You might wonder how these two topics are even related to each other, but they are very much related to each other. And so, I want to start by asking some simple questions that have the capability of demonstrating why these two areas are absolutely related to each other.
Because a lot of people think, "Ah, well, you know, tradition. Many people follow tradition, but we are trying to follow Him with our heart. Traditions aren't so bad. Traditions are okay as long as our heart is in the right place."
Actually, I would agree with that statement "if our heart is in the right place." But sometimes we need to ask ourselves some questions to find out whether or not our heart really is in the right place.
I am going to give us some examples here and the first question I want to ask is this:
1. If everyone in the world kept the Feasts of Yahweh-- Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles-- rather than Christmas and Easter, who would still go out and put a tree in their house and keep Christmas and go search for Easter eggs and keep this Easter holiday coming up? Who would do that?
And if you are a participant in these other holidays, rather than the Feasts of Yahweh laid out in Scripture, if the whole world kept the Feasts, would you still keep Christmas? Would you still observe Easter? Would you do it if you were the only one doing it?
2. How about this? If everyone called the Messiah "Yahushua," would you still call Him "Jesus"?
3. If everyone kept the 7th day Sabbath (the entire world, the whole planet), who would ignore that and just keep Sunday and build their own little house church and go on Sunday?
4. If everyone on the earth called the Heavenly Father by His name, "Yahweh," would any of us insist on calling Him "The Lord" instead of "Yahweh"?
Some very important questions. And we see here where tradition and heart condition come kind of sliding into each other, because these questions cut out all the noise and simply ask the heart probing question: Who are you really following?
Now I do not ask these questions to condemn anybody. I do not ask these questions so that I can seem superior to anybody else. I only ask them because they get to the heart of what we are really doing and why we are doing it.
And there are other questions like these that we could ask ourselves in many areas of life. I am going to address those as well in our study topic today.
But the reality is, for every one of us-- especially at this time of year, known as Passover-- we are told to examine ourselves and to judge ourselves.
1Corinthians 11:28 - But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 - For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Master's body.
30 - For this reason many [are] weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
1Corinthians 11:31 - For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
If we would judge ourselves, we wouldn't be judged. So if we are willing to ask ourselves the hard questions and judge ourselves, we wouldn't have to worry about our actions being judged by Messiah. As it says there, many are weak and sick, and many sleep.
Now the context of the verse has to do with not approaching the partaking of Yahushua with reverence and the respect that He deserves and regarding that act as holy rather than common. But examining ourselves is very important for all of us to do. Yes, even if you keep the Sabbath and the Feast days and call on the name of Yahweh and Yahushua.
It is important that we examine ourselves. It says, 2 Corinthians 13:5:
2Corinthians 13:5 - Examine yourselves [as to] whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Yahushua Messiah is in you? -- unless indeed you are disqualified.
This is the New Testament I am reading from here. These are serious words. Examining our own heart is not always easy because we can actually be deceived by our own heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
10 - I, YAHWEH, search the heart, [I] test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
So Yahweh is going to do it, so you better go ahead and do it yourself because He is going to do it anyway. And so, it is for that reason it is so, so imperative and important that we don't follow our own heart because it is deceitful above all.
And it says in Proverbs 28:26:
Proverbs 28:26 - He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool? Wow! So many people say, "Oh, I will just follow my heart on this. I will follow my heart." But Yahweh says it is even foolish to trust your own heart.
Proverbs 22:17 - Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge;
We have to take that heart of ours and apply it to the wisdom and understanding and the knowledge of Yahweh. That means we have to lead our heart to the Word.
Proverbs 22:18 - For [it is] a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
Keep what within you? His wisdom. His knowledge. So that your trust is not in your heart, but may be in Yahweh.
Proverbs 22:19 - So that your trust may be in YAHWEH; I have instructed you today, even you.
So applying our heart to the words of Yahweh, taking our heart and causing our heart to be conformed to the living breathing words and wisdom of Yahweh. That is what is going to cause our heart to be cleansed of the wickedness that resides therein in natural man. So we have to lead our own heart by applying His wisdom to our life.
Proverbs 2:2 - So that you incline your ear to wisdom, [And] apply your heart to understanding;
3 - Yes, if you cry out for discernment, [And] lift up your voice for understanding,
4 - If you seek her as silver, And search for her as [for] hidden treasures;
Proverbs 2:5 - Then you will understand the fear of YAHWEH, And find the knowledge of Elohim.
Then you will understand. We are called to cry out for discernment, to seek Yahweh's wisdom as you seek out riches. And we may never find it until we cry out for it. But in the end, what will come out of it, what we will come to, is the fear of Yahweh and the importance of trusting in Him.
Fearing Yahweh and trusting in Yahweh may seem like opposites, maybe, to our natural way of thinking. How can you trust someone you are afraid of?
But the truth is, if we fear Yahweh, we will come to a point in our life where we realize we need His wisdom and we are going to give an account for our sins and we are going to answer to Him for everything we have done wrong in our lives.
And this will cause us to see the need for repentance and the need for Yahushua to come in and to cleanse us from all guilt, from all sin.
And then we will enter into a relationship with the Father and His Messiah where we learn to trust Him completely and fully, because we know He loves us, desires what is best for us, even if it doesn't look like what is best at the time.
And so, what does all this have to do with tradition?
It has everything to do with it because the alternative to the fear of Yahweh and the trusting in Yahweh is the fear of man and the trusting in man-- whether it be trusting the man in the mirror or fearing those all around us and what they may think about us and what they say and doing what they demand that we do or expect that we do.
It is so easy for traditions and the ways of men to become more important than the commands of Yahweh if we are not careful. It is especially true if we grew up observing traditions and don't take the time to examine them in the light of Scripture.
The trouble is, not many are willing to actually question tradition. Tradition becomes ingrained in our culture and our way of thinking and doesn't sound very fun to be the oddball, to be the outcast, to be the one that stands out. But that is where "the rubber meets the road."
We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves if we are unwilling, maybe, to question tradition because we are afraid of what the end result might be. Maybe we will find something that will cause us to be so radically different than other people that we are not going to fit in anymore.
Or maybe we found things that are so radically different, and even though we recognize they are correct, we are afraid to apply them because of fear of what others may say or do to us. And that is where our heart condition becomes very important. Who are we really following?
Are we following a Christianity because we want to be a Christian? Or are we following our Savior Yahushua because we want to be like Him?
I venture to say that in 2000 years of Christianity there, just maybe, could have been a tradition or two that are not quite from Scripture that have crept in that maybe are really not in line with the way Yahushua wanted us to walk, are not quite in step with the way Messiah Himself called us to live.
So our reference point is never, "What did the Christian that I am very impressed with do in this situation?" as the end-all. Or, "What did the pastor say?" Or, "What did the old Christians of the 1800s do back then?" Or, "What did the Christians do in the church fathers' days?"
The question is: What did Yahushua do and His disciples teach? We need to keep our eyes on the Savior. He was not a real big fan of tradition.
Matthew 15:8 says:
Matthew 15:8 - `These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with [their] lips, But their heart is far from Me.
Their heart condition.
Matthew 12:9 - Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue.
In vain. ("It is useless for them to worship Me.")
He is talking about Isaiah here. Actually, a quotation from Isaiah, a paraphrase-- because Isaiah says:
Isaiah 29:13 - Therefore YAHWEH said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
So whatever fear toward Yahweh is first going through man. And, therefore, their hearts are far from Him.
Do we see where the following of traditions and commandments of men are completely intertwined and interrelated with the heart condition?
Tradition and the heart condition are related to each other, and that is why I ask these questions.
1. If everyone kept the Feasts of Yahweh rather than Christmas and Easter, who would still keep Christmas and Easter?
2. If everyone called Messiah "Yahushua," who would insist on calling him "Jesus"?
3. If everyone kept the 7th day Sabbath, who would ignore it or keep it on Sunday?
4. If everyone on the earth called the Heavenly Father "Yahweh," would any of us still insist on calling Him "The Lord" instead?
This last one here-- if everyone called Him Yahweh, would you be calling Him "the Lord" today?-- is that what you would do? Would you insist on calling Him "the Lord" instead of "Yahweh"?
I realize I do something different by calling on His name "Yahweh," and I might seem a little strange because I am doing something different than what most people do, but I guess I see the need to honor the ways of Yahweh rather than just blindly accepting what man does.
It wasn't Yahweh who took His name out of the Bible. It was man. Man took Yahweh's name out of the English Bibles, and they admit it freely. They freely admit to having done that. They don't have a problem with that. They will tell you, right there in your preface.
Have you ever read the preface of your Bible?
New International Version - Preface: "In regard to the divine name YHWH (Yahweh), commonly referred to as the Tetragrammaton, the translators adopted the device used in most English versions of rendering that name as "LORD" in capital letters to distinguish it from adonai, another Hebrew word rendered "Lord" for which small letters are used."
The translators adopted what? The same thing everybody else does. So wherever you see "LORD" in all caps, that is where Yahweh's name exists (YHWH)-- almost 7000 times.
And this statement in the majority of English translations, their primary reasoning for replacing the name of Yahweh with this title is, "Well, other people do it, too."
"Oh, other people do it. They do it, so we do it. And so, that is why we do it, because other people have done it. It is what is usually done. It is the device used in most English versions. So that is what we do."
I am sorry, that is not good enough for me. Like the teenage boy. If everybody had jumped off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff?
Did you ever tell your son that or hear someone telling their son that? Just because a neighbor boy does it, doesn't mean you should do it.
And that is what our Father in heaven I am sure is saying. Think about that. What right do we have to change the Scriptures?
"The LORD" is not a translation of His name. I mean, Yahweh's name carries the meaning of "He is" or "He causes to be." Instead, they opted for this change.
We are not supposed to add to, we are not supposed to take away from the scriptures. But in doing this, man does both. He adds to and he takes away. He adds "the LORD" and takes away the name "Yahweh." And so, I cannot go along with that.
And maybe I will be the oddball, but the scriptures themselves tell me one day the whole world will be doing what I am doing.
Zephaniah 3:8 - "Therefore wait for Me," says YAHWEH, "Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination [is] to gather the nations To My assembly of kingdoms, To pour on them My indignation, All my fierce anger; All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy.
9 - "For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of YAHWEH, To serve Him with one accord.
It is going to happen. So when Yahushua comes back and the Father's will is finally done on the earth as it is in heaven, translators won't be able to affect what people are doing. He will cut out the middle man.
I say cut out the middle man right now. Why wait around? Because we can do the will of our Father in heaven right now rather than wait until He corrects everybody.
So if my Bible says "the LORD" in all capital letters, I am going to say "Yahweh," because in spite of what other people may think, I want to speak the original truth just as He inspired it. No need to change it.
Think about that, how preposterous it is to take the name of the Creator of the universe out of His own book. The name "Satan" is there. Of course, he keeps that in there. I mean, all the names of the pagan gods are there-- Ba'al, Chemosh, all these other ones. Yahweh's name? Nope. All gone. Don't see it.
So in my mind, forget about tradition-- what people may think and what people may say. You can mock me all you want. What matters is what Yahweh says.
Joel 2:32 - And it shall come to pass [That] whoever calls on the name of YAHWEH Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As YAHWEH has said, Among the remnant whom YAHWEH calls.
That is what He told me. Call on His name for salvation. Let's do it! Simple as that.
I learned this when I was 8 years old. I heard the name "Yahweh." I was a simple child at the time. I knew hardly any scripture at all. Heard His name was "Yahweh."
"All right. I guess that is His name. That is what I will call Him." And so, I did.
What about this here-- "Jesus" versus "Yahushua"? Yahushua was never called "Jesus" in His lifetime. No one in heaven right now is calling Him "Jesus." No one. They are calling Him by His name "Yahushua."
So some people say, "Oh, that is the English version. 'Jesus' is the English version of 'Yahushua.'" Who decided that? Man? or Yahweh? Who decided this will be the official English version of our Savior-- "Jesus"?
Was it some divine power that came down from heaven? No! Man came along, and said, "Hmm..." Well, actually the original 1611 King James says "Iesus"-- I-E-S-U-S-- which is Latin.
But my question is: What were the early disciples baptizing in and preaching in and getting so much persecution for teaching in? That is what I want to know, because the name "Yahushua," that is the name that my Father gave Him. The name "Yahushua" has a meaning to it. It means "Yahweh saves."
What does the name of "Jesus" mean? It doesn't mean anything in any language as far as I know. It is just empty syllables and no meaning whatsoever.
But when I say "Yahushua," every time I say His name, I am declaring, "Yahweh is salvation. Yahweh saves." Every time I say the word "Yahushua."
And it is for that reason-- Matthew 1:21:
Matthew 1:21 - "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name YAHUSHUA, for He will save His people from their sins."
This is the angel talking to Joseph. "And you shall call His name Yahushua." That means "Yahweh saves." Why? "For He will save His people from their sins."
Now it all makes sense. My Savior is a personal Savior, and so I want to use His personal name. I want to declare Yahweh's salvation through Him as I call upon Him all the day long. And so, I will do so every time I call upon His name.
That is what Yahweh wanted to hear. Every time we call on the Savior, we are going to say, "Yahweh saves."
Now I might be the "oddball." I might be the "weirdo over there" they might say, you know, doing "Yahweh" and "Yahushua," and all that. It doesn't matter. It only matters if I am doing something wrong. Then, okay, they can justifiably say, "You shouldn't do that."
But if I am doing what is right and good, forget about what people think. What matters is what He thinks.
Do you know, calling on the name of Yahushua actually resolves a century's old debate in Christianity? Many people are puzzled by this apparent contradiction of two verses in Scripture.
In Matthew 28, verses 18 through 20, it says:
Matthew 28:18 - And Yahushua came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 - teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
So, He says: "Teach commandments." Don't forget that part. And one of them is: "Baptize in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit."
But then, Acts 2:38 says:
Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yahushua Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So this is only the Son's name-- so it appears on the surface. But remember what I said: "Yahushua" means "Yahweh saves."
Y-A-H-U-S-H-U-A. In His name: "YAHUEH." YAHUSHUA-- YAHUEH. "SHUA" means "SAVES." And the first part, "YAHU"-- "YAHUEH."
You can say "u" or "w" there. Yahueh/Yahweh. "Yahushua" means "Yahweh saves."
And so, within the name of the Son, we have the name of the Father, right? Now what about the Holy Spirit?
John 14:26 - "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
So within the name of Yahushua, we have the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. You do not find that in the name of Jesus.
So to me it is amazing, it is lovely, how His pure, sweet, original truth has the potential to bring all of us to unity. Unity is Yahweh's desire, to call upon one name. That is His desire.
In Zephaniah, we read earlier, that He will restore to everyone a pure language that all may call upon the name of Yahweh and serve Him with one accord.
Look here at Zechariah 14:8. It says:
Zechariah 14:8 - And in that day it shall be [That] living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.
This has never happened.
Zechariah 14:9 - And YAHWEH shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be -- "YAHWEH [is] one," And His name one.
One name. So, HalleluYah! What are we waiting on? Let's do it!
When His will is finally done on the earth, as it is in heaven, that is what He wants. Well, let's do His will on the earth right now.
If this is the Kingdom, if this is what the Kingdom is all about, let's follow the Kingdom ways at the moment we are at right now. What is the holdup, right? What are we waiting on? That is the question.
Here we have this first question-- the holidays. Just giving some examples of the heart issues here. If everyone kept the Feasts of Yahweh rather than Christmas and Easter, who would still keep Christmas and Easter? That is an important question.
If we have the entire planet keeping the feasts, who would put a Christmas tree in their house? Who are we really following? Are we following the Messiah? What are we doing?
Scripture says in Zechariah 14:18:
Zechariah 14:18 - If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they [shall have] no [rain]; they shall receive the plague with which YAHWEH strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Nations? This is later on in Zechariah.
Zechariah 14:19 - This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
So what are we waiting on? That is my question if that is His will. Nations-- that means Gentiles-- are coming up to keep the feast. What are we waiting on? Let's keep them.
This third question... if everybody kept the 7th day Sabbath, who would ignore it and then start keeping it on a different day, or something like that? Would you really? Are you that convicted if you were the only one to keep the first day of the week as the Sabbath day? Would you do it? That is the question.
Isaiah 66:23 - And it shall come to pass [That] from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says YAHWEH.
Yahweh is going to re-establish His calendar, isn't He?
Isaiah 66:24 - "And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
So the whole world is also going to keep the Sabbath day, and they are going to gather in Jerusalem to do it.
See, names and Sabbaths-- and stuff like that-- is going to be important one day. So what are we waiting on? These are not Jewish days.
What we have here, though, is a trend. It is a trend that Yahweh establishes something in Scripture and then man changes it.
Yahweh puts His name in the Bible. Man takes it out. Yahweh gives Joseph and Mary the name of His Son. People change it. Yahweh establishes His Sabbath day in the second chapter of Genesis. Man changes it to another day. Yahweh gives us Holy Days. Man ignores them and makes up his own holy days.
Does it matter? I mean, it seems to me like He is making the point here in the prophecies He is going to re-establish His things, what He originally inspired-- His name, His Sabbath and His Feast days. And so, even if it does not matter to you, it must matter to Him.
I mean, this is not about us, is it? Is our faith just about us? Is it about what we get out of the deal? I mean, our faith is not supposed to be about us. It is supposed to be about Him.
Our observances are not supposed to be all about what we get. It is about Him. He is the One being worshiped here.
And so, I am not looking for a religion where man is at center stage. I am looking for a sovereign Creator who, while his love for man is absolutely amazing, it is sovereign enough to decide how He wants to be worshiped, how He wants to be loved, and yield to that.
All the noise of what mans does, it doesn't really matter, because when the hammers and nails of churches and denominations and organizations being built today are heard no more, and the sounds of debates over doctrines and arguments over who is saved and who is not saved and all that stuff is quieted down, and the houses of academia...
... and everything going on with it is no more, and there are no more presidents, no more wars, all those things are gone-- all the noise, all the confusion, all the madness is over-- it is only going to be you and Him. What man says is not going to matter.
There is not going to be any lawyer with his loophole in the law to get you out of trouble. Everyone whose opinion you valued won't be there. Their thoughts about you won't count for anything. It will be you and Him... me and Him. That is it.
And Yahushua says in that day when it is just us and Him:
Matthew 10:37 - "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
38 - "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
*cross = stake.
Matthew 10:39 - "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
Even if your parents mock you and reject you and toss you out, whatever they do, it doesn't matter. We love Messiah more or we are not worthy of Him. So who are we really following when the pressure is on? Who are we really following?
And all those people we put in the position of Elohim if we follow them rather than the voice of Yahweh and the Word, the Scripture. And He is going to ask you, "Oh, where are your mighty ones now," in that day of judgment, "that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise if they can save you at this time." Right? Just as He asked Judah.
Jeremiah 2:28 - But where [are] your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, If they can save you in the time of your trouble; For [according to] the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah.
"Well, where are all your mighty ones, your elohim, the deities you serve? Where are they? Where are all those people whose opinions you valued so much above even Mine?"
He will ask the same question. They are not going to save you now. He is Elohim. Not man. It is a serious issue. It is a serious, serious issue.
What does His Word say?
What does His Word say about the Sabbath day? There is not a single verse in Scripture that says He changed it. Not even one.
Acts 13:42-- this is New Testament scripture here:
Acts 13:42 - So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
When? Sunday? The next Sabbath. A week from THAT day. They were in the synagogue on a Sabbath.
Acts 13:43 - Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of Elohim.
44 - On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of Elohim.
So the next Sabbath. Why didn't he just tell them, "Hey, come on over tomorrow. Sunday church service is 10:30"? No! They were in a synagogue. And what does Scripture refer that day to? What does it say it is? It is the Sabbath. Never, anywhere, is the seventh day of the week called anything but the Sabbath.
The first day of the week is always called the first day of the week. The seventh day of the week is always called the Sabbath. Always. No exceptions.
It is not a Jewish day. It isn't. It really isn't. Look at Genesis 2. No Jews created, yet, right?
Genesis 2:2 - And on the seventh day Elohim ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
3 - Then Elohim blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which Elohim had created and made.
This day was made holy a long time before there was ever a Jewish man on the earth. Long before any Jews.
Before there was an Abraham. Before there was an Isaac and Jacob and the twelve sons of Jacob known as Israel and Judah. There it is-- the second chapter of Genesis.
It is not a "Jewish Sabbath." It is HIs Sabbath. Yahweh's Sabbath.
"The Sabbath was made for man," Yahushua told us. But man comes along, and says, "Nah, don't want it. We will change it. We will switch it to another day. We like this other day better, the day of the sun."
So, I know, there are people wondering the question, "Well, Tom, how do you know that Saturday is really the seventh day and somewhere in the last two thousand years something didn't get changed?"
History tells us. It never has changed.
Cassius Dio, who was a Roman historian, is writing about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and he says: "Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most."
What do we call "the day of Saturn" today? We call it "Saturday."
"From that time forth it was ordered that the Jews who continued to observe their ancestral customs should pay an annual tribute of two denarii to Jupiter Capitoline."
So it is going to hit you in the wallet if you are going to observe the Sabbath day after that. No wonder it wasn't too popular among Gentiles. But it hasn't changed. It is still there.
It was the interest of three different religions to keep the weekly seven day cycle intact. Islam wanted to keep the sixth day. Jews wanted to keep the seventh day. Christians wanted to keep the first day.
And here we are. They didn't want to change it. No one wanted to change it. And so, it hasn't. The Romans called it "the day of Saturn." We call it "Saturday."
You know, in some languages, like Spanish, the seventh day of the week is called "Sabbath" (Sabado). That is what they call it in Spanish. So "Sabado" is "Sabado." "Sabbath" is "Sabbath."
It was, always is, forever will be "one Sabbath to another." Right?
Isaiah 66:22 - "For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says YAHWEH, "So shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 - And it shall come to pass [That] from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says YAHWEH.
24 - "And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
So what I am doing here is Kingdom stuff. We are supposed to be preaching the Kingdom, right? This is the Kingdom that we are supposed to be preaching right here. And I do not judge anybody's heart, but those who transgress against Him, it doesn't look good.
But I feel I would have to be pretty hard-hearted to ignore that. I mean, that is our Father's will, seeing that what He wants in the final day, what He wants man to do, what He really wants.
I know it is not what most people do today. I do not judge them. I know there are many people who are very sincere going to church every Sunday, keeping Christmas and Easter, and using "Jesus," "Lord," and "God." I know there are, and I love them.
And I know they are just doing it because that is what they are told. They are doing it because they think that is what the Savior wants them to do. But this isn't what He will be doing when He comes back.
When He comes back, He specifically says He is going to establish His Father's name, His Father's Sabbath, His Father's New Moon and His Father's Feast Days. So why wait for Him to correct us?
I know it is not very comfortable to be different, but this is the heart issue that we have to deal with and overcome. Set aside the fear of man. Trust in what Yahweh will say rather than what man will say.
Simply do this, very simple: Walk as He walked.
1John 2:6 - He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
He kept the Sabbath. He called on His Father's name. He kept the Feast days. If there is ever any question in what you should do, look and see what Yahushua did.
John 17:25 - "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.
They don't even know who You are.
John 17:26 - "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare [it], that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
So He declared to the people His Father's name, so that the love with which the Father loved the Son may also be in us.
When you want to know somebody, what is the first question you ask? "What is your name?" This is square one stuff here. "What is your name?" This is the basics. And yet, you can't see the forest because the trees are in the way.
No, it is the traditions that are in the way. And sometimes we just have to say, "You know what? I don't judge anybody, but I am going to go with the Word."
I know most people don't think it matters, but if it didn't matter, Yahweh would never had put His name in the Scriptures almost seven thousand times. And seven thousand times, what does man do? Comes in and takes it out.
You know, of all the words in the Hebrew Scriptures, if you were to count how many of each word there are, the seventh most commonly used word in the entire Hebrew Bible-- including words like "and" and "the" and "in," and all the different words-- the seventh most commonly used word in the Scriptures is "Yahweh."
So it matters to Him. The only question is if it matters to us.
Watch the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 - Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it [spring] the issues of life.
Keep it. That means watch over it. The word in Hebrew is "shamar." Keep! Guard it because the imagination of our heart would otherwise lead us astray.
Everything flows out of the heart. And so, we need to get to the source. We need to get to the root of it. We need to address the real problem and place the Word of Yahweh in the heart.
Psalms 119:11 - Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!
12 - Blessed [are] You, O YAHWEH! Teach me Your statutes!
So to keep our hearts from going astray, we have to place Yahweh's Word there. His Word has His name seven thousand times, right? So, put it there and watch what happens-- the pure, sweet, original, undefiled truth of His Word, without man's traditions in between you and the Father.
Isn't part of the New Covenant that He would put His Word in our heart, that we would have a new heart, that He would write it so with the wisdom of the Word of Yahweh in us our heart can be purified?
You know, some people like to say, "Well, the Law is in my heart. Yep, I have the Law in my heart. And so, I don't keep the Sabbath now." Does that make any sense when the Law itself says to keep the Sabbath?
If the Word is in our hearts, shouldn't obedience to the Word kind of reflect that? Yes, but we have to realize there is a battle going on today. Our hearts are seeking to be plundered by the adversary. Our hearts are the spoil.
Yahweh wants our hearts. Satan wants our hearts. And we have to realize there is a battle going on. Everybody is in it. It is not a battle of the flesh. It is a battle that occurs every day inside of us in our hearts. No carnal sword can defeat it (the enemy). So we have to make a decision. What side are we on?
We are not bystanders. We are not spectators. You are in it. And whether we are a believer or an unbeliever, you are in it. You have just decided which side you are on. That is it.
And so, we are born into this battle. The adversary and his servants have already chosen their side. They want to come against us and advance the Kingdom of Darkness. Yahweh wants us to advance His Kingdom, which includes Feast Days and the Sabbath and His name, and His Kingdom of Light, His Kingdom of Love-- this Kingdom of Messiah.
The battle ground is right here (in the heart), because out of it flow the issues of life, and the enemy wants to take ground away from Yahweh. And we have a choice to whom we are going to give ground.
Every minute of every day we have that choice. And so, our decisions, will they advance and reflect the Kingdom of Yahweh, or are our decisions going to advance and reflect the Kingdom of Darkness with all his counterfeits? Which side are we on?
Every time we choose to sin we are choosing to advance the Kingdom of Darkness. Have you ever thought about that? They gain a little more ground every time anyone yields to temptation.
And Yahweh is testing and trying and seeing what is in the heart. And that is why He says:
Psalms 44:20 - If we had forgotten the name of our Elohim, Or stretched out our hands to a foreign god,
Psalms 44:21 - Would not Elohim search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
What has happened today is people have forgotten His name.
He knows. He is not pleased. He wants you to call upon His name even if He knows your heart is sincere. He knows.
We resist those thoughts that would come against using some other name. Shouldn't we?
What are we going to do when the enemy comes along, and says, "No, we are not going to do it the way He said. We are going to do it a different way"? Are we going to invite him for dinner, give him a place to sit down, "Here, something to put your feet on," and have him enjoy himself? No! I don't want to be deceived.
We want to follow the Word of Yahweh. So we have to set aside our personal goals and seek that genuine, true relationship and let Yahweh be our trust that we might receive a blessing.
A lot of times we say something in our hearts like, "Well, that person. They did wrong to me. Therefore, I will do wrong to them." We might not say it directly, but... "Oh, I was going to do the right thing, but so-and-so over there made me do this. They made me angry."
No, they didn't. Heart check! No one ever makes you commit any kind of sin. No one makes you mad, angry and wrathful. That is a choice you make on your own.
Yes, people can tempt you to be angry and wrathful and hateful, but you make the choice. They didn't make you do it.
The old adage "the devil made me do it" is not true. He might have tempted you to do it, but you chose it.
Even in our personal relationships, like in the home life, these kinds of questions come up. A man might say, "Well, you know, I would love my wife more, but she is just not submissive. She does not respect me." A wife might say, "Well, I would respect my husband more, but he just doesn't love me."
It doesn't matter. No one can blame each other on judgment day. Yahweh is not going to look at you, and say, "Oh, well, since your husband did not really love you, you don't have to respect him and submit or anything." Or, "Your wife, she didn't really respect you and reverence you like she is supposed to, so, yeah, you don't have to love her as much."
It doesn't work. Heart check! Day of Judgment stuff. It doesn't work. What I thought I read in Scripture was Messiah loved us before we respected or loved Him. We have to stop blaming each other for our own wrongs and face the fact that we alone will bear the responsibility.
Because we live in this blaming society, we want to blame everybody. "Oh, my mom and dad, you know." "My dad, he didn't treat me right. Therefore, I robbed a bank today." Okay. Whatever.
We want to blame everybody. We blame companies. We blame governments. We blame our parents. We cannot fall into this pattern because the final day is going to come. It doesn't matter what anybody does to you or against you or what they say about you. You have to love in return. That is what Messiah did for you.
If you always have somebody to blame, you will always find something, somehow, to relieve your own conscience of any conviction the Father is trying to put on you.
I mean, even if someone put a gun to your head, and said, "Be angry!" or, "Be disrespectful to your husband!" or, "Be unloving toward your wife!" or, "Go break the Sabbath day or I'll shoot!" it doesn't matter. They shoot us, we die, we go to the Kingdom. HalleluYah!
So these questions cover a lot of areas. It covers a lot. And so, where are our loyalties? That is the question. Where are we placing our loyalty? In what man does or in what Yahweh says?
I am reminded of a story. Back in the day where Israel had split off from Judah, in 1 Kings chapter 12. It says:
1Kings 12:25 - Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt there. Also he went out from there and built Penuel.
This Shechem is actually the modern day city of Nablus.
1Kings 12:26 - And Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom may return to the house of David:
He was afraid of what man might do.
1Kings 12:27 - "If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of YAHWEH at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah."
He was afraid of what man might do. And because he was afraid of what man might do, he turned away from the commandments of Yahweh even though Yahweh Himself chose Him to be the King.
And here is what he did:
1Kings 12:28 - Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!"
He talked to the people. "What did the men say?" Not, "What did Yahweh say?" What does man say?
"Here they are!" Boy, doesn't that sound like the same old story? The golden calf back in Exodus.
1Kings 12:29 - And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
That was pretty much a political decision there. He was afraid of losing his position in his life just like the scribes and Pharisees. They were afraid of losing their position.
And so, they gathered councils together.
John 11:47 - Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.
It is the Jeroboam problem revisited here in the first century-- afraid of what man might do. Just afraid.
Back to 1 Kings 12...
1Kings 12:30 - Now this thing became a sin, for the people went [to worship] before the one as far as Dan.
31 - He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi.
Oh, here it comes-- the alternative holidays.
1Kings 12:32 - Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that [was] in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made.
On the fifteenth day of the eight month rather than the seventh month. Interesting. He answered to a different worship system-- different days of worship.
The same thing has happened today. Mainstream churches have alternative days of worship, and the reason is mostly political. It is not based on Scripture. It is based on tradition, based on what is convenient, what will build the church.
You know, in history we read about the Roman emperor Hadrian. In the early second century, he tried to root out Judaism. He saw Judaism as the cause of continuous rebellion. And so, he prohibited the Torah from being kept and He executed the scholars that were following the Hebrew calendar.
And this sacred scroll was ceremonially burned on the Temple Mount. He wanted to erase the memory of Judea, and the place of Israel he renamed "Palestine." It was actually the Roman way of saying "Philistine." And he forbade the Jews from entering that place.
And so, what happened is all this persecution against Jewish kind of stuff, and it caused new Gentiles to come into the church and not want to embrace the Jewish looking things like Sabbath keeping and Feast keeping and eating clean and anything that made you look Jewish. And the other stuff didn't bother them so much.
And they use a Grecianized form of Messiah, saying "Iesous" instead of "Yahushua."
And so, Gentile Christians were afraid of being killed for practicing the Torah. And they wanted so badly to bring in new believers they compromised, re-interpreted Paul's letters as evidence they didn't have to do these things.
But, you know, it is not until someone stands up, and says, "Wait a minute!" We need to do exactly what the Scriptures say and stop listening to man because when Yahushua comes back, all this stuff, we are going to be doing.
But people say, "Oh, that is the 'old.' He doesn't do that anymore." Well, if it is old and He doesn't do it anymore, why is He going to do it when He comes back?
They say, "Well, it is changed for a time. It is just changed for a little while."
Really? Where is that in the Scriptures?
There is an old prophet who tried to teach this to a man. He fell for it and he died for it.
1Kings 13:1 - And behold, a man of Elohim went from Judah to Bethel by the word of YAHWEH, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
He is talking to Jeroboam, the one who created a substitute worship.
1Kings 13:2 - Then he cried out against the altar by the word of YAHWEH, and said, "O altar, altar! Thus says YAHWEH: `Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men's bones shall be burned on you.'"
1Kings 13:3 - And he gave a sign the same day, saying, "This [is] the sign which YAHWEH has spoken: Surely the altar shall split apart, and the ashes on it shall be poured out."
4 - So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of Elohim, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, "Arrest him!" Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself.
1Kings 13:5 - The altar also was split apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of Elohim had given by the word of YAHWEH.
6 - Then the king answered and said to the man of Elohim, "Please entreat the favor of YAHWEH your Elohim, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me." So the man of Elohim entreated YAHWEH, and the king's hand was restored to him, and became as before.
This man knew this was the power of Yahweh here and he did not care. He put the fear of man ahead of him.
1Kings 13:7 - Then the king said to the man of Elohim, "Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward."
8 - But the man of Elohim said to the king, "If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place.
1Kings 13:9 - "For so it was commanded me by the word of YAHWEH, saying, `You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.'"
10 - So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.
This was Yahweh's commandment to the prophet. Now the prophet is going to get tested to see if he also turns away from Yahweh's original commandments.
1Kings 13:11 - Now an old prophet dwelt in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of Elohim had done that day in Bethel; they also told their father the words which he had spoken to the king.
12 - And their father said to them, "Which way did he go?" For his sons had seen which way the man of Elohim went who came from Judah.
1Kings 13:13 - Then he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." So they saddled the donkey for him; and he rode on it,
14 - and went after the man of Elohim, and found him sitting under an oak. Then he said to him, "[Are] you the man of Elohim who came from Judah?" And he said, "I [am]."
1Kings 13:15 - Then he said to him, "Come home with me and eat bread."
16 - And he said, "I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place.
17 - "For I have been told by the word of YAHWEH, `You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.'"
1Kings 13:18 - He said to him, "I too [am] a prophet as you [are], and an angel spoke to me by the word of YAHWEH, saying, `Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'" (He was lying to him.)
19 - So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.
1Kings 13:20 - Now it happened, as they sat at the table, that the word of YAHWEH came to the prophet who had brought him back;
21 - and he cried out to the man of Elohim who came from Judah, saying, "Thus says YAHWEH: `Because you have disobeyed the word of YAHWEH, and have not kept the commandment which YAHWEH your Elohim commanded you,
1Kings 13:22 - `but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which [YAHWEH] said to you, "Eat no bread and drink no water," your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.'"
23 - So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back.
24 - When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse.
Wow! Why? Because He did not keep the original commandment of Yahweh that He had given and decided to listen to a man who said, "Oh, that has changed now. That has changed."
Jeremiah 17: 5 says:
Jeremiah 17:5 - Thus says YAHWEH: "Cursed [is] the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from YAHWEH.
6 - For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, [In] a salt land [which is] not inhabited.
That prophet listened to the voice of a man who said, "Oh, that has changed now," rather than staying with the voice of Yahweh, who told him, "Don't do this." And so, he was cursed for it and he found himself in the jaws of a lion.
Jeremiah 17:7 - "Blessed [is] the man who trusts in YAHWEH, And whose hope is YAHWEH.
8 - For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
So we need to listen to the words of Yahweh and let His words be what we trust in, because the heart is deceitful. The very next verse, right here:
Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
10 - I, YAHWEH, search the heart, [I] test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
Yahweh commanded things to be done a certain way. Man wants to do it different. That is what we have to be careful about even if we think they are minor things, even if other people tell us, "Oh, it is okay. He is different. He has changed now."
Because Yahweh is testing the heart to see who we are going to listen to, who we are going to trust. He says He would.
In Deuteronomy 13, verse 1, He told Israel:
Deuteronomy 13:1 - "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,
2 - "and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, `Let us go after other gods' -- which you have not known -- `and let us serve them,'
Deuteronomy 13:3 - "you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for YAHWEH your Elohim is testing you to know whether you love YAHWEH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul.
He says He would do it.
Deuteronomy 13:4 - "You shall walk after YAHWEH your Elohim and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.
So we are warned about this. Yahweh will allow us to be tested in this specific area. He tests the heart. He tries the reins. And that is the danger of tradition. Man says one thing, and Yahweh says another. Who are we going to follow?
The Apostles faced that test. The Sanhedrin could hardly believe that they were actually going to disobey their commands. And they came to them, and they told the Apostles:
Acts 5:28 - saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!"
They were afraid. Just like Jeroboam. They were afraid.
Acts 5:29 - But Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey Elohim rather than men.
They got it. They understood it. They figured it out. "We keep the commandments of Elohim rather than the commandments of men. Forget what people say. Tell me not to call on His name? I don't care what you say. We obey Yahweh rather than men."
But the truth is...
1John 2:17 - And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of Elohim abides forever.
And it is these heart questions that are very salvational questions, because they reveal who our true Elohim is, who we are really following. And for that reason, the way is narrow.
Yahushua tells us:
Matthew 7:13 - "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.
Don't be looking for a crowd. Look for a few humble men and women who are willing to put Yahweh first in their life regardless of what men may say. Let's be among the few, Yahushua's disciples, and not allow the things that never satisfy to be our guide. Let's be on guard.
And listen, I am not saying that if someone doesn't keep the Sabbath day, or use "Yahweh" or "Yahushua," or doesn't keep the Feast days that they are lost and they are on the broad path going to destruction. I am NOT saying that.
The real issue is what choices a person makes in their heart once they are confronted with truth and they know it is truth and in their heart they realize it is the truth. Then what do they do? That is the question.
And if they say, "Well, you know, I wouldn't want to look like the oddball. My wife might say this or do this, or my husband, or my friend, or my church, or my pastor, or my congregation (if I am a pastor)," and all those little things that go on in the heart that only Yahweh can see most of the time.
That is what determines whether you are on the broad way or the narrow way. What choices do you make when confronted with truth? Yahweh knows and He is awfully patient. I wouldn't put it passed Him to have a whole lot of patience with us. And He does.
But will we follow the traditions and doctrines and commandments of men like the Pharisees, like Jeroboam, like those who followed Jeroboam, like the prophet who found himself in the jaws of a lion, or, actually, like Adam and Eve?
I mean, Eve listened to the voice of the serpent rather than the voice of Yahweh. Adam himself, why was he punished? "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife," that is why, rather than the voice of Yahweh. And so, cursed is the man who trusts in man.
Genesis 3:17 - Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, `You shall not eat of it': "Cursed [is] the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat [of] it All the days of your life.
So, whose voice will we heed?
From the very beginning of the time Yahweh created man, He wanted to know where our loyalties would be. Will we follow the ways of Yahweh as He established in the beginning, as He inspired them? Or would man listen to the serpent, listen to those who are being influenced by the serpent?
Would he heed the voice of Yahweh or heed the voice of those who seek to change the words of Yahweh? That is our choice.
It is your choice. It is my choice. All of our choice. And I hope that if I have spoken anything today that is of the truth, and you know it is the truth, that you in your heart will make a decision to heed the truth no matter what anyone might say about you. And so, I pray.
Heavenly Father, Yahweh, in the name of Your Son, Yahushua, we come to You and we thank You for Your Word. I pray, Father, if there is anything, any areas in my own heart where I am falling short in following the things that I have shared today from Your Word, You would reveal it to me by Your mercies and Your grace.
And I pray, Father, if there is anyone listening to the sound of my voice who is convicted by anything I have spoken today regarding the things which You are going to reestablish when Yahushua returns-- Your name, Your Feasts, Your Sabbath, Your calendar, Your Son's name.
Beautiful, beautiful name You selected for Him, Father. Thank You. You are my Salvation. Thank you for choosing to call me out of this world.
I pray, Father, that those who hear Your words in what I am speaking that they will yield their heart to it regardless of what price they will pay, because I know, Father, there is One who paid the price for us, to show love to us. And so, we gladly, gladly give up things for You, for Him. In Yahushua's name we pray these things. Amein.
And so, brothers and sisters, no matter how far Yahweh takes us, let's not stop seeking. Let's never cease from asking or knocking on the door of truth.
The study today covers a lot of areas of life. King Saul was rejected because he listened to the people who wanted to keep the sheep for sacrificing to Yahweh rather than following Yahweh's original commandment. Partial obedience is disobedience.
And so, let's allow Yahweh and His Spirit to just fill us, lead us, teach us, direct us without hindrance, always being aware of the danger that exists in heeding the voice of man instead.
And let's continually seek to keep our hearts purified, sanctified, clean, full of love, full of light, full of truth, full of Yahushua the Messiah, full of His Spirit, trusting in Yahweh with all of our hearts and keeping our eyes focused on Him, our Redeemer, our Savior and our Rock.
As you do so, brothers and sisters, may Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.
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