Welcome to Following Messiah, a Whole Bible Ministry!
As I stated in “What is ‘Whole Bible’?” , as a ministry, we believe that ALL the Bible is for all people today, regardless of your race, nationality, sex, age, or background. We do not believe that any part of the Bible has been “done away with,” “annulled,” or “set aside.” God gave His Word for all people for all time.
It is interesting to see the expressions of people when I tell them 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 be that it contradicts 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.
WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN A DIVIDED BOOK OR A DIVIDED PEOPLE
As a ministry, we DO NOT believe or support any teaching that says that God has given to us a divided book, i.e., the Hebrew Scriptures (aka, the “Old Testament”) was given to the Jews and the New Testament is for everyone, since the Bible itself refutes that claim, nor do we believe or support the idea that God has a divided people since this also violates the clear teaching of Scripture. In the book of Isaiah, God gives the following prohibition:
Neither let the son of the stranger (Gentile; non-Jew), that has joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD has utterly separated me from his people:…. (Isaiah 56:3).
God prohibits us as Gentile (non-Jewish) believers in Him from saying that God would ever separate us from His people Israel. And yet, is this what Christians teach – that God has two separate people: Israel and the Church? Why would God prohibit something, and then violate His own prohibition? But not only does God prohibit this, but He even offers a special blessing for Gentiles (non-Jews) who embrace His covenant:
Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keeps the sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer:
Their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The LORD God which gathers the outcasts of Israel says, Yet will I gather OTHERS to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. (Isaiah 56:6-8)
One must wonder about the logic of offering us this special blessing, if we join ourselves to Him, serve Him, and love Him, and keep the Sabbath and “take hold of [His] covenant,” if He was planning to do away with the Sabbath and His covenant anyway? Instead, Scripture demonstrates that God did not do away with any part of it, but instead, Christians have traditionally misinterpreted Paul and his writings, because they have ignored his confession of faith and taken him out of his appropriate contexts.
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 or realize, which is 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 Tanakh (“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 period of the Tanakh (“Old Testament”), but it was an attitude and belief that developed during the time period between the Tanakh 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 Tanakh (“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 Tanakh (“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 (Tanakh/Old Testament and then the New Testament), NOT backwards, which is how Christians end up with these erroneous views.
If we look at the Torah (trans. “law”) as an expression of God and His KINGDOM, there’s no problem with it at all. The problem comes when we view the Torah (“law”) through the perspective or lens of RELIGION, and then comes the problem. Paul was arguing against a RELIGIOUS view and use of the Torah (“law”), NOT a KINGDOM view and use of it. But since the 3rd-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 they be “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 Torah (“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 Tanakh/Old Testament, and Jesus fulfilled 300 of those 800 prophecies in His first coming, and 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 Yeshua (Jesus) make this statement, but He connects His own teachings to those of Moses, as I pointed out in the previous teaching:
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)
Yeshua (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 and coming reign. 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 Messiah (Christ) – and in this passage, we are told about two parts of a song that are combined to formulate ONE SONG – NOT two different songs, as I’ve heard people say: “THE SONG OF MOSES” AND “THE SONG OF THE LAMB.”
This song is NOT being sung to Yeshua (Jesus), as I’ve often heard erroneously taught, no more than the SONG OF MOSES is being sung to Moses. But the words of the songs sung by Moses and Yeshua (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 the Messiah (Christ). Therefore, if Yeshua (Jesus) combined His own teachings with those of Moses, and those in heaven are going to combine the words of Yeshua (Jesus) and Moses, then on what basis do we have the right to separate the two?
THE FOUNDATION OF OUR BELIEF
Our belief in the 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 gives 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 pas, 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 has been “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 the Tanakh (“Old Testaments”) and New Testaments, when examining various issues and beliefs. We should not relegate our search to only the New Testament.
If you have any questions or comments about us or our Whole Bible view, please feel free to comment on any of our teachings.