I recently read an email from one of our brothers in Africa, posing the question to me of what is the true doctrine of the first church? He expressed that He is a Christian but has known for a while that many of its teachings are false and that He wanted to know where He could find the true doctrine of the first believers; in reference to the first followers of Yahusha (Jesus).
This is a great question. Although the true doctrine is already written the bible, I knew from experience that the reader would not be able to see it because he was reading it from a Christian (European) perspective. What I mean by that is: the bible is a translation of Hebrew scrolls and letters, so you have to read it from a Hebrew perspective (and know at least a little bit of the history of what was going on during that time frame) in order to understand the context of both the gospels and the letters of the apostles. So I gave the reader some links to resources that he could use to learn more about the culture and teachings of the first believers.
Although I responded to the reader, I know that many of you may have this same question; so I wanted to write an entire article about it so that I can help you all as well. I have studied this subject for the last 3 years straight and I have come to the conclusion that in order for anyone to understand the true doctrine of what the apostle’s preached; you have to understand who they were and how they lived. So follow me as I break down who the first church was, what the church was, how they lived, and what they preached.
Disclaimer: the biblical word “church” comes from the European words Kirche, Kirk, Kerk, and Circe which all reference the worship of Sun Gods. These words translate as “church” in the English language and was inserted into the New Testament writings during the 15th century in place of the correct word “assembly”. In other words, the term “church” is pagan. However, since most of the world is unaware of this, I will be using the word “church” throughout this article for the sake of understanding.
1. The first assembly (church) started in Exodus, Not Acts.
The traditional Christian theology of when the so-called church first began is that it was formed on Shavuot (Pentecost) when the disciples received the Holy Spirit. However, this is false. The so-called church began thousands of years earlier when the Israelites came out of Egypt into the wilderness and the angel of YAHUAH gave Moses the 10 commandments in a cloud on Mount Sinai; as the covenant for the Israelites to be His people. (Exodus 19:3-20). To prove to you that what I am saying is the truth and not my opinion, let’s go to the NT writings and read Stephen’s testimony of when the church started below:
This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt. – Acts 7:38-40
From the text above, we can clearly see that the first biblical church started in Exodus with the nation of Israel, just as I previously stated. However, most people don’t know this because the word “Church” is non-existent in the OT and only appears in the NT. The reason for this is because the word “church” came from the Greek word “kuriakon” and has no roots in the Hebrew language. Therefore, since the OT was translated from Hebrew and the NT was translated from Greek, there is no word in the Hebrew language that would reference a church.
However, the word “church” should not be in the bible at all. As I mentioned earlier in my disclaimer, the word church was inserted into the bible during the 15 century in place of the word assembly. The word assembly is the correct translation from the Greek word ekklesia, which means: the assembly of the called out ones in reference to the nation of Israel. And the word assembly is not exclusive to the Greek language; there are also Hebrew words in the OT that mean the assembly as well. The Hebrew words edah and kahal both mean assembly or congregation in the OT and are always referencing the nation of Israel. So the problem we have here is that our modern bibles translate the OT from Hebrew and the NT from Greek; which both use different words for assembly (church). However, both the Greek and Hebrew words that are mistranslated as church still mean the same thing: the assembly of the Israelites.
The proof of this can be found by reading the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of OT from the 1st B.C. In the Septuagint, the translators used the same Greek word ekklesia that is in our modern NT to replace both Hebrew words kahal and edah; in reference to the assembly. Here’s a quick summary of the usage of kahal and edah in the Septuagint (LXX), NT and English below:
As we can see from the reference above, the Greek word ekklesia is synonymous with the Hebrew words kahal and edah. They both mean assembly. Therefore, you should easily be able to conclude that the first assembly (church) was indeed the Israelites and not Gentiles. This is the main difference between what the biblical church believed and what the modern day churches believe.
Today’s churches here in America uphold a theology that The Most High replaced Israel with the Gentiles because of their disobedience and that we are all one in Christ now. They based their doctrine on Paul’s passage in his letters to the Galatians, which stated “There is neither Jew nor Greek; for we are all one in Messiah”. But what they fail to realize is that the Greeks who Paul was referring to in that passage were actually Israelites from one of the 10 lost tribes that were living in Galatia. The reason Paul addressed them as Greeks is because the scattered tribes who were under the authority of the Greeks were forced to renounce their identity as Israelites and become Greeks before the time of the Messiah. However, that is a whole other topic in itself, so I won’t address that here. But my point is, that Paul was not writing letters to other nations that he did not know. He was writing letters to his own people; the ones that had been scattered into the nations of Europe and had become Gentiles. So who the modern day church thinks are the other nations, is actually the Israelites.
The biblical church is and has always been the assembly of the Israelites and the entire bible from Genesis to Revelation is written to them. Even Yahusha (Jesus) himself stated that He only came for the House of Israel (Matthew 15:24) because the nation of Israel is the church. So the NT church that received the Holy Spirit on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost) in the book of Acts – who Christians think was the first church – was just a fulfillment of prophecy that was given to the original church (Joel 2:28-32). Therefore, the doctrine of modern day churches is false because there is no such thing as an assembly (church) without the nation of Israel. And the nation of Israel here in America is you — the so-called African Americans.
2. The NT assembly (church) was the people, not a building.
Today, when people think of a church; they immediately envision a building with a cross on top it. They get this idea because there is a building called a church on almost every street corner in America. Therefore, when people read the NT of the bible and they see the word “church”, they think that it is referring to the buildings and storefronts that they see throughout their towns and cities. However, the notion of a church being a building or a store front is not written anywhere in the bible. As we have just read in the section above, the biblical church is the nation of Israel. Therefore, the church is an assembly of people; not a building. I’m not saying that it’s anything wrong with going to a building to fellowship with believers, but what I am saying is the building is not the church — you are the church.
But don’t take my word for it. Let’s go to the NT and see what the Messiah had to say about the church. The book of Matthew gives us the first reference of the word church in the NT. So let’s read that below:
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18-19
In this verse, When Yahusha said, “… on this rock I will build My church, He was telling Peter that He will be the one to build his assembly of believers — from among His chosen people. He wasn’t telling Peter to go out and build a building; He was telling him to go out and build his people. Why? Because the people of Israel (the regular citizens, not the wealthy elite) at that time were suffering some of the curses of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 for not abiding by The Most High’s commandments and they were awaiting for the coming of the Messiah to redeem them from their sins so they could get back in right standing with the creator. So Yahusha needed people to go out and spread the goods news of His coming to His people so they would believe in Him, repent from their sins and be grafted back into the family. And Peter was the guy he chose to lead this mission.
After Yahusha died and ascended back into the Heavens, the disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit and the mission that Yahusha gave to Peter began to take full effect. Because of Peter’s preaching and the rest of the disciples steadfast commitment to spread the goods news to our people, many Israelites converted to the belief of Yahusha as the Messiah and were immersed (baptized) in his name. Then the other disciples, such as Paul and Barnabas left Israel and went out to the countries in Asia and Europe where the other Israelites from the Northern Kingdom were scattered, and preached the good news to them. As a result, many Israelites (and those among the Israelites) became believers and the church grew larger and larger and thousands of souls were redeemed.
However, this NT church that Peter started did not get together and fellowship in fancy million dollar mega-buildings as we do here in America. They fellowshipped in the homes of other believers. You can read about this is the book of Acts 1:13, Acts 2:42-47, Acts 8:3, Romans 6:3-5, 1 Corinthians 16:19 Collossians 4:15, Philemon 1:2, James 2:1-4, etc. Although there were many synagogues (modern day church buildings) that existed in the towns of Israel and other countries governed by Rome during this time; the followers of Yahusha mostly gathered in each other’s homes. The only time they went to a synagogue was to preach the good news of Yahusha to those who were not believers (Acts 17:1-4). And the reason they (the church) would meet up in each other’s homes as opposed to Synagogues is because they all lived in the same villages together.
In case you didn’t know this, the followers of Yahusha were Nazarenes — not Christians — and they lived in villages on the shores of lakes and rivers, away from cities and towns. They chose to live away from the business of the city life so they could live separate from the world and consecrated to YAHUAH; which is what the word Nazar means. They all worked and lived together in the same community and shared everything that they had. To make sure everyone’s needs were meant; each member of the village would sell all of their possessions and give their money and resources to the apostles, who would re-distribute it back to the people living in the community.
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. – Acts 4:32-35
Selling one’s possessions to move into one of the villages of the Nazarenes was the standard for the NT Church. This is why Yahusha told the rich young ruler in Matthew 19, to “go sell all that you have” and “come follow me” because that was the mandate for being one of his disciples. Why? Because when Yahusha himself had no possessions of his own and stayed in a village called Capernaum among His people (Matthew 4:13, Mark 2:1-2). And whenever he left His village to proclaim the good news of His coming, He would always stay in a village at the home of a fellow Israelite. And the NT assembly (church) lived this same lifestyle because they were following him.
Therefore, the operation of these so-called churches here in America today is in direct opposition to how the church operated in bible. The NT church was a village of people who sold all they had to live among other believers; not a building to attend weekly for a motivational lecture and entertainment show.
3. The NT assembly (church) kept the commandments, not traditions.
The most extreme difference between the assemblies (churches) in the bible and the Christian church here in America, is that the Nazarenes lived by the commandments of YAH, and Christians live by the traditions of men. All of the followers of Yahusha in the NT kept YAH’s commandments and feast days of the covenant that were written in the torah (law). But Christians on the other hand, do the opposite. For instance, instead of keeping (Sabbath) the 7th day of the week holy as YAH commanded us to do so; Christians choose to keep (Sunday) the 1st day of the week holy. The difference between these two days is that one is commanded by YAH and the other is commanded by religion. And this is just one example of the many traditions that Christians keep over YAH’s commandments.
The reason why Christians follow the traditions of their religion instead of following the commandments of YAH is because their religion teaches them to do so. Since its inception, Christianity has always taught it’s members to follow their traditions over what’s written in the scriptures. In case you’re not too familiar with the foundation of Christianity, let me give you a very short brief history to help you understand why they operate outside of YAH’s will.
The religion of Christianity was formed during the 3rd century by the Roman Emperor Constantine and The Roman Catholic Church to establish a religion for state of Rome that would spread throughout the continent of Europe and keep the general population under their rule. During that time, there were many different faiths and the general population worshiped many different Gods. And each of these faiths had annual traditions — such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New Year’s Even (Watch Nights), and Sunday worship — where they would all get together and perform a (demonic) ritual in honor of the Gods they worshiped. But in the midst of all the pagan worship taking place in Europe, the faith of the Hebrew Israelite Nazarenes was spreading like wildfire and causing many to convert to the faith of the Nazarenes. The Roman Catholic Church did not like this because the faith of Nazarenes was causing the general population to think for themselves and go against the evil governing laws of Rome.
Therefore, since the faith of the Hebrew Israelite Nazarenes was spreading like wildfire all over Rome and Europe and the Roman Catholic Church knew that they could not stop the movement; they decided to choose that faith to make a state religion, but to incorporate the traditions of the pagans such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New Year’s Even (Watch Nights), and Sunday worship with the teachings of the Israelites. This way, everyone would be satisfied; both the pagans and those seeking to follow the Nazarenes. They called this religion, Christianity, in honor of the worship of Hesus, Krishna, and Christos Helios; the three most popular Gods during that time period. They combined these Gods into one, calling him Hesus Krishna, Hesus Christos, and later Iesus Christ. Then, centuries later when the letter “J” came about, his name became Jesus Christ. And this is why our people today are Christians and worship Jesus Christ as God today. It was the mixing of paganism into the faith of the Nazarenes that formed the religion of Christianity and deceived the entire world into following the Church instead of following YAH.
Now that we have exposed the foundations of Christianity, let’s go into why the vast majority of churches today don’t keep the commandments anymore. Most Christians today believe that YAH no longer requires them to keep His commandments because the law became done away with, when Jesus died on the tree for their sins. They get this notion from the teachings of their pastors who learned in theology school that keeping the commandments or the law is a curse, based on their misunderstanding of NT verses like Galatians 3:10; a passage in Shaul’s (Paul) letter to the Israelites living in Galatia. Many pastors and Christians in general believe that the letters of (Shaul) Paul were to the gentiles and that he was telling believers that we no longer have to keep the commandments anymore because that was something just for the Jews. There are 3 major problems with this ideology:
- Paul himself kept the commandments. So why would he tell others not to? This makes no sense at all. If you read the book of Acts, you’ll see that Paul is recorded as keeping the feast days (Acts 20:16), the nazarite vow (Acts 18:18), and kept the sabbath over 70 times. And this was all after the death of Yahusha (Jesus).
- Paul’s letters were written to Israelites living in Gentile lands – not Gentiles. How could Paul write a letter pertaining to the law of the Israelites to a people that knew nothing about the law to begin with? This makes no sense at all. Therefore, his letters were to Israelites who had been scattered abroad to these gentile lands; informing them that the messiah had come and if you receive him as the Messiah; you can be grafted back into the family of Israel.
- Paul did not have the authority to change YAH’s law. Where can we read in scripture that YAH or Yahusha gave Paul the authority to change his law? No where! Therefore, this makes no sense at all. If Paul had did away with the law as Christians teach, then he would be a false prophet and therefore, Peter and the brothers would not have accepted him into their assembly (Acts 15).
It has always amazed me how Christians take the word of Paul over the Messiah’s. Whenever the topic of keeping the commandments or the law comes up, you always hear Christians say “… but Paul said”. Although we have just proven that Paul did not say what they think he said, what about what the Messiah said? If Yahusha is our messiah, redeemer, and the physical representation of YAH, then why would we take Paul or anyone else’s word over His? It doesn’t make sense, does it? Yet, this is what Christians do all the time. So if you claim to be a follower of Yahusha, then let’s read what He said about the law; since He is the foundation of our faith.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” – Mattiyahu (Mathew) 5:17-18
In the verse above, Yahusha is recorded telling his Israelite disciples that He did not come to end the law, but to fulfill the law; and that nothing will be removed from the law until all is fulfilled. Although this verse clearly informs us that the torah (law) will never go away, what misguided Christians will do is take the word “fulfilled” and twist the scriptures to say that Yahusha fulfilled the law, so we don’t have to. If you are one those who uphold this belief, let me further clarify this verse for you.
The phrase “fulfill the torah” is a Hebrew idiom that only Hebrews understand, similar to the ebonic slang we use today, where we are the only ones who understand what we are saying. This was a very popular saying that our people used during the time frame of the messiah and it simply meant to live out the torah. In fact, the word fulfill used in that phrase comes the Hebrew word, Lakayem (la-KAI-yem), which means: to uphold, establish, complete, and accomplish. So when the Messiah stated that he came to fulfill the law, he was just saying that He came to live it out; being the living example as to how we should live (John 14:15-17).
I hope this article has given you a greater understanding of the major differences between the biblical church and today’s modern church, specifically here in America and how Christianity is a tradition of men and not the faith of YAH. Although there are some good-hearted people who sincerely are seeking YAH that are members of the religion of Christianity; it doesn’t change the fact that it is not the faith or way of life that our biblical ancestors practiced. It is just a man-made religion, that took parts of our faith and incorporated their own ideologies and traditions into to make it popular for the world to receive it. This is why Christianity is the most popular religion in the world, with over 2 BILLION members because it welcomes the customs of the world; which makes everyone want to join it.
The fact that this is the most popular religion in the world should tell you that it is not of YAH. According to his son, Yahusha our Messiah, the path to YAH is narrow and very few people of the world will find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Therefore, Christianity is most definitely not the way of YAH because its the broadest path in the world. This is why The Most High spoke through the prophets over and over again (Jeremiah 51:45, 2 Corinthians 6:17 and Revelations 18:4) telling us to “come out of her my people”. And I am picking up the torch of my ancestors and proclaiming the very same message to you: COME OUT OF HER (CHRISTIANITY) MY PEOPLE!