Y’shua Messiah said that He came to bring division. It is the confusing and painful state in which we now exist. At the end of the age, there are an unbelievable number of affiliations who call themselves Christian.
Divisions appeared very soon after the Apostles began to go abroad in the days of the first church. From before the Gospel record was written, until today, disagreements have fractured and splintered the family of believers.
In the early days the followers of Y’shua had to break away from the shackles of the Pharisees. A similar thing faces us today. We who seem to have no name, have recently emerged from the cloak of the “Church.” We call ourselves Hebrew Roots, Messianic, but these really do not satisfy.
In many ways our beginnings resemble the days of the original Apostles. The farthest from the most eastern light on the Menorah is the one on the opposite end. Yet these lights are joined together at the main branch. It is an arc from one to another. We are connected.
The first and the last stand at their light.
We today have gone back to Yahweh’s Commandments, His Name and His true Feast Days. We have shunned the liberal, tolerant doctrines of today’s myriad, multifaceted denominations.
Essentially, we read the same Bible. How ignorant we must look to the rest of the world, holding the same book yet maintaining so many disagreements between us.
Y’shua’s word is sure. We have division. There are a number of vehicles which have brought this about. Not the least of which are the translations of the letters of the Apostle Paul. (OK, I’m in trouble now.) These records passed on to us would be by his own contemporary’s admission, difficult to understand. This is not an attack against Paul. Rather, what we have today of Paul’s letters is a stumbling block. For example, professional Hebrew Roots personalities, who have attended liberal seminaries, continually defend these writings. He didn’t say this, or he didn’t mean that, so this stuff is way ahead of us, it’s over our head!
No other record of the sayings or the writings of the Bible require such defense. The dominance in the New Testament of the translations of Paul’s letters, are the primary cause of Christian church teaching against the Ten Commandments, especially the Fourth. Who can argue that? It often seems that the interpretations of Paul are preferred over words of Y’shua when decisions are made.
The take-away is critical. An audience in our time may hear a sermon lasting one hour. They usually leave with one or two key phrases. The modern brain has been trained to take sound bites and snippets. We are inundated by a barrage of media competing for our consciousness.
So, to ask, what is the take-away from Romans 13? Without all of the defenses and justifications, what is it saying now? If it was taken at face value, we would all line up willingly to receive the mark of the beast. Because we are obligated to do as told by the authorities.
The point is made obvious by the leveraged 501C3 tax exempt status. (Over threat of losing tax exemption, a church is expected to comply with government regulation.) Governments have instructed pastors to teach Romans 13, as the Godly duty of each Christian to do as instructed by government. After all they are ministers of God. The powers that be are ordained of God, as the letter says.
Corrupt government has seized upon Romans 13 as a weapon against us. Many try to explain what Paul really meant, and they may be right. However, the chapter in today’s understanding is easily manipulated to form a highly dangerous directive.
We can not run out into the street and yell, wait!, Paul didn’t mean that!
What we must do is resist all orders by government, delivered by pastors or mass media, which are contrary to the Commandments of Yah and the testimony of Y’shua. This is the Authority we must submit to.