How does today’s Christian religion compare to the faith once delivered?
There is quite a variety of denominations, congregations, and gatherings, and even a great diversity of teachings all claiming to be Christian, but most have one thing in common. With few exceptions they have adopted, even embraced, certain ancient beliefs, customs, and holidays found in pagan nations throughout history, none of which are taught or encouraged in the word of God. It is common knowledge. They even admit to it, but you see, they have all been “Christianized”. They have been baptized, so to speak, in the name of Christ and given Christian names, so they’re not pagan now, right? But, does Christ agree?
Oddly enough very few of these churches can be found observing the holy days commanded by God even though Jesus, the apostles and the early New Testament church all observed them. It’s true and can be easily proven by any serious Bible student. So, what happened? Although it started early, it certainly didn’t happen overnight; it took Satan years to accomplish the complete ignoring of God’s Holy Days and the insertion of his substitutes into the Christian religion. Gradually over centuries, the changes came, first by giving anything Jewish a bad name then with help from men like the emperors Constantine, Theodosius, and Honorius, but we mustn’t forget to include the likes of Bishop Victor of Rome.
From the time Constantine declared Christianity to be the official religion of his empire (A.D. 324), it was virtually a death sentence to be suspected of doing anything that could appear to be Jewish; and you certainly would not want to be caught reading or owning a Bible. All power in religious matters was held by the priests and only they were allowed to interpret the Bible. The laity had to depend on what the priestly class chose to teach them. Since many of the early priests came directly out of pagan shrines and were pronounced Christian by Emperor Theodosius (A.D. 392) they naturally brought a lot of their beliefs with them. By dressing them in Christian garb the falsehoods of paganism were introduced into Christianity.
Can you believe it? Early Christians believed and practiced the commandments, statutes, and judgments of God, today’s churches have replaced them with the very pagan days and beliefs God warned against.
It is commonly taught that Paul preached against the law of God, that it was a burden that led into bondage, and could not be kept anyway, ignoring his testimonial in Acts 24:14 stating he believed all things written in the law and the prophets. Also, in 25:8 that he has done nothing against the law, the Jews, or the temple. But yet, we’re told the law was nailed to the cross and replaced by a thing called grace. Implying that it was something new, something that mankind never had before, dismissing the many times grace was mentioned and employed in the Old Testament. (What was it Noah found in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8)?
The mentality now seems to be: once grace is applied you have a “get out of jail free card;” no matter what you do from then on you are still saved. Thus we have the “once saved always saved” syndrome. Why burden yourself with the “faith once delivered” with its doctrines, Sabbaths, and holy days; the only thing needed now is faith in grace.
Jude 3 covers this misconception very well. While discussing the faith once delivered he reveals that certain ungodly men have crept in unawares and have twisted grace to mean something that was never intended. He then reminds us of how it is possible to lose your position of favor; even angels that kept not their first estate were chained into everlasting darkness.
But, did the faith once delivered include God’s law and His commanded assembles? Certainly, the apostles thought so and acted accordingly. Law teaches us how to live; grace grants us salvation. God’s commanded assemblies will be observed in God’s kingdom (Zec.14:16)!
Jesus accused the religious establishment of rejecting the law of God so that they could keep their own traditions (Mark 7:9). Jesus brought to naught all their traditions when He became the firstborn Son of the Father and the High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. But, did He do away with the law? He plainly stated, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17-18). Fulfill does not mean do away.
He then emphasizes in verse 19, that even the least of the commandments should be kept. “Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus esteemed all the laws of God but held in repugnance the traditions of the elders.
Is the religious establishment any different today? Wouldn’t we rather keep those wonderful traditions like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. than God’s appointed times? Are we not guilty of rejecting the commandments of God and replacing them with rituals and traditions invented by men? However, if we can convince ourselves that God’s appointed times have all ended at the cross, we then open the door for false teachers claiming to represent Christ and deceiving many, as warned by Christ Himself in Matthew 24.
If we could imagine Paul reviewing the teachings and performances of the average Christian Church of today, he might say, “As it was prophesized, so it is.” “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4). Of the many fables that were brought into the Christian religion, three of the most entrenched are:
Christmas: December 25th was observed as the birthday of the invincible sun-god (Solis Invicti), the god of Mithraism. Constantine was a sun worshipper even while declaring Christianity to be the religion of his kingdom. Christ was definitely not born on Christmas, and it wasn’t until A.D. 354 that December 25 was referred to as Christ’s birthday. Jeremiah 10:2-5 discusses a problem Israel had with ornamented trees. Christmas will not be observed in God’s kingdom!
Easter: known by many similar names, is the mythical queen of heaven and consort of Baal, the sun god of Mithraism. The queen of heaven was a problem for Israel (Jer.7:18, 44:25). In Acts 12:4 Pascha (Passover) was mistranslated as Easter in the King James Bible, but corrected in most all later translations. Passover was still being observed on Nissan 14th as the Lord’s Supper memorial of Christ’s crucifixion when Acts was written (and years thereafter). Easter will not be observed in God’s kingdom!
Sunday: the day of the sun god. Mithraism surfaces again. There is not one word in the Bible authorizing a change of God’s Sabbath. However, the Catholic Church claims to have the right and the power to transfer the sanctity of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. This in spite of God’s warning about adding to or taking from His word. In Deuteronomy 12:32 we are warned, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” Revelation 22:18-19 tells us if any man shall add or take away from the words of this book, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. Sunday will not be observed in God’s kingdom!
Sunday is not the Lord’s Day, for Jesus said that He is Lord of the Sabbath (Saturday). His Sabbath is not a burden but a much-needed rest, for He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28). The Sabbath will be observed in God’s kingdom (Isa.66:23)!
Jesus was not resurrected on Easter Morning neither was He crucified on Friday. Jesus said He would be in the grave for three days and three nights as the only sign given of His identity (Matt. 12:39-40). Is Easter adulating a false Christ? Did Jesus warn us that false Christs would come? “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before” (Matt. 24:24-25).
Speaking of those who perish, Paul tells us that those who do not have a love for the truth God will cause to believe a lie that they all might be damned who believed not the truth. (II Thess. 2:10-12). You have a choice! Do you really think you can worship a God of truth with religious lies? Are some worshiping God in vain (Matt.15:9)?
“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” – Dresden James