I would like to apologize to everyone for the lack of my continued posting. Life has been hard for me and dealing with that has kept me away from posting.
Today’s post is an interesting one because it will serve as a guiding light on future posts. I will set this down as the cornerstone for First Century Restoration. I’ll be coming from the Jewish perspective which is unfamiliar to most Christians today, so they can gain understanding that the doctrines they are being taught are false ones. It will, also, set up further posts about where the Christian church has been in error.
When God created the universe, He created man with free will. He had already created the angelic hosts as completely subservient to Him. Free will is the difference between man and an angel. An angel has no choice but to do what God wants them to do. It also means that we are given a choice to follow Him or not. By following Him, we enter into a relationship that He desires. It is pleasing to Him. However, this choice must be done by our decision and with a joyful, subservient heart that truly desires Him.
This decision is the basis for sin. By following our own needs, wants, and earthly desires, we are doing evil. Previously, I commented that all things come from God. This includes that good and evil come from Him. He gives us tests to overcome to grow in our relationship with Him. If we do evil or fail our tests then we have sinned. Sin is simply not following God freely of our own free will with a joyous heart to be His servants. Sin is further detailed in three of the four covenants that God has given mankind, but for this discussion I will leave sin as being in rebellion to God and His will.
Now man is born without sin and is not held accountable for it until they reach the age of accountability. According to Judaism, the age of accountability is 13 years plus 1 day for a boy and 12 years plus 1 day for a girl. Since Christians are to be the wild branch planted into the root of Israel then we must adhere to this. Once a child reaches their age of accountability, they are responsible for any sins they acquire. They have the free will to choose to serve God or not. Thus, Yeshua’s teaching on the children remains scripturally sound. A child will not be destined for hell in the final judgment because they do not know the difference between right and wrong. It also puts to rest the current tradition and heretical doctrine about Original Sin.
God is the source of all good and evil which is what Yeshua taught in accordance with the Tanakh. He does this not be cruel or angry, but to allow us to grow as people that are faithful to Him. It also teaches many lessons, especially love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. By nurturing the good through the use of tests of faith that we are able to be more pleasing to Him. We learn and grow from these tests. Yeshua and the apostles taught using the words of trials and tribulations instead of tests of faith. However, both terminology is correct in that God tests us in our resolve to overcome the evil that we may commit. We are tested just like the Jewish people were tested to see if we will follow God willingly with a joyous heart. An excellent book in the Tanakh is Job where satan is tasked with testing Job’s faith in God to not blaspheme Him.
Since we’ve covered the basics about sin and service to God it’s time to discuss the biggest lie that is in Christianity today. That lie is the one concerning Satan/Lucifer being a distinct individual. Everything that the Christian Churches teach about it is unscriptural. Satan in the Hebrew means adversary that can be a person or the title of an angel tasked with testing the faithful. Satan functions as the prosecuting attorney for God and levies the charges of not following God against us in God’s court. Now many Gentile translations of the Bible capitalize Satan/Lucifer to indicate that this pertains to a fallen angel. It doesn’t since Hebrew makes it clear that adversary is both a title or a person. In the case of the word Lucifer, in the Tanakh it refers specifically to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar put himself higher than God which is a sin. If we trace back the Greek word used for Lucifer to the original Hebrew, which Christianity is a sect of, it is referring to people that put themselves higher than God.
It is very, very important that as Christians that we take everything from the New Testament back to the source. In this case, the source will always be Judaism and the Hebrew language. Yeshua and all of the apostles were Jewish. Their teachings and writings on scripture are entirely from the base of Hebrew and the Tanakh. The New Testament had no yet been written when Yeshua ministered to Israel, so every teaching was done in accordance to the Tanakh. This is very important to remember since the scripture echoes the Tanakh.
The early church fathers, as previously posted, were originally pagans and divorced themselves from Judaism. Their point of view is wholly incompatible with the Judaic point of view. By turning Lucifer/Satan into a second deity to oppose God, they mirrored other dualistic religions like Zoroastrianism. It removes the wild branch from the root and turns it into a dualistic religion. It also says that God is a liar in contradiction to scripture. God is not a liar, but mankind is. In doing so, they introduced a heresy that Yeshua and the apostles warned us against.
One question I get asked frequently about by Christians or people who are interested in becoming Christians, is how do I determine what is sound doctrine and what isn’t. I always give the same answer which is the answer Yeshua gave to the Israelites. The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all that you are and to love your neighbors as you love yourself because the Law and Prophets all hinge upon it. I look at the writings of the early and later church fathers to determine if they lived their lives in accordance to those commandments. Invariably, I have found complete and total disregard for them to put forth doctrines that are alien to Judaism.
A follow up question that I am asked, is how do I determine the doctrine itself in regards to its scriptural basis. I answer them that I test the doctrine against scripture and if it is totally compatible with Judaism. I ask the questions of how, why, when, where, and what the doctrine contains. I test it against the Word of God, the historical record, and Judaic thought. If it fails in any of the criteria then it is a false doctrine. I get told that what I’m saying is a heresy to mainstream Christianity. I calmly reply that what mainstream Christianity teaches is the one teaching the heresies. I give my scriptural, historical, and Judaic sources to explain why the trinity and other mainstream doctrines are a heresy.
Another common question I get asked is, “What holy days do I adhere to?” I tell them Shabbot, the feasts, and the festivals because they are the holy days that Yeshua and the apostles observed as they were given by God for man to follow. However, I am not held to the same standards that Jews must follow as they are still under the Law of Moses which pertains wholly to the Jewish people. I observe them in a way that is in accordance to what Christ and the apostles taught. They key understanding of these holy days must be remembered. All of them are to observe the love, mercy, grace, and abundance of the Lord while keeping a family and community together. This is not Gentiles co-opting Jewish culture because we are grafted into the root of Israel as the wild branch.
Modern Christianity uses pagan/man-made holidays as a substitute for what God mandated because the early and later fathers completely divorced themselves from scripture. We are commanded to separate ourselves from the world. The only scriptural way to do that is to observe the holy days that God handed down, not ones that pagans created to worship their gods. This is repulsive to God since we are not following His will and committing evil. Evil is a sin as I originally stated in this article.
Peace be with you and may the Lord keep you in His light.
Rev. Richard L. Littles