Where IS the Faith "Given Once for all to the Saints?"
Introduction To the Flow Chart of the Foundation of our Faith and the Denominations
(Scripture quotes here are from the New American Standard Bible version)
The book of Jude speaks of the faith given "once for all" to the saints.
1Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: 2May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. 3Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
It would seem that a great deal of confusion now exists as to just what this faith "given once for all" means in light of the many variations and denominations of those who say they believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Even in his time, Jude knew that the confusion was beginning.
4For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude identifies himself as a bond servant to Yeshua/Jesus (Yeshua is one way to transliterate into English the Hebrew Name of the One we have come to know as Jesus) which means one who has given himself completely and for all of his life to one master, in this case, our Messiah. Another bond servant we may be more familiar with is Sha'ul/Paul, the chief apostle to the goyim/nations or gentiles. Sha'ul also gave warning about Yeshua's teachings being twisted, through the words of Simon Peter, another identified bond servant of Messiah Yeshua:
II Peter 3
13But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 14Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Sha'ul/Paul expressed his own love for Messiah and His Word, the Torah, making it clear that he valued his heritage of being a Pharisee AND that he considered keeping these righteous teachings his expression of love and obedience to Messiah. He gave warning that later followers of this same Messiah should be alert:
17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
We present this information here in an effort to help those who have begun to study the Hebraic roots of the faith and now want to re-assess the foundation their faith practices have been built on. We do not question the sincerity and validity of anyone's faith but we do want to challenge the understanding of the expression of that faith, as Jude urged us to do. In order to keep the Word and His commands, we need to clearly understand what they are and the origins of any different teachings that we were warned would attempt to come in.
The following flow chart is an effort to put the necessary information together in a concise picture that will demonstrate:
- the foundation of the faith given and the practice of that faith that YHWH specifically directed in the Old Testament/also known as the Tanakh orTorah and confirmed through Yeshua and His disciples in what we have called the New Testament, also known as the Renewed Covenant or Brit Chadasha.
- the alternate streams of religion that developed alongside and where they have intermingled.
- where divisions have come about and whether the division was a step back toward the faith given once for all or a step further away from it.
- the prophetic pictures embedded in the history by the One Who knows the Beginning from the end.
He has made everything appropriate in its time He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'
For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,
He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.
For technical reasons, we were unable to create links directly from items on the flow chart to a brief summary of information for that entry. Instead, you will find these descriptive paragraphs, with sources, on the Descriptions page. It is organized according to the flow. ie. From top to bottom except for the portion that refers to the denominations flowing from the Reformation. In that portion, an attempt has been made to alphabetize the various components.
In this way, we hope to provide a clearer picture that can quickly help Believers research and comprehend the changes that have crept in to our expression of faith, just as we were warned they would. Please note that the entries in the center near the bottom, United Religions Initiative, and World Council of Churches, we would consider to be representative of man's effort to find unity.
It is by no means all inclusive, but to be viewed as representative, more to be seen as a starting place for further understanding.
May our Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth be honored and glorified in this!
Barbara L. Klika, MSW
Set Apart Ministries, Inc.
We advise you to go through the Flow Chart first, as the Descriptions page is NOT intended to be read as a narrative, but rather as a resource for any entry for which you need further information. We suggest that you open both pages so that you can toggle back and forth between the pages as needed.
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