the corrupting of the fledgling church
The Messiah left the church (the ecclesiastical community) he had planted in the hands of men. The men were assisted by the Holy Spirit, but were also subject to Satan's scheming influence and machinations designed to ruin what the Messiah had planted. The men then proceeded to take this Jewish movement, and over time, modeled it more after the Roman pagan church than Judaism.
Is it right that the Christian Way, as taught by Yeshua, be fashioned into a religion, modeled after the false "religions" of the world? If Yeshua's teachings don't stand out - apart - and clearly superior, then they have somehow been hijacked, diluted, and prostituted by those that believe the Way should conform with the packaging paradigm of "false religion." There is no doubt about it, pagan traditions remain very popular, even today - found throughout Christendom.
Yeshua was advising his followers not to rebuke or rebel against the Jewish leaders. He did so himself, on many occasions, but then, He was the Messiah. His followers were instructed to accept the place God had allowed such men to take, but to bear in mind, God knows all, and doesn't forget. He will judge righteously in His own time.
In his day, there was no Christian clergy for the Messiah to criticize, but the principles remain the same. Our criticism of Christian clergy of all denominations, by whatever titles they take to themselves, or whatever ranks to which they may elevate themselves, must be tempered and restrained. Our purpose is not to shame, or ridicule, but to present a different frame of reference from that provided by the Mother Nicene church and her daughters. A frame of reference that presents the Christian community as a spiritually inclined movement, faithful in God's Torah teachings, founded in Judaism and the words of the Messiah. Using the scriptures as their guide, rather than the self-appointed guides of the religious institutions. The fact is, this frame of reference, while liberating, does not lead one down an easy path, and few are the ones that find it.
The first divisions within the early Christian community were recorded in the Book of Acts, almost immediately following the death and resurrection of Yeshua. All the first Christians were observant Jews, but when gentiles began to convert, quarrels broke out among the brothers concerning the issues of circumcision and Torah observance. The first record of gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit (in the manner of Pentecost) after being baptized in the name of Yeshua was when Peter met Cornelius in Caesarea (Acts 10). Then came the missionary work of Paul and Barnabas, bringing even more gentiles into the church, and the controversies erupted, requiring a council meeting to settle the matter. This constituted the first "wedge," but not the last (see - Councils and Synods).
Have we not all heard a thousand times, that the Holy Spirit would guide and protect the collection of writings we know as the Christian Greek scriptures, and they can therefore, be trusted as the true and accurate Word of God. The clergy teaches vociferously that the hand of the Holy Spirit guided the men who decided what writings to include in the Christian canon of the “new testament.” These men decided which writings would be declared "inspired scripture," and which were relegated to obscurity in the compilation known as the apocrypha. There is never even a mention of Satan’s potential machinations, or the relentless determination that Satan would surely bring to bear in orchestrating the uprooting of what the Messiah had planted. Never forget what Paul himself warned, that Satan can masquerade as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
It is no longer considered feasible, looking at the Christian canon we know so well, that there may have been interference from the evil one, or that the lies of Satan may have played a large role in the early formation of the early church or the so-called "new testament." We believe, due to inconsistencies, that this is a question worthy of examination, but really, is a Christian allowed to ask such questions? To entertain such doubts? Where does the clergy get such certainty, defending the new testament canon with such dogmatic conviction? We should, we must, look to the oldest formational elements of the church, to see if there are foundational faults built into the religion, that could explain the current failing state of ecumenical Christianity.
Most Christians would find it outrageously "out of order," to suggest that the first missteps were committed by a man known as Saul of Tarsus. The man who would later be known as the so-called apostle Paul. He would go on to write most of the Christian Greek scriptures. The Christian religion, as we know it, is based mostly on the writings of Paul, not the teachings of Yeshua. A man who had never even met Yeshua, or heard Him teach, or followed His ministry, or been witness to His resurrection, is the one who wrote the book on what Yeshua taught, how to understand him, and how to follow Him. Paul, not Yeshua, is the father of the Christian religion. Paul is credited as the author of thirteen letters, or epistles. In chronological order these are: Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, 1 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Timothy. These collectively constitute roughly half of the Christian canon.
It was Paul’s writings and declarations that sought to establish a “Christian New Testament” replacing the “Old Jewish Testament,” whereby a virtual divorce was decreed, separating the Christian house from it's foundation. This was originally based solely on the words of Paul, while largely opposed by the Messiah’s apostles, who were still observant Jews. Paul wanted the followers of Yeshua to throw off the yoke that he referred to as the "curse" of enslavement and damnation - the Torah. Never mind that the Torah, or Word of God, is the instruction manual for maintaining a relationship with Yahweh, and was at the core of Yeshua’s teaching and ministry. This fact alone, raises questions about the teachings of Paul, the Balaam of the Christian church.
If the teachings of Paul deviate from those of Yeshua, and they do, then there is a problem worth investigating. It's safe to say that Paul sincerely believed what he was preaching, yet the account of his conversion reads more like those of Mohamed, the father of Islam, or Joseph Smith, the father of Mormonism. His claim of apostleship came from nowhere, and it's fair to say that Peter, John and James greeted him with an element of suspicion during the Jerusalem Council (50 AD). They didn't come right out and denounce Paul, but rather treated him with a soft touch, obviously hoping not to drive a potential convert away. James wrote his epistle in part to correct the teachings of Paul (faith without works is dead). Peter referred to Paul as a brother, not as an apostle. Paul got his feelings hurt. The hurt and anger show clearly in his letter to the Galatians, written immediately after the Jerusalem council. In Galatians Paul apparently describes himself as above criticism because he carried what is interpreted to mean the 'stigmata', saying: "From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." (Galatian 6:17) If true, this would be the first recorded instance of the stigmata.
The Galatians letter is where he makes his response to those he sees as adversaries, being highly critical, even contemptuous, of Peter, while also disparaging James and John. He mocks the brothers that disagree with him in matters of theology, or any that may doubt his claim to apostleship.
He also elaborates in Galatians on his disagreement with Barnabas in Antioch which was an event given soft gloss in the account in Acts. Prior to their second missionary tour together, Barnabas broke fellowship with Paul and would not work with him anymore. More importantly though, Paul presents his new theology that “faith” is superior to the teachings and guidance of the Torah, which he disparages as 'works'. The letter focuses primarily on the relevance of the Torah, and circumcision, but throughout, he reveals a great deal about himself. Galatians is where he lays the groundwork for his Pauline doctrines, on which he will elaborate in later writings.
In Galatians, Paul presents the architectural layout of the Pauline doctrine of faith, of salvation through grace, which would henceforth guide the Christian church down to this day. In so doing, Paul rips up the Torah, calling it a curse, a burdensome yoke of enslavement designed to prevent men from ever realizing salvation or reconciliation with God. This is a complete mischaracterization of what the Torah represents. Yet, in an absurd trick of “upsidedownsmanship,” Paul quotes (actually mis-quotes) passages from the Torah itself, to support his new religious doctrine. He is in essence, the house condemning it's own foundation.
What does the Torah actually represent? Usually translated into English as "the Law," the word Torah, in reality, means "instruction" or "guidance." Yeshua gave a warning;
Does that sound like the Messiah was doing away with the curse of the law? Hardly. It is true that much of the Mosaic Law was fulfilled and completed through the ministry and the sacrifice of Yeshua. Much more of Torah observance was made impossible when the Temple was torn down and the priesthood scattered. Yet, there is no longer any need for the animal sacrifices, or sin offerings, and no need for the priesthood, as the Lord fulfilled all these once and forever. There is no longer any need for the Temple itself, as Yeshua embodied everything that the Temple was, and stood for. Yet, if we don't know the Torah, how would we know of these fulfillments? Paul, through his teaching, self-proclaims himself “lawless,” and teaches others, to lead them into lawlessness.
Yet so much more of the Torah is merely guidance and instruction for good and proper living, allowing a person, any person, to realize a relationship with the God of all creation. To live a good life, acceptable to Yahweh. In spite of what Paul says, God’s Law does not change. It does not morph into something else. There is, though, one element of the Law that the churches have been keen to preserve over these thousands of years. Tithing. The shearing of the sheep it would seem, wasn't nailed to the cross along with the rest of the Torah.
To the brothers in Jerusalem the Torah was sacrosanct, for Jews, for Christians, and for all peoples who wish to develop a relationship with God. The Torah is the gateway, the door, to that relationship, which is why Satan is so opposed to it. When John referred to Yeshua as the "Word," he was suggesting that Yeshua, the Messiah, wholly embodied the Torah, the word of God.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were those that lived by the Oral Law, the Oral Traditions of Rabbinical Judaism, which in the time of Yeshua had surpassed, and even transcended the written Torah of Yahweh. It was this “Rabbinical” form of Judaism that Yeshua criticized so vehemently. In his denunciation of these religious leaders, he called them “vipers,” “hypocrites,” and “serpents.” Because they had taken the Torah of God, turned it and twisted it, until it conformed with their idea of “religion.” A reader must be careful to understand the distinction Yeshua made between the Torah - “the law that is written,” and the “Oral Law” of the rabbinical form of Judaism.
To "practice lawlessness" means to be without the Torah. The "will of My Father" means the Torah. This is also what the Lord meant when He said in the Lord’s Prayer; “May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. “His will” is inscribed in the words of the Torah and doesn't change. For a man to stand up and cause division within the community of the Lord is as the false prophet who comes in sheep's clothing. Yeshua never met Paul, but his words have been warning us all along.
Yet, Paul was not content in preaching his new doctrine of lawlessness, no matter how well or badly it was received, Paul was so sure of his doctrine of separation from Judaism, that he set about devising a new religion. After all, with the Torah annulled, there was a vacuum that needed to be filled. There are a few words in the letters of Paul that are found nowhere else in all scripture. Those words are "bishop," "deacon," "evangelist," and "communion." Clergymen of today fawn over Paul as the greatest of all the apostles. Well, Paul thought so too. Paul's writings validate everything the clergy is, and establish the need for organizing the new church, and establishing rites and ceremonies to occupy the sheep. Paul's writings, would show the way, which others would elaborate and expand upon, in the development of the sect of the Nicolaitans.
We will choose but one example to illustrate the deviation between the teachings of the Messiah and the teachings of Paul:
Yet, Paul chose a different path. Throughout his epistles, he routinely refers to himself as the "least," the "most humble," yet by his words and actions he makes himself out as just the opposite. He made himself the new instructor, deviating enormously from the Torah and the Messiah’s instruction. In his first letter to Timothy and the letter to Titus, Paul sets out his ideas on how to organize his new church, his new religion. These two epistles, along with the second letter to Timothy, are known by scholars as the “pastoral letters,” and form much of the basic framework of his new religion.
His ecclesiastic architecture, however isn’t confined to the three pastorals. He pretends to take something like the seat of Moses in laying out the rules and regulations that would govern his new religion. In so doing, he makes himself a “false prophet,” pretending to speak for God. Yet, his new religion is keen to covetously make liberal use of Yeshua's name and reputation. There was power in this name, and Paul knew it. To build a good, believable lie, one would necessarily weave elements of truth throughout. It is no wonder that the glorified Messiah would plainly state how much He hated the Nicolaitans.
Paul proceeds to delineate a hierarchy of clergy to oversee and govern the "church," which is to say, the people, the so-called "lay" class. This is a direct appropriation from the Greco-Roman system of paganism which was never advocated by Yeshua. This is the reason Christian clergymen tend to gush over Paul. They love this man, speak glowingly of his brilliance and genius, and of his concise writing and his single-minded determination to define and organize the Christian religion. Along the way he trained acolytes and disciples who would go on to further expand the basic ideas of doctrine articulated by the man who called himself an apostle. Some were Jewish Christians, but mostly they were Greek converts who gradually, through sheer numbers, began to supplant the Jewish converts, taking control of the new religion. To conquer the People.
So many scholars are devoted apologists for Paul, and biased in their assessments, explaining away much of this, taking advantage of the scant historical information available. They point to the heresies of the Gnostics (Greek philosophy) and Ebionites (Jewish Christians) as the error Paul was valiantly combating. That these errors brought about the necessity of organization for the congregations as a means of ecclesiastical protection. Judge for yourself.
Paul's new religion, while claiming to be based on the teachings of the Messiah, was in fact being modeled after the highly developed pagan religions of Rome and Greece. Ignatius of Antioch took Paul’s teachings and elaborated, expanded, and refined these, from the standpoint of someone that knew little or nothing of Jewish tradition. But he didn’t need to know the Torah, as Paul had already declared it irrelevant. With the exception of John, neither Paul, nor any of the other apostles lived long enough to witness the destruction of Jerusalem, but Ignatius did. In all likelihood, the tragic event simply reinforced what he had learned from Paul, that the Jewish religion had been cursed by God, and pushed aside in favor of the new Christian religion. The idea of replacement theology, or supersessionism, was born.
Antioch had always served as Paul’s home base. Ignatius of Antioch was obviously a pupil, and or disciple, of Paul, and would later become the Bishop of the Antioch church. Ignatius lived from the years 35 to 107 AD, making him one of the very early leaders of the post apostolic Christian church. One who may well have personally known, or at least met, some of the apostles. Ignatius was eventually arrested and transferred to Rome to stand trial. Tradition has it that he was thrown to the lions in the colosseum. His long journey to Rome was mostly by sea, but partly overland, and it was during this time that he wrote his epistles, which were never incorporated into the Christian canon. Nonetheless, his writings were significantly influential back in the day, laying much of the groundwork of doctrine and theology for the nascent Christian religion.
As the word “Christian” was first coined in Antioch while Paul and Barnabas were there, Ignatius of Antioch was the first to coin the phrase “Catholic church,” which means “universal" or "complete" church, from the Greek Katholikos. However, as one studies the doctrines he advocated, what he may have meant by “universal” wasn’t so much “complete” or “total” Christianity. Given that the new church was an aggregation of pagan tradition, Jewish tradition, and Christian teaching, he probably meant that it would be universal in its appeal. Universal in the sense that it had a little something for everybody. As the Catholic church developed historically, one would have to assume he meant the latter.
As Christians, we are all too familiar with the writings of Paul, but not so much with those of Ignatius. Tradition holds that Ignatius may have met the apostles John and Peter when they visited the congregation in Antioch. However, by his writings it is conspicuous that he came from the Pauline school of theology, and that Judaizers like John and Peter could not have had any influence on him. For instance, he was one of the first known Christian writers to openly advocate that the seventh day Sabbath, be replaced with something new, the first day, called the “Lord’s Day.” This of course completely disregards the Fourth Commandment. He wrote;
The thrust of his letter to the congregation in Magnesia (near Ephesus) was a vitriolic rebuke of a Christian sect known as the Ebionites. He was defending the Pauline doctrine against any that might pose a challenge, calling them heretical Judaizers. The Ebionites were a Jewish Christian movement which held that Yeshua was in fact the Messiah, but denied the concept of his divinity, a concept that would eventually lead to the trinitarian doctrine. As Jews, they knew well enough that God is “One” God, perfect in simplicity, and indivisible. They insisted on observance of the Jewish Law, and rejected outright the so-called apostle Paul as an apostate from the law. They are said to have accepted only the gospel account of Matthew. The group is believed to have arisen around the time of the destruction of the Temple.
Paul laid out the hierarchy of the new religion, with women and children, of course, at the bottom (I Timothy 2: 5-12), but Ignatius took this a little further because ecclesiastical development was a process, moving step by step. Concerning Bishops, presbyters, and deacons he wrote;
The words of Ignatius clearly illustrate the deviations taken by the early church away from the Messiah's teachings, and would gradually develop into Roman Catholicism. It would take the contributions of many more men educated in Greek philosophy and trained in Greco-Roman paganism, moving the church away from it's Jewish roots, step by step.
So, what are we as Christians to make of the fact that the so-called Judaizers lost out, a long time ago, and the paganizers won that epic battle of wills in the early church. Are we to conclude by this, that it was God’s Will, and therefore accept the results? Look around at the sorry state of Christendom today, and yield to false teaching? Yeshua gave us a parable that may help answer this question;
It is God’s Will that this field we know as Christendom grow to maturity. We are all individually granted the free will to learn, if we desire learning, and to make educated choices concerning our relationship with Almighty God, the King of the Universe.
“New treasures as well as old.” This is a line well worth repeating. He is describing a hypothetical rabbi (or other teacher of the law) that would have converted to the Messianic teaching of Yeshua. A Messianic Jew. In this parable, Yeshua was looking ahead to the controversy between the Judaizers and the paganizers, and spoke to the bone of contention. Paul would reject the “old” treasures of the Torah, and thereby miss the “new” treasures of Yeshua’s teachings and prophetic fulfillments. He would instead, choose to devise a twisted and misshapen construct of a Christian religion based on well established pagan traditions, that others of the Pauline school would later develop more thoroughly. He would pave the way for others to twist words and lead a gazillion people into a ditch, as tools of the evil one. Lawlessness may present an undemanding, well traveled path, filled with fellow travelers, but lawlessness will not prevail.
“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Matthew 23: 1-12
There is a group mentioned only twice in scripture. Both references are from the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse, where the Lord Yeshua is addressing the angels of the seven churches. The Nicolaitans are highlighted as He addresses the two congregations of Ephesus and Pergamum. The Lord indicates His hatred for the works of the Nicolaitans. We want to know who they are, what they believe, and what are their works. In what way are they associated with the Lord's church. The Greek term Nikolaites, according to Strong's Concordance, is a compound word consisting of three words. Niko or Nikos is defined as "the conquest, victory, or triumph of those who have prevailed over others." "Lai" means people, as in the laity. "Tan" merely represents the word "the." So simply put, the word Nicolaitans refers to "the conquerors of the people." But in what sense should we interpret the Lord's meaning?
In the Lord's words to the congregation in Ephesus, He commends them on two related points. First that they, "cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false..." Secondly that they, "hate the works of the Nicola'itans, which I also hate." (see - Revelation 2:2-6)
(1) It was the teachings of the self-proclaimed apostle Paul whom the Ephesians had tested and rejected.
(2) the works of the Nicolaitans, which they hated consisted of the imposition of ecclesiastical governance in the form of bishops and assorted presbyters which had gained a victory of domination over the laity. This work was initiated by Paul. The laity would gradually be subjugated and forced to submit to the dictates of the more highly refined clergy class. These are the works of the Nicolaitans which the Lord hates, and with good reason. It was the religious clergy of Judaism that had led the people so far astray that they ultimately rejected the Messiah of God. The Jewish clergy were the ones that had denied him and put him to death. He well knew the power such men could take to themselves and the corruption and abuses such power inevitably leads to. The developing clergy of the Christian church would be equally misguided. He said it was good that the Ephesian congregation had recognized this movement and rejected it.
To the congregation of Pergamum the Lord, in His power and glory said, "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." - Revelation 2
(1) The Lord not only hates them, He intends to fight against them with the sharp, double edged sword of His mouth. It also points to the fact that they remain in place, all the way up to the time of His return.
(2) Some holding to the teaching of Balaam is a reference to the ancient account of Balak, the king of Moab, who sought a curse to be placed on the Israelites that God had led out of Egypt. Balaam was a man practiced in the arts of divination, and was hired as a contractor to curse the Israelites. He couldn't, he was apparently prevented from cursing God's people by the Holy Spirit. However, he advised Balak to entice the Israelites into unfaithfulness and immorality which brought a plague upon the Hebrew camp. In what sense do you think a Christian group in the apostolic period would be subjected to the teachings of such a man?
The teaching and practice of the Nicolaitans is meant to establish ecclesiastical governance over the people. Then the people can be driven this way and that as the hired shepherd pleases. This concept of governance was one of the issues taken up at the Council of Trent, 1545 -1563 (see councils). There it was decided that, "If anyone shall say that there is not in the Catholic Church a hierarchy established by divine ordination, consisting of bishops, presbyters and ministers, let him be anathema."
Yeshua demands repentance from those who practice the works of the Nicolaitans. "Remember therefore from where you have fallen . . . or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place." - Revelation 2:5
WHO ARE THE NICOLAITANS AND WHY DOES THE LORD YESHUA HATE THEIR WORKS
THE DEVIL'S TACTIC, DIVIDE AND CONQUER - INCREMENTALLY AND PATIENTLY
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law (Torah) or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle (grammatical markings) will by no means pass from the law (Torah) till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' - Matthew 7:13-23
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant.” – Matthew 23
“Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables, which are profitless. For if even unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we avow that we have not received grace ... If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbaths but fashioning their lives after the Lord's day, on which our life also arose through Him and through His death which some men deny ... It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity” - Ignatius to the Magnesians 8:1, 10:3, Lightfoot translation.
“Take care to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God, and with the presbyters in the place of the council of the apostles, and with the deacons, who are most dear to me, entrusted with the business of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father from the beginning and is at last made manifest.” — Letter to the Magnesians 2, 6:1
“Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid.” — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8, J.R. Willis translation.
“Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time, I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” – Matthew 13: 24-30
“Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law (Torah) who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” – Matthew 13: 51, 52
a commentary on the apostle Paul and the early formative years of the church
As pointed out by Yeshua, solid foundations matter
KNOW THIS: IN SPITE OF WHAT THE CHURCHMEN TEACH, THE EARLY CHURCH WAS THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND. HE HAS SEEN TO IT THAT WHAT WE'VE INHERITED IS...WELL...
Why is Yeshua's church so divided into such numbers of factions and schismatic branches? Christians deserve to know, need to know, the truth about the religious beliefs and practices they are being taught by the pulpiteers. The ecumenical examiner is not only too small to attack the misguided world of Christendom, but as Christians we are scripturally restrained by the words of Yeshua. We can only provide some support and guidance to the inquisitive, but you must first want to know. Brothers and sisters in the faith,
the desire must be in you to seek out the path to salvation, while recognizing and turning away from liars and thieves. Your priests, pastors and other clergymen will not point the way for you. Yet, we cannot attack the church God has allowed to stand for so long a time. It is reserved exclusively for our Father Yahweh to rebuke, to judge, to take vengeance according to His Righteous Will and Purpose.
"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? Every one who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great." - Luke 6: 46-49
SAUL OF TARSUS (later he would give up his Jewish name in favor of a Greek name - Paul)
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH