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What is the Church?

As we show in Nazarene Israel, the original faith of the apostles was called the “Nazarene sect” (i.e., Nazarene Israel). However, there were several other variants of the faith in the first century. One of these was called Christianity. Christianity is similar to the Nazarene faith, except they do not believe in keeping the full Torah.

Kepha (Peter) warns us that the Christians are not taught, and not stable, because they practice what he called the error of Torahlessness (lawlessness).

Kepha Bet (2 Peter) 3:15-17
15 And think of the long-suffering of our Master as Salvation [literally: Yeshua], as also our beloved brother Shaul [Paul] wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, in which some things are hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable twist, to their destruction, as also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 Then beloved, you being fore-warned, watch; lest being led by the error of Torahlessness [lawlessness] you should fall from your own steadfastness.

The problem is not that the Christians reject the whole Torah—they keep parts of it. The problem is that they reject the need to keep the Torah as Yahweh gave it. That is, they feel free to pick and choose which parts of the Torah they like, and which parts they feel do not apply. However, this is contrary to Yahweh’s warning not to change His Torah in any way.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:2
2 “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim which I command you.”

Yahweh implies that if we modify His instructions, then it is not really His Torah any more, but our own. This is like when children feel free to pick and choose which of their parent’s instructions they want to keep, and which they want to ignore. In such cases, it is clear that they do not really respect (or obey) their parents.

While the woman Havvah (Eve) was a literal woman, she is also symbolic of Israel—and the oldest trick in the book was when Satan told Havvah that she had the power to choose which of Elohim’s commandments she had to keep, and which she could ignore—and that she would still inherit eternal spiritual life.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 3:4
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die,
5 for Elohim knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like Elohim, knowing good and evil.”

A long time ago, Satan led a rebellion against Yahweh. His goal was to exalt his throne above Yahweh’s, and to have all of the messengers (angels) join with him.

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 14:12-14
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of Elohim; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”

In order to join Satan in his rebellion, all we need to do is to question the need to keep Yahweh’s laws, the way He gave them. All we need to do is to decide it is alright for us to pick and choose which of His laws we want to keep, and which we do not want to keep. In Yahweh’s eyes, this is “playing Elohim,” and He classifies it as rebellion. What is scary for the Christians is that this is essentially what the Christians do, is decide which of Elohim’s laws they want to keep, and which ones they don’t need to.

If we are willing to accept it, Satan has mis-led most of the world’s Christians into a type of rebellion against Elohim and His Torah—and we are told that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (Wicca).

Shemuel Aleph (1 Samuel) 15:23
23 “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh, He also has rejected you from being king.”

If we understand that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and that the church is in rebellion (i.e., witchcraft), then it becomes much easier to understand certain trends that are taking place in the Christian and Messianic worlds, as illustrated in the following graphic.

In the Nazarene Israel study, we show how the original faith of the apostles was called Nazarene Israel, and that Christianity was a separate (but related) faith. The Roman Emperor Constantine merged Christianity with a sun worship religion called Mithraism to form a new faith called Catholicism—and Catholicism then became the official religion throughout the Roman Empire. After this, Constantine’s Catholics drove all other variations underground (including the original Nazarene faith). However, because Catholicism was first patterned after Nazarene Israel, it still had the same basic unified, patriarchal structure.

There are many reasons the Catholic Church is global. One of those reasons is that they utilize the same unified, patriarchal kind of structure that Yeshua taught His disciples to use. Even though they have all the wrong festival days, and perform many false worship practices, they employ the same core principles of unification, leadership, and organization that the apostles used. And there were other factors as well, including the fact that they average man did not have access to a copy of the Scriptures.

Scholars had asserted many times that the papacy resembled the anti-messiah, but because the average man did not have access to Scripture he could not verify these allegations for himself, and these charges never really gathered much public support. However, after the advent of the Gutenberg printing press, this was all to change. Now the laity could see that the papacy fulfilled the prophecies over the anti-messiah, and popular support for breaking away from the papacy swelled.

For many years, the Protestants tried to get the papacy to reform, because back then the people understood that Scripture requires one united body of Messiah. However, the papacy would not reform, and eventually the body of Messiah split. First it split into two parts (Catholic and Lutheran), and then it split again, and again. The Catholics refer to this as The Great Schism, while the Protestants refer to it as the Reformation. However, a problem remained in that neither party accurately represented the original Nazarene faith. The Protestants took a step closer to it by rejecting the papacy, but they took a giant leap away from it by splitting the body into many different parts. The Protestants also ignored the principle that clergy have to be disciples, which requires that they not have any inheritance (any worldly possessions).

Luqa (Luke) 14:33
33 “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

Protestant ministers began to draw salaries many times larger than the stipends Catholic ministers drew—and the Protestants kept an inheritance, to pass along to their children. This is contrary to Messiah’s example, and Scripture. [For more information on the distinction between the disciples and the believers, please see Fulfilling the Great Commission.]

After a few generations of Protestants grew up with the idea that it was alright for there to be more than one body of Messiah, and that it was alright for ministers to profit financially from ministry, Satan introduced yet another idea: that there was no need for churches and ministers to belong to one united body at all—but that we could have independent churches, and independent ministers who had no financial or doctrinal relationship to each other, and no requirement for accountability. Independent ministers promoted “independent Bible-believing churches,” even though that is a complete contradiction in terms (since Scripture requires one united body of Messiah).

The Protestants also began to allow ministers to sell every teaching for a profit. Soon, every ministry had a store, and “teachings” were bought and sold like the spiritual ham sandwiches they are—filling the stomach with the wrong kind of nutrition (and nourishing divided bodies of Messiah in unhealthy ways). One can find literally thousands of examples of this kind of marketing on the Internet today. All of this slowly shifts the focus away from serving the Messiah as a united body, onto entertainment for the congregants.

Once a few generations had grown up with the idea that it was alright for churches to be independent, Satan introduced the idea that no one needs any leadership or organization at all—but that all one needs to do is to meet at someone’s home for friendship and fellowship. The Sunday version of this is called the house church movement, and the Israelite version is called (Messianic Israelite) home fellowships.

Messianic home fellowships continue the same trend of increasing knowledge (which is good), but decreasing obedience to what they know (which is extremely bad). The trend is also to become ever more fragmented, leaderless, and disorganized.

Revelation 12:13-17 tells us that when the dragon saw that he had been cast to earth, he persecuted the woman (true Israel). The woman was given two wings of an 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 explain that this explains how true Israel flees from the church system.

Hitgalut (Revelation) 12:13-15
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 [false doctrines] out of his mouth like a flood after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

The dragon is Satan, and the waters he spews out of his mouth represent a flood of false church doctrines, which are designed to carry the woman Israel away.

The church is operationally defined by what is called replacement theology. That is, she seeks to replace Israel with the church, and full Torah obedience with something less than full Torah obedience. However, this same definition also applies to Messianic Israel, because while the Messianics claim to “keep Torah,” the truth is that they feel they can pick and choose which of Elohim’s commandments they want to keep, just as Havvah did in the Garden of Eden.

Satan is a master deceiver, and the kind of deception he likes best is the one that looks as much like the truth as possible. If he can get the Messianics to think they are obeying the Torah when in reality they are obeying something less Yahweh’s Torah, then he has tricked them into partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 3:4
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die,
5 for Elohim knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like Elohim, knowing good and evil.”

Satan says to the Messianics, “You do not need to be one united, organized body of Messiah. You can be disunited, and you will still belong to His bride.”

Yahweh has always wanted Israel to be united, well led, and well organized. That is why the Torah tells us to organize, appoint leadership, and unify. To see this we need only to look at the example of Israel in the wilderness. Israel was not a mob of 2.4 million men, women and children on foot, nor was it some motley crew of disunited families. Israel was also not just 12 isolated tribes. Rather, Israel was one unified nation, with coordinated central leadership.

WildernessNazarenes Messianic Israel
LeviticalMelchizedekianMerchant vendors
PatriarchalPatriarchalMatriarchal circles
United nationUnited nationNo nation
Shepherd led Shepherd ledSheep led

In Fulfilling the Great Commission, we show that at the time of Yeshua’s sacrifice, the Levitical order stepped down, and the Melchizedekian order stepped up. The Melchizedekian structure is slightly different from the Levitical structure, because the Levitical order is intended to run a temple, whereas the Melchizedekian order is designed to build a global spiritual army—yet both orders serve to unify the nation as one. They both have patriarchal organization and unified leadership structures. They both require corporate accountability. Neither the Levitical nor the Melchizedekian order idealizes any kind of disunity, disorder, anarchy, or avoidance of corporate accountability—and yet the Messianics idealize precisely these things—yet the Messianics cannot see that what they want is the opposite of what Yahweh commands.

To sweep the woman Israel away in the flood of false teachings, all Satan needs to do is to convince us that we do not need to keep Yahweh’s Torah as given. If he can get us to decide which parts we want to keep, and which parts we do not want to keep, then he has won. He has swept us away in the flood.

When asked why they don’t want to obey Yahweh’s Torah with regards to leadership and organization, some Messianics will say that they were abused in the church, and they see the church as being organized. Therefore, if they avoid all organization, they are able to avoid being part of the church. However, this is not true. There are several things wrong with this excuse.

When Israel was in the wilderness under Moshe and Aharon (Moses and Aaron), Israel was well organized. Does that mean Israel belonged to the church?

If the church is operationally defined by replacement theology, then refusing to do as Yahweh commands is what makes one part of the church. Therefore, if Yahweh tells us to organize, but the Messianics refuse to organize (for fear of becoming part of the church), then ironically, the Messianics have unwittingly joined the church. Yet they cannot see this, because Satan has deceived them.

It is essential that we not allow ourselves to be ruled by fear. Perfect love casts out fear, and it is this kind of perfect love that Elohim wants in His bride.

Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 4:18
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

If we love Elohim, and want to be His bride, we need to keep His commandments exactly as He gave them, trusting that He knows better than us.

Yochanan (John) 14:15
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Avoiding Elohim’s commandments, due to fear or any other reason, only plays into Satan’s hands.

He who has ears, let him hear.

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