Welcome to Thus Say the Prophets!
The Revelation of Y'shua the Anointed:
A Study into the Noahide Nazarene Way
By Ben Ruach ha Kodesh (John of AllFaith) � 9.16.09 (3.15.08)
Chapter Two -- Part Three
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 absolute authority when Emperor Constantine feigns conversion and declares the creation of a new religion known as Roman Universalism (i.e. "Roman Catholicism"). The new Roman Universal Papacy declared itself to be the inheritor of the authority given to Peter as first Pope.
But, is this what the Master really intended? No. Here's the biblical source of this essential Roman Catholic dogma:
- Matthew 16:18 And I [Y'shua] say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell [Hades] shall not prevail against it.
What was the Master really saying to Peter? Was he saying that Peter was the rock (or foundation) upon which the Master would build his movement or something else?
First we need to understand that Master Y'shua did not come to establish a new religion! 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?
First these verses as they are translated in the Authorized King James Version:
- 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.
In order to correctly understand these verses we need to realize that the English translation is intentionally misleading here:
Verse 16 actually says:
And Simon Peter answered [and] said, You are anointed, [a] son [of the] living God.
In other words, the Master asked, "Who am I?" and Peter's reply was that there existed debate on this question. Some believed the Master to be John the Baptist in a dual reincarnation of some kind, others believed he was the reincarnation of Isaiah, Jeremiah or some other great prophet.
"And who do you say I am Peter?" he asked. To which Peter replied, "I know you to be a man anointed by the Living God and I intend to follow you as such."
Master Y'shua approved of Peter's declaration of his faith and stated that upon the rock or foundation of that truth, all who accept it should gather together in fellowship and assist his work of reforming Judaism. After his resurrection this invitation to faith is extended to the Noahides. I discuss this topic in detail elsewhere.
Understand that Y'shua the Anointed never left Judaism. He never sought to convert Gentiles nor even to instruct them -- he avoided them. Prior to his resurrection he did not encourage others to associate with nor convert them (Matthew 28:19,20). This verse therefore was not intended to established "the Throne of Peter" nor the establishment of a new Gentile religion.
- 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 in history the Roman Christian religion was based in Rome, "where Satan's seat is," i.e. the seat of the Roman Empire.
The "Word" here is the Written Torah (and Tanach), i.e. the Hebrew Scriptures. These were the Scriptures used by Master Y'shua and his followers. The Nicolaitanes were gradually replacing these teachings with heresies that the Torah directly and/or indirectly condemns.
Here the Master warns those who would remain committed to his teachings not to embrace these new doctrines! He praises those who are standing firm as Way-reformed Jews (or Noahide Nazarenes). It is notable that the Master also praises them for remaining true to his name. "Name" here is onoma and literally means his given name, i.e. not his teachings etc. as it might otherwise with the English word. As described above, the developing Roman Papacy replaced the name of our Master: Y'shua ben Miriam, (or Joshua son of Mary) with the name "Jesus." I discuss the origin of the name "Jesus" Here. At this point Roman Catholics were beginning to use this new name but many of his loyal followers still refused.
Master Y'shua warns that it is the job of Believers to counter the false doctrines of the rising Papacy and maintain the true form of Judaism he taught. So 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