocate with the Father, applying His atoning offering before Yahweh, for the forgiveness of our sins (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5:6, 9:24, 1 Corinthians 5:7, Ephesians 5:2, John 1:29).

They see no need or use for a high priest, or they acknowledge a human on earth as their priest.

We understand from His word that Yahweh has appointed physical markers of the times and seasons of religious assembly through the sighting of green grain-heads of barley in Israel, and the sighting of new moon crescents (Genesis 1:14, Exodus 12:2, 23:14-17, Leviticus 23:4, Numbers 28:11, Deuteronomy 16:1, 1 Samuel 20:5).

 

They accept the secularly-adjusted calendar of the Roman Catholic Pope, Gregory XIII, to determine the times of their religious festivals or football games, whichever seems more important to them at the time.


      

     So, since we are different, or should be different, let’s make it clear where we differ. Let’s not muddy up the waters by glossing over the crystal-clear evangel and pure doctrine to which we have been entrusted in these last days. Yahshua commanded His followers: Go therefore and make disciples [make students] of all the nations… teaching them to observe all that I commanded you… (Matthew 28:19-20). Let us make those differences clear, not in a spirit of hatred, nor in a spirit of arrogance or pride, but in the spirit of love of the truths given to us, and in the spirit of love for those for whom the glorious light of the evangel has not yet shined. If we, the end-time worshippers and heralds of the truths of Yahweh don’t stand for something—something known, something precise, something sure, something “black and white”—we will stand for nothing. And if we stand for nothing, we will have nothing to offer this confused and hopeless world around us. Then we, the Body of Messiah—Yahweh’s assemblies—will have no right or reason to exist.

     There is a special spirit of understanding among the people of Yahweh today, an understanding not shared with Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity or any of the other religions of the “Mystery Babylon” of this world. That Spirit is described in Isaiah 11:2, The Spirit of Yahweh will rest on Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh. But, we are told by Paul in Romans 8:9 and 1 Corinthians 2:16 that that same Spirit is made available to us as a guarantee, a down payment, of the future full measure of the promised inheritance gift. That Spirit is promised to us when we acknowledge our sins, our breaking of Yahweh’s just laws and repent (turn away from our past law-breaking), and call upon the Name of our substitute offering for sin, Yahshua the righteous (Hebrews 9:26, 10:5-14). Just as no other offering for sin will be accepted, no other name guarantees that Spirit. Acts 4:12, And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

     We are commanded to let that light shine, or we fail in our mission. Let us beam-out the truths we have been given with an attitude of boldness and certainty, yet also with a spirit of meekness, compassion, thanksgiving and love. Truly, we need to remember the words of the Apostle Paul when he said, What do you have, that you did not [first] receive... Knowing that we, in these weak and frail jars of clay have been given this pearl of great price and talents, our knowledge of the kingdom AND that this message is NOT our own contrivance (thank Yahweh!), should not only engender an attitude of great humility in us, but also one of great assurance: For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that Day (2 Timothy 1:12). ...for this has not been done in a corner (Acts 26:26).

     The fact that we have been given the command to teach all people of the world the wonderful news of the soon-coming restoration of the Laws of Yahweh throughout this created universe, and the return of its Administrator, King Yahshua, should embolden us to announce those truths without compromise or hesitation.

Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble (2 Peter 1:10).

—Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is Elohim, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word (1 Kings 18:21).

—If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve Yahweh, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh (Joshua 24:15).

Our Elohim is truly an Elohim Who has given us a calling of distinction—praise Yahweh for it!

HalleluYAH!

 

 

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