Revelation 12:13-17 says that when the dragon (Satan) saw that he had been cast to earth, he persecuted the woman (true Israel) who gave birth to the male child (Yeshua). The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly into the wilderness to her place. There she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. In Revelation and the End Times, we show how this symbolizes true Israel’s flight from the false doctrines of the Catholic Church, which attempted to “wash away” the true believers with a flood of false doctrines.
Hitgalut (Revelation) 12:13-17
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
15 So the serpent spewed water [unclean doctrines] out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of Elohim and have the testimony of Yeshua Messiah.
The woman survived, but now she wants to get back to the original apostolic faith. It is the same story as the prodigal son who wants to return home to his Father’s house, just in a different parable.
Luqa (Luke) 15:17-19
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”‘
As we saw earlier, Ephraim got tired of feeding the pigs (symbolic of idols in the Catholic Church). Coming to himself, he decided to humble himself and return home to his Father’s house, no matter what the cost. However, it does no good for Ephraim to come part of the way home. If he stops before he returns to the original faith, and rests in the false doctrines (waters) of replacement theology, it is as if he has been swept away by Satan’s flood.
In visions, water represents the Spirit and doctrine. However, the dragon’s water represents false spirits and tainted doctrines. Satan hopes the woman will be satisfied by false spirits and tainted doctrines, so that she will stop struggling to get back to the original faith.
Yehudah (Jude) 3
3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you, exhorting you to contend [struggle] earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
The English word contend is the Greek epagonizomai, which means to struggle for.
NT:1864 epagonizomai (ep-ag-o-nid’-zom-ahee); from NT:1909 and NT:75; to struggle for:
KJV – earnestly contend foreign
In the Aramaic Peshitta, the word contend is d’agunah (דאגונא), and it also means to struggle, but in a military sense. Therefore, we are to do more than just believe on Him. We, as His spiritual army, are to struggle to advance His faith around the globe. While anyone can say they love Yeshua, only those who truly love Him will be willing to struggle and make personal sacrifices to re-establish the original faith, and advance it around the globe, as the Melchizedekian order was always called to do. This is the narrow and afflicted path we are all called to walk.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 7:13-14
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Historically, the bride (who is called out of paganism) began traveling the narrow and afflicted path back to her Jewish Husband. However, most pilgrims stopped traveling at Catholicism. Catholicism formed a rest stop along the trail, where too many pilgrims became comfortable, so to speak. From there a minority of the pilgrims moved on, but most of those stopped within Protestantism. A minority of the pilgrims then moved on to independent Christianity, and now some are moving on to the house church and Messianic movements.
Those in the house church movement tell us that we do not need a separated priesthood, because we can all read Scripture for ourselves. This is like the argument that Korah and his men made when they told Moshe that because the entire assembly was set apart, there was no need for leadership.
Bemidbar (Numbers) 16:1-3
1 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men;
2 and they rose up before Moshe with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown.
3 They gathered together against Moshe and Aharon, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is set apart, every one of them, and Yahweh is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of Yahweh?”
The house church argument is kind of like saying that because we can all read, our army does not need any leadership. This argument is illogical, and makes no sense. Nonetheless, house churches are the fastest growing part of the Christian church today.
The Sabbath version of the house church movement is called Messianic Israel, and it has the same flaws as the house church movement. In fact, as we compare and contrast the groups in the chart of the bride’s flight, we will see some interesting patterns. (We have reprinted the same chart below.)
There are many differences among Catholics, Protestants, independent Christians, and those in the house church movement. However, they are all united in that they all practice a substitute for the original Nazarene faith. And as we look a little closer, we will see some fascinating trends.
The Catholics practice a kind of fivefold organization, but are told not to study Scripture for themselves. They are not told what it means to have an abiding personal relationship with Yeshua, nor are they taught to hear and obey His voice. However, while their level of knowledge is low and their relationship with the Spirit is often stunted, the level of obedience to the Great Commission and fivefold order in the Catholic Church is very high.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, those in the house churches study Scripture, and many of them have a personal relationship with the Messiah; but they typically reject fivefold order, and ignore the Great Commission. To them, worship is all about learning and fellowship. Most of them have no idea that we are called to form a unified spiritual army, and expand our Husband’s kingdom. Unlike Catholicism, the level of knowledge in the house churches is high, but their level of obedience to the fivefold ministry and the Great Commission is almost nonexistent.
Sometimes Messianics are confused with Nazarenes. However, in truth, the Messianics and Nazarene Israel are two completely different religions (which are led of two different spirits).
Like the house church movement, the Messianics say that we do not need leadership, because we can read Scripture for ourselves. There is typically no real commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission (as the Messiah commanded). Instead it is all about reading, resting, and fellowshipping.
The Messianics know that our High Priest belongs to the order of Melchizedek, but they focus on learning the Levitical torah. In fact, many of them reject the Great Commission, based on the fact that it is not commanded explicitly in the Torah of Moshe.
Ironically, while the Messianics claim to “keep Torah,” in practice what this means is that they rest on the Sabbath and festivals. They typically reject all forms of organization, leadership, accountability, and mission. While they think of themselves as Israelites, they hardly resemble Israel in the wilderness, or the first century Nazarenes.
Are the Messianics better than the Christians for knowing that both the Torah and Yeshua call for organization and leadership, and yet they refuse to do that? Is that not rather a sin?From a standpoint of knowledge, Messianism is better than Catholicism. Messianism teaches an Israelite identity, and the correct calendar. It also avoids pope worship. However, in terms of obedience, Messianism is inferior to both Catholicism and Protestantism in that the Messianics well know that the Torah of Moshe commands order, discipline, and accountability—and yet they refuse to do that. They also refuse to obey the Great Commission, as Yeshua asks—and yet they expect to be taken as His bride.
Ya’akov (James) 4:17
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
If the Catholics are perhaps like unto an ignorant bride, at least she is hard working, and faithful to what she does know. In contrast, if the Messianics are a well-educated bride, she is lazy, and slothful. She only wants to read about her Husband, but she does not want to help Him. She only wants to rest on His festival days, eat His spiritual food, and talk. Helping Him with the Great Commission is the farthest thing from her mind.
We might further subdivide the Messianic movement into spiritualist Messianics, legalistic Messianics, and listening Messianics. The last of these classes is best.
Spiritualist Messianics might be described as having one foot still in the church. They may keep Sabbath and festivals, but they are not very devout. They might mix the Hebrew and Hellenic names, calling Yeshua “Jesus,” and equating Yahweh with “the Lord” (Ba’al), etc. They might also halfheartedly follow the food laws. From a certain standpoint we might look at them as “new recruits” to Yeshua’s spiritual army, who need continuing training and encouragement (and we should take care not to discourage them in any way).
There are also (non-rabbinical) legalistic Messianics. These might be thought of as having both feet in Israel (which is good). The only problem is that they have harsh, judgmental attitudes (i.e., spirits). (Attitude is an English word that means close to the same thing as the Hebraic conception of a spirit, except that a spirit is a living thing.) Legalistic Messianics intellectually know that love is the heart of the Torah, but their attitude (spirit) does not reflect that. Even if they have no rabbinical leanings whatsoever, they are very much like the Pharisee in the parable of the tax collector.
Luqa (Luke) 18:10-14
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘Elohim, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’
13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘Elohim, be merciful to me a sinner!’
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The final group is the most hopeful. A listening (or broken) Messianic realizes we have no righteousness to speak of. They realize that we are called to empty ourselves in total humility and brokenness, handing over control of our lives to His Spirit, and allowing Him to move us 24/7. Whether such listening Messianics understand Scripture perfectly or not, the fact that they listen to His Spirit is a very good sign. These are the most likely to convert to Nazarene Israel (although converts come from all over).
Over the course of centuries, Yeshua’s Spirit has continued to call His bride out of the nations—yet the prospective brides respond in varying degrees. Many of those responding to His call came into Catholicism, while fewer came into Protestantism. Fewer still came into the house church movement, as they sought more knowledge and intimacy with their Husband. Then a minority of the house church has come into Messianic Israel, as they realized the importance of the Sabbath, the festivals, the set apart names, and their Israelite identities. Now some of the Messianics are beginning to realize that they also need to find the next level, because in order to do the Great Commission (as our Husband asks), we must act upon what we know.
Satan’s job is to stop us from getting back to the original faith (and to our Husband) by washing us away with a flood of lies. If we accept any of his lies, or fail to act upon what we know, then we will never return back to the original faith, and our Husband will not delight in us.