In Taking Thoughts Captive - Part One, I attempted to explain what it means to "take our thoughts captive". Basically it means that anytime we have a thought/belief, as Followers of Yeshua (Jesus) we need to make sure those thoughts/beliefs line up with the Word of Yahweh (God). I shared a few quotes from Dr. Neil T. Anderson, from his book The Bondage Breaker. I also shared one of the main verses that he frequently refers to - 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (KJV, emphasis mine)
In this part two of my post, I want to address the latter part of 2 Corinthians 10:5. What is the "obedience of Christ? I am going to share what I saw in my Bible study this week, and I hope that you will prayerfully consider it and test it with the Scriptures.
In Deuteronomy 31:9-13, it states that all the people of Israel were supposed to have the Torah (aka Law) read to them at the Feast of Tabernacles every seven years, "that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law," (ESV) Personally, I prefer the ISR translation for this verse because it reads "guard to do all the Words of this Torah". I think that the word "guard" is a better translation because the Hebrew word used is shamar, which means to " to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. Guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc". The word "guard" has a stronger emphasis than "do", don't you agree?
After reading Deuteronomy 31 this week, I had a thought and wrote it in my Bible study notebook (side note - in case this is your first time reading my posts - instead of God and Jesus, I use the Hebrew names Yahweh and Yeshua. Also, instead of Law, I use Torah, which simply means "instructions", but is most commonly referred to as Law):
If Yahweh commanded that the Torah be read to everyone every seven years during the Feast of Tabernacles, then obviously the Torah would be hearing the Words of Yahweh. Yeshua repeatedly said that His words were not His own, but His Father's. And He also said in John 5:46-47, "For if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" Yeshua equates His words with Moses' writings - Moses wrote the words of Yahweh!
In Matthew 4:4, Yeshua says: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of Yahweh." (ISR) Yeshua was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, and it was the Book of Deuteronomy from which He quoted the most during His ministry!
I want to share with you more of the thread that I saw in my study:
In Deuteronmy 18:18-19, Yahweh tells this prophecy concerning Yeshua to Moses:
I shall raise up for them a Prophet like you out of the midst of their brothers. And I shall put My Words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be, the man who does not listen to My Words which He speaks in My Name, I require it of him. (ISR)
In John 3:34a, referring to Yeshua, John the Baptist says: "For the One whom God has sent speaks the words of God." (ESV)
Yeshua Himself said in John 7:16-19:
My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me? (ESV)
Here Yeshua is again pointing to the Torah!
And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me." (ESV)
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (ESV)
And finally, in John 17 Yeshua is praying to the Father. In verses 6-8 He says:
I have revealed Your Name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have guarded Your Word. Now they have come to know that all You gave to Me, is from You. Because the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to them. And they have received them, and have truly known that I came forth from You,
and they believed that You sent Me. (ISR)
According to this last passage in John, Yeshua was telling the Father that His disciples were indeed guarding the Torah!
Yeshua consistently referred to the Torah.
Yeshua personally guarded, or said differently - was obedient to the Torah!
This, I believe, is the "obedience of Christ" that Paul referred to in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) was obedient to the Torah - the words of Yahweh. We are to imitate our Messiah. Let it be said of me, "Father, Christy has guarded Your Word. Because the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to her, and she received them."
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)
A list of references in the Book of John alone that refer to Yeshua speaking the Father's Words (there might be more that I missed):
John 7:16-17, 19
John 8:28-32, 38-42
John 14:10, 21, 23-25
John 15:7-11, 14-20