Lately, I have again had the ‘privilege’ to be drawn into an online discussion with a number of pastors and elders from the Reformed Christian tradition. It usually ends the same way… They judge me through the lens of their doctrinal statement and refuse to take into account passages of Scripture counter to their paradigm. It is the equivalent of ‘adding or subtracting from the Word of God.’
One great irony in the whole deal is that Christendom exactly mirrors the Jewish leaders at the time of Messiah’s first coming. Speaking generally (it would take a truckload of ink to enumerate), the traditions of men supersede huge passages of prophecy in Scripture. We won’t follow that trail, but it explains why this passage in Ezekiel perfectly describes many of today’s pastors:
23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her, ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her. 26 Her priests have done violence to My TORAH and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
Just as the common folk in Messiah’s first coming were harried and ‘as sheep without a shepherd,’ many, many believers today read their Bible, see things and then have the ‘degreed church polity’ explain why Scripture doesn’t mean what it says.
Seven times in the Torah, we are told that the Sabbath is the seventh day and it is the day of worship. SEVEN times! NOWHERE are we EVER told that it changes… In fact, multiple unfulfilled prophecies declare that Sabbath will be kept in the future. Instead, church doctrine, going back 1700 years, does logical gymnastics to explain why the inerrant, inspired, unchanging Word of the Lord does not mean what it clearly says.
The priests of today, teach not the difference in the clean and the unclean. They do not know what Peter is saying when he quotes, ‘be ye holy as I am holy!’ Instead of the very obvious answer that any fifth grader can understand, they are forced to explain why Peter really means other things… surely not obedience to particular instructions from the Torah! (And, yes, as we learn the basics by simple obedience to these things, we are sharpened to understand moreso the heart of the matter.) A future and clearly unfulfilled prophecy, Isaiah 66:16-17, says,
For the Lord will execute judgment by fire
And by His sword on all flesh,
And those slain by the Lord will be many.
17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens,
[a]Following one in the center,
Who eat swine’s flesh, detestable things and mice,
Will come to an end altogether,” declares the Lord.
The priests do not know the difference between the holy and the profane! They mix paganism with the things of Yah and then justify it or denigrate those who speak truth!
And, all of this has the cumulative effect of ‘doing violence to My instructions!’
They do so by elevating their traditions ahead of the breathed Word of the Living God! Where the Word does not fit their paradigm, they ignore verses and refuse to address/adjust their paradigm. Instead, they call those who would point to the fullness of Scripture ‘heretics.’ …Not unlike the treatment of Yeshua, the Living Word.
Yeshua had an answer to those who refused to humble their hearts and rethink some of what they believed. Remember, He is addressing the learned. He is addressing the ‘seminarians,’ the pastors and preachers of His day… and, the words speak directly against this generation!
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven [a]from [b]people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
Many, many believers across the planet are crying out to the Living God for TRUTH! And, Yahweh is opening eyes all over the planet to the things that have been missing from our walk for centuries. Yet, the pastors and priests are desperately trying to quell this uprising of the Spirit, while themselves, refusing to ‘enter in’ and really study this thing out!
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and [t]cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Interestingly, the Christian church does fairly well with the weightier matters, but neglect the other matters. (Sabbath, Feasts, Diet, etc.) We are called to do BOTH! Prophecy clearly teaches we will in the future…
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Uncleanness = lawlessness = sin! Lawlessness is denying God’s everlasting instructions, Torah, the very thing prophesied to be ‘written on our hearts’ in Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hebrews among other places.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are [v]sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how [w]will you escape the [x]sentence of [y]hell?
They claim that at the time of the Reformation, they would have stood with the minority who were persecuted as the Spirit opened parts of Scripture that had been ignored for 1200 years. Yet, they demonstrate themselves to be hypocrites because they refuse to acknowledge that it is possible that the Spirit is again bringing a reformation wherein we come to the Lawgiver and actually obey His voice!
34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the [z]temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
There is an awakening happening across the planet. The message is going out to any who will, in humility, cast themselves before the Throne, set aside pet doctrines and begin to examine the WHOLE of Scripture.
Scripture is being fulfilled before our eyes, and most pastors will have nothing to do with it.
YAHWEH, my strength and my stronghold,
And my refuge in the day of distress,
To You the nations will come
From the ends of the earth and say,
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood,
Futility and [a]things of no profit.”
20 Can man make gods for himself?
Yet they are not gods!
21 “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—
This time I will make them know
My [b]power and My might;
And they shall know that My name is YAHWEH.”
I beg of you, as a fellow brother, do not be like the stiff-necked and hard hearted ones who Jeremiah addresses when he says,
Thus says YAHWEH,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 “And I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 “Therefore hear, O nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 “Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people,
The fruit of their [a]plans,
Because they have not listened to My words,
And as for My TORAH, they have rejected it also.
Does your understanding of Scripture account for the fact that multiple times the Father promises that the Torah will go forth from Zion? Does it account for multiple promises to restore Israel and rule from Jerusalem.. over ALL HIS people? Does it account for a restored Tent of David, in the Millennial Kingdom? Does it account for the ‘everlasting covenant‘ of:
- The land? Psalm 105:10
- The Torah? Isaiah 24:5
- The sanctuary? Ezekiel 37:26
Or, does your understanding of Scripture declare that God has more than ONE people? That He is on ‘plan B’ because things didn’t work out so well with Israel or the Jews, so He ‘replaced them?’ Does Yahweh have a different standard for the Jews than the nations they are to be a light to? Does Yahweh declare hundreds of prophecies, and state that He WILL do them, then change His mind and all that prophecy gets erased? If God can erase and change His mind on prophecies to physical Israel, what makes you think He can’t do the same to prophecies you might claim?
Pastors and leaders: Please understand, I love you! I walked in your shoes. Being willing to humble self and question some basic tenets of your doctrine is a VERY hard thing to do… and, possibly, costly! I know!
BUT, isn’t TRUTH worth more?
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But [a]deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (Prov. 27:6)
Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the [a]innermost parts. (Prov. 20:30)
I pray our Father, as He brings His people (Jew and Christian) together, to follow Messiah and walk in His ways, will open the eyes of the shepherds!