NUN: Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalms 119:105)
Serving YHWH thru Service to Others
Faith and Obedience Part II
In Part 1 I addressed the issue of “faith alone” primarily from the perspective of what Yahshua considered to be the Scriptures, what we call the Old Testament. Since many followers of Paul have hardened their hearts against the words of YHWH, that Yahshua and all his Apostles called the Scriptures, we will address the issue from the perspective of the New Testament in this article.
Yahshua, therefore, said to the Jews believing in him, If ever you should be remaining in my word, you truly are my disciples.
Remaining in Yahshua’s words means more than just hearing his words: it means you have faith in them, that you believe they are true. If you believe they are true, they say you must act on them - and you will obey; you will act and do works.
The list of verses where Yahshua addresses, actually stresses, that obedience and works are required are too numerous to list here - they fill the Gospel accounts. Read the parable of the sower, the parable of the sheep and the goats, etc. Here I cite a very simple verse with an undeniable meaning:
If you love me, keep my commandments.
Joseph, just like Abram, had faith and obeyed - he acted - by fleeing to Egypt (Matthew 2:13/14). The wise men from the east - did not sit around believing - they acted and went looking for Yahshua - bearing gifts (Matthew 2).Simeon did not just sit around believing - he had faith and acted - he went looking for Yahshua (Luke 2). The woman with the issue of blood for twelve years did not just have faith - she acted - she went and found Yahshua and reached out to touch his clothes (Mark 5, Luke 8). The lame that Yahshua healed (I will not cite them all) did not just sit there when he said “rise”, they had faith and obeyed and they acted - they stood up! The list of folks that acted with and on their faith is too long to list here.
We also have examples of those who had “faith alone” though; and, they are not favorable:
Yet no one talked with boldness concerning him for fear of the Jews.
Yet likewise even out of the rulers, many did believe into him too; but, because of the Pharisees, they were not declaring so, that they not be put out of the synagogue. For, they loved the esteem of men rather than the esteem of YHWH.
Yahshua had a few words for people like this:
Then everyone who shall be declaring in me before men, also shall I be declaring in him before my Father in Heaven. Yet any who should not be declaring me before men, I shall not be declaring him before my Father in Heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33) (See also Luke 12:8/9)
Now this should clearly show, to all but the blind, that “faith alone” did not work in the New Testament any better than it did in the Scriptures. Still, many followers of Paul have even hardened their hearts against the very words of Yahshua. They claim they are under a different “dispensation” - post resurrection.
Because of this we will proceed to see what Yahshua and his Apostles and disciples had to say after Yahshua was resurrected. We will reveal this in order of biblical priority - the words of Yahshua, then his Apostles, then his disciples.
In Revelation 2 & 3, when Yahshua addresses the seven churches, he states to every single church, in essence, “I know your works”, usually it is the very first comment he made to them. Yahshua only mentions faith to two churches:
Of you I am aware of the works, and where you are dwelling, where the throne of Satan is. And you are holding my name and not disowning the faith of me, and in the days which Antipas, my faithful witness, who was killed alongside you, where Satan is dwelling.
Notice works are mentioned first. Note too that they are holding Yahshua’s name and not disowning their faith in Yahshua - which are additional active acts - not just internalized “faith alone”.
The second time Yahshua mentions faith he does so only after works and love (also translated as charity) and service. He even reiterates the works:
Of you I am aware of the works, and the love, and the service, and the faith, and the endurance of you; and the works of you; and the last are more than the former.
Yahshua never talks about “faith alone”: he does say:
And I will kill her children with death; and all the assemblies will know that I am the One searching the inner parts and hearts. And I shall be giving to each of you according to your works.
Works are not only required - they must be continuous:
And the one conquering and keeping my works until the end, I shall be giving to him authority over the nations.
Works are not only required they must be continuous and they must “qualify”:
Of you I am aware of the works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot.
Next we look at what Yahshua’s Apostles said after his resurrection. In case your Bible is open to Revelation I will continue there. Again, after the resurrection, the Apostle John tells us we will be judged not by our “faith alone” but by our works:
And I saw the dead, the small and the great, standing in the sight of YHWH. And books were opened. And another book was opened, which is of the life. And the dead were judged out of the things having been written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead in it. And death and hell gave up the dead in them. And they were judged, each according to their works.
We also have the Apostle John telling us:
Here is the endurance of the saints, here the ones keeping the commands of YHWH and the faith of Yahshua.
Could John have been clearer that we are to have faith and obedience?
John clearly tells us if we are not obeying we are not of YHWH:
The one doing the sinning is from the devil, the devil sinning from the beginning. For this the Son of YHWH was revealed, that he should be annulling the works of the devil.
(1 John 3:8)
Next John tells us:
For this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should loving one another. Not as Cain out of the evil one was and killed his brother. And for what did he kill him? His works were evil, yet his brother was just.
(1 John 3:11/12)
Here John emphasizes a work - loving each other. That is an act of obedience folks - not “faith alone”.
Next we look at what the Apostle Peter wrote to us - again, after the resurrection.
Having your behavior good among the nations, in that which they are speaking against you as evildoers; by observing your good works, they may glorify YHWH in a day of visitation.
(1 Peter 2:12)
Could Peter be clearer that not only are works needed but that they must be “good” works?
Next we look at the words of a disciple of Yahshua and a man who was selected by the Apostles to administer the first church - Yahshua’s brother James. James had quite a bit to say about the necessity of works. It is the primary focus of James Chapters 2 & 3. For brevity I will limit the citations here to two. I suggest the reader “do the work” and read both chapters. First, only because I feel it is a great analogy:
For even as the body is dead apart from the spirit, and thus faith is dead apart from works.
As comparisons go it does not get much clearer than that. Next a very important point in case any think I am a proponent of works alone for salvation. I am not. As James clearly tells us it takes both:
Now you are seeing that a man is not being justified out of works and not out of faith only.
(James 2:24 LITV)
“Faith alone” is invalid. So are works alone. It is because of faith that we live that faith with acts. Both are required for salvation.
Bottom line is:
Everyone transgressing and not remaining in the doctrine of the Messiah is not having YHWH. The one remaining in the doctrine of the Messiah, this one is having the Father and the Son.
(2 John 1:9)
“Faith Alone” is clearly not a doctrine of Yahshua. If you adhere to the doctrine of “faith alone” you are not remaining in Yahshua’s doctrine. If you have “faith alone” you are alone - you do not have YHWH.
Thank you for joining me on The Path to Light.
In Brotherly Love,