Month 4:19, Week 3:4 (Revee/Shavu'ot), Year 5935:104 AM|
Omer Count Day 41/50
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 20 July 2011
That Utmost Priority
Continued in Part 2
I recently got into a debate with a very intelligent, knowledgeable and sincere young man who regarded our Protestant Bible Canon as just one of many 'expressions' of the truth faith. He was convinced that Yah'shua (Jesus) was 'big' and 'loving' enough to accept all cultures and religions, and even people who had no religion at all. He accordingfly did not hesitate to use the names of other deities in his worship. He was right about so many different things but so terribly wrong in this.
"Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy (Set-Apart) Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus). All Scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim (God), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of Elohim (God) may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim.3:13-17, NKJV).
Of course, Yah'shua (Jesus) does indeed love all people from every culture and religion, and even those with no religion at all. He loves everyone. But that doesn't mean that He loves them all in the same way. Which Scriptures did Yah'shua (Jesus) accept as authoritative? And which Scriptures did Paul accept as authoritative? The apostle directs Timothy to them - those given by "inspiration" (revelation - Ruach-breached), that make souls "wise for salvation", that are "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness", for the purpose of making true believers "complete" (perfect) and "equipped for every good work". What is this body of Sctipture known as? The Tanakh or 'Old' Testament, established by the Council of Jamnia.
Remember the 'New Testament' did not exist at the time of the composition of 'New Testament' gospels and letters - the only canon (authorised body of holy writing) known to the first believers was the Tanakh or Old Testament. The Bible as we know it did not come into existence until two centuries later at the Council of Carthage in 300 AD. This is something most Evangelical Christians are entirely ignorant of. For Paul and the other leaders of the first generation Messianic Community (New Testament Church), the Tanakh or Old Testament was the complete set of Scriptures, and in their generation they had absolutely no intention of adding to them. This was the standard of Divine Emet (Truth), it revealed Divine Tavnith (Pattern) and it was the body of holy writing exclusively underscored by Yahweh by Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). He emphasised the importance of every single letter of it:
Yod was the smalled Hebrew letter and a nekudah was a point mark, a bit like punctuation. Thus we are to attend to the minutest details of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and not devalue or ignore it as so many Christians do.
"For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one yod (jot) or one nekudah (tittle) will by no means pass from the Torah (Law/Teaching) till all is fulfilled (completed)" (Matt.5:18, NKJV).
The B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) is, of course, vitally important too, as it is a development and continuation of the Tanakh (Old Testament). It too is Torah, bringing that which came before to further completion as well as fulfilling so many prophecies in the former. Without the Tanakh (Old Testament), the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) cannot be properly understood or lived out; and without the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament), the Tanakh (Old Testament) is only part of the story and an incomplete redemption. Doubless more Scripture is to come when Yah'shua (Jesus) returns - possibly even libraries of it - for though the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) fulfilled four of the seven annual festivals or moedim, the last three remain unfulfilled and unwritten about. I do believe that in the Millennium we will have a Third Testament that tells of the time between the apostles, of Yah'shua's return, and of things yet to come!
Therefore when confronted with those who claim to be following any kind of religion that does not harmonise with the Tanakh (Old Testament) and yet who claim to be followers of Yah'shua (Jesus), we must remind them of what Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself considered to be the authoritative Word of Elohim (God). It all begins with the Tanakh (Old Testament). We must base all foundational first level Emet (Truth) on it, and then build on that with the second level Emet (Truth) which is the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament). There is no safety from deception by "evil men and imposters" which has, as Paul prophesied, just got "worse and worse", if we do not do this.
This ministry stands uncompromisingly and unswervingly on the Protestant Canon of the Bible for it is the only safety for those who wish to remain squarely on the Way to a full salvation. And though there is, without a doubt, other Scripture which can legitimately lay claim to being inspired and meritorious of canonisation, Yahweh has providentially supplied us with this almost universally accepted canon amongst believers which serves as an anchor and a point of unity. It is what historically He has clearly intended us to unite around. Let us do so!
 The Old Testament: Is It Necessary Any More?