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(House of Study)


TRADITIONS OF MEN
VERSUS
THE SCRIPTURES




ALL OF US MUST ASK OURSELVES THIS QUESTION: AM I FOLLOWING SCRIPTURE (IN OBEDIENCE), OR AM I FOLLOWING THE TRADITIONS OF MEN (IN LAWLESSNESS)?

This is a fair question to ask, as most people would be unwilling to follow something that opposes Scripture, if they but knew it. Knowing this, it gives us hope for those of our flesh who have yet to understand and accept the true Messiah of the Scriptures -- the one who did not abrogate the Torah.

THE TRADITIONS OF MEN VS. THE SCRIPTURES: A DECISION IS REQUIRED!

THE LAW (THE TORAH)

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: "The observance of the sabbath was to be abrogated at the same time as the other Hebrew rites and ceremonies, that is, at the death of Christ. . ." Catholic Almanac: Quick Questions (1994).[http://www.newadvent.org/almanac/thisrock94.htm].

FROM A CHARISMATIC CHRISTIAN FRIEND: "When Jesus tells us from the cross that it is finished, it is finished. We see the law (Jesus) hanging there because it had been nailed to the cross. All of those decrees and ordinances -- all of them were taken away to the grave. (Colossians 2:14). . .." E-mail, April 21, 2003, 2:41:32 PM.

THE MESSIAH: "Think not that I came to disintegrate the Law or the Prophets: I did not come to disintegrate, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, 'Until heaven and earth should pass away, one iota or one point shall in no way pass away from the Law, till all things should occur. Whoever, then, relaxes one of these commandments the least, and teaches men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever does and teaches (them), this one shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.' " [Matthew 5:17-19]

AND: ". . ..These are the Words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." [Luke 24:44]

The Messiah's words raise some questions:

(1) When you walk outside, look up: Is heaven still above you? Look down: Is the earth still under your feet? If they are still here -- and they are -- according to the words of the Messiah the Law (the Torah) is still in effect this day.

(2) Have all things occurred, or is there still prophecy which is yet to be fulfilled? If every single prophetic saying has not been fulfilled, the Law (the Torah) is still in effect this day.

(3) If the Law (the Torah) has been nailed to the execution stake, and thus abrogated, why does the Messiah tell us that whoever does and teaches them (all commands, which include the statutes and edicts) will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven? Would this not be contradictory?

(4) So, is my Christian friend following the words of the Messiah or the doctrines of the Catholic Church?

(5) Lastly, does the Messiah not say that He fulfilled that which spoke of Him? How does that eliminate those commands given to us?

REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: "The new Kingdom of God which Christ founded was not confined to a single nation, it embraced all the nations of the earth, and when the new Israel was constituted, the old Israel with its separatist law became antiquated; it had fulfilled its mission." The concluding statement in this article: "The Catholic Church by virtue of the commission given to her by Christ is the Divinely constituted interpreter of the Divine Law of both the Old and the New Testament." Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX: Moral Aspect of Divine Law. [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09071a.htm]

NON-CATHOLIC CHURCH: "With the call of Abram (Gen. 12), that purpose began to unfold as God's program for man's restoration became expressed through a specific individual. The 'great nation' He promised to bring forth through Abram began with Israel, but was destined to become the church, the household of God. Although there are many prophecies concerning Israel, we can rest assured that for their fulfillment God had the church at heart from the beginning. The church is no more an afterthought than was God's promise of His Messiah -- Jesus Christ." SPIRIT FILLED LIFE BIBLE, New King James Version; General Editor, Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D., Thomas Nelson Publishes, Nashville, 1991; "The Holy Spirit and Restoration," by James Robison, Man's Plunge into Degradation (Gen. 4:12).

THE SCRIPTURES:

Thus says YHVH,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(YHVH of Hosts is His name):



If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says YHVH,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.


Thus says YHVH:
If heaven above can be measured,
And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,
I will also cast off all the seed of Israel
For all that they have done, says YHVH.

[Jeremiah 31:35-37]


The Tribes of Israel: Locations of the portions of land to be allocated to the tribes (Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun and Gad) can be found in Ezekiel 48:1-28, with the sons of Zadok (Levites) inheriting the land surrounding the sanctuary of YHVH. This is summed up in verse 29: "'This is the land which you shall divide by lot as an inheritance among the tribes of Israel, and these (are) their portions,' says YHVH Elohim."

The Strangers: " 'Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be (that) in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,' says YHVH Elohim." [Ezekiel 47:21-23]

Each one must ask himself a question, saying, "Though man teaches that the church has replaced the tribes of Israel, and has become the 'new Israel,' what about the words YHVH gave to the prophet Isaiah?" Isaiah 56:3 says, "Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to YHVH speak, saying, 'YHVH has utterly separated me from His people. . .' " When one accepts YHVH in repentance and obedience, through His Son, Y'hoshua the Messiah, he will be added to the family of YHVH, becoming the sisters and brothers of Y'hoshua. This confirms the words of the Messiah Himself: ". . .My mother and My brothers are these: the ones hearing the Word of Elohim (the Torah), and doing it." [Luke 8:21; ref. James 1:22]

Continuing with the words of prophecy that are yet to be fulfilled:

The Gates of the City (of Jerusalem): "(the gates of the city shall be named after the tribes of Israel). . .."

Northward: Reuben, Judah, Levi
Eastward: Joseph, Benjamin, Dan
Southward: Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun
Westward: Gad, Asher, Naphtali
[Ezekiel 48:30-34]

The New Jerusalem - The Gates: "Also she (the City of Jerusalem) had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are (the names) of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. . ." [Revelation 21:12]

The New Jerusalem - The Foundations: "Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." [Revelation 21:14]

Those Who Can Enter Into The City: "Blessed (are) those who do His commandments, that they may have the authority to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." [Revelation 22:14]

It would appear that both the Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations believe they are the "new Israel," and that they have replaced the people of YHVH. However, would you not agree that the above verses clearly dispute that belief? In the future described by the prophet Ezekiel, YHVH is still talking about the original tribes who descended from Jacob (Israel); and in the description of the future City of Jerusalem, given to John in the Book of Revelation, the apostles who walked with the Messiah are called the twelve foundations.

Why are these groups so anxious to displace the Hebrew people? Could it be hatred born of a deep-seated jealousy?

Let's look at some of their descriptions of the Israelites:

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX: Moral Aspect of Divine Law, "Because the code of morality which we have in the Old Testament was inspired by God and imposed by Him on His people, it follows that there is nothing in it that is immoral or wrong. It was indeed imperfect, if it be compared with the higher morality of the Gospel, but, for all that, it contained nothing that is blameworthy. It was suited to the low stage of civilization to which the Israelites had at the time attained; the severe punishments which it prescribed for transgressors were necessary to bend the stiff necks of a rude people; the temporal rewards held out to those who observed the law were adapted to an unspiritual and carnal race."

How do they reconcile the above with the words of the Messiah, when He said, "The foremost of all the commandments: Sh'mah (hear and obey), Israel. YHVH our El, YHVH is One. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). And you shall love YHVH your El with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the foremost commandment."? [Mark 12:29-30]

Continuing: "And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). There is no other commandment greater than these." [Mark 12:31]

Note that these two commandments -- the ones the Messiah calls the greatest commandments of all -- are not part of the Ten Commandments. The Messiah Y'hoshua is quoting from Deuteronomy and Leviticus, two of the Books of Moses that the Catholic Encyclopedia defines as the "Moral Aspect of Divine Law"? and declares that it is "imperfect. . . suited to an unspiritual and carnal race."

Further, in Matthew 22:40, He said, "On these two commandments hang all the Law (the Torah) and the Prophets." All the other commandments, ordinances and decrees teach us how to keep these two, plus they keep us focused on what is pleasing to YHVH and not doing what is right in our own eyes.

TRADITIONS PRACTICED WITHIN CHRISTIANITY

Is it possible that many traditions in Christianity were born out of hatred for the Jews? Let's look at a few!

Easter: "And those families who, by customs, eat ham on Easter Sunday are, unwittingly, following an old practice of the Roman Catholics of England, who ate a gammon of bacon on Easter to show their contempt for the Jews, to whom pork is forbidden." [Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., Volume 7)

From a letter written by Constantine I about Easter: ". . ..It seemed to every one a most unworthy thing that we should follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this most holy solemnity, who, polluted wretches! having stained their hands with a nefarious crime, are justly blinded in their minds. It is fit, therefore, that, rejecting the practice of this people, we should perpetuate to all future ages the celebration of this rite, in a more legitimate order, which we have kept from the first day of our Lord's passion even to the present times. Let us then have nothing in common with the most hostile rabble of the Jews. We have received another method from the Saviour. A more lawful and proper course is open to our most holy religion." [A Historical View of THE COUNCIL OF NICE; with a TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENTS by Rev. Isaac Boyle, D.D.; T Mason and G Lane, New York, 1839; pp. 51-54]

The commandments of YHVH were secondary to their contempt for His people! They were willing to void His instructions for keeping Passover and the food laws, substituting for them their own pagan practices in order to make wide their separation from the people of YHVH!

In Paul's instructions and rebuke to the Corinthians about the way they were partaking of the Passover, he said, "For as often as you eat this matzah and drink this cup, you proclaim the Master's death till He comes." [1 Corinthians 11:26]

How does this incorporate Jewish tradition into the Passover? "The practice of Jewish tradition is to mark the anniversary of a great rabbi's death not by mourning, but in celebration of his accomplishments, so this day became one of joy." [Texas Jewish Post, May 1, 1997, page 2, Will an Old Diaspora Festival Survive in a New Society?]

In the first Passover, YHVH rescued His people from physical bondage. It was a picture of the Passover to come, when the Messiah would make it possible for all to be set free from spiritual bondage.

Is there any proof that backs up Paul's statement that the Messiah's death is being proclaimed in the Passover celebration?

Yes, there is. Read what the 1963 Edition of the Encyclopedia Americana says: "CHRISTMAS, the feast commemorating the birth of Jesus, observed by the Christian church annually on December 25. The name is derived from the medieval Christies Masse, the Mass of Christ. The celebration was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth."

So, to replace the celebration of Passover, the Catholic Church chose instead two pagan festivals to "honor" the Messiah!

Easter: The English word Easter, however, corresponding to the German Oster, reveals Christianity's indebtedness to the Teutonic tribes of central Europe. Christianity, when it reached the Teutons, incorporated in its celebration of the great Christian feast day many of the heathen rites and customs which accompanied their observance of the spring festival. That the festival of the resurrection occurred in the spring, that it celebrated the triumph of life over death, made it easy for the church to identify with this occasion the most joyous festival of the Teutons, held in honour of the death of winter, the birth of a new year and the return of the sun.

Eostur-monath, or Easter-month, corresponding to our month of April and, according to Bede (De Temp. Rat., chap. xv) dedicated to Eostre, or Ostara, goddess of the spring, gave its name to the Christian holy day. [Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., Volume 7]

Christmas: ". .. .In the 5th century the Western church ordered the feast to be celebrated on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia, as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth existed. Among the German and Celtic tribes the winter solstice was considered an important point of the year and to commemorate the return of the sun they held their chief festival of yule, which, like other pagan celebrations, became adapted to Christmas.

"Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre-Christian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church. Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles. Lights also played an important part in most winter solstice festivals. . . ." [Encyclopedia Americana, 1963 Edition]

Christmas: "Christ probably wasn't born on Dec. 25 (no one knows for sure what time of year his birth was), so why is Christmas celebrated on this date?

"Because of the sun.

"For many years, Romans honored the sun god Saturn on the winter solstice, the day on which the North Pole tilts farthest from the sun and gives the Northern Hemisphere the least amount of daylight. Back then, the solstice fell on or about Dec. 25. When church leaders set out to assign a date to Christ's birth, is likely they decided to capitalize on the popularity of the pagan holiday Saturnalia. Remnants of the Roman festivities remain popular today, decorating a cut tree, gift-giving and eating way too much, for instance." [The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Thursday, December 26, 2002, Why Dec. 25?]

Christmas: "The Santa character took on the white beard of the pagan god Odin, and Odin's eight-legged flying horse became eight reindeer." [The Dallas Morning News, Friday, December 22, 2000, page 48, Santa's storied history]

Remember the Messiah's words in Matthew 15:9, "But in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men." So, once again, the very important question: Am I following Scripture, or am I following the traditions of the Catholic Church?

ANOTHER FALSE DOCTRINE

The Trinity: "In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word trias (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A.D. 180. He speaks of 'the Trinity of God [the Father], His Word and His Wisdom'' ("Ad. Autol." II, 15). The term may , of course, have been in use before his time. Afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian ("De pud." c. xxi). In the next century the word is in general use." [From the Catholic Encyclopedia]

Words have been added to the writings of the Messianic Scriptures to try to reinforce the belief in the trinity, which actually has its roots in paganism.

Look at your English translation of 1 John 5:6-8. The New King James Version says, "This is He who came by water and blood -- Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth, for there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one."

The Interlinear Bible (direct translations from the Hebrew and Greek) tells us that verses 7 and 8 of the above text contain twenty-five words that were added by the translators. For easy recognition, these twenty-five words have been typed in bold print.

The translation from the original texts (and using the Messiah's true Name), reads as follows: "This is the coming through water and blood, Y'hoshua the Messiah; not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the witnessing, for the Spirit is the truth. And there are three that bear: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are one."

You can see that the added words twisted the meaning considerably.

As further explanation on the statement about pagan sources of the trinity, the following information was taken from The Dallas Morning News, Saturday, May 10, 1997, page 2G, under the title, Room for One More: "While Hindus believe in one god, they also believe that he has taken many forms, first as the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and then as other forms over the millennia, Dr. Shah said. Dattatreya, who is especially popular with devotees in the Indian states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, is portrayed with three heads and six arms, symbolizing the unification of the trinity of gods when he was born.?

Note the Word of YHVH:"Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men." [Isaiah 29:13]

The commandments of men draw you away from the Word of YHVH.

AND ANOTHER

Food: Paul's letter to Timothy: "But the Spirit distinctly says that in latter times some shall fall away from the belief, paying attention to misleading spirits, and teaching of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having been branded on their own conscience, forbidding to marry, to abstain from foods which Elohim created for partaking with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. Because every creature of Elohim is good, and none is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is set apart by the Word of Elohim and prayer." (1 Timothy 4:1-5)

(1) Who but the Catholic Church forbids their leadership to marry?

(2) Who but the Catholic Church issued a command that fish was the only meat acceptable on Friday nights? However, they did not specify what kind of fish, so clean and unclean were both acceptable to them.

(3) The last sentence in the above passage says, "Because every creature of Elohim is good, and none is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is set apart by the Word of Elohim and prayer." Leviticus 11 sets apart what is to be eaten and that which is not to be eaten, so if it is set apart by the Word of Elohim, that is referring to what He defines as food.

(4) "Who gives a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!" [Job 14:4] There is absolutely nothing you can do that will change a pig into food. The Catholic Church declared these commandments null and void, but YHVH didn't. He said, "For I, YHVH, change not." [Malachi 3:6a]

(5) In Paul's teaching to the Corinthians: ". . .Do not touch (the) unclean thing, and I will receive you. And I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says YHVH Almighty." [2 Corinthians 6:17b-18; Isaiah 52:11] And where do you have to go to find out what is unclean? The Book of Leviticus.

"Then do not let anyone judge you in eating, or in drinking, or in part, of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths, which are a shadow of (teach about) coming things, but the body (the substance) is of the Messiah (the Word made flesh)." [Colossians 2:16-17] The food laws, the feasts, new moons and sabbaths all teach about the Messiah, so do not be foolish enough to let anyone persuade you that the Torah has been abrogated.

"One of Pope John Paul II's closest aides has written to bishops worldwide declaring that the Roman Catholic Church is the 'mother' of other Christian churches, a move that could hurt the Vatican's efforts toward unity with other believers. The Vatican had no comment Saturday on the document, which was reported Friday by the Italian religious news agency Adista. In the document, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told the bishops that it is incorrect to refer to Christian churches, such as Orthodox and Protestant, as 'sister' churches of the Catholic Church. 'It must be always clear that the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic universal church is not the sister, but the mother of all the churches.' Ratzinger was quoted as saying." [The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, International & National DIGEST, Sunday, September 3, 2000]

The evidence points to the truth of this statement: The many denominations have in common the basic tenets of the Catholic Church. Nearly all have discarded the Sabbath of YHVH, practicing instead the first day of the week, Sunday, the traditional day designated for worship of the sun god. They do not keep the food laws but instead eat swine's flesh, which YHVH declared unfit for consumption. Sadly, instead of the appointed times set by YHVH -- the feasts which teach about the Messiah -- the churches celebrate pagan festivals, including Christmas and Easter. Lastly, Christians are unaware that the New Moons (The Day that No Man Knows) teach about the catching away of the Bride.

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. [Revelation 17:5b]

"Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. . . Therefore her plagues will come in one day -- death and mourning, and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is YHVH Elohim who judges her." [Revelation 18:4, 8]

Remember: "Whoever commits sin also transgresses the law, and sin is transgression of the law." [1 John 3:4]

Those who do not keep the commandments of YHVH are called lawless ones, and what does the Messiah say to them? "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from Me, those working lawlessness!" [Matthew 7:21-23]

It is evident that the wondrous works they think they are doing in His name are not being done in the name of the Messiah at all, as they believe, for they are unaware that His name is Y'hoshua, not Jesus.

If someone has given this paper to you, it is because they love you and hope you will start searching out the truth for yourself, for a person will never receive the truth of YHVH (YAH-WHEY) unless he is searching with his whole heart and truly seeking to be a good and faithful servant.

Our prayer is that YAH-WHEY will give you a searching heart.

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Psalm 122:6,7
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.
May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.