Thus Say The Prophets
Study Home PageThe Seven Time Prophetic Periods
In Revelation's second and third chapters, we learn that the Universal Nicolaitan Church (2:6, 9, 15) replaced the Way sect during the second and third centuries. We also learn that this Roman construct passed through seven distinct periods, signified by the seven assemblies. These seven congregations existed in the areas referenced. Still, the prophetic meaning is deeper, signifying the future of the Way sect and its eventual absorption into the Globalist cabal of the End Times.
Many believe we live in the seventh and final phase. We will discuss this in the next chapter. As we continue our verse-by-verse study, we will examine each of the Seven periods and their approximate dates. These dates are given only as markers. The distinguishing traits of each period bleed over into the others in the continuous flow of time. The offered dates are approximations, not exact dates. In this presentation, the author describes the future of the Way sect from the first century, through the Church era, until the coming of Mashiach ben David. While Yeshua's Derech died out at the latest with Bishop Arius (lived 256-336), Yochanan includes the power structure that emerged from it.
Much of this information may be difficult to hear; however, as the Laodecian spiritual malaise in both Judaism and Christianity and the Beast the prophecy foretells now seem to be rising, those comparatively few who maintain sincere emunah must understand these things and take them to heart.
The Ephesus Period: 70 CE - 170 CE:
As the original Jewish followers of Yeshua were expelled from Zion (as he predicted in Matthew 24) in 70 C.E., the Way sect spread throughout the Roman Empire. Wherever they went, the Way followers shared the Jewish reforms they were learning with the Jews and non-Jews they encountered. Many Gentiles entered the sect through the teachings of Paul, Peter, and other missionaries. During this period, they became progressively estranged from the rabbinic structures. As time passed, the sect confronted progressively stiff opposition from the Roman Pagans, who regarded the Way, like all Jewish sects, as a serious threat to their empire.
The persecutions and depredations they faced became horrendous, and many went underground. During this period, tensions between the Jewish Rabbinate and the sect intensified, leaving sect members cut off from the rest of Judaism (Acts 13:46). Rabbinic Judaism was forced, during these years, to redefine itself. The loss of the Temple in 70 C.E. required major Jewish reforms. The rabbis had precious little time for Yeshua's reforms, which they also regarded as threatening their authority. The details of the Way reforms aside, Roman citizens and other non-Israelites were now entering the Way synagogues causing the Rabbinic Jews to be understandably weary of them as potential Roman spies or Jewish insurrection.
As we go through these two chapters examining how the Jewish Way sect became the Church of Rome, we will do well to bear this in mind. The sect members were generally good people facing extreme circumstances, and, as Fox's Book of Martyrs makes clear, millions met these challenges with admirable faith and courage. Everyone should read the exploits recorded in Fox's Book of Martyrs to prepare for what is now dawning. These terrible persecutions should have convinced the Rabbinate of their sincerity, if not their reform doctrines. Coming from other cultures and belief systems, the rabbis determined that the doors needed to be closed and locked to protect our people. Even though the Way sect was originally Jewish in its origins, leadership, and essential doctrines, it quickly incorporated other beliefs. It seemed too big of a threat, especially considering the Roman threats.
Therefore, as time passed and the sect members became increasingly isolated from mainstream Judaism, some began embracing regional non-Torah doctrines, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of a genuine lack of scriptural knowledge. They did this for many reasons. For instance, some, having lost their homes and finding themselves dispersed throughout the world and universally hated, began to compromise their beliefs and accept doctrines never taught by Yeshua nor the Hebrew Scriptures he honored. Through such compromises and assimilation, they found limited acceptance from the Pagan public among whom they lived; they did not seem quite so alien. As more and more Pagans converted to the Way, their traditions and customs often came with them. After the Apostles' death and even before, the sect lacked clear Rabbinic leadership. Many who claimed to be emissaries or teachers of the Way had ulterior motives or lacked actual knowledge due to the lack of Rabbinic access and input. The Rabbinic Jewish establishment and the Jewish and non-Jewish sect members shared responsibility for the Way sect becoming a religion separate from Judaism. It did not need to happen. Yeshua could have remained a controversial departed rabbi with a following that did not include all Jews.
As the separation grew, some intellectuals, philosophers, and opportunists gave themselves to what the author calls 'the error of Balaam.' They intentionally sold out the movement for fame, a few pieces of silver, and clout with the Roman authorities. However, despite this, throughout this early post-Temple period, most of the sect members remained steadfast.Revelation 2:1 To the messenger of the congregation in Ephesus write: These things says he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, he that walks amid the seven golden candlesticks:
2 I know your works, and your toil and patience, and that you can not bear evil people, and tried them that call themselves apostles and are not and found them to be false.
3 You show much patience and bear much, for my name's sake, and have not grown weary.
4 But I have [this] against you, that you didst leave your first love.
5 Remember whence you are fallen, and repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you and move your candlestick out of its place unless you repent.
6 But this you have, you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the ruach of God says to the communities. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in Gan Eden.
During this first period, many devout adherents of the Way sect still struggled to maintain emunah (faith) in the teachings and practices of Yeshua's reformed Jewish sect. Others, however, claimed to be sect emissaries yet introduced foreign doctrines that led the sect astray. Chief among these heretics were the Nicolaitans, whom we encountered here for the first time. The Nicolaitan heresy is assimilation, the Roman practice of merging the religious beliefs of conquered people into their pantheon. Assimilation has always been the main threat to the Jewish people. We can withstand overt persecution, but assimilation attacks the soul and destroys us from within.
While none of the texts we have today positively identifies this sect, we have clear information about their beliefs that makes their identity sure. From verse 14 below, we know that this subset of the Way held to "the error of Balaam." We see this error of Balaam with the merging of Judaism and other religions, thus leading the people astray from the God of Israel as with the golden calf. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, we see this assimilationist trend as the Jews go astray and worship Baal, Ashtaroth, and other Pagan gods. Now this trend is beginning to be seen in the assemblies of Way.
The Error of BalaamJude 11 Woe unto them! They went in the way of Cain, ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah.
12 These are the hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.
13 Wild waves of the sea, foaming out their shame; wandering stars, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
14 And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones,
15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
That the Nicolaitan error was already being seen within the Way sect and opposed by the Apostles is here made clear. As the Way followers met for their Sabbath "Love Feasts," these heresies were quietly murmured. The Nicolaitans understood the potential the Movement had and were plotting ways to enhance its clout with Rome, the world power.II Peter 2:1 But there also arose false prophets among the people, as among you there will be false teachers, who will privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master [despotes: the One with absolute power: HaShem] that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
Just as there were false prophets among their Jewish ancestors, Peter warns, so too those who held to the error of Balaam, the Erev Rav, were present within the Way assemblies of his day. The author warns that their numbers were growing and would continue to do so. Likewise, as this first Period, identified with Ephesus, drew to a close, the error of Balaam, the Nicolaitan heresies, were advancing like dangerous reefs in the sea and threatening to sink the ship of the Way. Indeed, this is what happened, as we will see. Anti-Torah heresies were undermining the growing Jewish sect with doctrines of avodah zarah (worship and practices that are foreign to the Torah). The Shema declares that HaShem is the One True God. There is no God aside or beside Him! He is echad, indivisibly One. He will not share His glory with anything or anyone else (Isaiah 42:8).
The Shema:Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear this, Israel: Adonai is our God; Adonai is one [echad: indivisibly One].
The historic Yeshua ben Miriam taught that while his people, the Jews, hold a special relationship with HaShem, there are non-Jewish "sheep" in God's pastures as well:John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice: and they will become one flock, one shepherd.
Again, as our prophets declare. There is only one God. HaShem is the despotes or Master of all. Exactly who Yeshua was referencing here is debated. Was he referring to restoring the ten divorced Northern Houses of Israel? To the righteous among the Nations? The context does not reveal the answer. We know God will restore the Northern houses when Mashiach ben David comes. We also understand that the Gentiles will come to us and "take the hem of the Jews" (Zechariah 8:23) and join us in opposing the Great Reset to Paganism. We assume Yeshua knew these things, so even though he refused to speak with or teach non-Jews personally (Matthew 15:24), he probably referenced both groups here.Zechariah 14:8 And it shall come to pass in that day, that living waters will go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea: in summer and in winter it shall be.
9 And Adonai will be King over all the earth: in that day Adonai will be one, and his Name one (echad: indivisibly One).
Is this reference to "other sheep" talking about the divorced ten tribes of Northern Israel, known collectively as Ephraim (II Kings 17:18), or the Gentiles, who will eventually come to HaShem when His House becomes the House of Prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7)? Christians usually assume it is to the Gentiles who founded Christianity. Yeshua's point is clear here. His anointing was only for the restoration of the House of Israel, not for the rest of the nations:Matthew 15:24 But he [Yeshua] answered and said; I sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Restoring the ten houses is something Mashiach ben David must oversee, as stated in Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 3:6-18; Hosea 1-3; Amos 9:8-10; Obadia 15-21; Micah 2:12-13; 5:3-15; Zechariah 8:13; 9 & 10; and Ezekiel 34-37). Yeshua did not do this, but it is one of the main Messianic indicators. After Yeshua's execution by Rome, his emissaries, especially Paul, Peter, and Barnabus, brought the Way sect to the Gentiles. The sect gradually abandoned its Jewish foundations and became a Gentile religion. They taught non-Jews could attach themselves to the "Tree of Israel" (Romans 11) by embracing the Way doctrines alone. Yeshua is said to have authorized this course shortly after his death:Matthew 19. "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [or having them enter into a conversion mikveh] in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20. teaching them to observe everything I have commanded. Lo, I am with you always, even unto the world's end."
Here, Yeshua instructs his followers to bring those who embrace his reform Way teachings into the Jewish Covenant through the mikveh, as HaShem ordains, through his rabbinic authority, as affirmed by the ruach or inspiration of HaShem guides them. However, it soon became apparent that the Rabbinate would not accept Way Sect conversions, as the Orthodox today reject non-Orthodoc conversions. Therefore, in Acts chapter 15, Yeshua's brother Ya'akov (James) holds a beit din (religious court) to determine how to handle the non-Jews coming into the sect. Should these newcomers be accepted as Jewish converts, given that the Rabbinate did not accept them as Jewish? The Way beit din established a dual system based on existing Halachah (Rabbinic law). James ruled that Jewish sect members would remain under traditional Jewish law and that the incoming Gentiles would be under the terms of the Seven Law Covenant. Both groups would be equally subject to Yeshua's reforms (Romans 8:28-30). The Way founders later debated this point and decided that Jewish sect members should also embrace the teachings of Yeshua and abandon Torah law because they believed Yeshua's teachings clarified or "fulfilled" the Law and made rote observance unnecessary. Soon the Jewish members left Judaism altogether.
Without the Beit HaMikdash, what we think of Biblical Judaism is impossible to practice. Torah Judaism depended on the Temple, its sacrificial rites, and the blessings of the Cohenim and Levites. These are necessary to practice the religion prescribed in the Tanach (Old Testament). After its destruction in 70 C.E., the Rabbinate and the Derech Yeshua elders embarked on a similar path. The ancient ways of Avraham, Yitzchak, Ya'akov, and Moshe had to be modified to survive. Both groups, the followers of the Prushim (Pharisees): the rabbis, and the followers of Yeshua: the disciples, faced this vital task, each according to their perspectives. Arguably, both religions began with Torah Judaism and, during roughly the same period, each established their respective responses to the Temple's destruction in 70 C.E.
The Rabbinate proclaimed their authority and declared the Oral Torah binding on all Jews. They began placing less stress on the Written Torah of Moshe. Some Orthodox Jews today even say the Written Torah is 'for women and children,' while the Oral Law is for mature Jewish males. As an example of this Orthodox belief:As mentioned earlier, there are two "Torahs": the Written and the Oral. In Jewish tradition, both were given to Moses at Mt. Sinai and during the forty years in the desert, and taught to the whole nation. [In fact, when Judaism says "G-d gave the Torah to Moses at Sinai" it is talking only about the Oral — otherwise, Moses should have known about the Golden Calf, and as for Korach's Rebellion, Moses should have reacted "well, we've been expecting you… "] (Source: Torah.org).
I seriously doubt Moshe and pre-Talmudic sages would agree! Based on this notion, Moshe should have been quoting Onkelos and the other Talmudic sages!
It is accurate to say that Rabbinic and Way Judaism, while arising from the same Torah origin, developed into separate religions between 90 and circa 600 C.E. with the completion of the Written Talmud during the Thyatira period of Roman Church ascendancy. The elders of both religions established new forms of post-biblical authority to replace Torah Judaism. Both groups believe themselves the rightful heirs of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Who is correct is a matter of belief and paradigm.
The Rabbinate insists that the Written Torah is only understandable and correctly observable through the Rabbinic Oral Traditions of its sages. The Church hierarchy insists that the Written Torah is only understandable and rightly observed through their New Testament and Church dogmas. Both the rabbis and the Way elders realized that fundamental changes were inevitable. The Way sect became Christianity under the authority of Constantine and his Vatican hierarchy; Pharisaical Judaism became Rabbinic Judaism under the interpretations of the two Talmuds and the Rabbinic hierarchy. To the Way sect and the later Christians, Biblical religion was replaced by what Yeshua lamented as "the teachings of men," while the Rabbis view Christianity as a Pagan usurper.
The Nicolaitan faction followed the error of Balaam, according to Yochanan. They schemed to convert the sect members to their views and to separate the Way Jews from the Tree of Israel and their Jewish identity. The Nicolaitans led ever more people astray and into the religious synthesis that was the hallmark of Roman society: Global assimilation. Under the Roman authority, religions and gods were merged into the Roman pantheon whenever the Roman Empire conquered a new people. The Nicolaitans enacted this policy among Derech Yeshua. The Jews had determinedly resisted this policy since first encountering the Romans, thereby regularly angering their religious and political authorities. The Romans executed Yeshua as they despised all Jews for this reason. They refused to assimilate. The Roman Pagans railed: How dare these Jews to lift their god above the gods of Rome and its divine emperor!" The Nicolaitans were crafty and sought to merge the God of Israel, using the Way sect, with Rome, thereby establishing a Universal (Latin: catholic) religion under their sovereign authority. We note that many well-meaning people supported this, hoping to end the persecution even as many well-meaning albeit deceived people today are doing the same with the Great Reset abominations. Sincere people are sometimes sincerely wrong.
Doubtless, many of these "Church fathers" pursued this course with the best intentions, seeking to expand the Way and bring salvation to the world according to sincerely held beliefs. These words are not intended as accusatory—most of these men were probably sincere. However, we must ask, at what point do doctrinal compromises and assimilation become heresy? The author of Revelation believed some members of his sect had already reached and passed this point. He warned that the Way sect was gradually ceasing to resemble Judaism under the influence of Nicolaitan assimilation teachings. It was taking on ever more anti-Torah doctrines and practices. As one reads the writings of the various "Church Fathers," it is abundantly clear that they intended to reformulate the Way and make it more harmonious with Western, specifically Greek, philosophical, and religious paradigms. They hoped to wrestle the leadership of world religion into their own hands and thus fulfill the "Great Commission" (Matthew 28:16-20). Ultimately, the Nicolaitans replaced the Way of Yeshua and stood in opposition to the God he worshiped. And their heresies eventually plunged the world into the Dark Ages.
This Ephesian period precedes the creation of the Roman Papacy, but in the original Nicolaitans, we see the origins of what became the Universal Christian Religion. "The Church" is a global hybrid religious and political power structure independent of its Jewish origins and largely at odds with the Torah.
The Smyrna Period: 170 CE - 312 CE:As the initial Way sect struggled to maintain their devotion to the God of Israel, they experienced increasingly severe persecution from many different fronts. During this period, there was little time to debate doctrine. The followers of the Way were increasingly isolated from the Jewish communities and struggled to survive! Despite the persecutions, however, many stood firm for HaShem, often to the death!
Here is one example: Publius Licinius Valerianus (c. 200 - 260) was Roman Emperor from 253 to 260 and loathed Jews, including the Way! As the Catholic Encyclopedia tells us [sic]:In 258, by a new and absolutely merciless edict, bishops, priests, and deacons were executed immediately, men of senatorial and equestrian rank were punished with degradation and confiscation of goods to be followed by death if they refused to offer heathen sacrifice, women were threatened with confiscation of their property and exile, and Christians in the imperial household were sent in chains to perform forced labour on the imperial domains. In this persecution Christian Rome and Carehage lost their leaders: Pope Sixtus II was seized on 6 August, 258, in one of the Catacombs and was put to death; Cyprian of Carehage suffered mareyrdom on 14 September. Another celebrated mareyr was the Roman deacon St. Lawrence. In Spain Bishop Fructuosus of Tarragona and his two deacons were put to death on 21 January, 259. There were also executions in the eastern provinces (Eusebius, VII, xii). Taken altogether, however, the repressions were limited to scattered spots and had no great success. sic.
Many Way members sought refuge by embracing the Nicolaitan compromises because such intense persecutions were likely to occur anywhere in the empire. For many, assimilation seemed like the key to survival without completely surrendering what one had come to believe. As the Jews used to understand before our generation, however, assimilation is the key to disaster. As Tevye says in Fidler on the Roof, there always comes the point when one more compromise will cause anyone to break. Breaking people's emunah and devotion to HaShem was the Globalist intention then, as it is now. It always is, but there are always those who refuse to bend the knee, and there always will be! Let us be of their small numbers!
The following is Tom Green's musical, historically accurate retelling of one such group of Way followers:
The Forty Brave Soldiers for Christ
During this period of growing persecution, the Maranatha fish and IHS logo were developed by the Way followers as covert identifiers by which they could recognize one another and find or offer temporary asylum and help. As discussed elsewhere in more detail, the widespread use of the IHS logo as a charm led to Yeshua coming to be known as "Jesus." The IHS icon (as well as the "I.C." and "XC" icons) is one of the oldest Way sect symbols that entered into the Church, demonstratively dating back to at least the third century and possibly before.
These monograms represented Yeshua as a uniquely anointed, fully human rabbi. Most people knew little to nothing about the Messianic biblical requirements nor his failure to meet them. None considered him an incarnate god until the third century. When verbalized, these letters result in "Iesous Christos." Iesous became "Jesus" with the addition of the letter "J."). Iesous was not his name. His real name was Yeshua which, when translated into English, is Joshua, a common Hebrew name. The icons became very popular as good luck charms, and before long, the "nickname" Iesous Christos replaced his real name among the Believers. Instead of being a declaration that he was one's anointed rabbi, the ill-informed began using "Christ" as his sir name! This ignorance was just fine with Roman Pagan authorities who despised all things Jewish! A new Roman name for their new god! Iesous Christos was issued many of the attributes of Mythril Sol Invictus, the Roman Sun god worshipped by Emperor Constantine. Yeshua's transition into a Roman god is why Catholic churches worldwide continue to use the icon, typically surrounded by Sol Invictus' sun rays. To the Pagans, the Sun God had been reborn as God the Son! Through his authority, the Roman Empire could continue ruling the world.Revelation 2:8 And to the messenger of the congregation in Smyrna write: These things say the first [protos: the beginning of temporal succession] and the last [eschatos: the conclusion of temporal succession], who was dead, and lives [zao: to live
9 I know your tribulation and poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison to try you. You will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 He that has an ear let him hear what the ruach of God says to the churches. The second death will not hurt those that overcome it.
Here, we see the Nicolaitans identified. These people claimed to be Jews, but they were not. They had become something wholly different. Their power was growing and suffocating the Jewish Way sect! Yeshua and his disciples were Jewish, but these new Nicolaitan teachings were not. As more and more Gentiles embraced the Way sect, they considered themselves converts to the reformed Judaism of their rabbi, as is evident in the Book of Acts cited above. Regardless of Rabbinic opinion, they understood themselves to be "grafted onto the Tree of Israel" (see Romans 11). However, they were getting farther and farther removed from it through assimilation. They claimed to be Jews, but they were not. They had become something else.
One of the difficulties faced by the Way elders was that the Jewish hierarchy refused to accept the sect of Yeshua and his followers. Therefore they rejected the conversions of the Gentiles in the same way most Orthodox Judaism today reject Jewish conversions done through non-Orthodox religious courts (and even by some Orthodox rabbis). Like modern Orthodoxy, the intensity of the first and second-century Pharisaical rejection of sincere people only lead to greater and more widespread acceptance of the Way reforms and antisemitism. Considering this, how could the sect members be considered Jewish when the leaders of Judaism rejected them? As discussed above, this ongoing quandary and its proposed resolution is described in detail in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. The final decision of the Apostles was that those Gentiles who wished to enter into the Way congregation would not be required to convert to Judaism via circumcision and Jewish mikvah but would be admitted to their growing society solely through their expressed faith in Yeshua's teachings, observance of the Seven Laws and what they called baptism. Of course, from an Orthodox perspective, the Noahide Laws forbid the acceptance of Yeshua and his Way sect. The final breach between the Jews and Christians was fast approaching. Note that before the Nicolaitans, the Way sect believed in biblical monotheism. They viewed Yeshua as an anointed rabbi. Nothing in the original Way teachings prohibited their inclusion within Judaism as a sect anymore than Chabad's Messianic faith in Rabbi Sneerson exclude them. Being rejected by their elders the Way elders ruled:Romans 10:10 for with the heart [or consciousness] people believe and become righteous, and with the mouth [with bitachon], confession is made unto salvation.
11 As the Scripture says, Whosoever believes in God will not be put to shame.
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Adonai is Lord of all and is rich unto all that call upon Him:
13 Whosoever calls upon the name of Adonai will be saved.
For the early Way sect, as for other Jews, Adonai was the only source of deliverance. In rejection of the rabbinic hierarchy, the Way elders affirmed that anyone who calls to Adonai for mercy receives it, whether Jew or non-Jew. Through Paul's writings especially, Yeshua's stature was elevated, not as a god, but as a second Moshe. Constantly withstanding and suffering persecution in defense of his claimed realization, Paul presents Yeshua as more significant even than Moshe, the leader of the Jewish people (Hebrews 3:1-6). This view violated Torah and established halacha (Rabbinic Law), including the seventh of Rambam's Thirteen Principles of Judaism, even as Chabad's claims concerning Reb Sneerson. 'Rebbe worship' is nothing new in Judaism. Paul never takes the additional step of deifying Yeshua as the Church did later, as in verses 6 and 7. The spiritual house is God's domain alone. A careful reading of Hebrew 3 leaves room for the understanding that Paul was not being literal here but was pointing out his opinion that Moshe set the 'table' so to speak, and Yeshua, whom he considered his rebbe, served the food (i.e., that Yeshua properly taught Torah's message established by Moshe in contradistinction to the Rabbis' Oral Torah). In any case, the ongoing controversies with the Rabbis, coupled with the extreme stress the sect placed on Yeshua's unique role, again like Chabad's on Reb Sneerson's, in part, is what led to the Way becoming a distinct religion from Judaism, something not intended by Yeshua nor his followers. Those who embraced Yeshua's Way sect of Judaism viewed themselves as the remnant Jewish community through which HaShem would eventually rectify the world and restore the supremacy of the Written Torah through the reign of the Messiah.John 17:11 And I [Yeshua] am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep them in your Name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we [are].
None of these Way followers believed Yeshua was God. Yochanan has Yeshua praying that his talmidim would all achieve devekut unity or harmony with HaShem as he has, not that they should become God. Yeshua claims that he has achieved this state, not that he was God incarnate, which would be a wholly anti-Torah claim. During this second period, 170-312 CE, those who held to the Way sect still identified as Jews, or attached Noahidim, as this verse makes clear, but that was quickly changing. Rabbinic rejection of the sect, coupled with Gentile persecution of the Jews and coerced assimilation with Rome, was leading many sect members to renounce their connection to the Jews and to embrace the Nicolaitan and other current heresies of the times.
The Nicolaitans were rushing to abandon the Jewish roots of the Way and establish something entirely different, a great re-set to the Paganism that had existed for thousands of years. Modern Christianity is the Nicolaitan heresy established on the Way foundation. Roman Globalism overcame the Way sect and eventually replaced it with the 'Church Universal and Triumphant,' a power structure Yeshua would not have recognized and would have rejected as avodah zara. These teachings further estranged it from its Jewish roots and produced several doctrines and customs that directly and or indirectly violated both the Torah and Yeshua's reform teachings. This growing resentment of all things Jewish and the overlaying of Pagan concepts onto the Way was a development, according to Yochanan, 'which God also hates' (vs.6). These new dogmas arose from "the synagogue of Satan" (2:9). Unable to return to Judaism, most of Way followers remained within the increasingly heretical sect as it transformed into the Church.
As the year 300 approached, the Nicolaitan heresy gained popularity and influence. Other Way sects were becoming obsolete. Those who embraced the Nicolaitan system and surrendered to Roman rule avoided persecution. Miseducated teachers misled those who knew no better. Soon, the new dogmas replaced the Apostolic Jewish teachings. Another issue was the growing and sometimes rampant antisemitism of the day. To be associated with the Jews was to invite persecution. Since the Rabbinate rejected the Way sect, why should the sect maintain loyalty to the Rabbinate?
The number of Jewish Way members was declining as some Jews returned to the Torah and others, through intermarriage, no longer produced Jewish offspring. The Gentile Way followers were increasing and soon outnumbered the Jews. The Jews who had either not embraced Yeshua's reforms or had later rejected them were adamant in their rejection of Rome and its developing Universal ("Catholic") Religion. However, for the most part, they remained silent. To do otherwise was certain death. Christianity was replacing the Way sect and becoming a major power that was increasingly negative of the Rabbinic Judaism that had rejected them.
As ever more followers of the Way altered their beliefs to the rising Roman Universalism, the Jews throughout the empire sought ways to keep Judaism relevant despite the loss of the Holy Jerusalem Temple, which had formed its heart. The Pharisees, now regrouping as the rabbis, were most effective in this and gradually developed what we today know as Rabbinic Judaism.
During this period, the Jews had to contend not only with overt Pagans attacking them but also with people who claimed to be the 'true Jews' or the new 'Spiritual Israel.' The Jews were being accosted, killed, and replaced by people claiming - in direct and repeated contradiction of BOTH the Hebrew and Christian Bibles that it would NEVER happen - that the God of Israel had rejected His people in favor of Gentiles! Oy Vey!
For the Jews, it was business as usual. The struggle for survival showed no sign of easing. Only their enemies had changed. The emerging Roman Church was adamant in its demands: All Jews, Noahidim, and Pagans of the Empire must embrace the One True Universal Church or face dire consequences.
The Pergamos Period: From Constantine to Pope Boniface III: 312 CE - 600 CE:The "Doctrine of Balaam" won the day, and the Nicolaitans established absolute authority over the Way after Emperor Constantine feigned conversion and declared the creation of his new religion known as Roman Universalism (i.e., "Roman Catholicism"). The new Roman Universal Oligarchy declared itself the inheritor of the authority given to Peter as the first Pope. To challenge that authority was to challenge Yeshua; to challenge Yeshua was to challenge God, and the might of Rome would not allow that. The historic Jewish reformer and Way rabbi, Yeshua ben Miriam, was now transformed into the Roman political totem known as Jesus Christ (Iesou Christou), with Peter as his high priest and first Pope. Never mind that the whole notion was without any Tanach nor New Testament support
But this was different from what Yeshua envisioned. Toward the end of his three-year kiruv (outreach), Yeshua began considering himself a good candidate for Mashiach ben David. One difficulty was that the Messianic lineage must pass through the father, and while some claimed that Mary was of that lineage, common knowledge was that his father had been a Roman rapist. Besides, the kingly line is patristic. His admirers tried to solve this problem by claiming a ghost god had impregnated Mary in Roman fashion. Here is the biblical source of this essential Roman Catholic dogma of Peter as the first Pope:Matthew 16:18 And I also say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church [Ekklesia: a gathering of citzens]; and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
What was Yeshua saying to Peter? Was he saying that Peter, as the first Pope, was the rock (or foundation) upon which he would build his movement, as Rome was teaching, or something else? First, we need to understand that Yeshua did not come to establish a new religion. He was unequivocal in this:Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
The reference in this verse to Hades makes his statement clear. My paraphrase of what he was saying:And I also tell you, Peter, that upon the rock of my Torah [teachings], I will gather the people, and the Greek philosophies of the rabbis' Oral Torah will not prevail against it!
This seems obvious in the context of the time and texts. Like others of the day, Yeshua feared that the rabbis were elevating the Rabbinic Talmud (which had not yet been written down) above the Written Torah of Moshe. He thought this placed entirely too much authority in the hands of a few men. He also saw the Hellenism of some of these rabbis as a threat to the Hebrew character of Jewish thought. He opposed this as his recorded statements make clear:Luke 12:1 In the meantime, when thousands of people had gathered together, so much that they trod one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered that will not be revealed, and nothing is hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore, whatever has said in the darkness will be heard in the light; and what you have spoken in the ear in the inner chambers shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Yeshua believed the rabbis were studying and developing the Oral Torah in secret enclaves, fundamentally planning to alter Torah teachings. He did not challenge the rights of the rabbis to rule and judge our people, but he did challenge the rise of the Oral Torah (Matthew 23:1-3). He felt this trend would promote ever more hypocrisy and legalism. As the Chofetz Chaim told us:Our Sages state: "Jerusalem was only destroyed because its inhabitants limited their decisions to the letter of the law of Torah" (Bava Metzia 30b). This seems difficult to understand because Scripture records the many sins that the generation was guilty of committing.
Our discussion sheds light on the matter. Had the people overlooked the wrong caused them, HaShem would have also forgiven them. However, they were absolutely unrelenting toward each other, demanding whatever they could extract according to the law, and Heaven judged them accordingly.
Yeshua's concerns were not without merit, but did he claim to be the Messiah? Did his followers believe him to be? Consider the following:Matthew 16:13 Now when Yeshua came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that the son of man is?
14 And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
15 He replied, But whom do you say that I am?
16 You are an anointed son of the living God.
17 And Yeshua answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
18 And I also say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my congregation; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he the disciples that they should tell no man of his anointing.
In other words, Yeshua asked, "Who am I?" and Peter replied that there existed debate on this question. Some believed him to be John the Baptist in a dual reincarnation; others thought he was the reincarnation of Isaiah, Jeremiah, or some other great prophet. What was sure to Peter was that God had anointed Yeshua for some essential purpose. He does not say whether that was to serve as HaMashiach, restore Judaism to its Torah foundation, or some other role. So Yeshua asks for clarification:
"Whom do you say I am, Peter?" he asked. Peter replied, "I know you to be a man anointed by the Living God, and I intend to follow you as such." In other words, 'whether you are the awaited Mashiach, an incarnation of someone great, or simply a rabbi, I accept your Way reform teachings.' Of course, this is my paraphrase, but it seems clear enough. Towards the end of Yeshua's three and a half years of active preaching, his talmidim became convinced he would be HaMashiach. They were all devastated by his execution because it meant he was not what they had come to believe.
Yeshua approved of Peter's declaration and stated that upon the rock or foundation of that declaration in support of his Torah interpretations, everyone who accepted them should gather together in fellowship and assist in his work of reforming Judaism (remember: Matthew 15:24 But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone other than the lost sheep of the house of Israel"). He meant that all the Jews who accepted his teachings should unite around them as they had rallied Shemai, Hillel, and other sages.
After his resurrection and ascension (as his followers believed), everyone was invited to join the Jewish Way sect. As we seek to understand the Revelation from Yeshua to Yochanan from the Way perspective, we must accept that they believed in Yeshua's anointing and that he would one day become Mashiach. Their belief in their rabbi inspired them to achieve countless great accomplishments. The original Jewish followers understood that Yeshua could not be the Mashiach until he completed the mandated tasks. This acknowledgment gave birth to the dogma of a second coming. Unlike modern Christians, the Way sect members would have expressed their emunah that Yeshua, as a fully human tzadik, would one day become the Mashiach. Anyone with even limited biblical understanding can see that thus far, the Messianic requirements are unmet. Is Yeshua HaMashiach ben David? Obviously not. Is Reb Schneerson? Obviously not. Was Yeshua anointed and given a special mission? Will he one day come again and liberate Israel and the world? As a rabbi, I'm not expecting he will, but time will time. HaShem is in control. The future is a matter of faith and reason. All such questions will be answered once the Messiah comes .Jeremiah 31:33 This is the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says Adonai: I will put my law into their inward parts [their consciousness], I write it, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:
34 and they will teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying Know Adonai; for they will all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says Adonai: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.
No one still fully knows God, and missionaries of various flavors continue to prowl for converts. Obviously, Mashiach ben David has yet to come according to this prophecy. The continuing presence of missionaries and debates proves this, as well as any cited Scripture.
Yeshua never left Judaism. He never sought to convert Gentiles nor even to instruct them. Indeed he avoided them. Before his alleged resurrection, he did not permit his followers to associate with or convert them (Matthew 28:19,20). Therefore, this saying was clearly not intended to establish "the Throne of Peter" or a new Gentile-based religion. The Church fathers deceived their flocks, knowingly or not.Revelation 2:12 and to the messenger of the congregation in Pergamum write: These things say he that hath the sharp two-edged sword:
13 I know where you live, even where Satan's throne is; and yet you hold fast my name, and did not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
14 But I have a few things against you because you have some that hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So have you also some that hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans in like manner.
16 Repent, therefore, or I will come to you quickly and make war against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 Those who have an ear let them hear what the ruach of God says to the congregations. To those who overcome, I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give them white stones, and upon the stones, a new name is written, which no one knows but the one that receives it.
By this point in history (312 CE - 600 CE), the Roman Christian religion is based in Rome, "where Satan's throne is." The seat of the Roman Empire has now become the seat of the Universal Roman Congregation, replacing Jerusalem!
Now Yeshua warns those who would remain faithful to his teachings not to embrace these new Roman doctrines! He praises those who are still standing firm.
The Name of Yeshua!
Yeshua also praises these faithful Way followers for remaining true to his 'name.' The word "name" here is onoma and means a given name. He seems to have known the name change was coming! Yeshua is not talking about his teachings here, his reputation, etc., as the English and Hebrew word "name" might otherwise mean, but about his personal name. As explained above, the developing Roman Papacy had replaced the Hebrew name of Yeshua ben Miriam (or Joshua, son of Mary) with the phrase "Jesus the Christ." They believed that names had power and had now successfully disempowered the name Yeshua. At this point, Roman Catholics were beginning to use this new name, but some of his loyal followers still refused. For a while, his Hebrew name became a symbol for those still clinging to the Way sect. We cannot say what percentage was still resisting the Roman usurpation, but we know that some were, including Bishop Arius (discussed below).
Yochanan warns that it is the responsibility of individuals to counter the false doctrines of the emerging Papacy (the Nicolaitan heresy) and to maintain the proper form of Torah (not Rabbinic from their perspectives) Judaism Yeshua had presented to them: "teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you" (Matthew 28:20). So stand! he orders, or God may reveal the heresies of this new religion and remove His blessings from you all! Yochanan seems to say we cannot point to the Globalists and blame them. We collectively allow them to do what they are doing. Our numbers are vastly greater than theirs. If we do not stop them, it is on us. But little meaningful opposition came, and the Nicolaitains replaced the Way sect dogmas and contaminated, to debatable degrees, Way sect Judaism.
The Thyatira Period: Boniface III - Gregory VII (Hilderbrand) to the Reformation 600 CE - 1520 CE
Through the authority of the Church, the Roman Nicolaitans of the Thyatira Period ruled much of the known world. The Church condemned the struggling Way sect as "Arians": followers of Bishop Arius: 250 or 256 – 336, a Cyrenaic presbyter, ascetic, and priest, as "Judaizers" and "heretics." Arius' teachings about the nature of God in the new religion emphasized God's uniqueness and Yeshua's subordination under Him. For Bishop Arius, the Trinity dogma was a Pagan perversion of the teachings of Yeshua and the Apostles.
Arius' opposition to what would become the dominant theology of the new religion, known as Homoousian Christology, made him a primary target of the First Council of Nicaea, convened by Emperor Constantine in 325. In Christian theology, homoousios is a crucial term of the Christological dogma formulated at the first ecumenical council held at Nicaea. There, the Vatican declared that the One God exists in three co-equal, co-eternal forms, violating biblical doctrine, including the Shema, which declares the absolute indivisible Oneness of the Holy One, blessed be He. The Nicene Counsel proclaimed that a being called "God the Son" is of the same substance or homoousios as "God the Father." The First Council of Nicaea, presided over by Emperor Constantine, was explicitly convened to denounce Bishop Arius and merge the new religion with the common Roman doctrine of a triune godhead.
The ancient world typically regarded the number three as mystical, and most theological conceptions included it in diverse ways. Opposition to the Trinity dogma was declared heresy. The council condemned Bishop Arius of Alexandria (280 until 336) and Arianism: belief in God's absolute oneness and the historic Yeshua's full humanity. The use of the Greek term homoousios ("of one substance") in the creed intended to permanently sever the link between the new religion, the Way sect, and its Jewish Torah foundation forever. Nonetheless, the influence of Arianism persisted in the Church for centuries. Today the only major Arian-based Christian group is J's Witnesses, and they claim Jesus is Michael the Archangel incarnate, a belief not held by Bishop Arius.
Roman courts like those of the "Holy Inquisition" were held to root out Torah believers. People of sincere dissenting faith were often condemned to horrible torture and death by the Church Universal and Triumphant! By this point, the Church had outlawed reading the Bible unless one was a priest. Many local priests were illiterate because the Church knew its teachings were not biblical. By the Thyatira period, most sincere Christians knew nothing about the original Way of Yeshua, the Bible, nor the Judaism he and his followers practiced and died for by the thousands. They did not realize that Yeshua had focussed his teachings on freeing the world from what he saw as the religious oppression of the Oral Torah, not to enhance it with a new Church-created Oral Law! Almost everyone under the Church's political thumb submitted themselves to abject spiritual and material poverty, starvation, and darkness despite the emphasis Yeshua and his followers placed on Torah knowledge (Matthew 5:18, 22:29, John 5:39-47, II Timothy 3:15, etc.)!
As is too common in Rabbinic Judaism, Church Tradition and Papal Bulls were now considered more binding on the masses than the Scriptures! Christians only knew what the Nicean priests (and the accepted the Vatican-dictated Nicean dogmas) taught them and what they pieced together from the stained glass windows, which were the only Bibles many of these poor people would ever be allowed or able to read.
As a direct result of the Church's countless waves of abusive authority, the Spirit of HaShem, the God of Israel, was partly removed, and Europa plunged into the Dark Ages. Church abuse poisoned every European institution and social contract. The Protestant Reformation somewhat reversed this in time with its Solo Scriptura doctrine. Despite the sometimes violent antisemitism of Martin Luther and other Protestants (i.e., Protestors), the Diet of Worms (1521), the formation of the Lutheran Duchy of Prussia (1525), the English Reformation (1529 onwards), the Council of Trent (1545–63), the Peace of Augsburg (1555), the ex-communication of Queen Elizabeth I following her Act of Supremacy in 1559 wherein she declared England to be Protestant, in 1570; the Edict of Nantes (1598) and the Peace of Westphalia (1648), gradually brought some balance to the Christian world. The Protestant Reformation led to a Counter-Reformation, also called the Catholic Reformation or the Catholic Revival, which saw many Catholic reforms initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation.
Despite various attempts to reform Christendom and rediscover the Apostolic Way sect, Constantine's essential dogmas, as codified at Nicea, remain in place today. The Way sect was no more, as Gamaliel had foreseen:Acts 5:38. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: If these reforms or this work is of men, it will not survive,
39. but if they are of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; and may find yourselves fighting against God.
The Way sect effectively died during the Thiatira period and was replaced by the 'Church Triumphant.' The "Holy Inquisitors" were commissioned to destroy all traces of non-Catholic religion wherever they found it, including the Way sect, Judaism, Gentile God-fearers (what we now call Noahidism), and those Pagans who, like the followers of Yeshua, boldly refused to bend the knee to the Nephilim Nicolaitan Papacy and surrender to their globalist worldview. During this dark period, an estimated six-plus million European Pagans were slaughtered like animals in what came to be known as the Burning Times. Innumerable Jews, Protestants, Pagans, and others died in the hundreds of thousands at the hand of the Church. The Church was making many enemies, but its victims were mostly powerless to resist directly by this point. The world has always hated the Jews because of who we are: the people of the Torah. The Christians were becoming hated because of what they were doing to others in the name of their religion.
The remnant followers of Torah Judaism and Derech Yeshua and those who, even without knowledge, maintained their faith in HaShem alone were condemned. Bloodshed, ignorance, and darkness descended across all the lands controlled by the New Universal Religion.
During the Thyartira period, various Occult lodges began popping up. Secret Brotherhoods, mystery lodges, and diverse initiate cabals arose. Some of these continue to exist today. Some of these secret societies hold powers beyond what most consider possible. Some eventually merged with the Church and became holy orders, while others maintained autonomy, often working against it.
Some rising Occult orders originally developed as mockeries to the Roman and later Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Occultists included intellectuals and radicals who dared learn to read in hidden defiance of the Church. Some of these studied ancient cultures and myths. Some drew their knowledge and power from ancient Egypt, Sumaria, Babylonia, and beyond, often claiming inspiration from dark entities they gradually learned from and honored. Some of these Orders proclaimed themselves "Luciferian," not because they worshiped or even believed in the Christian Lucifer, but because they knew he was the enemy of the Church they hated! For instance, this was the original intention of the Black Mass mockery. It was a way for people to insult and bastardize the teachings of Rome in secret among like-minded 'heretics.' However, sometimes these rites of political rebellion tapped into actual powers! Some of these groups aligned themselves, sometimes knowingly or sometimes not, with the Nephilim and already existing Bavarian powers. They dedicated themselves to ba'alim and destroying what Rome was creating, usually unaware they were following the same dark masters.
As the resisters of all sorts continued their studies and rebellions, they began tapping into something most of them had not expected! POWER! Lucifer, or something like him, was answering their evocations! The occultists became empowered servants of real evil as they realized the truth of his existence and potential. Whereas Yeshua rejected Lucifer's global dominion offer according to the Gospels (Matthew 4:1), these people accepted it and devoted their lives to it! They became successors to the Nephilim and King Nimrod! They were "mighty hunters in opposition to HaShem!" Such organized Occultists formed and entered into the Merovingian Order, including the Bavarian Illuminati, which serves as Lucifer's preeminent servant according to the Dark Prophecies. Dark tentacles went forth through various Bavarian lodges and Luciferian organizations and brotherhoods, including modern ones like Davos, the Bohemian Grove, the Bilderberg Group, the CFR, the World Federalist Association, the Knights Templar Order of Freemasonry, the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, Theosophy, Rosicrusianism, and so on and on.
Overtly and covertly, Globalism expanded across the earth in preparation for the eventual coming of the Son of Perdition. They now control the governments of the world, the media, the healthcare professions, and practically every other essential aspect of civilization. To some, this may seem like paranoid delusion, but to those who understand the prophecies, this is reality, and it agrees with Yochanan's Book of Revelation and with the other Jewish and world prophecies.
And ALL of them have one aim: the Revelation of Rex Mundi!
Still, HaShem did not completely turn away from the Church. Although its leaders had abandoned the Way of HaShem and the Way of Yeshua, many members remained devoted to God according to their honest understandings. Within Christendom, as within Rabbinic Judaism and all other religions, there are always sincere people who desire to know and serve the One God according to the Light they have thus far received. Such people always resist the spreading darkness, and God uses them in various ways as He advances His Grand Plan of Global Liberation. After giving a synopsis of the thus far unmet messianic requirements, Rambam affirms this view at Melachim Milchamot 11:4 (sic):Jesus of Nazareth, who aspired to be the Mashiach and was executed by the court, was also alluded to in Daniel's prophecies, as ibid. 11:14 states: 'The vulgar among your people shall exalt themselves to fulfill the vision, but they shall stumble.',
Can there be a greater stumbling block than Christianity? All the prophets spoke of Mashiach as the redeemer of Israel and their savior who would gather the dispersed and strengthen their observance of the mitzvot. In contrast, Christianity caused the Jews to be slain by the sword, their remnants to be scattered and humbled, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the Lord.
Nevertheless, the intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend, for His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts. Ultimately, all the deeds of Jesus of Nazareth and that Ishmaelite [Muhammend] who arose after him will only serve to prepare the way for Mashiach's coming and the improvement of the entire world, motivating the nations to serve God together as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'
How will this come about? The entire world has already become filled with the mention of Mashiach, Torah, and mitzvot. These matters have been spread to the furthermost islands to many stubborn-hearted nations. They discuss these matters and the mitzvot of the Torah, saying: 'These mitzvot were true, but were already negated in the present age and are not applicable for all time.'
Others say: 'Implied in the mitzvot are hidden concepts that can not be simply understood. The Mashiach has already come and revealed these hidden truths.'
When the true Messianic king arises and proves successful, his position becoming exalted and uplifted, they will all return and realize that their ancestors endowed them with a false heritage and their prophets and ancestors caused them to err.
Melachim Milchamot 12:1: Do not presume that in the Messianic age any facet of the world's nature will change or there will be innovations in the work of creation. Rather, the world will continue according to its pattern.
Although Isaiah 11:6 states: 'The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the young goat,' these words are a metaphor and a parable. The interpretation of the prophecy is as follows: Israel will dwell securely together with the wicked gentiles who are likened to a wolf and a leopard, as in the prophecy Jeremiah 5:6: 'A wolf from the wilderness shall spoil them and a leopard will stalk their cities.' They will all return to the true faith and no longer steal or destroy. Rather, they will eat permitted food at peace with Israel as Isaiah 11:7 states: 'The lion will eat straw like an ox.'
Similarly, other Messianic prophecies of this nature are metaphors. In the Messianic era, everyone will realize which matters were implied by these metaphors and which allusions they contained.
Melachim Milchamot 12:2: Our Sages taught: "There will be no difference between the current age and the Messianic era except the emancipation from our subjugation to the gentile kingdoms."
The simple interpretation of the prophets' words appear to imply that the war of Gog and Magog will take place at the beginning of the Messianic age. Before the war of Gog and Magog, a prophet will arise to inspire Israel to be upright and prepare their hearts, as Malachi 3:22 states: 'Behold, I am sending you Elijah.'
He will not come to declare the pure, impure, or to declare the impure, pure. He will not dispute the lineage of those presumed to be of proper pedigree, nor will he validate the pedigree of those whose lineage is presumed blemished. Rather, he will establish peace within the world as ibid. 3:24 continues: 'He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children."
Some Sages say Elijah's coming will precede the coming of the Mashiach. All these and similar matters cannot be definitely known by man until they occur for these matters are undefined in the prophets' words and even the wise men have no established tradition regarding these matters except their own interpretation of the verses. Therefore, there is a controversy among them regarding these matters.
Regardless of the debate concerning these questions, neither the order of the occurrence of these events or their precise detail are among the fundamental principles of the faith. A person should not occupy himself with the Aggadot and homiletics concerning these and similar matters, nor should he consider them as essentials, for study of them will neither bring fear or love of God.
Similarly, one should not try to determine the appointed time for Mashiach's coming. Our Sages declared: 'May the spirits of those who attempt to determine the time of Mashiach's coming expire!' Rather, one should await and believe in the general conception of the matter as explained.
Melachim Milchamot 12:2: During the era of the Messianic king, once his kingdom has been established and all of Israel has gathered around him, the entire nation's line of descent will be established on the basis of his words and the prophetic spirit which will rest upon him, as Malachi 3:3 states: 'He shall sit as a refiner and purifier.'
He will purify the lineage of the Levites first, stating 'He is a priest of defined lineage. He is a Levite of defined lineage.' Those whose lineage he will not recognize will be lowered to the status of Israelites. This is implied by Ezra 2:63: 'The governor said to them: 'They should not eat of the most holy things until a priest arises who will wear the urim vitumim.' From this verse, you can infer that the prophetic spirit will be used to define and notify the pedigree of lineage.
When he defines the lineage of the Israelites, he will make known their tribal lineage alone, stating: 'He is from this tribe and he is from another tribe.' He will not, by contrast, state concerning a person who is presumed to be of unblemished lineage: 'He is illegitimate or he is of slave lineage.' For the law is once a family has become intermingled with the entire Jewish people, they may remain intermingled.
Melachim Milchamot 12:3: The Sages and the prophets did not yearn for the Messianic era in order to have dominion over the entire world, to rule over the gentiles, to be exalted by the nations, or to eat, drink, and celebrate. Rather, they desired to be free to involve themselves in Torah and wisdom without any pressures or disturbances, so that they would merit the world to come, as explained in Hilchot Teshuvah.
Melachim Milchamot 12:4: In that era, there will be neither famine or war, envy or competition for good will flow in abundance and all the delights will be freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know God.
Therefore, the Jews will be great sages and know the hidden matters, grasping the knowledge of their Creator according to the full extent of human potential, as Isaiah 11:9 states: 'The world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed."
The fulfillment of these things is what the entire world, not only the Jews, are yearning for and seeking, and yet precious few, a remnant of humankind, seek these things as HaShem advises in His Torah.
The Jewish talmidim (followers and students) of the historic Yeshua ben Miriam, until the Thyartira period, sought to bring the great light of monotheism as defined through the Torah and the religious reforms of their leader, into the world. However, as Yeshus foretold, that light was 'hidden under a basket' (Matthew 5:14-16). The Nicolaitans altered and polluted Biblical monotheism by creating the Trinity dogma. Nonetheless, Rambam says here that embers of that One Light burned on, despite the Globalist's intentions. Despite their altered understandings, emunah in HaShem continues within the consciousness of millions of people because of Yeshua and his initial talmidim. While Yeshua was not the Mashiach as they believe, according to Rambam, the light of Torah monotheism continues to fill the earth through his reforms and those of his talmidim. Do you disagree with this assessment? Debate the matter with Rambam; this was his assessment. I agree with him. The anti-Christian sentiments we find among so many Jews are no more deserved nor helpful than the anti-Jewish sentiments we find among many Christians. HaShem is One, the Parent and King of us all.
Despite the many historical attempts to reform the Church, reformers, be they Anglican, Protestant, Catholic, or independent-minded individuals, failed to return the Church to its Way Torah roots. Long before 1527, when King Henry of England's appeal to annul his marriage was turned down by Pope Clement VII, resulting in the Anglican separation from the Roman Church, accurate knowledge of the original Jewish Way teachings and practices was forgotten, making the restoration of the Way all but impossible. The damage done by Constantine was permanent. Even today, when there is incredible access to ancient writings and resources, those who say they want to restore the original Way sect of Yeshua and his talmidim, including those who embrace the various Messianic sects, can't seem to bring themselves to abandon the Nicean heresies.Revelation 2:18 "To the messenger of the Way Community in Thyatira, write: 'Here is the message from the man of God, whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like burnished brass:
19 I know what you are doing, your love, trust, service, and perseverance. And I know that you are doing more now than before.
20 But I have this against you: you continue to tolerate that woman Jezebel, who claims to be a prophet but teaches and deceives my servants to commit sexual sin and eat food sacrificed to idols.
21 I gave her time to turn from her sin, but she doesn't want to repent of her immorality.
22 So I am throwing her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I am throwing into great trouble unless they turn from the sins connected with what she does.
23 I will strike her children dead! Then all the communities will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts and gives each of you what your deeds deserve.
24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, to those who do not hold her teachings, who have not learned what some people call the 'deep things of the deceivers,' I say this: I am not loading you down with another burden;
25 only hold fast to what you have until I come.
26 To those who are victorious and continue to do as I teach until the goal is achieved, I will give authority over the nations;
27 They will rule them with a staff of iron and dash them to pieces like pottery,
28 just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star.
29 Those who have ears, let them hear what the ruach of God says to the communities."'
Here, we find the birth pangs of the "Whore of Babylon" in "that woman Jezebel." The reference is not a literal woman but a religious and political doctrine: "to as many as don't have this teaching, who don't know what some call 'the deep things of Satan..." i.e., the Nicolaitan heresy of the Nephilim and their Globalist offspring. The Apostle Paul affirms this:II Timothy 3:6 For of such people are they that creep into houses and take silly women captive, laden with sins, led away by divers lusts,
7. ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8. Even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth—people corrupted in mind and reprobate concerning the faith.
These heretics deceive "silly women" who lack accurate knowledge. Rather than searching the Tanach for answers, they are led astray through assimilation and emotionalism. Jewish tradition identifies Jannes and Jambres as the two magicians who withstood Moses and Aaron in Exodus 7 when "Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh, and his officials and it became a snake." only to be eaten by Moshe's staff. Likewise, the Nicolaitans appear to have some power but are mere counterfeits offering "another gospel" (2 Corinthians 11:4). In time, God will utterly discredit the claims of these usurpers and their "silly" followers.
Such are the followers of Jezebel, the Nicolaitan Whore, who oppose the Torah of Moshe, just like Jannes and Jambres. The Nicolaitan heresies have made their disciples reprobate to the truth of the Torah as taught by Moshe.
The Way Jewish sect, which became the Christian religion, strayed farther away from the God of Israel during this Thyatira period and separated itself from the Tree of Israel. Likewise, the religion of Muhammad Mustafa, referenced as "that Ismaelite" by Rambam in the previous quote, is advancing its counterfeit. But HaShem is in control, and He uses all things for His purposes!
Any hope of bringing either of these religions into the Covenant before the coming of Mashiach ben Yosef seems futile at best. Nevertheless, the biblical Way for non-Jews remains available for all under the Seven Laws' Covenant, even though that biblical way is also being usurped today by various opportunists. As foretold, the faithful Remnant still exists and still stands. As Paul explained:Romans 11:32 God has shut up everyone unto disobedience so that He might have mercy upon all.
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways beyond our comprehension!
34 Who has known the Mind of the Lord? Who has been His counselor?
35 Who has first given to Him, and had it returned to Him again?
36 For of God, and through God, and unto God, belong all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
As the Scriptures say:"Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I Myself have seen it," declares Adonai (Jeremiah 7:11).
"Even those I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;
And My House will be called a House of Prayer for all the peoples." (Isaiah 56:7).
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