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The Teachings of Yeshua Jesus! / (& Check Your Translation!)

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The Teachings of Yeshua Jesus! (& Check Your Translation!)
(Need teaching ideas? Want to check your translation?)

(12/11/12--added Mt. 3:1-2 material
 09/27/11--added Mt. 10:32-33 material
 09/26/11--added Mt. 8:5-13 material
 08/19/11--added Mt. 7:13-14 material
 08/10/11--added Jn. 10:1-5 material
 08/04/11--added Mt. 7:17-19 material
 07/22/11--revised Mt. 9:18-25 material
 07/21/11--added Mt. 9:18-25 material
 07/15/11--added Mt. 9:13 material
 07/12/11--added paragraph beginning with "Yeshua Jesus surely taught about trusting God..."; added Mt. 7:24-27
 07/11/11--added Mt. 25:1-13 material; added Jn. 5:28-29 material; added Mt. 7:21-23(?)
 06/22/11--revised Mt. 12:40 material; added to Jn. 3:16 material
 06/08/11--added Mt. 7:7-8 material
 06/02/11--added Lk. 24:47 to Mt. 4:17 material)
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   The main emphasis of this page is not to beat up on those who hold different opinions but to provide a study of the true center of Christianity--the teachings (and works) of Yeshua Jesus (see "Some Important Things Being Missed!)--as the Scriptures teach that Christians are to be following and obeying Him (cf. Mt. 28:18-20; see "What is Messianic Christianity") as He is the only way (Jn. 14:6; see myth #4: "Jesus is not the only pathway to God and salvation" in "Christian Myths"). The actual textual (from the Bible text) study begins a few paragraphs down as noted. Many times the Scriptures presented here will be direct translations from the Greek. This can aid in many ways, including allowing Christians to able to check their translations/mistranslations and versions of the Scriptures.
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   Is it correct and right that absoutely every command and instruction in the Scriptures is subjugated to the rabbinic teaching that salvation is "...by grace, through faith...not by works..."? even the greatest commandments? There are some problematic theologies within Christianity. Some of these have to do with the understanding of biblical salvation faith. For some believe that biblical salvation faith is mere belief, while others hold that it is merely belief + trust (Making Yeshua Jesus Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler and following and obeying Him not being required). Is the only requirement for salvation belief or belief + trust? Or have people misunderstood the ancient situation, account and idiom? You be the judge! Everyone will be their own judges while they are alive on this Earth. After this Earth experience, everyone will come to know the real truth, they will meet the Judge of truth, the Judge who has all truth! And where Yeshua Jesus said that they will give an account for every careless word they spoke (Mt. 12:36). (May YHWH give us wisdom and have mercy on us all!) And what was Paul really teaching? An examination of the teachings of Paul shows that Paul could not have been teaching that one did not have to be living in obedience to Yeshua Jesus in order to be saved. (See "The Faith That Paul Taught / (Toward Understanding Paul)")
   Other problems include:
        1) teaching that all one has to do to believe and/or trust in order to be saved and teaching people that once they have believed/trusted that they can never lose their salvation, yet never warning them that many who believe/trust are not truly saved. So, they, some/many, by their own admittance, know that they have a lot of people who believe that they are saved yet who really are not, yet they have been and are continually told that they can never lose their salvation. This may well be why some are continually trying to get their Church saved. (Which they should!)
        2) teaching that one does not have to be living for God in order to be saved, that many will lose their witness/testimony in front of the lost (because they are living like the world and not as Christians) because they are living for satan and not for God, but those who are living for God--following and obeying Yeshua Jesus because they believe that they have to in order to be saved are lost. So, those who have believed/trusted yet who are living for satan are saved, but those who are living for God because they believe that they have to in order to be saved are lost. To this we greatly disagree and say that God is no respector of persons--those who are not living for Him are lost, those who are living for Him through Yeshua Jesus will be saved (Rom. 2:5-16; 1 Pet. 1:13-17; Mt. 13:1-9; 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15; Jn. 5:28-29!; cf. also Jude; 2 Peter; Rev. 2-3).
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   To begin, back in the time of the Reformation, the Reformers knew that there were problems with the established Church (though the Catholic Church was not the only established Church) of their day. They knew some things that they needed to reform away from, but it is obvious by the differences among the Reformers and the directions in which the Reformation went, that the Reformers did not know exactly what to reform to. This had to have been due in part because the Reformers did not have the understanding of the Hebrew Old Covenant "Roots" of Christianity. In other words, the Reformers knew some things that they needed to reform away from, but without the Hebraic OC "roots" of Christianity, they did not know exactly what it was that they need to reform to. The following study is an attempt to help people see what it is that we all need to be reforming ourselves to--the teachings of the Master Teacher, Yeshua Jesus (Mt. 28:18-20; see also "Some Important Things Being Missed!"). (The textual Bible Study begins a few paragraphs down as noted.)
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   (The immediately following attached paragraphs are from our home page.) Think about it: is the wrong Church really the Church that is teaching faithfulness and holiness and following and obeying Yeshua Jesus (just like the earliest Christian records)? Or is the wrong church the church that more closely fits the end-times church of 2 Thess. 2:9-12 and of 2 Tim. 3:1-9? (Notice that these Scriptures are from Shaul/Paul!) Many teach, but many don't really understand their ancient and idiomatic Scriptures, to the detriment and even the destruction of many (cf. 2 Pet. 3:14-18)! Among the greatest factors that have led to misunderstanding the Scriptures: missing the understanding of the Hebraic roots of Christianity (no, we're not under the Law of Moses, but if we do not understand the connections between Christianity and the Law of Moses, we're probably misunderstanding biblical Christianity!); missing the understanding of The Covenant Command of the New Covenant; and misunderstanding the rabbinic writings of rabbi Shaul/Paul (2 Pet. 3:14-18; for an example of rabbinic argumentation see response #30 in "Questions & Responses!", see also "Messianic Prophecies"; and come to find out, at least most of the other Bible writers were also Jewish!) In fact, if your teachers do not understand the Hebraic roots of Christianity, then they probably do not understand their New Covenant Scriptures very well, or the End Times.
   Warning! If you think that you do not have to be following and obeying Yeshua Jesus in order to be saved, this is very serious, you need to question what you have been taught! This website shows, among many other things, that those who are not following and obeying Yeshua Jesus will be lost, even if they believe and/or trust that they are saved. Read Mt. 28:18-20; Jn. 12:48; Mt. 17:5; Mk. 9:7; Lk. 9:35; Jn. 6:63, 68; Mt. 25 and Rev. 2-3!. Even rabbi Shaul/Paul said "Be becoming imitators of me, just as also I am an imitator of Mashiach/Messiah/Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1). And he taught that Yeshua Jesus is THE Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler (Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 1:9; 15:25-27; and actually all through his writings). And see what he taught about Christians living in sin (1 Cor. 5). See also Rom. 11:20-21! See also Gal. 6:1-10. You have been warned. Please wake up. And please show and warn others! And in agreement with what some others say, and in agreement with the greatest commandment, either Yeshua Jesus is fully Lord/Master/Ruler/Owner, or He is not Lord/Master/Ruler/Owner at all. Even rabbi Shaul/Paul taught that Christians will be judged according to their works (2 Cor. 5:10; cf. Gal. 5:19-21) and according to Yeshua Jesus, there will be many Christians who will not pass the test (Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15; Mt. 25!; Lk. 12:42-48; Rev. 2-3, etc.). Paul warns about this in Rom. 11:20-21. See also Gal. 6:1-10. See "Some Important Things Being Missed!" to see what is the Center of Christianity!
   Jesus said that the way of salvation was the difficult way. He said: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, an only a few find it." (Mt. 7:13-14, NIV). He even said to: "Make every effort [This is work!] to enter through the narrow door, because many, I [the Truth and the Word of God] tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." (Lk. 13:24, NIV). This is not what I hear a lot of Christianity to be teaching. (Keep in mind Mt. 28:18-20 where Yeshua Jesus commanded for everything that He commanded His disciples to be taught to all the world, which means all the Gentiles.)
   More than a few misunderstand such things as the original meaning of John 3:16 (as its original context was certainly the Law of Moses and the word that is translated as "believe" really means to obey and follow, cf. at least the NIV's translation of Ex. 19:9; cf. Response #26 in "Questions and Responses!") and how it takes Paul's rabbinic argument of "...through faith...not by works..." (which Paul used for the purpose of showing that the Law of Moses is not part of the New Covenant (cf. Rom. 3:28-31) and that Yeshua Jesus is now the only way, cf. Acts 26:12-20! Re-examine Rom. 1-3!) as the one and only salvation principle, relegating all of the rest of the Scriptures, including all of the teachings of Yeshua Jesus (The "Word" of God; The Teacher; The One with the truth, Jn. 6:68!), even all the rest of the teachings of Paul! (read 1 Cor. 5; 2 Timothy and Titus) to having nothing to do with salvation whatsoever, and to being totally unnecessary for salvation. These misunderstandings have led (and are still leading) countless people to backslide to their spiritual destruction and countless people to remain lost, all the while believing that they had become saved! (Hos. 4:6 is just as true today!) And thus some of the great problems! It truly is a great problem to re-interpret and misinterpret the teachings of Yeshua Jesus, which really should be the center of Christianity (He is the Word and it is His Church), through the misinterpretation and misuse of Paul's rabbinic argumentation against the Law of Moses as being part of the New Covenant (cf. Rom. 3:28-31! This was Paul's great battle! Re-read his writings! Notice Rom. 4:12 and study the life of Abraham. Notice also Jn. 8:39 which Paul surely knew!) as the central truth by which all other Scriptures must be interpreted, instead of using the true center, the words of Yeshua Jesus, to help interpret the Jewish rabbi Paul's notoriously difficult rabbinic writings (everyone reads them differently! cf. 2 Pet. 3:14-18)! Warning! If you are not following the flat (relatively uninterpreted) teachings of Yeshua Jesus, you are heading in the wrong direction! See Mt. 28:18-20! See "Some Important Things Being Missed!" Study Mt. 25 and also the letters to the 7 Churches in Rev. 2-3 (which are still for us today!)! Please wake up! Please warn others! Think about it, doctrines that teach or imply that knowingly living in sin is exceptable are not from God! (What is your money supporting?)
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   In searching for truth concerning what the New Covenant Scriptures mean and how they should be interpreted, a very important witness is the body of the writings of the early Church. The witness of the early Church shows that they for the most part understood that they should be working for, living for God. The witness even shows that there was going on at that time some of the dialogue that is going on today concerning these same issues. This can be seen in the figure of Marcion, a Christian teacher in the second century. The Eternal Kingdom: A History of the Church, by F. W. Mattox, says (p. 74) concerning him: "Marcion was at heart a reformer. He saw in the Law [the OC Law] the greatest enemy of the liberty and grace of the Gospel. He wanted to throw the Old Testament away completely. He even went so far as to assert that the God of the Old Testament was a different being from the God of Jesus: that the God of the Old Testament was a God of justice; the God of Jesus was a God of love and mercy; these two opposed eath other; Paul was the only Apostle who really understood the gospel; the others had fallen into the errors of Judaism. He was what we today would call a 'modernist' or 'liberalist,' for he rejected the commandments of Christ, thinking they were no part of faith. The church in Rome was forced to withdraw from Marcion in [A.D.] 144 because of the extremes to which he went." That Marcion was withdrawn from by the early Church is great evidence that what Marcion was teaching was not considered orthodox by the early Church. And it does appear that some of the popular teachings of today are very close to Marcionism, a heresy of the early Church. (See more about Marcionism at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcionism; accessed 2/22/11)
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   Yeshua Jesus surely taught about trusting God (cf. Mt. 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20; Lk. 12:28), but these teachings were more about walking in victory (cf. Mt. 17:20-21) and peace (cf. Mt. 6:25-34), not about being saved. Sure, if someone has no belief they, according to the Scriptures, will be lost (cf. the parables of the sower (Mt. 13:1-9; 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15)), but the bulk of Yeshua Jesus' teachings about salvation had to do with much more than merely believing or even believing and trusting. (And this brings up the contradiction of the teachings that salvation comes through calling on the Name of the Lord (which is idiomatic for doing what one needs to do become saved--accept and enjoin YHWH's covenant through Yeshua Jesus! See "God Loves You and Wants to Save You!" and "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant"!) and the teaching that all one needs to do to be saved is merely believe or believe and trust! Which one is it?) As it turns out, belief is merely the beginning of becoming saved (cf. the parables of the sower! (Mt. 13:1-9; 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15)) And, as it turns out, salvation is much more about how one is living when one's life ends (or how one is living when Yeshua Jesus returns; Mt. 24:36-51; 25:1-46; Rev. 2-3, etc.) than how it first began! (See "Preparing and Remaining Prepared! (Perseverance)" in "Some Important Things Being Missed!")
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   Actually a look at the end of the Book (the Bible) shows us that Christianity, just as OC Judaism, is much more of an orthopraxy ("right practices") than an orthodoxy ("right teaching"). This is not at all to say that right teaching and understanding are not important. (See "Essentials of Messianic Christianity" for a discussion of what the Scriptures require and authorize, and what they do not require and authorize one to be believing/understanding in order to be saved. Many believe that all one needs to have is belief/belief + trust in order to be saved, yet if one believer believes something different than all of the accepted conclusions of another's particular denomination, then each can be considering the other to be a heretic, and by at least many accounts believe the other to be lost, even though both are teaching and claiming to be saved "by faith alone.") A look at the end of our Bible shows that God is more concerned with our actions than us being right on all the Church doctrines (thank Him!) for here we have Yeshua Jesus saying (NIV): "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes [keeping them clean by striving for holiness (see "Holiness") fighting against sin, living in repentance and seeking forgiveness; see 1 Jn. 1:7-10; Rev. 3:4, 18], that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood [Many may believe this is about being right doctrinally but it is actually Hebraic idiom for "living in sin." This can be seen in another of John's writings, 1 John 1:6, where he says (NIV): "If we claim to have fellowship with him [God] yet walk in the darkness [sin], we lie and do not live by the truth."]. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
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   This shows that God is much more concerned about what we are doing than He is us being right on all of the many, many issues, or than just believing or just believing and trusting. And this brings us to another error among many Churches, not just many Evangelical Churches--they require more (for some, much more) agreement with their doctrines than the Scriptures give authority for (see "Essentials of Messianic Christianity").
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   Evangelicalism misunderstands and misses important covenant understandings such as "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant" and mis-prioritizes the understanding of Paul's statement about salvation being "...by grace...through faith...not by works..." and mis-prioritizes the teachings of Yeshua Jesus (see "Some Important Things Being Missed!").
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   As I am reading through the Gospels in the Greek, it seemed to be a good idea to bring to the front some important things that are sometimes being missed, sometimes even because the translator was translating from the mindset of "...by grace...through faith...not by works..." This may be a great tool for people who want to check the accuracy of their translations. This should also be good material from which pastors and teachers can be teaching from.
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   (The actual textual study begins here and it is not always in Scripture order)
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   Mt. 3:1-2. Most must believe that the gospel begins with the teachings of Yeshua Jesus (though there may be many who think that it begins with Eph. 2:8-9). But the gospel actually begins with Yohanan the Immerser, who "And in those days Yochanan the immerser appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea, saying, 'Be repenting! For the Kingdom of the Heavens has come near!'" Some might say that this has nothing to do with the gospel, oh but this is not at all true. Yeshua Jesus' apostles all taught repentance (e.g., Acts 2:38), even Shaul/Paul (e.g., Acts 26:19-20), and where would they have learned this? They learned it from Yeshua Jesus (see Mt. 4:17 below!). This indeed was one of the things that He taught His disciples and by Mt. 28:18-20 taught them to be teaching all of His followers. No, it is not merely a one-time action. Indeed, to be a follower of Christ requires repentance every time we catch ourselves not walking with Yeshua Jesus (doing something that He would not do and would not want us to be doing). For this indeed is necessary for walking in forgiveness (see 1 Jn. 1:7-9).
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   Mt. 4:17, "From then/that_time [after Yeshua Jesus' wilderness testing and after John the Immerser had been imprisoned (Mt. 4:1-16)] Yeshua/Jesus began to be preaching/proclaiming and to be saying: '(Youu [uu showing plurality]) Be repenting, for the Kingdom of the Heavens has come near!'" Notice all of the verbs that are translated as being continuous ("preaching/proclaiming," "saying," "repenting"). This is because they are continuous in the Greek. "to be preaching/proclaiming" and "to be saying" are present active infinitives. According to the grammar rules of Greek, "The present infinitive refers to the action in its continuance or as repeated;" (Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 137). The "Be repenting" is a present active imperative which according to the rules of Greek grammar is also continuous. "The aorist imperative refers to the action without saying anyting about its duration or repetition, while the present imperative refers to it as continuing or as being repeated." (Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 180). Yet translators over and over skip over these Greek rules and translate continuous verbs as not being continuous (though sometimes the context shows/implies that it is continuous). One of the reasons for this could be because the frequent continuous action shows too much in the area of works. Yes, it is different from common English, but it is an important part of the New Covenant understanding in its original language that, when translated out, hides and sometimes removes, some very important understandings.
   Mt. 4:17 tells us that repentance was what Yeshua Jesus "...began to be preaching/proclaiming and to be saying..." Looking at the other teachings of Yeshua Jesus throughout the Gospels (this can be your assignment--to find them), it can be understood that repentance was an integral part to His gospel message. (This actually began with John the Immerser and his teachings!) And His message of repentance is confirmed in Lk. 24:47 which says that "...repentance unto the forgiveness of sins" was "to be proclaimed in His Name unto all the nations, beginning from Yerushalayim [Jerusalem]."
   A popular message within Christianity is that salvation is "by grace, through belief/belief+trust, not by works." But it depends upon the teacher as to whether they believe that repentance is importance or not. And because of some such viewpoints, not a few believe that repentance is not required. The question is: is repentance a required aspect of salvation or not. One does not have to look very far to see that it is required. Notice Yeshua Jesus' teaching in Lk. 13 saying (NIV): "I tell you, no! But unless you repent you too will all perish." (Lk. 13:3 & 5). See "4) Turn away from sinning willfully." in "God Loves You and Wants to Save You!"
   Another question is: is continued repentance required? The answer to this is: Yes! Absolutely! This can be seen all through the Scriptures, and all through this website (see "Holiness"; see also "God Loves You and Wants to Save You!"; see comments at Rom. 3:8 in "The Faith That Paul Taught" and "Romans 3" in "Translation and Commentary"). Consider also Rev. 2:5 where Yeshua Jesus said (ESV): "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent." See also Heb. 10:26-31! See also 1 Jn. 7-10 that teaches that those who are not walking in the light are not being forgiven.
   The teachings of Yeshua Jesus show that repentance, and continued repentance are essential aspects of salvation. Do not be fooled, it is without question not God who is telling you that you can be living in sin and be saved. Think about it: who is it that wants you to be living in sin? who is it really who is telling you that just a little sin is okay (as opposed to Yeshua Jesus saying that leaven/sin leavens/makes_sinful the whole loaf--Lk. 13:21; cf. 1 Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9)? As the rest of Yeshua Jesus' teachings show, it is not God who is telling you that you can be living in sin and be saved. Read the warnings in Jude and 2 Peter! See 2 Pet. 2:20 where Peter warns that it will be worse for those who turn back into sin and become lost than had they never even become saved! Cf. Heb. 10:26-31! Be warned! And please warn others before it is too late! You are your brothers' and sisters' keeper! (Cf. Lev. 19:17! Cf. also "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant.")
   It is quite a serious matter matter to be teaching or implying by one's teaching that one does not have to be following and obeying Yeshua Jesus in order to be saved. Believing this incorrect theology of course does not in itself mean that one is lost for there are and will be many saved who believe this errant theology, yet they will be saved because they were living and working for God. May God have mercy on those leading in and teaching this doctrine (that repentance is not necessary) because of the souls that are lost because of this teaching. Please pray that the leaders in this and their followers' eyes are opened and that they will be repenting not only their sins, but also of this teaching.
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   In Mt. 3:7-8, Yochanan warns us about the coming wrath, saying...(This is clear enough in Bible translations) 
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   In Mt. 3:10 we have Yochanan the immerser prophesying from YHWH: "Already the axe is laid/being_laid at the root of the trees [the people]! Therefore every tree [person] not making/producing/working good fruit is_(being) cut off and is being thrown into fire!" Why is this important? It is important because it was and is an integral message of the gospel of Yeshua Jesus (see John 15:1-17!). And in case there is any doubt, this does not mean that as long as someone is doing some good they will be saved. No, in accordance with the other teachings of Yeshua Jesus, either a person will be doing very well or he will be looked upon as not doing well at all (Mt. 7:17-18; Lk. 6:43; cf. Mt. 12:33) and this is in accordance with the Greatest Commandment--to be loving YHWH with all one's heart, soul, mind, strength, body--loving YHWH with one's all! A study of the teachings of Yeshua Jesus shows that salvation is very much about one's works! Study Mt. 3:10 along with Jn. 15:1-17! See also Mt. 7:21-23! Actually, this is in many places in Yeshua Jesus' teachings--and even in the teachings of Shaul/Paul (see Acts 26:19-20 and its context! see also "The Faith That Paul Taught / (Toward Understanding Paul)")! See also "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant" (keeping covenant is doing "works")!
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   (The following about John 3:16 from "
Questions & Responses!" and fits here after Mt. 4:17 because Yeshua Jesus was teaching that those who wanted to be saved must be repenting of their sins and living in a state of fighting against sinning.)
   Why do our translations (e.g., of John 3:16) imply that all one needs to do to become and remain saved is believe? In a great part it is a translational issue that actually begins a few hundred years before Christ. This is when the Septuagint (or "LXX") translators began to translate the Hebrew Old Covenant Scriptures into the Greek language. No two languages have a 1-to-1 equivalence between words. The translators had to make a choice of how to bring over the Hebrew covenant words for "faithing/faithfulness" (e.g. "אָמַן"; "(ʾā∙mǎn)", from which we get the word "amen", and which only sometimes meant "belief/believe"). The words that came the closest in the Greek of that time period (e.g., "pistis," "pisteuw," the noun and the verb) could mean "faithfulness," and basically "follow and obey" (more below), but the verb form very often meant simply "believe" (with more meanings in between; see "The Faith That Paul Taught"; see also Genesis 15:6). But these were the words that the LXX translators chose to bring across the OC meanings and these are the words that are used in the NC Scriptures and are full of the same meanings as from the LXX because these were evidently that major Scriptures of the time of the early Church and more often than not, NC quotes from the OC are taken from the Greek OC Scriptures. Yet the meaning of "believe" in these words can be seen in the Gospels in that it appears that all that was necessary for those in Messiah Christ's time to receive healing miracles was belief (they were not necessarily saved, just healed, thought many/most that were following Him and being healed had obeyed John the Immerser (Lk. 7:29) and his message of repentance (Mt. 3:2) and striving to live right (Mt. 3:3; Mk. 1:3; Lk. 3:4), and this was Yeshua Jesus' message as well (Mt. 4:17).). The Scriptures state that "all" were being healed (cf. Mt. 4:24; 8:16), not just the saved. Translating is difficult work. It is impossible to bring across all of the possible meanings of every word that fits and English translators simply made the choice of using the simplest understanding of this Greek word and used the closest English word to the simplest understanding: "believe" (and thus establishing tradition and affecting thought and belief!) even though the rest of the Scriptures bear witness (Jn. 3:36 (in the Greek); 12:47-48; Jn. 15:1-17; 1 Jn. 2:3-8; 3:22-24; 4:21; 5:2-3; Mt. 7:24-27; 13:1-9, 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15; 13:22-30; and notably James 2:14-26; cf. also Rev. 3:20 which was written to Christians) that salvation requires more than mere belief or belief and trust (see Mt. 25! Do not be fooled, God is not merely looking for believers, but followers and obeyers! All others will be lost!). Notice the very idiomatic Jn. 3:20-21 still in the same context ("For everyone practicing/working the wickedness hates the light and is not coming to the light lest his works be exposed; but the one doing the truth comes to the light in order that his works may be seen--that/because they are having been worked in God."). For Jn. 3:16 and the other such verses, the translators should have made up words such as "faithe," "faithing," in order to show that salvation was about more than mere belief and more than even believing and trusting. And Jn. 12:47-50 proves these things saying (NIV): "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep [=obey] them, I do not judge him [But the next verse shows that God will.]. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words [Those who are not obeying Yeshua Jesus' words are in effect rejecting Him! See also Jn. 15:1-17; 1 Jn. 2:3-8; 3:22-24; 4:21; 5:2-3; Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15; and notably James 2:14-26; cf. also Rev. 3:20 which was written to Christians.]; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."
   See also Jn. 3:36, which should be translated as: "...the one disobeying/not_obeying..." Witnesses concerning this include The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament and A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament has: "apeitheō disobey, be disobedient" and "This equation of disobedience with lack of belief and the specifically Christian focus of the stance represented by this term is very clear in John 3:36: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey (ἀπειθῶν) the Son shall not see life.… " Ἀπειθεῖν becomes a t.t. [terminus technicus (a technical term)] for nonacceptance of the Christian faith. In Acts 14:1 believing (πιστεύειν) and being disobedient (ἀπειθεῖν) are used absolutely and are contrasted to each other. The Jews, who do not obey, are those who do not accept the Christian faith. And when Paul, in Rom 15:31, exhorts the recipients of the letter to pray for him "that I may be delivered from the disobedient in Judea," he is speaking of "unbelievers" (so RSV), i.e., Jews who have not become Christians. In a number of Greek mss. (esp. P46) and in the Latin versions the identity of "not obeying" and "not believing" is so much taken for granted that the former is replaced by the latter (Heb 3:18; 11:31; cf. 1 Pet 2:7)." (The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, ἀπειθέω). For a more technical witness (those not familiar with the Greek can skip over the rest of this paragraph), there is A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature which has for this word: "ἀπειθέω (opp. πείθομαι; s. ἀπείθεια) impf. ἠπείθουν; 1 aor. ἠπείθησα (for ἀπιθέω [Hom.] since Aeschyl., Pla.+) disobey, be disobedient (cp. PYadin 24a, 10 [restored] of refusal); in our lit. disobedience is always toward God, God’s ordinances, or revelation (like Eur., Or. 31; Pla., Leg. 741d; Lucian, Dial. Deor. 8, 1; SIG 736, 40 [92 b.c.] τὸν δὲ ἀπειθοῦντα ἢ ἀπρεπῶς ἀναστρεφόμενον εἰς τὸ θεῖον μαστιγούντω οἱ ἱεροί; Dt 1:26; 9:23; Josh 5:6; Is 36:5; 63:10; Bar 1:18f). W. dat. of pers. (Num 14:43 κυρίω) τῷ θεῷ (Diod S 5, 74, 4 ἀ. τοῖς θεοῖς; Hierocles 24, 473 τῷ θεῷ; Jos., Ant. 9, 249) Ro 11:30, cp. Pol 2:1. τῷ υἱῷ J 3:36.—W. dat. of thing (Diod S 5, 71, 5 τοῖς νόμοις) τῇ ἀληθείᾳ Ro 2:8 (Theoph. Ant. 1, 14 p. 92, 5). τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ 1 Pt 4:17. τῷ λόγῳ 2:8; 3:1. τοῖς εἰρημένοις 1 Cl 59:1. τοῖς ἐμοῖς ἐλέγχοις 57:4 (Pr 1:25).—Abs. (Dicaearchus Fgm. 23 [Athen. 13 p. 603b] ἀπειθήσας=disobedient) of members of a synagogue at Corinth Ac 19:9. Of a part of Israel Ro 11:31. Of people of Judea 15:31. οἱ ἀπειθήσαντες Ἰουδαῖοι the disobedient (but see below, end) Judeans Ac 14:2. λαὸς ἀπειθῶν Ro 10:21; B 12:4 (both Is 65:2). οἱ ἀπειθοῦντες IMg 8:2; 1 Cl 58:1. Of gentiles οἱ ἀπειθήσαντες Hb 11:31.—Gener. 3:18; 1 Pt 3:20. In a number of pass. NRSV and REB, among others, with less probability render . ‘disbelieve’ or an equivalent.—DELG s.v. πείθομαι. M-M. TW."
   If one is looking at the original languages, this understanding of obedient faithing can be seen in Exodus 19:9. The NIV translates this verse as: "The LORD said to Moses, 'I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.'..." The word that is translated "[they will] put their trust in" (יַאֲמִ֣ינוּ) is from the word mentioned above (אָמַן). In the Hebrew and context of this verse we see that this obviously means more than merely believing or believing/trusting, for those not following and obeying Moses were to be destroyed (throughout the OC; cf. Heb. 10:26-31, and notice what it is saying for today!) and possibly eternally lost (Ex. 32:31-33). The LXX (the OC Greek Scriptures) translators translated this word from Ex. 19:9 as "πιστεύσωσιν" (that they should/will faithe), the exact same word that is in John 3:16 (though in a different form: "πιστεύων" = "the one faithing"). And, since Jn 3:16 was written within the context of the Law of Moses (Yeshua Jesus was a Jew and He came the the Jews and all of this occurred while the Law of Moses was in full force), we can see that what this word meant in Ex. 19:9 is also what it means in Jn 3:16 today! (Remember, the New Covenant was made with Israel/Judah, the Jews who were following Him; Jer. 31:31-33; cf. Rom. 11). This means that Jn. 3:16 means that those who are following and obeying Yeshua Jesus will be saved. Read also Deut. 18:15-19, which is actuallly saying that the Jews who would not follow Yeshua Jesus would be lost. This is confirmed in Acts 3:22-23! Compare this to Jn. 3:18 which should be read as "the one faithing into/in Him is not condemned, but the one not faithing has already been condemned..."
   The situation can be compared to Deut. 11:27 where some translations translate that the people will be blessed if they "listen" to the commands of God (Complete Jewish Bible; NASB95). The verb here can mean listen, but many times it also means to obey and thus most translate this as "obey" (KJV; NIV; ESV). Interestingly, some translate this is "listen obediently." Other OC passages make it very clear that obedience was required (Deut. 30:11-20).
   More proof that it takes more than belief is that there are many who do believe in YHWH God and His Son, Yeshua Jesus, and that Yeshua Jesus is the only way, and yet have chosen to be lost. Furthermore, if it truly was only belief, then one would not have to "call on the Name of the Lord" (Rom. 10:13) in order to be saved because he would already be saved. Truly, if one is saved by belief, then it would be incorrect to also require them to "call on the Name of the Lord" (Rom. 10:13). The fact that calling on the Name of the Lord is required shows not only that more than belief is required but also the inconsistency in the view that only belief is required.
   Why would God allow Jn. 3:16 to be translated merely as "believe"? God allows many things to happen that are not His will. But if He wanted this to happen, perhaps it would be for the same reason that He remains hidden. The ambiguity of the Greek word allows man to follow his own heart. If God presented Himself upon the Earth man would hardly be able to do what was in his own heart. There would not be any doubt--there is a God and man must serve Him or die. As it is, what man chooses to believe and what he chooses to do, shows exactly what is in his heart. Simply put, God is seeking for those who are seeking Him. Those finding Him and hanging onto Him against all the odds are of great value to Him. These are the ones He is seeking and these are the ones who will be saved. Still it is not God's will that anyone perish--He wants all to be saved (2 Pet. 3:9). But it will be those who find Him (now only through Yeshua Jesus--Jn. 14:6) and are found hanging tightly onto Him (in conformity with the Greatest Commandments) who will be saved. (See "God Loves You And Wants To Save You"; and please spread the word! And please send a link to our site to someone whom you know needs this information. Please help us to fight denominationalism and help us to save souls! Those who win souls are wise (Prov. 11:30)! We are our brother's keepers (cf. 1 Cor. 5:12-13)!
   Does Jn. 8:24 imply that all one has to do to be saved is to believe/trust? Not at all; in Jn. 8:24 Yeshua Jesus told the Pharisees that they would die in their sins because they did not believe Him. There was no need in going down any list of requirements to be saved when the Pharisees did not meet the first requrement. And they would not be expected to be following Yeshua Jesus if they did not believe. Yeshua Jesus could have easily said "because you are not following Me" or even "because you did not accept Me." Believing Yeshua Jesus is the first step and the step that was being missed; there was no need to explain any further. 
   (The following from 5/9/11 Blog.) Kudos to Greg Laurie (in an email concerning his new book, Where's the Evidence (the evidence for one's faith)) for bringing up the great example of a man named Simon in Acts 8. Acts 8:13 literally says that Simon believed/faithed and was immersed, yet the people who had received Yeshua Jesus through the work of Philip (including Simon) had not yet received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the gift of the Holy Spirit was given by the apostles through the laying on of hands, he offered them money to be able to do the same. The NIV translates what follows as: "Peter answered: 'May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.' Then Simon answered [in apparent repentance], 'Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.'" As Greg Laurie points out, this man Simon believed/faithed in Yeshua Jesus and was even immersed, and yet according to Peter, was not saved, at least at this moment, as Peter said (NIV): "Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." As Greg Laurie points out, this shows that salvation is about much more than mere belief. As this Scripture shows, it is also about successfully fighting against sin (see "Some Important Things Being Missed"; "Holiness"; "The Teachings of Yeshua Jesus! / (& Check Your Translation!)" or "Toward the Reformation of Evangelicalism").
   As Yeshua Jesus teaches here and elsewhere (and is taught throughout the NC Scriptures), those who are following and obeying Him when He returns or calls them home will be saved, those (even Christians) who are not following and obeying Him when He returns or calls them home will be lost (cf. Mt. 7:15-20; 21-23; 24-27, etc.). 
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   In Jn. 5:28-29 (Just a little bit down from 3:16!) Yeshua Jesus said (concerning works): "Do not be being astonished/surprised at this [see Jn. 5:19-27], that/because an hour is coming in which all those in the graves/tombs will hear His sound/voice and will come out--those having done/worked/accomplished/practiced/perfomed the good things [not "those who have believed/trusted"] unto a resurrection of life, but those having done/worked/accomplished/practiced/performed the evil/wicked/vile/worthless/bad things unto a resurrection of condemnation." (See also myth #10) "Christians will not face a judgment." in "Christian Myths?")
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    (Mt. 4:10) In Mt. 4 when Yeshua Jesus was being tempted by satan, satan told Yeshua Jesus that he would give Him the kingdoms of the world if Yeshua Jesus would just bow down and worship him. This had to have been a temptation only of the flesh; Messiah Christ would hardly have wanted these messed up temporary kingdoms when He would be reigning over all of them in the blessed Millennium (Rev. 20). And, as if satan could be trusted to give them to Him anyway. (And they did not really belong to him but God--satan is ruling only over those who are following him; satan does not have dominion over the entire Earth--God is still in control; satan does not have dominion over Christians; he only has dominion over those who give him dominion.) But notice Yeshua Jesus' response; He said: "...it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler your God and you shall serve Him alone'" (Mt. 4:10). Many would have you believe that upon Yeshua Jesus' death that these truths changed. But Yeshua Jesus taught that the OC Scriptures were not being discarded and were not to be discarded by man (Mt. 5:17-20). And these teachings of Yeshua Jesus were not only for His disciples and those under the Old Covenant; Mt. 28:18-20 makes this clear and if these teachings were not important for YHWH-followers today, why would the Ruach HaKodesh and the apostolic writers have left them for us? For many who are misguided, the rabbinic Eph. 2:8-9 (vs. 10 is regularly left out) is their only Bible. But Shaul/Paul had many other things to say as well (See "The Faith That Paul Taught / (Toward Understanding Paul") such as in Acts 17 where he taught that there is one God and Rom. 12:1-2 where, also in agreement with Yeshua Jesus' teachings, God's followers are to be worshiping and serving God with their whole being. This is YHWH's intended Christianity (See "Some Important Things Being Missed!").
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    Mt. 5:13-16, "Youu [uu showing plurality] are (being) the salt of the Earth. But if the salt should_become_foolish/unsalty, by what will it be made salty? It is strong/good unto nothing except having been thrown outside to be walked/trampled over by men. Youu are the light of the world. A city lying upon a hill is not able to be hidden. Neither are they burning a lamp and placing it under the (one_peck, grain_)measuring_bowl, but on the lampstand and it is giving_light to/for all the ones in the house. So let youur light shine before men so that they might see your good works [ancient idiom for how one lives--what one thinks and does] and give glory to youur Father--the youur Father in the heavens."
   Notice the relationship between the shining light and good works. It is a changed life, in word and deed, that Yeshua Jesus is talking about here. And it is a changed life that points to God and leads others to Him. Notice also that it is possible for the "salt" (Yeshua Jesus-followers) to become "foolish/unsalty" and while they are in this condition they are being virtually worthless to God. This is at least hyperbolically implying that it will be difficult for those who become saved and then become lost to regain their salvation. One of the great debates today is whether a saved person can lose their salvation. This does not appear to be a question of the early Church, or perhaps even for the first 1500 years of the Church (until Calvin; see "The Inadequate Historical Precedent for 'Once Saved, Always Saved'"; accessed 2/15/11). The debate of the early Church was not whether one could lose their salvation or not, but whether or not a saved person who lost their salvation could ever regain their lost salvation. They wondered if one who had been baptized could be baptized again (evidently from the Eph. 4:5 teaching that there is "...one baptism..." cf. the teaching of Christian Latin Poet Commodian (perhaps c. A.D. 240-250): "Thou hast once been washed: shalt thou be able to be immersed again?" (Ante-Nicene Fathers, 4:212)), which helps to show the importance that the early Church placed upon baptism. A great warning concerning the possibility that some/many will not regain their salvation can be seen in Heb. 6:4-6 which states (NIV): "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."
   Yeshua Jesus begins teaching in Mt. 5:13-16 about the great importance of good works (and we would be foolish to teach against what Yeshua Jesus taught!). And if there is really any question about the great importance of good works, as we continue we will see more and more the importance God did and still does place upon good works!
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   Picking back up with Mt. 5:20, Yeshua Jesus, in talking to the crowds said, "...unless youur righteousness/state_of_righteousness/good_behavior/uprightness/right-doing/religious_duties/religious_observances/what_God_requires/what_is_right [or] acts_of_righteousness should exceed the righteousness/state_of_righteousness/good_behavior/uprightness/right-doing/religious_duties/religious_observances/what_God_requires/what_is_right [or] acts_of_righteousness of the writers/scribes and Pharisees, youu will (certainly) not enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens." One response to this could be to say that Yeshua Jesus was just telling the people that unless they received the righteousness ("state_of_righteousness") given by Yeshua Jesus, that they would not be saved. In other words, no one will be saved without going through Yeshua Jesus. And while it is certainly true that sometime after the death of Yeshua Jesus and at least by the Shavuot/Pentecost of Acts 2, only those accepting, following and obeying Yeshua Jesus would be saved (see the myth "Jesus is not the only pathway to God and salvation" in "Christian Myths?"), the vss. just prior to this (17-19) are clearly and irrefutably referring to keeping the commandments of the Law of Moses, and the verses after 5:20 are also about things that those desiring to be saved must be working to do ("works"). In fact this entire sermon from ch. 5 through 7 is not about what one knows or is trusting, but how one is living (orthodoxy vs. orthopraxy)! So we see that the context of this verse shows us that what Yeshua Jesus must be referring to here is an individual's personal righteousness, apart from the righteousness of Yeshua Jesus that is bestowed upon His faithful followers. Yet some will understand that what Yeshua Jesus is teaching here had not just to do with the Law of Moses, but rather also the life of the Yeshua Jesus-follower and this may have caused some to translate this using the most vague term "righteousness" instead of a term showing that the righteousness being referred to here was an individual's personal righteousness, being influenced by the mindset that Christianity is not about works ("...by faith...not by works..."). And still the context is clear enough to induce some to translate this less vaguely--or more clearly (cf. God's Word translation that has: "I can guarantee that unless you live a life that has God's approval and do it more faithfully than the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." And the New Century Version has: "I tell you that if you are no more obedient than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Even The Message (which I do NOT recommend!) has: "Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won't know the first thing about entering the kingdom.") Some may not have been seeing how Mt. 5-7 relates to Christianity. But do the New Covenant Scriptures teach a personal righteousness? Absolutely, remember, Christianity is an Hebraic covenant system with covenantal responsibilities for both parties--for God (who is always faithful to His side of the covenant) and man, who must be striving to be keeping covenant (see "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant") and striving to be walking in holiness (see "Holiness"). Personal righteousness can also be seen in the writings of Paul, just a few examples include such Scriptures as Titus 2:11-12 which says (KJV): "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;" See also 2 Tim. 3:16-17 which says (KJV): "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Paul even taught and instructed Timothy to be teaching Christians to be: "...fleeing youthful lusts, and/but pursuing righteousness/state_of_righteousness/good_behavior/uprightness/right-doing/religious_duties/religious_observances/what_God_requires/what_is_right and faith/faithfulness/fidelity/keeping_covenant/faithing..." (2 Tim. 2:22).
   The words in this verse that are translated as being continuous, are, according to the rules of NC Greek grammar, are literally continuous in the Greek. They are present active imperatives which by the rules of Greek grammar are understood as being continuous. ("The aorist imperative refers to the action without saying anyting about its duration or repetition, while the present imperative refers to it as continuing or as being repeated." (Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 180.))
   The Scriptures teach works (cf. Eph. 2:10; it is all through them from beginning to end!) and a striving for personal holiness and righteousness (see "Holiness"). Of course no one can be 100% holy and righteous in their own strength and workings (cf. Phil. 3:12-14) and this is the reason for Messiah Christ! But make no mistake, perfection is the goal (cf. Mt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:15)! The ones striving for this are the ones YHWH is looking for! These are the ones who will not sin away from YHWH in the New Heaven and New Earth, as opposed to the many angels and satan who did sin away from YHWH! And this is a great reason for this earthly test! And to teach that works are not important or that to be striving for personal holiness and righteousness is not important is to be accepting, teaching and promoting irresponsibility! Sadly, many believe that God will make all Christians to pass this test. But truly is not the way it works--people still have the personal choice whether to follow Him or not and it is a daily choice (Lk. 9:23). In fact it is still a struggle. Paul referred to it as fighting the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12; cr. 2 Tim. 4:7). And Peter warns Christians the the devil is our adversary and he is prowling around like a lion seeking to devour (1 Pet. 5:8). And there are many NC Scriptures that are warnings for Yeshua Jesus-followers to not lose their way--beginning with the parables of the sower (Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15)--really, it is all through the Scriptures (to name a few: Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23; 24:1-25:46; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15; Rom. 11:20-21; See also Gal. 6:1-10. Heb. 12:15; Rev. 2-3, etc.). Yet we do not even have to look at all of the Scriptures, for we can clearly see the weakness and sinfulness and sickness of the Church and all of its backsliders, and we see the dying and split churches everywhere and it becomes obvious that God does not make people to pass this test--that would be breaking His unwritten rule that man has personal choice and responsibility. And this is just the thing that many are learning--that God most certainly does not do it all. No, the mess of this Church situation is from man as "God is not the author of disorder/confusion" (1 Cor. 14:33). God will certainly lead if man will follow, but man always has the choice to not follow. Man is responsible for the mess, not God. And this mess is due in some part to people translating, commenting, writing, teaching and preaching a gospel lacking responsibility and accountability and "works," especially the works of striving for holiness and righteousness and following and obeying Yeshua Jesus. This is exactly what happens when the people are taught that their actions do not matter and in at least some cases, that doing good for God is evil. See also response # "32) Doesn't Phil. 1:6 guarantee that God will cause every true Christian to remain saved?" in "Questions & Responses!" (In a recent e-mail from Crosswalk, a Cathleen Falsani discusses the pastor Daniel Harrell and his Church experiment of trying to live the book of Leviticus for a month, which he writes about in his book: How to Be Perfect: One Church's Audacious Experiment in Living the Old Testament Book of Leviticus. In the e-mail it was said that Harrell said in a recent interview: "Because we're so used to the disconnect between our beliefs and our behavior, integrity has become something of a quaint notion consigned to the past.") 
   Do not be misled, Yeshua Jesus' teaching in Mt. 5:20 is just as pertinent to us today as it was to those who were hearing Him first speak this (Mt. 28:18-20!). He is warning all who have the ears to hear, that ""...unless youur [personal] righteousness/state_of_righteousness/good_behavior/uprightness/right-doing/religious_duties/religious_observances/what_God_requires/what_is_right [or] acts_of_righteousness should exceed the [personal] righteousness/state_of_righteousness/good_behavior/uprightness/right-doing/religious_duties/religious_observances/what_God_requires/what_is_right [or] acts_of_righteousness of the writers/scribes and Pharisees, youu will (certainly) not enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens." (Mt. 5:20) Be warned. (So what is God looking for? See "Some Important Things Being Missed!"!)
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   In Mt. 5:21-24 we have more teaching that fits with "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant." Here Yeshua Jesus is teaching that those who are not forgiving will not be forgiven. See Mt. 6:14-15 (below) and 18:21-35. 
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   In looking at Mt. 5:48, we see Yeshua Jesus saying: "Therefore, youu shall/must be perfect(_morally)/mature/complete as youur Father, the heavenly youur Father is perfect(_morally)/mature/complete." Here Yeshua Jesus is commanding His followers (of all times, Mt. 28:18-20), to be being as perfect in their works as possible--to be striving for perfection. The context is clear that this is about works, the "Therefore" ties this to the previous teachings about doing things (works), yet at the same time does not disconnect it from the following teachings about doing things (works). Shaul/Paul, who was teaching people to be following him as he was following Messiah Christ (1 Cor. 11:1; cf. Mt. 28:18-20), may well have been thinking of this very teaching in Mt. 5:48 (as Shaul/Paul would also have been following the teachings of Messiah Christ (Mt. 28:18-20; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1; note also that Luke, the author, who no doubt had access to Matthew's gospel (cf. Lk. 1:1-4) was traveling with Shaul/Paul: Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phlm 1:24; Acts 27-28)), as shown by his teaching found in 2 Tim. 3:16-17 which says (KJV): "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect [not the same word as in Mt. 5:48, but synonymous; Greek speakers/writers often used synonymous words], throughly furnished unto all good works."
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   Mt. 6:1 says: "Be_giving_heed_to/Be_continuing_to_give_oneself_to [Present active imperatives are continuous (Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 180).] not to being doing/producing/working [Present active infinatives are continuous (Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 137).] youur ["uu" to show plurality] righteousness/righteous_deeds/right_actions/right_deeds [right works] before men to be seen by them. But if not, indeed, you do not have a reward from Youur Father [who is] in the heavens." This is another one of the many teachings of Yeshua Jesus about doing works. Here He is not saying to not be doing any works in front of others at all (though 6:3-4; and which would be impossible to always do), but to make sure that one's motivation is not to be seen by others. And a good way to ensure this is to work to try to do works secretly (6:3-4). Mt. 6:1-4 teaches that right works done with the right motivation will have a heavenly reward! See Mt. 6:19-21.
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   In Mt. 6:11 we have: "Give to us today our epiousion ["ἐπιούσιον"; in sylables: "e-pi-ou-si-on" (i's pronounced with long "e")] bread." The Greek word "epiousion" is found only in the Lord's Prayer and (perhaps) only one other time in all of the ancient literature, if it was indeed this same word. "Grave doubt is cast on the one possible occurrence of ἐ. which is independent of our lit. [literature]." And "according to Origen, De Orat. 27, 7, ["ἐπιούσιον" was] coined by the evangelists [The Gospel writers.]." (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature.) According to The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume, "The meaning [of epiousion] is hard to fix." And this brings up a point about NT Greek Lexicons, since we have no ancient lexicons, the meanings of the words in the NC are derived from the study of the use of these words in the ancient literature and this is why lexicons do not always have the same meanings and in some cases they even disagree with each other. And there are actually a handful of NC Greek words that scholars are very unsure about their meaning. This is one of these words. Many of the guesses of the meaning of this word have to do with the physical aspect: "necessary for existence," "for the current day" or "today," and "for the following day." The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament has for this: "According to the dominant eschatological understanding of the first centuries and according to an interpretation of the translation in the Gospel of the Hebrews (māḥār = 'for tomorrow,' apud Jerome Commentary on Matthew [on 6:11], PL XXVI, 44), ἄρτος ἐπιούσιος can mean 'the bread for tomorrow,' i.e., 'the bread of the time of salvation,' the 'bread of life.' The word epiousion can be derived from ἰέναι ["to go" (Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, "εἰμί," (2nd occurrance))] or from εἶναι ["to be"], though the second etymology is to be preferred." The second etymology is from the word "εἰμί" that means "I am" and the word which Yeshua Jesus used in John 6 (and elsewhere; when He was saying that He was the "I AM") when He said: "I am the Bread of life" (Jn. 6:35, 48); "I am the Bread that came down out of Heaven" (Jn. 6:41) "I am the living Bread" (Jn. 6:51). The word "epiousion" also has the attached preposition "ἐπι" which likely here means "for," resulting in "epiousion" quite possibly meaning "for (spiritual) being," or "for spiritual existence/living/nurishment." In support of this understanding that this may well have to do with the spiritual is the fact that the other parts of the Lord's Prayer are about spiritual things. Also, epiousion is a new word and if the gospel writers had been referring to the physical, surely they would have employed the usual terminology for physical bread/sustenance. Recall also Yeshua Jesus' other teachings about spiritual bread including Mt. 4:4 which states: "Not upon bread only will the man live, but upon every word proceeding through the mouth of God." In addition, just as He told us, He is our spiritual Bread, He is THE Bread sent from Heaven (John 6:31-59), and this is how He fulfilled Chag HaMatzot--the Feast of Unleavened (without sin--Jn. 8:46; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22) Bread! (see "Hebrew Old Covenant 'Roots'!") As important as physical bread is, and it is very important, spiritual bread is ultimately much more important! Thus Mt. 6:11 may actually mean something to the effect of: "Give to us this day our heavenly/spiritual bread" or "Give us this day the bread from You for our spiritual nourishment." (Compare this to The Message which says: "Keep us alive with three square meals." And this brings up another point about some of Evangelicalism teaching a gospel primarily about the physical things--increase in everything especially finances, which is not necessarily bad, but the Scriptures teach about the dangers of everything going well in the physical (cf. Mt. 5:1-12; 19:24; Jms. 5:1)) Lord, please give us more of You and Your Ruach HaKadosh! Lord, Please give us this day the Bread from You--more of You--for our spiritual nourishment! You alone know what we need and You know how badly we need You!
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   Next we find Mt. 6:12 (and vss. 14-15): "And forgive us our debts/sins when/as/just_as/in_the_same_way_as/like/just_like we also forgave the ones_having_sinned_against/debtors_of us." The "debts" and "debtors" are not primarily referring to physical debts, but to sins. And this brings up the issue that when we sin, we incur a debt--both to God and to any others whom we sin against. And while Yeshua Jesus can forgive us our sins against God "if we are walking in the light as He is in the light" and we are not trying to hide our sins from God (1 Jn. 1), this does not always free us from the debt we owe to those whom we have sinned against. Say, for example, a Christian in a moment of weakness picks up stack $100,000.00 that belongs to someone else, but then he repents and confesses his sin before God. God can forgive this sin, but would this Christian be able to keep the money? Assuming that the money was not originally going toward evil and/or evil attrocities (in this case perhaps (?--follow the leading of God!) he should give it SECRETLY AND ANONYMOUSLY, and maybe not all at one time, to an orphanage or something like this (Jms. 1:27)), this Christian would be under obligation to return the money and he would be liable under the governmental law to pay his legal and societal debt. So, no, just because forgiveness is granted from God, it does not mean that a person is not obligated to try to right the wrong, to make restitution. And this is the way it was under the Law of Moses (e.g., Ex. 22). Christians are strongly advised to seek and follow God's leading in these things.
   Anyway, it is quite interesting that this verse is worded as: "And forgive us our sins as we forgave those having sinned against us" rather than: "And forgive us our sins and help us to be forgiving those having sinned against us." Is it merely saying: "God, we have forgiven, so will you now forgive us"? To answer the question of what Mt. 6:12 means, we need to examine the other statements of Yeshua Jesus concerning forgivness. Just a few verses down, in Mt. 6:14-15, Yeshua Jesus teaches that unless His followers are forgiving others, that God will not forgive them. This teaching of God not forgiving those who are not forgiving others is repeated in Mk. 11:26 (cf. Lk. 6:37) and Mt. 18 where Yeshua Jesus gives an entire parable about this. The NIV labels this as "The Parable of the unmerciful Servant." In this parable a man who owes his master (thus we see that this relates to those who are already following God) a very great amount of money. He begs for mercy and his master forgives him of his tremendous debt! (Isn't God merciful! Thank You God!) Yet after this someone owes this same man a very little and when the one owing very little begs for mercy the man who had been forgiven a great deal (also showing that he was a God-follower) refuses and has the man thrown into prison until his debt was paid! As the parable goes, the master of the man who had been forgiven a great amount became upset and angry (v. 34) with the man and told him (NIV): "'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed [One should not assume by this that the man ended up being saved. One should also not assume by this the doctrine of Purgatory.]." (Mt. 18:32-34). Yeshua Jesus ends this teaching, saying (NIV): "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." (Mt. 18:35) Here again, we can see that this is referring to God-followers. The teaching that is within the context of Mt. 6:12 is, as already stated, Mt. 6:14-15 and this says: "For [a connector that shows that the following is connected with the preceding and that it is not a new context] if/when youu forgive men their sins, also youur heavenly Father will also forgive youu; and/but if youu do not forgive men, neither will youur Father forgive youur sins." This is teaching that in the end, those with sins that are not forgiven will not be saved. This is showing that continued salvation is conditional--conditional upon walking in the work of continuing to forgive all others their sins against us. (See the myths: "When a person becomes a Christian, all of their sins are forgiven, past present and future!"; and "God's love is unconditional" in "Christian Myths".) Why is forgiving others mandatory? It is a part of "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant"; the New Heaven and New Earth will not be populated with individuals who hate others. In order for the New Heaven and the New Earth to be an emotional paradise, and it will be, only those who are forgiving each other and loving each other as they should be loving themselves will be granted access. It is important, it is, after all, the Second Greatest Commandment. (Heaven will be worth all!) In other words, to not forgive others is to not keep "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant"; and the New Heaven and New Earth will not be populated with those who are unwilling to forgive--it would not be a true Paradise for those who are not being forgiven. YHWH's Paradise will be perfect! And everyone will not only be truly loved by everybody else, they will feel it!
   There is much that can and should be said about forgiving and not forgiving, such as: Not forgiving can be equated to holding onto, even self-administering the poison of hatred, all-the-while wishing it upon the one not being forgiven! It is also like intentionally shackeling oneself to one's own demise! Forgiving others can be the most difficult thing in the world, depending upon the situation and one's heart, but it can be done, with the help of God! Cf. Phil. 4:13! It is surely a test! And sadly, one that many will fail! (Some because they do not know that they can, should or need to work on forgiving others.) The Hebrew writer warns of such as this saying (Heb. 12:15, NIV): "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." How can we work toward this? Sometimes we must be adding these people to our prayer list and be praying for them just like our examples of Yeshua Jesus (Lk. 23:34) and Stephen (Acts 7:60). And sometimes we need to find a nice gift for these people and give it to them. Forgiving them can be done, I know it. And, just as Yeshua Jesus taught, God has forgiven us of much! Lord, please help us to be walking in our forgiveness of others.
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   Mt. 6:13 says: "And do not bring/lead us into test/testing/trial/temptation, but preserve/save/rescue/deliver us from the evil(_one)." This life on Earth is a test--to see who will make it and what they will be awarded and rewarded with (1 Cor. 3). Abraham was tested (Gen. 22:1). Adam and Eve were tested (Gen. 3). Job was tested. Yeshua Jesus was tested and tempted, in fact he "...was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil." (Mt. 4:1, NIV) We are all tested (cf. Ex. 16:4; Judges 2:22; 1 Cor. 10:13). And many times we are faced again and again with the same test and many times this is because we keep failing the same test and God keeps showing us what area or areas in which we are weak and need to grow. And, sometimes, He wants us to just get sick of our sin (cf. the parable of the prodigal son in Lk. 15). It is difficult being tested, but He does this sometimes to separate out those who are not serious about their salvation and not serious about following Him (Cf. Yeshua Jesus being the "stumbling stone" (Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 1:8); cf. also Ex. 16:4; Judges 2:22) and this is one reason why it is so important to be teaching Christians that when they accept YHWH's covenant through Yeshua Jesus, that the struggle for their salvation is not yet over. As Shaul/Paul says in Phlp. 3:13-19 (Today's New International Version): "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it [ultimate and complete salvation]. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind [the mistakes!] and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal [salvation is not a one-time thing (1 Cor. 15:2; Rom. 4:12); salvation is ongoing (1 Thess. 1:10; 1 Cor. 15:1-2); ultimate and complete salvation is future (Rom. 4:24; 8:23-24; 13:11; 15:1-4; Gal. 5:5; Eph. 1:4; 5:30; Phlp. 2:16; 1 Tim. 6:12, 17-19; 2 Tim. 3:15; 1 Thess. 1:10)] to win the prize [salvation] for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us, then, who are mature [cf. Mt. 5:48] should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained [Do not lose what you have attained!]. 17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those [Christians] who live as we do [because all do not!]. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again [Cf. 2 Pet. 3:14-16] even with tears ["tears" because Shaul/Paul is referring here to Christians who are dying spiritually], many [who were once-saved (cf. the parables of the sower; 1 Cor. 5; 1 Tim. 1:19; 2 Tim. 2:17-18), now...] live [so to speak] as enemies of the cross of Christ [refusing to carry their own crosses (Lk. 9:23)]. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things." Being tested is difficult, but it is helpful to know that God tests us in order to grow us. God knows where we are spiritually and as the good Father that He is, He is working to mature us (cf. Mt. 5:48; Heb. 12). It is all a part of His plan and this is why we should not lose heart when we stumble in His testing and His growing us--it is all for our best (Rom. 8:28; Heb. 12:1-12). And He knows very well what we can and cannot handle. As 1 Cor. 10:13 says (NIV): "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." So take heart, as the saying goes "Heaven will surely be worth it all"! See also 2 Cor. 4:17, the TNIV's translation of which says: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." Consider also 1 Cor. 2:9, the ESV's translation of which is: "But, as it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him'."
   Since testing is such a prominent part of this life, and that Yeshua Jesus would have known this, and since Yeshua Jesus was surely not teaching His followers to ask God to completely remove all of this, it likely is referring to the more difficult testing and temptation. Recall Yeshua Jesus's statement about satan wanting to sift Peter as wheat (Lk. 22:31). This is likely why the Complete Jewish Bible translates this as: "And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One..." (The CJB includes the ending ascription as: "For kingship, power and glory are yours forever. Amen.")
   [Other translation notes: The "the" in "the evil(_one)" is viewed by most translators as being a redundant definite article. This is actually quite frequent in NC ancient Greek (see "Translation and Commentary"). The KJV, ESV, NAS and Douay-Rheims have: "evil" without the definite article. Young's Literal Translation translates this as "the evil." The 1901 ASV; God's Word translation, ISV, Lexham English Bible, NET, NAB, NIrV, NIV, NIV 1984, TNIV, NLT, NRSV and even the NKJV translate this as: "the evil one." The Good News Bible (or) Today's English Version, NCV and The Complete Jewish Bible have: "the Evil One." Weust has: "the Pernicious One." As for the KJV's "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.", as beautiful and fitting as this is, it appears that this was not part of the original manuscript. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament has for this: "The ascription at the close of the Lord's Prayer occurs in several forms [which makes this suspect]...The absence of any ascription in early and important representatives of the Alexandrian (א B), the Western (D and most of the Old Latin), and the pre-Caesarean (f1) types of text, as well as early patristic commentaries on the Lord's Prayer (those of Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian), suggests that an ascription, usually in a threefold form, was composed (perhaps on the basis of 1 Chr 29.11-13) in order to adapt the Prayer for liturgical use in the early church."]
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   In Mt. 6:16-18 (and vss. 19-21), Yeshua Jesus teaches that in order to be rewarded for our works on this Earth, that we must not being doing these works to be seen and rewarded by man. He continues with His teaching that His followers not only can, but should be working to lay up treasures for themselves in Heaven, saying, actually instructing/commanding (cf. Mt. 28:18-20) in Mt. 6:19-21: "Do not be treasuring up [This verb is in the imperative mood which is being used here for instruction or command. It is also in the present tense which means that it should be translated as on-going, as opposed to "Do not treasure up..."] for youurselves treasures on the Earth/ground where moth and rust destroy/are_destroying and where thieves break_in/are_breaking_in and steal/are_stealing. But be treasuring up [This verb is in the imperative mood which is being used here for instruction or command. It is also in the present tense which means that it should be translated as on-going, as opposed to "Treasure up..."] for youurselves treasures in Heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys/is_destroying and where thieves do_not/are_not break_in/breaking_in and_not/nor steal/are_stealing. For where your [This is likely singular in the original manuscript. One of the oldest and most reliable manuscript witnesses has this in the singular, but most manuscripts (the vast majority of which are newer) have this in the plural. This is an example of the many variations in the manuscripts, the majority of which do not affect theololgy.] treasure is there will be also your [singular, see earlier comment] heart."
   Think about it: we will be judged according to our works (Mt. 16:27; 1 Cor. 3:10-15) and we will be rewarded according to our works (Mt. 6:16-21; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10). (See "Titus" in "Translation and Commentary") And Yeshua Jesus warns His followers in Rev. 3:2 that the works of some will be found to be incomplete! He also teaches this in the parable of the virgins, where five were wise and prepared, and five were foolish and were not prepared. He warns and teaches about this throughout Mt. 24:36-25:40. who is it that does not want your works to be found as being complete in the judgment of God? who is it that does not want you to be treasuring up a reward for yourself in Heaven? who is it that we really need to be fighting against? It is not Christians who believe that works are required, but the one who is spreading the falsehood that working good works leads to Hell. With all love and respect, does not the Scripture apply here "Get thee behind Me, satan!"? Please help those who are teaching the falsehood that working good works leads to Hell! Souls, quite possibly even their very own, are depending upon this. You can make the difference. And remember, you are your brother's keeper--it is your responsibility to warn your brothers and sisters, even if you sometimes have to do it in a non-confrontational way, such as asking them if they are certain about their conclusions and/or just bring up the subject and say something to the effect that you know a website that would like to debate them on this issue. Show them the Scriptures that show that everyone (this includes Christians) will be judged according to their works. Many will say that if one is truly saved that good works will follow. This is not biblically accurate (e.g., Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15, etc.), but if they say this then ask them if God judged all of their works today if it would prove if they were saved or not. If they say yes, then tell them that you hope that their works will always show this. If they say no, then ask them what this means about their salvation. And it is not as many people believe--just get saved correctly and the escalator takes you along for the ride. No, as the above Scriptures are showing, one's ultimate salvation is very much in one's own hands. Consider Lk. 13:24: "Be striving/struggling to enter through the narrow/strait/difficult/hard/severe/strict/exacting/restricting door, for/because many, I tell youu, will seek to enter and they will not be able." (Relating to this, the witness of Justin Martyr (A.D. 110-165), the first Christian apologist, includes: "I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were oursleves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, 'Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'" (Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, p. 183)) See also Mt. 24:36-25:40. Everyone will be judged according to their works (Mt. 16:27; 1 Cor. 3:10-15). It most certainly is not the easy way. Shaul/Paul preferred to speak of this in terms of living Mashiach/Messiah/Christ (Gal. 2:20; 5:16-26; Phil. 1:20, 21, 27, 29; 2:5; 3:10; Col. 3:5-10), but see also "Titus" in "Translation and Commentary."
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   Mt. 6:24 says: "No one is able to be serving [this shows works] two masters...Youu ["uu" for plural] are not able to be serving [works] God and mammon/worldly_possessions/worldly_wealth." This is in accordance with the many Scriptures in the Greek that show that man is supposed to be serving God because God is Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler (from the Greek word that is often translated merely "Lord." Cf. such passages as Philemon 1:3 in "Philemon" in "Translation and Commentary" (the commentary part)). Perhaps this can be seen in the lives of many who believe in belief or belief + trust only, they are living for the world--serving for mammon and pleasing themselves and not serving and pleasing God. Anything that one places ahead of serving God is one's idol. Ecc. 12:13-14 says (NIV): "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God [See "Christians should not be afraid of God" in "Christian Myths?"] and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Cf. Rom. 12:1-2! And there is no time like the present to be coming out of Babylon, at least spiritually! (cf. Rev. 18:4)
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   The Greek of Mt. 7:7-8 says: "Be asking and it will be given to youu; be seeking and youu will find; be knocking and it will be opened for youu. For everyone who is asking receives/is_receiving and everyone who is seeking finds/is_finding and it will be opened to/for the one knocking." Few translations will translate these verses with the continuous understandings ("be asking"; "be seeking"; "be knocking") but rather only "ask...seek...knock." One reason for this may be that the continuous sense does not fit with the popular theology that is fighting and working against works. Yet the words translated "Be asking...be seeking...be knocking" in verse 7 are present active imperatives which according to the rules of Greek grammar are continuous. "The aorist imperative refers to the action without saying anyting about its duration or repetition, while the present imperative refers to it as continuing or as being repeated." (Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 180). Yet translators over and over skip over these Greek rules and translate continuous verbs as not being continuous (though sometimes the context shows/implies that it is continuous). The continuous nature of these words can also be seen in vs. 8 in: "...everyone who is asking...who is seeking...the one knocking." which also should be translated as being continuous because they are present active participles and present active participles show continuous action. Not translating these as continuous may fit better with the theology that is fighting and working against works, but it does not fit with the teachings of Yeshua Jesus here and in many other places (see the parable of the persistant widow in Lk. 18:1-8; see also the parables of the sower in Mt. 13:1-9; 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15; see also Yeshua Jesus' teachings about being fruitless (without works) such as in Lk. 13:6-9; Jn 15:1-17, etc.) In addition, not translating these in the continuous action leads many to question the accuracy of the Scriptures when they ask God for something once, or even a few times, and do not receive. It also leads to errors in theology such as the belief that once one has received the Holy Spirit that they need not be asking God to be growing in the gifts of the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 14:1) and the belief that one should have enough faith to only ask God one time for their needs (nevermind the teaching of Yeshua Jesus on this very thing in His parable of the persistant widow in Lk. 18:1-8 and His example of doing this very thing--praying three times for the exact same thing (Mt. 26:44) and notice the example of Shaul/Paul praying three times for his "thorn" to be removed (2 Cor. 12:8) and surely his constant praying for his followers (cf. Eph. 1:16; 1 Thess. 1:2; Phlm 1:4) and see also Shaul/Paul's teaching to be praying constantly (1 Thess. 5:17)). Of course God knows what we need. And many times we don't even know what we need ourselves and yet God provides for us (He is the One in charge of us). Yet just as He does not give us all wisdom immediately when we ask (cf. Jms. 1:5), He does not give us the fulness of His Holy Spirit immediately upon our asking. God has all of the time in the world; He is seldom in a hurry. And while many times He is anxious for our growth, at least in certain areas, He too is growing us, and many times He is growing us slowly. Just as James teaches that many times we have not be receiving because we have not asked (Jms. 4:2), there are probably more times that we have not received because we have not continued in our asking. (This is not to say that we should continue to ask for things that we should not have (cf. Jms. 4:3ff.).) I asked over a period of time before I received more of the Holy Spirit and I know of others who have prayed many times, and sometimes hours at a time, before receiving more of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps sometimes God is testing us, showing us and His heavenly witnesses (Heb. 12:1) exactly how much we want the things of His Spirit. What we really want may well be seen by our prayers, but what are we really striving for in our daily lives? What should we be praying for? And shouldn't the direction and working of our lives match up with the things that we should be praying for? Let us be working toward having God's heart and praying for the things that He desires for us and those around us. (Keys to answered prayer can include: persistance, praying God's will, being in agreement with others and having them to be praying also (Mt. 18:19-20) and delighting oneself in God (Ps. 37:4) and trying to please Him!).
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   In Mt. 7:13-14 Yeshua Jesus is quoted as saying: "Enter ye through the narrow/hard/constricting/exacting gate/door, for/because wide is the gate/door and wide/roomy/spacious/broad is the way--the one leading away unto/into the ruin/destruction/anihilation and many are the ones entering through it. How narrow/hard/constricting/exacting is the gate/door and compressed/squeezed/hard is the way--the way leading away unto/into life and few are the ones finding it." Look at what this is saying. Here Yeshua Jesus is actually putting the burden or work of becoming saved onto man for He says: "Enter ye through the narrow/hard/constricting/exacting gate/door..." He also says that "few are the ones finding" "the way leading away unto/into life"! Here He shows again that man has some responsibility for himself in becoming saved. And unlike the popular gospel message of today, Yeshua Jesus teaches that it is not the easy way (merely saying a prayer, believing or trusting), but indeed it is the difficlut way. This matches up with His teaching in Lk. 13:24 which says (NIV): "Make every effort [This is work!] to enter through the narrow door, because many, I [the Truth and the Word of God] tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." (Lk. 13:24, NIV). (This is not what I hear a lot of Christianity teaching.) See also Lk. 14:25-35 where Yeshua Jesus teaches for people to count the cost of becoming His disciple for not everyone will be able to complete what they started. And this why He taught man's work of perseverance (cf. Mt. 25:1-13; Rev. 2-3, etc.).
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   Mt. 7:15 (Lk. 14:34-35; parables of the sower; Mt. 25:1ff., etc.)
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   Mt. 7:17-19 says: "...every good tree is making/producing good fruit, but every bad/evil tree is making/producing bad/evil fruit. A good tree is not able to be making/producing bad/evil fruit; neither a bad tree to be making/producing bad/evil fruit. Every tree not making/producing good fruit is [will be] cut off and is thrown into the fire." First, this shows that salvation is very much about works. But, again, "works" in the ancient biblical mindset was not limited to great works such as missions, preaching, etc., but rather had to do with EVERYTHING that a person was doing and thinking and some of their feelings (e.g., uncontrolled jealousy, etc). NC Chrisitianity is as much an orthopraxy as was OC Judaism. But what does this mean that "A good tree is not able to be making/producing bad/evil fruit; neither a bad tree to be making/producing bad/evil fruit"? This means and shows that even though a person can be doing evil and good at the same time, if they are doing evil and living in sin when the Lord returns or calls them home, then even their good deeds will not be counted as good and they will be lost eternally! 
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   In Mt. 7:21-23 Yeshua Jesus is recorded to have said: "Not everyone saying to Me, 'Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler, Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler' will enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens, but/but_rather the one doing/producing/working the will of My Father in the Heavens. Many will say to Me in that Day: 'Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler, Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler, did we not prophesy in Your Name? And in Your Name cast out demons? And in Your Name do/produce/work many miracles/mighty_deeds?' And then I will confess to them that: 'I have never known youu--[("uu" showing plurality) This is not literally saying that Yeshua Jesus never knew them; this is a Hebrew idiom of rejection. See Job 8:18! See also Lk. 13:25-27 in 13:22-30! This is key in understanding this verse correctly.]--be departing from Me youu workers of lawlessness/lawless_deeds/illegal_deeds."! See also 7:24ff.! This shows that in order to be saved, one must not be doing evil, but must be doing the will of YHWH which is doing the works of following and obeying Yeshua Jesus! Does this mean that Shaul/Paul was teaching something different than Yeshua Jesus? No, see Acts 26:12-20! He was just teaching it in a very idiosyncratic and rabbinic way! (See "The Faith That Paul Taught / (Toward Understanding Paul).")
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   Mt. 7:24-27 brings up both translational and theological issues. It says: "Therefore everyone who is hearing/listening_to these words and does/is_doing/works/is_working them [The grammar here is the present indicative which does not distinguish whether the verb is continuous or not.], will be likened to a sensible/thoughtful/prudent/wise man who built his house upon the Rock/rock and the rain came down and the rivers came and the winds blew and struck against that house and it did not fall for it's foundation had been laid upon the Rock/rock. And everyone hearing/listening_to these words and not doing/working [This is a present active participle and present active participles by rule are continuous in action. This shows that the above "does/is_doing/works/is_working" should also be thought of as being continuous.] them will be likened to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand and the rain came down and the rivers came and the winds blew and it [all] struck against that house and it fell and it's fall was great!" Most translators do not bring across the continuous sense in these verses. Part of the reason for this may well be because many have the false view that salvation-obedience is a one-time thing (cf., "Call upon the Name of the Lord and you will be saved" which does not mean yell out God's Name, but is idiomatic for doing what one needs to do to become saved--accepting and enjoining God's covenant through Yeshua Jesus (see "God Loves You and Wants to Save You!"; "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant")), yet the Scriptures show (more clearly in the original languages) that salvation-obedience is a continuous thing (cf. such teachings as the parables of the sower (Mt. 13:1-9; 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15)). Yeshua Jesus' teaching here in Mt. 7:24-27 is saying that those who are doing/working Yeshua Jesus' commandments (cf. Mt. 28:18-20) are being saved spiritually and will be saved if they continue and are found to be doing/working His commandments when He returns or calls them home, while those who are not doing/working His commandments when He returns or calls them home ("Christian" or not) will be eternally lost (see "Preparing and Remaining Prepared! (Perseverance)" in "Some Important Things Being Missed!").
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   Mt. 8:5-13. Belief is fundamental, yet Yeshua Jesus' other teachings show that action and following Him are also required! Why does Yeshua Jesus then teach on belief it it is not all about belief? Because belief is where it all begins! It is the foundation (Mt. 16:15-18)! Few will truly follow Yeshua Jesus without first believing Him. To make salvation all about belief, is to cherry-pick and to reject the many teachings of Yeshua Jesus and His apostles and other followers who are teaching Hebraic covenant faithfulness. 
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   Mt. 9:13 brings up some interpretational and theological issues. This verse is in a section where the Pharisees are confronting Yeshua Jesus for "...eating with the tax collectors and sinners..." (Mt. 9:11). To begin, sometimes Christians misuse such teachings to excuse their continued partying with the lost while never bringing up the subject of God. This is not what Yeshua Jesus was doing. Yeshua Jesus was not condoning and sharing in the sinful deeds of the lost. No, He was lovingly confronting them and working to turn them and their hearts to God. But when the Pharisees confronted Yeshua Jesus, He told them "And youu [two u's showing plurality], after having departed/left, learn what is: 'Mercy I desire/am_desiring and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call righteous/right_doing_ones [or] ones_practicing/working_righteousness, but sinners."
   To begin, this is further proof of the rabbinic nature of Shaul/Paul's writings for he rabbinically uses a quote from the OC Scriptures in Rom. 3 that many now misuse to say that there is no such thing as a righteous person. To be sure, no one will ever be as righteous as Yeshua Jesus (or Father YHWH), but this is to overlook the Scriptures (such as Mt. 9:13) that show or state that some were being considered by God as being righteous (See Romans 3:18 in "Translation and Commentary" for some examples (to which Mt. 23:35 should be added)). And this basically means that they were doing a good job and pleasing God in their avoidance of doing the wrong things and in their working/practicing/doing the right things in God's eyes.
   Next, this verse shows that YHWH has always desired mercy for His followers and this shows that there certainly was grace under the Old Covenant (cf. question #34 in "Questions & Responses!").
   Further, the phrase "Mercy I desire/am_desiring and not sacrifice" is not literally saying that YHWH was not desiring sacrifice. This is, rather an example of ancient Hebraic hyperbole of comparison showing that God would much rather offer man mercy, if man would repent and follow Him, than for man to be bringing Him sacrifices (which can do more harm than good if may is not following Him; cf. Is. 1). And this brings up another issue: We can tell by this quote in the Greek, that Yeshua Jesus was quoting from the Greek translation of the Old Covenant Scriptures as the wording best matches up to the Greek translation of the Old Covenant Scriptures (the Septuagint or LXX). The Hebrew word that the LXX translated as "mercy" in this verse in Hos. 6:6 (חֶ֫סֶד ḥě∙sěḏ), is more often than not understood as "steadfast love," "loyal love" or "loyalty." This can be seen in many translations (God's Word: "I want your loyalty"; Good News Bible: "I want your constant love"; NET: "For I delight in faithfulness"). Yeshua Jesus gave all of us something to learn: that God longs to show mercy, He longs for sinners to repent (Lk. 15) so He can show them mercy, but also that He desires for man to be being faithful more than He is desiring their sacrifices (Hos. 6:6; cf. Is. 1; This can be seen in the times when ancient Israel was without its Temple or when the Israelites were taken captive and moved to other countries where it was not possible to offer the Temple sacrifices. See also Lk. 14:1-5.) And it is important to note that Yeshua Jesus did not change the fact of Hos. 6:6--that Father YHWH desires for man to be being faithful more than He is desiring their sacrifices, for He was telling the Pharisees, who were tithing on the smallest of things (Mt. 23:23) that they were lost (cf. Mt. 5:20) and that they were not following God in the more important things--"the correct/right_judgment/justice and mercy and faith/commitment/loyalty/fidelity/enjoining_covenant/keeping_covenant [or] being_faithful [or] faithfulness/faithing" (Mt. 23:23)!
   Here in Mt. 9:13 we see Father YHWH's and Yeshua Jesus' hearts--They are not desiring or seeking after the destruction of the lost but rather to be rescuing the lost from their otherwise coming destruction. This desire to rescue can be seen in Yeshua Jesus' teachings about seeking the lost in Lk. 15 and in such passages as the Great Commission in Mt. 28:18-20. Father YHWH is certainly a God of love (1 Jn. 4:8, 16), but He does require man to be striving for faithfulness and fighting against sin (See "Holiness"). His covenant is a covenant of love, but it is an ancient Hebraic covenant requiring faithfulness (See "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant"). As Ezek. 18:32 says: "For I do not take pleasure in the death of the one dying [who is dying spiritually!]," says Lord YHWH, "so (youu) turn_around/repent and live!"
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   In Mt. 9:18-25 there is a beautiful story of a woman desparately needing physical healing and who comes up to Yeshua Jesus in stealth and touches the "edge/hem/border/tassel/fringe/tzitzit" (κράσπεδον kráspedon) (9:20) of His clothing and was healed! In Mt. 9:22, Yeshua Jesus says to her (NIV): "...your faith has healed you." A few translators translate this phrase to the effect of: "...your faith has saved you..." (cf. NAB; Wuest; Young's Literal Translation). This may be an example of translation with a denominational agenda, even the KJV has: "...thy faith has made thee whole." The Greek word that is translated here as "saved" (σώζω sṓzō) can refer to being saved spiritually or being saved physically, as in healed. This word can and often does mean: save (from danger, destruction, loss), rescue, deliver, save from death, heal, cure, make whole, preserve, etc. The translation of "saved" here in Mt. 9:22 can serve to bolster the evangelical gospel and this may well be why some translate it this say. But this translation can be misleading for people who do not understand that the Greek word behind this can be referring to the spiritual or the physical. Some may think that this salvation here has to do with the spiritual when there is nothing in the context that supports any idea that the woman received spiritual salvation when she touched the Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler's garment. And actually this would work against the evangelical message because it is clear that she already believed and even trusted (that she would be healed), yet she was not "saved" until she made the effort to approach and touch the Lord/Master/Owner/Ruler's garment. No, the salvation being pointed out in this text has to do with the physical; it makes no mention of the spiritual condition or need of the woman, just of her physical need and her subsequent healing. She may or may not have been walking with God when she became physically healed. The texts really generally make no connection between the faith people had to be healed and their spiritual state. There was a time when a man needed not only healing but forgiveness of sins and Yeshua Jesus granted him this (Lk. 5:17-26), but notice that he was forgiven of his sins first and then healed, showing that these are two separate things. And there was another time when Yeshua Jesus told someone that their sins had been forgiven. This was when a sinful woman was anointing His feet ("How beautiful are the feet...!") and kissing His feet and wiping His feet with her hair (Lk. 7:36-50) and He told her (NIV) "Your sins are forgiven" (see also Lk. 19:1-10). Interestingly, He also tells this woman: "Your faith has saved you." (Lk. 7:50; the exact same phrase in the Greek). Yet here the context is about sin and forgiveness and so we see that here σώζω is referring here to spiritual salvation. We also see that this woman was not forgiven merely because she believed and trusted, but because she brought herself to Yeshua Jesus in obvious and flowing love and repentance. To be healed by Messiah/Meshiach/Christ in His earthly ministry it does appear that all one had to do was to believe that they could be healed (cf. Mt. 9:28) for the Scriptures state that Yeshua Jesus was healing every sickness and malady (Mt. 4:23, 24; 9:35), healing everyone (Lk. 4:40) who came to Him for healing. And there were people who were healed who may not have themselves even believed/trusted or even known about Yeshua Jesus, for there were people believing for other people besides themselves who were being healed (Lk. 5:17-26; Mk. 5:23) and people even raised from the dead (e.g., Mt. 9:18)! and we know that it does not work this way for salvation for responsible individuals (every responsible individual has their own choice to make). This shows that Yeshua Jesus' miracles did not require the receiver to be saved spiritually nor did it make them to be saved spiritually. It is the same way today! Many people are today healed physically by God (some through obvious miracles and some through not-so-obvious miracles--God is in control of everything, even healing! Thank You YHWH for healing!) and a number of them are not already saved spiritually. But this often brings them to the point of them wanting to become saved spiritually. A better and less confusing translation of Mt. 9:22 would be something to the effect of: "Your faith has healed_you/made_you_well." Physical healing and spiritual salvation can certainly both come together, but this is not always the case. Scriptures whose context is about healing should be translated as such and Scriptures whose context is about salvation should be translated as such. To be healed is one thing, to be saved is entirely another and there is no need to muddy up the water, especially for personal or denominational gain. Also, just as spiritual salvation requires two parts (see "God Loves You and Wants to Save You!" and "The Covenant Command of the New Covenant"), physical "salvation" often requires two parts--God's part and man's part--beginning with seeking God for healing. Everyone who came to Yeshua Jesus to be healed was healed, but He teaches that not everyone who comes to Him will be saved (e.g., Lk.23:24; Mt. 7:21-23; 24:36-25:46 and the parables of the sower: Mt. 13:1-9; 18-23; Mk. 4:1-20; Lk. 8:4-15). What does Yeshua Jesus say concerning salvation? For some of these things see: "God Loves You and Wants to Save You!" and "The Teachings of Yeshua Jesus / (& Check Your Translation!)" or "Toward the Reformation of Evangelicalism"; but especially try to be reading His words for yourself as they are the important things (See "Some Important Things Being Missed!"). Be preparing yourself (and your relatives and friends!) for the coming of the Lord!
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   Mt. 9:35. Yeshua Jesus was not teaching only believe or trust. See material in Jn. 3:16 and Mt. 4:17, etc., above.
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   Mt. 10:32-33--Salvation requires more than belief and even more than trusting. Mt. 10:32-33 teaches that those who are overtly denying Messiah Christ (either by words or actions--such as not living for Him) when He returns or when they depart this Earth, should not expect to be saved. I do not believe that this is necessarily referring to underground movements--at least as long as they are not overtly denying Messiah Christ. It may well be referring to those who are overtly and flippantly denying Him because they are too embarassed because of the "peer pressure" of this sinful world (Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26).  
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   (The following from our blog, concerning Mt. 12:40) My previous studies have led me to wonder if Yeshua Jesus wasn't really crucified on Thursday, giving three days and three nights. But there is a Scripture or two that makes it appear that the disciples waited to visit the tomb until after the Sabbath was over (e.g., Mt. 28:1; Lk. 23:56) and thus many have believed that there was only one Sabbath. But the Moadim, or Feast days, were also considered to be Sabbaths (Col. 2:17, "Sabbaths" is plural, showing that there was more than just the weekly Sabbath). It appears to me to be possible that there could have been two Sabbaths back to back, the Feast of Unleavened Bread being on Friday would fit--it was a Sabbath of no ordinary work (Lev. 23:7). If Yeshua Jesus was crucified on Thursday, and being placed in the tomb on Thursday, then Friday was the Feast of Unleavened Bread and then Saturday being the weekly Sabbath and then the disciples going to see Yeshua Jesus after the Sabbath does appear to fit the Greek well enough. But, some argue that the "day of preparation" was only referring to the weekly Sabbath. But, I don't know that there was not also a day of preparation for the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. They certainly had to prepare for it, I just do not know whether they called it this or not but at this time it appears to me that they could well have called the day of Passover (the 14th of Aviv) also the day of preparation for the Sabbath of the 1st day of Unleavened Bread (the 15th of Aviv). And it would appear that Thursday would have been the preparation day for also the Sabbath! Because if no regular work was to be done on Friday, then it would appear that the preparation day for Pesach, Chag Habikkurim and the Sabbath would have been on Thursday. (And Yeshua Jesus would have been in the tomb Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, Saturday, Saturday night, and part of Sunday (according to Jewish reckoning)--right at three days and three nights.)
   But there is also another possible solution. In studying the Triumphal Entry in Mt. 21 along with Mk 11, Lk. 19 and Jn. 12, it can be seen that Matthew is saying that there was both a donkey and the colt of this donkey being used by Yeshua Jesus. And while this could be true, Mark, Luke and John all record only the colt being used by Yeshua Jesus. It may well be that Matthew was using poetic license (or rabbinic method) to show the Old Covenant Scripture readers (namely the Jews) that Yeshua Jesus was the unquestioned and great fulfillment of the OC Messianic Scriptures. How else do we reconcile Matthew's account of Yeshua Jesus riding both of these animals, and both apparently at the same time, when Mark, Luke and John record only one? What many have seen from a long time ago, is that the Gospels are a bit more of 1st century Jewish theologies than they are a strict history. This is not to say that they are not true, but that in a very few places, some things were manipulated for effect. (Consider the original ending of Mark!)
   This brings us to Matthew's account of Yeshua Jesus saying that just as Yonah was in the belly of the fish/whale for three days and three nights, so He would be in the center of the Earth for three days and three nights (Mt. 12:40). Notice that Matthew is the only writer that shows this. I believe that all of the other accounts are concerning three days (e.g., "on the third day", with no mention of the number of nights). Thus it appears that while Yeshua Jesus did compare His being in Hades with Yonah's being in the belly of the fish/whale, we just may not be sure of Yeshua Jesus's exact words concerning this. Of course it could be that He said exactly what Matthew records here or it could be that He said something very similar (e.g., that He would be in the center of the Earth for three days, not mentioning the nights) or that He was just comparing the two saying that it would be LIKE that, but not necessarily EXACTLY like that. Notice that the Gospels do not always agree with themselves in the exact details and wording of things. This, of couse, does not mean that they are not reliable. As the word of God, they should be considered as correct, accurate, and reliable, yet there appear to be times when writer's may have used poetic license (or rabbinic method) for important theological reasons. If it is true that Yeshua Jesus was not in the tomb for exactly "three days and three nights," this could be one of the reasons why.
   This being said, some of the Scriptures say: "after three days" (e.g., Mk. 8:31). To many modern minds this would appear to best fit Matthew's account of "three days and three nights," and it might actually be; but in NT Greek usage, which was not always as strict as many would like to believe it is, this could be equivalent to "on the third day." According to A.T. Robertson, "In popular [Greek] language 'after three days' can and often does mean 'on the third day'..." (from Word Pictures in the New Testament, Mk. 8:31). The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Mark well states: "(In Mt. 27:63-64...the Jewish authorities appeal for the tomb to be guarded ἕως τῆς τρίτης ἡμέρας [until the third day] on the basis that Jesus had predicted his resurrection μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας [after three days] a surprising survival of the Marcan formula.) Mark’s phrase reflects Jewish usage, whereby ‘after three days’ would mean ‘the day after tomorrow’..."
   The above explanations currently appear to me to be the best possible explanations so far. As with many things, we may only learn the exact truth in the Millennium, or after our experience on this Earth is over.
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   Mt. 23:23 (see Mt. 9:13 material)
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   Mt. 25:1-13 teaches about not only being prepared, but staying prepared. In this passage there are 10 virgins who have prepared themselves for the coming of the Lord. Had the Lord not tarried, all of them would have been taken with Him. This parable, taught by Yeshua Jesus Himself, shows us that 5 of the virgins brought enough oil with them while 5 did not. And while Yeshua Jesus tarried, the oil for 5 of the virgins ran low and they had to go and find more oil.
   Some might ask why Yeshua Jesus didn't teach the 5 wise virgins to share with the 5 foolish virgins, but in this parable, the oil represents being prepared and the 5 wise virgins were wise not to give away their preparedness.
   This is another teaching that shows that there is much more to salvation than merely believing or believing/trusting. No, just as Yeshua Jesus taught elsewhere, it is those who are watching and being prepared and ready who will be saved!
   Some will try to point out that the five foolish virgins were not really saved, but this is not true. Had Yeshua Jesus not tarried, they all would have been taken. Then why does the Scripture say that He did not know them? This is an Hebraic idiom of rejection as seen by Job 8:18! (See also Mt. 7:21-23 in "The Teachings of Yeshua Jesus! / (and Check Your Translation!)!" (Other Scripture teaching to always be prepared include: Mt. 24 and Scriptures in Revelation (This topic is a great study in itself!))
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    See also Lk. 13:22-30! Luke 13:22-23 (NIV): “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?’ He said to them,”...[Luke 13:24 from the Greek,] ”Be fighting/struggling/making_every_effort [this is continuous in the Greek (present active imperative is continuous), it is not a one-time thing, and it is certainly work!] to enter through the narrow/constricting/exacting door, because many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be strong_enough/powerful_enough/capable/able.
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   Lk. 19:11-27 is more evidence against the theory that God's love is unconditional. Actually it teaches the importance of works, faithfulness and that those who are not following Yeshua Jesus closely enough when He returns, will be destroyed!
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   Lk. 24:47 shows that salvation is not only about belief or even "trusting," but living in obedience to God. In this verse Yeshua Jesus is teaching what is to be proclaimed throughout the world in His Name: "...repentance unto forgiveness of sins..." This is saying that salvation is through repentance! And this fits with His message of "Repent! for the Kingdom of the Heavens has come near!" (Mt. 4:17). See "Some Important Things Being Missed!"
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   Jn. 10:1-5. Think that Yeshua Jesus is not the center of Christianity? Remember that it was Yeshua Jesus who said as recorded in Mt. 28:18-20 that all authority had been given to Him and that it was His teachings (instructions/commands) that were to be taught to all His disciples. Notice that He taught in John 10:1-5 that He was the Shepherd and that no other man (or spirit! other than Father YHWH and the Ruach HaKodesh of course) is the Shepherd. He also said that His sheep know His voice and that they follow Him and even that (NIV) "they will run away from him [the stranger] because they do not recognize a stranger's voice" (Jn. 10:5). Those who are teaching something that disagrees with Yeshua Jesus' teachings are teaching falsity (some are false prophets, some are just mistaken in their understandings). Yeshua Jesus is the Center and it is His voice and teachings that must be kept at the center.
   (Shaul/Paul's writings contain difficult things (2 Pet. 3:14-18) such as much rabbinic polemic. All teachings, even from the rest of the Scriptures must be filtered and interpreted through the teachings of Yeshua Jesus and not the other way around. Yeshua Jesus and His teachings are the central core of Christianity. Statements such as: "...through faith, not by works..." (which is rabbinic polemic against the Law of Moses being a requirement under the New Covenant--see "The Faith That Paul Taught / (Toward Understanding Paul)") are being greatly misunderstood--in a way that conflicts with the teachings of Yeshua Jesus and as such are wrong. Much of the Protestant Church has been interpreting Yeshua Jesus' teachings from the standpoint of their understandings of the teachings of Shaul/Paul, but this is backwards and the fruits of it (many souls being lost because they believe that they can remain in sin and be saved; a Church that lives like the world and fights against holiness, etc.; a dead and dying Church; countless Protestant denominations). Do not be fooled: Yeshua Jesus is the Center of Christianity.)

    MANY DON'T UNDERSTAND THEIR BIBLES (But of course this does not mean that we do not love them!) - WILL YOUR THEOLOGY STAND UP TO THE CHALLENGE? WILL YOUR THEOLOGY PASS THE TEST? THIS IS NOT A CONDEMNATION OF THOSE WHOSE DOCTRINES ARE IN OPPOSITION TO THIS WEBSITE, BUT IT IS A CHALLENGE!!! PROVE US WRONG OR CHANGE TO THE TRUTH. IF YOU CANNOT PROVE US WRONG THEN CHANGE TO THE TRUTH. TELL YOUR LEADERS ABOUT US! WHEN YOU ARE STANDING BEFORE YOUR GOD HE WILL ASK YOU WHY YOU WERE NOT FOLLOWING WHAT YOU KNEW TO BE TRUE BUT WERE SUPPORTING THOSE WHO WERE PREACHING AND TEACHING OTHERWISE. DO YOU OR DO YOU NOT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO DO THE RIGHT THING? IF YOU AND YOUR LEADERS CANNOT PROVE US WRONG, THEN THIS IS A GREAT SIGN THAT WE ARE NOT WRONG AND THAT YOUR LEADERS--THE ONES YOU ARE SUPPORTING (WHETHER ACTIVELY OR TACITLY), ARE. TELL YOUR LEADERS TO PROVE US WRONG. IF THEY BRUSH THIS OFF, IT MEANS THAT THEY CANNOT PROVE THAT WE ARE WRONG AND IT SHOWS THAT THEY ARE AND THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. WHO AND WHAT ARE YOU SUPPORTING? YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBILE FOR WHAT YOU ARE ACTIVELY SUPPORTING AND WHAT YOU ARE TACITLY SUPPORTING BY YOUR SILENT PRESENCE. WHY? BECAUSE WE ARE LOSING BROTHERS AND SISTERS SPIRITUALLY! ARE YOU GOD'S MAN/WOMAN? CONSIDER THIS THE 95 THESES PLACED UPON THE DOORS OF THE POPULAR CHURCH.

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   [To be continued] 

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