The Way of His Saints

The prophecies concerning the redeemed would have to wait until the rest were fulfilled, “so all righteousness may be fulfilled.” (Psalm 22:30-31)

Before we go any further, though, I’d like to propose a little “Word test challenge” to you. As you’re going through the epistles, try (humor me, here), each time you see the word “faith”, substituting “the way” or “way” or “his way”, etc., as seems grammatically appropriate. I’ll give you an example: “The just shall live by his way.” Now, please bear with me, see if it changes the meaning of the text when you do so (“You show me your way by what you say, and I’ll show you my, the, his way by what I do.”) Really; go ahead, try it. “The way without works is dead.” “For by grace you have been saved through the way, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created (new creatures) in Yeshua ha Messiach for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” I personally have found that this applies in most, if not all, cases, with differences occurring in different root words for faith.

The Acts of the Apostles, who are shown to be the foundation of our faith, is where the name “The Way” is first applied to the church. What started me on this “study” was that I noticed (glory to God!) that not only did Jesus Christ call himself “The Way”, but the early “church” did as well. And, I noticed the difference between what the early church (actually ecclesia) lived and did, and what today’s church lives and does. And, therein I found the answers not only to my own struggles in my “walk”, but to issues that had confused me about today’s church as well. Where is the manifestation of the Spirit of God, in my own life as well as in the church(es)? Why are the churches not of “one accord”? Where is the “unselfish love” that was supposed to come with “repenting and believing”? For years I was hurt, bitter, critical, stumbling, and sinning; my prayers were empty, I didn’t receive what I asked for “in Jesus’ name”, and the “social life” of church wasn’t satisfying to me. What was wrong? Was it me? Was my faith (or belief) not sincere? I had led people “to the Lord”. I had been involved in several “ministries”. I had prayed and studied the bible, and had not “missed church” on Sundays, and had participated in and led “bible studies”. I had counseled people with “problems” in the Word. Why was I so empty? Why couldn’t I succeed in work or business no matter how hard I tried? What was wrong with me? Where was the “peace with God” I had been promised? I had, I thought, really meant what I prayed, after all.

I found the answers (glory to God and His Spirit!) in my search for The Way.


In the first mention of the way in the Book of the Acts, Peter makes reference in Acts 2:28 to the fulfillment of Psalm 16:8-11. In part, he says, “You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.” He continues by leading about three thousand men (and or plus women) to the way of repentance and baptism in(to) the Name of Yeshua ha Messiach. In order for us today to understand that they weren’t just “believing, being sorry, praying, and being (water) baptized”, it important to have some understanding of the Jewish wedding customs. So, please turn back at this point to the chapter, “Belief and Faith,” and re-read the account of Jewish wedding ritual.

He, through them, was now offering the same Covenant to others, beginning with the Jews. He could not offer it through the Apostles until they had their understanding opened (Luke 24) and then had been filled with His Spirit. All this is why we must examine ourselves carefully before sharing in the “Communion” of Fellowship in Him. Are we “keeping ourselves separate” from the rest of the world? Are we denying our fleshly lusts? Are we looking for our inheritance from other than His Father? Are we meticulously keeping oil in our Lamps by doing “the works of righteousness” that prepare us for His Arrival?

All of these issues are spoken of in the Epistles. So, how did the ecclesia of that time make themselves prepared? I’ve seen several churches with a “2nd Chapter of Acts” logo, but I’ve yet to see one that does what is described of The Ecclesia in the 2nd Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. I’ll come back to that later.

After the original ecclesia started getting peoples’ attention, or rather God, by His Spirit, through the ecclesia was getting peoples’ attention, an “alert” went out from the Jewish religious leadership to the synagogues of Damascus. This was at the request of the religious leaders’ personal pit-bull, a.k.a. Saul of Tarsus, who was “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”. (According to Jesus, what’s a disciple of His? Someone who has “forsaken all that he has.”) Now, the ones who were being sought out for capture were “of the Way” (Acts 9:1-2). What “way” was that? Those who followed the teachings of the Apostles. The Apostles doctrine. The teachings of Yeshua and The Life in Him, aka The Way. Now after Yeshua had His little talk with Saul “on the way” (vs. 9:27), then Saul, now Paul, turned entirely from his old life (being now dead to it), and joined the disciples.

When we get to Acts 13:6-11, we see Paul meet up with a guy referring to himself as “son of Jesus (Bar-Jesus)”, whose actual name was Elymas the sorcerer. This Elymus had planted himself next to the proconsul (or governing official/representative) of the area, and was attempting to dissuade the proconsul from hearing the Truth (he had much to lose if the Truth came out). So Paul, not PC at all, and filled with the Holy Spirit, says to the false prophet, “…you enemy of righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?” The Holy Spirit, through Paul, then glorifies God by blinding the sorcerer.

In Acts 14:8-17, we see the Holy Spirit, through Paul, perform a miraculous healing. Now, these particular Greeks of Lystra, being who they were, figured out (all by themselves) that Zeus and Hermes (Barnabus and Paul) had come to visit them. So they went about the process of sacrificing a couple oxen to them. This, of course, was not satisfactory to the two preachers. They, in God’s wisdom, turned the situation into an evangelical opportunity by saying that God was telling them to turn from such practices, “Who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.” The people, not at all happy at being deprived of their opportunity to party, and spurred on by some Jews from Antioch and Iconium, decided to take Paul out and stone him instead. Then, believing him to be dead, they drag him outside the city and leave him for dead. But if he was dead, it didn’t last long (vs. 20).

Now, there were some clever guys in Thyatira who, after Paul had preached to and converted Lydia, decided there was some profit to be had in following Paul around. These men made money by manipulating people through a slave girl who was possessed of a spirit of divination, and she had local credibility for her fortune telling. So, they had her follow Paul around and proclaim the truth, with her saying, “These men are the servants of The Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17) Though it was the truth, Paul, after a couple days, was annoyed and cast the spirit out of the girl. Well, in doing so he had cost the girl’s owners money, and had taken away a consistent form of revenue from them. Paul and the rest of them get beaten and jailed, but the rest of the story is great! I’ll leave it to you to see!

Acts 18:24-26 is quite instructional as to God’s various methods of bringing His Truth to us. We see Apollos, a “Greek” Jew who was born in Alexandria, a man eloquent and “mighty in the Scriptures” (known to us as the Old Testament), who had been instructed in the “way of the Lord.” Apollos was “fervent in spirit, (and) he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.” So, if he knew and taught accurately the things of the Lord, and knew only the baptism of John, who had instructed him in the way of the Lord? Well, the Word already told us. Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures. He was teaching the Way from the Scriptures without ever having met Yeshua or the Apostles! Then when Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” After this, Apollos joined the disciples and started proclaiming Yeshua ha Messiach, proving Him from the Scriptures. He vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, using only the Old Testament to do so!

In Acts 19:8-9, when Paul went to proclaim The Truth in the synagogues, “some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way…” This occurred amongst those who supposedly claimed to believe in the very God they were denying. There’s a lesson for today’s synagogues there. (Synagogues in the Greek can refer to any religious congregation or gathering, not necessarily Jewish, though in most cases the Word is speaking of Jewish congregations, some of which had followers of the Way in their midst. Eventually, in most cases, these followers would have to “come out from” these congregations.)

Acts 19:23-41 is a story of the dispute between the Way and the world. There “arose a great commotion about the Way” because, well, people who were committing to the Way were costing the merchants money. Those who converted weren’t buying worldly stuff any more, and the gospel instructed the people to cease their idolatry. Imagine what would happen to the economy of the United States if the “churches” stopped buying all those worldly idols that are available to us. I bet you’d see real persecution then! In the past, the “church” in the U.S. would use their cumulative buying power to “boycott” a product that was somehow tied to homosexuality or satanism or whatnot, but these days, no matter what we buy, we find we’re contributing to these worldly stains in one way or another, thanks to the “mega-corporation” structure of the U.S./world economy. If you buy chocolate, you’re contributing to slavery (it’s true; just check!) If you buy diamonds, same thing. If you buy gas or oil, you’re contributing to terrorism and murder (you’ll find this to be true if you take the time to check!) When you buy clothing or tennis shoes, the product you’re buying was most likely produced by a 10 year old slave who’s forced to work 16 hours a day for ten cents a day (more or less) in Taiwan or Indonesia or some other Asian country. These children are usually sold by their parents to mass marketers of slave labor. If the little girl is attractive, she’s sold off to someone in Bangkok for prostitution, no matter how young she is. Sometimes, it’s the boys. If not, he or she “lucks out” by being sent to the labor camps. This is for real! And let’s not even start discussing our kids’ toys. Or washer/dryer parts, or refrigerators and their parts, or TVs, computers, video games, stereos, fruits and vegetables, seafood, glassware, pots and pans, dinner plates, … The point is, we’ve given up by giving in to the world. Prove me wrong.

We get a clearer picture of why the Way was being persecuted when we look at these two facts: 1) The established religious structures were threatened by The Way because they lost their control, and therefore their influence with people and government, when people didn’t follow them any more. 2) The merchants complained to the government because they were losing money, and the government not only lost subsequent tariffs, but they had an increased workload as well. They must “deal with” the complaints of the merchants, and they’re being paid less to do it.

The solution? End the problem by sanctioning or jailing or killing the “perpetrators”, or remove your protecting hand from the “perps” and let the religious leaders and merchants hire thugs to deal with them. But we don’t have this kind of persecution in the “church” in the U.S. today, do we? I wonder why? Is “christianity” no longer a “threat” to the world and its economy? Why not? “Those who choose to walk righteously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” The christian market is, ashamedly, a multi-trillion dollar industry. And that doesn’t even count the worldly goods, the “conveniences,” we purchase.

Moving on, in Acts Chapter 22, while Paul is giving his “testimony” to an irate crowd, he mentions that “I persecuted this Way to the death…” Again, later, when Paul has been brought before the governor of the region, he’s answering the accusations of the Jewish “top guns and lawyers” and gives his testimony that “…I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect (in today’s terms, a cult), so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.” There can be no doubt that Paul was teaching and living with one accord what the Apostles were teaching and living, and that it was referred to (by both sides) as The Way.

In the Epistle to the Romans, the first mentions of the Way come when Paul is pointing out that the Jews and the Gentiles are both under the same judgment and that the cause and the  solution are the same for both of them. He quotes from the Psalms, the Proverbs, and the Book of Ecclesiastes. He writes, “They have all gone out of the way”, and, “the way of peace they have not known” as two of his references in context. After that, as he’s pointing out the majesty and glory of God, he writes, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” He goes on to beseech (urge) them to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, “which is your reasonable service”. In other words, we’re to separate (sanctify) ourselves by dying to ourselves and to the world and worldly things.

In Chapter 14 of Romans, Paul is teaching the Roman church that they should do nothing that will cause their weaker brothers to stumble. No, we should not point our finger and say, “You’re weak!” but instead we’re told “not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” Even if we feel that something is permissible, we’re not to dispute with him about our right to do it; instead, we should cease doing it in order to not make him stumble in his way by judging us.

When we arrive at I Corinthians 4:17, we see Paul telling the Corinthians that he is sending Timothy to them to remind them of his (“my”) “ways in Christ”. He was definitely walking the talk! In dealing with temptations in I Cor. 10:13, he says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” I always had trouble with this Scripture, before. I kept looking for a way of escape instead of the Way of escape. Those little words mean a lot! It’s interesting that he follows this with a short little line: “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” Do we remember that covetousness and idolatry are the same thing? Covetousness is what makes us want to “store up for tomorrow” in case we see something we covet and want it for ourselves! Yes, that’s Scriptural! Just dig!

I Corinthians chapter 12 should dismiss all those “the gifts are not for today” claims. After all, it says (in compliance with the whole of Scripture) in verse 13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink (the cup of the covenant) into one Spirit.” (Author added in comment). But he also tells us not to get “puffed up” about our gifts of the Spirit, saying, “But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”

The more excellent way? The Greek term is agape’. Agape’ is probably the most misunderstood, and possibly the most important, term in the whole of the Scriptures. After all, without it, nothing we do is worth anything (“but {if I} have not agape’, I am nothing”). What is agape’, really? It has been translated as love. It has been translated as charity. But both of these terms are misunderstood and misused. In Truth, agape’ is the very Spirit of God. More aptly, agape is the Spirit of the Love of God. Strong’s defines it as “a love feast; a feast of charity.” It is unselfish love. It is the grace of God. It is the type of love that Peter couldn’t lie and say that he had when asked about it by the Risen Jesus Christ. It is the love that we cannot have unless we have His Spirit (“Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” Romans 8:9). It is the agape’ from “God is Love”. No man can have agape’ without His Spirit, and no one without His Spirit has agape’. The very Spirit of Christ is the willingness of, and the tangible carrying out of, dying to our own lives and the deceits of the world. Without this agape’, we’re just “sounding brass and clanging cymbals”. And Yeshua and the Apostles made it quite clear that without dying to ourselves, and drinking the offered cup of His Blood Covenant, and being then filled with His Spirit, there is no (other) way we can acquire agape’. Paul goes on to say, “Pursue agape’, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy (exhort with the Spirit of Truth).” If we “throw out” this particular verse, or any other (canonized) verse, we must be prepared also to throw out half or all of the remaining Word of God.

When the Scriptures teach us to “put on Christ”, they are saying to “put on Agape’”. When they say, “I can do all things through Christ which (not who) strengthens me”, they are also saying, “I can do all things through Agape’ which strengthens me.” People just don’t get it; Jesus is Agape’ who came to earth in the form and flesh of a man! To acquire and live agape’ through and in Yeshua ha Messiach is the Way!

Many people today “feel” that charity (agape’) is the occasional “act of (unselfish?) giving.” Like goodwill and the “tithe checks”. We also think that love is a “warm and fuzzy” feeling that we have for someone or something. About Agape’, neither is true! Agape’ is the very spirit, the very essence, the very LifeBlood of Christ and of living in Him! It is a continuous state of unselfishness that is not possible without dying to self in Him and the recognition, by faith, of who He is and of His Covenant. That is the “Baptism of the Spirit” that both John and Yeshua spoke of! Can you see? Oh, I pray that you can see, and I despair that you may not!

Many of us are “dead in our sins”, and we just don’t know it yet, or maybe never will until that Day. Some of us have cheated death of its sting by dying to ourselves, to our flesh, and to our sin, and in faith continue in it, not turning back to our selfish desires of the world for our comfort. To such as these latter “dead folks”, Paul writes, “He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements (certificate of debt) that was against us … He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Col. 2:14)

II Thessalonians 2:7 says, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” The prophetic implications of this verse (in context) are staggering, and I’ve already taken note and begun searching for their intended meaning. But remember the verse, “If the foundations are destroyed, what are the righteous to do?” (Psalm 11:3) “And then the lawless one will be revealed…” As I look around at christendom and the world, it seems to me that it may be that The Way has been taken out of the way already. I’m serious as serious can be about that. Where is Christ-likeness and Christ-mindedness in the church today? Where is Agape’? Where is the manifestation of the power of the presence of God? Where is the fruit of John17:20-23 and Acts Chapters 2 and 4?

The Epistle to the Hebrews has several references to the way, the first one being a quote from the earlier mentioned Psalm 95. The writer (maybe Paul or Luke or James?) uses the “Do not harden your hearts” verse three times in two chapters to get the readers’ attention. In 3:10, he quotes, “They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways. So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” Oh, please, please, please, listen to what the Lord is saying in these verses. Do you remember John the Baptist’s warning? “…and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Please don’t say to yourself that you’ve “prayed the sinner’s prayer” or that “you’ve been baptized in Jesus’ name” or that you “go to church every Sunday” and believe that John’s words above don’t apply to you as well! Heed the message of the Scriptures! Don’t harden your heart against the Way, the Word, the Christ, the Lord of all! “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God, but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today”, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

There is a way out. (Speaking of priests that are taken from among men, Hebrews 5:1),  “ …Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself is also compassed with infirmity.” But then came Yeshua, the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, and “being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him;” We have a Way. Follow His instructions!

Hebrews 9:8 verifies this, saying, “The Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest…” and, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He has consecrated (blessed, made separate) for us, through the veil (that separated us from the Holy of Holies), that is to say, His flesh; and having a priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22) The Blood of Jesus and the pure water of Agape’. It would serve you well, I think, to prayerfully read the remainder of Hebrews Chapter 10.

In beginning to conclude his message, the writer of Hebrews then says, starting in 12:12, “Wherefore, lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

We must, through dying to self and dying to the world and its enticements, pursue holiness, setting ourselves apart, sanctifying ourselves in Yeshua to The Father’s glory. “For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:23-25)

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8. As christians, I can’t help but notice that we want to hang on to the world and its pleasures and hang on to God. He made it clear that He wouldn’t allow the children of Israel to do so, and since we’ve been grafted in, He will hold us to the same standards.

And, “Let him know, that he which converts a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20

Well, we’re getting close to “wrapping things up” as we move into Peter’s writings. In II Peter 2:1-3, he’s speaking of people who do not teach the Truth. In verse one, he names the “false teachers” with “damnable heresies”, and warns that “many shall follow their pernicious (evil, wicked, injurious) ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” Are we living the way of truth, or are we causing it to be evil spoken of? And continuing on the same theme of false teachers, he writes, “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” II Peter 2:14-15.

And one more from Peter, “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” (II Peter 2:21).

Okay, folks, remember, please, that I didn’t come up with this; I’m just repeating it. But when I look at the world of denominationalism out there in the world, and they all claim to be right, and, they can’t all be right, and I look for The Way, and can’t find it in our churches, these words of Peter’s make me fearful, keeping in mind the writings of many of the other Holy Spirit inspired writers, for those who are leading and teaching, as well as for those who are listening and doing what they say to do. I simply do not see The Way being taught or lived today. It’s as if we have taken Him, the Way, out of the Way.

In verse 3:1, Peter writes, “This second epistle I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of the Apostles of the Lord and Savior.” In other words, remember the Apostles’ Doctrine, The Way, and Who they received it from, and how it was established of old by God through His Prophets. He goes on to describe many of the things they foretold. Please read 3:11 before we move on. Thank you.

Do you remember how we started this work at the entrance/exit of The Garden? And what was said about Cain? Keep that in mind when you read Jude 1:11: “Woe unto them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah. These are the blemishes in your feasts of agape’, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear…” Peter continues with the conclusion for such men.

The last mention of The Way(s) of the Lord comes to us in The Revelation of Yeshua ha Messiach. In 15:3, the Saints with the harps of God “sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of The Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of Saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy Name?”


Who, indeed?