Hebrews 6:1-3 Elementary Teachings

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Messiah Yeshua.  All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.  And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained”  (Philippians 3:12-16).

The above Scripture should become the vision of our walk with YHVH  because it expresses faith exhibiting hope in an extraordinary future with the Messiah of Israel.  Forgetting what is behind, straining toward what is ahead,  pressing on toward a prize that is in heaven are the goals of an incredible process leading to ultimate perfection.    According to Sha’ul, this vision is for mature believers.  Even though he himself understands that he has not yet reached everything promised, he continues to press on to take hold of that higher goal for which Messiah called him.

“Sha’ul’s letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).

In order that Sha’ul’s teaching is not distorted through ignorance, it is necessary to understand the foundational truths of faith before moving onto maturity.   Sha’ul makes it clear that the spiritually immature will have differing views of things than those who are mature.   Once the foundational truths are established in the hearts of new believers, confusing things become clearer and the process of growing up begins to take place.  As each person lives up to what has already been attained through the Spirit and Truth, differing views resulting in ‘dividing doctrines’ will disappear.  Then, unity of faith, perfection and God’s divine purpose takes place.

“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).

This teaching is going to be in three parts.   Part I will discuss the elementary teachings that must become the foundation in any believer’s life.   Part II will examine the transition from young adult to mature believer’s vision as Sha’ul explains in Philippians 3:12-16.    Part III will discuss the eternal rewards for mature and perfected believers.

Elementary Teachings

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Messiah and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.  And God permitting we will do so”  (Hebrews 6:1-3).

A significant part of the above verse is “and God permitting we will do so.”   God will not permit us to grow if we are not faithful with the little, elementary teachings.   If we desire to cling to the basics, continuing to lay the foundations again and again, we will stay infants forever.   Infants have a different destiny, apart from their master, for their worldliness.

Yeshua says, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of  many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!  … For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.   And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:21, 29,30).

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2)

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Messiah. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.  Indeed you are still not ready.  You are still worldly. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

I have broken down Hebrews 6:1 into the elementary teachings with some Scriptural examples.   The purpose is to define ‘elementary’ so we can grow up in our salvation experience.   Once we have consumed the spiritual milk necessary to initial growth, we must leave the elementary teachings and not lay again these foundational Truths.

As you read the Scriptures describing the elementary teachings, notice how they one foundational truth builds upon another.  As you read the Scriptures, consider if this is the gospel to which you were called.  Ask yourself these questions:  Have you been active or complacent?  Have you been faithful or faithless?   Have you received the truth or have you been  deceived?  Have you received a different salvation than Yeshua?   Are you sharing a different gospel with people you know different than the one Peter and John proclaimed?  Are the elementary teachings new to you or are you hearing them over and over again?

“The beginning words of Messiah …”

The first words of Yeshua after he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness were: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).  This is the gospel preached by Yeshua.

“Yeshua answered them, …I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32).

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Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Messiah Yeshua so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh).  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”  (Acts 2:38-39).

I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Yeshua.”  (Acts 20:21)

In the moments after the Holy Spirit circumcised the hearts of  the first disciples on Shavuot (Pentecost), Peter stood and spoke to all Israelites in his presence.   This preaching holds the ‘beginning words of Messiah” through the power of the Holy Spirit. This speech is the gospel of repentance in its initial proclamation to millions of Jewish people gathered together in Jerusalem.    This is the gospel message they took into all the nations in which they lived.  Peter’s message required action of the heart and of the body – repentance and baptism.   Repentance and baptism occurred together so that sins were forgiven.  Repentance of a sinful nature must come first in the heart.  Baptism in the physical follows as an act of obedience and evidence of new creation in Messiah.

Repentance from acts that lead to death

 

First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also. I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:20)

“The wages of sin is death ….” (Romans 6:23)

Repentance in Hebrew תשובה is teshuvah.   It literally means ‘turn back to God’.   In repenting, we turn back to God and away from acts that lead to death.   If there are acts that lead to death as this Scripture says, then there are acts that lead to life.   It is up to us to search the Scriptures and find what actions lead to life so we can prove our repentance by our new actions (Luke 3:8).

We often hear the verse, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua” with the focus on a future gift of eternal life.   At the moment of repentance with faith in the atonement of Yeshua, our eternal life begins – not when we die.   This is why our repentance should be proved by our actions here and now.

Consider the question asked of Yeshua in Luke 10:25 “’Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Yeshua’s response doesn’t include “believe in me” or “have faith in me.”     He tells this man what he must DO.   Yeshua’s response is DO the commandments and you will live.    This is not suggesting that we are saved by works. This   man already showed his faith in Yeshua.  He called him “Rabbi.” Yeshua’s response  confirms that there are acts that lead to life versus acts that lead to death.  If you have faith in Him, you will seek to do the commandments and receive life.   This is why they were given to the Israelites in the desert (Deuteronomy 30:11-20).

“’What is written in the Law/Torah?’, He replied.  How do you read it?” (Luke 10:26).

“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

Faith in God

Have faith in God,’ Yeshua answered.’” (Mark 11:22).

“I and the Father are one (echad)” (John 10:30).

“Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Yeshua did, put their faith in him (John 11:45).

It is Yeshua’s name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”  (Acts 3:16)

I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Yeshua.”  (Acts 20:26)

Faith defined according to Hebrews 11:1:   “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. It is very important to put our faith – our certainty and sureness in God’s existence first and foremost.  This is also the FIRST of the Ten Commandments.  It is our faith in God (YHVH) as our Creator (including the fall of mankind)  that should bring us to a place of repentance.

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:4).

Yeshua tells his disciples to put their faith in God which makes this a foundational part of  the salvation message.   Echad אחד in Hebrew means ‘one’ and Yeshua is “echad” with the Father – not a separate person.   After we believe in the invisible God,  we may put our faith in Yeshua, who is His visible image.  With this faith understanding our relationship is restored with God through Yeshua.

“He (Yeshua) is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

If  faith is put in Yeshua first without understanding our relationship to the Creator,  our faith is incomplete and may become misdirected.  Yeshua was sent into the world by the Father.  He did not come of his own will.   He came, not only to save us, but to reveal our Father to us.   He came to glorify His Father.   He came to direct our worship back to our heavenly Father.  If we truly know Yeshua in His fullness, we will know our Creator and be restored to our heavenly Father.

“The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).

“I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6,7).

“Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. …I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.  … I have given them the glory that you have me, that they may be one as we are one” (John 17:1,6,22).

Instruction about Baptisms

“Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the  Lord Yeshua went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Yeshua was taken up from us.  For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” (Acts 1: 21,22)

“Before the coming of Yeshua, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.”  (Acts 13:24)

“And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him” (1  Peter 3:21,22).

“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4).

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism and into death in order that, just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we, too, may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4,5)

Today, many different baptismal doctrines proliferate throughout church denominations. We hear of infant baptisms and adult baptisms.  We hear of sprinkling and immersion.  We hear of baptisms in the Holy Spirit and baptisms by fire.  We hear of baptisms in the gifts of the Spirit.    But, the foundational baptism making believers one united faith is of water.

In order to become part of ‘the body of Messiah’, a person who has put his faith in Yeshua is baptized in water.  Christians think of baptism as a new command or ordinance for the church because it is found in the New Testament being done by John the Baptist. However,  baptism or the more accurate Hebrew term, immersion,  was  done  by Israelites since the Torah instructions were given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  This is why men from all the Tribes were coming to John to be immersed (baptized) in the Jordan River.

John’s immersion included preaching a repentance from sins.   John, who was descended from Levi and Aaron’s lineage (not a Baptist denomination),  really preached the  same foundational truth and gospel that Peter preached on Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized”.   He preached, as a prophet, turning ‘back to God’.  It was and is nothing new.

Yeshua’s immersion had an especially important place in the history of the church.  While the disciples waited in Jerusalem for the promise from the Father, they wanted to choose a replacement for Judas.   They decided that one requirement for being an apostle included being among them from the beginning when Yeshua was baptized in the Jordan River with repentance as the foundational preaching.  Though YHVH had a different replacement (Rabbi Sha’ul or Sha’ul), they were actually stating that Yeshua’s ministry began at the time of His immersion.

After Yeshua died, rose, and ascended into heaven,  immersion took on a new symbolic meaning to His followers.   Baptism became a personal  illustration of entering into Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection with the most important aspect of  living in the newness of life.  Baptism by water should be a conscious and willing expression that we are no longer slaves to sin and death.  It should be a public showing of becoming born again.  We commence to be a new creation that is different from the old, fallen one – slaves to life and righteousness.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Messiah and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Messiah, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:17,18).

Laying on of Hands and  Receiving the Holy Spirit

“He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” (Mark 6:4)

“And with that he (Yeshua) breathed on them (the apostles) and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven, if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:22)

“When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent  Peter and John to them.  When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Yeshua. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:15-17).

The “gift manifestation” of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands is seen in Yeshua healing the sick.   But, his healing power contained a more important foundational facet. Without the foundational truth, ‘laying of of hands for healing’ becomes nothing more than hocus pocus.   Yeshua forgave sins.   When He healed the paralytic man, He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” This caused quite a stir because the Bible teachers believed that only God could forgive sins.

 

“Now some of the Torah teachers were sitting there, thinking to themselves.  Why does this fellow talk like that?  He’s blaspheming!  Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:6)

Yeshua responds to what is in their hearts with “Why are you thinking these things?  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk?’   But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins …” (Mark 2:8-10).

Soon after Yeshua rose from the dead He imparted the Holy Spirit to the apostles the by breathing on them.   In Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is called the Ruach haKodesh רוח הקודש .   This literally means “the Holy Breath” which expresses the indisputable reality of Yeshua being divine at the moment He breathes on them.  His breath bestowed upon them  the same authority and power that Yeshua had to forgive sins.

“Forgive us our sins as we also have forgiven those who sin against us (Matthew 6:12).

If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if  he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times come back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4).

This forgiveness of sins does not replace the blood atonement of Yeshua that takes away our sinful nature.   This forgiveness brings personal and corporate restoration through touch.  It  releases men from the internal personal guilt caused by individual sins.  This forgiveness  releases  men from the the bondage held toward one another.  It is the outworking of an understanding of the forgiveness we each receive through faith in Messiah and passing that forgiveness on to someone else held in bondage by us.    To hear someone say, “You’re forgiven” releases anger, bitterness, and the hold the devil keeps on our hearts and lives.  And it ultimately beings full healing to the physical man as well.  The apostles understood this extraordinary power given to them and took it very seriously because it represented the complete and whole forgiveness we receive from our heavenly Father.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14).

Get rid of all bitterness, rage andanger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Messiah God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

“Bear with each other and forgive what grievances you may have against on another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).

“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of Messiah (the church?) eats and drinks judgment on himself.  That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 11:28-30).

After Yeshua’s ascension, His Holy Spirit (forgiveness) was received through the laying on of  the apostles’ hands.  Believers rejoiced when they received the Holy Spirit in this manner. They had the power and authority of Messiah to walk in the forgiveness they received and to offer forgiveness to those who repented of their sins.

This “power,” however,  was something evil and unsaved men misunderstood yet desired.   They even offered money to the apostles to have “the power” because it resulted in healing.  Satan always wants the things of God and he uses ignorant and untaught men to distort the Truth.   This is why Sha’ul warns Timothy to not be too quick to lay hands on people because there was the potential of a distortion and misuse of the ‘power’.   His words actually convey that when hands are laid on another person, sins may be ‘shared’.

“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:18,19)

Do not be hasty in the laying on of  hands, and do not share in the sins of others.  Keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22).

Today different denominations define receiving and observing the Holy Spirit according to their manmade traditions.   Guilt, not forgiveness is often the motivation for ‘laying on of hands.”  They coerce people to speak in tongues which is a gift of the Spirit  and not an expression of forgiveness of sins.   Many people live in bondage to this guilt and doubt their salvation because they do not show forth the proper gifts.    The laying on of hands is also used to execute healing of the body, but if healing doesn’t occur, a lack of faith is blamed.

The deeper, foundational issue of laying on of hands is forgiveness of sins which brings forth physical healing.  These misrepresentations of ‘laying on of hands’ without the emphasis on forgiveness cheapens the Holy Spirit and falls under the category of mocking or testing God.  It also causes great denominational divisions which also promotes judgment and a lack of unity in the faith.   And, the result is a body of immature, baby believers.

The most powerful warning about the Ruach haKodesh is blasphemy.  Anyone who speaks against the ‘holy breath” will NOT BE FORGIVEN in this life or the next.  It is this breath that was breathed into Adam and is now restored to us through Yeshua through forgiveness.   This is a foundational truth that I personally have never heard taught about in a concrete way anywhere.   Blasphemy is a non-existent teaching today which creates an arena for false spirits to be invoked in the ‘name of Jesus’.   Scripture says we can say anything we want against Yeshua, the Son of Man, but we can never, for fear of eternal unforgiveness say anything against the Spirit or breath of YHVH that now dwells within us.

“And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.  Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:31,32).

“How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who as treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29).

Resurrection of the Dead

“Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’  Yeshua said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?’  ‘Yes, Lord,’ she told him, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world” (John 11:24-26).

“This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection.  The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Messiah and will reign with him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:6,7).

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the book of life.  The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.  …If anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

“Then Sha’ul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, ‘My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the won of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead’ (Acts 23:6).

“But if it is preached that Messiah has been raised from  the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Messiah has been raised.  And if Messiah has not been raised our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:12-14).

“I want to know Messiah and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10).

Though resurrection is foundational to our faith, life from the dead is not a new teaching. “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death” (Hebrews 11:19).

Martha had great faith in the resurrection.  She knew and understood that though Lazarus had died,  she stood in the presence of the Messiah, the Son of the LIVING God and what that meant.   Her faith in YHVH’s power,  alive in Yeshua brought her brother back to life.

Yeshua has been raised from the dead.   There is no gray area here.  If He was not, then our faith is meaningless.  This foundational truth about the resurrection put Sha’ul on trial because not all Israel believed in the resurrection of the dead (the Saducees specifically).   Yet,  to know the fellowship of sharing Yeshua’s sufferings,  we can also attain to the power of His resurrection.   At the last trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:16),  and  according to Revelation, those who take part in the first resurrection will rule and reign with Yeshua for 1000 years.   This is a great vision for being resurrected to eternal life.

Eternal Judgment

Eternal judgment is coming.  Eternal judgment is coming for the devil and his angels.  Eternal judgment is coming for the heavens and the earth.   Eternal judgment is coming for everyone living and dead.  Eternal judgment is coming for the wicked.  Eternal judgment is coming for the righteous – the lawless and the lawful.   There will be one Judge  – the Lawgiver.  There will be a court hearing.  There will be records of testimony.

“A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.  Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10).

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. (James 4:12)

Eternal Judgment For Satan and His Angels

The devil will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur where he will be tormented day and night for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).  The angels, from the days before Noah, that have been bound with everlasting chains will be thrown into the eternal fire too.

“And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 6,7) .

Eternal Judgment For the Heavens and the Earth

The present heaven and earth are being reserved for a judgment by fire.   A former heaven and earth experienced judgment by water in Noah’s day.   And Scripture is clear in Isaiah 66 and Revelation 22 that there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

“By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:7)

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been goraning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:21,22).

Eternal Judgment For the Wicked –  Eternal Death

At the last Day, books will be opened and all of our works will be tested by fire.  They will stand or they will burn up.  The wicked person will be thrown into the lake of fire.    And anyone else’s name that was not found written in the book of life will also be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

“May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous” (Psalm 69:28).

He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:42,43).

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation (elementary teachings) as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it.  But each one should be careful how he builds ….   If any man builds on this foundation (of Messiah) using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will l test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.   If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Eternal Punishment For Evildoers (‘workers of lawlessness’ )- Outer Darkness

As the ‘under grace, not under law’ doctrine proliferates within the church, Christians  have lost sight of the judgment to come for them that involves eternal punishment.  Though they have eternal life, they do not escape the judgment seat  of God.   Many may be found to be ‘escaping through the flames.’  Yeshua’s and His Word (Torah) will either save us or condemn us at the last day.   That is why it is important to read and know His Words and follow His example of obedience or be considered faithless and ‘workers of iniquity’.

Earlier I mentioned the Parable of the Talents.   One of the servants was thrown out to where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.   This was a ‘servant’ and can be likened to those who ‘serve the Lord’  and are saved, but are not faithful with little and so the little is taken away.

Yeshua speaks of this same place called the ‘outer darkness’ in Matthew 8:12 and 13:40 when he speaks about the ‘end of the age.’   There are ‘subjects of the kingdom’ that are faithless and will be thrown ‘outside’ into the darkness.   Again, these are those who are saved and have eternal life and ‘in the kingdom’, but did not obey the commandments and do righteous acts by faith.  They will be “weeded out of the kingdom” because they continued to sin (break God’s laws 1 John 3:4) and do evil.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?   Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:21-23).

“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep themThere is a Judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” (John 12:47,48)

“So it will be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil” (Matthew 13:40).

Everyone who keeps sinning is violating the law of God indeed sin is violation of God’s laws” (1 John 3:4 ).

The place of outer darkness is also mentioned in Revelation 22:15: “Outside (the gates) are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”  This Scripture has always been a challenge for me when I consider this verse comes AFTER the final judgment when ‘anyone’s name that was not written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.’  Apparently, these people’s names are written in the book of life, but their eternal life is spent outside the city gates where is it dark and cold.

Dogs was an euphemism for ‘gentiles’ in the time of Yeshua.  Read Matthew 7:6 and 15:26.    Though gentiles receive salvation through the Messiah, they must repent from pagan ways, idolatry, and traditions that involve lies, deception,  immorality, and death and turn back to God’s way of worship and life.  Proverbs 26:11 says ‘a dog returns to its vomit.’ Saved gentiles who refuse to realize the necessity of Truth in their lives are really dogs who, once saved,  return to their vomit.  (Consider that Yeshua will ‘vomit’ out those who mix  hot and cold deeds in Revelation 3:16.)

Revelation 21 describes the city of the New Jerusalem and its walls and gates.  The New Jerusalem is a place where there is no sun or moon for the glory of the Lord gives it Light and the Lamb is the lamp.   Outside the gates of the New Jerusalem, it is dark, utterly dark!

When these evildoers  or “workers of lawlessness” (CJB) get their eternal reward in the outer darkness, they gnash their teeth. Gnashing of teeth suggest people who are frustrated with themselves and their eternal destiny (or very cold due to the darkness).   These are the people, I believe, who are told by Yeshua, “Depart from me, I never knew you” because they never really sought the will, the good, pleasing and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

Though they heard the Truth, but they didn’t walk by faith and obey the Truth.  They depended on outward signs rather than walking in faith with the light of the Truth and bearing fruit. The deeds they tell Yeshua they performed in His name are all examples of  spiritual gifts that ultimately keep them from eternal reward.  After having escaped the lake of fire as through the flames,  they experience an eternity of frustration outside the gates of the New Jerusalem in outer darkness.  They never lose their free gift of eternal life.

It is important to note at this point  that the words ‘evildoers’ and ‘workers of lawlessness’ have their foundation in the word ‘law‘ or Torah.   Those who do evil and lawless deeds are those who do not obey the commands in the Torah.  Lawless means without Torah.

Matthew 8:12 “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Someday there will be a feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.   Yeshua says people or nations from the east and west will come up to the feast.  Yet, many gentile believers throughout the centuries and up to today reject the idea that they are literally Abraham’s children (Galatians 3:29) and worship Abraham’s God – El Shaddai.     The Feasts or Appointed Times of the Lord are considered “legalistic” or “done away with” in the same person in which they are exemplified.   In eternity, Yeshua speaks of a heavenly FEAST when many will come from the east and west to dine with Abraham.     Will Christians even be able to hear this invitation because their ears have been taught something different for so long?

Because of uncircumcised hearts most Christians don’t want to be associated with the Jews and Israel in spite of the fact that Yeshua’s lineage is from Judah.  They don’t want to be a part of the Olive Tree of Israel which means they will be ‘cut off’.   This Truth with eternal ramifications is lost through ignorance, arrogance and a distortion of the whole counsel of God’s Word. Unfortunately, those who reject Truth – that they have a part in the FEASTS of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob –  will also live in the outer darkness outside the New Jerusalem.

Messianic Jews, too, face the same severe consequences for denying their faith.   Yeshua commended gentiles for their faith while the Jewish people he rebuked for their manmade traditions.  Many Jewish believers throughout the centuries assimilated into the church (new manmade traditions) for fear of losing their lives and families.  They lacked faith in God’s protection just like the spies who came back from the land of Canaan.   This assimilation into pagan traditions and forsaking of God’s commands has caused the loss of great fullness for the entire Body of Messiah as well as personal faith fulfillment for Hebrew Christians.  God called the Jewish people to show the ‘light to the nations’ and not the other way around.  There are severe consequences for all these acts that can be summed up in eternal punishment.

The eternal judgment to come is an elementary teaching that must be taught and understood before we can grow into maturity and perfection.  It is a judgment that we must not take lightly as the Day approaches.   As Sha’ul witnessed to Felix, he discoursed on righteousness and self-control as well as the judgment to come because it was foundational to Felix’ salvation.

As Sha’ul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now!” (Acts 24:25)

Sha’ul’s  words echo Peter.  “Since everything will be destroyed in this way (by fire), what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming(2 Peter 3:11,12).

Eternal judgment for “doers of the word” who walk by faith in the Light of the Word through the power of the Spirit should have no fear on the day of judgment.   These righteous ones become set apart daily through their faith walk and look forward to the Day of God’s judgment because it holds reward.   It is their desire that the Day come quickly because Yeshua is their vision, hope, and salvation.   To be a doer of the Word is to become like Yeshua in spirit, words and lifestyle.   To be a doer of the Word is to desire Yeshua to return.

As we choose to be conformed into His image, we will stand securely in the foundational elementary teachings:  repentance, faith in God, acts leading to life, water baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit’s power to forgive through the laying on of hands, hope in the resurrection from the dead, and the eternal judgment (with rewards) to come and move onto maturity.  And God permitting, we will do so.

“All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.  And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained”  (Philippians 3:12-16).

©2005 Tent Stake Ministries

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