Our voyage of discovery through Yahowah’s prophetic testimony has led to revelations I had not previously suspected. But this we know, Yahowsha’s final prophetic insights were revealed to Yahowchanan in the book we have come to know as Revelation. Therein, Yahowsha’ predicted what would transpire during the past two thousand years of human history.
For most, at least apart from the likes of John Mill, the study of prophetic testimony was a closed tome until the mid-nineteenth century. Detailed knowledge of God’s plan for the end of the age would not have done anyone living in the first through nineteenth centuries much good. But as the day approaches when understanding becomes vital, the Set-Apart Spirit and the unfolding of history has begun to open our eyes and our minds to the truths that have been there all along.
And yet the vast majority of Christians, as tantalized as they may be with prophecy, remain oblivious to what Yahowah actually predicted. Contributing to their ignorance, and as a direct result of errant translations and a lust for power in clerical circles, Christians have been led to believe that God’s promises to Israel were officially transferred to “Christ’s Church.” This doctrine has become plausible in large part because Christians are universally unaware that “Christ” isn’t a name or even a Scripturally-derived title, and that God does not have, nor even speaks of, anything even remotely akin to a “church”—delusions we will dissect momentarily.
But nonetheless, this arrogant and misguided view of the past two-thousand years presents the Christian religion as righteous and marching triumphantly forward, gaining converts and civilizing nations until the whole world is under “Christ’s” (in other words, their) control. This perspective is especially pervasive within Roman Catholicism, even though such a claim is diametrically opposed to Yahowah’s handwritten proclamation that “thousands,” not millions or billions, would ultimately be the beneficiaries of His mercy. (For more on this, read Yahowah’s introduction to His Seven Instructions in the “Shabat” chapter of the Genesis volume.) Furthermore, the popularity of Christianity is also at odds with Yahowsha’s Teaching on the Mount, where God affirmed the Towrah and said that “the Way to life was narrow, even restrictive,” and “few there are who find it.” (For more on this, you will find Yahowsha’s statement analyzed at the conclusion of the Pesach chapter of the Called Out volume of Yada Yah.)
Granted, it was easier to be deceived by the notion of Christian supremacy in the nineteenth century, before mankind fought a world war in which the “Church” supported the wrong side (or coroneted a pope who served as a Nazi anti-aircraft gunner in addition to protecting priestly pedophiles). It was easier to hold this position before Christianity was bypassed in size by the religion of man, Secular Humanism, whereby Socialists and Communists have obliterated over one hundred million people during the past century. And this should be especially concerning now, because it is apparent that the Religion of Man has become the official state doctrine of the United States, Western Europe, Russia, and most nations throughout Asia.
No doubt, the position of Christian dominion was easier to hold before Islam, a foolish and mean-spirited dogma based upon submission and jihad, outpaced Catholicism in its race for converts. Islam is now poisoning 1.5 billion souls, many of whom are ready to follow Gog in Islam’s ill-advised and eminent attempted conquest of Yisra’el by means of the religion’s Magog Federation. And sadly, this too is something made possible recently. Unfortunately Yahowah’s prophecy has been facilitated by an ignorantly and immorally meddling United States in Iraq and in Israel, and by Turkey returning to fundamentalist Islam, thereby capitalizing on Iran’s spiraling influence in the region.
It was easier to cling to the specter of religious progress before the world’s most “Christian nation” invented the means to destroy all life on this planet, making God’s end time’s prophecies possible, even probable. It was easier to swallow the idea of a “supreme and ultimately triumphant church,” before Israel rose from the ashes of two millennia of persecution and exile to be reborn as a sovereign nation—just as Yahowah had predicted. So now, the “righteous and triumphant Church” doesn’t appear as credible any more—at least to those whose eyes and minds are open.
Besides, to take this Pauline position, called “replacement theology,” you have to ignore, deny, convolute, or explain away huge chunks of Divine Writ. It becomes necessary to build an elaborate system of substitute realities, as Paul has done in his letters, to deal with the obvious discrepancies. But the minute you do this, the minute you start trimming and twisting Scriptures to fit your own preconceptions, nothing fits anymore.
One of the most debilitating Scriptural assaults on Christianity is the realization that the Covenant has not yet been renewed, meaning that nothing has changed since Yahowah authored His Towrah. According to God, Paul and Marcion (the wannabe apostle’s chief promoter) were wrong: there is no “New Testament.” The Towrah and its Covenant, have not been replaced by “faith” or “grace.” And that means that the foundation for the Christian religion is wrong—dead wrong.
That is not to say that the Covenant established with Abraham and Yisra’el hasn’t been validated and won’t be restored; it has been and it will be. So let’s examine its affirmation and then consider the Covenant’s eventual renewal.
According to Yahowah, Yahowsha’ verified that His Covenant (singular) was “’aman – true, enduring, trustworthy, reliable, and sufficient,” and that it would “’aman – nurture and raise His children if it is observed and acted upon.” I share this with you because God Himself revealed it throughout His Torah, Prophets, and Psalms.
And when the Covenant is finally renewed, it will be Yisra’el and Yahuwdah who will be reestablished and reconciled, not the Gowym Ekklesia, and certainly not the “church.” Further, the product of this ultimate reconciliation will be the inescapability of the Towrah—not its repudiation. And this means that Paul lied throughout his letters, ultimately damning all of those who have relied upon his new testament, his replacement theology, his gospel of grace, as well as his promotion of faith-based salvation.
“Behold (hineh – look, listen, and pay close attention to what follows), days (yowmym – times) are coming (bow’ – will arrive and will return), prophetically declares (na’um – foretells, predicts, and reveals) Yahowah ( - – Yahowah), when (wa) I will cut (karat – I will create, completely establishing and totally stipulating, I will actually make by way of separation (qal stem affirms reality and perfect conjugation speaks of an act which is total, complete, and indivisible)) relationally with (‘eth – as an eternal symbol on behalf of) the household and family (beyth – the home) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – those who strive and contend with, engage, persist, and endure with, are set free and are empowered by God) and relationally with (wa ‘eth – as an eternal symbol on behalf of) the household and family (beyth – the home) of Yahuwdah (Yahuwdah – Yah is Abundantly Sufficient, Of Yah, From Yah, and Those Who Are Related to Yah) a renewing and restoring (chadash – a repairing and reaffirming) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth – nurturing and engaged relational agreement established on the foundation of beyth – family and home, a mutually binding partnership promise, solemn oath, and active alliance, and a participatory pledge based upon a marriage vow which fosters and encourages).” (Yirmayahuw / Yahowah Uplifts / Jeremiah 31:31)
“It will not be exactly the same as (lo’ ka – it will not be identical to) the (ha) Covenant (beryth – familial relationship, marriage vow, binding agreement, and pledge) which relationally (‘asher) I cut (karat – created through separation) with (‘et) their fathers (‘abowtam) in the day, when (ba yowm) firmly grasping Me (hazaq – I repaired, renewed, and restored them, I established, sustained and supported them, I caused them to prevail and grow, as they were strengthened and encouraged by My power and authority) in their hand (ba yad – by them taking initiative, engaging, and reaching out), I led them out (yasa’ – I descended, extended Myself, and I served them by guiding them away) from (min) the realm (‘erets) of the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – a metaphor for human religious, political, economic, and military oppression and divine judgment), which relationally (‘asher) they broke, disassociating themselves (parar – they violated and nullified, they frustrated, tore apart, and shattered, and they split away) from (‘eth) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth – My nurturing and engaged relational agreement established on the foundation of beyth – family and home, My mutually binding partnership promise, My solemn oath and active alliance, and My participatory pledge based upon a marriage vow which fosters and encourages), though (wa) I (‘anky) was married to them (ba ba’al hem – I was their husband), prophetically declares (na’um) Yahowah ( - - יהוה – Yahowah).” (Yirmayahuw / Jeremiah 31:32)
“Indeed (ky – surely and truly) with this (ha zo’th – in conjunction with these conditions and provisions the) Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth – reciprocal partnership, active alliance, and engaged agreement, mutually binding and nurturing promise, solemn oath and participatory pledge, based upon a marriage vow) which relationally (‘asher) I will cut (karat – I will create and establish through separation) with (‘eth – and alongside) the House (beyth – household and family) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – those who strive and contend with, who engage, persist, and endure with, who are set free and are empowered by God) after (‘ahar – following) those days (ha yowm hem – that time), prophetically declares (na’um – predicts and promises) Yahowah ( - ), I will actually give My Towrah, completely providing and producing My Teaching and Instruction (natan ‘eth Towrah – I will reliably bestow and totally devote My Direction and My Guidance as a gift, putting it (here the qal stem affirms that this will actually occur and the perfect conjugation tells us that the gift of the Towrah will be whole and complete, indivisible and uninterruptible throughout time)) within their inner nature (ba qereb – internally, inside their person, within their core and midst, becoming part of their psychological makeup, thoughts, and emotions). And (wa) upon (‘al – as the Almighty concerning) their heart (leb – speaking of their source of life, and the seat of love, volition, feelings, attitude, and character), I will actually write it (katab – I will genuinely engrave and inscribe it (written in the qal relational stem, telling us that we can rely upon this occurring, and in the imperfect conjugation, affirming that it will produce ongoing results throughout time, with the first person singular prefix, saying that God, Himself, will be doing the writing, and with the third person feminine singular suffix, telling us that it is the Towrah, which is a feminine noun, which will be inscribed)). And (wa) I shall be (hayah – I will always, reliably, and without interruption or exception be (qal stem perfect conjugation)) God (‘elohym) to and for them (la la), and (wa) they (hem), themselves, shall be (hayah – they will always and reliably exist, eternally receiving the complete benefits of (qal relational stem affirming the genuineness of this promise, and imperfect conjugation which tells us that there will be ongoing and unfolding assistance and advantages associated with being considered)) to and for Me as (la la) family (‘am).” (Yirmayahuw / Jeremiah 31:33)
“And (wa) they will not teach or learn (lo’ lamad – they will not be trained in nor indoctrinate, instruct or respond to) man’s (‘iysh – mankind’s and individual people’s) errant pronouncements, thoughts, thinking, or reasoning (ra’ – evil ways and improper principles, bad judgment, false pretenses, and regrettable communications) any longer (‘owd – ever again), or mankind’s (‘iysh) despondency and grief (‘ah – his tale of woe) claiming (‘amar – saying, boasting, and declaring) to actually know (da’at – to be acquainted with and be aware of the evidence regarding) Yahowah ( - ). Because then, indeed (ky – rather surely and truthfully at that time), they all (kol) will actually know and recognize Me (yada’ ‘owty – they will be familiar with, be aware of, respect, revere, and acknowledge Me, and they will be known to Me), from (min) the smallest, youngest, and least significant (qatan) up to (‘ad) the biggest, oldest, and most influential (gadowl), prophetically declares (na’um – predicts and promises) Yahowah ( - ). For indeed, then (ky), I will have forgiven (salah – will have pardoned and removed) their sin (‘awon – their guilt, liability, and consequence of perversity) and accordingly (wa la) their offenses against the standard (hata’th – their sinfulness and wrongdoing, their propensity and history of missing the way) will not (lo’) be remembered (zakar – recalled or mentioned) any longer (‘owd – now or ever again).” (Yirmayahuw / Jeremiah 31:34)
Since the Towrah has not yet been placed inside anyone, since religious and political affiliations are preferred by most Yahuwdym living in Yisra’el to a familial relationship with Yahowah, and since errant teaching and thoughts still prevail, we can say with absolute certainty that the Covenant has not yet been renewed. As a result, the notion of a “New Testament,” and its derivative, Christianity, remain wholly incompatible with Yahowah’s prophetic testimony.
This conclusion becomes inescapable because according to God, when He renews His Covenant we will witness the absolute affirmation and total integration of the Towrah—concepts which completely undermine the viability of the Christian religion. The crux of Paul’s letters, and thus the cornerstone of the Christian “New Testament,” is the repudiation of the very Towrah Yahowah will once again affirm.
Labeled “of the flesh,” and thus “not of faith,” the Towrah’s perceived “legalism” was deemed replaced by “faith” according to Paul’s “Gospel of Grace.” But according to God, such revisionist thinking is not accurate. Salvation on a basis other than the Towrah has not, nor will not occur. And since there is no “New Testament,” there is no Divinely sanctioned Christian religion, nor church, no viable replacement theology, nor salvation predicated upon faith in Paul’s contradictory and revisionist testimony. The restoration of the Covenant will occur when the Towrah is uncontested.
Before we move on, let’s take a moment and consider how Marcion perpetrated the two most lethal myths in Christendom: the existence of a “New Testament” and the canonization of Paul’s epistles. Born in Sinope in 85CE, Marcion made a fortune in the maritime industry. However, this life of privilege and luxury was interrupted during Rabbi Akiba’s Bar Kokhba revolt against Roman occupation in Yahuwdah in 133 CE. Siding with the corrupt pagan oppressors, and against Yisra’el, the 48 year old Marcion fled to Rome where he studied under Cerdo, an influential Gnostic.
In the process, Marcion became an outspoken anti-Semite. As a result, he rejected Yahowah, and the entirety of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. Then recognizing that Paul of Tarsus shared his animosity, Marcion began to see Sha’uwl (meaning To Question, but better known as Paul) as the only true Apostle. It was then that Marcion dedicated himself and his fortune to elevating Paul’s epistles, as well as significantly edited versions of Luke and Acts (which were written under Paul’s influence) to Scriptural status while at the same time, rejecting all other books. From Marcion’s perspective, which is one which shaped Christendom in the second and third centuries and on to this day, Yahowah was a lesser, malevolent spirit when compared to the “all-forgiving and gracious Lord” found in Paul’s epistles.
Had it not been for Marcion, in all likelihood, Paul’s letters would have been rejected as apocrypha and ultimately disassociated with the witness of Yahowsha’s Disciples. They would not have been canonized, and they would never have been considered Scripture. And had this occurred, the Christian religion would not exist.
And yet Christians are universally ignorant of the influence Marcion had on their faith. This is due in part because Marcionism was later denounced as heresy in 144 CE, not so much because he was wrong, or even because some of his opinions were inconsistent with the emerging Church in Rome, but because his message was divisive, and thus bad for business. But that didn’t stop Marcion from preaching to large crowds and forever altering the mindset of the emerging religious community.
Foremost among his influences, Marcion was the first to refer to the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms as the “Old Testament,” in the sense of being the will of a now deceased deity. In its place, he promoted his “New Testament,” a canon comprised of Paul’s epistles and of his heavily edited versions Luke and Acts—whereby all things “Jewish” were removed or demeaned. In the process, Marcion established a division which had not previously existed, and he promoted the Pauline notion that the Towrah was now obsolete, having been replaced by a new “Gospel of Grace.” Anything which didn’t support this view was either erased or changed. It was a transition in perspective from which Christianity would never recover.
And while Paul’s and Marcion’s teachings and titles continue to permeate Christian doctrine, their most haunting legacy was their propensity to edit the text so that it could be interpreted to support their religious views. Over time, as Paul’s editor and publisher, Marcion became the father of what’s called the “Western,” “Popular,” or “Free” text of the “New Testament.” Under his influence, scribes were free to harmonize the accounts, improve readability, and add their own traditions and beliefs as they saw fit.
Marcion’s legion of scribes not only made copious copies of their “New Testament,” for centuries thereafter Marcion’s followers continued to be prolific copyists. Spending Marcion’s considerable wealth, they flooded the empire with their versions of Luke, Acts, and Paul’s letters. And as a result of the sheer quantity, immense popularity, and appealing anti-Semitic tone of these manuscripts, much of what now appears in today’s Majority Texts is suspect, not always because these books were inaccurately written, although all of Paul’s letters were, but because they have been revised. And that in and of itself is a fatal blow to a faith predicated upon the inerrancy of its “New Testament” text.
In that we are evaluating what has become known as the “Church Age,” this may be the perfect time to uncover some of Christianity’s most ignoble myths. Beginning with the name “church,” we discover that nothing remotely like it appears anywhere in Scripture. The myth began when Catholic clerics chose to replace the Greek word ekklesia, meaning “called out,” rather than translate it (replicating its meaning (which is required for words)) or transliterate it (replicating its pronunciation (which is permissible with titles)). This served to hide the fact that the source, the meaning, and the purpose of the “ekklesia – called out” was delineated in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms by way of the essential Hebrew word and title Miqra’ey, which means “Called-Out Assemblies.” Yahowah used Miqra’ey to describe the nature of the seven annual meeting times He established with all mankind, whereby we were asked to answer His summons and invitation to appear before Him, reading and reciting His Towrah. Simply stated: Yahowah’s Miqra’ey (Invitations to be Called Out and Meet) gave birth to Yahowsha’s Ekklesia (Called Out). Observing the Towrah’s presentation of Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, Seven Sabbaths, Trumpets, Reconciliations, and Shelters represents the only Way to enjoy eternal life in our Heavenly Father’s family.
Christian apologists, however, will protest that their “church” was derived from the Greek kuriakon. But that’s absurd in the extreme. Why would someone translate a Greek word by replacing it with a different Greek word, especially one with an entirely divergent meaning? It is as odd as replacing Towrah with Tadpole. Worse, even if the Greek text said kuriakon rather than ekklesia, the case cannot be made that kuriakon sounds like church, further incriminating the religious men who justify this exchange. Therefore, the religious arguments that “church” is a transliteration of kuriakon, which is somehow a translation of ekklesia, fail the test of reason.
Kuriakon, or kuriakos as it is sometimes written, is based upon kurios, which means “lord and master, the one who rules by usurping freewill.” This of course is wholly unrelated to ekklesia, which literally means “to call out”—and thus serves as an invitation. But since the Catholic Church needed a system whereby they could control and fleece the masses, subjecting them to their control, buildings were built and a religious institution known as “the Church” was conceived.
A derivative of the Greek kuriakon was used by the false-prophet Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (verse 11:20) to obfuscate the celebration of Passover, replacing it with the religious myth of “the Lord’s Supper”—which has subsequently evolved to become the Eucharist and Communion. And while it may also appear in Revelation 1:10, we will never know because the oldest extant copy of that verse is in the Roman Catholic Codex Vatanicus, dating to the late fourth century. Not only is it rife with religious editing, to be consistent, if Yahowchanan wanted to associate a particular day with Yahowah, he would have used a Divine Placeholder.
Turning to Webster’s International Dictionary, in the 1909 edition their explanation begins: “Church, noun. [of Medieval origin. Chirche from the Anglo-Saxon circe ].” They then describe church as “1. a building; 2. a place of worship for any religion.” Since there is obviously no connection of any kind between ekklesia and a building or a place of worship, we must conclude that the religious corruption of the Greek word has effectively hidden and then changed its original meaning. And in so doing, the Church severed God’s overt linguistic association between Miqra’ey and ekklesia, erasing the essential connection between Yahowah’s Called-Out Assemblies and Yahowsha’s Called-Out Assembly, thereby separating billions of souls from their Creator, Father, and Savior.
While “church” isn’t a translation of ekklesia, or even a transliteration of kuriakon, there is a clear phonetic link to the Druid, and thus Anglo-Saxon and Germanic words chirche and circe—consistent with what we just discovered in Webster’s Dictionary. The Oldest Druid temples were built as circles, a transliteration of circe, to represent their god, the sun. Worse, most every encyclopedia of mythology reveals that Circe was a sun goddess, the daughter of Helios. And if that were not enough to make you want to scream, the Savior of the Druid religion (where the Horned One is god) was named “Gesus.”
And yet there is no “Jesus” in Scripture, not even in the eyewitness and historical accounts. No one bearing the name “Jesus” lived in the first century of the Christian Era. The letter “J” would not be invented for over one thousand years. In fact, there is no letter “J” or similar sound in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, or even Latin. And an argument cannot be made that “Jesus” is a transliteration of the Greek Iesou, Iesous, or Iesoun, because those names were never actually written on any page of any first-, second-, or third-century manuscript of what is errantly known as “the New Testament.” In every case without exception, on every pre-Constantine manuscript, a Divine Placeholder was used instead.
The first “J” was invented by the Anglo-Saxons in the late 15th century and “Jesus” didn’t make its way into the “Bible,” and thus Christianity, until the third edition/revision of the King James Version in 1629. And that means that arrogant 17th century Brits assumed they had the authority to change and then choose the Savior’s proper name. This is especially appalling considering the fact Yahowah told us that His son’s name would be Yahowsha’ 2,800 years before they were born.
Unknown to the vast preponderance of Christians, Mattanyah (meaning Yahowah Gives (errantly known as Matthew)), Yahowchanan (meaning Yahowah is Merciful (errantly known as John)), Shim’own (meaning He Listens, later dubbed Kephas, the Rock (errantly known as Peter)), and Ya’aqob (meaning to be established in one’s walk, changed to “James” to honor an egotistical English King) consistently and deliberately used a Divine Placeholder to represent Yahowsha’s name because the proper pronunciation cannot be conveyed using the Greek alphabet. And yet ignoring the ubiquitous use of Divine Placeholders by Yahowsha’s Disciples, the religious institutions, both Catholic and Protestant, substituted the name of the Druid god, hiding the pronunciation and meaning of Yahowsha’s actual name from the people they were corrupting. This in turn has led to the distancing of Yahowsha’ from Yahowah in the minds of Christians, most of whom have been deceived into believing that they were saved from Yahowah’s Towrah by the “death of Jesus Christ.”
“Death” isn’t a solution, and according to God, the Savior’s name is pronounced Yahowsha’. It means “Yahowah Saves.” This specific spelling is revealed no less than 218 times in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. Moreover, its abbreviated variations, Yashuwa’ and Yashuw’ah, are pronounced identically and appear another 30 and 78 times respectively. So when it comes to knowing the name of the diminished human manifestation of God, we are without excuse.
But more than a name or a title, Yahowsha’ speaks volumes as it identifies the Savior as Yahowah, while simultaneously describing God’s purpose and plan. As such, knowing it, understanding Yahowsha’, is indeed essential to our salvation. So we must ask: why has this vital information been deliberately withheld, and why has the religious community foisted a bogus name on their unwitting faithful?
While we are on the subject of corruptions, the story does not end with “New Testament,” “Church,” or “Jesus.” In another surprise to many, Yahowsha’ was not “the Christ.” And because all titles precede names, and never follow them, “Jesus Christ” is wrong on all accounts.
Yahowsha’s actual title is Ma’aseyah, a surprising, yet revealing designation which is used twenty-three times in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. It tells us that that Yahowsha’ is an “Implement Doing the Work of Yahowah.”
You will not find chrios, the root of the “Christ” transliteration, or its derivatives christos, christou, christo, or christon, written out in reference to Yahowsha’ on any page of any Greek manuscript dating prior to the time of Constantine, when textual corruptions became ubiquitous. And I suppose that is because chrios spoke of the “application of drugs,” or the use of “whitewashing” to cover or hide something. Therefore, if “Christian” actually been used in Acts to describe the followers of the Way at Antioch, it would have been a derogatory and insulting epithet.
Interestingly, chrios was only scribed once in the Greek text. It is found in Yahowsha’s derogatory letter to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:18. Speaking to what has become the Protestant Church in today’s Western democracies, God degraded their self reliance on manmade drugs—in this case the application of a medicinal eye salve using egchrio—a compound of ego and chrio.
Since Yahowsha’s Disciples didn’t use chrios, christos, christou, christo, or christon in relationship to the Ma’aseyah, there is no basis for transliterating the Divine Placeholders they did use, ΧΣ, ΧΥ, ΧΩ, and ΧΝ, as “Christ,” as if it were the Savior’s last name, or even His title. If their intent was for their placeholders to represent the Hebrew title Ma’aseyah, as is only reasonable to suspect, our translations should read “Ma’aseyah,” or at the very least, “Ma’aseyah.” And if their intent was to convey the title’s meaning, then the Divine Placeholders should have been translated into our English texts as “Implement of Yah,” or “the One Doing the Work of Yah.” And should we be unsure of what Yahowsha’s Disciples intended, we should write “the Ma’aseyah Doing the Work of Yah,” every time the placeholder is used. There is no chance that is wrong.
Tracing the actual meaning of chrio, the basis of what became cristos, in koine Greek is a useful endeavor. Plato, our best source for contextual definitions, uses a compound form of chrio (χρίω) as a verb, meaning “to prick someone and to quarrel with them.” That’s a rather ominous start for the word most identifiable with Christendom. Chrio is not used at all by Aristotle, our second best resource. But we do find chrio in Greek tragedies. In these plays, chrio was used to convey: “to rub someone’s body or to stroke oneself.” When used in the context of fats and oils, particularly as ointments, it means “to smear.” For example, poison from the robe of Deianira was chrio – smeared onto Hercules’ body by way of Deianira’s garment. So we have gone from bad to worse, descending into the realm of myth, tragedy, and poison.
Chrio is used often by Homer, the greatest Greek playwrite, in the context of the application of drugs which were designed by men to cure superficial maladies. It is from this usage that we derive our designation for drugs and drugstores today. The Greek “c,” or chi, looks like an “x” (χ), and the Greek rho, (ρ), has the sound of the English “r.” They are reversed to form the ubiquitous international logo: “Rx” because chrio described the application of medicines—also known as “drugs.” Therefore, since I am not drugged, medicated, or poisoned I prefer not use the term “Christian,” substituting the more accurate and descriptive: “Implement Doing the Work of Yah.”
Affirming what we have already discovered, Aphrodite is said to have chrio – drugged Hector in a pagan religious rite. In ancient Greece, weapons were chrio – smeared with grease, and arrows were chrio – dipped in poison. And while none of these connotations is desirable, it gets worse. From the basic sense of “to rub over” we get such meanings as “to color,” “to paint over,” and “to whitewash,” the very thing Satan adores and Yahowah detests.
Whitewashing is a central aspect of the Whore of Babylon’s strategy, which is why most religious and political deceptions cover over, corrupt, and counterfeit God’s Word. Satan knows the truth. He has been in and out of heaven since the beginning of time. As a four dimensional construct he is not stuck in the flow of time, providing him with ample opportunity to plaster his most debilitating myths right on top of God’s message. Antagonistic toward the profound and saving revelations inherent in Yahowah’s plan, Satan has sought to prevail by plastering over them—hiding them by way of whitewashing. That way, God’s actual message remains hidden while Satan’s deceptions become ever more credible.
For a counterfeit bill, such as “Jesus Christ,” “Church,” or “New Testament,” to be accepted as genuine by the preponderance of people it must appear, at least to the untrained eye, as real. But sadly, ignorant of what Yahowah revealed in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, most people are ill prepared to distinguish fact from fiction. The faithful in particular have become easy dupes. So by coloring, painting over, and whitewashing the Adversary has been able to successfully deploy a counterfeit for every truth—ones which the masses accept as genuine, even Godly.
As a result, a “New Testament” has come to replace the Covenant. The “Church” has substituted itself for Yahowah’s Called-Out Assemblies. “Jesus” has hidden the identity and purpose of Yahowsha’. “Christ” and “Christian” now whitewash the meaning of Ma’aseyah. But that is not the end of the bad news. The “Lord” has been substituted for Yahowah’s name. Sundays are observed instead of the Sabbath. Christmas is celebrated, not Shelters. Easter, a purely pagan rite, has replaced Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. The Christian cross is revered instead of the Upright Pillar. The worship of Mary, and the Madonnas before her, have become stand ins for our Spiritual Mother, the Set-Apart Spirit. And before you know it, Satanism has completely plastered over Yahowah’s plan of redemption, drugging the masses into trusting him rather than God. And it wasn’t hard. He simply hid the truth, he chrio – painted over it with poison. And as a result of this whitewashing, religion has replaced relationship. For the wont of a word, for the right term, title, and name, the battle and kingdom were lost.
Yes, I will acknowledge, that if you open your Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible to Christos, you will find “Christ was the Ma’aseyah” as the primary definition and “anointed” as the secondary meaning. But that can’t be right because Christos is neither a translation nor a transliteration of Ma’aseyah, and if Yahowsha’s Disciples intended their Divine Placeholders to be written Christos, they would have done so themselves. But they didn’t. So why did Jerome scribe “Christo” in his Latin Vulgate, and why has every English Bible translator blindly replicated this error?
As it turns out, the over-scored Greek symbols Chi Rho (ΧΡ), Chi Rho Sigma (ΧΡΣ), Chi Sigma (ΧΣ), Chi Upsilon (ΧΥ), Chi Rho Upsilon (ΧΡΥ), Chi Omega (ΧΩ), Chi Rho Omega (ΧΡΩ), and Chi Nu (ΧΝ), weren’t based upon Christos, Christou, Christo, or Christon, but instead upon Chrestus—an entirely different word.
And while christos means “drugged,” chrestus means “useful implement,” and “upright servant,” as well as “merciful one.” It was used to “depict the good and beneficial work of a moral servant.” As such, it affirms my earlier conclusion that rather than being the only prophet to write “ha Messiach,” (as it appears twice in Aramaic) Daniel actually sided with all of the rest of Yahowah’s witnesses and scribed “ha Ma’aseyah”—telling us that the Suffering Servant would be an “Implement Doing the Work of Yah,” the Useful Tool God would use to save all mankind.
Considering the fact that Yahowah included His name in over 250 Scriptural names and titles, using them well over 10,000 times, it is preposterous to think that God missed an opportunity to associate one of His most essential titles with Himself as “ha Messiach” does. Moreover, all of Yahowah’s Scriptural names and titles convey meanings which enlighten the path to our salvation, something missing from “anoint.”
Likewise, there is little chance that Rabbis, who have for centuries been universally adverse to God’s name and authority, would miss an opportunity to corrupt their favorite title, disassociating it from Yahowah. Therefore, based upon this evidence and reasoning I would not advocate the use of “Chrestus,” but instead “Ma’aseyah—Implement of Yah,” because in the end Chrestus is nothing more than an affirmation of its essential symbolism.
The fact that Yahowsha’s Disciples selected Chrestus, not Christis as the closest Greek allegory to Ma’aseyah, can’t be distinguished from the first, second, third, and early fourth-century Greek placeholders for Ma’aseyah, because Chi Rho, Chi Rho Sigma, and Chi Sigma, represent both words equally well. But, that isn’t to say that there isn’t a textual affirmation for Chrestus; there is. In all three depictions of the epithet used to depict the first followers of The Way, in Acts 11:26, 26:28, and in 1 Shim’own / Peter 4:16, the Codex Sinaiticus reveals that Crestuaneos was penned initially, not Christianous. The same is true with the Codex Vaticanus. Then, after Constantine’s corrupt rule, Crestuaneos, meaning “useful tools and upright servants” was replaced by Christianous, transliterated as “Christian” today, but meaning “those who are drugged.”
But there is more, the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition Greek New Testament reveals that Chrestus (χρηστὸς) was scribed in 1 Shim’own / Peter 2:3, not Christos. Their references for this include Papyrus 72 and the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest extant witnesses of Peter’s (actually of Shim’own Kephas’ letter).
In Shim’own’s letter, which was attested by both ancient manuscripts, the Apostle tells us to: “As a newborn child, true to our real nature (logikos – be genuine, reasonable, rational, and sensible), earnestly desires and lovingly pursues (epipotheo – longs for and craves, showing great affection while yearning for) the pure and unadulterated (adolos – that which is completely devoid of dishonest intent, deceit, or deception) milk in order to grow in respect to salvation, since we have experienced (geuomai – partaken and tasted, have been nourished by and perceived) Yahowah (ΚΣ) as the Useful Implement and Upright Servant (Chrestus – the Upright One who is a superior, merciful, kind, and good tool).” (1 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 2:2-3) The fact that we find Chrestus written in the Codex Sinaiticus, and the placeholder ΧΡΣ written in P72 in the same place in this passage, we have an early affirmation that the Divine Placeholder representing the title “Ma’aseyah” was based upon the Greek Chrestus.
The related Greek term, chrestos, means: “kind,” “good,” “useful,” “benevolent,” “virtuous,” and “moral,” as in the sense of “being upright.” Words directly related to chrestos and chrestus speak of “integrity” in the sense of being trustworthy and reliable, “receiving the benefit of a payment,” as in providing recompense and restitution, of “fulfilling one’s duty,” as in being a loyal servant, “doing what is beneficial” in the sense of healing us, “transacting business,” as in fulfilling one’s mission, “providing a Divine message and response,” in the sense of being the Word made flesh and Savior, “being fit for use,” as in being Yahowah’s Implement, and “conveying a beneficial and trustworthy message which produces a good result,” which is synonymous with “euangelizo—which is to convey the healing and beneficial message” of Yahowah.
Writing about the great fire of Rome circa 64 CE, the famous Roman historian Tacitus (the classical world’s most authoritative voice) in Annals 15.44.2-8, wrote: “All human efforts and propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the fire was the result of an order [from Nero]. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Chrestuaneos by the populous. Chrestus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate.”
So now from this secular source, we have additional evidence in favor of Chrestus over Christos, of “the Useful and Merciful Servant,” over “the Drugged One,” and Chrestuaneos over Christianios, “those who are useful and merciful servants,” over “those who are drugged.”
Nothing close to a “church” exists in Scripture, although there is a mighty condemnation of what “the church” has come to represent. There is no papacy, cardinals, monks, or nuns in Yahowah’s Word. There is no seat of St. Peter, although there is a “Seat of Satan” and according to God, they are one in the same.
According to the eyewitness accounts, Mary is dead and not only can’t hear prayers, praying to her is an abomination. Sunday worship is not only wrong, it’s Satanic. Based upon what can be deduced from Yahowah’s Word, so is every festival celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church. They are all based upon the Whore of Babylon and not the Word of God. The celebration of Christmas, Easter, Lent, the Assumption of Mary, St. Valentine’s Day, and All Hollow’s Eve are direct derivatives of the sun-god religion of Ba’al.
As we have come to know, Yahowah’s festivals are Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, Seven Sabbaths, Trumpets, Reconciliations, and Shelters. The Sabbath observance designated in the first of Seven Instructions was never rescinded. And there is no religious ritual akin to the “Eucharist or Communion” in Scripture or in the Greek texts to suggest that we should observe the breaking of bread and drinking of wine on Sundays, much less apart from the observation of the Feast of Passover.
Further, Ba’al means Lord. It isn’t Yahowah’s name, but is rather Satan’s title. Jesus is the name of the Savior of the Druid religion where the Horned One is God. Not only is the Savior’s name Yahowsha’, His name tells us most everything we need to know about Him. Christ was used to convey “drugged and whitewashed” in classical Greek writings. It isn’t the Ma’aseyah’s last name or His title—as in “Jesus Christ,” or “in Christ’s name we pray.” Moreover, the original Greek title and name, and those actually recorded in the Codex Sinaiticus, were “Chrestus and Chrestusian,” meaning “useful implement and upright servant.”
There is no Christian religion manifest in Scripture or in the eyewitness accounts. In fact you can’t even find a Hebrew word conveying the concept of “religion” in the whole of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. Moving to the Greek text, all references to religion are critical. So according to God, the religion of Christianity did not replace the religion of Judaism.
Speaking of corrupting Yahowah’s names and titles, “Bible” is based upon the name of a pagan sun goddess, and thus is a horrible designation for God’s Word. Especially incriminating, biblos was not used to describe the combination of the Hebrew Scriptures and the eyewitness accounts until the fourth century CE, coterminous with the formation of Roman Catholicism. And that is because biblion, or in the plural biblia, simply denoted the material upon which the words were written. At best, this is not unlike calling the Towrah “paper.”
The papyrus reeds which grew along the Nile in Egypt were imported into Asia by way of the Phoenician port known as Byblos by the Greeks. Priests there taught that the city was founded by the Phoenician sun-deity Ba’al Chronos, “the Lord of Time,” according to the scholarly tome Mythology of All Races,” and as such, it was the seat of Adonis (the Lord). But more incriminating still, according to Ausfuhrliches Lexicon of Grecian and Roman Mythology, “the ancient city of Byblos in Phoenicia was named after the city Byblis in Egypt, which was in turn named after the sun-goddess Byblis, also called Byble. She was the granddaughter of Ra, and was eventually inducted into Roman mythology as a descendant of Apollo.”
According to Bell’s New Pantheon, Byblia was also “the name of Venus,” and thus must be equated with Ishtar, the Babylonian Queen of Heaven and Mother of God. This connection is affirmed in An Illustrated Dictionary of Classical Mythology and Crowell’s Handbook of Classical Mythology.
Compounding the mistake, God did not reveal something even remotely akin to an “Old Testament,” and “New Testament” is wrong in every possible way. He did not inspire books He referred to as “Gospels.” Men have created these names, and men have no authority. The simple truth is, the “church,” both Catholic and Protestant, is lost in a sea of demonic delusion. As you shall see as we unfold Revelation’s seven open letters, the Christian Church migrates from “the Seat of Satan” to “the Whore of Babylon.” Catholics are called “dead” and Protestants are referred to as “vomit.”
The prophets predicted and Yahowsha’ confirmed that the ekklesia/called-out assembly would serve as a temporary witness—a job we have done very poorly. We are Yisra’el’s understudy, not her permanent replacement. This is confirmed throughout the prophecies we have studied. It is reestablished in Revelation, where in the opening chapters the risen Yahowsha’ directs Yahowchanan, better known by his God-deprived name, John, to write open letters addressed to seven ekklesia, or called-out assemblies—all but one of which were relatively minor establishments.
These open letters in the beginning of Yahowsha’s final revelation should be analyzed similar to the way we reviewed Ba’resyth / Genesis one. Three perspectives are evident in the one account. First, there is the obvious historical and geographic context. Seven actual assemblies, located within a relatively short distance of each other, all in the Roman province of Asia, in today’s western Turkey, displayed seven different spiritual profiles. By cracking open our history books we will discover why these specific, and otherwise insignificant, assemblies were called out for examination.
Second, as with all of Yahowah’s prophecies, there are important lessons for every local ekklesia, and indeed every called-out individual. The conditions praised and scorned can and do coexist side by side. We all need to examine our lives in the light of these letters, to assess whether we are being commended or chastised. Within these passages we find mercy, encouragement, guidance, calls for change, and warnings of dire consequences. Each message contains the admonishment, “He who can hear, let him listen to what the Spirit says to the ekklesia.” That’s us. We dare not miss these messages. There is too much at stake.
Third, there is a powerful prophetic element to every verse. Each Asian assembly represents a broad period of history. The actual conditions and Yahowsha’s commentary on them exemplify the most salient manifestations, good and bad, of the ekklesia during these past 2,000 years as we have struggled to be Yahowah’s witnesses. For example, we can date the Smyrna era precisely because it speaks of “ten days” of persecution, a condition that began under Nero in 67 CE and culminated under Diocletian in 303 CE. The epoch concludes nine years later with the emergence of General Constantine in 312 CE as he established the “Seat of Satan.”
On the subject of dating, the internal evidence suggests that Revelation was written in 68 or 69 CE, after the suicide of Nero yet before the destruction of the Temple. A thoughtful unraveling of Revelation 17:9-11 not only confirms this dating, it also provides us with a detailed historic portrait of what the Anti-Ma’aseyah will be like. Further, the passage and those surrounding it, implicates the Roman Catholic Church, identifying the religious establishment as an essential component of the Satanic system touted by the False Prophet. From the standpoint of the reliability of the text the Apostle Yahowchanan wrote, archeologists have found five Greek manuscripts covering the bulk of Revelation dating to as early as the late first century.
Of particular interest in this review of the seven assemblies addressed by Yahowsha’, four received commendation as well as condemnation. But two were not rebuked at all, and one—the last, Laodicea—received no praise of any kind. Most “Protestant Christians” today are Laodicean. Yahowsha’ sees them as lukewarm and useless, and refers to them as “vomit.”
The seven eras overlap and coexist. There are echoes of each of these assemblies in evidence simultaneously throughout the age, just as there were in Yahowchanan’s day. Therefore, we need to be mindful of what Yahowsha’ said to every ekklesia, not just the one in whose age we are living. And, as we examine the history of “Christianity” in light of these letters, we begin to realize that we are very near the end of the final age. As time goes by this realization becomes more and more obvious.
By way of introduction, here is a listing of the seven ekklesia Yahowsha’ spoke about in His open letter. They are presented in the order these general themes became prevalent in Christendom but there are elements of every assembly in every age. That is why there is no ending date for any of them. For example, if you are a Christian in the Sudan or in the People’s Republic of China, you are living under Smyrna style persecution. The Roman Catholic Church, born in the Pergamos period, remains the seat of Satan. They have neither changed nor gone away. The prevailing “church” today is comprised of unsaved and self-reliant Laodiceans, but there are still some Philadelphians around. We know this because Yahowsha’ said that the Philadelphians would be kept out of the Tribulation while the Laodiceans endure it.
The Ephesian assembly couldn’t have begun before the Miqra’ of Seven Sabbaths in 33 CE, when the ekklesia was enriched with Yahowah’s Towrah teaching and empowered by Yahowah’s Spirit, and it probably came to a close as Yahowchanan was writing Revelation, which was in effect the end of the Apostolic age.
Smyrna is easy to date as it covers the ten eras of Roman persecution, all of which are well documented. And that means we know exactly when the Pergamos period came into being, 312 CE, and thus who to blame for it. But from that point on the dates are approximate and debatable. Ages don’t so much open and close but instead wax and wane with considerable overlap on both ends of the bell-shaped curve.
As a case in point, an argument can be made that the Jezebelian Thyatira era came to a close twenty Yowbel/Jubilee after Yahowsha’s Passover sacrifice, in 1033, during the reign of Benedict IX, the occultist pope. But there were other low water marks during this time. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox split in 1054 under Leo IX and the first ill-conceived Crusade in 1095 under Pope Urban II are also significant events in Christendom. Some scholars have the time of Thyatira running all the way through the Dark Ages. So I see our attempts to date these epochs as less important than recognizing that Yahowsha’ laid out the future history of the “church” in broad, but accurate strokes, and in so doing, told us precisely what He values and what He detests.
I have listed the most salient characteristic of each of the seven ekklesia. And yes, there are seven of them. The entirety of Yahowah’s prophetic message is based upon seven, so He is consistent to the end. His preference for seven started predicatively in Bare’syth / Genesis with the seven days of creation, it developed prophetically with the seven Miqra’ey, and it concludes with the future history of seven ekklesia.
|6.||Philadelphia:||1522 C.E.||“Loving Family”|
|7.||Laodicea:||1882 C.E.||“People Legislate”|
Geographically, the seven assemblies were separated by a little over a hundred miles. Patmos, the island where Yahowchanan was exiled when he received the vision of Revelation, was just off the coast of Ephesus—the first city on the list, and the place where the apostle had served as a witness for many years. I have been in the cave many believe served as his isolated home.
At the time, Ephesus rivaled Rome as the world’s most magnificent metropolis with a population soaring beyond 500,000. But the city was resolutely pagan. Artemis was god. She was a mother earth fertility deity along the lines of Babylon’s Ishtar—the goddess from whom Easter and Earth were named. Her temple in Ephesus reflected her stature. Railing against her is what got Yahowchanan exiled. Politics, religion, culture, and business were intertwined, as they are today, and what Yahowchanan had to say was hostile to their interests.
Ephesus’ grand library, of which only the façade remains, rivaled Rome’s, Athens’, even Alexandria’s. This was a city for “enlightened” men if there ever was one. But, as usual, it was all for show. A secret passage led from the library’s entrance underground, and into the town’s extravagant row of brothels—which still remain intact, replete with graphic advertisements. It was the kind of place where there was a world of separation between those who were called out and those who were not. And speaking of the ekklesia, keep in mind that at the time of this writing (probably forty years after the first four Miqra’ey were fulfilled), the assembly was more Yahuwdym than Gowym. Religious and political leaders aside, the ordinary Yisra’elites who were eyewitnesses to Yahowsha’s miraculous life, were more inclined to accept their Ma’aseyah than reject Him.
The full meaning of the word Ephesus reflects the nature and history of its assembly. Its primary meaning is: “full-purposed and desirable.” The secondary meaning is “to let go and relax.” The ekklesia in Ephesus had been built under Yahowchanan’s care. They were born evangelical, and were nourished on sound doctrine, at least until Paul’s arrival. But following the Apostle Yahowchanan’s death, they relaxed and slid away.
Yahowchanan was told to write of the assembly of which he had been responsible: “To the messenger (aggelos – envoy who brings tidings, spiritual agent, a being who serves God) of the called-out assembly (ekklesia – a gathering of people who are called-out of their homes usually for the purpose of deliberation; an assembly duly summoned; from ek, meaning out, a preposition denoting origin, and kaleo, meaning calling; thus literally “out calling”) of Ephesus (Ephesos – the capital of Ionia under the Greeks then Romans) write (grapho – record using alphabetic characters to memorialize and describe): ‘This (hode) relates and affirms (lego – says, maintains, teaches, exhorts, advises, and instructs) He who has the power to hold and retain (krateo – the might to rule as master, to take hold of and hold fast, powerfully and reliabley) the seven sources of light (aster – stars as sources of illumination) in His right hand (dexios – place of honor and authority), who walks (peripateo – who makes His Way in the midst of, who lives with and for, who prevails opportunistically) in, by, and with (en) and among (mesos – in the midst of) the seven golden lamp stands (luchnia – candelabrum, illuminations, implements for radiating light in the darkness): ” (Revelation 2:1)
Let’s examine Yahowsha’s greeting. An aggelos is just a “messenger.” The recipients of these letters could well have been, and probably were, the humans who were leading these assemblies. As such the opening line destroys the myth of Catholicism—that Peter was head of the Church. By 70 CE there were many “churches,” not one, and Shim’own / Peter exclusively disciple the Yaruwshalaim assembly, an ekklesia which didn’t even make Yahowsha’s list.
There are only two honest ways to deal with the Greek term “ekklesia.” When it is being used as a word it must be translated “called out,” “assembly,” “called-out assembly,” or “out calling.” When it is being used as a title it must be transliterated “ekklesia.” There are no other valid or rational options. The word/title “church” is erroneous as it is neither a translation nor transliteration of the Greek ekklesia/called-out assembly. Worse, the only linguistic basis for “church” is the name of the Anglo-Saxon sun-goddess Circe, the daughter of Helios. Her name was pronounced “Chirch,” and it gave rise to the English words “circle” and “circus.” Circles are symbols for the sun and circuses were known for acts of magic. Also, keep in mind that when determining the legacy of ancient words, it’s the consonants which count, not the vowels. “Circe” and “church” are based upon “crc” with the “h” being silent and thus optional.
Circe is a goddess with an illustrious past. In Greek mythology, Circe was “the daughter of the Sun.” She wore a nimbus or disc of light around her head, identical to the ones Catholics place above Mary’s likeness. Homer speaks of the sun goddess in the tenth book of the Odyssey. Circe tells Homer that he must descend into the house of Hades and seek the ghost of the blind Theban prophet Teiresias whose reason, she claimed, was unshaken. Thebes was the religious center of Egyptian sungod worship and considered to be the city of the dead. I dare say, the substitution of this satanic rubbish for the essential truth conveyed by “out calling” is but one of many “Christian” abominations.
Ekklesia communicates an important truth which church hides. We are called out not in. Speaking of the Whore of Babylon upon whose myths the Catholic Church was based, Revelation says: “Come out of her My people.” The called-out assembly has been summoned by Yahowah for the purpose of deliberating—that is to think rationally and discuss carefully His Word so as to provide life-giving advice to mankind. That’s hard to do when we muck up His Word with words of our own.
The references to aster and luchnia are defined in the preceding verse. Yahowchanan wrote: “The secret of the seven aster/sources of light which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden luchnia/lamp stands are the messengers of the seven ekklesia/who are called out and the seven luchnia/implements for radiating light in the darkness which you saw represent the seven ekklesia/assemblies.” (Revelation 1:20) Simply stated: the aster are symbolic of Yahowah’s messengers who bring illumination to a dark word. Any person who teaches what the Scriptures actually say qualifies as an aster in this sense. The luchnia are the ekklesia/called out which and whom, through the Spirit, individually and collectively radiate Yahowah’s light.
And that brings us to dexios. As one of Yahowah’s messengers (albeit flawed, weak, and horribly imperfect), through His mercy, I am dexios: “reliably held and securely retained in the powerful hand” of Yahowsha’. I can’t imagine a better place to be. It is an honor because He is the authority.
Yahowsha’, the human manifestation of Yahowah, is walking with His ekklesia/called out. But en also means “in.” And that tells us that Yahowsha’s Spirit, the Set-Apart Spirit, lives within us. We are the lamp stand and the Spirit is the light.
“I have seen (oida – have perceived, have known, and recognized; I am aware of, and have considered) that which occupies you (ergon – your business, employment, labor, undertakings, works, and deeds), your grief and sorrows (kopos – difficulties and laborious toil), and your steadfast consistency and endurance (hupomone – cheerful loyalty, load carrying capability, perseverance, and patience). I know that you cannot possibly accept, tolerate, or endure (ou dynamai bastazo – haven’t the will, ability, or state of mind to take up with, walk along side of, lift up or carry forward (i.e., advance or promote)) those who think errantly, those who are wrong, injurious, pernicious, destructive, or baneful (kakos – are bad, incorrect, worthless, wicked, depraved, evil, harmful, noisome, morally corrupt, diseased, culpable, derelict, vicious, mischievous, guilty, rotten, demonic, or hurtful). And you have observed and objectively tested (peirazo – scrutinized, examined through enquiry, tried, and pierced through) those who maintain (phasko – say, affirm, assert, profess, declare, promise, or infer) they (heautou) are (eimi) messengers (apostolos – one who is sent forth with Godly orders, teachers, special ambassadors, delegates, or apostles) but are not, and have found them (heurisko – examined, scrutinized, come to understand them, and discovered through observing them that they are) false, deceitful liars (pseudes - untrue, erroneous, deceivers). And you have (echo) loyal steadfastness and enduring consistency (hupomone) and have endured (bastazo – carried forward by having been provided for, accepting and experiencing) through (dia – actively and continually effecting by reason, that which intervenes) My name (onoma – title, character, person, reputation, and authority; from oninemi, meaning to bring notoriety, pleasure, and joy). You have worked hard (kopiao – labored with wearisome effort) and have not grown tired.” (Revelation 2:2-3)
If this statement had been plastered on the door of every church, there would be no corruptions today. Our world would be so different, so much better, it would be unrecognizable.
Let’s examine the words our Creator selected in His first open letter to His ekklesia. First we have, oida, meaning “to have seen and become aware of.” It destroys the myth of the Deist position—that of the unengaged deity held by the Illuminati and their most famous disciple Thomas Jefferson. Yahowah isn’t an absentee landlord. When Jefferson composed his book containing the sayings of “Jesus” removed from their context while holding the position of a Deist, he was irrational.
Second, in this temporal life, time is our most limited asset. God is concerned with how we invest it. He is aware if there is an intersection between our business (taking care of our family) and His business (exposing lies and witnessing to the truth). If the former consumes most of your time, there is good news: the Sabbath is a day set apart to do God’s work.
Third, Yahowsha’ knows that it’s hard to be a reliable witness. He did it and His audience attacked Him, slandered Him, and tortured Him for telling them the truth. Yahowsha’ can empathize with us.
Fourth, God appreciates loyalty, consistency, and endurance. Those who cheerfully and patiently bear burdens and persevere earn Godly accolades. The Yisra’elites were dismissed and banished for disloyalty, inconsistency, lack of perseverance, and of course, for pride. I’m not being anti-Semitic; this is one of the most repeated messages in the Tanakh.
The fifth lesson is the most important—especially today. By not understanding or applying “ou dynamai bastazo” Christians have become worthless—just as the Yisra’elites had become in the parable of the wine grower. Pastors have told us that “tolerance” is a “Christian virtue” yet, according to God, intolerance is preferable—even praiseworthy. The Ephesus assembly was commended for their unwillingness to “accept or endure” false teaching. Today’s church wallows in it. Deception is so pervasive, truth is hard to find. It’s so bad, that when I share what Yahowah had to say, Christian’s ruthlessly attack me and the message.
To say that kakos means “bad or evil” devalues the word. Its primary connotation is “unserviceable and incapable.” Kakos’ synonyms agree. “Pernicious” is “something that is highly injurious and destructive, wicked and noxious, to the degree that it is deadly.” As such, kakos is similar to showa’, the Hebrew word for “desolation and lifelessness” that forms the basis of the Third Statement God etched in stone. There, Yahowah makes the same point, saying that we must not nasa’, “lift up or carry, i.e., promote or advance, thus tolerate or accept, anything that leads to death and destruction.” Consistent with that thought, “baneful” means “to produce or promote something that is seriously harmful or poisonous.” Yahowah hates this stuff and so should we. He doesn’t want us to accommodate any false teaching no matter how vociferously it is justified or how hallowed be the justifier.
The sixth instruction is related to the fifth. Yahowsha’ is so desirous of us rooting out and condemning deceitful lies and liars, He tells us how to do it. We are to peirazo: “observe and objectively test, scrutinize, examine through enquiry, try, and then pierce through” all “erroneous injurious, pernicious, destructive, and baneful dogmas and doctrines”—and that would be all things religious, most things political, and many things societal, cultural, and academic. We are to be on the lookout for anything that is: incorrect, worthless, wicked, depraved, evil, harmful, noisome, morally corrupt, diseased, culpable, derelict, vicious, mischievous, guilty, rotten, demonic, or hurtful.” And when we find it we are to expose it, condemn it, and be completely intolerant of it. Yahowah did not inspire the United States Constitution. If He had He never would have included a clause that promotes “freedom of religious expression.” Man is free to know and to choose, but not to convolute or deceive.
Seventh, the world is full of false prophets, of men and women who claim that they speak for God, but don’t. Muhammad was a classic example. Every Catholic pope fits this mold. They claim to be “the Messenger of God,” and “Christ’s Vicar on Earth.” They want us to believe that they are the “one who was sent forth with Godly orders, a teacher who was or is a special ambassador.” George W. Bush was reelected on this false premise. But unlike Americans, the Ephesians knew better. They recognized that these men “were not” what “they claimed to be.” The Ephesus assembly prevailed when they “discovered that they were pseudes/deceitful liars by heurisko: “observing, examining, scrutinizing, and coming to understand them.” When Yahowah said in Howsha’ 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” this is what He was talking about. For the truth to prevail lies must be exposed and repudiated.
The eighth lesson is also profound. The assembly that benefited most from the teaching of Yahowchanan, bastazo: “endured and carried forward” because they had “been provided for by putting on and taking up, accepting and experiencing” Yahowsha’s “onoma/name.” It was dia: “through actively and continually affecting through reason the name which intervenes” that they prevailed. So why is it that not one “Christian Church” in a thousand even mentions His name much less actively engages it?
So to review, Yahowsha’ is telling us that He sees right through us. He knows us and understands us. Moreover, He is engaged, considering the consequences of our thoughts and deeds. Our actions are important because they reflect the depth of our knowledge and the extent of our trust. And they should reflect the nature of the object of our trust and reliance. That is why Yahowsha’ is praising the Ephesians for their ability to endure under stress, to do a difficult job consistently well.
But most importantly, we have learned that we please our God when we are intolerant of that which is erroneous. We must rebuke that which is false and cast it out of our midst. The worst form of evil has been defined, and it isn’t works; it’s words. Bad ideas are much more lethal than bad deeds because a false doctrine leads to eternal damnation, a fate far worse than death. A false dogma is an infectious disease. It spreads, it infects, it festers, and then it kills. And it keeps on killing, devouring one soul after another.
To survive we must understand and apply what Yahowah is teaching us. To be intolerant of the errant is to be compassionate. Unexposed, unchallenged, and unrepudiated deceptions destroy countless lives and lead to indoctrination, oppression, poverty, and war. The most abominable evil is the message of those who deceive in the name of God. Muhammad would be at the top of this list; Constantine wouldn’t be far behind. Their perverse and self-serving religions have condemned billions.
If we want to be commended by our Creator we must be intolerant, politically incorrect, Scripturally-grounded fundamentalists who use evidence and reason to judge and condemn all false prophets, false doctrines, false gods, and false religions. We become culpable when we fail to do so. Tolerance is not a Christian virtue—nor is ignorance or apathy. That is why God revealed: “I know that you cannot possibly accept, tolerate, or endure those who think errantly, are wrong, injurious, pernicious, or destructive. And you have observed and objectively tested, scrutinized, examined through enquiry, tried, and pierced through those who maintain they are messengers, ones who are sent forth with Godly orders, but are not, and have found them false, deceitful liars.”
Yahowsha’ had more to say to the ekklesia in Ephesus. His rebuke begins with my least favorite word: allah. “On the contrary (allah – nevertheless, contrariwise; used as a marker of opposition in a transition to the antithesis) I hold (echo – regard, count, and consider) this against (kata – in opposition to, as something that is depressing about, a downer concerning) you, that you have forsaken (aphiemi – laid aside and sent away, departed from and left, dismissed, divorced, neglected, abandoned, and rejected) your first (protos – foremost, most important, influential, honorable, and desirable) love (agape – familial devotion, brotherly benevolence, object of affection, and moral and caring friendship).
Remember (mnemoneuo – be mindful of, think about, make mention of and respond to) therefore (oun – accordingly) the source from whence (pothen – the place, origin, and condition from where and why) you have descended from a higher place to a lower one (ekpipto – fallen and dropped away, become thrust down and lowered, gone from standing upright to prostrate, bowing down and falling under judgment, overcome by the attack of demonic spirits who bring grief, terror, and death).” (Revelation 2:4-5) So this is not the good part. The ekklesia of Ephesus went from good to bad.
When we are in fellowship with Yahowah, when we are enjoying agape/familial affection, we stand upright with God, connected to the source of life. But when we forsake Him, reject Him, or just turn away, He reciprocates. The result is judgment. We go from standing with God, and being loved by Him, to being on our knees before Him facing the penalty of death. Abandoning Yahowah subjects us to the terror of men and the sting of Satan’s demons. When we neglect or divorce our Savior, He neglects and divorces us, causing us to descend from heaven to hell, from more than four dimensions to less than one. This is the lesson of the Second Instruction on the Second of the Two Tablets. If we take our Heavenly Father and Spiritual Mother lightly our time will be diminished.
Yahowsha’ pleads with the Ephesians not once, but twice to wake up and change their thinking, to metanoeo/reconsider. He is the God of second chances. There is always an open door. “Think differently (metanoeo – reconsider, feel moral compulsion to change your mind, repent) and bring forth (poieo – produce, author, fashion, and bear) the most desirable (protos – first and foremost, most important, influential, and honorable) investments of your time (ergon – businesses, enterprises, accomplishments, industry, acts, labor, and works), or else I will come (erchomai – leave one place and arrive in another, appearing) suddenly (tachu – quickly and swiftly) and remove (kineo) your lamp stand (luchnia – implements for radiating light in the darkness) out of (ek – from) his or her (hautou) place (topos – spot, locality, location, or position in space-time) unless you reconsider (metanoeo – think differently).” (Revelation 2:5)
Sound thinking yields sound fruit. If the mind is poisoned with lies, if the ability to think is corrupted, if we are deceived, bad things happen. The Ephesians became like Americans, tolerant, accepting, ignorant, and apathetic. As a result, they became as we have become, worthless—unthinking, indoctrinated, and opinionated, useless and deceived zombies stumbling into our own graves.
The Yahuwdym were uprooted and replaced for this very crime. Yahowsha’ has now told us that we will suffer the same fate. He even tells His forsaken assembly when it’s going to happen. He says He will come as a thief in the night to find and collect those who still radiate His light. He is speaking of the paralambano / harvest when the Spirit-filled ekklesia will be called home, leaving the “Church” to ponder “where their light disappeared” as they endure the darkness of the Tribulation which ensues.
The key word is ek—the basis of ekklesia and the subject of this letter. It means that some lamp stands will be part of the out calling because they remain called out. There will be a pre-Tribulation harvest but it will leave church members behind, stumbling in the darkness. Yahowsha’ refers to the illuminated lamp stands as people, using “hautou/him and her,” rather than “it.”
Yahowsha’ ended His exhortation to the Ephesian ekklesia with an encouraging word, one that should send shockwaves through Christendom. “Notwithstanding that (allah – besides that objection, exception, and restriction) this you have: you detest (miseo – hate and prosecute) the efforts (ergon – undertakings, acts, works, and deeds) of the Nicolaitans (Nikolaites), which I also hate (miseo – detest). He who has the physical or mental ability to hear (ous), let him hear, understand, and perceive (akouo – learn, consider, and attend to) what the ΠΝΑ (placeholder for Ruwach, Spirit; from pneuma, spirit) says to the ekklesia/assembly. To him who prevails (nikao – overcomes and is victorious) I will bestow upon him (didomi – give, grant as a gift, deliver, freely provide the advantage of) nourishment (esthio – food, a living meal) from the stake from which I’m suspended and punished (xulon – a wood pole or beam from which a prisoner is fastened and hung by the hands and feet) of life (zoe – the absolute fullness and vitality of living), which exists in the midst of Paradise (paradeisos – the enclosed garden) of ΘΥ (placeholder for ‘Elohym, God; from theou, god).’” (Revelation 2:2-7) The moral of this story is that God hates false doctrines. He isn’t tolerant of them and we shouldn’t be either.
There are two important subtleties in this passage. One is that Yahowsha’ is calling Himself “the Spirit,” confirming that He and the Set-Apart Spirit are one. Second, the “tree of life” is the upright pole upon which Yahowsha’ hung. Through His death we live. Its timbers form the bridge to the Covenant’s family.
The assembly at Ephesus was born early in the Apostolic age, that in which Yahowchanan himself lived. It is characteristic of Yahowsha’s initial out calling—of the men and women who first followed in His footsteps. Their light illuminated the darkness, transforming a grotesquely perverted and violent world. Their discernment was as exemplary as their teaching. What made them special, what made them different, what made them effective, what made them like Yahowsha’, is that they were unwilling to compromise with or tolerate evil. This is reemphasized by their hatred of the Nicolaitans.
So what would be so bad as to cause a loving God to say of a group of people: “I also hate” them? Fortunately, Yahowsha’ will tell us in no uncertain terms before this chapter is through, because from independent sources we only pick up the broad strokes of what this politicized religious movement stood for. We know that the Nikolaites were the followers of Nicolas of Antioch, who sought to work out a compromise between Christian morality and the licentious pagan lifestyle of the Grecian and Roman world. Promoting Balaam, and serving Lord/Ba’al, he and his associates encouraged fornication and advocated accommodating religious idols. Interestingly, the movement is also known to have promoted a politicized clerical hierarchy, something which they succeeded in achieving. Their mandate overwhelmed the “church” during the late second and early third centuries, something that ultimately proved to be the bane of Christendom. Along these lines, Nikolaites is a compound of nicao, “to conquer and rule over” and laos, “people.” Laos is the term from which “laity” is derived, making the name significantly more ominous as it relates to what was about to happen.
But as bad as “conquering and ruling over the laity” would be, few things proved to be as lethal as accommodation. This became the means by which the Roman Catholic Church grew. Their role model wasn’t “Christ,” but instead, the example of the Nicolaitans. They incorporated countless pagan festivals, rituals, terms, and doctrines into Catholicism in order to assimilate converts. Politically, religiously, and economically it was a stunning success. Spiritually, it turned out to be the greatest disaster ever perpetrated on humankind. We are still reeling from it.
Before we leave this initial discussion of the Nicolaitans, there are five points that need to be emphasized. First, God hates. There are things and there are people Yahowah despises. Today, many people want to see their god through the lens of political correctness. The god they imagine is usually tolerant, He doesn’t judge, and loves everyone. These gods aren’t Yahowah. When I attack falseness and those who pontificate it, “Christians” are the first to condemn me for doing so, always quoting a portion of a verse out of context. Claiming to represent the message of “Jesus,” they are actually following the example of the Nicolaitans.
Second, the people and issues Yahowah says He despises in this passage are the things which dominate Western culture. The Nikolaites promoted a politicized and hierarchal clergy. The “Christian Right,” symbolized by Jerry Falwell’s “Moral Majority,” represent a “politicized religion” while the Roman Catholic Church has taken the concept of a “hierarchal clergy” to unimaginable heights. Yahowah hates these things and according to His Scripture, He despises the people responsible for promoting them. The Nikolaites were a political lot who negotiated pragmatic compromises between various constituents for the purpose of maximizing their societal and economic influence. Today, the “religious right,” the very core of the Republican Party, is mimicking them.
Third, Yahowah isn’t fond of politics, especially compromisers and accommodators. Here, God is condemning those steeped in the doctrine of Political Correctness long before the term was coined. Multiculturalism was the byword of the Nikolaites. Tolerance was one of their virtues. From their perspective, there was no right or wrong and people were entitled to their opinions. They considered themselves “enlightened and liberal” and believed they could condition men to live together in harmony. To the Nikolaites, like today’s enlightened liberals, sex was to be enjoyed without restraint. Homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, and pornography were good while the family values espoused by Yahowah were passé. Yahowah disagrees. He sees marriage and family as the model for the relationship He wants to establish with mankind. God despises those who advocate the corruption of His model.
The fourth insight I don’t want you to miss is that the Nikolaite influence on Ephesus manifest itself after Revelation was written. That makes this open letter prophetic—something most Christians don’t want to accept. From Catholics to Protestants, the implications of Revelation’s revelations being prophetic are terrifying. Because if they are, they are wrong—dead wrong. Absolute proof of the predictive content of Revelation’s letters is provided in the next two offerings, so if you are not yet convinced, you will be.
Fifth, the only problem listed in the Ephesian epistle was that over time they “left their first love.” Not “lost” Him, but “left” Him. These folks had the right doctrine, they stood up against wrong doctrine, they had the right work ethic, but they had forgotten why it mattered. Without the love of God, a program of good works is not only unsustainable, it’s pointless. Without Yahowah’s love, espousing Yahowsha’s hatred of errant political and religious doctrines leaves the job half finished.
It’s all about love and relationship. That’s all that really matters. But that said, the object of our love and the nature of the relationship have to be right. There are many who are competing for our attention and devotion. Only one is worthy.
About forty miles up the coast from Ephesus was Smyrna. The word means “bitterness and suffering.” Its root comes from “myrrh.” It is an ointment used in burials, which when crushed releases its fragrance. These etymological roots symbolically cover the heart of the Smyrna Epoch of Christendom. From 67 CE to 303, the called-out assembly suffered severe persecution, a condition that moved west to Rome. Ironically, the period the ekklesia experienced its most bitter suffering coincided with the time Yahowah’s family reached its greatest relative scale in proportion to world population.
The Ma’aseyah’s martus / martyrs made magnificent witnesses. Tertullian, a cleric of this age, said: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the assembly.” The message was clear: the Ephesian ekklesia separated themselves from their Protector so the Savior allowed the next generation to be persecuted. But He did not abandon them. With each blow He drew ever closer.
Historically, we know that the Smyrna assembly was tormented in many ways. Laws were passed that pagan clerics and politicians knew Yahowsha’s followers couldn’t keep. Hence the anointed members of the Way became criminals, subject to judicial punishment and imprisonment.
The city was also an acknowledged supporter of emperor worship. The Roman Senate awarded Smyrna the privilege of building the first temple in honor of Tiberius. When Followers of the Way refused to bow down and honor this man who claimed to be god, they were ostracized, ultimately becoming unemployable. Many were reduced to beggary by a policy of systematic harassment and exclusion from the economic life of their community. No trade guild would endorse them; their businesses were boycotted, or worse, were looted and burned by mobs stirred to irrational hatred by those practicing Rabbinical Judaism and Babylonian paganism. Many were slain. Under Domitian, 86-96 CE, emperor worship became compulsory on threat of death. Choosing God over man came at a price. There were no casual Towrah observers.
Today, the closest thing the world has to a Caesar to whom men bow, is the Pope. He has retained all of the accoutrements, from title to throne, from crown to bowing in his presence and kissing his ring. He is considered (albeit falsely) to be God’s representative on Earth.
The second type of Smyrna era persecution came through taxation. Once a year everyone had to bring their taxes to the emperor’s temple and sign allegiance to the man/god. If followers of the Way refused, their property and all worldly goods were confiscated, the result of which was abject poverty. The Roman Catholic Church imposed this sort of thing during the Dark Ages. Islam was built upon it. Communism still practices it.
The third torment was administered by Pharisaic Jews against their brethren who accepted Yahowsha’ as Ma’aseyah, the predicted human manifestation of ‘Elohym. The organization Yahowsha’ calls “the synagogue of Satan” terrorized followers of the Way, especially those who followed the Towrah to Yahowsha’, communing with their Savior in the Synagogues on the Sabbath. For insights into this period from a rabbinical perspective, I encourage you to read “The Yavneh Conspiracy” by Rabbi Edward Levi Nydle (www.bnaiavraham.net). He details how late first and early second century rabbis systematically went about socially, economically, politically, and religiously ostracizing Yahuwdym who recognized and accepted their Redeemer. The despicable and deceitful tale he unravels is what Yahowsha’ was speaking of here. Consistent with Mattanyah 23’s attack on the Yisra’elite religious establishment, Yahowsha’ is once again saying that Orthodox Judaism is the “Synagogue of Satan.”
The epoch of the Smyrna Ekklesia depicts ten distinct periods of torment beginning with Nero in 67 CE and ending under Diocletian in 303. Only the first of these ten phases was contemporaneous with the writing of Revelation, and that was in Rome, not Asia, proving that the letters were not only prophetic but they were depictions of the ekklesia at large.
With this as background, let’s review Yahowsha’s open letter to the Assembly of Smyrna. “And to the messenger of the ekklesia in Smyrna (Smurna – an Ionian city in Asia Minor on the Aegean Sea 40 miles north of Ephesus) describe and write: ‘These things says the first (protos - foremost in time and place, the most important and influential, the first in rank and honor) and the last (eschatos – the extreme of space-time, the uttermost), who entered into the state of (ginomai) a corpse whose soul departed (nekros – breathed His last and departed), and is now alive.’” (Revelation 2:8)
As introductions go, this is a grand one. Yahowsha’ is a diminished manifestation of Yahowah—I Am—the first, foremost, and last in time and importance. Yahowsha’ is confirming that He is eternal—infinite in the dimension of time. He alone possesses an ability I expect we will one day enjoy—the capacity to transform His spiritual energy temporarily into a physical nature when He so desires and still be empowered and maneuver in space-time. As such, He can be anywhere at any time—always in touch with His children, collectively and individually. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, here and there, are all here and now for the Ma’aseyah. And let us not forget the promise: His body was destitute of life while His soul suffered separation unto She’owl, but He is now Spirit in Heaven summoning us to accept His gifts of relationship and life.
While an assembly suffered in Smyrna at the time of Yahowsha’s dictation to Yahowchanan, much of what is being said here is prophetic. “I know of (oida – am aware of) your oppression, affliction, and tribulation (thlipsis – pressure, distress, anguish, and persecution), and poverty (ptocheia – destitution and indigence), but you are abounding in fullness (plousios – wealthy and fulfilled). I know the malicious slander (blasphemia – abusive speech, injurious reproach, vilification, personal mockery, and reviling defamation) of those who say they are Yahuwdym (Ioudaios – pronounced “ee-oo-dah,” a transliteration Yahuwdah (“yah-uw-dah)) and are not, but they are a gathering brought together by (sunagoge – a synagogue of, an assembly or congregation that is led, taken in, and entertained by) Satan, the Adversary (Satanas – the Accuser, the one who opposes).” (Revelation 2:9)
Trials come in many forms, from burdens, pressures, or troubles on the irritant side of the scale to afflictions, persecutions, and tribulations on the oppressive end. All of us endure some of these; some of us endure all of them. Yahowah is not only aware of our trials, He is in close proximity, ever willing to comfort us and protect us. In this case, the good news is that the Anointed who were legislated into poverty were actually richer than the Satanic tyrants who were robbing them. They were filled with the Spirit and heir to God’s inheritance, including the splendor of eternal life. The Jews who were defaming them had abandoned their inheritance. They had exchanged the Word of Yahowah for the Oral Traditions of men who called themselves Masters. Having rejected their Ma’aseyah, they came to maliciously slander, vilify, and mock those who accepted Him. They still do so, right to this very day. Their history over these past 2,000 years boldly proclaims the consequence. But there is a new day on the horizon. Soon, Yahuwdym by the tens of thousands will reject the rabbis and rely upon Yahowsha’.
According to Yahowsha’, Jews were no longer Yahuwdym—those who belong to Yah. What He had to say about them wasn’t complementary. Those who lashed out maliciously in word and deed against Yahowah’s chosen in the name of their man-made religion were called “Satan’s Congregation.” It is one of many reasons I have come to see Rabbinical Judaism as Satanic—Yahowsha’ Himself said so. But they are not alone, Catholics and Muslims also claim to have inherited the promises made to the Yahuwdym in the Tanakh, making all three religions the Devil’s deceitful playground. They all embody the spirit of the Whore of Babylon—the one who covets that which doesn’t belong to him. This is why Yahowsha’ makes the point of calling the “oppressed poor” “rich,” in that they had inherited that which their oppressors had abandoned.
Smyrna represents the Anointed Assembly under stress. Persecution helped them stay reliant. And that’s why Yahowsha’ offered such universal praise. Yahowah doesn’t want us to fear men or revere them, and most especially not venerate them. Salvation comes by way of relying upon Him alone, bereft of religious or national loyalties, economic or military prowess.
“Fear (phobeo – be alarmed by, be in awe of, be terrified by, revere, or venerate) no one (medias) whom (hos) you are about (mello) to be affected (pascho – experience suffering). Behold (idou – look now for indeed), the False Accuser, the Devil (diabolos – the slanderer; from diaballo, meaning to traduce, calumniate, slander, accuse, malign, and defame) is about (mello) to throw you (ballo – to cast you away and let you go without caring) out (ek) into (eis) a prison (phulake – a guarded place where political and religious captives are watched), so that you may be (hina) tried and tested (peirazo – scrutinized to ascertain your genuineness, enticed to determine your behavioral response, examined and tempted by way of submission). You will have (echo – experience and endure) ten days (hemera – periods) of oppression (thlipsis – persecution, affliction, distress, and tribulation). Be (ginomai – come into existence by) trusting (pistos – being trustworthy and dependable, be reliant and reliable) until the time of (achri) the separation of the soul from the body by which your temporal earthly life is ended (thanatos – mortality, the death of the body), and I will give (didomi – bestow as a gift, bring forth, commit to deliver, and grant) you a crown (stephanos – a reward, prize, honor, and blessing) of life (zoe – absolute fullness of living). He who has the physical and mental ability to hear, let him understand what the ΠΝΑ (placeholder for Ruwach/Spirit from pneuma) relates (lego – says, affirms, teaches, and maintains) to the ekklesia/called-out assembly. He who holds fast and endures (nikao – overcomes and prevails) shall absolutely not be harmed (ou adikeo – treated unjustly, hurt, wronged, injured, suffer, or be seen as having violated the standard), being kept out of and away from (ek) the second (deuteron) separation of souls (thanatos – mortality and death).’” (Revelation 2:10-11)
There are a host of lessons for living in these words. We begin by having our Savior admonish us not to venerate men. That’s difficult today, in this superstar society where leaders of every ilk are portrayed bigger than life. Depending upon who we are and what we are led to believe, we humans have a tendency to revere our pastors, professors, or politicians, our favorite athletes, actors, or musicians. God doesn’t want us to trust men any more than He wants us to fear them. There are few lessons more important than this one.
And that’s because men afflict and oppress, causing multitudes to suffer. It is one of the things we do best. It comes quite naturally to us.
The second insight involves descriptive titles. Satanas and Diabolos are not names. As descriptive titles, they would have been more meaningfully translated “Adversary” and “False Accuser” than transliterated Satan and Devil. It is like Ma’aseyah and Christ. By transliterating the Godly title from the Greek translation of Ma’aseyah, rather than translating it “Anointed Implement of Yah” we have lost the meaning. In so doing we fail to grasp the importance of being anointed ourselves before engaging the adversary. Moreover, we misunderstand Satan’s primary means to accomplish his end: “false accusations and slander by way of calumniating and maligning.” If we saw this in the Devil, rather than horns and a pointy tail, we might recognize his work in the fields of religion and politics, the media and academia.
The “arrogant one’s” titles characterize him and his mission. The False Accuser speaks maliciously, using lies, slander, and defaming false accusations—words which define the Islamic scriptures—the Deceiver’s ultimate playground. The root of Satanas is “satan,” the “one who opposes.” It explains why the spirit of deception acts the way he does. It explains why religions behave the way they do. Satan is Yahowah’s lame and comparatively impotent adversary. And that makes him the enemy of good. So wherever you see a preponderance of deceitful and deceptive words, like those which form the basis of Catholicism (or any political party), you will know where he has been.
And that brings us to an interesting conundrum. In His messages to Ephesus and Smyrna, Yahowsha’ praised these Anointed Assemblies for their disrespect of and hostility to those who deceive. Yet when someone like myself follows this Godly instruction as a spokesperson on radio talk shows debating Muslims, showing distain for them and their revolting religion, “Christians” attack those who hold them accountable, saying that “Christ” told us to “love our enemies.” So which of Yahowsha’s sayings is accurate? The answer is both. You see, Muslims aren’t my enemy. I don’t know them personally, nor does Yahowsha’. My animosity is directed at their demonic doctrine and against those who advocate it. For example, I don’t have to know a proponent of neo-Nazism to disrespect its proponents and demean their dogma. Muslims, like Nazis, have aligned with Satanas Diabolos; they have made it their business to lead billions astray, oppressing them, while opposing Yahowah. And Yahowsha’ did not tell us to love His enemies. In fact, He told us to hate them.
The third lesson contained in the Smyrna synopsis provides further insight into the nature of our adversary and the men and women he beguiles into his service. In the previous verse we were told that those who the Adversary influences (many if not most political and religious leaders) are “malicious slanders” who use “abusive speech to injure and unjustly vilify.” Engaging their favorite ploy, “personal mockery and reviling defamation,” they crucify truthful messengers rather than confront their message. They are “collectivists (socialists, communists, and congregationalists)” who “gather together” as the “assembly of Satan, the Adversary, the one who accuses and opposes.”
Then speaking of the schemes deployed by these oppressive men and their regimes (Communism, Catholicism, and Islam), Yahowsha’ says: “Look now for indeed, the slanderous Devil falsely accuses.” Those who aid and abet the False Accuser “traduce, calumniate, slander, malign, and defame.” To “traduce” is to degrade by either exposing to shame or transferring blame by means of misrepresentation.” It defines politics. Synonyms include “betray and malign.” To “calumniate” is to utter maliciously false statements, charges, or imputations designed to injure someone’s reputation.” It defines religion. To “malign” is to “virulently influence for an evil and injurious purpose.” Liars lie, that’s what liars do. Our world is drowning in them. So dark is the deceit, so deep is the cesspool, light’s faint flicker of hope is practically invisible. It is why this truth sounds so odd to our ears.
There is a seldom considered aspect of Satan’s schemes that Yahowsha’ has highlighted for us: “Don’t trust liars.” I’m always perplexed as to why men like Muhammad, Adam Weishaupt, Karl Marx, J.P. Morgan, John Rockefeller, and F.D.R. were willing to knowingly and deliberately ally themselves with Satan in their quest for power, sex, and money. The Devil will discard even his most loyal stooges, “throwing them away without caring.” It is why Paul and Muhammad were so miserable on their deathbeds.
The fourth lesson confirms the value of the crucible. In terms of the important measures of vitality, purity, truthfulness, and growth, the Anointed Assembly reached its zenith during the time the followers of the Way were most consistently and universally oppressed. There are two reasons for this. First, when circumstances become trying we tend to distance ourselves from the ploys of men, relying less on ourselves and more on God. We were made for this. Second, the moment a saved soul comes to know Yahowah and trust Him, we become alluring martyrs, a word whose Greek root means “witnesses.” For example, I accepted the mission of exposing Islam, a thankless enterprise that is often fatal. But I do not care what people think of me nor do I care if I live or die. And I accept no remuneration to offset the costs—all of which serves to help me become a more alluring witness.
The fifth point is: forewarned is forearmed. That is the essence of much of Yahowah’s prophecy. We are told what is coming so that we might be prepared. We best keep this in mind because what’s coming over our horizon will make the ten epochs of tribulation the Smyrna Church endured look tepid by comparison.
The last Smyrna message is an enduring one with echoes to Ephesus. With the previous assembly, Yahowsha’ promised to provide the substance of life from the stake upon which He was hung, equating His cross to Eden’s Tree of Life. This time, rather than using the common Greek word for death, nekro, Yahowsha’ selected thanatos, which is more about separation of the soul from the body rather than dying. He told us that His “gift,” was the “blessing of life.” Those who accept it pass “harmlessly” from this phase of living to the next. We do not have to be concerned about the “second separation.” He is saying that once saved, never judged. But more than that, since the first thanatos depicts the separation of the soul from the temporal human body, the second separation must be the severance of lost souls from the Covenant. Some of them will join the Satanas Diabolos in perpetual anguish, while others will have their souls extinguished.
So in summary, Yahowsha’ told the Smyrna ekklesia / out calling that they would be slandered, poor, imprisoned, and tested. That was certainly true. He even said that there would be ten distinct and unavoidable times of persecution, and as usual, He was right. But there was good news, if we rely on Yahowah’s Towrah, its Covenant and its Invitations to Meet with God, if we trust Yahowah and rely on His guidance, He has promised to reward us with a crown of life. Death has lost its sting.