Who Do You Follow?
By Michael Baker

In 1 Cor. 1:11-13 we read, “For it hath been declared to me of you, my brethren, by them of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that everyone of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Messiah.” Is Messiah divided? Was Paul impaled for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

My question is, “Why are there so many different congregations with so many different beliefs?” I have met many brethren who say they belong to “this group,” or to “that group.” They will have nothing to do with brethren of another congregation. I am not speaking of Christians. I am speaking of those who believe in the Names of Yahweh and Yahshua.

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Messiah. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal and walk as men? For while one saith ‘I am of Paul’; and another ‘I am of Apollos,’ are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Master gave to every man? I have planted; Apollos watered, but Yahweh gave the increase.” See 1 Corinthians 3:1-6 and Romans 8:1-14 to see what it means to be carnal minded.

So, whom do you follow? Do we have the right to follow men? Yahshua taught against following the doctrines, traditions and commandments of men. “But be not ye called of men, “Rabbi,” for One is your Master, the Messiah, and ye are all brethren (Mat. 23:8).

We are to follow Yahshua the Messiah, and Him only. The Pharisee Nicodemus knew to go to Yahshua, and even acknowledged that Yahshua is a teacher come from Yahweh, John 3:1-21. The Pharisees knew Yahshua is true and teaches the Way of Yahweh in Truth, Mat. 22:15-16, Mat. 12:13-14, Luke 20:19-21. Yahshua told us it is the Spirit of Truth that will lead us into “all” Truth. If we all have the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of the Messiah, we will all undoubtedly be of “one mind” and in “one accord” in all things. Yahshua is our Teacher and Elders are ministers of Yahweh. We are to follow the Lamb of Yahweh wherever he goes, Rev. 14:1-5.

So, who do you follow? There are those who teach that we must obey what the leaders of Judaism teach, except we believe in Yahshua. This is based on Matthew 23:1-3, “Then spake Yahshua to the multitude, and to His disciples, saying, “The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, observe and do; but do not after their works, for they say and do not.” Whoa! Wait a  minute! Did Yahshua just tell us to obey the very same people He called hypocrites a total of seven times a little farther down in this same chapter? Let’s look at the word “they” in verse three. “All therefore whatsoever they …” Are we absolutely sure that this word is the correct translation? The Greek word used is “autos.” This Greek word should have been translated in the singular tense rather than the plural. It can be used in the plural tense, but only in the compound of a third person. So, what is Yahshua actually telling us? Did He tell us to obey the hypocrites? Carefully read all of Matthew chapter 23. In Matthew 6, He tells us not to be like the hypocrites, three different times. Read it.

Isn’t it more likely that this is a mistranslation, and “they” should have been “he,” speaking of Moses? Let’s try that again, using HE instead of THEY. “The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. All therefore whatsoever HE (Moses) bid you observe, observe and do; but do not after their (the Pharisees) works, for they say and do not.”

For any who might still think Yahshua said “they,” and not “He,” consider verse 3 again: “ALL” therefore whatsoever __ bid you to observe, that observe and do.” This means ALL. All their man-made traditions, their Talmud instructions their added Feasts such as Purim and Hanukah, their added fasts, their ritual hand-washing, etc. etc. Remember, too that they denied the Messiah and killed Him. Maybe if you visited an Orthodox Rabbinic Jewish synagogue on Sabbath, you would be convinced.

Nowhere in Scripture are we told to follow men. We are to follow Yahshua the Messiah. The Elders serve as ministers but we follow Yahshua. The Elders serve as examples of how Yahshua lived and what He taught. Paul said “follow me, AS I follow the Messiah.” We should do no less. See these Scriptures: 1 Tim. 4:12-13; Philippians 3:17; 2 Thes. 3:1-12; 1 Thes. 1:1-10.

In 2 Peter 1:20, we read “…knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation.” The Greek word for “private” is “idios.” It pertains to self, i.e., one’s own, by implication private or separate idea of what a scripture verse means. It is derived from the word, “idiotes,” and means a private person, i.e. by implication an ignoramus (compare “idiot”). Ignorant, rude, unlearned.” People who have private interpretations are ignorant of the Truth. We were warned of those who would bring in “damnable heresies” in 2 Peter 2:1-3

2Pe 2:1  But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privately bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

2Pe 2:2  And many shall follow their lascivious doings; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of.

2Pe 2:3  And in covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose sentence now from of old lingereth not, and their destruction slumbereth not.


 2 Timothy 4:1-8. I charge thee in the sight of Yahweh, and of the Messiah Yahshua, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom;

2Ti 4:2  preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts;

2Ti 4:4  and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.

2Ti 4:5  But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry.

2Ti 4:6  For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come.

2Ti 4:7  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith:

2Ti 4:8  henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which Yahshua, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day: and not only to me, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.

Read 2 Peter 1:1-16, and pay attention to verse 16 “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables…” We get “fables” from the Greek word “mythos,” which means a tale, fiction.

Whom do you follow? Read these verses:

(Psa 27:11)  Teach me thy way, O Yah, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

Psa 86:11  Teach me thy way, O Yah; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, It shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Mat 28:18  And Yahshua came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in My Name,

Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen.

There are many groups/assemblies/congregations that believe in Yahweh Elohim, Yahshua the Messiah, and the Torah. But most everyone keeps Torah differently. Some deny that we should keep it at all. Some few keep only the Ten Commandments, and others are still loaded with Protestant baggage.

There are questions about when, how and if, we should acknowledge the new moons. Do we start a new year before or after the spring equinox, or by looking at barley in Israel? (Ed. Note – this is well covered elsewhere in this issue). Some want to use extra-orthodox books such as Enoch or the pseudepigraphical books to set doctrine. (pseudepigraphical means anonymous writings or writings whose author is falsely claimed, as the Jews did between 200 BCE and 200 CE). Such books as “The Psalms of Solomon” have never been accepted by any religious body.

Some congregants believe Yahshua is Yahweh in the flesh; others believe He is a second person (spokesman) of a duality. Some say Yahshua was never created, still others teach that He was Yahweh’s first creation, while yet others teach that He did not exist prior to His human birth. Who is right? Who is wrong? Read Romans 3:1-4:

As the Apostle Paul said, “…Let Yahweh be true, but every man a liar.” Trust in Yahweh with all thine heart; lean not to thine own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths, Prov. 3:5-6. (Read also verses 7-10)

While Yahweh has allowed some human error such as copyist mistakes, and even intentional changing by some scribes, usually to support a false doctrine, He has been diligent to preserve enough for the careful reader to attain salvation. That is why we are warned to “rightly divide the Word of Truth,” (2 Tim. 2:15). This word “divide” means to expound correctly the Divine Word of Yah.

Yahshua prayed for us to be “One,” as He and His Father are “one.” Yahshua is the Head of His Body. The Body acts in uniform to All the Head says, and thinks. When Yahshua returns He will be coming for a Body of Believers who function as “One,” and functions in “Love.” So, all things considered, whom do you follow?

Michael Baker, 8-28-10, Soledad Prison, CA