Lemmings on the Road to Rome

Lemmings in migration

A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic. – Dresden James

LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in a time of distress, the nations will come to You from the ends of the earth, and they will say, “Our fathers inherited only lies, worthless idols of no benefit at all.” Can one make gods for himself? But they are not gods. Therefore, I am about to inform them, and this time I will make them know My power and My might; then they will know that My name is Yahweh.” –Jeremiah 16:19-21

I am sure that most of you have heard the saying, “All roads lead to Rome.” What about The Lemming Condition by Alan Arkin?  The Lemming Condition is about a lemming named Bubber. Bubber is ready to follow all the other lemmings on their march to the sea and their eventual jump off the cliff into the sea. All is well until his friend Crow asks him if he knows how to swim. Bubber isn’t sure, so he begins to question and search. During his quest, he finds out he can’t swim. So he tries to stop all the other lemmings from jumping off the cliff. They were all hypnotized and he could not stop them. Eventually it looks like Bubber is the only lemming left; but soon other lemmings start popping out of their holes. He was not the only survivor, and so there was hope for the future of the lemmings.

Daniel 7:25 tells us, “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law…” These deceptive changes to Sabbath and Yahweh’s appointed Feast Days have come about through many centuries, and over the torture and dead bodies of millions of followers of Yeshua. And, the lie is followed by dare I say millions of “bible believing” Christians today. They will tell you that Sunday is the Sabbath, that they observe Sunday because that’s the resurrection of Jesus (although that He resurrected on Sunday is in and of itself questionable, but that is for a later post), that God does not care which day you worship Him on (which is true to some degree…you can and should worship Yahweh every day; but He Himself has commanded that the Sabbath (7th day) be set apart, holy, and blessed). They will tell you that it was “nailed to the cross”. They will tell you that following Yahweh’s commands is legalism. There are many excuses as to why the fourth commandment is not followed. And yet…are any of these excuses based on the powerful, holy, eternal, unchanging Word of Yahweh?

Most people have no idea that Sunday worship did not start with the dawning of Christianity.  It was in fact a practice two thousand years before Yeshua. It goes all the way back to shortly after the flood with Tammuz, Nimrod and his mother/wife Semiramis founding the pagan religious system of “sun-god” worship/Baal worship. From the tower of Babel, “sun-god” worship spread throughout the entire ancient world. With the exception of the worship of the One, True God, all other religious systems come from Babylon. They also all worshipped the sun, which correlates with Satan, otherwise known as Lucifer which means “light bringer”.

When Babylon fell, and was taken over by the Medes and the Persians in 539 B.C. the Babylonian priests made their way to Pergamum and Egypt. They taught their religion in these places and eventually saw an opportunity and made their way to Rome. The Romans readily took on the ways of this religious system. By the time the “Christian” Church came into existence, the practices of the Babylonian religious system blended right in and mixed with the Christian church. The blending of these two religious systems made it quite easy for people to “convert” to Christianity. Eventually the Roman Catholic church was born. As it grew in power, it came to oppose the 7th day Sabbath and changed it to Sunday. Historical records show clearly that the Catholic Church made the change official at the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD when they handed down 59 Canon laws.

Canon XXIX: “Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.” (Percival Translation).

Samuel Bacchiocchi in “How Did Sunday Keeping Begin”,  which summarizes his thesis From Sabbath to Sunday, tells us, “Both anti-Judaism and Sun-worship contributed to the change from Sabbath to Sunday. Anti-Judaism led many Christians to abandon the observance of the Sabbath to differentiate themselves from the Jews at a time when Judaism in general and Sabbath keeping in particular were outlawed in the Roman empire. Sun-worship influenced the adoption of the observance of Sunday to facilitate the Christian identification and integration with the customs and cycles of the Roman empire. The change from Sabbath to Sunday was not simply one of names or numbers, but authority, meaning and experience. It was a change from a holy day divinely established to enable us to experience more freely and more fully the awareness of divine presence and peace in our lives, into holiday which has become an occasion to seek for personal pleasure and profit. This historical change has greatly affected the quality of Christian life of countless Christians who throughout the centuries have been deprived of the physical, moral, and spiritual renewal the Sabbath is designed to provide. The recovery of the Sabbath is especially needed today when our souls, fragmented, penetrated, and desiccated by a cacophonous, tension-filled culture, cry out for the release and realignment that awaits us on the Sabbath Day.”

The Roman Catholic Church itself brags and throws it in the face of Yahweh the fact that it alone changed the Sabbath.

“The authority of the Church is illustrated most clearly by the scriptures, for on one hand she recommends them, declares them to be divine, and offers them to us to be read, and on the other hand, the legal precepts in the scriptures taught by the Lord have ceased by virtue of the same authority. The Sabbath, the most glorious day in the law, has been changed into the Lord’s day. These and other similar matters have not ceased by virtue of Christ’s teaching (for He says that He has come to fulfill the law, not to destroy it), but they have been changed by the authority of the Church.” – Gaspare de Posso Archbishop of Reggio, Council of Trent.

 And they mock Protestants that follow Sunday keeping.

“They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason…The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law…is the Catholic Church.” – Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914.

 “It was the Catholic church which…has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” – Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.

 “I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” – father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802.

 “Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

“1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

“2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible.” Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society (1975),Chicago, Illinois.

Yeshua never once mentioned the first day of the week. As followers of Yeshua, we must diligently seek the truth and line up our beliefs and behavior with His Holy Word. We must strive to enter the narrow path that leads to righteousness no matter what the cost. People argue that Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life…not a truth, a way, or a life because of the definitive article THE. Well, doesn’t the fourth commandment say, “Remember THE Sabbath…”

I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. –2 Timothy 4:1-5

May we all be found as the Bereans in Acts 17:11, “The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” May we examine the Scriptures daily and find ourselves workmen approved. May we look beyond the way things have been done and not blindly follow the crowd in order to find THE Truth.

Ten Shekels and a Shirt

I listened to an amazing sermon today. What a timely message!

How Ten Shekels and a Shirt Came to be

By Paris Reidhead

 In over fifty years of Bible teaching and preaching “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” is the only message that I feel constrained to explain how it came to be preached.

During a Bethany Fellowship Summer Conference in the mid sixties I was preparing to speak at the Tuesday morning Bible hour. Upon returning to my room after breakfast to meditate and pray about the message for that morning hour, I felt strangely impressed that I could not deliver the message that had been prepared for the session. Instead, I felt that there was some other message that was needed which I was to bring.

After prayer, the message that came to mind was one which I had begun preparation for the ministry at the church in New York City of which I was pastor at that time. My notes were not with me, but were in a file folder in my study. An empty envelope was on the desk in my room, on the back of which I wrote the scripture texts to be used and one or two ideas that came to mind. With the envelope in my Bible marking Judges, Chapter 17, and my self utterly cast upon the Lord, I went to the auditorium where between four and five hundred people waited to hear from the Lord through me.

I remember praying, “This morning I am utterly cast upon You because I am not really prepared.” In my heart I seemed to hear His response, “Well is that so bad, already” (being from New York City it was given in a idiom I would understand.)

I delivered the message and gave an invitation. Shortly the altar across the front of the auditorium was filled with broken people seeking God.

The summer conference was soon over and I returned to New York City and the ministry there.

About ten years later, one of the Bethany Fellowship staff was in Washington, D.C., where we had moved and from where we still minister. His word was, “Paris, I want to tell you that God has repeatedly used your messages, but the exact message itself was preached only that once.

A week or two later Harry Conn from Rockford, Illinois was in Washington. He invited me to have dinner with him. In the course of the meal he said, “I buy that message of yours ‘Ten Shekels and a Shirt’ by the dozen to give people. God is really using it in lives.” My response was that if you have a copy, I would like to have it sent to me so that I can find out what it is I have said. In a few days the cassette arrived.

Since I don’t have a tape player in my office, I put the tape into the Sony dictating machine on my desk and listened through the little playback on the hand-held microphone. The element of distance in terms of time, and the distorted sound through the miniature speaker, let me listen to the message with no real awareness of who was speaking. From time to time I felt like exclaiming, “That’s right! I wish I had said that!”

Then it dawned on me that it was my voice, but God was speaking through me. I realized that on a Tuesday morning during a summer conference, God had been able to get His message across because of my utter and complete helplessness. Here it is, just as the Lord gave it.

Paris Reidhead                                                                    ©2013 Bible Teaching Ministries Inc.

A Parable on Christian Theology…

This poem reminded me of a post I wrote about a year and a half ago, “Missed by a Mile or a Fraction of a Degree”. I am amazed as I research and study things out exactly how many of the traditions we follow and the things we do to “worship” Yahveh are not scriptural and in many cases are in direct opposition to His Word. Why do we do the things we do? Because that’s how it has always been done…2,000 years of tradition can’t be wrong…or can it?

natsab

Been very busy lately and have notes on topics I desire writing about, but have had little time.  Thankfully, things should change next week and I’ll be back to regular posting…  In the meantime, here is a neat poem by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911) that, through parable, explains how Christian Theology got so far off the track instead of simple obedience to Scripture.

Ponder this deeply.

_____________________

The Calf-Path

I.

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;

II.

But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.
Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.
The trail was taken up next day,

View original post 378 more words

From the Heart

Big Heart of Art - 1000 Visual Mashups

“Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart.” –Ephesians 6:6 As I was meditating about this verse and being a slave to Yeshua, and how it is our duty (Luke 17:10) to obey His commands, (Good-for-Nothing-Slaves), the second part jumped out at me. “Do God’s will from your heart.”

It’s one thing to obey out of obligation and duty. After all, what else should we do in light of all that Yeshua has done for us. It’s another thing entirely to obey from the heart. Jeremiah 17:10 says, “I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.”

I’ve seen this transformation, obeying because it’s my duty to obeying from the heart, take place in my own life. While I have always been grateful for Yeshua’s sacrifice for me…His atoning blood…my salvation…I have not always done things for Him from the heart. For the longest time, I didn’t even realize there was anything to do. But once my eyes were opened to all of Yahweh’s word, and I began to see that we should be obeying His commandments, I started walking them out. I’d like to say that it was all just perfect and my attitude and motivations were pure…but I can’t say that.

Yahweh would reveal something to me and I would begin walking it out one faltering step at a time. Let’s take Sabbath as an example. So my eyes were opened to the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” I jumped right on that train and lived happily ever after….NOT!!! I questioned, “Well, how do we know Sunday’s not the seventh day?” “Why can’t it be any day I choose?” “What?!! No work on Sabbath?” “What?!! No buying and selling on Sabbath?” You see, I came from the mindset that going to church for two hours on Sunday was setting the day apart. After church you would most often find me grocery shopping and then doing lesson plans for the upcoming week.

As I questioned and researched, read the Word and prayed, I took a step, and then another, and another…My pastor and his wife had seen Sabbath and began to offer services on Saturday and Sunday. I chose Saturday. (As a side note, so did the rest of the congregation so it wasn’t long before it was just Saturday service.) I chose to stop shopping and doing my lesson plans on Saturday. At first, these were choices because I saw it in the Word and felt it was my duty to obey. Gradually my sense of duty turned to a sense of longing and joy. How refreshing it is to have a day totally set aside to rest…but not just rest, rest in Yahweh! Isaiah 58:13-14 really came alive for me, “If you keep from desecrating the Sabbath, from doing whatever you want on My holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, seeking your own pleasure, or talking too much; then you will delight yourself in the LORD, and I will make you ride over the heights of the land, and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob.”

As Yahweh circumcises my heart (Deuteronomy 30:6), and changes me from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), my attitude about following Him and His ways is transforming from following His ways out of a sense of duty to following them from the heart. May we all bring glory to Yahweh as we serve him with the right heart attitude.

A couple of other verses about the heart to meditate on:

“The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God.”—Matthew 5:8

“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”—Psalm 24:3-5