I’ve had several people ask me recently what I believe, and I’ve had a hard time giving it all in a nutshell. I guess it’s like asking a scientist to sum up what he believes about rocket science – it can’t all be done in a matter of minutes. But I love when people ask, because it means they care. So, in case you do, in fact, care, I thought I would start sharing with you on my blog, pieces at a time, because there’s so much, and it’s so exciting to me because it’s so important to me.
Number one, I believe that Yahweh is my Father, and that he sent his son Yeshua (Jesus) to die for us, to be the Messiah who leads us back into relationship with our Father. (John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”) I believe the Holy Spirit is the comforter and teacher who was sent after Yeshua rose again and ascended to the Father.
I also believe that, as Paul says in Romans 11, we are wild olive branches being grafted in to the natural tree. When we accept Yeshua as our Messiah, we are grafted in to become a part of Israel. Am I saying we become Jewish? No. A Jew is a direct descendant of the tribe of Judah, so I can no more become Jewish than I can become of French descent, or Indonesian descent, or Brazilian. But we do become a part of the covenant that Yahweh made with Israel – a covenant that laid out specific commands for us to follow. Do we follow them to earn our salvation? Absolutely not. We follow them because we truly love Yahweh, just as we were commanded by Yeshua – “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).
So we are supposed to keep the commands. But what were those commands? I’ve spent my entire life trying to do the right thing, and most of the time, it was the right thing in everyone else’s eyes. Approval has always been a big deal to me. But recently I read in Deuteronomy 16:20, “Follow righteousness, righteousness alone…” and I realized that the approval of only one person matters – my heavenly Father. What would he want me to do? As Nathan and I have prayed and studied the Word, we really came to the realization that we are to be following the Bible in its entirety, not just the New Testament.
The main difference in what I believe and what many other people do is that Nathan and I firmly believe that we are to be keeping the Biblical Sabbath. Why? Well, number one, it’s a commandment. In fact, it’s one of the Big Ten (but tithing, or abstaining from R-rated movies, etc. isn't…). In fact, keeping the Biblical Sabbath, by not doing any work at all or causing others to work, is what is supposed to set apart God’s chosen people. It’s what is supposed to make us look different (among other things, I’d hope). (Exodus 31:13, 16 “And you, speak to my children of Israel, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, Yahweh, am setting you apart.” “And the children of Israel shall guard the Sabbath, to perform the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant.”) Because I am grafted in to Israel, because I get to take part in the promise, and because I am in covenant with God, I feel that keeping his Sabbath is important to keeping my part of the covenant. And because I’m keeping my part, he is obligated to keep His – just like a legal contract, and that legal contract opens me up to blessing, protection, and health. Because I love my Father, I want to obey him, and I believe that the Old Testament is just as relevant as the New. Remind me one day to tell you about the renewed covenant...
We were commanded by our Messiah himself, who was literally the word of God made flesh, to keep his commands. What commands do you suppose he would have kept, considering that the New Testament didn’t exist until well after he came? I’ve realized that I can’t pick and choose my commandments. If the Bible is true and “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure,” (Jeremiah 17:9) how can anyone decide for himself which commandments to follow and which ones to disregard? If we get rid of one of the Ten Commandments, shouldn’t we get rid of them all? Paul tells us that “through the law we become conscious of our sin” (Romans 3:20), so I would hate to toss out any of it and sin through purposeful ignorance.
I’m learning. I’m always learning, and I am constantly praying as I do so. Keeping the Sabbath makes me look weird. It’s inconvenient to people who want to plan things on Friday nights or Saturdays, and often times it frustrates them. Have I stopped believing in Jesus as my Savior? No. Have I stopped agreeing with the Holy Spirit and His work? Absolutely not. Have I come in to a new understanding of who I am, and who my Father is? YES, and it’s incredible.
I’m sure I’ll have more to share with you as the times arise. I’ve sat down so many times to write this blog, but I found myself on the defensive, wanting to prove myself to people who have attacked me for what I believe, and I couldn’t do it. I want to do everything in love, and until today, I wasn’t able to do that (I’m only human, but at least I’ve learned to filter things, right?). I hope you enjoy understanding how I think, and I hope you feel comfortable asking me questions and discussing it with me. I'm sure there will be more to come, just like there will be more Milo photos to come....