For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it! [NKJV]
— II Corinthians 11:4
And, as it turns out, Paul/Shaul was correct. Most of what is now called ‘the Christian church’ did exactly that.
One need look no further than the words of the Messiah Himself (Matthew 5:17-18) to make the point:
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
For assuredly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle will by any means pass from the law (torah) until all is fulfilled.” (Emphasis added)
Last time I checked, “heaven and earth” had not passed away, which would seem to imply that those who say that “the Law” was “nailed to the cross” and “done away with” have a problem with Him.
Which should not be a surprise, either. After all, everything in Scripture points toward that same Truth: His character does not change, His Covenants are forever, He (and arguably He alone) is trustworthy, He “changes not” (Mal. 3:6) and is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8).
We are even told by Moses that “Another” would come, greater than Moses…and given LOTS of information about how to confirm whether someone claiming to be That Prophet that he foretold was telling the truth. Check out Deuteronomy chapters 7, 12, and 13 – just for starters. The gist of those teachings are clear, specific, and consistent: YHVH hates idolatry. A LOT. So should we. We are not to engage in idolatry, at all. We are not even to “bring an abomination into your house“!
And if “there arises among you a prophet” — even if his prophecies come to pass! — who tries to turn you from YHVH your Elohim, you are not to listen to him. (Read Deuteronomy 13 for yourself, however. He is far more blunt about it than my brief summary!)
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we are told (at least twice, Deut, 4:2, and 12:32, so He is probably serious about it) that no one is to “add to” or “subtract from” what is Written.
All of which should make the title of this article perfectly clear. The entirety of the “old testament” (I don’t like that terminology, obviously – if for no other reason than that it tries to perpetuate the false claim that it is some “old”, “done away with”, and no longer relevant to Modern Churchianity) tells us about His character. It tells us Who He Is, and makes the point – over and over again — that He is a Keeper of His Word. Unlike the Greek and later Roman ‘gods’, who were capricious, fickle, and downright demonic, He alone is worthy of our trust and worship.
If someone claims to “come in His Name”, but denies His character and attempts to REWRITE His Word, to “add to” or “subtract from” what is Written..in short, to DO AWAY WITH the very PROOFS which were given to us to know Who He sent… then that false prophet is a liar, and the Truth is not in him!
Yahushua of Nazareth Himself confirms these crucial points in John chapter 5:
“And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me…But you do not have His Word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.
You search the Scriptures…and these are they which testify of Me…
For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
The answer is simple, but distressing. It is right there in John 5:43 as well:
“I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.”
Indeed, that is exactly what happened. Within only a few generations after His Sacrifice and for our Redemption, men had taken it upon themselves to do EXACTLY what our Savior had been SO critical of the scribes and Pharisees for doing: “teaching as doctrine the commandments of men” and rewriting His Word!
If you think that “Jesus” would never be hard on anyone for something like preaching that His “teaching and understanding” (torah in the Hebrew) had been “done away with”, read Matthew chapter 23.
(And if you are worried about the oft-twisted words of Paul’s letter (Col. 2:14) — read it again, carefully! Just like it is the “love of money” which is condemned in another popularly-misquoted verse, it is the “handwriting of the charges against us”, the INDICTMENT, or the accusation, literally the dogma, which was “nailed” to the execution stake — and not the “law” itself! That distinction is absolutely crucial! After all, if that were not true, why would that same author and consummate Torah scholar have also said, (Romans 6:1) “What shall we say then? Shall we sin more that grace might abound? YHVH forbid!”)
That same Messiah, the “Torah Made Flesh” who so carefully distinguished between the “traditions of the elders” and what is actually Written, made that point over and over again, so that those who ignored His lesson are ultimately “without excuse”. Take another look, for example, at the repeated refrain from His “sermon on the mount” in Matthew 5. Notice how many times (v. 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43) He uses the same teaching structure:
- You have HEARD it SAID that… (where some element of their tradition, as commonly understood, but mistaught, is noted)
- BUT I SAY to you that… (where He then precisely quotes exactly what is Written, and teaches it “with Authority”…which is why the end of that story, at verse 7:28-19 , says they were “astonished.”)
Check it out for yourself. Note that in EVERY SINGLE CASE, including even in His confrontation with the Adversary, He carefully teaches EXACTLY what He Himself Wrote, and often even notes specifically that “it is Written”, so that there is no doubt about His source! He calls the Pharisees “Hypocrites!” repeatedly as well (again, the most striking set of accusations are in Matthew 23) for explicitly VIOLATING the very Torah they CLAIM as the source of their authority; specifically, they “added to” the Written ‘torah’ with their own interpretation of what MUST be done, or not done, and then called it the “law”. Since both Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 specifically forbade this hubris, He was quite correct when He called them “blind guides” and took them to task for “binding heavy burdens grievous to be borne” on men’s shoulders.
Our Kinsman-Redeemer warned in Matthew 24 that “many” would come “in His Name” and “deceive many“, and that rebellion to His torah would “abound”. I submit that “another Jesus” is already deceiving many, because for centuries men have been taught that “another Jesus” came and “did away with” all of that “old” stuff that no longer matters. Paul was right (II Cor. 11:4, above) when he expressed concern that such a teaching would be widely accepted.
Indeed, it is the real Yahushua the Netzerite (literally of the ‘Branch’, of David) Who is now considered the impostor by the politically-correct “mainstream” churches. In fact, “the world” truly hates Him, because He really does not change. But they will not be able to claim that He did not warn them:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness are torah-less!'”
— Matthew 7:21-23 [Emphasis added]
In these times of great deception, it is more important than ever that we take the advice from Acts 17:11, and study for ourselves. Please do so…check out the Scriptures for yourself, and see if these things are True.
Next time: “No better example: His teachings on the Sabbath”