Legalism Trap

Sample Article From Ha'Shem 37

Ha'Shem 37 is dedicated to the Holy Names and the privilege and responsibilities of being part of a people who use them. This article uncovers a few pitfalls of some over-zealous users of the holy names.

Many believers today are beginning to re-discover the Hebraic roots of their faith. Part of that restoration for some has been the re-introduction of the original Hebrew names for God and Jesus (Yahweh and Yahshua) into their worship. As people come to the revelation of his name and the name of his Son they are often confronted with a new message, one with which they should not have to contend. Among the Sacred Name believers that it has been our experience to meet, most (though not all) have lost sight of the full gospel of Yahshua. When the revelation becomes more important than the Revealer and when the Holy Spirit is not allowed to move freely then we must take another look and see what has gone wrong. When a group of people become dogmatic and legalistic they have lost a very key element of salvation - grace. That word seems to bring out the worst in many a legalist. But our own works of righteousness can never save us, or else the apostle Paul's credentials (Phil 3:5-6) would have sufficed. Legalism can be defined not so much as having a set of rules to guide us but more accurately as the absence of grace.

When a tremendous privilege to be among those who are bearers of the NAMES. It is a great thing to bear the Names. It is a great thing to bear with understanding the name of the Eternal, Yahweh and our Sovereign, Yahshua. It is understood by many that the names of individuals throughout the Scriptures were given to tell something about the character of that person. Yet a great problem has arisen among movements of those embracing the revelation of the sacred Names who do not have the sacred Spirit to enlighten their use. Matt 27:50 tells us that when Yahshua had cried out with a loud voice He gave up the spirit. Immediately following this we read that the veil of the temple was torn in two. This was not just a physical act that took place, but is symbolic of all the separates, and makes a way for all to approach the throne of grace. We cannot be justified by the works of the law and if we seek to be so then we have fallen from grace (Gal 5:4).

We are struggling with the same spirit that the early church had to contend with and that is the notion that one must, in essence, keep the Law of Moses and use the names of Yahweh and Yahshua in order to be saved. The apostles responded to this argument with one of their own. It is to be found in their letter to the Gentile churches in Acts 15. What is revealed by the apostle Paul's conversion, in spite of his flawless keeping of the Law (Phil 3: 5-6), is that truth without a personal and living relationship with Yahshua is only half a truth. It was our Saviour who said: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

It is possible to stand for truth and not be inflexible, judgmental or dogmatic. When we remember that it was only by grace that we received any revelation at all, it would only be right to grant to others that same privilege. We may be only the seed - planter, or perhaps the one who waters, by sharing some nugget of the truth; the revelation may not come until a later time. It is man's arrogance that brings about inflexibility and legalism. To presume that Yahweh “needs” our assistance in bringing truths that He has revealing to mankind since time began is the epitome of arrogance. I have seen first hand the fruit that being dogmatic and legalistic bears and it is not the kind of fruit from which anyone would wish to eat. It brings contention, division and a testimony among people that is contrary to john 14. It fails to show the world that Yahweh has sent His Son because users of his name are not acting like true disciples. May we pray for those caught up in legalism, dogmatism and inflexibility. May we guard our hearts and maintain a personal, living relationship with Yahshua, which is the only way to keep ourselves from falling from grace. Wherever we take the message of salvation may it be accompanied with grace and faith.

 

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