Where I Take My Stand…

Whole Testament Basics

By Brother R. Michel Lankford

 

In light of recent debates happening among believers, I feel obliged to outline some basic beliefs which I hold dear, and also point out where in Scripture these beliefs are found. Normally, I do not wish to engage in useless debates. We may disagree on different aspects of HOW to observe the Biblical Feasts of YHWH. We may disagree on the exact way to pronounce the Heavenly Father’s Holy Name. We may disagree on exactly HOW to observe or HOW to obey a Commandment; such as what is permissible to do on the Sabbath. We must NOT deny the necessity to Sabbath, but we need not argue about exactly HOW to keep the Sabbath, (Romans 14:1; Titus 3:9-11).

Such things as these need not necessarily divide fellowship between believers themselves, but other things become undeniable elements of the faith which will determine whether or not fellowship is possible. What follows in this document are the things which I consider to be the UNDENIABLE necessities of the faith, which are required in order for believers to walk in faith together, (Amos 3:3).
I have seen many teachers in modern Christendom who twist and pervert the Scriptures in such a way as to teach that if people obey Biblical Commandments; that this, supposedly seeking to obey a Biblical Commandment allegedly means that a person is no longer under the grace of the SAME God who gave the Commandment in the first place. What insanity! On the other hand, I have also seen believers in the Torah who seek to turn people away from the very Messiah that YHWH has sent. BOTH of these groups are heretical. I want to make this clear so that there is no doubt or ambiguity about what I believe… I seek to be a saint who truly perseveres to the end, (Matthew 24:12-13; Revelation 14:12).

As YHWH would give me His True Grace, I intend to be a saint who keeps the Commandments of YHWH, and who also holds firmly to the testimony of (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus), the Messiah. Anything less, is disastrous.

 

I believe that (יהוה YAHWEH) is the ONE, the ONLY TRUE, “God,” and the Creator and the Master of the Universe. He created all things seen and unseen by the Words of His Mouth. I believe that there is NO other True or legitimate, “God,” other than, (יהוה YAHWEH) the Almighty, (Isaiah 45:5-6; Isaiah 46:9; Nehemiah 9:6).

 

I believe that the way to truly live is by every Word that proceeds out of the Mouth of (יהוה YAHWEH) the Almighty, (Deuteronomy 8:2-3; Matthew 4:4).

 

I believe that (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) of Nazareth, described in the so-called, “New Testament,” is in fact and in truth the Messiah and the Christ prophesied in the “Old Testament,” Scriptures. I believe that He is the seed of the woman described in Genesis 3:15. I believe that He is the Messiah who was cut off and slain for the iniquity of us all, (Daniel 9:26; Isaiah 53:1-12).

 

I believe that (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) of Nazareth, described in the so-called, “New Testament,” is in fact the Prophet that is promised in (Deuteronomy 18:18-19). I believe that all so-called believers in YHWH and the Messiah will be obligated to listen to and obey the Words that YHWH Almighty placed in (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) mouth, or they will give an account for it to (יהוה YAHWEH) on the Day of Judgment.

 

I believe that (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) of Nazareth, IS the Word of (יהוה YAHWEH) Made Flesh. He was and is the Living, physical EMBODIMENT of the very Word of (יהוה YAHWEH. (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus); the Living Word of (יהוה YAHWEH), became flesh, and made His Tabernacle, (His Temporary Dwelling), among us, (John 1:1-14). I believe that (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) is and was ONE with (יהוה YAHWEH) since the very beginning.

 

I believe that the FULLNESS of the Deity of (יהוה YAHWEH) did physically dwell and abide in (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah BODILY, (Colossians 2:8-9). I believe that to reject this is DANGEROUSLY close to fully rejecting the Messiah, and having no true part in Him.
I believe that (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) of Nazareth was conceived of the (רוחקודש Holy Spirit, Matthew 1:18, 20). I believe that this is the SAME (רוחקודש Holy Spirit), which moved on the face of the deep in creation, (Genesis 1:2).

 

I believe that (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) of Nazareth was conceived of the (רוחקודש Holy Spirit. He was born of the Virgin Mariam, and she had never had any sexual relations with Joseph her husband, until after the Messiah was born, (Luke 1:30-35; Matthew 1:25).

I believe that (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) of Nazareth allowed Himself to be tempted by the adversary, in order to SHOW US by example, how we could overcome the adversary by obeying the Word of the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21).

I believe that (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) of Nazareth is the Messiah who was cut off and slain for the iniquity of us all, (Daniel 9:26; Isaiah 53:1-12). I believe that Messiah died to save sinners, (1 Timothy 1:15; John 1:29; Romans 5:8; 1 John 2:1–3).

I believe that the SAME (רוחקודש Holy Spirit) who moved on the face of the deep in creation, (Genesis 1:2), is also the SAME Holy Spirit which physically resurrected (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah from the dead, (Luke 24:1-53). IF that SAME (רוחקודש Holy Spirit) which raised (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) also lives in us, THAT is also our HOPE, that we also will be raised to Eternal Life, (Romans 8:9-11).

I believe that the WHOLE Bible, (Genesis 1 – Revelation 22), is entirely authoritative to all believers. I believe that all Scripture is breathed out by (יהוה YAHWEH), and the (רוחקודש Holy Spirit), empowered the biblical writers to write down the Scriptures according to His Will. I believe that ALL Scripture is truly profitable for doctrine, for Reproof for Correction and for Instruction in righteousness, so that the person seeking to follow YHWH and Messiah will be thoroughly equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I believe that rejecting any part of Scripture is DANGEROUS, and even heretical; I believe that a person who rejects or disregards any part of Scripture will NOT be thoroughly equipped for every good work, and is more likely to fall into sin, or to lead others astray.

Yes, the Torah is valid for all believers today, and should be obeyed wherever it is biblically possible to do so.

Yes, the prophets of old are valid for all believers today, and should be obeyed wherever it is biblically possible to do so.

Yes, the Words and teachings of Messiah are valid for all believers today, and should be obeyed wherever it is biblically possible to do so.

Yes, the writings of the apostles are valid and are authoritative for all believers today, and should be obeyed wherever it is biblically possible to do so.

 

I believe that to willfully ignore or reject any Commandment in Scripture which can biblically or legally be obeyed is in fact sin, for the violation of the Commandments of YHWH is the definition of what sin is, (1 John 3:4).

 

I believe that part of the evidence that one is truly filled and directed by the (רוחקודש Holy Spirit), is that they will have a growing desire and ability to learn and to KEEP (יהוה YAHWEH)’s Laws, Commandments, and Instructions WRITTEN in the Scriptures, (Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:25-27). I believe that one who does not have a growing desire and ability to learn and to keep the Commandments of WRITTEN Scripture, is most likely NOT truly Born Again, and is certainly not controlled by the (רוחקודש Holy Spirit).

 

I believe that rightly read Scripture will NEVER contradict rightly divided Scripture. If there appears to be a contradiction, then it is our translation or our understanding or our application of the Scripture that is at fault. All Scripture is guaranteed to be breathed out by YHWH, but NOT every reading, NOT every understanding, NOT every interpretation, and NOT every application is guaranteed to be infallible. For example, Scripture clearly tells us that it is possible to use the Name of (יהוה YAHWEH) in vain, (Exodus 20:7). It is possible to worship (יהוה YAHWEH) in vain, (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13). It is possible for our religion to become vain and empty, (James 1:26). It is possible for us to pray in vain or amiss, (Matthew 6:7; James 4:3).

Therefore, we should be on our guard, because it is ALSO possible to STUDY in VAIN as well. If I study 1 Timothy 4, and it leads me to neglect, to reject, or to disobey Leviticus 11, then I have clearly STUDIED in VAIN, or studied amiss. Likewise, if I study the book of Deuteronomy, but I draw conclusions which leads me to reject, to neglect or to disregard the book of Isaiah, then I have also STUDIED in VAIN, or studied amiss. Likewise, if I study the Scriptures and it leads me to reject, to neglect or to deny the gospel and the testimony of (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah, then here again, I have studied amiss, and my studying has become a WORTHLESS VANITY.

Also, if in all of my studying, I gained some aspect of knowledge, but it does not empower me to love (יהוה YAHWEH) better; if it does not lead me to believe and follow Messiah’s example more closely; if it does not lead me to better love my neighbor as I follow the Instructions, and if it does not lead me to overcome my weaknesses and my shortcomings and help me to successfully walk in the victory that Messiah has purchased, then all of my studying and midrashes have become a worthless vanity. Therefore, it is every believer’s duty and obligation to diligently study and to RIGHTLY divide and apply Scriptures, (2 Timothy 2:15); relying on the help of the (רוחקודש Holy Spirit), to guide us into all truth, (John 16:13), in such a way that would NOT invalidate or seek to nullify any other part of Scripture.

 

I believe that believers should get their Instruction in the Scriptures regarding faith, ONLY from other seasoned believers who believe in KEEPING the Commandments of (יהוה YAHWEH), and who also hold firmly to the testimony of (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah, (Revelation 14:12). Scripture clearly says that those who walk in lawlessness, (reject the Commandments), will be CONDEMNED, (Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 13:41-42; Matthew 24:12-13; John 8:34-35). Scripture also teaches that those who reject or forsake (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah have the spirit of ANTICHRIST, and that we should AVOID such as these, (1 John 2:21-24; 2 John 6-11; 1 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).

 

I believe that believers should NOT receive scriptural instruction from those who do NOT seek to keep the Commandments of (יהוה YAHWEH), and who do NOT also hold fast to the testimony of (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus). Why? Because rejecting Messiah is the spirit of the Antichrist, (1 John 2:21-24); and also, because those who reject the Messiah do not truly believe Moses either, (John 5:46-47). So why would a person with any wisdom allow an Antichrist who does not truly believe Moses to educate ourselves? Scripture clearly says that those who reject the Messiah, DO NOT have the Father either, (1 John 2:22-23). So WHY are we allowing people who neither have the Father nor the son to educate us on spiritual or Scriptural matters?

Based on everything that I have learned through prayer and study, I believe that these are the MINIMUM requirements to be in faith, and to walk in fellowship together. No, I do not call people who refuse to walk in this way my brothers or sisters. We need not treat strangers with hostility, but those who refuse to walk this way are not truly brethren according to the way that Messiah has defined the term. Messiah said that in order to be counted among His brethren, we had to do the Will of the Father, (Matthew 12:48-50). Scripture also tells us that part of the Father’s will includes believing in and abiding in Messiah, (John 6:28-29; John 15:1-11). Therefore, those who refuse to walk this way, cannot legitimately be counted as brethren.

This is what I Believe, and on these MINIMUMS, I take my stand. Who is on YHWH’s Side?

By Brother R. Michel Lankford

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