Are you a Christian?

Do You Believe Scripture? Or Man?

    1 Korinthios (Corinthians) 1:10-13 Now I beseech you, brothers, by the name of our Master Yahushua the Anointed, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me of you, my brothers, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you says, "I am of Sha'uwl, and I of Apollos, and I of Keph, and I of the Anointed." Is the anointed divided? Was Sha'uwl impaled for you? Or were you immersed in the name of Sha'uwl?

One of the saddest things that I have learned in my ongoing study of the religions of this world is that most people who belong to a specific faith system have no idea of the origin of that faith system; where, why, how, or when the basic beliefs and tenets of their faith started, who started it, or in a lot of cases, where the name of that faith system comes from or even what the name means, yet they will defend it even though scripture does not support their doctrines. What this has led to in the so-called Christianity is many sects, all believing or professing that "Jesus is the Lord" while not even knowing His real name. They also differ on many things, such as how to become a child of Yahuwah, immersion and its purpose, communion and when or how it's to be accomplished, structure of the assembly, whether or not you can play a musical instrument in the service, etc. This has also given rise to a conglomeration of "church" names taken to describe the beliefs of each sect.

According to what Sha'uwl (Paul) wrote to the people of Korinthos (Corinth), as shown above, ALL true children of Yahuwah everywhere should ALL be speaking the SAME thing because Yahushua is the same yesterday, today, and forever. There can be no spiritual divisions for Yahushua is the Master and He is NOT divided, period. Everyone must be in perfect agreement about the faith because Yahushua IS the faith. Everyone must be in agreement about what is the truth because Yahushua IS the ONLY truth. There is only ONE truth. Not many truths, as some would have you believe, but just one. The Scripture demonstrates this agreement anywhere you choose to read.

The word "church" as translated from the Greek ekklesia literally means an assembly of people. So the "church" is not that building that you see with the sign out front telling you what the name and denomination of that "church" is, when the services are, and also usually has the name of their leader (who is usually a paid employee) on it. Unhappily sometimes their leader has the gall to accept the title reserved for the Father in front of his or her name (Reverend - see Psalms 111:9).

There is only ONE ASSEMBLY and that is the assembly that Yahushua ordained. He is the chief cornerstone and the Delegates are the foundation of this assembly of the called out. All the rest are trying to climb up some other way and will be found to be robbers and thieves not worthy to share the splendor of our Master and Savior. Only through the washing away of our sins by the shed blood of Yahushua who is the Anointed can we be members of His assembly. We cannot "join" His assembly but are added to it when we submit and are saved.

    Acts 2:46-47 And continuing throughout the day with one accord in the temple but also breaking bread throughout their houses and partaking of their food in exultation and simplicity of heart, {47} praising Yahuwah and having grace with all the people. And the Master added to the assembly daily those who were saved.

The mainstream "churches" of today teach not from the precepts of scripture but from the doctrines of their particular denomination and use the scripture to "prove" those doctrines. Of course what one denomination can "prove" is true, another can "prove" is not, and so each has their own "scripturally proven" doctrine. None of these denominational doctrines is completely in accordance with scripture either. Most of them are not even close. Every one of them has SOME truth , but then they veer away from that truth into some pretty strange ideas of how we are saved, if we can lose our salvation, the concept of our Creator, etc.

    2 Timotheos (Timothy) 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned to fables.

This has definitely come to pass. Today's teachers are teaching their own version of the Word of Yahuwah, based on their own "interpretations." Today there are many different "gospels" being preached that are not the gospel at all, but the fables Sha'uwl wrote to beware of. You see, there are no Baptist Christians, no Catholic Christians, no Pentecostal Christians, no African Methodist Episcopalian Christians, no Jehovah's Witness Christians, no Mormon Christians, etc. There are those who are just children of Yahuwah and followers of Yahushua, and those who just are not. If you want to be a child of Yahuwah and a follower of Yahushua, you cannot pick and choose what part of the Scripture you want to believe. You must take it all, for better or for worse, whether it is what you are comfortable with or not, and you must be obedient to the precepts given there for us under the dispensation of the Law of Grace. The assembly is not a place built for your comfort and ease, but a place of testing and hardship for those who would be worthy of His splendid name. Yahushua said, "If you love Me, obey My commandments." (Yahuchanan [John] 14:15) He did not say you could obey some of what He said and ignore the rest. He did not say you could believe Baptist, or Catholic, or Mormon, or anybody else's doctrine AND believe in Him. He said, "Believe in Me." Period.

You either believe Him, or you don't. There is no middle ground. Black and white. No gray. All or nothing. Either Yahushua is the Master, or He is not. You cannot have it both ways. If you believe that Yahushua died for our sins and rose again by the power of Yahuwah the Father, and you want to be under the grace that He provides, with the promise of everlasting life, you must obey Him completely and willingly. And that obedience must be from love of him and not from the fear of the consequences.

Among the various religions that call themselves Christian and claim to believe the same thing, there are many and major divisions. Unity of the Spirit? I think not, and this must not be. For instance, in the Baptist faith alone, there are on the order of 360 different belief systems named from the well known Southern Baptist to the lesser known Duck River, Landmark, Seventh Day, and Old Ruth Baptists. Have you ever heard of these? Most Baptists have not. Each of these organizations firmly believe that they are the ones who have it right, and that they only have the true religion of Yahushua (Whom they call JESUS), and other people need to believe like they do in order to merit everlasting life. While most Baptists believe that the venerable day of the sun (sun-day) should be recognized as the shabbath, as taught and enforced by the Roman Catholic Church, other Baptists believe and observe the seventh day as Yahuwah hallowed and sanctified it.

Among the Catholics there are several splits also. Many people are not aware of this, and think only of the Roman Catholic when they hear Catholic. There is also the Eastern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, American Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Old catholic, and several other branches. They believe and practice some of the same things, but not all. Only the Roman Catholic follows the pope of Rome.

Even the Mormons have major divisions. They will usually deny it when asked, but there are branches such as those in Nauvoo, Illinois, that do not associate themselves with the branch in Salt Lake City, because each one thinks the other one is apostate. Ever hear of the Temple Lot Mormons? How about the Strangites?

    Galates (Galatians) 4:1-6 I therefore, the prisoner of the Master, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Master, one faith, one immersion, One Eloah and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

C.F. Castleberry