WHAT IS A “WHOLE BIBLE” MINISTRY?

Welcome to Following Messiah, a Whole Bible Ministry!  It is interesting to see the expressions when I tell people that as a ministry, we believe that the WHOLE BIBLE is for all people today.  The surprise may be due to the fact that they’ve never heard the term “WHOLE BIBLE” before or it may contradict some things they’ve been taught about Christianity, or the feasibility of embracing and living the WHOLE BIBLE today, but with more and more Christians leaving the belief in much of the Bible, I believe a WHOLE BIBLE MOVEMENT is more important than ever before.

WHAT IS “WHOLE BIBLE” MINISTRY?

Very simply, we are a ministry that believes that ALL of the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to the very last verse of Revelation, Revelation 22:21, is for all people for all time.  That, of course, includes all people today, whether they happen to be a Jew or a non-Jew.  We DO NOT believe or support the teaching that the Old Testament was given to the Jews and the New Testament is for everyone, since the Bible itself refutes that claim.

WHAT ABOUT GOD’S LAWS AND COMMANDMENTS?

Should Christians keep them?  Well, should we place our faith in Christ (Messiah)?  “Yes, of course,” most Christians would say.  If I ask them, “Why?”  Their response most often is “Because the Bible says we should.”  Well, the reason for keeping God’s law and commandments is the same.  It’s in the Bible.  But does that mean that we are “justified by the keeping of the commandments?” or that we can “earn” our salvation?  No, absolutely not.  Paul is quite clear that “we are saved by grace, through faith.”  But here’s the thing that most Christians don’t consider, which was that the purpose of God’s law was NEVER to justify anyone.  It didn’t do it when God gave it at Mt. Sinai, and it doesn’t do it today.

God’s laws and commandments actually serve many different purposes, not just those discussed by Paul in the book of Romans.   Paul was arguing against a misuse and misunderstanding of the law which was being taught during his time, but if you look for this same perception and use in the Old Testament, you won’t find it ANYWHERE in its pages at all.  It is absolutely NOT there.  This means that this attitude and belief did not come from God, nor was it part of the original attitude and belief of those who lived in the Old Testament, but it was an attitude and belief that developed during the time period between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Therefore, to understand a proper perspective and understanding of God’s law and commandments, we need to understand it within the writings of the Old Testament FIRST, and then go and look at the situation in the New Testament.  What changed?  Why did it change?  And how does the teachings of the commandments in the New Testament differ and/or line up with what we see taught and practiced in the Old Testament?  These are questions that are never really addressed by the majority of Christians or churches due to their erroneous interpretation and understanding of Paul’s writings.  We need to teach people how to read the Bible in the right order (Old Testament than New), NOT backwards, which is how Christians end up with these erroneous views.

If we look at the law as an expression of God and His KINGDOM, there’s no problem with  it at all.  The problem comes when we view the law through the perspective or lens of RELIGION, and then comes the problem.  Paul was arguing against a RELIGIOUS view and use of the law, NOT a KINGDOM view and use of it.  But since the 3-4th century, A.D., Christianity has identified and viewed itself as a RELIGION, rather than as part of God’s KINGDOM, and that too has complicated the issue.

HIGHLIGHTING SOME OF THE INCONSISTENCIES

Therefore, as God’s KINGDOM people, we need to base our beliefs and doctrines on the WHOLE WORD OF GOD, not just the New Testament.  For example, in Exodus 19, God tells Moses,

Lo, I come unto you in a thick cloud, that [all] the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you FOREVER.  And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.  (Exodus 19:9; Emphasis Mine)

When does “FOREVER” end?  Or how about the fact that God says 45 times throughout the giving of His laws and commandments that these teachings are FOREVER? For example, Exodus 12: 14, in talking about Passover, God says,

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance FOREVER.  (Emphasis Mine)

Are we keeping it as God commanded?  If not, then why not? Or how about the other feasts that God gave to us?  How can those are “Jewish feasts,” when God says in Leviticus 23,

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning THE FEASTS OF THE LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy assemblies, even these are MY FEASTS….These are THE FEASTS OF THE LORD, even holy assemblies, which you shall proclaim in their season.  (Leviticus 23:2, 4)

“See,” some will say, “God gave them to Israel,” but Israel consisted of both the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as the “mixed multitude” (non-Jews) that came out with them.  So how could the law, including the Sabbath and feasts, be only for the Jewish people when there were non-Jews standing there with them too?

Or how about Psalm 119, “FOREVER, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven” (119:89).  In looking at the synonyms used throughout this acrostic poem, it’s easy to demonstrate that the “word” being referred to here is God’s law and commandments.  So how can we say we believe ALL of Scripture, and then turn around and then say that God’s law ended at the cross?  Did God lie?  Was He short-sighted?  Did He not know about the cross or what would happen as a result?  Obviously, we can see the problem in believing traditional Christian doctrine about God’s laws and commandments when we consider God’s own word regarding them.

Jesus Himself said that “until Heaven and Earth passed away, not the smallest letter (a jot or yodh) or the smallest stroke of a pen (tittle) would in NO WISE BE DELETED from the law until ALL things had come to pass” (Matthew 5:18).  Has all things come to pass yet?  NO, they haven’t.  There are 800 Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, Jesus fulfilled 300 of those 800 prophecies in His first coming, the rest He will fulfill in His second coming and in His Millennial reign here on earth.  So on what basis, do we think we have the right to DELETE ANYTHING, regardless of how small or insignificant we think that it is, from God’s Word?

Not only does Jesus make this statement, but He connects His own teachings to those of Moses:

For had you believed Moses, you would believe Me: for he wrote of Me.  But if you believe NOT his writings, how shall you believe My words?  (John 5:46-47)

Jesus is not saying that Moses wrote about only His first coming and His death, as I’ve often heard, but about His current ministry in heaven, as well as His future return.  Some may try to discredit this by saying that this teaching was BEFORE the cross.  Well, then, let’s look to something that is well AFTER the cross.  In Revelation 15, we read,

And they sing THE SONG OF MOSES the servant of God, AND THE SONG OF THE LAMB, saying, Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways, You King of saints, who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You only are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before You; for Your judgements are made manifest.  (Revelation 15:3-4)

This scene is in heaven in the future – well AFTER the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Christ (Messiah) – and what two parts of the SAME SONG, NOT two different songs, are being combined?  THE SONG OF MOSES AND THE SONG OF THE LAMB.  This song is NOT being sung to Jesus, as I’ve heard erroneously taught, no more than the SONG OF MOSES is being sung to Moses.  But the words of songs sung by Moses and Jesus have been combined and are being sung by ALL THOSE BELIEVERS, Jew and non-Jew alike, who have been victorious over the Beast during the tribulation period by dying as martyrs for their faith in Christ (Messiah).  Therefore, if Jesus combined His own teachings with those of Moses, and those in heaven are going to combine the words of Jesus and Moses, then on what basis do we then have the right to separate the two?

THE FOUNDATION OF OUR BELIEF

Our belief in WHOLE BIBLE, therefore, is NOT based on only one passage of Scripture, but on the repetition of ideas we see taught throughout the Bible.  For example, Psalm 119:44, “So shall I keep Your law continually FOREVER AND EVER” (Emphasis Mine), or in the same chapter, verse 111, “Your testimonies have I taken as a heritage FOREVER: for they are the rejoicing of my heart,” or even verse 160, “Your word is true from the beginning: and EVERY ONE of Your righteous judgments endures FOREVER” (Emphasis Mine).

Also, how about Ezekiel 3, where God instructs Ezekiel to eat the whole scroll that He was giving to him, so that He could go and minister to the house of Israel (Ezekiel 3:1-3).  Are we eating all of the scroll, or we only taking bits and pieces of it from here and there?  In verse 3, God says,

Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels (insides) with this roll that I give you.  Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

Notice it was only after it was all eaten and filled his insides that it was sweet as honey in his mouth.  But since many do not “eat it all,” this may explain why they do not view it as “sweetness” in their mouth.

And then, in the New Testament, one verse we use for the “WHOLE BIBLE” concept is 2 Timothy 3:16-17,

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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (Emphasis Mine)

There are several points that I would like to point out here:

  • The word translated as “All” is the Greek word pos, and it means “Each, Every, or All.”  Consequently, it does not mean “All” in simply a “general sense,” but it literally means “Each Scripture” or “Every Scripture” found within the Bible.
  • All Scripture is “GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD.”  This phrase is the English translation of a Greek compound word, which literally means “God-breathed.”  “All, Each, or Every Scripture” is “God-breathed.”  It has been breathed out and spoken by God Himself, and it is “enspirited” by Him.
  • ALL SCRIPTURE IS PROFITABLE…”  According to the Apostle Paul, there are four ways in which “All Scripture is profitable”:
    • It is profitable “FOR DOCTRINE”:
    • It is profitable “FOR REPROOF”:
    • It is profitable “FOR CORRECTION”:
    • It is profitable “FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS”:
  • SO THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.”

WHOLE BIBLE APPROACH

And just like we believe that all of the Bible is for everyone today, we also believe that we should search the WHOLE BIBLE, both Old and New Testaments, when examining various issues and beliefs.  We should not relegate our search to only the New Testament.

 

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The whole Bible for the whole person for all time.

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