Month 10:17, Week 3:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year:Day 5937:283 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 17 January 2014
Who are the Real Believers?
An Important Distinction Must Be Made
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Elohim (God), having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" (2 Tim.3:1-5, NKJV).
There was a time when I used to believe that this passage was a reference to the culture of the non-believers in the end time, yet upon closer inspection it is evident that Paul is referring to those who have "a form of godliness but deny its power". These people can only therefore be those who claim to be believers but deny the substance of true emunah (faith). And he's not just talking about theists - those who believe in some general supernatural power of 'God' who could be a part of any monotheistic religion like Islam, Judaism or Sikhism - he is specifically referring to those of like emunah (faith) at least in the outward sense. And as we look at the history of Christendom, can anyone deny that these devilish traits have not belonged at one time or another to millions of such professing Christians over the last two thousand years? Not only that, we are categorically commanded to "turn away from" or avoid such people who use the same labels as the true believers.
Identifying True Believers
This being true, how are we to identify in the broadest sense, who the true believers are? In my writings over the years I have usually pointed to those who are 'born again' - regenerated in the Ruach (Spirit) - however lawless they may be, because such are at the very least on the first part of the sevenfold Derech (Way) defined by Yahweh's festivals. And this is true. But would it be true to say that anyone who calls themselves a 'born-again Christian' is actually 'born-again'? Not surprisingly, all kinds of people claim they are 'born-again' who are not necessarily so.
An Important Discovery - What Christians Think They Are
The research work of George Barna  is particularly eye-opening. He discovered that 62% of Protestants and 22% of Catholics in the United States claim to be 'born-again' when presented with the definition that a born-again Christian is a "person [who] has a relationship with Christ that causes them to believe that they have been forgiven their sins and expect to live with Him forever." Pursuing his research work further, Barna asked these same people how many of them had a 'biblical worldview' which he defined as having six minimal beliefs that included an affirmation that:
Few Pass the Basic Test
- 1. Absolute moral emet (truth) exists;
- 2. The Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches;
- 3. Satan is a real being or force, not merely symbolic;
- 4. People cannot earn their way into heaven by trying to be good or by doing good works;
- 5. Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) lived a sinless life on earth; and
- 6. Elohim (God) is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the world who still rules the universe today.
Of the original group of Protestants (62%) and Catholics (22%) who insisted that they were 'born again', only 9% of these were able to affirm all six concepts! Thus only a tiny minority of Protestants and Catholics are actually born-again and have a biblical worldview, and of these there is a high probability that what they claim is not what they actually are, making the real figure even smaller.
A Tiny Remnant Qualify Only
Clearly, being generous, with less than 1 out of every 10 Americans claiming to be Christian, we need to be very careful in discerning who are true believers and who are not. And were one, for example, to take into consideration the views of these same people regarding profanity, gambling, alcohol use, honesty, civility, and sexual choices, the number would shrink even more. Add to the equation those who diligenly follow all of Torah and the number becomes pitifully small.
A Biblical Definition of a Born-Again Believer
The Bible gives a clear definition of what a born-again believer is. Such a soul:
The First Believers Applied the Old Testament
- 1. Is able to "see (understand, comprehend, know) the Kingdom of Elohim (God)" (Jn.3:3-7, NKJV);
- 2. "Obeys the emet (truth) through the Ruach (Spirit) in sincere ahavah (love) of the brethren" (1 Pet.1:22a, NKJV);
- 3. Loves these brethren "fervently with a pure heart" (1 Pet.1:22b, NKJV); and
- 4. Does all these things "through the Davar Elohim (Word of God, i.e. Tanakh/Old Testament) which lives and abides forever" (1 Pet.1:23, NKJV).
In other words, a person who is born-again comprehends what the Kingdom of Elohim (God) consists of, viz. loving fellow believers fervently with a pure heart through the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) by means of faithful application of the whole counsel of Scripture in the Bible. And when Paul spoke those words to Timothy, the Davar Elohim (God) or Bible was the Tanakh (Old Testament) as the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) had not then been compiled. Though we have the added benefit and blessing of the latter, these first born-again qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) only used the Tanakh or Old Testament! So unless we understand what it is to be born again by faithful application of the Torah (Pentateuch or First Five Books of Moses, the Nevi'im or Prophets, and the Kethuvim or Writings) we will not fully grasp what it meant to be born again in New Testament times. If all we use is the New Testament in our search for understanding of what it is to walk the Derech (Way) of Messiah, we are going to wander aimlessly like the vast majority of Protestants and Catholics who are almost exclusively focussed on the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) and their own Tradition.
Just What are You Omitting?
This simple revelation may not rest comfortably with orthodox Christians but it is the emet (truth). All who have met the living Messiah and have been regenerated through emunah (faith) to see or grasp the Kingdom of Elohim (God) can only be perfected in ahavah (love) through the diligent application of all the Bible , and not just those parts which they imagine have been nailed to the cross to be replaced by their own man-made rules and traditions. A person truly born-again loves the brethen and his Elohim (God) by living the whole lifestyle of a New Covenant Israelite including living by the biblical creation calendar (not the Gregorian or Talmudic ones) including New Moon Day and the sunrise-to-sunrise day (not sunset to sunset, or midnight to midnight), observing Yahweh's dietary laws (not whatever you fancy), the luni-solar 7th-day sabbath (not Saturday or Sunday), observing His annual festivals (not Christmas, Easter, Lent, Halloween, Valentine's Day, etc.), His marriage laws including binding betrothal before full marriage (not breakable 'engagements' or fornication prior to covenant-taking), His dressing laws, and much else besides that orthodox Christianity has 'replaced' with it's own man-made creations.
Don't Follow Man-Made Tradition and Drfinitions
If we do not follow the Biblical definition of being 'born-again' then we are going to end up with all the definitions the unregenerated invent for themselves as we saw in Barna's survey. The remnant is therefore duty-bound to Yahweh to preach the Besorah (Good News) of "Messiah cruified" (1 Cor.1:23, NKJV) and Yahweh's Torah because the New Covenant qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones), Christians or Messianics don't sing one song but two-in-one, "the song of Moses, the servant of Elohim (God), and the song of the Lamb" (Rev.15:2-3, NKJV).
Are you born-again? You'd better be sure you are by checking what the New Birth causes you to do.
 George Barna, Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years
 Obviously we are no longer bound to make animal sacrifices and the Levitical system that administered them as these were fulfilled by Messiah and have been replaced by the Melchizedek system
Comments from Readers
 "You know, this is something I have been writing about the last week, those exact verses in 2 Timothy, and others too. I think the 'born-again' deception is at its most deceiving within the charismatic churches. You know those verses in Joel.. "I will pour out my Spirit on ALL men...", it doesn't say just born-again believers, it says ALL men. Then when you go to 2 Thessalonians you see these words, "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.".... I have it firmly within my heart that (a part of) the strong delusion is that people will think they are 'born again' and 'saved', and they will even have gifts of the Spirit, the ability to prophesy, speak in tongues, heal, cast out demons...you see these people then in Matthew 7 being told "Depart from me...", and various parables like the man at the wedding feast being cast out as he doesn't have the wedding garment on. I was officially born again just a few weeks ago, up until then I just thought I was born again, my life has been completely changed.... I am living evidence of the apostasy, which is what has prompted me to read up and write up on all of this... Jude covers it perfectly: "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.." (SP, Ireland, 17 January 2014).