The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”
 

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!

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Please Note: Nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth. Sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. Why isn’t my theology consistent throughout this website?

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Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Robert M. Bowman, Jr. Why You Should Believe in the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah's Witnesses. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989, p. 18.]
 

An Introduction to the
Science of Theology

Lesson 6: Non-Biblical Practices
of the Gentile Christian Church

In Lesson 4 we looked at what I called the bare essentials of a Messianic Thelogy and in Lesson 5 we considered a brief summary of Bible doctrines. In this lesson I want to touch on three significant non-Biblical practices of the Gentile Christian Church. I don’t do this our of spite or to condemn or ridicule the Church; I ignorantly taught and participated on all these practices except for the last one on the list. But it is incredibly important that if we really want to know and practice what the Bible actually teacher, it is imperative that we critically evaluate our own faith and practice.

In this lesson:


Is “Orthodox Christianity” Actually Orthodox?

Before we can intelligently answer that question, we must first understand what the word “orthodox” actually means.

The noun “orthodoxy” and its corresponding adjective “orthodox” are derived from Late Latin, borrowed from Ancient Greek ορθοδοξία (orthodoxía), from ορθός (orthós — right, true, straight, correct) + δόξα (dóxa — way, opinion, praise, worship); so “having the right oipinion, or “correct worship.” “Orthodoxy” denotes correctness in doctrine and belief, or conformity to established and accepted beliefs. “Orthodox” signifies conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true; established and approved. For the purpose of this discussion, we will use the theological definition, “correct worship.”

Bob Larson, author of Larson’s Book of Cults, says:

“Compatibility to Bible doctrine, not social respectability and the usage of evangelical clichés, should determine whether or not any religious body is truly Christian [we should apply the same test to any person or body that would claim to be “Messianic”]. When making this evaluation, test these five areas of teaching:

  1. the attributes of God,
  2. the Person of Christ,
  3. the nature of mankind,
  4. the requirements of atonement, and
  5. the source of revelation. ...

We looked at that list in Lesson o4.

Dr. Walter Martin, one of the leading Christian apologists and cjult teachers of the 20th century, defines a “cult” as any religious group “which adhere[s] to major doctrines which are pointedly contradictory to orthodox Christianity.” I began teaching the Church about the beliefs of pseudo-Christian cults and world religions in the mid-1970’s, and it wasn’t until the late-1990’s that I began to realize that much of the issue that I was taking with the so-called “cults” is not significantly different from much of the error that is being taught from most Christian pulpits.

When I began to carefully examine the Scriptures in the context of their true Hebrew origins, and to carefully and consistently apply the rules of Bible interpretation (Lesson 2) that I had been teaching for nearly 30 years, I was forced to admit that what is considered “orthodox Christianity” is as far from Bible Truth as “the cults” are from “orthodox Christianity.”

This forced me to adopt a definition of a “cult” that is only cosmetically similar to Dr. Martin’s definition:

any religious group which adheres to doctrines which are pointedly contradictory to those essential truths taught by Yeshua and His Emissaries.

I have come to the realization, much to my dismay, that “the Church” and “orthodox Christianity” are in most cases as far removed from the true Biblical faith as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, and many others are from “orthodox Christianity.”

Nearly everything that you have read — and will read in the future — on this website is the fruit of that realization.

The same test should be applied equally to the teachings of every group that claims to be either “Christian” or “Messianic.” Many groups, by whatever name they call themselves, which deviate from the clear essential teaching of Yeshua and His Emissaries are easily identifiable by a cursory review of their teachings, and what is considered by most to be “orthodox Christianity” fails the test in many critical areas. I personally, therefore, consider most of “Christianity” to actually be a non-Biblical cult, and the three most damning errors of “Christianity” that concern me are anti-Semitism, Replacement Theology, and the open acceptance of paganism in the Church.

There are many religious groups whose deviations from true Biblical faith are more difficult to spot. When trying to determine whether or not to classify a particular group as a “cult,” the crux of the entire matter lies in the answer to one simple question:

“Is it possible for person — whether Jew or Gentile — to be a true Believer in the real Mashiach of Bible, one who correctly understands true Biblical doctrine, to whole-heartedly embrace the teaching of the religious group in question?”

A “Christian” or “Messianic Believer” may be variously defined as “one who belongs to Mashiach (of Christ),” or “one who is involved in a personal relationship with Mashiach (or Christ),” or even more simply stated, “one who is ‘saved’.” The term “saved” is traditional “Christian shorthand” for describing a person who has made a public confession of faith in “Jesus,” has been baptized, has not “backslidden,” and is assumed to be living in a committed relationship to the Master.

What the Bible teaches, however, is that in order for one to be in possession of eternal life, one must have repented of their sinful lifestyle, returned to God, accepted His completed work of redemption on their behalf, placed themselves under the Lordship of Yeshua HaMashiach, and be consistently walking in obedience to His commandments (not perfect, but quick to repent). They have entered into a personal relation with the God of the Bible and will spend eternity with Him in the Kingdom. Since salvation depends solely upon one’s personal relationship with the God of the Bible through Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach, it is most important for us to have a clear understanding of what, according to the Scriptures, are the stated requirements for salvation.

For example, within the group of those who consider themselves “evangelical Christians” there is a major division on the doctrine of eternal security. On one side of the dividing line are those Christians who believe that the work of salvation is totally dependent upon God, and since God cannot change His mind, once one is saved one can never lose that salvation. On the other side of the line are many Christians who reason that since salvation is dependent upon one’s faith, if one allows his/her faith to waiver, or demonstrates lack of faith by a willful act of disobedience (sin), then that person’s salvation is lost until the faith is regained or the sin is properly repented of.

One must then decide whether one’s position on the doctrine of eternal security, although terribly important to the peace of mind of the believer, is in fact critical to the fact of one’s salvation.

Further, a distinction must be drawn “salvation” and “rewards.” Is it possible for a person to be “saved” and not receive one’s “rewards”?

A very brief review of the pertinent scriptures shows clearly that “salvation” is the free gift of God based solely on faith, whereas “rewards” are in response to one’s actions or “works” (ergon, ergon).

Then what should we say Avraham, our forefather, obtained by his own efforts? For if Avraham came to be considered righteous by God because of legalistic observances, then he has something to boast about. But this is not how it is before God! For what does the Tanakh say? "Avraham put his trust in God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness." Now the account of someone who is working is credited not on the ground of grace but on the ground of what is owed him. (Rom 4: 1-4, cp. Gal. 3:6 and James 2:23) [1]

Here we have the required “three witnesses” stating that “justification” comes only by believing God [not just believing in God — the demons believe in God, and it makes them shudder with fear (James 2:19)] independent of any “performance” issues.

What, then, does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word about trust which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord [ADONAI] and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered. For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance. For the passage quoted says that everyone who rests his trust on Him will not be humiliated. That means that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - ADONAI is the same for everyone, rich toward everyone who calls on him, since everyone who calls on the name of ADONAI will be delivered. (Romans 10:8-13)

This clearly teaches two important lessons: (1) if you believe that Yeshua is ADONAI, the God of Israel, and believe in His bodily resurrection, you will be saved, and (2) “Whoever will call on the name of ADONAI will be saved.”

I will show wonders in the sky and on earth — blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and terrible Day of ADONAI. At that time, whoever calls on the name of ADONAI will be saved. For in Mount Tziyon and Yerushalayim there will be those who escape, as ADONAI has promised; among the survivors will be those whom ADONAIhas called. ((Joel 2:30-32, CJB)

This clearly confirms that “whoever calls on the name of ADONAI (the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) will be saved.” It appears that those who teach that in order to be saved one must “call on the name of Jesus” are incorrect.

Rejoice, be glad, because your reward in heaven is great — they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way. (Matt. 5:12, also Luke 6:23)

This indicates that beyond salvation there are rewards stored up for you in the “Bank of Heaven.”[2] But there are multiple passages that speak of earthly rewards as well.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. All that awaits me now is the crown of righteousness which the Lord, "the Righteous Judge," will award to me on that Day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for him to appear. (2 Tim. 4:7-8)

How blessed is the man who perseveres through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive glory as your unfading crown. (1 Peter 5:4)

… Remain faithful, even to the point of death; and I will give you life as your crown. (Rev. 2:10)

I am coming soon; hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. (Rev. 3:11)

There are also “crowns” stored up in heaven to be awarded based on performance here on earth.

"Pay attention!" [says Yeshua,] "I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the 'A' and the 'Z,' the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city! (Rev. 22:12-14)

Messiah is “coming soon” to render rewards for good performance (or punishment for poor performance?), grant access to the tree of life and to the gates of the city. So is “New Jerusalem“ during the Kingdom Period or in the olam habah? Some Christian theologians believe New Jerusalem will be established in the air above Temple Mount at the end of the Kingdom Period and after the total renovation of the earth; others think it will be during the Kingdom Period. Many Jewish theologians say that it will be be built 64 miles south of the current location of Jerusalem and will be the dwelling place for the Twelve Tribes during the Messianic Era. How we interpret the timing of New Jerusalem, and how we understand where or what “heaven” is determines whether or not we consider this a “salvation passage.”

Moreover, love is this: that we should live according to his commands. This is the command, as you people have heard from the beginning; live by it! For many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not acknowledge Yeshua the Messiah's coming as a human being. Such a person is a deceiver and an anti-Messiah. Watch yourselves, so that you won't lose what you have worked for, but will receive your full reward. Everyone who goes ahead and does not remain true to what the Messiah has taught does not have God. Those who remain true to his teaching have both the Father and the Son. If someone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, don't welcome him into your home. Don't even say, "Shalom!" to him; (2 John 1:6-10)

This suggests that those who fail to “walk according to His commandments” (that is, those who fail follow Torah) may “lose what we have accomplished” and fail to “receive a full reward.” It also seems to say that anyone who fails to follow Torah as Messiah taught it “does not have God.” This could be interpreted as saying that Torah-observance is a requirement of salvation, but that contradicts what the balance Scripture says about faith being the only requirement.

Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud [the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet] or a stroke [a decorative flourish on some Hebrew letters] will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot (commands) and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 5:17-19, CJB)

This passage indicates that those who believe in and follow Yeshua are expected to obey the commandments of Torah, but that those who fail to do so may still be a part of “the Kingdom,” but they will be considered among ”the least,” whereas those who keep the Torah and teach others to do likewise will be considered “great” in the Kingdom. So it would seem that it is possible to be “saved” and lose out on rewards and, conversely, to gain rewards and not be “saved.”

What, then, are the absolutes? What are the absolute minimums that mark a belief system as “Biblical” or “unbiblical?” I agree with Bob Larson, that these are the five “absolutes” — those beliefs which a religious group positively accept to be considered “Biblical.”

  1. the attributes of God,
  2. the Person of Christ,
  3. the nature of mankind,
  4. the requirements of atonement, and
  5. the source of revelation. ...

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Even if the five conditions set by Bob Larson are met, there are till three other major considerations to be evaluated to determine whether or not an assembly of believers is Biblical.

6. Anti-Semitism

Christianity claims to follow “Jesus Christ” whom they honor as their “Lord and Savior.” But very few Christians take into consideration that He also is now (not just was) and forever will be the Jewish King of the Jewish people. He was not a Gentile, He was not a Christian, He was not the founder of the Christian Church, and his name was not Jesus Christ. The name given to Him by Gavriel, and then by His earthly parents, was (and still is) Yeshua (the Hebrew word we translate as salvation). Not a single person who ever knew Him in the flesh ever called Him “Jesus.” In fact, neither the Hebrew or Greek language has the “jay” sound in their alphabet, so it would have been linguistically impossible for anyone to have called Him “Jesus.”

He was a Jew, the son of Jewish parents, with Jewish grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. His great-great-great (etc.) grandfather was King David. All of his friends and neighbors were Jews. His step-father was a Jewish construction worker named Yosef, and his mother was a Jewish woman whose name was Miryam. In obedience to God’s instruction through the angel Gavri'el, His parents gave Him the Hebrew name “Salvation,” Yeshua. So He was know by everyone far and wide as Yeshua ben-Yosef. He could probably get by in Koine Greek, but His native language was Hebrew.

Rabbi YeshuaAt the age of thirty He became a Jewish rabbi and gathered around him a “school” of Jewish talmidim (students or disciples), just like every other Jewish rabbi in the first century did. Rabbi Yeshua and His talmidim lived strictly Torah-observant lifestyles and taught others to follow that example. And they all died as strictly Torah-observant Jews. He wore a tallit (prayer shawl) when He prayed and he wore tzit-zitot (fringes) on the corners of all his garments. In His entire life He never attended a single church service, but extremely rarely, if ever, did He miss a Shabbat (Sabbath) in the synagogue or a holy day in the Temple. Yeshua’s teaching was extremely similar to that of the sect of the Pharisees, except He rebuked the Pharisees when they placed human tradition above the clear teaching of the Torah.

He taught Torah to the masses, and taught His talmidim how to both correctly interpret and correctly teach the Torah. He commanded His followers to obey the Torah, because sin is disobedience to Torah (1John 3:4). He told his followers that if they loved Him they would obey his commands to follow Torah. Concerning the Torah, He said:

So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot (commandments) and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matt 5:19)

In fact, if Yeshua ever violated any provision of Torah or ever instructed anyone to violate or set aside any provision of Torah, He would have been immediately been disqualified to be the substitutionary sacrifice for sin, because He would have been a sinner Himself.

Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah — indeed, sin is violation of Torah; (1John 3:4)

For the first 17 years or so following His resurrection, every single person who followed Him was a Jew, and not one of them stopped being Jewish to become a Christian.[4] After the first few Gentile believers were admitted to fellowship in about 50 C.E., there was discussion about how they would learn to live a Jewish lifestyle, which was resolved by deciding that they would learn by attending not their local church, but their local synagogues:

For from the earliest times, Moshe [Moses] has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Shabbat." (Acts 15:21)

In fact, the writer of the letter to the Messianic Jews (Hebrews) admonishes his readers to “not forsake our own assembling together.” The Greek word translated as “assembling” is episunagoge (episunagoge) which literally means “from the synagogue.” So the admonition is literally not to abandon the synagogue. This letter was written approximately at the time of the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., so about 37 years after the Resurrection, the writer is telling the followers of Yeshua to not abandon the synagogue. Up until the bar Kochba rebellion in about 135, the followers of Yeshua met in the synagogues with all the rest of the Jews, and not a single one of them every stopped being a Jew to become a “Christian.” There simply were no “churches” until well into the second century. For more information, read “Where Did the Word ‘Church’ Come From?

For the past 1,700 years or so the “Church” has carefully followed the example of the Council of Nicaea and worked extremely hard to rid itself of anything remotely Jewish. It has rejected God’s divine instruction, the Torah, by falsely claiming that “Jesus nailed the Law to His cross.” While claiming to “keep the commandments,” the Church recognizes only nine out of the 613 commandments of Torah. It has rejected God’s eight appointed times of fellowship with Him (the Sabbath, Passover, First Fruits, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Purim) and replaced them with two pagan “holidays” that honor the Roman sun god Saturn (Sun-day and Saturnalia, or Christmas) and the false goddess Ishtar (Easter), also known as Diana of the Ephesians. Since the Council of Nicaea outlawed anything Jewish, the Church has aggressively persecuted the blood relatives of Yeshua, murdering well over 35 million Jews in the name of “Jesus.”

Any religion that hates the blood relatives of Yeshua, the King of the Jews, and murders them in His name is not of God. Neither is any religion of God which stands against the people and nation of Israel.

For ADONAI-Tzva'ot has sent me on a glorious mission to the nations that plundered you, and this is what he says: "Anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye. (Zech 2:8)

I will bless those who bless you [Israel}, but I will curse anyone who curses you [Israel]; and by you [Israel] all the families of the earth will be blessed. (Gen 12:3)

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7. Replacement Theology

For those who are not familiar with the term “Replacement Theology,” it is the abominable heresy that God, Who cannot lie and Who never changes, has arbitrarily cancelled the “everlasting covenants” that He made with Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya`akov, and with “their descendants forever” (Genesis 15:18, Genesis 17:1-21, Genesis 26:2-5, Exodus 6:4-8, Exodus 19:5-6, Exodus 34:10-27, Leviticus 26:41-45, Deuteronomy 4:31, Deuteronomy 5:3, Deuteronomy 7:9-12, Judges 2:1, 1Kings 8:23, 2Kings 13:23, 2Kings 17:38, 1Chronicles 16:15-17, 2Chronicles 6:14, Nehemiah 1:5, Psalm 89:34, Psalm 105:8-10, Psalm 111:9, Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:5-10, Isaiah 59:21, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Jeremiah 32:40, Jeremiah 33:20-27, Ezekiel 16:59-62, Ezekiel 37:21-26, Luke 1:67-75, Acts 3:24-25, Romans 11:1-32), and has transferred those promises to the Gentile “church.” This is a lie straight from the pit of Hell that is particularly detestable to all Believers in Israel’s Messiah because it makes God a liar, and makes the Bible just another book of legends and fables. This heresy is taught, at least in some degree, by nearly every Christian church and denomination, and it teaches that God is a liar who does not honor His word.

If God did not honor His everlasting covenant with Israel, than the Church has no hope for salvation, for if God has broken His word with Israel, He cannot be trusted to save those Gentiles who call on His name! Read more HERE.

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8. Paganism

It was not until the Council of Nicaea was convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine (325 CE) that the “church” as we know it today came into existence, and the Messianic Jews were given the option to either renounce all things Jewish and become Gentiles or be put to death.[5]

Desiring to consolidate both the religious and secular aspects of the Empire under his authority (ca. 311 CE), Constantine, who was by virtue of his office as Emperor also the pontifex maximus [the title still held today by his successor, the Pope], or high priest of the form of the Babylonian Mystery Religion that was practiced in the Empire, merged Messianic Judaism and the pagan Babylonian religion into a single, empire-wide religion that he called “Christianity” or “the church.” He and his successor Emperor/Popes simply redefined the terms and practices of the Babylonian religion with “Bible words” and appointed their pagan priests as “bishops” of the new official state religion.[6] They had all the statues of the Roman gods and goddesses renamed with the names of influential people in the Apostolic Writings, particularly the Shliachim, and replaced the worship of these statues with “the veneration of saints” (which is not significantly different in any way!) [7], [8]

In 325 Constantine called a council of 318 of these “bishops,” systematically excluding all bishops of Jewish ancestry, and for all practical purposes outlawed all things Jewish, thereby also outlawing virtually all things biblical that remained in the hybrid Roman state religion.[9] It was also decreed at this council that all copies of the Jewish Scriptures should be destroyed. It is my considered opinion that the original Hebrew versions of the Apostolic Writings must have been also destroyed at this time, which explains why we have only the Greek copies extant today.

So we can clearly see that from 33 CE to 325 CE, a period of almost 300 years from the Resurrection, the Body of Messiah was in all respects an integral part of worldwide normative Judaism, and not at all anything remotely resembling a “new religion.” The only real “new religion” was, in fact, the Roman state religion which, by totally rejecting all things Jewish, rejected everything that Yeshua and the Shliachim stood for, lived by, and taught. Unfortunately, by patterning virtually all Protestant churches after the Roman model and rejecting the “Old Testament” and the Torah of God as no longer relevant for “Christians,” the modern “Church” has also essentially rejected everything that Yeshua and the Shliachim stood for and taught. I am forced to consider that the modern “Church” may very possibly be the apostasy (ajpostasiva, apostasia) that Rabbi Sha'ul wrote about in 2Thessalonians 2:3.

It should also be noted that the Council of Nicaea and the “new religion” that was spawned there was the true source of the systematic persecution of Jews by “Christians” for nearly 1,700 years thus far, which has culminated in the “Final Solution” of Hitler’s Third Reich and America’s so-called “Roadmap for Peace,” which is a not-so-subtle plan carefully designed to complete the task of the failed “Final Solution” and rid the world of the “Jewish Menace” once and for all. But this has come to pass in fulfillment of Yeshua’s prophecy that just before the appearance of the Anti-Messiah,[10] Israel must become “hated of all nations” (Matthew 24:9). Now that America, Israel’s last ally, has very subtly turned against her,[11] she finally stands alone against the entire world, waiting for Messiah to return and rescue her from her enemies. Oh, if only all Israel would cry out together to HaShem, “Barukh haba b’shem ADONAI! Marana ta! [Blessed is He Who comes in the name of ADONAI! Our LORD comes!]

The Moadim: HaShem’s Appointed Times

HaShem has appointed a set calendar of eight special days and times that His people are commanded to observe as special to Him throughout all our generations. (Leviticus 23)

1ADONAI said to Moshe, 2"Tell the people of Isra'el: 'The designated times of ADONAI which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are My designated times.

[1. Shabbat] 3"'Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh day is a Shabbat of complete rest, a holy convocation; you are not to do any kind of work; it is a Shabbat for ADONAI, even in your homes.

4"'These are the designated times of ADONAI, the holy convocations you are to proclaim at their designated times.

[2. Passover] 5"'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes Pesach for ADONAI.

[3. Unleavened Bread] 6On the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of matzah; for seven days you are to eat matzah. …

[4. First Fruits] 10"Tell the people of Isra'el, 'After you enter the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the cohen. 11He is to wave the sheaf before ADONAI, so that you will be accepted; the cohen is to wave it on the day after the Shabbat.…

[5. Weeks/Pentecost] 15"'From the day after the day of rest -that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving -you are to count seven full weeks, 16until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to ADONAI.

[6. Rosh HaShanah/Trumpets/Yom Taruah] 23ADONAI said to Moshe, 24"Tell the people of Isra'el, 'In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar. 25Do not do any kind of ordinary work, and bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI.'"

[7. Yom Kippur/Atonement] 27"The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom-Kippur; you are to have a holy convocation, you are to deny yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI. 28You are not to do any kind of work on that day, because it is Yom-Kippur, to make atonement for you before ADONAI your God. …

[Sukkot/Tabernacles] 33ADONAI said to Moshe, 34"Tell the people of Isra'el, 'On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to ADONAI. 35On the first day there is to be a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work. 36For seven days you are to bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI; on the eighth day you are to have a holy convocation and bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI; it is a day of public assembly; do not do any kind of ordinary work. … 42You are to live in sukkot for seven days; every citizen of Isra'el is to live in a sukkah, 43so that generation after generation of you will know that I made the people of Isra'el live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am ADONAI your God.'"

37"'These are the designated times of ADONAI that you are to proclaim as holy convocations … each on its own day … 44Thus Moshe announced to the people of Isra'el the designated times of ADONAI.

In blatant disobedience, the Church chooses to ignore HaShem’s special days that He has said He wants to spend with His people. They arrogantly tell Him, “We really don’t care what You want. Your desires aren’t important to us. We choose to assemble on the pagan worship days of Sunday, Christmas, and Easter, and for good measure we’ll throw in Wednesday! We expect You to show up on our schedule and bless us!”

Sunday Worship

HaShem has decreed that the seventh day of the week be observed as His Shabbat:

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exod. 20:8-11)

Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. You have six days to labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat for ADONAI your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work - not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. For in six days, ADONAI made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why ADONAI blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself. (Exod. 31:14-16)

On six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is to be a holy day for you, a Shabbat of complete rest in honor of ADONAI. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death. You are not to kindle a fire in any of your homes on Shabbat." (Exod. 35:2-3)

The practice of Sunday worship began in 311 CE with a decree from the Roman emperor that no work could be done on “Sun-day” because it was to be a day of worship of the Roman sun god, Sol Invictus (hence the name Sun-day), and was carried over into the cult which Constantine developed and called “Christianity.” HaShem has made it abundantly clear that the seventh day of the week is to be set aside as a Sabbath for Him. HaShem said, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” The Hebrew word translated “holy” is "Xdq (kodoesh), which means to be set apart for a specific purpose — to cease all of our ordinary work to spend the day with Him. However, the Church has opted to follow the decree of Constantine and observe the day of worship of the Roman sun god.

When we learn that there is absolutely no biblical precedent for setting aside ADONAI’s Sabbath in favor of worshipping on the day of pagan sun worship, that this tradition is in fact nothing more nor less than submission to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, is there a valid reason for non-Catholics continuing to do so? Or should we be obedient to God’s commandment to “remember the Shabbat and keep it holy” — a commandment which has never been rescinded by Scripture. Catholic leaders still mock Protestants who worship on Sunday, because they are only doing so out of their recognition of the Pope’s authority over them.

Christmas

A simple calculation from the schedule of the priests’ service found in 1 Chron. 24 can be used to pinpoint the date of Yeshua’s birth as during the autumn Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles), and clearly nowhere near December 25. When we learn that modern “Christ-mass” is nothing more than a modified version of the Roman festival of Saturnalia observed on December 25 in honor of their pagan god Saturn, does it make sense to continue observing what has become the most pagan holiday of the entire year next to HaSatan’s high holy day, Halloween? Or should we be honoring Yeshua by observing His actual birth date on Sukkot? Obviously this is an extreme nit-pick, but is it a really just a coincidence that SANTA is an anagram for SATAN? (No, I’m not seriously suggesting that this was intentional, but I just think it’s an initeresting concidence.)

Easter

“Queen of Heaven”
Transition from Ishtar to Mary
Source: warriorsoftheruwach.com/easter
Accessed August 9, 2019

HaShem established Passover an a permanent ordinance to commemorate our freedom from Egyptian bondage, and it’s fulfillment in Yeshya HaMashiach marked our freedom from boindage to sin and its penalty. When we have learned that the modern celebration of “Easter” is taken directly from the Babylonian mystery religion and is in honor of the fertility goddess Semiramis (a.k.a. Ishtar, Astarte, Aphrodite, Diana, Venus, etc.), should we continue to observe it?

“Semiramis was the goddess of fertility and since the bunny rabbit was the fastest reproducing animal, she adopted that animal as her sex symbol. The egg was a sacred symbol among the Babylonians, and they believed an old fable about an egg of wondrous size which was supposed to have fallen from heaven into the Euphrates River. From this marvelous egg (according to the ancient story) the Goddess Eastre / Astarte, (Easter or Semiramis) was hatched, and the egg came to symbolize the Goddess Easter. Her baby son Nimrod (later reincarnated as Tammuz) also had other names in various cultures because this Babylonian religion migrated around the world.”[12]

When we have learned that the Roman Catholic Church directly patterned their Easter holiday after the worship of a pagan goddess, does it make sense to continue to observe that pagan festival instead of celebrating the Resurrection at its rightful time on the Feast of First Fruits, the first day of the week following Passover? When we understand that the fertility symbols of the goddess Ishtar were bunnies and eggs, is it proper for us to have our little ones searching for colored eggs on the Feast of Ishtar? Please see the informative article on the Feast of Ishtar at https://warriorsoftheruwach.com/easter.

Halloween

“I’m glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year.” — Anton LaVey, Founder of the Church of Satan, 1966

This is the one pagan holiday that almost every thinking person, if they will actually stop to think, understands is deeply rooted in evil, satanic paganism. It is Satan’s “High Holy Day.” Across the world, Satanists actually sacrifice young children to Satan in bloody rituals. A dear friend of mine served as a minister in a congregation in a suburb of San Franciso many years ago. A member of his congregation was a Special Agent with the FBI, whose full-time job was to try to find the remains of children who had been sacrificed throughout the greater Bay Area on Halloween.

Yet knowing full well the evil of this night, Christian parents — and even some Churches — host Halloween parties for their children. Their excuse is that is “fun” for their children to dress up in costumes and get sick on candy. If they would only do a bit of research, they would learn that HaShem has provided an alternate day for dressing up in costumes and getting sick on candy. It is called Purim.

Mariolotry: The Adoration (Worship) of Mary

If you are not a Catholic, it probably doesn’t affect you that the “veneration (worship) of Mary” as “Queen of Heaven” is nothing more than a continuation of the ancient Nimrod cult that worshipped the goddess Ishtar as “Queen of Heaven” (see above).

Many dictionaries and thesauri (thesauruses) list “veneration” and “worship” as synonyms and define them as the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. In an interesting twist of semantic manipulation, the Roman Church excuses the practice of granting such homage to humans:

In Roman Catholic and Orthodox theology, veneration is a type of honor distinct from the adoration due to God alone. According to Mark Miravelle of Franciscan University of Steubenville, the English word "worship" has been associated with both veneration and adoration:

As St. Thomas Aquinas once explained, adoration, which is known as latria in classical theology, is the worship and homage that is rightly offered to God alone. It is the manifestation of submission, and acknowledgement of dependence, appropriately shown towards the excellence of an uncreated divine person and to his absolute Lordship. It is the worship of the Creator that God alone deserves. Although we see in English a broader usage of the word “adoration” which may not refer to a form of worship exclusive to God—for example, when a husband says that he “adores his wife”—in general it can be maintained that adoration is the best English denotation for the worship of latria.

Veneration, known as dulia in classical [Roman Catholic] theology, is the honor and reverence appropriately due to the excellence of a created person. Excellence exhibited by created beings likewise deserves recognition and honor. We see a general example of veneration in events like the awarding of academic awards for excellence in school, or the awarding of olympic medals for excellence in sports. There is nothing contrary to the proper adoration of God when we offer the appropriate honor and recognition that created persons deserve based on achievement in excellence.

We must make a further clarification regarding the use of the term “worship” in relation to the categories of adoration and veneration. Historically, schools of theology have used the term “worship” as a general term which included both adoration and veneration. They would distinguish between “worship of adoration” and “worship of veneration.” The word “worship” (in a similar way to how the liturgical term “cult” is traditionally used) was not synonymous with adoration, but could be used to introduce either adoration or veneration. Hence Catholic sources will sometimes use the term “worship” not to indicate adoration, but only the ` worship of veneration given to Mary and the saints.
[Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Veneration, accessed Monday, September 23, 2019]


 
In closing this particular study, let me leave you with one very important idea to be considering. Those few Christian churches that are concerned about Jewish evangelism ponder the question, “How can we help Jewish people get saved?” Those of us in the Messianic Jewish movement are concerned with the question, “How is it possible for us to help a Christian get saved?”

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  1. Except where otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations on this page are taken from the The Complete Jewish Bible Copyright ©1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. [RETURN]

  2. You will occasionally notice the terms “Christianity” and “Messianic Judaism” being used somewhat interchangeably on this web site. That is because I have been operating this website (and its two predecessors) since the early 1990’s, before I was introduced to the Messianic Movement, and much of the material was originally written when I was a professor of systematic theology at an evangelical Christian seminary on the west coast, nearly 40 years ago now. Because the web site is so extensive (well over 2,500 pages at last calculation), it is very difficult to keep older articles edited to conform with the new “revelation” into which Ruach HaKodesh leads me on a nearly daily basis. I have now come to believe that “Christianity” fails in many critical areas to conform to that which I now believe is the only valid form of true Biblical faith.

I have now come to believe that the only valid form of “Christianity” is that which:

I likewise believe that the only valid form of Judaism is that which:

These two terms, therefore, only when properly used, refer to exactly the same body of people. [RETURN]

  3. The phrase “…for your reward in heaven is great…” means that HaShem is keeping track of your rewards in His heavenly dwelling. It does not mean that “good people go to heaven when they die.” Nowhere in Scripture is it said that the reward of the righteous is to spend eternity in heaven. Rather, what Scripture clearly teaches is that the redeemed, after the resurrection, will dwell with Yeshua in the restored Eden-like earth forever. See “Heaven or the Kingdom?” Otherwise, if our future is off somewhere in a spiritual realm somewhere in outer space or beyond, what is the point of the bodily resurrection of the saints? [RETURN]

  4. The word that is rendered “Christian” in the English Bible is a transliteration of the Greek word cristianoß (Christianos), the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word for “Messianic.” [RETURN]

  5. See “The Model” Appendix E, “Canons from Nicaea 1, 325 CE.” [RETURN]

  6. See “The Model” Appendix F, “Anti-Semitic Decrees of Constantine and His Successors, High Priests of the Babylon Mystery Religion.” [RETURN]

  7. For more information on this subject, see Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion. Riverside, CA: Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Association, 1966. [RETURN]

  8. See also “The Model” Chapter 12, “Where did the word ‘Church’ Come From?” [RETURN]

  9. See also Rick Aharon Chaimberlin’s article, “Anti-Judaism and the Council of Nicaea” in the Yasha Net Library yashanet.com/library/antisem.htm, accessed Monday, September 23, 2019. [RETURN]

10. Antichrist [RETURN]

11. The current President (Trump, first term) is by far more supportive of Israel than any previous president in my memory has been. That being said in his behalf, he still is attempting to help negotiate a peace agreement with the “Palestinian” Arab terrorists by continually urging Israel to surrender even more land for the false hope of peace. He simply does not understand that there can never be a peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors until Messiah returns, and that HaShem has already said that Israel must not give up the Land that He has given her. [RETURN]

12. “Easter/Ishtar: Spiritual Adultery,” warriorsoftheruwach.com/easter, accessed August 9, 2019. [RETURN]

Page extensively revised on Friday, 9 August 2019
and againi on Mondaay 23 September 2019

Page last updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2021 01:20 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)