Is the mainstream Western church apostate?

2 Thessalonians 2:3, Falling away [Gr. apostasia].

Whether the mainstream Western church is apostate or not depends on how define the word “apostate.” The word apostate comes from the biblical Greek apostasia, which literally means “a falling away or defection or forsaking of the truth.” That word is found in only two places in the NT. One place is 2 Thess 2:3. What is Paul telling us that people are falling away from? From the truth (see verses 10, 12, 13). What is the truth? Yeshua is the truth (John 14:6), so is the Word of Elohim (John 17:17), and so is the Torah (Ps 119:141, 152), and finally, to unite everything together, Yeshua is the Torah-Word of Elohim in flesh form (John 1:1, 14).

The other place that apostasia is found in the NT is Acts 21:21 where some Jews were falsely accusing Paul of forsaking or falling away from the Torah—an accusation he vigorously opposed, even to his own personal detriment. In defending himself against this lie, he eventually was arrested and sent to Rome for trial, which eventually led to his martyrdom. Ironically and sadly, the mainstream Christian church, to this day, believes the lies of Paul’s false accusers—that he was forsaking or abandoning or falling away (apostasia) from the truth of the law. So now to answer your question specifically: Is the American church apostate? The answer is yes and no. To the degree that the church, any church, or person, or denomination or whatever doesn’t have the truth (as the Bible defines it) is the degree to which that person, church or religious institution is apostate. The church teaches many biblical truths, but also teaches many lies. To the degree that any person or institution teaches against the truth of the Bible is to the degree to which that person or system is apostate or a part of the Babylonian mystery religious system, which YHVH is currently calling his people out of as per Revelation 18:4.

The word Babylon means “confusion or mixture,” and it’s a confusion of truth and lies, good and evil, like the tree by that name. The devil or serpent is in the details. However, when we read the details of Scripture and put the pieces of truth together (“here a little, there a little” and “rightly dividing the word of Elohim”), a very different picture emerges, and it’s not always a pleasant picture either; namely how humans have often twisted and eviscerated the pure light of YHVH’s biblical truth, with the help of the serpent who is slyly hiding camouflaged in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

What is the main point I’m trying to make here? Simply this. None of is right before YHVH. (Only the imputed righteousness of Yeshua and the work of the Spirit of Elohim in our lives makes us right before the Kadosh One of Israel.) To the degree that any of us (including our Christian, lost sheep of the house of Israel brethren) aren’t walking according to the light of the truth of both the Living and Written Torah-Word of Elohim is to the degree that we are apostate and under the control of the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

Is the church apostate?

I just got an email from Mark who asked me some questions that I suspect many of you are asking, have asked, or know people who have these questions. Maybe my answers below will help someone to emerge out of some of the fog of religious confusion.
The first question: What has been happening in the Western Protestant church in Elohim’s bigger scheme?
Since Luther and the Protestant Reformation to the present, it has become clear to me that Elohim has been slowly restoring biblical truths that the early apostolic, Book of Acts church had and that the proto–  and Roman Catholic Church either lost or suppressed. As each new truth was rediscovered, a denomination or institution formed around that truth. After each such occurrence, institutions were formed around those truths, and then humans politics, pride, greed and and corporatism entered in along with unbiblical traditions of men. As new biblical truths were subsequently discovered, new groups split off of the existing denominational structures and the process simply repeated itself. Elohim has been restoring truths to his church for the past 500 years. Most people park themselves at various truths and then pridefully name themselves after those who discovered those truths (e.g. Lutherans, Mennonites, Amish, Wesleyans, etc.) or after the truths themselves (Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, etc.).
Meanwhile, there are truth-seekers who keep pushing forward as they see more things in Christianity that don’t line up with Scripture. This brings us to the modern day biblical roots movement where many people are returning to the first century apostolic faith, which was Torah-based and believed that Yeshua was the Messiah.
What made you leave the evangelical church to come back to where you are now?
I was born and raised in a basic Torah-observant, Christian family. When I was 30 I left that and went into Protestant Christianity for several years where I learned a lot of good things. Pretty soon, I began to realize that they weren’t teaching the whole truth of the Bible, so I left that and struck out on my own. Soon, I found others who believed as I do. That’s where I am today.
Is the American church apostate?
It depends on what you mean by “apostate.” The word apostate comes from the biblical Greek apostasia, which literally means “a falling away or defection or forsaking of the truth.” That word is found in only two places in the NT. One place is 2 Thess 2:3. What is Paul telling us that people are falling away from? From the truth (see verses 10, 12, 13). What is the truth? Yeshua is the truth (John 14:6), so is the Word of Elohim (John 17:17), and so is the Torah (Ps 119:141, 152), and finally, to unite everything together, Yeshua is the Torah-Word of Elohim in flesh form (John 1:1, 14).
The other place that apostasia is found in the NT is Acts 21:21 where some Jews were falsely accusing Paul of forsaking or falling away from the Torah—an accusation he vigorously opposed, even to his own personal detriment. In defending himself against this lie, he eventually was arrested and sent to Rome for trial, which eventually led to his martyrdom. Ironically and sadly, the mainstream Christian church, to this day, believes the lies of Paul’s false accusers—that he was forsaking or abandoning or falling away (apostasia) from the truth of the law. So now to answer your question specifically: Is the American church apostate? The answer is yes and no. To the degree that the church, any church, or person, or denomination or whatever doesn’t have the truth (as the Bible defines it) is the degree to which that person, church or religious institution is apostate. The church teaches many biblical truths, but also teaches many lies. To the degree that any person or institution teaches against the truth of the Bible is to the degree to which that person or system is apostate or a part of the Babylonian mystery religious system, which YHVH is currently calling his people out of as per Revelation 18:4.
The word Babylon means “confusion or mixture,” and it’s a confusion of truth and lies, good and evil, like the tree by that name. The devil or serpent is in the details. However, when we read the details of Scripture and put the pieces of truth together (“here a little, there a little” and “rightly dividing the word of Elohim”), a very different picture emerges, and it’s not always a pleasant picture either; namely how humans have often twisted and eviscerated the pure light of YHVH’s biblical truth, with the help of the serpent who is slyly hiding camouflaged in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
What is the main point I’m trying to make here? Simply this. None of is right before YHVH. (Only the imputed righteousness of Yeshua and the work of the Spirit of Elohim in our lives makes us right before the Kadosh One of Israel.) To the degree that any of us (including our Christian, lost sheep of the house of Israel brethren) aren’t walking according to the light of the truth of both the Living and Written Torah-Word of Elohim is to the degree that we are apostate and under the control of the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

Concourse With the World—A Slippery Slope

Numbers 33:55, If you do not drive out. In his instructions to his children, YHVH is serious: he doesn’t want his saints to countenance the ungodly heathens that were around them in any way.

One has only to read in the pages of the Scriptures the long and sad history of Israel’s numerous involvements with the societies around them resulting in their fall into apostasy again and again.

The reason for this tendency toward spiritual declension is simple. The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 15:33. What does YHVH require his people to do in the face of evil? (See Ps 94:16.)

The problem is that when an unsuspecting saint begins to toy with sin and sinners, slowly and imperceptibly the slide down the proverbial spiritual slippery slope begins. This is what happened to Lot when he left Abraham and moved toward Sodom (review Gen 13:10–12 cp. 19:1–26). Next, we see that Lot is married with children, has a home in Sodom and is a leader there. Even though the Scriptures consider Lot to be a righteous man, it was nevertheless difficult for him to leave that wicked city. Though Lot’s wife left Sodom physically, she couldn’t leave it emotionally. (Remember Yeshua’s warning to us in Luke 17:32 as pertaining to the last days. Let us also not forget Yeshua’s warning to the church of Laodicea in (see Rev 3:14–22).


 

Addressing Rabbinic Jewish Arguments Against Yeshua’s Messiahship


The arguments that Orthodox Rabbinic Jewish scholars make attempting to disprove Yeshua’s divinity and Messiahship may appear clever and convincing on the surface, but upon closer examination they prove to be false and are easily refuted.

When one looks through the smoke and mirrors of human deceit, one will see that these Jewish antimissionary arguments are patently false and demonstrate a major degree of spiritual blindness. At the very least, they reveal a dishonesty and disingenuousness on the part of their proponents, and at the most, a gross lack of understanding of the Scriptures. This is because a spirit of blindness has fallen upon rabbinic Jews as the Bible states (Rom 11:25)

To the naive, uninformed, misinformed and those who are either neophytes in their understanding of the Scriptures, or who have lost their first love of Yeshua and have fallen away from him spiritually, the antimessiah arguments of the rabbinic Jews seem compelling and convincing. Yet, upon careful examinations, all of their arguments have only a thin veneer of truth. Upon closer examination, it is easily proven that they do not line up with the WHOLE truth of the Bible, nor do they, in many cases, even line up with what their own pre-Christian Jewish sages taught and believed about the Messiah and the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Sadly, I have found that these blind unbelieving Jewish guides prey upon weak or disillusioned Christians who don’t know their Scriptures. They are able to draw many lukewarm and deceived Christians into apostasy, even causing them to renounce their faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of Elohim and who is Elohim incarnate (John 1:1, 14). This is tragic!

Below are some of the most common antimessiah arguments that rabbinic Jews make in order to disprove the validity of the gospel message and faith in Yeshua the Messiah. My answers are short and to the point. A whole article could be written answering each point.  At the end of this brief study, I offer additional resources for those who want more information.

Rabbinic antimessiah statement: Elohim, the God of the Bible is one (Hebrew echad), not a Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches the idea of monotheism, not polytheism as Christianity teaches in the doctrine of the trinity.

Response: The word echad in Hebrew means “a compound unity—or one thing that is comprised of several units that together make up the unified whole (like a bunch of grapes).” The hidden reality is that many rabbinic Jews believe that Elohim is composed of ten component parts as pictured by the mystical sephirotic tree.

Rabbinic antimessiah statement: Countless times the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament or Tankah) declare: “I am HaShem (YHVH or the LORD) your God (Elohim), outside of me there is no other!” Everything you pray to other than him becomes a god or idol before HaShem (YHVH). HaShem forbids praying to anyone but Him!

Reponse: Actually, this isn’t a quote from the Torah, but from Isaiah. The Tanakh or OT actually teaches that there are two YHVH’s, not one—the Father and the Son. Moreover, Continue reading


 

Solomon’s Downward Spiritual Spiral Begins

Beautiful egyptian woman bronze portrait.

2 Chronicles 8:11, Daughter of Pharaoh…my wife. Solomon couldn’t bring his heathen wife into the City of David, for fear of defiling the holy ground thereof. So why did he marry her in the first place?

This obviously was a marriage strictly for political purposes (and being a kings daughter, she was probably good looking to boot!)

This type of action on Solomon’s part was the beginning of his spiritual descent that eventually led to idolatry and witchcraft.

Even as Samson had a weak spot for beautiful women and it led to his downfall, the same happened with Solomon. Instead of trusting in YHVH to be the strength of his kingdom as he had promised to do, Solomon relied on comprising political alliances, horses and chariots—something which YHVH commanded his servants not to multiply (Deut 17:16). To do this would lead them into a secular downward spiral orientation and take them away from trusting in Elohim for their defense and protection.

What is the lesson in this for us? Though we are in the world, we are not to be of the world, as Yeshua said in John 17. To live on this earth, we must sagaciously navigate the waters of this cosmos without getting sucked in to using worldly methods to advance the kingdom of Elohim. If not careful and discerning we can fall into the trap of using the methodologies of this world as a pretext for doing “the Lord’s work” when in reality we’re fulfilling our own carnal agendas and desires for money, power and public recognition.


 

Dealing With the Heathens Around Us

Numbers 33:52,You shall drive out. Obviously, it’s impossible for the saints of the Most High to walk out this command today, since they have neither a country nor the legal authority to deal with the wicked in this manner. However, the righteous aren’t left without options on how to deal in a righteous manner with the unrighteous wicked around them. In the Testimony of Yeshua we are given instructions in this regard (Matt 10:16, 23; 18:15–17; John 16:2; Rom 16:17; 1 Cor 5:9–11; 2 Cor 6:14–17; Tit 3:10; 2 Thess 3:6; 2 Tim 3:5; Rev 18:4).

Numbers 33:55, If you do not drive out. In his instructions to his children, YHVH is serious: he doesn’t want his saints to countenance the ungodly heathens that were around them in any way. One has only to read in the pages of the Scriptures the long and sad history of Israel’s numerous involvements with the societies around them resulting in their fall into apostasy again and again. The reason for this tendency toward spiritual declension is simple. The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 15:33. What does YHVH require his people to do in the face of evil? (See Ps 94:16.) The problem is that when an unsuspecting saint begins to toy with sin and sinners, slowly and imperceptibly the slide down the proverbial spiritual slippery slope begins. This is what happened to Lot when he left Abraham and moved toward Sodom (review Gen 13:10–12 cp. 19:1–26). Next, we see that Lot is married with children, has a home in Sodom and is a leader there. Even though the Scriptures consider Lot to be a righteous man, it was nevertheless difficult for him to leave that wicked city. Though Lot’s wife left Sodom physically, she couldn’t leave it emotionally. (Remember Yeshua’s warning to us in Luke 17:32 as pertaining to the last days. Let us also not forget Yeshua’s warning to the church of Laodicea in (see Rev 3:14–22).


 

False Teachings and Destructive Heresies in the Early Church

Who goes there?

Thief sneaking through door2 Peter 2:1, False teachers…destructive heresies. When did several prominent but destructive, non-biblical heresies creep into the early church, which are now major doctrines in mainstream Christianity? Here is a partial list along with the approximate times the early church fathers began teaching these doctrines.

The Human Soul Is Immortal

The immortality of the soul was not  a Hebraic concept, but originated from the ancient Greek philosophers. This pagan concept made its way into the church as Gentiles who were steeped in the thinking of the Greek philosophers gained control of the early church after the death of the last apostles.

A.D. 130— The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, ch. 6

Ca. A.D. 155—The First Apology of Justin Martyr, ch. 18

Ca. A.D. 180—Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book Two, ch. 34

Ca. A.D. 180—Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book Five, chaps. 7.1; 31.1

Teachings Against the Sabbath and Biblical Feasts

There is no record in the Bible of the early New Testament believers replacing the seventh-day Sabbath with Sunday. To say so is wishful thinking, a twisting of the Scriptures and biblical revisionism. It wasn’t until the fourth century at the Council of Nicea under Roman emperor Constantine that the Sunday officially replaced the Sabbath in the early church. Until that time, many Christian churches still observed the Sabbath throughout the Roman empire. The process of transitioning from Sabbath to Sunday observance was a slow one beginning in the early second century and had its roots largely in antisemitism.

A.D. 130—The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, ch. 4. The author calls the Sabbath and biblical feasts “utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice.”

Ca. A.D. 130—Epistle of Barnabas, ch. 2 (also ch. 14). The author says that the Sabbaths (weekly Sabbath and biblical feasts) are abolished.

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Philippians, ch. 14

Observance of the Lord’s Day (Sunday) Advocated Over Sabbath Observance

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesian, ch. 9. The author says to keep the Sabbath on Sunday.

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, ch. 9

Ca. A.D. 130—Epistle of Barnabas, ch. 14

Ca. A.D. 155—The First Apology of Justin Martyr, ch. 67

Teachings Against the Torah

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians, ch. 6. The author declare, “If anyone preach the Jewish law, listen not to him.”

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesian, ch. 10

Ca. A.D. 155—The First Apology of Justin Martyr, ch. 47. The author states that out of “weak-mindedness,” some Christians observe the Mosaic law. Sabbath and feast days observance are optional, but not encouraged.

Anti-Semetic/Anti-Torah Theology

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesian, chaps. 8, 10

Ca. A.D. 180—Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book Four, ch. 16.4. The author declares that the Decalogue was not cancelled by the New Covenant, but the statues and judgments of the Torah were a bondage to the Israelites and are no longer binding on Christians.

Teachings Against the Biblical Dietary Laws of Clean and Unclean Meats

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians, ch. 6. The author states that one who adheres the biblical dietary laws “has the apostate dragon dwelling within him.”

Easter Celebration Established a Christian Holiday

Ca. A.D. 150—The celebration of the resurrection within the early church began in the middle of the second century (History of the Christian Church, vol. 2, pp. 207–8, by Philip Schaff). The date of Easter and its formal establishment and disconnection from Passover occurred in A.D. 325 at the council of Nicea.

Sabbath Officially Changed to Sunday

A.D. 321—Sunday officially becomes the weekly day of worship (in place of the Sabbath) by a legal enactment of Emporer Constantine (History of the Christian Church, vol. 3, p. 378ff, by Philip Schaff; History of the Christianity, vol 1, p. 93, by Kenneth Scott Latourette)

Christmas Established as a Christian Holiday

Ca. A.D. 354—Christmas originated in the middle to the end of the fourth century as a Christian holiday as an outgrowth of a pagan festival celebrating the birth of the pagan sun god.