“If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:10
During the past two millennia, the church or the word church, has taken on many meanings. From observation, it seems the word church has grown legs and walked away with itself, often times taking with it the people of Yahweh God. The purpose of this blog post is to explore what this word church is about. We will start with Stephen’s speech in the Acts of the Apostles where he refers to the church being present with Moses at Mount Sinai, or sometimes called Horeb.
Act 7:36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the *wilderness forty years.
Act 7:37 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.
Act 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
Act 7:39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
The word translated to church here is Strong’s G1577
1) a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly
1a) an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating
1b) the assembly of the Israelites
1c) any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously
1d) in a Christian sense
1d1) an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting
1d2) a company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake
1d3) those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body
1d4) the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth
1d5) the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven
I started with this verse, quoting from the King James Version of the Bible because it translates Strong’s G1577 to church. Other versions, such as the English Standard Version, use the word congregation for this verse in Acts, yet use church for translating Strong’s G1577 in other verses. I am pointing this out only to show the interpreter’s bias. If the assembly of the twelve tribes is referred to as the church, then it becomes problematic for dispensational doctrine. Dispensationalism is a belief system that was started in the late 19th century which makes the church have a capital C and separates it from the Israel of God. Paul is quite clear that with Yahweh God there is no separation of Yahweh’s people. Note the following two scripture passages:
Gal 3:24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,
Gal 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Gal 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Gal 6:15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
Gal 6:16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
If we remove dispensationalism and the idea that somehow the “Church” is a separate entity from the Israel of God, or Israel in general, then we create a huge problem for people who are looking for a pre-tribulation rapture of the “Church”. We must realize that there never has been any covenant made with anything that is called the church. The new covenant was made with the House of Israel and the House of Judea. The writer of Hebrews shows this by quoting Jeremiah in the letter to the Hebrews.
Heb 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.
Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
Heb 8:8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
Heb 8:9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Heb 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Churches today are made up of many sects that have taken parts of scripture and focused on certain aspects of Christianity. This is church, but not necessarily the ekklesia we find Stephen talking about in Acts. I have been part of a few denominations: Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and Baptist. Pentecostal and Baptist denominations can be broken down into many sects that believe certain things unique from each other, but for this purpose I am lumping them all together. As a Baptist Deacon, I was given a book which was to show the way to be a Baptist Deacon, and after reading it, I realized I shouldn’t even be a Baptist Deacon at all. It states “A Baptist deacon and pastor must be absolutely dedicated to the will of the congregation. A deacon must believe this is true and right”. Also, “They [church member or deacon] believe putting a New Testament in the hands of a saved person and asking him to read with an eye single to the kind of church that is described in its pages will lead him to become a Baptist”. I think a pastor or deacon should be dedicated to the will of God, not the congregation, and I do not believe any church denomination best represents the New Testament church currently, although I know that there are many individual people in the world who do. A new term that has come to be, which is churchianity, describes much of the things we are seeing, much like what Paul warned Timothy about.
2Ti 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
2Ti 3:13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2Ti 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
2Ti 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2Ti 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Most of the churches I have been involved with subscribe to dispensationalism; however, until I studied for myself, I didn’t even know that was what was being taught, or that word existed. I am not sure if that is unique to me, or it is the case for everyone, because very few people in the churches I have been a part of discuss much about such topics, or for that matter, much about any beliefs they may have. I am very thankful for those who do study and discuss! I never could understand scripture in the confines of the “church” and Israel. It would seem very little scripture applies to the “church” other than describing a particular gathering. Then there are these words of Jesus in the following verse that don’t make sense if the church is its own entity.
Mat 15:24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Who does James address his letter to? It’s not the church.
Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
Maybe the confusion comes from using the word church to describe the collection or gathering of people who are part of the Israel of God, grafted in to the cultivated olive tree. James uses a description of where the people in these gatherings come from, the dispersed tribes who were grafted back in being the spiritual descendants of Abraham and those who sojourn with them.
Several years ago, after watching a series on the end times, rapture and tribulation by David Jeremiah, I realized what was being taught could not be reconciled with all of scripture. There were so many scriptures that derailed this teaching, I could no longer follow the paradigm. So, a teaching by Dr. David Jeremiah, that was teaching straight dispensationalism doctrine, is the very thing that made me realize the whole narrative does not work. That narrative being there is an entity called the church that has a different destiny from Israel, sometimes referred to as “the Jews”. As I stated earlier, without the dispensational teaching of C.I. Scofield and John Darby, the pre-tribulation rapture theory falls flat on its face as well. When carried out to the end, this system’s only logical conclusion is that there are two Gods, Yahweh and Jesus, and one is the redeemer of Israel and the other is redeemer of the “church”. Another way to put it is that there would have to be two brides, the church and Israel. This is a teaching similar to the teaching of the first century heretic, Marcion.
Moses spoke of Jesus, just as Stephen stated in Acts:
Deu 18:13 You must be blameless before Yahweh your God.
Deu 18:14 For these nations that you are about to dispossess listen to interpreters of signs and to diviners, but Yahweh your God has not allowed you to do the same.
Deu 18:15 “Yahweh your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst, from your countrymen, and to him you shall listen.
Deu 18:16 This is according to all that you asked from Yahweh your God at Horeb, on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘I do not want again to hear the voice of Yahweh my God, and I do not want to see again this great fire, so that I may not die!’
Deu 18:17 And Yahweh said to me, ‘They are right in what they have said.
Deu 18:18 I will raise up a prophet for them from among their countrymen like you, and I will place my words into his mouth, and he shall speak to them everything that I command him.
Deu 18:19 And then the man that will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I will hold accountable.
It was not until I realized that I was grafted into the Israel of God, through Jesus, as the spiritual child of Abraham, that the once obscure scriptures came alive. With a manmade system of dispensationalism these scriptures are taken away and hidden from the believer in Christ. Many scriptures that are intended for a follower of Jesus are put off to be for someone else. “You must do what God says to do…wait…not that, that is for someone else. You must do what I say God says to do. That’s better.” Another enlightenment is knowing God has a name, יהוה, typically shown as Yahweh or Yahuah, that was translated to the substitution LORD over 6000 times in the English translations of the Bible. Jesus’ name also is a linguistic creation from the Greek name Iesous, used for Joshua. The following is an example of scripture that exemplifies this, hidden from the person that doesn’t know Joshua is the English equivalent of Iesous, in Hebrew Yahshua, or what came to be the name Jesus. The prophet Zechariah is shown the future high priest, Joshua, who is Jesus.
Zec 3:6 And the angel of Yahweh assured Joshua, saying,
Zec 3:7 “Thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘If you will walk in my ways, and if you will keep my requirements, then you will judge my house, and you will also guard my courtyards, and I will give to you passageways among these that are standing here.
Zec 3:8 Listen, please, O Joshua the high priest, you and your companions that are sitting before you. For the men are a sign that, look, I am going to bring my servant the Branch.
Zec 3:9 For consider, the stone that I set before Joshua, on one stone are seven eyes. Look, I am going to engrave an inscription on it,’ declares Yahweh of hosts, ‘and I will remove the guilt of that land in a single day.
Zec 3:10 On that day,’ declares Yahweh of hosts, ‘you will invite one another under the vine and under the fig tree.'”
Yahweh was showing Zachariah who was going to remove the guilt of the land in one day. It was through Joshua, the Branch. It is through Joshua, or the Germanic, Greek transliteration of Iesous, namely Jesus, that allows us to be grafted into the cultivated tree. Is this not what Yahweh told Moses?
It is through the Branch we can be grafted into the cultivated olive tree.
Rom 11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry
Rom 11:14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.
Rom 11:15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
Rom 11:16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Rom 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,
Rom 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.
Rom 11:19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
Rom 11:20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.
Rom 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Rom 11:22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
Rom 11:23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
Rom 11:24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
We need to get weened off of the milk and move on to solid food so we can teach others. This idea of renting a fire suit by saying a prayer and paying a tithe is not going to pay off in the end. Especially if my hunch is correct, that we are not going to be whisked out of the world before any tribulation comes, where the tribulation will be only for the tribe of Judea, Judaens or some earthly ethnic group that is not “the church”. The writer of Hebrews is distraught at the lack of study concerning his audience of believers.
Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
Heb 5:13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
1Co 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
1Co 2:16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
1Co 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
1Co 3:3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?
Jew, Greek or any other tribe must be grafted into the cultivated tree through Jesus, making one people of God, who is the Israel of God. Jesus had to die to reconcile Yahweh’s divorce from Israel, stated in Jeremiah, being the perfect sacrificial lamb to take away the sin of the world, conquering the law of sin and death.
Jer 3:6 Then Yahweh said to me in the days of Josiah, the king, “Have you seen what apostate Israel has done? She has gone on every high hill and under every leafy tree and she has prostituted herself there.
Jer 3:7 And I thought, ‘After her doing all these things to me she will return,’ but she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
Jer 3:8 And I saw that for this very reason, that on account of apostate Israel committing adultery I divorced her and gave the letter of divorce to her. Yet her treacherous sister Judah was not afraid and she went and prostituted herself also.
Jer 3:9 And it was because of the frivolity of her fornication that she defiled the land and committed adultery with the stone and with the tree.
Jer 3:10 Yet even in all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares Yahweh.
Jer 3:11 Then Yahweh said to me, “Apostate Israel has proved herself more upright than treacherous Judah.
Jer 3:12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, ‘Return, apostate Israel,’ declares Yahweh. ‘I will not cause my anger to fall on you. For I am loyal,’ declares Yahweh. ‘I will not be angry forever.
The Law of Yahweh states that once divorced, a husband cannot return to his wife. According to this, Israel could not come back to Yahweh to be reconciled. It is what Paul speaks of below that is often missed. We also don’t need a written code because it will be in our hearts and minds. If a federal law states not to rob a bank, is that the only thing preventing you from bank robbery, or is “do not steal” written in your heart so you will not think of doing it? If the answer is that you would never consider robbing a bank, then the law has no affect. Do you keep Yahweh’s sabbaths because the written code says to, or because you know in your heart you are honouring Him and simply cherish the day? If it is the latter, the law has no affect.
Rom 7:1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?
Rom 7:2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
Rom 7:3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
Rom 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
Rom 7:5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
Rom 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
Israel was divorced by Yahweh for adultery with all of its foreign gods and practices. By Yahweh’s own law, Israel could never come back. Israel was scattered among the nations and mixed to where there was no more Israel. Yahweh always had a plan to bring the House of Israel back, along with all the nations which they were dispersed into, despite the law that stated He could not. In one case this plan was revealed to Ezekiel.
Eze 37:15 And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 37:16 “And you, son of man, take for yourself a piece of wood, and write on it, ‘For Judah and for the Israelites his associates,’ and take another piece of wood, and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the piece of wood of Ephraim and all of the house of Israel his associates.’
Eze 37:17 And join them one to the other with respect to you as one piece of wood, so that they may become one in your hand.
Eze 37:18 When your people say to you, saying, ‘Will you not inform us as to what these actions mean for you?’
Eze 37:19 Then speak to them, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Look! I am taking the piece of wood for Joseph that is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel its associates, and I will put them on it, the piece of wood of Judah, and I will make them into one piece of wood, so that they be one in my hand.'”
Eze 37:20 And the pieces of wood on which you wrote will be in your hand before their eyes.
Eze 37:21 And speak to them, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Look! I am taking the Israelites from among the nations to which they went, and I will gather them from everywhere, and I will bring them to their own soil.
Eze 37:22 And I will make them into one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel, and they will all have one king as their king, and they will not again be two nations and will not again divide into two kingdoms again.
Eze 37:23 And they will not defile themselves again with their idols and with vile idols and with all of their transgressions, and I will save them from all of their apostasy by which they sinned, and I will cleanse them and they will be for me as a people and I, I will be for them as God.
Eze 37:24 “‘”And my servant David will be king over them, and one shepherd will be for all of them, and in my regulations they will go, and my statutes they will observe, and they will do them.
Eze 37:25 And they will dwell on the land that I gave to my servant, to Jacob, in which your ancestors dwelled, and they will dwell on it, they and their children and the children of their children forever, and my servant David will be a leader for them forever.
Eze 37:26 And I will make with them a covenant of peace; an everlasting covenant it will be with them. And I will establish them, and I will cause them to increase, and I will put my sanctuary in the midst of them forever.
Eze 37:27 And my tabernacle will be with them, and I will be for them as God, and they will be to me as a nation.
Eze 37:28 And the nations will know that I, Yahweh, am consecrating Israel when my sanctuary is in the midst of them forever.”‘”
Yahweh God uses the stick or wood analogy through Ezekiel. The Hebrew word translated to wood also could be tree, which would be consistent with the other tree analogies in scripture. Does being grafted into the cultivated tree, saved from the penalty of the law, give us the license to purposely break the law of God? Peter says no, as well as the writer of Hebrews, consistent with Ezekiel 37:24; “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes.” All these scriptures are speaking to the child of God, whether grafted in, or a natural branch, this very day. His servant David in this verse is referring to the Branch, from the root of Jesse, who is Jesus.
2Pe 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
2Pe 2:21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
2Pe 2:22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”
Both the verses in 2nd Peter above and Hebrews below nullify John Calvin’s eternal security idea, that is the “p” for preservation in T.U.L.I.P. Both passages speak of someone who once “escaped the defilement of the world” or “ have once been enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift”, and turned back “ from the holy commandment delivered to them”.
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
Heb 6:5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
Heb 6:6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
Heb 6:7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
Heb 6:8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
The contemporary church seems to be more about the particular denomination, its unique beliefs, and buildings with their windows and doors. It is often stated “if we could only get that person to come to church” as if the act of going to a particular church building would ever change anyone’s heart. Frankly, it means nothing. People go to church for years and never have a relationship with Christ. They fool themselves by fulfilling the obligation of showing up for service, dropping some money in the plate, then getting back to their real life at 12 noon. There is no desire to live a life pleasing to Yahweh or to even discuss how that might be done. Instead of trying to fill churches, we should be making disciples, showing people the truth and way. Start with yourself and “study to show thyself approved”. Unfortunately, bringing people to church may not accomplish this, even if they lay their clothes out Saturday night and pre-plan breakfast for Sunday morning to ensure arriving to church on time. How does the real ekklesia meet?
Mat 18:18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Mat 18:19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
We are not to forsake the gathering, especially in these times we live in. Gathering together with believers does not have to happen inside of organized religion. In fact, as the apostasy continues, I predict that we are near the end of the era of the ekklesia meeting in church buildings. The writer of Hebrews states, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Heb 10:12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
Heb 10:13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
Heb 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Heb 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
Heb 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
Heb 10:17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Heb 10:18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Heb 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,
Heb 10:21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
Heb 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
Heb 10:25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Heb 10:26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
Heb 10:28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
Heb 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”
Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
What day is drawing near? The day of Yahweh. Please see my blog, The Great Day of Yahuah.
Hebrews 10:26-27; “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” What can this mean but to keep the commandments? Paul tells us whom we should be gathering with. It is not those of the brethren or “church” who practice lawlessness.
1Co 5:7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
1Co 5:8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1Co 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—
1Co 5:10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
1Co 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
1Co 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
1Co 5:13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
The fact that there is only one people of Yahweh means that if you are one of them, than these verses apply to you:
Rev 13:4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
Rev 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.
Rev 13:6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
Rev 13:7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,
Rev 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
Rev 13:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
Rev 13:10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
Rev 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
I recommend finding a group of people to gather with, especially during these times when gathering is hard to do. I am searching for people who want to meet and study the Word of God together, celebrate His feasts and learn His ways, leaving the commandments of men behind.