Eliyah

It’s Time To Fix The Breach

It’s Time to Fix the Breach

With an assault on the Old Testament and its central teaching of obedience, Churchianity early on fabricated a clash of doctrines over the centuries in what should have been a seamless succession of teachings brought over from the New Testament. Beyond that, what was taught in the New Testament should reflect what is taught today.

A number of prophecies tell us that before Yahshua returns there will be another return – a movement of returning to teaching true biblical principles founded on obeying Yahweh’s statutes and laws.

This prophetic key has been universally overlooked, but not because it is hidden. In fact, it goes to the very core of how the plan of salvation is designed.

Before we investigate, turn to a runner-up prophecy in Isaiah 58:12:  “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.”

This is a prophetic announcement for the last days. It is about getting back to what was originally given to Yahweh’s people, meaning His foundational pledge.  It is about fixing what has been neglected for 2,000 years.

The prophet calls it a breach. A breach is a break or rupture. Something fundamentally important has undergone a serious and destructive separation. To fix this critical problem there must be a return to original ways and teachings of the Word.

The Scriptures don’t leave us clueless when it comes to the design of the Bible. We have been given a bridge between Old and New testaments that shows a dynamic bond between the two.

Sadly, this essential link is universally ignored today, even though it is key to understanding the truth of the New Testament and the plan of salvation. We find this dynamic link in the final verses of the last book of the Old Testament, just where we would expect it. As we move to the New Testament, we will find it again.

 

Malachi’s Prophetic Link

The prophecy is in Malachi 4:5-6 , “Behold, I will send you Elijah [Eliyah] the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

Although it ends the Old Testament, the passage leaps forward to the end of the age, providing a key link to our day.

First, notice that it warns about smiting the earth with a curse unless hearts are turned. Why historically did Yahweh send curses on people? The most well-known collection of blessings and curses is in Deut. 28. In this chapter, the first 14 verses promise His blessings for obedience. The last 54 verses are a warning of the curses we earn for disobedience. It is quite clear that disobedience is the leading problem in the scriptural hall of shame.

Throughout His Word Yahweh disciplines His people for failing to worship Him by following His statutes and judgments. Today, as the culture increasingly leaves the Bible for secular ways and humanistic thinking, we progressively see Yahweh’s judgment in response.

Whenever Israel of old followed the same pathway of rebellion that our culture is on, their problems increased proportionately. The final straw was when their enemies rose up and conquered them. We are facing the same judgment and it will hit this world like a ton of bricks.

The list of potential threats is great and runs the gamut from Eboli infection to electromagnetic pulse radiation that could grind all electronics to a standstill and literally put us back into the dark ages for years. Miniature atomic bombs, terrorist attacks on our big cities, all kinds of natural earth calamities and disasters originating from outer space …these are just some of the threats we face.

Once Yahweh takes His protective hand away, watch out. In the September 11 tragedy, we had just a taste of what looms ahead.

The classic passage that defines judgment for disobedience is Deuteronomy 28:15, 20: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy Elohim, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Yahweh shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.”

 

The Heart of Malachi 4:6

The prophet Malachi tells us that there will be a turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children and vice-versa.

This does not mean simply a renewed, loving relationship between fathers and children. Nor does it mean only a reaffirming of paternal respect.

It means giving later generations the same faith and conviction the fathers of old had in following Yahweh. It is about walking the same path of obedience walked by Israelite forefathers.

The Adversary is ramping up his opposition to Yahweh. Bible believers are being murdered in the Mideast, Africa, and elsewhere because they refuse to convert to another belief. The culture is turning to the dark side as it redefines morality. We are inundated with moral evils everywhere, and this is just the beginning.

The essence of the Hebrew in Malachi 4:6 is, “To restore the hearts by turning the disobedient to the insight and obedience of the righteous in order to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”

Verse 4 is the key lead-in, where the prophet says, “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” This clearly connects the phrase, “turn the heart” in verse 6 to mean go back to obeying Yahweh’s statutes and judgments.

 

The Same Prophecy Found in Luke

We pick up this Old Testament prophecy in the New Testament book of Luke. It reflects the purpose for which John the Baptist came, readying the way for Yahshua the Messiah: “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh,” Luke 1:17.

This passage is even clearer in defining the expression, “turn the hearts” to mean going from disobedience to the “wisdom” (moral prudence) of the “just” (holy, righteous ones).

The prophet Eliyah’s principal mission was to save as many as he could from being cursed. He did this by revealing the true Creator and Father Yahweh over the false idol Baal, and by teaching obedience to covenant law.

John the Baptist mirrored the message in the refrain “repent.” Repent means to stop sinning. Stop rebelling. Stop disobeying. Turn your life around. Obey the commandments, statutes and judgments given by Almighty Yahweh.

Malachi 3:1 prophesies the sending of this messenger to prepare the way of the Son. He is a messenger on a mission to uphold the covenant Yahweh made with His faithful.  “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Sovereign, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith Yahweh of hosts.”

Who exactly is this messenger coming in the spirit and power of Eliyah? Is the OT prophet Eliyah himself going to be resurrected in our time? Jewish Seders include an empty chair at the table in anticipation that Eliyah will return to herald the Messiah in fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy.

When questioned, John the Baptist denied being Eliyah. When Yahshua said Eliyah was come now, He meant only in a sense, through John the Baptist.

If the Jews had accepted Yahshua as the Messiah, John the Baptist would have been this Eliyah preparing His way in every sense of the word., as we read in Malachi. That is what Yahshua was waiting to see.

 

Other Striking Similarities

Comparing just their physical appearances, Eliyah and John the Baptist bear striking resemblances.

About Eliyah, 2Kings 1:8 reads, “And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Eliyah the Tishbite.”

Concerning  John the Baptist, Matthew 3:4 reads, “And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins.”

Both men preferred to work alone, out in the hinterland. Eliyah dwells in the cliffs of the brook Cherith, sleeps under juniper trees, lodges in caves, and haunts the slopes of Carmel. If he does enter a city it is only to deliver a message from Yahweh and then vanish. He’s a mysterious prophet with his startling appearance, abrupt speeches and stealthy appearances. He’s also the loftiest prophet in the Old Testament.

Similarly, John the Baptist is described as one crying in the wilderness. He was startling in his own right, coming around the corner munching on a grasshopper and licking wild honey. Yahshua said there is no one greater.

Eliyah’s life-long task is to protest against a corrupt civilization. He is called by Yahweh to save the nation from lapsing into heathenism and false worship. He takes his stand on traditional principles and bears witness of fundamental truths that should never have been neglected. Baal worship would likely have overrun the nation if not stopped. His mission was to stop it.

John the Baptist also came preaching repentance and returning to Yahweh’s statutes and laws. He was just wasting his breath if the Messiah intended to abolish those statutes and laws with His death.

Both Eliyah and John withstood kings and had high-profile enemies (Eliyah had Ahab to contend with, while John had Herod as his rival).

Luke 1:17 mirrors Malachi 4:6 with the same mission for John the Baptist that Eliyah had. “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to Yahweh their Elohim. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”

Luke 1:17 in other translations reads – “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for Yahweh.”

The New English Bible reads, “to convert the rebellious to the ways of the righteous.”

In Matthew 17:11 Yahshua said Eliyah would pave the way for His own return and “restore all things.” This was in explaining the vision of the transfiguration showing Moses and Eliyah.

 

Moses and Eliyah

Can you see the connection? Moses is the transmitter of Yahweh’s laws and mediator of the first covenant, and Eliyah is the prophet who was sent to restore the law and obedience to Israel. But the association goes further: Yahshua as the third person in the vision showed us how to keep that law as intended.  The vision is now complete!

Back to Matthew 17. Remember that Yahshua said in v. 12 that Eliyah had come already. Had the people accepted Yahshua, then John would have been the prophesied Eliyah preparing His way. Not understanding this, Yahshua’s words are an enigma to many. It can only mean that we today are still awaiting the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.

A sister prophecy is found in Acts 3:20-21: “And he shall send Yahshua the Messiah, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which Elohim hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

True worship will have a presence in this world before the Savior returns to establish His Kingdom on earth. A restoration is necessary because the Bible has been abandoned in our day. What is commonly preached and taught today is not a succession of Apostolic teachings.

A Baptist thinks that what he is hearing each week is exactly the same thing the apostles taught and preached.

The Presbyterian thinks that what he is hearing from the pulpit is the same thing the apostles taught and preached.

Today’s Catholic thinks that what he is hearing each week is exactly the same thing Peter and the apostles taught and preached.

Who is right? All of them? There were 21 Ecumenical Councils called by the early Roman church spanning 16 centuries. These councils were convened for the very purpose of stopping the doctrinal turmoil that embroiled the church in controversy while establishing the doctrine that all the church would follow. The first was called by Roman Emperor Constantine in the year 325, known as the Council of Nicea because it was held at Nicea in Bithynia.

The Nicean Council was the first attempt to have a uniform Christian doctrine. “You mean Catholic doctrine,” some might say. Same thing. Christian doctrine is Catholic doctrine, which was formally adopted at these church councils.

From these 21 councils the Roman church adopted the following teachings embraced today:

  • Yahshua was deity on earth.
  • Establishment and dating of Easter
  • Defining the Holy Ghost as a divine person
  • Mary as the mother of G-d
  • The Trinity
  • The nature and purpose for icons in worship
  • Bread and wine as the literal body and blood in the eucharist
  • Immortal soul; purgatory; prayers for the dead.

 

Caustic Gnostic Beliefs

A lot of these teachings grew out of Gnosticism through Greek philosophy.

Gnoticism is an umbrella term for a collection of teachings from Greek philosophy through Platonism, mysticism, and Oriental superstition. These pagan beliefs began to mingle with Christian teachings. The results are the many nonbiblical teachings extant today in churchianity, like the immortal soul and heaven and hell doctrines.

The heretics that the apostles had to contend with, like Marcion and Simon Magus, were powerfully influenced by Gnosticism. So we see early on that the apostles were already contending with this heresy. Paul was on the front line defense, as Gnostic teachings began to infiltrate assemblies he established in Macedonia.

On Mars Hill he observed that the Greeks liked to sit around and discuss some new thing. That is what they were best at. They loved their philosophy, and much of it was Gnostic in origin and flavor. As pagan teachings entered in, the Hebraic basis of the faith was pushed out.

 

Gnostic Basis for Heresies

Today we ask, as for keeping the Ten Commandments, where did the Sabbath go? Where are the Feasts that were observed in Old and New testaments? What happened to the clean food laws? What about dead meaning dead rather than living on in total awareness? What about ever-burning hell, from the words sheol and hades, when both terms mean the grave?

Many New Testament teachings were abandoned and replaced by Gnostic-centered church teachings having no basis in Scripture. Counterfeit practices bestowed by heathens also became common fare.

 

Discounting Everything Physical

Gnostics saw the material world as the work of a lesser, evil deity. Everything physical was evil and we must get beyond it to experience the divine. This leads inevitably to the notion that what we do in our physical actions has virtually no spiritual impact. Carry this over to today’s belief that works are unnecessary.

The Gnostic held that to know is the highest truth, and that is where the word Gnostic comes from – the Greek word, “to know.”

Another way that Gnostic or Platonic Christianity downplays the material is the way it teaches that the soul is immortal. The body, then, is considered unnecessary baggage that compromises the reality of, or the need for, a resurrection. For both the Gnostic and Christian, the individual lives on after death, as he or she automatically ascends to the spiritual.

The physical world is the starting point, the proving ground. Why would Yahweh ever place us in an evil environment? Talk about defeating His purpose!

It was mankind’s sin that polluted this world, not an inherent evilness in the material.

Yahshua said in His prayer in John 17:17 that the Word is truth and that we are sanctified through the truth. Sanctified means set apart as we willingly obey what the Word tells us to do.

 

Yahweh Challenges Us

Another prophecy informs us that going back to right teachings will result in the kind of blessing everyone wants. Malachi 3:12 shows us what happens when a people submit to their father in heaven: “And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith Yahweh of hosts.”

Imagine a whole nation like ours turning to Yahweh with one mind and heart in humble, willing obedience! But that’s highly unlikely. Most fear what they think would be losing their freedom and ability to live their lives their own way. They don’t understand the blessings of obedience.

Just the thought of following the Scriptures puts some into paralysis. They fight it with every inch of their being. They obviously haven’t a clue about the life-changing impact doing so will have on them from now and into eternity.

Yahweh issues a direct challenge in the book of Malachi. He says prove Me. Experience the joy, peace of mind, and happiness that come with following Me. Walk in newness of life, Paul said in Romans 6.

Turn from the dead-end ways of this world and experience peace, joy and deep-down fulfillment and contentment in your life just by conforming to your Father’s will. Rather than putting off a commitment yet again, try it, and see how Yahweh always keeps His promise. He will never forsake those who follow Him.

Modern Worship

Wishy-Washy Worship

Wishy-Washy Worship AKA “Modern Worship”

What will happen to the semi-serious dabbler in the Word? Can he go just halfway and still believe a Kingdom reward awaits him?

Even with today’s widespread decline in church turnout, millions still attend church regularly. There they can get warm and fuzzy from featherweight sermons about a girl and her puppy or how they can become personally prosperous.  The more serious-minded believers want substance to strengthen their faith, so they pick up the Bible and read it.

Then there are those who faithfully study the Word with purpose. They understand the necessity to align their lives with what they learn from the Scriptures. This conviction was more common before psychology invaded church pulpits, replacing powerful teachings of Yahweh’s Word with useless fluff that glorifies the worshiper.

We are seeing fulfillment of what Paul prophesied: “Who changed the truth of Elohim into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than [rather than] the Creator, who is blessed for ever,” Romans 1:25.

Modern Worship – Rewarded for Nothing?

Today’s Gospel-lite messages have created a vast contradiction. Despite his shallow comprehension and anemic dedication to the Scriptures, the nominal worshiper still expects a salvation reward. Even the fellow who has a hard time just locating books in the Bible believes he will be among those saved at the end.

All would do well to heed what Yahshua said in John 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Many see no connection between studying the Word, changing their lives, and being found worthy to serve Yahweh in the coming Kingdom. Yet, that’s the main thrust of Yahshua’s teachings as well as those of the prophets and apostles.

Yahshua defined the terms of salvation when He said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Master, Master, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 7:21. He Himself did the will of His Father, and so must all who expect eternal life, 1Peter 2:21.

Also, John wrote, “And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of Elohim abideth for ever,” 1John 2:17.

Many believe they are justified in their anemic commitment to the Word. Flare has left fervor in the dust. Yahshua speaks directly to this delusion in Matthew 7:22-23:

“Many will say to me in that day, Master, Master, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Iniquity is the Greek anomia and means unrighteousness, specifically defined as violation of Yahweh’s laws. Those who won’t learn and obey the commands of Scripture are separated from Yahshua in a state of anomia.

On the other hand Yahshua said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock,” Matthew 7:24.

Superficial Piety in Modern Worship

Have you ever wondered what Yahweh will do with the tens of millions who claim a belief in the Bible, go to church regularly, and consider themselves saved – but who never dig below surface level to really understand and conform to the Scriptures?

Relatively few understand His covenant contract with the called-out ones anciently as well as with us in the New Testament. It includes adherence to all that Yahweh commands and all that Yahshua taught.

What will become of those who refuse to call on His personal Name, even when He commands it and they know it is right? What about those who ignore the Sabbath, which He ordained at creation as a memorial of His miraculous work?

Nowhere in the Word are we allowed to disregard His annual Feasts days and celebrate the useless worldly holidays instead. But that is what most in Modern Worship choose to do.

It is time for some clarity as to how Yahweh deals with the religious hobbyist, the part-timer, and the semi-involved dabbler who firmly believes that he or she will one day eat from the Tree of Life and live forever.

Modern Worship – Hard to defend

Years ago an inquirer raised this very issue. He said he didn’t understand the spiritual line of demarcation. He was confused about those morally decent people who say they believe, and profess to be guided by the Bible, but in reality don’t follow even the basics. Will they be gathered with the saints at Yahshua’s coming?

If everyone ends up at the pearly gates anyway, as churches teach or imply, then it would have been pointless for Yahshua to teach conformity to Yahweh’s teachings.

Indifference to personal compliance is at the root of the negative G-force holding millions down and smothering any desire to dig into the Scriptures. They have been told that they already have salvation, so why worry about the details? Just have faith.

Yahshua taught that the walk ofchurch exposed pagan truth leaves no room for fuzzy faith. In both Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 He clearly told us how to live, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh.” What proceeds out of Yahweh’s mouth are His laws and precepts meant for believers in all eras. It’s that simple.

Yahshua Himself followed them and His example of obedience is for us.

Two key passages, 1Peter 2:21-22 and 1John 2:5-6, require us to follow Yahshua’s model of obedience to the laws of Scripture. Peter wrote that Yahshua was sinless, meaning He observed His Father’s statutes perfectly, 1John 3:4.

The believer is to conform to the image of Yahweh’s Son, Romans 8:29, so that the True Worshiper might be among the first to be born into the Kingdom.

Professing faith is useless unless His Word is applied directly to our lives. James 2:20 reads, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” What we do in life has eternal consequences. We find in Romans 1:5 that obedience comes from faith (NIV). Paul in Romans 16:26 melded the two concepts when he used the term “obedience of faith.” He wrote in Romans 2:13, “For not the hearers of the law are just before Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Note that verse in light of those who argue against obedience: “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.” This is Paul speaking in the New Testament.  Complete submission is a command, not only in statute but also in applying Yahshua’s same compassionate and faithful living of those laws.

The Family Challenge

The biggest obstacle to the walk of Truth, besides our own nature, comes from the pressures of those closest to us.

Family pulls and coercion from friends cause many to compromise their walk and play both ends against the middle. They believe that they can still please everyone, Yahweh included.  Take honoring the Sabbath command, for example. Many in Modern Worship see room there for fudging. Let’s say there is a game Friday night at sunset and friends want you to join them, or the relatives are having a picnic Sabbath afternoon and have asked you to come instead of attending worship services. Your sister or brother from out of town is visiting on the Sabbath and it may be your only time to see them. Do you join in and put Yahweh at the end of the line?

Or maybe a weak-in-the-walk spouse wants to celebrate the worthless worldly holidays and expects your participation with the rest of the family – or face unpleasant backlash. Do you compromise, or have the courage of your convictions?

Yahweh sees it all

We read in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot. So then We read in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth.” Yahweh doesn’t bless half-hearted devotion. That is what got the church into trouble in the first place 2,000 years ago. Lukewarm leads to compromise of the Word. Compromise is sin no matter how you slice it. Yahweh demands total commitment from those who seek Him. If you don’t worship Him in Truth and faithfulness you may as well throw in with the world. We read His warning in Revelation 3:16, “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth.”

The very early New Testament believers were dedicated to their faith. They clearly understood what it means to follow Yahweh. But a few centuries later all that started to change – leaving us with the sad state of today’s Modern worship. The first major departure came with the Sabbath. The Sabbath is usually the first focus of fracture when it comes to waning commitment and apostatizing. Read this eye-opening excerpt from the Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, the people who once knew a lot about change and reformation.  Under the heading “Sabbatarian” we find: “The Jewish-Christian congregations of the first century observed the Jewish Sabbath regulations without any hesitancy. Occasionally we meet a dual emphasis upon both Sabbath and Sunday (e.g., in the eastern part of Christianity in the fourth century and in Christian Ireland in the sixth century).” This denomination that split with the Roman church knows that the early New Testament congregations faithfully observed the Sabbath and not the first day of the week, which was still the case several centuries after the death and resurrection of Yahshua. Many who could not completely accept switching over to the first day of the week compromised by keeping both days. For them there were two Sabbaths in a week, a direct violation of the Fourth Commandment in Exodus 20:9-10.

What most fail to grasp is that Yahweh made a unilateral agreement with Israel. He called it a covenant: if you obey my voice and live your life to honor me, then I will be your salvation. Either get on board or be left by the wayside. And that agreement remains intact in today’s New Testament.

The covenant agreement Yahweh first made with Israel will find its fulfillment when Yahshua returns and marries His bride, the Assembly. It’s a promise going all the way back to the beginning. Yahweh is calling many today to leave trivialities behind and get serious about conforming to the Word. Blessings of the Kingdom will come to those who make life-impacting changes now. Don’t put it off. “Someday” is not on the calendar.

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Constantine and Christianity

Constantine and Christianity

Constantine and Christianity – His Sunday legacy

Prior to Constantine, the church had implemented several changes. It was Constantine who officially established Sunday observance through his edict of 321. “Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades, rest on the venerable day of the sun, but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty, attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by heaven.”

Even at the time of this edict, it’s important to recognize that Constantine was an avid sun worshiper. According to most historians, he did not convert to Christianity until his deathbed. However, many question whether his conversion was sincere. Regardless, his impact on the Church is well documented. According to author Kenneth Latourette, “He did not make Christianity the sole religion of the state. That was to follow under later Emperors. He continued to support both paganism and Christianity. In 314, when the cross first appeared on his coins, it was accompanied by the figures of Sol Invictus and Mars Conservator. To the end of his days he bore the title of pontifex Maximus as chief priest of the pagan state cult. The subservient Roman Senate followed the long-established custom and classed him among the gods” (A History of Christianity, p. 92).

It is a fact that today’s Church does not resemble the early New Testament assembly in many facets. Many biblical scholars rightfully point out that the early assembly resembled more of Judaism. It would have likely been considered another Jewish sect until it was radically changed through the Church’s adoption of pagan Greek ideas.

Author Earle E. Cairns corroborates this conclusion in his book, Christianity Through the Centuries: “Christianity may have developed in the political milieu of Rome and may have had to face the intellectual environment created by the Greek mind, but its relationship to Judaism was much more intimate. Judaism may be thought of as the stalk on which the rose of Christianity was to bloom…. Judaism provided the heredity of Christianity and, for a time, even gave the infant religion shelter…. The Jewish people still further prepared the way for the coming of Christianity by providing the infant Church with a sacred book, the Old Testament. Even a casual study of the New Testament will reveal Christs’ and the apostles’ deep indebtedness to the Old Testament and their reverence for it as the Word of [Yahweh] to man…. The books of the Old Testament and the books of the New Testament, given under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were to be the living literature of the Church,” pp. 44-46.

While Sunday may have been observed by some within the Church prior to Constantine, he was responsible for establishing Sunday observance as civil law. He also influenced the church in many other ways.

As a ministry we are not concerned about church tradition, church fathers or church councils, but only what the Bible states and how the Messiah and the apostles worshiped in the New Testament. It is a biblical fact that they worshipped on the seventh-day Sabbath and that Sunday was introduced by man-made tradition. The Sabbath is mentioned 60 times in the New Testament while the “first day of the week” is referenced only 8 times in the KJV and not once to a day of worship. We encourage you to consider the facts and look not to early church councils and practices, but to what the Messiah and his apostles did in the New Testament. We believe that you will see a stark contrast between the two.

We hope this article Constantine and Christianity was useful for you. Remeber to Check us out on Social media (Youtube, Roku, Facebook and our Livestream Sabbath Services) Shalom!

Christianity and modern worship

Modern Worship Has Lost Its Way

What is Christianity?

A spiritual malaise is plaguing Christianity today, which is leading to a widespread decline in church attendance. Eighty percent of churches are stagnant or losing membership. A 2013 Pew Research survey found that only 37 percent of Americans attend church regularly. Three in 10 say they never or rarely go. Ask most pastors what percentage of inactive members they have – they’ll say anywhere from 40 percent to 60 percent. When I was a youth it seemed as if everyone went to church. The result of that general religious environment was a more law-abiding society and a culture in which people showed more care and concern for one another.

User-Friendly ‘Worship’

In treating the symptoms of declining attendance rather than the cause, many ministries are switching from Bible-based teachings to pleasing the congregation any way they can just to fill their pews. Today’s church culture has tried to become user-friendly through milquetoast teachings. It’s called seeker-sensitive. The aim is to find ways to make attendance attractive and entertaining – competing with Disneyland, Hollywood, and Broadway. Many larger ministries are turning to consumer business models. They take surveys to give the congregation what they want. And what they want is a Starbucks in the vestibule. And to hold services at Buffalo Wild Wings, as one church has started doing. Provide youth areas with Xboxes and three-tiered playgrounds, and run live social media feeds during worship. Many ministries today have lost touch with their whole purpose. The Apostle Paul was very concerned about today’s lack of Bible teaching. He prophesied about it to the young Timothy in 2Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Fables is “moothos” in the Greek, meaning a fictional tale. Clearly we are seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy today. How many churchgoers are truly interested in the pure, unadulterated Word in our culture? How many hunger for sound doctrine and desire above all to conform to it?  Astonishing Bible Truths Your Church Never Taught >>

Many Reasons for Today’s Attendance 

Motives for church attendance are all over the map. Most of them have little to do with the Scriptures.

The following are seven key reasons people attend church today.

  • A majority go to church because it is all about them. They go to feel good and feel good about themselves. Many are looking for entertainment, and if they find their church getting boring, they shop around. So what is Christianity?
  • A second reason many attend is to socialize. They go to touch base with friends or to find new ones. They see it as a club or like a stop at the corner cafe.
  • A third reason is all about the pastor: they like his charisma or his speaking style, or maybe he’s a good singer. Or else they are drawn to his friendliness. Or to his family. Or they like the prestige of going to his big, impressive church building.
  • Many attend for the sake of their children. They like the youth programs. For many, it is all about youth activities. If the youth program changes or dies, they go church shopping.
  • For others, it is all about networking. They go for business contacts, or to schmooze with prospective employers who attend there.
  • Some simply have never been anywhere else and do not know any different. They grew up in their church, have always attended there, and will die going there. Others attend a church half-heartedly only because a spouse or friend wants them to. Some go just to ease their guilt. They show up a couple times a year, usually around the pseudo-holy days.

Most all of these are self-centered reasons for worship in the 21st century: it’s all about me. Does this church fit me and how do I look in it, Like shopping for a coat.

  • The last reason some attend church today is to find truth. Not meaning to be cynical here, but I call this the last reason not just because it’s last on my list, but because it is fast becoming the least popular motive for weekly attendance.

Those in this category sincerely want to honor, serve and please the Creator they worship. They know that their salvation depends on it and are willing to make whatever life changes are necessary toward that end, even hard things like humbly repenting of their sins and living a different life as shown in the Word. Those with hearts desiring to serve Yahweh are the ones who will one day serve as priests in His Kingdom if they stay faithful to Him.  Considering the popularity of all the other reasons, going to church in an earnest desire to find and follow truth probably will never rise above its last-place status today. Not until Yahshua returns, at least.

Dedication Soon to Be Enforced

When that time comes this list will be turned on its head as everyone will worship in sincerity and truth – or else. All other self-centered, superficial reasons will be unacceptable. Yahshua said in John 4:23: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Yahweh is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

True devotion that pleases Yahweh is serious business. It is not about the worshiper but all about the One who is worshiped. It is about giving Him the honor He demands by living His Word. Back in the day, attending services for the sole purpose of worship would not even be a question. Only a few decades ago many more churchgoers searched the Scriptures in a sincere desire to get their lives and worship right. They read their Bibles and knew intuitively that devotion was all about truth and conforming to it. Far more had hearts hungering to learn what the Bible taught and especially – and this is key – to change their lives and follow what Yahweh expected of them. Today that kind of conviction is dying. Paul warned about this very thing that was also happening in his day. He said,  “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Messiah unto another good news: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the good news of Messiah. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other good news unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed,” Galatians 1:6-8.

For Many, Progress Stops at Conviction

What Is Christianity?We are facing an age-old dynamic. Many who hear our message on television, online, or in our publications are intrigued by what we teach. But just like the Greeks listening to Paul on Mar’s Hill, a majority are only curious and once their curiosity is satisfied, they fade away. When it comes to taking new found understanding of truth to heart by putting the Bible’s clear teachings into practice, that’s where dedication typically nosedives. We counsel people at baptism that they now must be faithful to the Sabbath and Feasts the rest of their lives. They are making a permanent commitment and living a new and different life now, with Yahweh coming first in everything. It is a covenant they make with Him. This is basic, and only those willing to do that are going to be chosen for the Kingdom.

No Lasting Satisfaction in World

Many find their fulfillment in this present world. Paul had a short-term follower named Demas who also had too much love for this world. Love not the world, John wrote, nor the things in it. If you do, then the love of Yahweh is not within you. Yahshua’s parable of the sower is a reprimand for the weak of will. The seed sprouts but then dies out. It requires too much sacrifice to change their lives. They are happy with the status quo. They are comfortable in their sins. Or at least not uncomfortable enough to repent of them, which means change their lives, and be blessed by Yahweh. But when things begin to heat up, worldly pursuits will mean nothing. That day will reflect the same short-term change in attitudes in our nation that followed the attacks on

Yahshua’s parable of the sower is a reprimand for the weak of will. The seed sprouts but then dies out. It requires too much sacrifice to change their lives. They are happy with the status quo. They are comfortable in their sins. Or at least not uncomfortable enough to repent of them, which means change their lives, and be blessed by Yahweh. But when things begin to heat up, worldly pursuits will mean nothing. That day will reflect the same short-term change in attitudes in our nation that followed the attacks on 9-11, when people feared the future and frivolities faded fast. A lack of commitment to Him leads Yahweh to say, “I never knew you, depart from me. You have no deep regard for me. You never took me seriously when you had all the opportunity to do so. You didn’t have time for me when you pursued your worldly goals.” False teachings have led millions to count on winning the Prize by doing nothing but believe. They want salvation but apparently not enough to run the race. Yahshua hates the something-for-nothing attitude. He was clear when He said that to live by the Word would not be a walk down Easy Street. He said those who follow the Scriptures would not win any popularity contests. He promised, “In the world, you will have tribulation.” Today’s popular perception is that you can be blessed with health, wealth, and prosperity just by claiming a belief. As 2Timothy 4 tells us, that is fiction. Only in the life to come will true blessings reign. Yet, the trials that always come with obedience are nothing compared with the blessings in Kingdom life. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us,” Romans 8:18. Paul wrote in 2Timothy 3:12: “Yea, and all that will live piously in Messiah Yahshua shall suffer persecution.”

Committing Your Life Is the Whole Key

If the whole point and purpose of learning truth is to apply it, as the Scriptures abundantly teach, why the lack of com-mitment to do that today? Learning without doing is just a mental exercise, in Yahweh’s eyes a waste of time. If you agree that the Sabbath is the seventh day, but continue doing your chores, shopping, and golfing on Saturday, then you are no better off than the heathen. If you agree with Scripture that the Feasts are the only holidays commanded by Yahweh and kept in both Old and New testaments, and made for all His people in every era, but you never observe them with His body of believers, then your endorsement is pointless and useless. Knowledge without real life application will get you nowhere. If you have proved the sacred Names of the Father and Son and correctly recognize that only in His Name do you find salvation, Acts 4:12, but you don’t commit to calling on, and worshiping in His Name, then you may as well disavow it. If we really respect Yahweh, if we actually serve Him as we say, then we will honor His Name as He commands: “I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images,” Isaiah 42:8. His name appears in the Old Testament’s source manuscripts 6,823 times. That should be enough to prove its importance, shouldn’t it? James in 4:17 says enlightenment is serious business: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Knowing Yahweh’s word and not following it is tantamount to sin.

Take the Responsibility

Once you cross the threshold of understanding and know in your heart what is right and true, you are then held responsible for it. Yahweh from that point forward holds you accountable for following it. That includes all of the Ten Commandments and His laws. If after conviction you turn back, Hebrews 6 equates it to sin for which there is no remedy. If you have seen and proved the truth but do nothing further with it, you bury the gift of understanding Yahweh gave you. And He will hold you accountable. We must walk in all the light Yahweh gives us. Obstacles and roadblocks keep many of the easily discouraged from following truth. Our culture itself breeds laxity and nonresponsibility. Making bad choices leading to alcohol abuse or nicotine addiction is excused by the popular rationalization that it is not your fault; you can’t help it, you have a disease. Many lack the integrity to take responsibility for their actions. Today’s society contributes greatly to that irresponsibility. We have no-fault insurance, no-fault divorce, and no-fault attendance policies. A denial of responsibility is followed by a lack of commitment. Nowhere is this more serious than in serving Yahweh. But the biggest impediment to repentance and the need to put into practice what Scripture commands lands squarely in the laps of the clergy. The assault on biblical teachings of obedience saturates pulpits everywhere.

Faith Alone?

Church after church will tell you that all you need is faith. Nothing more. If salvation truly comes from faith alone, then 99.9 percent of the Bible would be unnecessary. One verse stating such belief could replace all 31,102 verses in Scripture. Yet, no such verse exists. Forget hundreds of passages of New Testament instruction and example in righteous obedience to Yahweh’s Word. Never mind the Savior’s three and one-half years of teaching how to live according to the Word, as well as His own example of obedient living while He walked this earth. Forget all that He taught His disciples and us as well, about how to live, “As the Father gave me commandment, so I do,” He said in John 14:31. Yahshua plainly said that only the one who does the will of His Father will enter the Kingdom of heaven, Matthew 7:21. In Matthew 19:17 He said if you seek everlasting life, then keep the commandments. A favorite “proof” text for belief alone is Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Master Yahshua, and shalt believe in thine heart that Yahweh hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” You see, confession and belief—that’s all you need, many say. If that’s true, then why obey? Because of the next verse: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” When you believe to the point of righteousness then you put your belief and understanding into daily practice. That is what righteousness means. It is from the Greek meaning holy, set apart. How? Through obedience. He said the same thing in John 3:16, where “believeth in Him” entails “committing to” in obedience. See Hebrews 5:9. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 15:34: “Awake to righteousness and sin not.” Sin is disobedience. Sin is breaking of the law, 1John 3:4. Righteousness means not sinning. It means obedience.

Luke 1:6 tells us that John the Baptist’s father and mother were both righteous. Does that mean they just had faith alone? Let’s see: “And they were both righteous before Elohim, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of Yahweh blameless.” Obedience to the commands makes one righteous. Yahshua told a woman in Luke 11:28 who was trying to reduce His blessing for His mother Miriam, “Rather, blessed are they that hear the word of Elohim, and keep it.” Keep means to observe, obey. The obedient are those who are blessed. You can’t be a sinner and righteous at the same time. You can’t be doing righteousness but thinking wickedness. Or thinking obedience but living a life of disobedience.Yet millions are under the illusion that it can be done. You can live for yourself and still have everlasting life awaiting you just because you claim you believe. You can’t be a sinner and righteous at the same time. You can’t be doing righteousness but thinking wickedness. Or thinking obedience but living a life of disobedience. Yet millions are under the illusion that it can be done. You can live for yourself and still have everlasting life awaiting you just because you claim you believe. Others think they can go halfway and still be saved. James 2:10 tells them, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” One way or another we all will face the One who inspired the Book. Now is the time to make the most of the opportunity each of us has been given to worship Him in truth and live for Him.

Religious Hucksters Everywhere

A lot of megachurches pander to the selfish interests of their audiences. They set a low standard for many ministries to emulate.

Their audiences just want to feel good, so they are served a smorgasbord of warm and fuzzy preaching. Nothing controversial.

  • Throw in lots of psychology and sociology.
  • Spin a never-ending web of low-impact yarns with a visual circus on jumbotron screens. That way they’ll keep coming back for more feel-good entertainment.
  • Don’t ever say anything life-impacting.
  • Never make the listeners feel bad about their sinfulness. Don’t even mention sin or repentance. The last thing they want is conviction that leads to obedience to the one they claim to worship.
  • People just need to feel good about themselves. Tell them Yahweh just wants them to be happy, and they deserve to have joy no matter what.
  • Live for today and have your best life now.

The prophets and apostles would be aghast at all this flim-flam, which is designed to pull in numbers and a full offering plate. Teachings about conversion and obedience never proceed from the speakers’ lips. Neither does the subject of sin and its destructive work.

Today we see rampant spiritual malpractice at the highest level. It was one of the hot topics that Yahshua and the apostles railed against. In the Scriptures, Israelites came to the temple for one thing: to worship Yahweh as He demands. They worshiped regularly and learned lessons in how far they had strayed from Him. It was all about discovering ever more of Him and serving Him, which is the most important purpose in our worship and life. Soon all will be obediently honoring Yahweh. Yahshua said, “But the hour cometh, and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him,” John 4:23. Why would anyone waste their time subjected to teachings not based on the Word? Why would anyone want to go backward? Anything other than worship taught in the Scriptures is idolatry, whether it be a metal image or a vaunted self-image desirous of personal gain. Many ministries today just want to be social clubs, with watered down, low-impact, nonjudgmental teachings that have no connection with New Testament worship. What is Christianity? The modern church has ranged far afield from apostolic instruction and life. What changed? Was it the Bible?  Scripture says that both Yahweh and Yahshua are the same yesterday and today and forever. So it wasn’t they who turned aside. From the very days of their ministries in Acts, the apostles were confronted by those who deviated, having less than pure motives. Do as the New Testament writers did: follow the Word closely every day and you will never go wrong. Observe its teachings faithfully. A crown of everlasting life in a never-ending kingdom awaits those who have Yahweh at heart and are willing to live their lives for Him.

What is Christianity? What they don’t want you to know >>