Today's "Church" - A Brief Historical Perspective

By the late third century, the "ekklesia" the Messiah said he would build had been renamed "church" and systematically transformed by its leaders into a man-made hierarchical corporate religious institution under the strong influence of Greek government, culture, philosophy and paganism.

The "institutionalized" Christian church was systematically stripping away every vestige of the historical Hebrew/Jewish Messiah while diminishing and distorting the Hebrew and New Testament scriptures regarding his very nature, purpose and message to better align with "official" church doctrines, traditions and teachings.

By the early fourth century Christian church leaders had formally colluded with the
pagan sympathizer and anti-Semitic Roman Emperor Constantine, who essentially "legalized" Christianity in an effort to stabilize both a crumbling Roman empire and a "Church" in turmoil that had become sharply divided over doctrinal issues - specifically, the debate over the deity of the Messiah.  

History clearly shows that from the time of Emperor Constantine the burgeoning "Roman Catholic Church" was heavily influenced not only by the politics of their collusion with the Roman government and its emperors, but also by Greek philosophers and paganism as well. It is clearly evident that the Roman Catholic Church fell prey to these powerful and evil corrupting influences as it developed and implemented an institutional structure and man-made religious doctrines, creeds and traditions; all of which succeeded in pushing it further and further away from the true historical Hebrew/Jewish Messiah and his teachings - including the pure gospel message of Yahweh's plan of salvation for man and His promised coming Kingdom on earth.  

In the late fourth century a very aggressive Emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the "State" religion and the Catholic Church became the "official" Church of Rome. Emperor Theodosius I also presided over the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD which confirmed deity status to the Holy Spirit - making "him" the third "person" of the "Godhead." This new divine "third person" formally created what we know today as the Trinity; which includes God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Both "God the Father" and "God the Son" had already been formally recognized as "persons" of deity at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. (It should be noted that it was the Council of Constantinople that "officially" established the "Trinity Doctrine" - NOT the Council of Nicaea.

It's very important for Christians to understand that the Trinity doctrine is NOT the product of the very best biblical "Christian thinking" of the first three centuries. Rather, the standard trinitarian model, as identified by the Council of Constantinople, became the religious law of the land by dominant imperial force. Emperor Theodosius I made the Trinity doctrine mandatory for all Christians to believe and adhere to, or be subject to the consequences of excommunication, banishment, torture or death by the sword. By Emperor Theodosius' orders, any "Christian" person or group who taught or professed any doctrine other than the Trinity were forcibly banished from Rome and their places of worship were either confiscated or destroyed. It should also be noted that under Emperor Theodosius any religious and historical writings that did not conform to official doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church were also confiscated or destroyed. It was under these heavy-handed imperial conditions that Church doctrines and traditions were established and the "history" of Christianity began to be revised in order to accommodate all official Catholic Church doctrines and traditions.

At the direction of the newly appointed religious power brokers of the Roman Catholic Church, the ekklesia the Messiah said he would build was officially transformed into something that no longer resembled his biblical bride or the gospel message both he and his Apostles lived and taught. The pure spiritual teachings of Yahshua and his Apostles had become corrupted by the worldly influences of prestige, power and wealth of the Roman Government and also the worldly philosophy and paganism of the Greek/Roman culture.

The arrangement between the Catholic Church and Rome to keep order and control in both the Roman empire and the organized Catholic Church was strongly favored by emperor Constantine and his successors and the Church Bishops.

The Bishops benefited greatly from their collusion with Rome and the opportunistic emperors' Constantine and
Theodosius I through their newly established political connections. Catholic Church Bishops enjoyed prominent stature and respect in their respective communities along with special living accommodations, wealth and seemingly limitless power over the masses of people that belonged to "their" church.

Acting on its newly acquired power and influence, the "official" Church of the Roman Empire could now successfully espouse and defend its Greek and pagan influenced false teachings and doctrines, grow in number, wealth, power, influence and stature, and keep all of its "members" obedient and under control. 

In 393 C.E. the Council of Hippo sanctioned 27 books for the New Testament and four years later the Council of Cartage confirmed the same 27 books as "the authoritative scriptures" of the Roman Catholic Church. To help protect their power and influential status Catholic Church Bishops kept the truth of the written word of the newly sanctioned scriptures - the bible - out of the hands of the people/laity for the next one-thousand years. This was a clear attempt to separate the Catholic "Christian" Church and the Messiah from its Hebrew/Jewish heritage and impart new "Christian" doctrines into the Church. The Bishops also used the backing of the emperors and the often brutal strong arm of the Roman government to help enforce Church doctrines and punish any church member that did not adhere strictly to those doctrines. Compliance with Church doctrines by its members was upheld by threats of punishments ranging from exclusion from the Church building and/or the holy sacraments, excommunication, banishment, and even physical harm; involving torture, burning at the stake or death by the sword. It's easy to see how the Roman Catholic Church quickly grew into a prominent influential religious and political power in the region of Rome. 

 
This major development within the ekklesia was very similar to what Jewish leaders had previously done in Yahshua's day through their collusion with that same Roman government.

The collusion between the Jewish leaders and Rome during Yahshua's day was never more evident than when the Pharisees conspired with a particular party of Jewish Roman government sympathizers called "Herodians" to "destroy" Yahshua after he healed a man's withered hand in a synagogue.

This conspiracy with Roman rulers by the Pharisees and Herodians continued for the duration of Yahshua's ministry as indicated in Matthew 22:15-22 where representatives of both groups tried to trap Yahshua with a question about taxes.

Yahshua even made a point to address this conspiracy between the Pharisees and Herodians when he warned his disciples in Mark 8:15 to, “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”   

Shortly after the incident regarding taxes with the Pharisees and Herodians, we read Yahshua's scathing list of indictments in Matthew 23 against the corrupt Jewish leaders of his day. Yahshua spoke directly concerning the worldly influences that had corrupted the Jewish leaders; denouncing their leadership as selfish conceit, and their deeds as heavy burdens placed on the shoulders of those they were charged by Yahweh to oversee and protect.

Yahshua held no punches when it came to calling-out those Jewish leaders regarding their worldly ways. He openly called them ALL "fools," "blind guides," "lawless," "serpents," "vipers," "murderers," "sons of Hell" and "hypocrites." Yahshua even went as far as to question how those Jewish leaders could "escape the sentence of Hell" for their words and deeds.

Yahshua's condemning indictments of those Jewish leaders who had colluded with the Roman government would also be applicable to the "Christian" leaders of the newly established Roman Catholic Church who also colluded with the Roman government to establish their power and influence among the people. And Yahshua's words to those Jewish leaders would also be just as applicable today in 2016 to the leaders of protestant and evangelical denominational churches
(which are really nothing more than off-shoots of the Roman Catholic Church) that have colluded with the the United States Government by entering into 501c3 IRS corporate contracts.

The "leaven of Herod" has so taken hold of Christianity that in America today you will be hard-pressed to find any "Christian church" of any denomination or creed that doesn't adhere to many of the same corrupt doctrines and traditions established by the Roman Catholic Church.

Today's churches are also structured and governed in a similar worldly manor of ungodly collusion by the hands of powerful church "leaders." In fact, almost every church in America today has openly colluded with the State by means of signing a 501c3 IRS corporate contract; despite the fact that "churches" are protected by the First Amendment and DO NOT have to sign any "legal" agreement to operate as a church or attain tax-exempt status.
 
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof - See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment1.html#sthash.U5ARnDgH.dpuf
Any Church that agrees to operate under a 501c3 IRS corporate contract willingly cedes Yahshua Messiah's supreme authority as head of the ekklesia to the directives and authority of the State.
   
Further historical facts:

Under Roman Catholic imperial religious conditions a powerful and progressive anti-Semitic movement began. Roman persecution of Jews increased while the new government sponsored "Christian" Catholic faith eliminated the historical Hebrew heritage of the Messiah. The Roman government's hatred of Jews allowed the Catholic Church to purge the "Jewish" Messiah and replace him with a new "Christian" Messiah. The Jewish Messiah was transformed from a devout Jew named Yahshua (Yahweh's Salvation) to the founder of a "Greek" Christian religion and given a new Greek name - Iésous (Jesus). While never taught in Sunday School or preached from the pulpit, the fact remains that both the Roman government and the Catholic Church wanted to separate themselves completely from the Jews and their faith. Both Rome and the Catholic Church treated Jews as less than second-class citizens and their Jewish faith with total disdain, while the Catholic Church grew and prospered unchallenged by the truth for many centuries. Sadly, this tradition carried on even after the Protestant movement and does so to this day within most Protestant churches. Noted Jewish historian and Rabbi Tovia Singer said "Raw antisemitism was born in Rome" and "Christianity gave birth to real raw antisemitism."

The church even accepted the wrongly translated Greek name Iēsoús, which later became anglicized into the name Jesus, instead of the correct Hebrew name Yahshua - which Yahweh instructed both Mary and Joseph to name their son - which literally means "Yahweh is salvation." The church also continued the practice of removing/hiding the personal name of the God of Israel - YAHWEH - from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).
Long before the Messiah was born, Hebrew scribes removed the personal, eternal and memorial name (Exodus 3:15) of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (YHWH) from the Hebrew Scriptures and replaced it with generic titles such as Lord and God.

Believing that the name YHWH (Pronounced YaHWeH) was to holy to write or speak, Jewish scribes substituted generic titles such as LORD and God for Yahweh 6,823 times in the scriptures. This deliberate action virtually eliminated the name Yahweh from the Hebrew scriptures. the personal name given to Moses in Exodus 3:15 by our creator.  
Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them? God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘YAHWEH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is MY NAME FOREVER, and this is MY MEMORIAL-NAME TO ALL GENERATIONS. Exodus 3:13-15 
It can't be more strongly emphasized that when asked by Moses about His name, Yahweh specifically told him that His name was YHWH. Yahweh followed that pronouncement by emphasizing to Moses that the name Yahweh was "forever," and was to be remembered and used for "all generations" by His people. 

There is nothing in the context of Exodus 3, or anywhere else in the bible for that matter, to indicate that Yahweh didn't want His name written or spoken. Likewise, nowhere in the bible is there any indication that there was ever going to be any other name, other than Yahweh, used to address "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘This is how you shall bless the children of Israel.’ You shall tell them, ‘Yahweh bless you, and keep you. Yahweh make his face to shine on you, and be gracious to you. Yahweh lift up his face toward you, and give you peace.’ “So they shall put MY NAME on the children of Israel; and I WILL BLESS THEM. Numbers 6:22-27
In a similar manor, with respect to the name of Yahweh's only begotten son - the Messiah, it didn't take long after the Apostolic age that the Hebrew name YaHshua, that Yahweh gave to His son, which literally means Yahweh is salvation, was discarded and changed to the incorrectly transliterated Greek name "Iesous." Incorrect because the Greek pronunciation of "Iesous" is not even close to the pronunciation of Yahshua - and most definitely does NOT have the same meaning of the Hebrew name Yahshua. The erroneous Greek name Iesous was then later transliterated into Latin and finally into English - originally as "Iesus." Interestingly, it wasn't until about 400 years ago (16th century) that the letter "J" was put into the English alphabet; changing the English spelling of Iesus to Jesus. As verified by simple historical and biblical research, the name Jesus comes from a wrong transliteration of the Hebrew name Yahshua.  

Notwithstanding the undeniable historical fact that Yahshua (From Joshua) was the Hebrew name Yahweh gave to His son - the exact name used by his parents, family and friends for his entire life. Interestingly, you will find very few people today that even know that the true personal name of their Messiah is in fact Yahshua. 

It should be very troubling to anyone who discovers that the name Jesus, which scripture clearly tells us is the "name above all names," is NOT the true Hebrew name that Yahweh gave to His son. Jesus is NOT the name above all names - Yahshua IS the name above all names!
  
It's an astonishing and sometimes shocking fact to learn that the true names of both our creator (Yahweh) and His son (Yahshua) are nowhere to be found in most bible translations today. And that those two names are rarely, if ever, written or spoken by the very people who profess to be their followers. 

What's also astonishing is that the facts of this issue has been known since the apostolic age, and were even written about in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. There are prophesies and warnings regarding this issue appear throughout the bible, yet religious scholars and preachers choose to willfully ignore biblical and historical facts and use generic titles such as LORD and God for Yahweh, and the made-up name Jesus for His son Yahshua. 
“‘How do you say, “We are wise, and Yahweh’s law is with us?”
    But, behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.
Jeremiah 8:8  
Historians go to great lengths to discover evidence regarding specific names of people from the distant past. Any evidence regarding personal names is of the utmost importance when it comes to establishing creditable dates, times and events of the past. Whenever a personal name is discovered and verified by historical evidence, that name, as written, becomes a relational focal point of specific historical data. That name can then be transliterated into any language so it can be written and pronounced as close to the original as possible. From that point of discovery forward, historians can identify that individual person by their true name as it was originally written and spoken. Historians also go to great lengths to not only preserve the original text of the name, but they also go to great lengths to try to pronounce that name as it was pronounced in its original language of the day.

Hebrew historians (And Rabbis) will tell you that the name of the God of  Israel in the the Hebrew Scriptures is YHWH (Pronounced YaHWeH). Those same historians will also tell you that the name Jesus is NOT the original Hebrew name given to the son born to Mary as recorded in the New Testament. They will tell you that his given "Hebrew" name is Yahshua - derived from the name Joshua from the Hebrew scriptures. They will also tell you that, properly translated, the name YaHshua has two distinct parts; the first part "YAH" is an abbreviation of YHWH, and the second part "shua" is derived from the Hebrew word yeshua, which means salvation. Most important to any reputable historian is that the name Jesus is derived originally from Greek and Latin, and does not have the same meaning as YaHshua.

The name Jesus does not mean "Yahweh is Salvation." In fact, the name Jesus has no real meaning at all! Which, if used in the historical time that he lived, would not only have been a personal insult to Yahshua, but to his entire family and their Hebrew roots as well. And beyond that, it would be even more of an insult to Yahshua's Father Yahweh; who literally bestowed His "eternal and memorial" name on His son - naming him YaHshua.

Hebrew historians and rabbis will tell you that in Hebrew culture NAMES MEAN EVERYTHING. Sadly, when it came to "the name above all names" early Christian fathers and translators got it totally wrong.

So the big questions is - do names really matter?
Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in his garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His NAME or His son's NAME?
Surely you know?

Proverbs 30:4
Yahshua made it clear that names do matter when he said:
"I have come IN my Father's NAME..." John 5:43
King David made it clear that names do matter when he said:
"Blessed is he who comes in Yahweh's NAME." Psalms 118:26
And the multitudes made it clear that names do matter when they shouted:
"Hosanna (Oh, save us now) son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the NAME of Yahweh! Matthew 21:9
This is not to say that using the name Jesus or calling Yahweh "God" is of any consequence to one's salvation. But since the names YHWH (Yahweh) and Yahshua have been known to be historically accurate since they were originally written; why, out of respect for revealed truth, would Christians want to continue to use any other names?
"Yahweh is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
Study the scripture regarding these two names and discover for yourself that is says over and over that these two names - Yahweh and Yahshua - are the most important names in all eternity!  


The Question Is: What is your heart, your conscience, your spirit, telling you. If you are happy and content calling our creator God and His son Jesus, then so be it. But it doesn't change the fact that our creator's true name is YAHWEH and His son's true name is Yahshua.

There are many links on this site that will help in your study of this important issue.

 MUST READ: "A Timeline: The Hellenization of Christianity

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