By Theodore Shoebat
Some of the most enthusiastic, charitable and zealous people I’ve ever met are Messianic believers, and I will always hold to this view. This article is not against them at all, but against a radical sect that is lurking about searching for anyone it can devour. Amidst the billowing smoke of capricious opinions, there is a most dangerous trend.
It is a trend that plunges deep into a theology that places the Jew over, and not equal to, the Gentile; that deems the Trinity as pagan; that sees all other Christians as inferior (because they supposedly lack “Jewishness”), and calls Christianity a false religion. It is a spirit that will violently emphasis that if one does not call Jesus “Yeshua,” he is worshipping a pagan god, that if he worships the Deity as God and not Yahweh, he is worshipping a false god; and that the word Christ is pagan (it falsely affirms that it is a derivative of Krishna or Zeus worship). Nevertheless, these are of the extreme branch, but elements of this has creeped into the Church, and there is no end. It doesn’t agree with Orthodox Christianity, nor does it agree with traditional Protestantism.
Those who follow this trend will fabricate and believe all sorts of false historical narratives that are of a utopian and fantastical nature. They will say, for example, that the earliest Christians were just like them, observing feasts, and following a strict rule of calling God only Yahweh, and Jesus only Yeshua, just as Muslims stress that God must be called Allah and Jesus Isa.
They also say that when Constantine took the throne, he murdered millions of these “original believers,” forcing them to go underground, and that their beliefs were not revived until recently. If you would like to read my refutation of this idea about Constantine, you can read it here.
This ill-grounded perspective on Church History, that states that the original believers were slaughtered by Constantine and taken over by a supposed hybrid of Christianity and paganism, greatly parallels the Islamic view that states that all the original followers of Jesus were Muslims who were forced to go underground by the Catholic Church, that this set of true teachings were not fully revived until Muhammad. Both the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have the same fragmented perspective on the history of their heresies as well.
There are two people who exemplify this trend the most: Judaizers and Muslims. Both Muslims and Judaizers deem anyone who celebrate Christmas or Easter as pagans. I have made a three part video series showing how leaders such as Michael Rood and Jim Staley agree with Muslim leaders in regards to Church History, and Orthodox Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter. It is long, I know, but it will open your eyes as to how these supposed teachers are in fact agreeing with the antichrist view of Christianity:
Both the Muslims and the Judaizers incessantly affirm that if one observes Easter and Christmas, then that person is a pagan, no different than the idolaters of Babylon. This vicious and ruthless perception of traditional Christians is not a modern inception, but one that is quite ancient, going back into far antiquity.
In the 9th Century there was a group of Judaizing heretics called the Athinganoi. They did not require obligatory circumcision, they stressed that the Saturday Sabbath should be observed rather than the Sunday rest day, that Easter was a pagan holiday, and that the icons of the Catholic Church were idols (To read my defense of Christian icons, click here). While this sounds good to many Messianics, when one inquires deeper into their theology, one will find that they were a most pernicious and dangerous cult. They believed that the Old Testament took precedent over the New Testament, to the point that they denied the existence of Satan because he (as they falsely said) was not mentioned in the books of the Prophets, and held that Judas was “among the saved.”
There was in fact an emperor of the Byzantine Empire, named Michael II the Stammerer, who was a member of the Athinangoi. Judaziers are wont to ceaselessly talk of their fabricated histories, how the Catholic Church murdered “millions” of their people. If they are correct (and they are not), then we would certainly find the utmost of peace and civility under the reign of Judaizing emperor Michael II. Whoever thinks such a thought, should only look into the historical record of this man’s rule, within the work of the primary source, A Synopsis of Byzantine History, by the ancient historian John Skylitzes. We learn from Skylitzes that when Michael took power, he promised that he would leave the traditions of the Church, and that he had no intention of changing them. Michael made this statement to the head patriarch, Nikephoros,
Let each one do what seems right and desirable to him, free of punishment and knowing no affliction.
But like Antiochus Epiphanies, Michael gave a false sign of peace, and in short time he executed a reign of terror over the Orthodox, killing and imprisoning those who affronted him, and even forbidding children from learning Catholic teachings in order to prevent future generation from condemning his heresies. Skylitzes writes of this despotism of the Judaizers thus:–
Now he [Michael II] would assault the monks, afflicting them with a variety of terrors and devising one punishment after another; he would throw others of the faithful into gaol or send them into exile. Methodius, who a little later was thought worthy of the patriarchal throne, and Euthymios, then bishop of Sardis, withstood him, refusing to renounce the practice of revering the sacred icons; these he expelled from the capital city for their pains. He imprisoned the sacred Methodios on the island of Akritas and put the blessed Euthymios to death by a merciless flogging with bull’s sinews at the hand of Theophilos, his [Michael’s] son. …Thus he [Michael] attained the very acme and meridian of godlessness, now ordering fasting on Saturdays, now sharpening his tongue against the sacred prophets; now denying the resurrection to come and decrying the good things promised in the next world. He would affirm that there was no such thing as the devil because there was no mention of him in the Mosaic [law]. He embraced porneia, stipulated that swearing should always be by God, with his unbridled tongue, located Judas among the saved. He ridiculed the feast of salvation-bringing Easter for being celebrated badly and out of season, portraying it as a pagan tradition. He was so alienated from our own sacred teaching that he would not even allow the young to be educated, this so that nobody would be able to withstand and condemn his mindlessness; nor any man whose eye had been sharpened and his speech quickened by education get the better of him. (Skylitzes, A Synopsis of Byzantine History, ch. 3.4, , trans. Wortley, first and third brackets, and ellipses, mine. See also ch. 3.2, )
This entire text is significant, in that it shows what tyrannies and despotisms the Apostles prevented when they condemned the Circumcision Party, for if the Judaizers of Peter’s day were allowed to overrun the Church, they too would have been a terror to the Orthodox. Let us not forget that the Judaizers struck terror into the heart of St. Peter, for St. Paul recounts:
“For before that certain came from James, he [Peter] did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.” (Galatians 2:12)
Moreover, we find that Michael II enforced the Saturday Sabbath on Orthodox Christians, and punished monks and other Church leaders with death and tyranny for doing what he deemed as paganism, that is, having icons and observing Easter. That a Judaizer would implement such despotism on Orthodox Christians is inherent quality of their sect once it takes a position of power. St. Paul warned the Church on the tyrannical goals of the Judaizers, when he wrote:
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage (Galatians 2:4)
History is the pathway into the future, and from such historical occurrences, we know that the utopia of the Judaizers looks no different that of the Sharia society of the Muslims. This is why both the Muslim Yusha Evans and the Judaizer Yusha Evans, desire and support the implementation of the old Puritan laws for suppressing and punishing the observance of Christmas that were once carried out in America:
Many of you may be angry for this comparison, but if you are against Islam, then you must be against these Judaizers, for they want they desire the same form of tyranny as is commanded in Islam.
Obama’s brother, Malik Obama, is working with a cultist named Israyl Hawkins, the founder of The House of Yahweh. Why would a Muslim being working with someone who is not Islamic? Because Hawkins’ cult is a heresy whose false theology is quite reminiscent to that of Islam.
Both Islam and the House of Yahweh deny the Trinity, both believe in polygamy, and ultimately, both are Judaizers.
Islam is a Judaizing heresy, a cult of Judaizers called Muslims who want to force man into a corruption of the Law of God, bringing the world into the utmost of bondage, with the tyranny and the scourge of false piety and feigned righteousness.
The great epic stories of the Scriptures have a dual significance: historical and prophetic. When the Apostles gathered together in the first council of the Church, that is, the Council of Jerusalem, they condemned the Judaizers, and their Judaizing beliefs, specifically that of obligatory circumcision. What took place in this glorious council of the saints, was not just a mere event of theological conflict, but one that projected a warning for all Christians past and present: that is, that Judaizing is dangerous, both spiritually and physically.
That the first Church council was done to combat Judaizing; that the first major heresy dealt with by the Church was Judaizing, and that a substantial amount of the New Testament is dedicated to combating Judaizing, leads us to a significant conclusion: Judaizing is the most dangerous heresy to have ever confronted the Church. You may say that Islam is the most destructive, and I would say that you are correct. But this does not prove my conclusion false, for Islam is the purest form of Judaizing. When St. Peter rose up and declared
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they
he was making a prophetic warning against the heresy of Islam. St. Paul went so far as to say, concerning the Judaizers, “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh!” (Philippians 3:1-8)
Such harsh words illustrate the great measure of evil that is within the Judaizing cults, and ultimately, St. Paul’s chastising words foretell not only all Judaizers, but the Judaizing heresy of Islam — the religion of the Antichrist.
Now, let me provide you, dear reader, the evidences that show the spirit of Judaizing the lies within Islam. A great witness to Islam’s Judaizing, is Konstantin Mihailovic, former Muslim and Janissary of the 15th Century, who fought for the Islamic Ottoman Empire, only to leave Islam for Christianity and become an educator on the realities of Islam to Christendom which was, at that time, in the midst of a war with the Muslims. To form the Christians of his day on Muhammad’s cult, he wrote a book (which became a bestseller) called Memoirs of a Janissary. In the beginning of his book, Konstantin explains the Judaizing aspects of Islam:
These same [Muslims] hold the books of Moses but conduct themselves according to the accursed Koran, that is, the scripture of Muhammad, and believe one Lord God Creator of heaven and earth. …They practice circumcision. They do not eat pork. (Konstantin Mihailovic, Memoirs of a Janissary, ch. 1, trans. Benjamin Stolz, ellipses and brackets mine)
There are several points to make from this quote of Konstantin. Firstly, Muhammad ordered obligatory circumcision, and this is directly contrary to what the Apostles taught and established in the Council of Jerusalem, thus the Council not only dealt with a present heresy but was prophetic of the coming Islamic religion. Secondly, Islam fully condemns the eating of pork, which is part of the Judaizing nature of the heresy itself, and this deliberately conflicts with the command of our Lord to St. Peter. When Christ presented before St. Peter unclean foods and commanded him to eat of it, and the Apostle expressed his refusal to consume them, our Lord declared:
What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. (Acts 10:15)
Thirdly, Konstantin states that the Muslims generally uphold the first five books of Moses (or the Pentateuch), and this is true even in our own times. It is commonly believed that Muslims only have the Koran; this is not accurate. The Muslims uphold several books: the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and the Koran. They reject the Epistles of the Apostles (especially Paul), because once one reads these together with the Four Gospels, the divinity of Jesus is easily ascertained and comprehended.
When one reads the words of our Lord when He said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58),” “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him” (John 14:7), and “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30), together with the words of St. Paul when he wrote, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11), and “all things were created by him [Christ], and for him” (Colossions 1:16, brackets mine), Christ’s divinity is most easily concluded. But once you sever the Gospels and the Old Testament from Paul’s epistles, then it is more expedient for the heretic to interpret unitarianism, and impiously explain away the triune Godhead.
Muslim scholar, Yasin T. Al-Jibouri uses both the Old Testament and the Gospels, while excluding the writings of the Apostles, in order to prove that “original” Christianity was unitarian:
Jesus Christ (pbuh) never claimed to be the “son of God,” nor did he ever say that he was God. …There is ample evidence in the Bible that the Israelites had always regarded Yahweh (Jehovah) as the Creator of all. Another original characteristic of the Israelite God was that He stood alone, without any familiar connections, whether consort, son or daughter. This concept agrees with Islam’s concept of God. (Al-Jibouri, Allah: The Concept of God in Islam, vol. 1, part 3, ch. 3, p. 509, ellipses mine)
Al-Jibouri reveals his own Islamic prejudice against the Apostles, and his absence of appreciation for Church History, when he writes that the Trinity is part of “the faith not of Christ but his disciples” (Ibid, p. 508).
In an article published by the Institute of Islamic Information and Education, a Muslim scholar uses the words of only Moses and Jesus to support the Islamic denial of the Trinity and the upholding of unitarianism (tawhid in Arabic), while ignoring St. Paul:
Known as “tawhid” in Islam, this concept of the Oneness of God was stressed by Moses in a Biblical passage known as the “Shema”, or the Jewish creed of faith: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
It was repeated word-for-word approximately 1500 years later by Jesus when he said “…The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29)
Muhammad came along approximately 600 years later, bringing the same message again: “And your God is One God: there is no God but He…” (The Qur’an 2:163).
Christianity has digressed from the concept of the Oneness of God, however, into a vague and mysterious doctrine that was formulated during the fourth century. This doctrine, which continues to be a source of controversy both within and outside the Christian religion, is known as the Doctrine of the Trinity.
Notice how he says that Christianity “digressed,” implying that the original believers were Muslims, and that Christianity was corrupted by the Catholic Church with its doctrine of the Trinity as declared and officiated in the Council of Nicaea. This fabrication of fantastical histories to support one’s cult and heresy, is exactly what the Judaizers do. Yisrayl Hawkins parallels the Muslims when he said, conceding the Holy Trinity:
Those who are False Prophets and Lying teachers ‘teach’ the false doctrine that there is a ‘trinity’ or a ‘duality’ in the ‘GODHEAD’. Therefore, it is also The Truth of Yahweh that Yahshua Messiah [Jesus] did not ‘pre-exist’!” (The Prophetic Word, 7 June 1991, p. 7)
These wicked and devilish words are reminiscent to the Koran when it says:
They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God
In another writing Hawkins affirms his heretical poison:
Some of those trying to support the deception of a ‘pre-existent savior, argue that Yahshua and Yahweh are THE ‘SAME’ BEING…The Holy Scriptures plainly show that Yahshua and Yahweh are TWO DIFFERENT BEINGS! (Did Yahshua Messiah Pre-exist? p. 40).
Trinity is a concept that was copied from a popular pagan religion of the Romans, called Mithraism.
Both Muslims and Judaizers believe strongly that Constantine wanted to unite the empire under a hybrid religion of Christianity and sun worship (or Sol Invictus), and it was this hybrid religion that became Christianity, forcing the “original believers” to go underground. One Muslim website illustrates this ahistorical claim:
A council [at Nicaea] was convened by order of Constantine, the Roman emperor. He had been a leader in the cult known as Sol Invictus (Invincible Sun) and now wanted to unite the Christian sects in the empire under his existing church; the Universal Church of Rome.
This same Muslim website affirms that the Church of Rome was completely pagan, and that its supposed pagan religion was used by the Roman Empire as a means to unify the people:
Many people today, even Catholics, do not know the Holy Roman Catholic Church was already in business several hundred years BEFORE Jesus, peace be upon him, was even born. It was a pagan church established by the Roman government in an effort to control the subjects of Rome by having them all participate at least to some extent, along with other Roman citizens in some kind of common worship practices and beliefs.
Yisrayl Hawkins, the Judaizer, agrees entirely with the Muslims, that the Council of Nicaea was conveyed to establish a hybrid between Christianity and paganism, that would be used as a unifier for the Roman Empire:
About four years prior to chairing the Council [of Nicaea], Constantine had been initiated into the religious order of Sol Invictus, one of the two thriving cults that regarded the Sun as the one and only Supreme God (the other was Mithraism). …Constantine’s intention at Nicaea was to create an entirely new god for his empire who would unite all religious factions under one deity.
These opinions are not just within the extremist sects, but have infiltrated heavily within the churches in the west, and I fear that they will make Christians digress into the mentality of Muslims.
These heretic teachers who falsify history, conduct viscous slander against Orthodox Christianity, favor violence toward Orthodox Christians, and deceive people, do so “that they might bring us into bondage” (Galatians 2:4), that is, tyranny.
ADDITION: We received this message from someone who came from a judaizing group, and this is her story:
I was raised in a conservative Jewish home. Growing up, we would attend synagogue most weeks as well as celebrate the Jewish holidays. During those years God was busy with me, planting His Word in my heart – His Word that I heard during the weekly services. As I grew and became a little more familiar with Scripture I began asking questions, like when did God stop requiring us to make sacrifices. All my questions seemed to do was make people uncomfortable, but I kept searching for answers.
When I was 17 years old I accepted Messiah and the atonement He made, once for all, on the cross. I was certain that I was the only Jew to ever have done so. Not too long after that I went to church with a friend of mine. Unfortunately there were a few things that I just couldn’t get past. One was that it seemed like the sermons were focused not on Scripture, but on the founders of that particular denomination. The other was the fact that the people there kept trying to convince me that I was no longer Jewish and that I didn’t need to hold on to my Jewishness, my traditions, etc. Needless to say I did not feel comfortable there, so I stopped going. I did, however continue to read the Bible and learn about God.
Fast forward 10 years or so. I was now married and while I had shared everything with my husband, there was one little detail I had managed to keep secret – my faith in Christ. My husband had been raised in the Lutheran church, but had not yet come to salvation. One day, amidst some very troubling circumstances, I shared my faith with him and he agreed to go to church with me. When I looked in the phone book I saw that there was a Messianic congregation in town, so we decided to go there as I thought I would feel more comfortable.
When we first started attending I did indeed feel more comfortable. I was very happy to see that Jewish believers were worshiping in a Jewish way, much like an Hispanic or Aftican-American church would worship within the context of their culture. It was also nice to see non-Jewish believers there as well. But the longer we were there, some things started getting us concerned. There was a trend among the leadership in the congregation to try to impose Mosaic Law on believers in Christ. They supported keeping kosher and other legalistic duties – duties that I never kept before coming to Christ. I couldn’t understand how they could justify requiring people to keep these laws now that they were in Christ and free from the law of sin and death. They also held the view that non-Jewish believers were “less than,” and would not allow them to hold certain positions simply because they had not been born a Jew. This view was also held by many who were pillars of the Messianic movement. Added to all of this was a general disdain for anything “church.” While I completely understand that many, many Jews are repelled by the church because of historical violence that the church has committed against Jews, I couldn’t understand how those who had come to Christ could justify the positions they were taking. When I started asking about this and pointing out that Scripture teaches that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile but we are all new creatures in Christ, or that God made all food acceptable to eat I was met with condescension. They tried to convince me that I obviously didn’t know what I was talking about. It wasn’t too long before we left that congregation.
We have been part of several churches since that time. The sad thing is that whenever there has been a question over a teaching, policy or doctrine, I’ve been met with the same attitude of condescension. The even sadder thing is how God’s Word has come to take a back seat over people’s agenda. Sometimes the Word has been moved from the back seat to the trunk and isn’t taken seriously at all.
Over the years I have tried to keep things simple, relying not on man’s word, but on God’s. It doesn’t matter if a person is a pastor or a layman. If what they are teaching doesn’t agree with Scripture, don’t believe it. In Scripture we are told, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11 NIV) If people were checking Paul’s teachings against Scripture to make sure that he was correct, how much more diligent should we be! As time goes on there will be more and more false teachings, more and more wolves in sheep’s clothing trying to deceive believers and lead them astray. Be diligent in studying the Scriptures daily so that you know God’s Truth.