Jews, including Ebionites, see the evils perpetrated by Christians over the centuries and some are at a loss to explain why YHWH allows that culture to continue on its hellish bent.
YHWH has allowed the gentiles to run rough shod over His People, but only for a time. First he dealt with Egypt, the most powerful civilization of the world for hundreds of years. Now the people of that land walk among the ruins of their pagan ancestors proclaiming their belief in the One God. Islam still has a way to go to submit to Allah (God) but their relationship in blood, history, and faith is much closer than the Christian world because like their father, Ibrahim, they understand the singularity of YHWH. But what of a people who is so estranged from the God of Avraham and His People? How must they be dealt with?
YHWH Wants All
At one point in time according to the Hebrew Bible, according to Jewish thought, man lived in harmony in a paradise, Gan `Eden, with all other creatures and communed with the Creator. And most of us as Jews believe that this will become the state of world-to-come (`Olam ha-Ba') again. And as His chosen People, we know that we are in partnership with God to correct the world and help bring His Reign about for the good of every creature, the good of every man, every people however estranged from God.
And Moses went up to Ha-'elohim, indeed YHWH called to him from the mountain, saying: 'This you shall say to the house of Ya'aqov, and tell the children of Yisrael: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will heed My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be for Me a kingdom of priests, indeed a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Yisrael.' (Shemot/Exodus 19:3-6)
So there it is. Jews are here and elsewhere called to be priests among the gentiles (goyim, nations), and to be the light to their darkness. Who said this covenant thing would always be easy?!
An Almost Impossible Task
A woman called the other night. She was a holiness "non-denminational" Christian wanting to know more about "Jews." It seems that "God" was now "raising up a people" to follow Him in Truth. As the conversation went on she began to realize just how much that meant, and how differently she had been raised within Christianity. How many Ebionites have started out like this woman?
We have seen it dozens of times, but it is a long process to become deprogrammed by Christianity. Only after the work is well on its way can people realize how Christianity is not just a religion, but also the heir of Western culture enveloping vestiges from all of the ancient Near Eastern and European gentile civilizations. Is this woman conscious of the many thousands of years of pagan culture and religion she has to overcome? All of the anti-Yahwistic practices and natural spiritualities of the nations have simply been "touched up" with the thinnest veneer of Biblical decoration. So gentiles have progressed very little spiritually or culturally since the first men.How they have progressed technologically and with whose help is another story for another time. Is it possible that they will ever accept God?
Losing Sight in a Land of Fog
According to Christian heresiology, we Ebionites were probably the first "Judaizing" group among those associated with Yahshua ben Yosef. Of course, this is a misrepresentation because the first followers of Yahshua's movement were Jews who accepted gentiles for conversion, as all sects of Judaism did. It is strange for them to speak of Jewish Ebionites as being Judaizers, that is, people who take on Jewish religious practices.
But Judaizing seems to be a persistent reoccurence in Christianity. From Arius and Nestorius through the Reformation, and into modern times, many people wishing to return to a purer form of faith have explored Judaism and the Judaism of "Jesus". These people are not heretics, but instead sincere searching people wanting to please the Almighty but somewhat disillusioned with the form of Christianity around them.
The Church hates Judaizers just as it has hated Jews, just as their forefathers, anticipating Christianity itself, hated the aloof, ethnocentric Jews. Amid Hellenistic humanism and the embracing of all men, the Jew maintained that high cultural inclusiveness was not acceptable. The ideas most cherished to Western man were not good enough for Israel. This continued as the Christian Church carried Hellenism into the modern eras and Judaism continued to reject its goals and gods. The Church hates the Jews because it believes Christians are the Jews, the New Israel, the uncircumcised Judaism of Paul of Tarsos. Judaism is the living, enduring witness against this Christian lie.
Is Judaism blameless? Much of Judaism is guilty of not being the light to the gentiles it should have been. It turned inward into itself filling its tiny world with self-contained religion, rituals, and endless interpretations. But Israel was to be YHWH's emissaries to His entire world and fill it with the knowledge of Him. To be fair, Judaism has always accepted converts even after being legislated and threatened by the Christian Church to dare not proselytize gentiles.
But does the Torah and Prophets teach that Yahwists should go to the Gentiles? Or is it the other way around? Read the latter chapters of the prophet Yesha`yah (Isaiah), read the eighth chapter of Zekaryah (Zechariah), and even the often quoted passages describing "a light unto the Gentiles" in reality say that judgement will also be brought upon them, and the light will let them see their error. Yahshua told his students to not go to the Gentiles, but only to the lost of the House of Yisra'el. There was no "Gentile Mission."
Yisra'el instead was to be a witness of YHWH to the whole world, and the world would come to YHWH grabbing the fringe of the Jew to learn of Him.
Why did Yahshua scold the P'rushim (Pharisees) so often? Because they had complicated and externalized Yahwism---it would become hard for Jews to practice their own religion according to scribal interpretations accumulating---how much more difficult would it be for Gentiles wishing to come to Yahwism? Traditions of men would hinder the Reign of YHWH over mankind.
The Stumblingblock of Gentile Pride
Does YHWH love only Yisra'el? Of course not. In some ways YHWH chose the Hebrews of all the peoples although all mankind is His children, but more than this, the Hebrews chose YHWH.
The nations have found everything concerning YHWH hard to swallow. While they have built great civilizations based on their considerable wisdom, thousands of years of experience, and success, along comes a clan of shepherds and itinerants from the fringe of the great empires who has the "truth." First they said that there was a single god, then they said that they heard the voice of this god and that He had chosen this rabble as the apple of His eye. To add insult to injury, the ways of the great nations were not good enough for Hebrews and the religious traditions of the ancient civilizations were deemed to be abomination.
The highest ideals of the gentile world were reached in Hellenism which tried to bring the peoples of the inhabited world known to the Greeks together in mutual understanding and humanitarian cooperation. The religions of all the peoples including the Hebrews were respected as variations on a common theme. According to Hellenism: Was there any essential difference in the Father of the gods and the Father of all Creation. We all worship God except with different names and ceremonies! All who recognize this are surely brothers. There is no Greek, nor Jew, nor barbarian in Hellenistic civilization!
But most Hebrews would have none of this, insulting these "civilized" gentiles. "What kind of god required such hatefulness to all the rest of mankind? What kind of god asked for mutilation of a male's forekin, or forbade the consumption of perfectly good meat? How good could such a god's laws be? How foolish, what an insult to the intellect! What a blind people! And they think that the god of all the universe chose this tiny foolish nation and that He chooses one temple in a tiny backwater country out of all the world to receive worship! What nonesense! "
This attitude never changed for the gentiles. But when a Jewish man in this nowhere nation was resurrected from the dead, something that Adonis, Dumuzi, or the other dying gods resurrected with the solstice did in gentile mythology, it got their attention. Maybe there was something to Israelite religion after all. Surely it could be gleaned and allegorized for gentile consumption.
Paul: Judaism Without Judaism
The Hebrews knew that they were to be a light to the gentiles, a nation of priests to the world, and that the world in some measure would come to worship the Hebrew god, that they would pay homage to Him and them. But when were they to do this? When they were coming to destroy them and take them into captivity, when they occupied their land and were either destroying or desecrating the Temple, when they were putting men women and children to death for observing the Sabbath or circumcising their sons?
Even when the gentiles led by the Hellenist Paul of Tarsos, inspired by news of the resurrection sought to worship the Hebrew god, could not stomach the Hebrew part. Instead they transformed and allegorized and developed mysteries and rituals to fit the gentile mind. Yes, within the Jewish religion an earth-changing event had occurred! "But the Hebrews were surely too stupid to appreciate and understand it and its ramifications. Only the high-minded Hellenists would understand the mystery, only they more suited and therefore they would be a replacement for Israel. God had finally become reasonable and corrected His mistake of first choosing blind Hebrews to speak to!"
This is of course sarcasm. But Christianity is based on such things. Christianity represents the triumph of the enemies of YHWH, His faith and His people.
So we have a people unwilling and or unable to fulfill their mission of being Yahwistic priests to the entire world, and gentiles who can accept the Hebrew god only if He can be divested of all His clannish Hebrew trappings and redressed in gentile garb.
Not So Fast! There's a Cat in That Suitcase!
Israel was chosen and spoken to by YHWH. Yet Israel, in spite of its special relationship, questioned and tested YHWH. It had to find out through experience for its self just as a strong-willed child always does. Israel was still a child in its walk with YHWH and in comparison to the gentile religious cultures very young and in strength just a tiny nation.
On the other hand, gentiles only want something that they can say or pass off as there own. "Oh yes, we stole it from you but you didn't even understand what to do with it, and it is obvious that it is we who should've had it all along." So YHWH allowed them to steal something and make it their own.
So the gentile religion founded by Paul has taken the candy YHWHs firstborn. They perverted the message and even the history of the things they took, they have use it to commit every evil and sin imaginable. But did they take the candy or have they taken the bait?
Have you ever put out bait for insects? They steal and take it back to their nests where the poison is dispersed. How long, I wonder, do the insects feel satiated and pleased with themselves before they come to the realization they have met their doom? Yahwism is not poison except to those who are offered it and reject it or carry it in vain.
As things were, would the Torah of YHWH, the message of the prophets, and knowledge of His Chosen People have ever gone far? Unclean hands have spread the Word of YHWH throughout the world even though it was their goal to spread their own propaganda about human sacrifice, blood, and lawlessness. Hellenist Christianity hates Judaism and even more those who retain the Jewishness of Yahshua's movement. Paul of Tarsos fought against YHWH's Torah and mocked the sign of the covenant even while claiming to be Jewish and Yahshua's self-declared 13th apostle. And his church followed suit. Christians so successfully destroyed the original Jewish movement of Yahshua that it ceased to existfor a time. Not only did the Church hate Judaism but anyone who bore Jewish tendencies in worship, so-called Judaizers, from the Letter of Paul to the Galatians to the Inquisitions.
Christianity is antithetical to Yahwism and sought to destroy what it saw as a provincial ethnocentric cult. But when it commandeered the Hebrew Bible for its own purposes, it made a horrible mistake. The Christians should have listened to their second most important leader, Marcion who taught that only the letters of Paul taught true Christianity, and that the god of the Jewish Bible was evil as were the Jews. And even though Christianity took its philosophy from Marcion and Paul, for some strange reason it chose to spread Jewish writings of the Bible. And hidden in its Christian New Testament are Jewish letters and accounts in their New Testament, and in doing so has disseminated Jewish teminology and religious concepts throughout the world. Not only this but Christianity has spread YHWH's priests across the world also, albeit at the edge of the sword of persecution.
So while Christianity sets up repressive doctrines, kill each other and non-believers, persecutes all who do not agree with its teachings, and builds its bloody legacy, it also dispenses the seeds of its own destruction. The stolen suitcase has been opened and the cat (or should we say lion?) scratches. The prime example of this is the Christian Reformation that tried to use the Bible to topple the Church and its evil ways. But along with this reformation also came a better attitude towards Jews and Judaizing among Christians. The Reformation was not fully successful.
The Reformation is Not Finished!
From the Church's hypocrisy, as measured against the Bible it stole, came dissent, enquiry, and intellectual emancipation. The Gentiles began questioning their Church and its claims. The nations had to be given the information and tools to work with to arrive at their own conclusion. It has taken them a long time. And it's probably not over yet. But Christians themselves have put the pieces into place.
Some have moved more quickly than others. There have been Judaizers in the Gentile Church either by theology or observance perhaps starting with Arius and Nestorius until the modern era. Why does every reforming group, seeking to recapture "apostolic times" investigates and sometimes adopts Judaic practices? Judaizing has always been a recurring theme in Christianity.
Christians want to believe that the whole world will accept their religion, but Christianty was simply a means of spreading the word of YHWH to gentiles by gentiles. Was Christianity divinely conceived to spread the message of "Jesus Christ"? It hasn't yet. Was it to teach all men about "Jesus Christ"? It hasn't yet. Look at the Christian churches. They still can't decide what that means after 2000 years. The elite among Christians have ceased to believe traditional Christianity at all, and instead accept it as a philosophical, humanitarian religion much like the very first Hellenist Christians. It's own scholarship has succeeded in demythologizing Christianity and reveals the "real Jesus"---a Jewish teacher distantly removed from Christian doctrine. Any educated Christian today has read at least one of the hundreds of studies knocking Christianity's foundation out from under it. We can expect that these little crashes will culminate in a thunderous collapse at least among honest Christians.
The Result Justifies the Means
The Bible that Christians have carried across the world says that people from every language will grab hold of the fringe of a Jew to learn how to worship YHWH! When Christians are denied of their idol and their mythology, perhaps they will finally turn to God as the prophet foretold.
In spite of Christianity's Hellenistic aims, YHWH has used Christianity to accomplish His own desire---not in hatred, but for their own good and according to their own haughty nature and methods.
Beneath Jew and gentile we are all children of YHWH and He loves us all. He created us as part of His Creation as good. He speaks to us in our own language and culture through collective history and personal experience and when we finally mature we will freely choose to move past idolatry, mysteries, mother goddesses, father gods, and son gods, and ourselves to ultimately listen to what He is saying in the Torah and the Prophets. Let us have faith that our gentile fellow travelers on this earth will reach this stage in their development soon. And His Reign will begin.