Christianity’s Sins and Dilemmas
By John Stembridge
Christianity, like Judaism, has allowed much paganism into its belief system, especially since the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Because of the above, Judaism has existed during its dispersion without the ark of the covenant, the prophet, the priest or a king in the land nearly 2,000 years, much longer than its 400 years in Egypt. Even without the Tabernacle or Temple or a Lebitical Priesthood, Adam and Eve had a blood atonement in the Garden, and the Jewish people had the same in Egypt, the night of the firstborn’s slaying. Not so today. For 2,000 years Judaism has been without the Temple, the Levitical Priesthood and a blood atonement as required by Torah (Leviticus 17:11).
Likewise, Christianity since its dispersion from Jerusalem has been without a prophet, priest or king within the Holy City. However, neither faith will be without them much longer. Both faiths are expecting a holy king to sit on the Holy Temple Mount soon in Jerusalem.
Until that time both faiths must repent of all paganism and return to a Torah life style (obedience of God’s Statutes and Ordinances) in order to live with a holy King in a holy city during the Messianic Age. During that time God and His Messiah will not allow anything or anyone unclean in that holy city. Even the horses bridles and all the pots and pans will be holy unto the Lord (Zechariah 14:20). From one new moon to another, from one Sabbath unto another, shall all flesh come to worship before Him (Isaiah 66:22-24).
Some of the first steps into paganism that Christianity took when cutting itself from the Jewish roots of its faith were these:
1. Adopted a pagan calendar rather than the Biblical calendar.
2. Constantine changed the fourth commandment of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. Jesus never took the liberty to change one of the ten commandments as Constantine did. In fact, He said that He did not come to change the Law, but to fulfill – accomplish – it (Matthew 5:17). Also, the New Covenant calls Him the Lord of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:8; Mark 2:18; Luke 6:5) not the Lord of the sun god day. The Lord’s Day in Revelation 1:10, is the Sabbath – seventh day, not the first or sun god day. God from the beginning chose the seventh day for Himself, not the first. That’s why it is called the Lord’s Day. It’s the day of His choice.
Besides, the Sabbath is the eternal covenant given to all mankind through Adam, long before Abraham or the Jewish people.
The Sabbath will be observed throughout the millennium (thousand year reign of the Messiah, our Holy King reigning from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem) long after the six thousand years of man’s evil reign. Why should Christians wait until they are six feet under the earth to obey the fourth commandment? Why can’t they obey it now?
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh” (Isaiah 66:22-24). Notice the observant and just will look upon the dead bodies of the wicked.
3. Another step into paganism came when the church leaders began to teach that its OK for Christian believers to break the dietary laws, the laws of the feasts and laws of the Sabbath (Leviticus 23).
For two thousand years, Christians have sat down to eat with their Jewish friends and told them, “It’s all right to order ham, bacon, pork chops, shrimp, clams, scallops, lobsters, escargot, catfish, etc. Jesus did away with the law. We’re no longer under the dietary law.”
Also for two thousand years Christians have told their Jewish friends, “O, don’t worry about keeping Shabbat (seventh day). Jesus changed the fourth commandment from the seventh day to the first day when He rose from the dead.”
How many Jews have been turned from keeping God’s commandments into a rebellious lifestyle by such teachings from Christians and Christian theology? According to the teachings of Jesus, it is dangerous to teach anyone to break even one of God’s commandments (Matthew 5:19).
Stembridge studying with friends on top of Samuel’s Mountain, Jerusalem.
As initial evidence that Gentiles came into faith, Peter, James and John in Acts 15 only required them to (1) abstain from contact with idols, (2) from fornication, (3) from things strangled and (4) from blood. Afterwards, they were expected to attend a synagogue where Moses was read from generations past in the synagogues Sabbath by Sabbath and there they would learn all of God’s statues and ordinances. These Gentile converts were not expected to remain babies or ignorant of the five Books of Moses. They were expected to go to the synagogues every Sabbath to learn the whole counsel and commandments of God. Like baptism has been used by Christians as a sign of the new birth, so Peter, James and John used these four commandments as evidence that Gentiles had converted to the faith from paganism.
4. Another pagan teaching in Christianity is that the church has replaced Israel rather than Christians being grafted into the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2). To these people, Israel’s regathering and redemption is unimportant. Their main ministry has been to turn Jews into pork-eating, Sunday-worshipping, uncircumcised Gentiles. Of course any sane Jew could not convert to these pagan practices of the Gentiles. Look how Haman hated Mordechai because he would not bow to their pagan practices. Who wound up on the gallows? It was Haman. Mordechai survived the plot of Haman, a type of the false Messiah at the end of this age. In like manner the first ones to be killed by God at His Coming in Isaiah 66:15-17, will be the eaters of pork and other abominable things.
This belief has created great anti-Semitism amongst the Ku Klux Klan, the skinheads and other related hate groups who blame the execution of Jesus upon the Jews and their rejection of Him as Messiah.
This belief brought a sense of arrogance and pride upon these groups. Sometimes to the point that the Jews could not buy land, vote, or be first class citizens in the various Christian and Islamic nations of their scattering. Today Christians are experiencing the same slavery and genocide in Sudan, Indonesia and China that the Jews once experienced.
Martin Luther, due to his frustration over the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, encouraged Christians to burn their homes and take other terrible actions against them. Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). Here He was speaking specifically of His Jewish brethren who knew nothing of His Messiahship at that time.
4. The Vatican has set up its headquarters in Rome rather than Jerusalem, and teaches that the Pope is infallible. The Pope, Cardinals and Vatican rule over one billion people and are the main teachers of replacement theology today. When I met with Pope John Paul II, February 19, 1985 in the Vatican to lobby him to help free the three million Jews in Russia, the Vatican recognized 166 nations, but not Israel. To his credit, today the Pope and Vatican recognize Israel and the Jews as elder brothers. Now they must correct ALL of the paganism that has crept into the Vatican since its inception.
For one who is suppose to be infallible, how can the Pope continue to teach that Jesus was executed on Friday? To account for the Biblical three days and three nights, Jesus would have been executed on Wednesday. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday would have been the three nights; Thursday, Friday and Saturday would have been three days. The Gospels say that toward the end of the Sabbath, the beginning of the first day, Jesus was resurrected. That is sundown Saturday night, not sunrise Sunday morning.
Another fallible position of the Vatican is its prohibition of marriage of the priests and nuns. All of High Priests in the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures) were married and ministered in Holy things of God to Israel. Even Peter, whom the Vatican recognizes as the first Pope, was married and still ministered the holy things of God. There is no commandment to my knowledge in either Testament that forbids priests and ministers from being married. The news reported that in America alone, the Vatican has spent nearly one billion dollars of the tithe of Catholics in defense of its clergy in child molestation cases.
5. The Phanar and the Patriarch in Istanbul rule over three hundred million Greek and Orthodox Christians. Its headquarters is in Istanbul, Turkey rather than Jerusalem. Even though it teaches replacement theology, and has millions of icons and images, it does not teach the infallibility of the Patriarch.
6. The headquarters of the largest Protestant denominations in America – the Baptists and Methodists – are in Nashville, Tennessee rather than Jerusalem. Other denominational headquarters are located throughout the U.S.A., Canada, Central and South America.
7. The headquarters of the Anglican Church is in London – not Jerusalem.
8. Russian Orthodox headquarters is in Moscow and other denominational headquarters are in other capitals around the world.
When will all of these denominations move their headquarters to Jerusalem, Israel which is destined to be the spiritual, cultural, educational, agricultural, financial capital of the world? Do they have to wait until the Holy King splits the eastern sky to defeat the forces coming against Jerusalem? (Ezekiel 38) Or can these denominations begin to transfer authority and power now to Jerusalem in order to prepare for the coming of our great King? They should begin now.
I submit that “obedience is better than sacrifice.” The more each denomination begins to move its operations to Jerusalem and begins to keep the Sabbaths, the feasts, circumcision, and dietary laws worldwide, the more quickly the way will be prepared for the coming of the great King of Judaism and Christianity. Former mayor Teddy Kolleck of Jerusalem says that the first question he wants to ask the Messiah at His coming is, “Is this your first coming or have you been here before?” Just let the true King get here soon!
Lunch at King David coffee shop with Dola, the last surviving child of Eliazer Ben- Yehudah (known as the father of the modern Hebrew language). Dola is 90 years young. (May 2000 cj)
How can God send His Holy King to rule over a bunch of Jewish, Arab or Gentile rebels who will not submit to His statutes and ordinances? It’s just not going to happen. All the rebel secularists, idolaters and the immoral, whether Jewish or not, who refuse to bow before Him each new moon and each Sabbath will be slain according to Isaiah 66:22-24.
9. Falsely teaching that God is going to rapture Christians (the church) and leave God’s wife Israel, the mother of Yahshua the Bridgegroom of the church, with the false Messiah, the false prophet and the beast, i.e. 666 world government.
What’s wrong with this picture? What kind of a marriage celebration between Yahshua and the church would it be without God’s wife and mother of the Bridegroom, Israel, at the celebration? While the marriage celebration of Yahshua and the Church is going on in heaven, Yahshua’s mother and God’s wife, Israel, is being tortured and oppressed by a 666 false Messiah, prophet and beast system without any support or help from the true Christians or the church? Hardly. Rather, the Laodicean church will be spewed out first according to The Revelations 3:16. The true believer will be here to help rescue the Jewish people from the 666 system the same as David did for his generation. The fearful (of the anti-christ, false prophet, beast and 666 system) and unbelieving will perish like apostate King Saul. Their god, like King Saul’s god, just doesn’t have the power to deliver them from the False Messiah, prophet or beast 666 system. But a remnant like David will place their feet on the head of Satan’s trinity (false messiah, prophet and beast) in triumph in their God, the same as David celebrated over Goliath.
Believers on Assignment
It is not likely that God will send His Messiah to rapture a lazy, apostate bride that won’t finish her job assignment. That assignment includes regathering all twelve tribes to Zion from the nations for their redemption before the coming of the Messiah. Many popular Christian writers and Television networks and ministries are the leading teachers of this feel-good Laodecean doctrine that teaches that Christians will escape the tribulation. Some of these ministries, seminaries and denominations are making millions, if not billions cumulatively from Christians, but they wouldn’t spend one of those millions or billions to help reclaim and redeem the land of Zion for the regathering and redemption of the tribes of Judah and Ephraim. They are too busy trying to fly away instead of doing something practical for Israel’s redemption before the coming of Israel’s great King.
These people would not use one of their millions or billions to go to Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, the islands or the Middle East to fish the Jewish people from the nations and bring them safely in their arms and on their shoulders into Zion (Jeremiah 16:16).
After God’s judgment of the world’s apostate religious leaders, He will lift up His standard to a holy remnant of Gentiles who will go and fish the tribes of Israel from the nations.
Isaiah 49:21b – 22, “. . . and who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone, these, where had they been?
“Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.”
The Synagogue at Shiloh built to resemble the Tabernacle which rested there for some 400 years after Israel came into the land the first time. (June 2000 cj)
To which Gentiles will God lift His standard? To the Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists, Animists, Shintoists, Communists, Satanists, Voodooists, etc.? Hardly, since none of these groups believe the Tenach or the Brit HaDeshah, both of which speak of Israel’s regathering and redemption. Only Christianity of all the people groups outside of Judaism believe. It is to observant and obedient Christians that God has lifted His Standard.
It is observant and obedient Christians who will go to every hill and mountain of every nation on every continent to fish Judah and Ephraim from the nations and bring them safely to Zion. Jeremiah 16:16, “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.”
The time of God’s judgment is even now beginning upon apostate Judaism and Christianity. The rabbis, popes, priests, ministers, clergy that refuse to regather the twelve tribes from the nations to Zion will be cut off by God Himself – Ezekiel 34 and Jeremiah 23. This is taking place before God completes the regathering of Judah and Ephraim (all twelve tribes) for their redemption and infilling of His Spirit and glory (Ezekiel 36 & 37).
After Judah and Ephraim’s regathering and redemption (Ezekiel 36 & 37) then comes the big battle with Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 & 39). At this time “God will be jealous for His land and will pity His people” (Joel 2:18).
Now is the time for Judah and Ephraim to come forth.
“Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north [America and Canada are north and west of Zion], saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.
“Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.
“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
“For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
“And many nations [includes Arab and Gentiles as well as the Jewish people] shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
“And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
“Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation” (Zechariah 2:6-13).
Here God is commanding His people to come forth out of the North and four corners of the earth. He is commanding Zion to deliver herself from the daughter of Babylon. America, without doubt, is the Babylon of the world today. A godless government from the local to Washington, D.C. all ruled by a corrupt system. Look at the godless films and movies spewed out by Hollywood and the media. All of their godless content and doctrines contrary to God’s commandments are exported to the four corners of the world. America, without doubt, is the largest missionary nation of pornographic, violence, and immorality to the world. Can the Holy God of Israel tolerate the rebellion of Washington and Hollywood much longer? Of course not. If God fails to judge America, He will have to apologize to Egypt, Sodom and Gomorrah for His destruction of them.
Verse 8: God is sending ONE to the nations that spoiled Israel.
Speaking God’s Word of blessing and praise on the Mt. of Blessing.
Verse 9: God will shake His hand upon these nations that spoiled His people for they are the apple of His eye.
Verse 10: When He shakes these heathen nations, Zion shall sing and rejoice for He is coming to indwell her.
Verse 18: When He is reunited with His wife in the land of Israel “many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day and shall be my people” – Not just the 13 to 18 million Jewish people, but also Arab and Gentile nations. Are the orthodox in Israel ready to welcome redeemed Arabs and Gentiles out of every language, tribe, color and nation? Let’s hope so, for it will happen very quickly now.
After God comes to kill the wicked (Isaiah 66:15-17), God will (Verse 18:) “gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.”
Verse 24: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”
The truly redeemed Jews, Arabs and Gentiles out of every color, language, tribe and nation will survive the time of Jacob’s trouble and “will look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me.”
The survivors will be the Josephs, Davids, Elijahs, Daniels, Isaiahs, Jeremiahs, and Zechariahs of this hour. The Godly of this generation will not be killed by the false Messiah, the false prophet or 666 beast system. Like David, these will run to the 666 system with the declaration, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that resists the army of God? This day God has delivered you into my hand.” (I Samuel 17)
These overcomers will rule and reign upon the earth with the Messiah during the thousand year Sabbath (seventh millenium). Olivi. -
Editor’s note: Mr. John Stembridge can be contacted at 545 NE 125th Street, North Miami, FL 33161-4718; Ph. 305-893-0800; Fax: 305-893-0654.