The Babylonian Church

There is the inherited church which has been contaminated by the Babylonian Mystery Religion, and then there is the Congregation of the Lord. A people struggling to remove all of Babylonian thought that has for centuries plagued the Church.

The Lord told us this was to happen in the symbolic book of The Revelation. The information is presented in a way that only those that studied the language of the prophets would ever figure out. It was meant to be hidden, it was meant to be a secret.

The great mystery of The Revelation is the woman. Everyone who reads the prophets knows that the woman comes in two-forms, the faithful wife and the unfaithful whore.

The faithful woman was given a little help to flee from Satan and escapes into the wilderness.

14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.  15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. Rev. 12:14-15

However the next time we see her she is a fully corrupted whore.

3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.  4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication;  5 and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations.”  6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Rev. 17:3-6

The study of how this happened will be our long term search. We know from the epistles of the New Testament that the corruption had already begun in that first century. But from history we know that this whole scale corruption came into being at the time of Constantine. When he made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire, He put an end to the persecution of Christians. Which at first glance seemed a good thing. But the repercussions were anything but good. As everybody who wanted to be somebody in Constantine’s government, chose conversion to Christianity.  Constantine even bribed people to convert. This brought all kinds of un-repented pagans into the church. Many of their practices and beliefs were renamed with Christian names to make them acceptable to the Christians.

Over the centuries it only got worse. After the fall of Rome the light of learning was taken from the Western World, which left people with superstition and unfounded beliefs. Just as The Revelation predicted we entered the Dark Ages.

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, Rev. 6:12 

No light of learning was even available, except in small isolated persecuted congregations. Then the light began to return with the Reformation. But the cleaning out of our temple was incomplete and the process started by them must be re-instituted with every generation. Our problem is that for every pagan idea or influenced we remove, there is always someone dragging another one in the back door.

Our struggle continues. For we are to present ourselves as a pure white bride for our king. Whatever comes from Babylon must go. To find what is of Babylon we must study Babylon in all her forms and in all her mysteries.

We will seek what is Babylon so we may put her back in her ephod and send her back to where she came from. [Zechariah 5:5-1]

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Where did we get Priests?

The only priests in the New Testament are those that served in the temple in Jerusalem. There were no priests among the brethren. So how did the early church moved from a simple pure faith to one with priests?

The Bible gave us episkope depending on the English translations one is reading that is either presbyters or bishops. Then there is diakonos which is translated either as deacons or elders. [1 Tim. 3] These were not spiritual leaders but rather guardians of truth, organizers, and servants.

A fictionalized portrait of Lucian taken from a seventeenth century engraving by William Faithorne

Oddly enough it was the heathen Lucian (born about 120 died about 180 AD) in his satires that gave the Christians priests. In “De morte Peregrini,” describes the unwearied care of the Christians for their “imprisoned brethren” the “heaps of presents” brought to them; and the “testimonies of sympathy” even by messengers from great distances; but all, of course, in Lucian’s view, out of mere good-natured enthusiasm.

So our priests come from a misunderstanding by the unbelievers around them.

42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.  43 But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,  44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  45 For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45

We were each to be our OWN priest. But there are always those who would lord of others claiming special calling or gifts.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1Pet. 2:9   

Constantine’s Conversion?

Messianic/Hebrew Roots people frequently discus Constantine the Greats conversion to Christianity, whether it was genuine or faked. Since so much of the Church’s departure from the teachings of the Bible stem from this period.

There are two references to Constantine’s Conversion in Phillip Schaff’s The History of the Christian Church.

He has a full quote from Lactantius who was an eye witness to the events at the Milvian bridge, as he was Constantine’s son Crispus’ tutor.

Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died, Chapter 44

The other is in vol. 3, Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity A.D. 311-600 .

Read them both and you can decide for yourself if he was a true convert or a cleaver politician.

Sin is missing the Mark

Archery target with arrow

The Law or Sin

I’m sure if you spent anytime in church you have been told that sin is missing the mark, and so it is.

The Hebrew word chata’ means to sin, and roots from the word to miss the mark, go wrong. No training or knowledge is needed to miss the mark. We are all perfectly capable of messing up our aim.

However what you most likely weren’t told was that the Law or rather the Hebrew word Torah means instruction, and roots from the word to throw or shoot. It is hitting the mark. No one ever picks up a weapon and hits the mark on the very first try. All need to be trained in the proper handling and firing of any armament.

So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. Gal. 3:24

The church calls for repentance but never really explains what that means. “Keep the faith” they say. Well, how do I do that? “Just believe in Jesus.” What exactly does that mean? In fact the only concrete rule they ever come up with is tithing.

Torah is the mark. It was designed by God to point to the true way to walk, with God and man. How can one repent, which means to turn and go the other way, unless one knows where the other way is or where the new mark is? How do we love God? There is a whole bunch of rules in Torah on what He expects from His children. How do we love our neighbors? There is also a whole bunch or rules on what that is like in Torah as well.

Faith is taught by example. The stories of Noah, Abraham, Joseph etc. are all in the Torah. One cannot begin to understand being “justified by faith” without a working knowledge of the Torah. It is a mark we simple cannot begin to see let alone hit without instruction.

Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:44 

We must study the Old Testament to find Messiah. There is just no other way. Messiah’s teachings were all based on what had been written about Him. He explained what the Torah truly required to follow God, and He called the teachers of his day “Torah-breakers” a condition that the Church has fully embraced to their own detriment. While they preach of a coming lawless one, they do not see their own lawlessness.

The Law goes forth from Jerusalem

. . . and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Is. 2:3 

In dispensational teaching the Law will not go forth until a future Jewish Dispensation. That way they don’t have to deal with the Law, and can continue to teach the fiction that, “The Law has passed away” for the Church Dispensation. There is no Church Dispensation in the Bible. There is only the Kingdom Age in which we live.

During the Kingdom Age the Law was supposed to go forth. As near as we can tell this was true for the first hundred years or so of the Kingdom Age, as the Congregation of the Lord recited the Ten Commandments in those early liturgies. We see that ancient Greece went from being heavy consumers of pork, to a diet much higher in lamb and goat. As the Congregation grew we see the  frivolity, heathenism and debauchery of the Roman Empire decline to be replace by Christian piety.

According to Eusebius, there was no communion as we know it, as Passover was when the Lord’s supper was held, and First Fruits when the Resurrection was celebrated. We also know from his writings that not everybody thought that Emperor Constantine was right in changing the Sabbath to Sunday as Eusebius writes quite disparaging of those still practicing Sabbath. At first the Law did go forth from Jerusalem, but over the centuries the Church prostituted itself in all manners of the superstitions of the Mystery Religions. One by one false teaching were allowed then embraced by the congregation. Some pure light was brought back by the Reformers, but the dispensationalist worked diligently to undue the Reformation and bring back the darkness. (See Also: The Corruption of the Church for a list of the most blasphemous crimes.)

The last of the Law they managed to get rid of was Sabbath-keeping. I remember as a child that nothing was opened on Sundays. They were called “blue laws” and only a few gas stations for emergencies and Jewish owned businesses were allowed to be open. Then came the Dispensationalists who began to teach that no only had the Sabbath moved to Sunday but we no longer had to rest as “the Law had passed away.” So greed became the call of all business men as they open their store fronts every day of the week. Unfortunately they are not quoting the verse in question accurately or completely. The Law has not passed away, it was not to be “overthrown.”

Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Rom. 3:31

Slowly the Law of God was strangled as the church wrote new laws and rules of their own liking. The Immutable God was lost, as men in leadership imposed and mixed the old mystery religions with Christianity. Much of what is called Christianity bears no resemblance to the teaching of the Itinerate Jewish Rabbi from the first century.

Many dispensationalists are now calling for repentance. But they don’t give any direction as to how that can be accomplished, for they themselves are Lawless.

Repentance is simple there are Ten Commandments they are not The Ten Suggestions.

Bastards In The Assembly

The first time I heard this distasteful word was when I was five years old and about to go to kindergarten. My mother sat me down and made me promise not to tell anyone that I was adopted. I was very confused by this request. But she went on to explain that there were people in the world who might be mean to me because my parents were not married when I was born and call me a bastard. I was still more confused because my dad and mom were married. She smiled and explained that yes they were married and that I was their daughter and no one else’s, and therefore not a real bastard.

Then as an adult I saw this verse.

“No bastard shall enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD. Deut. 23:2 

This brings to mind two questions. What is a bastard? What does it mean to enter the assembly?

Bastard

The English translation seems pretty straightforward. However mamzer is one of the rarest words in the Hebrew. The standard way of ascertaining what a word means is to look at all its uses. That’s hard to do when it is used only one other time in the whole of the Old Testament were it is translated mongrel not bastard.

. . . . a mongrel people shall dwell in Ashdod; and I will make an end of the pride of Philistia. Zech. 9:6

So what is a mamzer? That’s a little hard to tell. It should be noted that none of the children born in the Bible to unmarried or incestuous relationships are called mamzer. [Gen. 38:26-29; Judg. 11:1-2; 2Sam. 12; Hos. 1:2]

The mongrel people dwelling in Ashdod were most likely a group of people who moved into the empty cities of the Gaza. These new people are not the Philistines, the warrior giants of the famed Goliath and his brothers. These are people that have moved into the area after the Philistines had long disappeared from the historic record. The last mention of Philistines in the Bible was king Ussiah breaking down their walls. After this, the Egyptians and the Assyrians stop recording dealings with them.

And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. 2Chr. 26:6

All this leaves us with only one conclusion. They are children of a mixed religion marriage, e.g. a Israelite married to a pagan worshiper.

Enter the Assembly

If you look back at Deut. 23 passage you will see that there are others that are restricted from entering into the congregation for ten generations, the eunuch, the Ammonites,  and the Moabites. Edomites are only restricted for three generations.

“He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the LORD. Deut. 23:1 

“No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none belonging to them shall enter the assembly of the LORD for ever; Deut. 23:3 

The children of the third generation that are born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD. Deut. 23:8

Some think that these people were excluded from communication with the   people of God in their religious services. This is because the eunuch, the Ammonites, and the Moabites were servants or slaves and would have been present during services.

However eunuchs and foreigners are encouraged to stay in the congregation.

Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” Is. 56:3

Then there is a theory that it only means that they are excluded from having an office in the congregation, meaning they could not be judges or elders. The reasoning behind this is because those of the priestly class were not allowed to served as priests if they had a blemish, such as crushed testicles than these excluded people were to be treated the same. [Lev. 21:16-24]

The only other place were there is an explanation of this is the putting away of the foreign wives and children in Nehemiah.

On that day they read from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God; Neh. 13:1 

It was permitted to marry people from these nations as long as they proselytized. Ruth is the prime example of this. She merely states “Your God is my God.” [Ruth 1:16] However after their time in Babylon they had acquired wives and therefore children that were unconverted.

So based on the Nehemiah passage those that were excluded from entering the assembly were those that were attached to the Israelite in some manner but never changed their religion. These are the mamzers.

The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things; yea, she has seen the nations invade her sanctuary, those whom thou didst forbid to enter thy congregation. Lam. 1:10

This is why Paul must clarify the position of individual faith, over corporate faith.

For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. 1Cor. 7:14 

Messiah gave us the Kingdom Age. We are no longer instructed to maintain a physical nation, but rather a worldwide spiritual kingdom.

The Earth

Like English the Hebrews word for earth  ‘eretz can mean the planet or just land, or a particular piece of land, usually Israel. The Hebrew for dirt or dust is ‘adamah, from which the Hebrew for human, adam is derived. [See Also: Four Kinds of Men] When you think about it, it is an odd thing to call our planet Earth when it is 71% water. But we humans don’t live on the water, we live on the earth. So earth it is.

There is also a need when looking into the use of this word to separate poetry from historical narrative.

Flat Earth

Sometime the Text appears to mean that the earth is flat, some kind of pancake floating in water.

6   And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”  7 And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so.  8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. Gen. 1:6-8

There was a time when continental drift was just a theory. I remember spending many hours with my school mates contemplating whether this could be true or not. From our childlike perception the only real evidence was that South American looks like a perfect fit for the arm pit of Africa, but nothing else look like a fit to us. Then there was a map of the Atlantic Ocean floor made from many sonar soundings. There was a zipper down the middle, right were the continents had broken apart. There was the proof for a long argued theory. The continents had one time been one giant continent that the scientist call Pangea. (See Also: Wikipedia’s post on Pangea, just ignore the time scale)

Well, it turns out this Pangea was pretty much what the first three chapters of Genesis described. A largely flat surface surrounded by water. This was the way our planet was until-

To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. Gen. 10:25

The Four Corners

As a largely spherical object the earth does not have corners. However every language, culture, or people group have four cardinal directions. In English that is north, south, east and west. The use of this phrase in the Bible is to include everywhere, and not meant as a geography lesson.

He will raise an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Is. 11:12 

Ezekiel speaks of both the land and the earth. In this next verse the land of Israel is ‘adamah Israel, a phrase that is meant to remind one of our creation from the dust or ‘adamah of the earth.

“And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.” Ezek. 7:2 

For some reason the translators have it here as the four corner of the land but in Hebrew it is ‘eretz.

Round Earth

The writers of the Bible, as with most ancient cultures, knew the Earth was round. Only the Pope ever thought it wasn’t, and since he put those who disagreed with him into the INQUISITION, most people kept their mouths shut.

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; Is. 40:22 

When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, Prov. 8:27

The Hebrew word here is chug and means circle or horizon.