On a cold wintry night, November 10, 1619, a French soldier named Rene Descartes shut himself in a medieval sweat lodge, and had three visions in which a “spirit” revealed a new philosophy to him, which was contrary to Yahweh’s word. After considering these three demonic visions for some time, Descartes penned his infamous maxim, “I think, therefore I am.”
The phrase I am has tremendous significance in Scripture. It is often thought to be one of the primary meanings of Yahweh’s name.
Shemote (Exodus) 3:13-14
13 Then Moshe said to Elohim, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The Elohim of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 And Elohim said to Moshe, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
Yeshua also tells us that He is the “I AM.”
Yochanan (John) 8:58
58 Yeshua said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
Rene Descartes did not say that he had thoughts because Yahweh had created him—but that his own thoughts were the reason he existed, as if his thoughts had created him—and therefore he felt that he owed no allegiance to Yahweh.
In Rene Descartes’ mind, the fact that he had thoughts made him equal to Yahweh—and therefore he too knew the difference between good and evil. This kind of prideful thinking is exactly the kind of lie Satan wants us to accept—and in fact it is the oldest lie in the world—that we can be as Elohim, knowing the difference between good and evil by our own thoughts.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 3:4-5
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, “You shall not surely die:
5 For Elohim knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil.”
Just as Havvah (Eve) was deceived into eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so too did Rene Descartes eat—and all of Western society with him. The spread of Descartes’ philosophy came to be called the Enlightenment (referring to Lucifer, the light bringer). This satanic philosophy then went on to become the foundation of the entire Western world as we know it. Enlightened thinking is now so pervasive that all of Western Judeo-Christian society (including America, Europe, Australia and Israel) is based upon it. Unlike in years gone by, today our children are taught to know the world only through their intellect, without any so-called Bible lenses or faith filters.
Let us also note how democracy is based on this idea that our thoughts are better than Scripture. Before the Enlightenment, kings governed the nations. This was in fulfillment of Yahweh’s prophecy that Avraham would father many nations, and that many kings would come from his loins.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 17:5-6
5 “No longer shall your name be called Avram, but your name shall be Avraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.”
Avraham fathered not just Judah and Ephraim, but also Ishmael (who prophecy says will also eventually accept Yeshua)—yet the promise of salvation was not to come through Ishmael, but through Yitzhak (Isaac). The singular “nation” mentioned in Genesis 35:11 is brother Judah (i.e., Israel), while the “company of nations” refers to the Ephraimite Christian kingships that ruled in Europe and the Byzantine Empire for many years.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 35:11-12
11 Also Elohim said to him: “I am Elohim Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body.
12 The land which I gave Avraham and Yitzhak I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.”
As we explain in Revelation and the End Times, the red horse of Revelation 6 is populism (Marxism, socialism, and democracy). Yet, although populism has been released on the earth in order to destroy Yahweh’s order, in satanically enlightened times such as these, men love democracy. They decry the abuses of the Christian kings as a means of justifying democracy—and, while there were abuses of power in the Christian kingships, the king of old taught the people to believe in the Elohim of Avraham and Yaakov (imperfect as it was), because they had a built-in incentive to do so. The kings of old knew that the only reason the people obeyed them was because the people knew Yahweh had appointed them. The Christian kings also knew that should the people ever stop believing in Elohim there would be revolution—and both Descartes and Karl Marx made this revolution a reality. After they had rejected Yahweh, they taught others to reject Him also.
While the Christian kings may have taught an imperfect belief in Yahweh, at least they taught their people to believe in Him. This is in sharp contrast to the Western red horse democracies, which have every incentive to lead the people further away from Yahweh. Notice, then, that when our Ishmaelite (Islamic) cousins call America the great Satan and Israel the little Satan, at least in one respect, they are right. While America, Europe, and Israel all have an Israelite heritage, they have literally sold themselves to the black horse of the Apocalypse (i.e., the monetary power of the IMF, the Rothschild’s, the Fed, etc.). Since the black horse owns the world’s media machines it can manufacture the consent of the now-secular masses (who are looking for an alternative to Yahweh in the first place). And, because the black horse owns the money machine, it also controls the Western governments. All of this became possible only because Descartes and Marx turned the people away from Yahweh and His Christian kings.
Now let us compare enlightened Western democracy with the monolithic religious system our Ishmaelite cousins adhere to. While we in Nazarene Israel seek to follow Torah, our Ishmaelite cousins obey Sharia. While Sharia law is corrupt (and serves the wrong elohim) it is similar to the Torah in that there is no separation of assembly (church) and state. In both Torah and Sharia, government’s purpose is to foster and spread the faith worldwide. This same monolithic concept is also shared by the Catholic Church, in their ancient system of Canon law. However, it is missing in the Protestant democracies, where the separation of assembly and state prevails.
The idea of separating the assembly and state would have been utterly repulsive to Moshe, King David, and Yeshua. However, many Protestants argue for it. This may be at least in part be as a reaction to past Catholic abuses of power—but it may also be due to disdain for Yahweh and His Torah. Notice that if Protestants living in a Cartesian democracy all agree to a separation of religion and state (and that no religious codes should be enforced), then no one will punish them if they fail to do what Yahweh’s Torah says to do. While we can easily understand the Protestant desire to escape Catholic-style persecution, is non-enforcement of Yahweh’s Torah really pleasing to Him?
As we will explain in upcoming works, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam and Protestantism are like four clusters of arrows that have missed the bullseye somewhat. Judaism misses the mark in that it teaches Yahweh gave the authority to rewrite Torah to the rabbis (and that therefore, we need to obey the rabbis, rather than Scripture). Catholicism misses the mark in that it teaches Yahweh gave the authority to rewrite Torah to the pope. Islam misses the mark in that it teaches submission to the wrong Torah (and to the wrong Elohim) altogether, while Protestantism teaches us the Satanic doctrine: To each his own, and let no man judge another! Yet Protestantism ultimately fails, in that it progressively fails to do anything to fulfill the Great Commission (which requires everyone’s active participation).
Mattityahu (Matthew) 28:18-20
18 And Yeshua came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in My name*,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amein.
[*For why we immerse only in Yeshua’s name, please see “Immersion in Yeshua’s Name Only,” in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume Three.]
Shaul tells us the way to fulfill the Great Commission is to organize by way of the fivefold ministry, which he describes in Ephesians 4.
Ephesim (Ephesians) 4:11-16
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Messiah —
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Prior to the Enlightenment it was understood that the Great Commission and the fivefold ministry required the faithful to organize, and support a Melchizedekian priesthood full time. This comes from Acts 6:2-4, where the apostles wished to remain at their ministerial duties full time, rather than take time away from their duties in order to serve tables (i.e., fulfill administrative needs).
Ma’asei (Acts) 6:2-4
2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of Elohim and serve tables.
3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Set-apart Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The historical record also tells us that the Apostle Yochanan (John) became a Melchizedekian priest, and that he also wore priestly garb, including a sacerdotal plate (similar to the Ephod).
[M]oreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate….
[Eusebius, Church History, Book V, Chapter 24. Arthur Cushman McGiffert translation. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series Two, Volume 1, circa 190-195.]
So if the apostles were supported in ministry full time, and if Yochanan donned priestly garb as part of his official duties, then why do the Messianics refuse to do the same? At least part of the answer is surely that fear of the Catholic Church runs deep. Yahweh’s people have suffered much at the hands of the Catholics over generations—and many people associate organization with the Church. However, to say organization is what defines a church is wrong, as Israel was always supposed to organize, and appoint leadership.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which Yahweh your Elohim gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment.”
There are three main offices in Scripture, those of the king, the priest, and the prophet. Moshe fulfilled the first and the third offices (king and prophet), while his brother Aharon (Aaron) filled the priesthood office—yet both of these were part of the same government. The priesthood and the government were united as one body, and one nation. Unity between priesthood and government was part of Israeli life up until the Roman Exile, showing us that separation of church and state is a Roman institution.
Even during the Protestant Reformation, the faithful understood that Yahweh wanted His people organized. However, after four hundred years of enlightened teaching, the Protestants began to think that one could serve Yahweh without being organized—an idea that would have repulsed Moshe, King David, and Yeshua. Yet such disorganization is a hallmark of the Messianic worldview, where any organization beyond the home fellowship is eyed with suspicion and contempt.
But why should the Messianics view organization with suspicion and contempt? When Yahweh redeemed our people from bondage in Egypt, He gave us His Torah, which mandates unity between priesthood and state. It also says that government and priesthood should work together, like two appendages of the same body.
The apostles could not unify because they were first persecuted by their Jewish brethren, and then they were persecuted by the governments of the lands where they fled. Nonetheless, they still organized, and instituted a priestly order (complete with a sacerdotal plate). So why does the thought of organization seem to panic the Messianics so much?
The Messianics today follow a radically different model than the apostles had. Today we have independent ministries where one man preaches to the whole world, independent of all others. Yet, since we know the apostles did not use this model, why do we defend a model the apostles would not have used?
Some say they prefer independent ministries because they are in control. They say they were abused by organized churches—and that they feel safer with independent ministries. And, of a truth, the little horn (pope) did use his organization to persecute and oppress the saints for a time, times, and a half-time (i.e., 1,260 years).
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and Torah. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
It is also true that the papacy and his organization will rise up against us again in the last days—but since both the Catholics and the Nazarene Israelites were organized, is it really safe to say that if we organize, we are a church?
Since the apostles also organized, is it organization that makes the church wrong? Or is it not departure from Yahweh’s Torah that makes the church wrong? Clearly it is the departure from Yahweh’s Torah that makes the church wrong—but if departing from Torah makes the church wrong, then what of the Messianics, who refuse to organize, even though Yahweh’s Torah says to do so?
If the church is at fault for going against Yahweh’s Torah, then are the Messianics blameless, if they break the Torah in a different way?
Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:19
19 “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
In Revelation and the End times, we explain that the Spirit of Babylon will fall at trumpet 7—and in that day the Messianics will ask themselves why they are so afraid to organize, and support the same kind of priesthood as our forerunners did in the first century. And in that day the Messianics will abandon the separation of assembly and state, in which Yahweh has never delighted.