Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Identifying Babylon the Great Part Three

The Earth belongs to HaShem
"The Earth Belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."

Identifying Babylon The Great

Part Three
By Ben Ruach ha Kodesh (John of AllFaith) © 3.15.08

So here we see the future of the Church. Now we will consider how the Church came to be viewed as harlot deserving of this rough treatments.

The Seven Periods of the Church

In the book of Master Y'shua's prophecy to John he explains that the Church would pass through seven distinct periods of time before finally embracing the role of Babylon the Great and being rejected by God and man. These "churches" existed in the cities referenced, but the meaning is deeper, signifying the future of the Church. We are currently living in the seventh and final of these periods. What follows is a list of the Seven Churches of Revelation and their approximate dates. These dates are given only as markers because the distinguishing traits of each period bleed over into the others in the continuous flow of time. This list should not therefore be taken as giving exact dates for the periods they reference. In these letter the Master addresses those who hold true to his Way.

The Church of Ephesus:

    70 CE - 170 CE: As the Jews, including the followers of Master Y'shua, were expelled from Zion (as the Master predicted in Matthew 24) the Nazarenes (the followers of Y'shua of Nazareth) began to lose faith in the Way. Certain of the followers of the Way began embracing various non-Abrahamic doctrines. Having lost their homes and being dispersed throughout the world they began compromise their beliefs and accept doctrines never taught by the Master or the Jewish Scriptures.

      Revelation 2:
      1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
      2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
      3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
      4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
      5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
      6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
      7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

There were devout (Written) Torah Observant Nazarenes still and they were struggling to maintain the true faith of the Master and his reformed Jewish beliefs. Others however were claiming to be apostles of the Master when in truth they were introducing false doctrines and leading the Nazarenes astray. Among these heretics were the Nicolaitanes (Nicolaitans or Nicolaites). While neither the texts we have today in the Bible nor external information positively identifies this sect, we do have clear identification of this sect. This sect (in verse 14) held to the error of Balaam as we will see below. The error of Balaam was the merging of Judaism with other religions and rites, thus leading them astray from the God of Israel. God is the God of the whole world and Master Y'shua taught that there were other, non-Jewish (and non-Nazarene) sheep, however he had come solely for the House of Israel (Matt 15:24). The Nicolaitanes were leading the mainly Jewish (at this point) followers of the Master away from Judaism into a religious synthesis that was the hallmark of Roman religion. As is well known, whenever Rome conquered a people their gods were merged into Roman pantheon. The Nicolaitanes were seeking to merge the God of Israel into their Universal Church. This Church period precedes the creation of the Roman Papacy but in the Nicolaitanes we see the trend the Church would follow.

The Church of Smyrna:

    170 CE - 312 CE: As the followers of Master Y'shua and other Jews held firm to their devotion in the God of Israel they experienced severe persecution. During this period there was little time to debate doctrine, the follower of the Way were struggling to survive. It was during this period that the Maranatha fish was developed as a secret identifier by which the followers could come toward.

      Revelation 2:
      8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
      9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
      10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
      11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    Here see the Nicolaitanes clearly identified. These people were claiming, "to be Jews," but they were not. Master Y'shua is Jewish. ALL of his disciples were Jewish. As Gentiles embraced his Way they considered themselves converts to Judaism. the difficulty was of course that the Jewish hierarchy did not accept the ministry of Prophet Y'shua and hence rejected the conversions of his Gentile followers. This situation is described in painful detail in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. The final decision of the Apostles was that those who wished to enter into the Nazarene Congregation would not be required to formally convert into Judaism (via circumcision, the acceptance of the Jewish authorities etc. This controversy is what spawned the new religion of Master Y'shua as a distinct one from Judaism. At this point, 170-312 CE the true followers of the Master, Jews and Noahides (Gentiles) alike, still considered themselves to be Jews as this verse makes clear. The Nicolaitanes however were clearly leaving the precepts of Judaism and seeking to establish something entirely different: Modern Christianity. This abandonment of Judaism by the followers the Way was a development, "which I also hate" (vs.6). As we approach the 300's this Nicolaite heresy is gaining popularity. This was partly because those who surrendered to Roman rule faced less persecution and partly due to the growing, even rampant, antisemitism. Unlike many of the followers of the Way, the Jews who had not embraced Master Y'shua were adamant in their rejection of Rome and its Universal religion. Jews still sought ways to return to their God-give Holy Land and now they had to contend not only with overt Pagans by new Pagans who claimed to be the true Jews! Who claimed the God of Israel had rejected His people in favor of heathens! As the Nazarenes gradually embraced Roman Universalism and established their own power based upon the diverse Pagan See at Rome, persecution against them subsided. For the Jews however it was business as usual and their struggle for survive showed no sign of easing.

The Church of Pergamos: From Constantine to Pope Boniface III

    312 CE - 600 CE: The "Doctrine of Balaam" wins the day and the Nicolaites establish their authoity when Emperor Constantine feigns conversion and declares the creation of a new religion known as Roman Universalism (ie Roman Catholicism). Based on the presence of the Nicolaites since 70 CE the new Roman Papacy declared itself the inheritor of the authority given to Peter as first Pope.

    But is this what the Master did? Here's the biblically cited source of this essential Roman Catholic dogma:

      "And I [Master Y'shua] say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    But... what was the Master really saying to Peter? Was he saying that Peter was the rock (foundation) upon which the Master would build his Church or something else?

    First we need to understand that Master Y'shua did not come to build a Church! He was very clear in this:

      "But he [Master Y'shua] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    So what was he talking about?
      Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
      14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
      15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
      16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
      17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
      18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
      19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
      20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

    The English translation is intentionally misleading here. Verse 16 actually says, "And Simon Peter answered and said, You are anointed, a man devoted to the living God."

    In other words, the Master asked, "Who am I?"

    Peter's reply was that there existed debate on this question. Some believe the Master is John the Baptist in a dual reincarnation (for a bit on dual births see my reply here and here), others believed he was the reincarnation of Prophet Isaiah, Jeremiah or some other major Tanach prophet.

    "But who do you say I am Peter?" he asked. Peter replies, I know you to be a man anointed by God and I intend to follow you as such. To this the Master replies, upon the rock or foundation of this truth, ie my devotion to and anointing by the God of Israel those who accept this truth will gather in fellowship and assist in my work of reforming Judaism. I discuss this topic in detail elsewhere. Master Y'shua never left Judaism, never sought to convert Gentiles, not did he ever encourage others to do so. This verse therefore was not intended to established "the Throne of Peter nor the establishment of a Gentile Church."

      Revelation 2:
      12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13 I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
      14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
      15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
      16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
      17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

    By this point the Christian religion was based in Rome, "where Satan's seat is," ie the seat of the Roman Empire.

    The "Word" is the Written Torah (and Tanach), ie the Hebrew Scriptures. These were the Scriptures used use Master Y'shua and his followers. The Nicolaitanes were teaching heresies that the Torah condemns and the Master warns those who remain committed to his teachings not to embrace these false doctrines. He praises those who are standing firm as Nazarene Jews (or Noahide Nazarenes). It is notable that the Master also praises them for remaining true to his name. "Name" is Onoma and literally means his name, ie not his teachings etc. It was during this period that the Roman Papacy stole the name of our master, Y'shua (or Yeshua) and replaced it with the name "Jesus." I discuss the origin of the name "Jesus" Here. At this point Roman Catholics were beginning to use the new name for the Master but his loyal followers refused to embrace it.

    Despite the continuing loyalty of the Noahide Nazarenes, Master Y'shua warns that it is their job as Sheep to stand against the rising Papacy and maintain the true form of Judaism he had taught through his apostles and others. Stand! he orders, or God may reveal the heresies of this new religion by removing His blessings from you!

The Church of Thyatira: Boniface III - Gregory VII (Hilderbrand) to the Reformation

    600 CE - 1520 CE: the Roman Papacy now rules much of the world and the religion of the Nicolaitanes reigns supreme. As a direct result of this the Spirit of HaShem, the God of Israel, is partly removed and Europa is plunged into the Dark Ages.

    Without the Spirit of HaShem the Church becomes increasingly legalistic and harsh. The "Holy Inquisitors" are commissioned to destroy all traces of Judaism, the Noahide, the Noahide Nazarene Way and those Pagans who, like the followers of Master Y'shua, boldly refused to bow the knee to the Papacy. All of these were crushed in various ways. During this period it is estimated that over that six million European Pagan were slaughtered in what came to be known as the Burning Times. The followers of Master Y'shua were condemned as "Judaizers," Arians (not Aryans, Arians are those who, like me, reject the Trinity Doctrine). Bloodshed, ignorance and darkness of all sorts descended across all lands controlled by the New Church.

    It was also during this period that certain occult bodies were coming into their own and establishing Occult Brotherhoods that continue until our time and will, within our generation, bring forth the World Ruler known as Rex Mundi, Antichrist, Dijal and Little Horn.

    Still however HaShem did not turn away from the Church completely, in part because within it there always existed sincere Believers and in part because HaShem was/is working our His grand Plan of Restoration.

    Among these were the Reformers but there were also those who remained within the Church as "loyal opposition," who have worked hard to stir the Catholic Church godward. Alas both the Reformers and the members of the Loyal Opposition failed to restore the Church to its Jewish roots.

      Revelation 2:
      18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
      19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
      20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
      21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
      22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
      23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
      24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
      25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
      26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
      27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
      28 And I will give him the morning star.
      29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    Here we see the birth of Whore of Babylon, "that woman Jezebel."

The Church of Sardis: The Reformation to the Peace of Westphalia and beyond....

Part Four of Four Coming Soon!

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