So what’s in ‘Whole Bible Christianity’ for you?
Freedom. Identity. Touching God. Fruit of the Spirit. Peace. Freedom will come when you realize that all of the Word is yours. God’s Word in your life will set boundaries which promote safety and security, while acting also as defenses against those who would make you give up His blessings. If you want to rest on Saturday as God commanded, you can do it and no one using church tradition or philosophies of men can take it from you. This is the true meaning of Colossians 2:16.
Your identity as a child in God’s household will be plain and rock solid, whether you go to a church or not. No one will be able to tell you that if you don’t go to church, or their church, you are not in the body of Christ. If you can’t attend, because they won’t let you due to your insistence on following the Word, or because of their hypocrisy, you can still enjoy intimacy with your Father and Messiah. Every time you choose not to eat pork or shellfish, you reinforce your identity as His son or daughter. Your identity is not tied up in a church or in Judaism, but in Him.
As you weave each of His commands into the fabric of your life the threads of intimacy between you and your Father will be many and real and ever stronger. Touching God, and God touching you, will be a daily occurrence. Fruit of the Spirit follows a whole Bible way of life, naturally popping out all over, because His Word resides in your new heart of flesh. The proof is in your pursuit of His ways. The end result of all this will be the peace of the presence of God. He is where His Word is; where people are worshiping Him in Spirit and truth.
More from the book ‘Whole Bible Christianity’
The Messianic movement began within Judaism as a group of Jews who had realized that the long-awaited Messiah was in fact Jesus (people like Peter, James, and Paul). In a way, most practicing Jews have always been ‘messianic’ in that they look for God’s Messiah. The Messianic movement really goes back to the beginning with whoever trusted God and His Promise. But the modern Messianic movement accepts Jesus as the Messiah, and maintains Jewish heritage and practice (sort of).
There are factions within this group just as there are in Judaism. It had grown a lot since the ‘70’s, but seems to be shrinking in the last few years. This might be due to an emphasis on Jewish traditions and trying to be as ‘Jewish’ as possible. But it’s clear to me, in view of the large number of non-practicing Jews, that even Jews are not all that interested in Judaism, messianic or otherwise.
The Messianic movement had such great potential. Through some of the individuals and a couple of good organizations such as First Fruits of Zion, I learned much about the unity of God and the Word. Messianics had a chance to unite everyone in a type of whole Bible belief, but like the Pharisees in Judaism they traded it for bickering and chasing unbiblical doctrine for the sake of power and influence.
Instead of a return to the Bible as one faith and one law that applies to everyone, now they’ve got a race to see who can be more Jewish orthodox and hand out “divine invitations.” Instead of one God, many deny the deity of Jesus. Instead of one Body they’ve got two houses. It’s a mess, and they’ve drifted away from where they had such a bright future in terms of bringing back believers to the whole Bible. Idiots. And I say that in the best way possible, because I still like a bunch of them.
From the book ‘Whole Bible Christianity’
A whole-Bible Christian holds a special place for the Jewish people in his or her heart. We bless the Jews in every way we can, from prayers to pocketbooks, because God asks us to bless them (Genesis 12:3). In fact, it is my firm belief that people who love Israel, and the Jewish people, love God. People who hate Israel hate God. The Satan hates Israel and keeps trying to destroy them because they are the physical representation of God’s kingdom on earth. The Satan’s people hate Israel just like the Satan does. So one of the ways we can tell believers from unbelievers is by the love, or hatred, of Israel…
Judaism, on the other hand, is a different subject than Israel or the Jewish people. Judaism is the collection of religious practice and tradition that Jewish people have gathered over a long history. It comes from rabbis, and its main point is to preserve Jewish identity.
Judaism includes the ‘oral law’ in two different versions, both called Talmud (to learn). Both versions are merely collections of rabbinical rulings and teachings. The oral law was likely included in the term “whole law” spoken of in the New Testament. Much of the struggle with the law in the NT was over customs and traditions rather than with God’s Word. It was definitely a big sore spot between Jesus and leaders of Judaism (Matthew 15:2-6; Mark 7:5-9)…
…There is a tendency in some circles to think that being Jewish or practicing Judaism is the same as following God. The idea seems to be that a Jewish person, or a person who practices Judaism(s), is either automatically doing what God requires or is somehow practicing biblical faith in a way superior to non-Jewish people or practices. This comes from thinking that Jews have historically followed God. Therefore, they must have a sort of ‘inside track’ that should be followed if we want to practice what we preach.
Sadly, the Scriptures tell a different story. In the pages of God’s Word, Judaism is generally known for stiff-necked, belligerent and hard-hearted idolatry (see for instance Nehemiah 9). Many Jews willfully disobey the spirit of the Law while looking at times like they follow every letter. Happily for us, there is also a remnant of Jewish people, such as the writers of the Word and people like Jesus or Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea, who really do follow their (our) God…
From the book ‘Whole Bible Christianity’
The letter from Paul to the assemblies of Galatia is right up there with difficult things that the untaught and unstable distort (2 Peter 3:16). Most of the time, this book is presented as a teaching against God’s Laws. But when we get into the book, and read carefully, we find that Paul is not telling us to ignore God’s Word, especially the Law. What he is doing is contrasting merit with grace through faith. The key verse says it all.
4You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4 NASB95)
Some of the Galatians were seeking to be justified by their own actions (or doing what was right in their own eyes), when they were already justified through the blood of the Lamb. Trading on one’s own merit renders the sacrifice of the Christ useless. Merit is the idea that we have earned something, like wages for work. Some try to trade their (perceived) merit for eternal life. This is a mistake because it’s just not worth it to God. If we can be justified on our own merit by circumcising a little piece of skin, then we should just go the whole way and cut it all off. Then we will be really, really justified!
In other words, Paul is saying that following Laws (especially circumcision, meaning to become a Jew) is not the way to gain a place in God’s kingdom. It is only by grace through faith that anybody – Jew or Gentile, circumcised or not – has a place at all. The Law is for living after salvation, not the means to get it.
From the book ‘Whole Bible Christianity’
One of the first knee-jerk responses a whole Bible Christian will get when sharing these opinions with a group of standard Christians is, “We don’t have to follow the Law. It’s not a salvation issue.” My response is, “So let me get this straight. God is born into a human body, suffers in all ways as we do for around 30 years, dodges people trying to kill Him when He’s only a couple years old, gets to preaching about repentance and love only to be arrested on trumped up charges and executed in the most horrible, torturous fashion available at the time even though He was completely blameless. My question is did He have to?”
No, Jesus didn’t “have to” do those things. He did it because He loved us. If it could’ve been done any other way He’d of done it that way. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.” Whole Bible Christians echo our Messiah and say, “Not as I will, but as you will.” In all things. He loved us so much He left His glory in heaven shared with the Father and submitted to some miserable things in life. But He did it willingly, because of His gracious love.
Now, all you spiritual rocket scientists tell me again how “we don’t have to” copy our Messiah and do as our loving and gracious heavenly Father instructs. The Law is not a “salvation issue?” It’s not a tiny way to return the love our Father and Messiah lavish on us? Are you kidding me?
From the book ‘Whole Bible Christianity.’
There is no church in the Bible. Yep, I know, I’m going to get some heat for this, but it’s true. Not a single one of the denominations, organizations, or clubs, Catholic or Protestant, that exist now, are mentioned anywhere. Every group calling itself a ‘church’ (or synagogue) uses the name trying to get biblical recognition and authority. The truth is that any group of people doing what God says is part of His One Body. Those who don’t are not.
It’s important to get your mind around this idea, because many churches (and synagogues) have usurped God’s authority, and have led people down a primrose path to a destination different than what He wants. Most churches are not living the new covenant, though they represent themselves as if they are. Some good has been done in the churches, but the main claim to fame for most churches is making more churches. “We’re important because there are a lot of us” seems to be the sentiment. Understand, I am not speaking of the many individuals who manage to find and teach God, who behave in many ways as He would want. But when people get together in a group, frequently the focus changes from the Bible to “the church.” We have to decide – are we going to defend our club, or cling to God?
From the book manuscript presently titled ‘Whole Bible Christianity.’
Like the New Covenant, most ‘New Testament’ or part-Bible Christians cannot tell you what the gospel is either. We tend to think of it as a feel-good message about Jesus being our buddy and saving us from bad stuff. Then He allows us to do whatever we want.
The gospel, which means ‘good news,’ however, might really make us feel good, and it should, but the message is not about feelings. It is about ‘God with us,’ which is the meaning of one of the names of Jesus (Immanuel, Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23).
Did you know that the gospel was preached to Israel at Mount Sinai by God through Moses? So says the writer of Hebrews.
2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. (Hebrews 4:2 NASB95)
Stephen calls the group at Sinai the “congregation in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38) and that they received “living oracles” to pass on to their kids. These living oracles were none other than the Law. So this is another way of saying the gospel was preached to the church at Mount Sinai.
Here’s a riddle for you. Why is the Law called ‘the gospel’ in Hebrews 4:2?