Scripturalists vs Traditions

Fred R. Coulter—June 12, 1993

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We’re going to start a series that will be a combination of surveying and intensive study in the Word of God, and we’re going to ask: What is happening in the Church today in relationship to what happened in the Church in the first century? 

Ecc. 1—here is a principle that’s very important for us to understand: One of the reasons that we’re going to do this is so that we can understand what is happening today. 

  • Why is Christianity—all forms of it—being assaulted everywhere by the same forces that what to destroy Christianity? 
  • Are those the same forces that sought to destroy and pervert Christianity in the first century? 

We’re going to see, yes, that it is! It’s based upon this: 

Ecclesiastes 1:9: “That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in days of old, which were before us. There is no memory of former things, neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who shall come afterwards” (vs 9-11). That’s the whole basis for what is happening today!

We need to pickup our understanding, and we need to understand the enemy against Christianity is the same. 

  • Is Jesus Christ ‘the same yesterday, today and forever’? Yes!
  • Is there anything ‘new under the sun’ with Jesus Christ? No, there is not as far as Christ is concerned!
  • Are the enemies of God the same? Yes!

There’s a particular enemy of the people of God that unfortunately have put themselves into this society in such a stranglehold position that everyone is virtually afraid to say one word against it. Unfortunately, they have put themselves into a position where they are trying to remake and redo and destroy Christianity into what they think is the proper ‘religion’ of theirs!

In Revelation 2:9 we find that two of the church eras—Smyrna and Philadelphia—that there is a confrontation with a specific group of people called “…the synagogue of Satan.” 

The word ‘synagogue’ is used rather than ‘church.’ Synagogue has special meaning of a coming together. Synagogue is also a place of worship. So, we are dealing with those who worship Satan openly; and, of course, there are varying degrees of this—varying degrees! Then we come to the Church at Philadelphia and, again, we find concerning the synagogue of Satan, which ties us right in toward the end of the church age. It will show what we should be doing. 

Revelation 3:8: “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it because you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name.” 

We’re dealing with people on the one hand who really keep the Word of God vs the world, which is: 

Verse 9: “Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who proclaim themselves to be Jews and are not, but do lie—behold, I will cause them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word of My patience…” (vs 9-10)—which is the opposite of getting rid of sound doctrine, which is the opposite of changing things to fit the world 

“…I also will keep you from the time of temptation, which is about to come upon the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth” (v 10). 

We have the phenomena of the run-in again of the synagogue of Satan right at the end of time. I’m going to read to you certain things of what they are saying today, certain things of the way that the Jews look at things. I will call it Judaism lest someone think I’m an anti-Semite. They never stop and ask: Why are the Jews anti-Christian? No one has asked that!

  • Why should they be allowed to take prayer out of public schools? 
  • Why should they be allowed to destroy the name of Jesus Christ? 
  • Why should they be allowed to control all of the media and control everything that goes in it? 

We cannot point out the fact of what is being done!

Let’s see something that is true. A lot of these things, since it is a mystery that is being done, since a lot of it is being done in the inner circles of the higher echelons, we cannot find that they hang a label on themselves saying ‘we are the synagogue of Satan.’ You can’t find that, so you have identify them by their fruits. Let’s see one aspect of the ‘temptation’ of Jesus Christ by Satan the devil. 

Luke 4:5: “Then the devil led Him up into a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘I will give You all this authority, and the glory of them all; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I desire. Therefore, if… [here’s the qualification to receive the rulership of the world]: …You will worship me in my presence, all things shall be Yours’” (vs 5-7). 

Have you ever wondered why the rich just get more ‘filthy rich’? The rich and powerful of this world are those who have met this qualification that Satan has set down, that they worship him, various forms of it. Some, I believe, in the highest echelons of the ‘synagogue of Satan’ knowingly and openly worship Satan. There are those who worship various forms of other gods and angels, so called, and demons. 

I want to call you attention to a book. In this whole series I’m going to mention books that I recommend that you read, because it’s very important for you to do the reading. One of the best books to read is En Route to Global Occupation, which is explaining the whole basis of the one-world rulership that we are seeing coming on the scene today, which is actively coming in a form that we didn’t think would come. Who would ever think more than 40 years ago that the United Nations would begin having the power that it does today? I mean, you think about that! 

  • I want you to tie in where Satan said, ‘if you will worship me all of this will be Yours.’ 
  • I want you to tie in Rev. 17 & 18 in relationship to the great Babylonian system that will be coming. 
  • I want you to think of the whole one-world system that is developing. 
  • I want you think of the mark of the beast that is going to come, and it’s going to be very, very effective. 

I want you put that all together when I’m reading Rev. 12:9, and to realize that there is an active, ongoing enemy who wants to destroy us any way he can!

  • by subversion without: through immorality, drugs, whatever 
  • from subversion within: to the changing of doctrine, carrying off of church leaders in vanity and stupidity to get them to spend their money on things they ought not do. I don’t limit that to just one or two church leaders you may or may not know. 

It has happened in every ‘Christian’ church and with determination and forethought to make it happen on the part of Satan the devil and also on the part of the synagogue of Satan. 

I want you to also consider, as we’re going through this, the conformity to the world that the world wants you to have, and understand that that has not come from God. That’s why this is going to be a broad general thing that we are going to do, and a very detailed study—a combination of both—so that we can see that true Christianity and the true Church of God was never—NEVER—based upon Judaism! 

We need to understand that thoroughly, because the whole move in the world today is to say that Christianity was just a sect of Judaism, so therefore, ‘we need to go back to Judaism.’ Do we not see that in the Church of God today? How many little Churches of God today: 

  • have gone to sacred names? 
  • have gone to a 15th Passover? 
  • have gone to circumcision? 
  • have gone to the rules and regulations of the Jews? 

We need to understand that in this religious battle to bring Judaism to the fore again, {note sermon: Antichrist: Who? Where?

We need to, in bringing up about antichrist, ask a very simple question: Are we going to allow the antichrist to muzzle what we preach? They’re doing it already! Part of it is that you can’t say anything against homosexuals. There’s a man in Colorado, Pete Peters—pastor of a ‘Christian’ church, Sunday keeping—just to demonstrate the vehemence against Christ, put out a booklet entitled Homosexuals Deserve the Death Penalty, So Says the Bible. Well, needless to say, when the whole establishment and the ‘gay’—so called; it’s really sad and death—community got hold of that, you know what happened. He was also one of the ones who was actively involved and helping get passed in Colorado, the law which says that homosexuals cannot have special rights. 

So, what they did, they came down and issued him a subpoena and arrested him and said, ‘You must register as a political action committee, which means that now you must open all your books so ‘we will know who all your donors are,’ and he refused to do that!

Well then, ‘you’re going to have to pay a penalty of so-much per day until you sign this political action disclosure’ thing. He said, ‘We are a church and I’m standing on the freedom of speech and I’m standing on the freedom of religion.’ 

Well, when he was gone on a trip after the penalty accumulated several thousand dollars—and they had been watching this little church building—they decided that they were going to go down and confiscate the whole building and everything in it. They went down, closed off—by order of the court and the sheriff—that church and went in and seized all of the assets of that church, froze the money in their bank account and put yellow tape around it: No Trespassing, Property of the State of Colorado. 

So, they came back, cut off the ribbons and walked into the little church, prayed to God and said, ‘God, help us in this, we know this is Your battle.’ We can learn a good lesson from that! That anyone who is for Christ is not against Him, even though they don’t keep the Sabbath! Well, to make a long story short, it got very embarrassing, because now the public was now on Pastor Peter’s side. What happened was, they stood their ground and the sheriff would be out there with the big, bully men out front, a lot more mild than the ATF fiasco they had down in Waco, TX, or the Weaver case they had up in Idaho, but believe me these are just signs of things to come. Satan is the enemy and he uses the government to come after us! We need to understand that. 

What we’re going to talk about here has great ramifications for today, as well as we will see why the Church went through just absolute vehement hatred when it began. We’re not dealing with people that will just lick their wounds and go away. We are dealing with hatred over an historical sense to seek out, subvert and destroy in any way that can be done. 

I’ve heard a couple of sermons that Pete Peters gave, so I know what I’m talking about. I’ve read some of the things that he put out, so I know the whole story. I can’t give the whole story here, but needless to say, they finally won out, and they won out on the day that they had the church and all of its equipment up for auction to pay for the fine. Twenty thousand people turned out for that auction and there was not one bid for any of the property to pay for the fine. They said, ‘Pastor Peters, you just sign this release.’ He said, ‘I’m not signing anything!’ So, the state totally embarrassed, bid for the property for the amount of the fine and consigned it back to the church. That shows you what can happen! 

Think about this verse; Revelation 12:9: “And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world… [it is going to be something else] …he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. And I heard a great voice in heaven say, ‘Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God’” (vs 9-10). 

  • Do you know why you need grace all the time? There’s one of the reasons, right there!
  • Is Satan after us? Yes, he is!
  • Are there times when he’s more active to come after people than at other times? Yes, there are!

We’re coming into the forefront of the time when it will be again!

Verse 11: “‘But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death. Therefore, rejoice you heavens and those who dwell in them. Woe to those who inhabit the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, having great wrath… [this is a time just in the future] …because he knows that he has only a short time.’ And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had brought forth the man-Child” (vs 11-13). 

We’re down into the time just before the beginning of the Great Tribulation right there! We are just a little ahead of this time as far as the persecution against the Church, but it is going to come! It’s going to come from the sources that control the government. 

Let me also recommend this book, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion—a secret document that was somehow made public—which lays out the Zionist’s 100-year plan going back to about 1874-75, somewhere right in there, and their plan to take over the world. 

I want to warn you that the Jews deny that they wrote this. If you do something that’s real evil you always deny that you do it. It apparently lays out the step-by-step plan to take over all governments of the world by having a dead economy to take over all the media of the world, by controlling all access to radio—of course, they didn’t know at that time it would be radio—and all the printed word. 

They now control all the movies, all television and all of the big media sources in the world! You need to read that! It’s going to be gruesome and hair-raising, because we’re living in the time of the fulfillment of almost every one of those things that was written over a hundred years ago. Plus, I have a Jewish atlas that openly admits that Zionism wrote the protocols. 

We do not really fully comprehend the impact that Jesus Christ had on Judaism! Nor do we understand that they would wait centuries to execute their wrath! We don’t think like that. This is not to condemn every Jew that lives—I want you to know that—but this to condemn those who are, and to warn you of those of the synagogue of Satan! There are probably just as many good innocent Jews in the world who have their businesses, who go about their lives in a lawful, legal, proper and good way, just as well as there are many, many other people. In fact, we were listening to some music that was from the sound track of the movie The Last of the Mohicans—wonderful music written by a Jew—Terrific! Marvelous! 

Please understand that this is not an anti-Semitic thing. But I want you to also understand that if we don’t know who our enemies are, and we don’t understand what is happening to us: 

  • How can we possibly know what’s going on? 
  • How can we possibly understand what is happening in the world to every single form of Christianity? 

If you think I’m a bigot, then okay, say I’m a bigot. But then, you on the other hand, be fair and you go out and you look at what’s happening in the world and you honestly trace it all down to its source. You’re going to be surprised! 

I want to read to you from a book: Judaism and the Vatican. I would dare say that hardly anyone has really studied honestly anything about Judaism. I also am going to mention the Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried and Goldin. You cannot understand Judaism unless you know the Code of Jewish Law. There’s no way you can! Nor can you properly understand the book of Romans, and that’s what’s the matter with the Protestants, they don’t know about Judaism. 

The biggest problem in the world for a Jew is Jesus Christ! I don’t care if he’s an atheist, I don’t care if he’s an Orthodox, reformed, or a conservative. The biggest reason that it’s the biggest problem for them is because Jesus Christ did exist and Jesus Christ did come, and the biggest lie that has ever been believed were the lies, the whole bundle of things put out by the Jews that Jesus did not come, that He was the ‘bastard son’ of an illegitimate marriage, that He did not die and that His disciples stole the body away, which is believed unto this day! 

I draw your attention to the movie Jesus Christ, Superstar, which was written and produced by a Jew, which was a denigration of Jesus Christ, Who supposedly married Mary Magdalene. The way they try and do away with Jesus Christ is to denigrate Him everywhere that they can to destroy His name and to impugn any Christian religion anywhere! I want you to understand that Jews do not believe that anyone but Jews should keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days! You need to understand that! If you come and keep them with a Jew, that’s okay. 

from the book: Judaism and the VaticanPortrait of a Jew:

I’ve written elsewhere that as adolescents and later as young men we refuse to take seriously the persistence of nations. We lived in enthusiastic expectation of a new age such as the world has never known before, signs of which we thought we could already detect. The death, which had certainly begun, of religions, families and nations. 

Why is the new age coming in at a time when they’re saying the family is destroyed, nations ought to give up their sovereignty. That’s the whole new age that is coming. 

We had nothing but anger, scorn and irony for the diehards of history who clung to their residues. 

That is clung to the residue of Christianity!

Do Christians realize what the name of Jesus, their God, can mean for a Jew? For a Christian, even an atheist, it evokes or has at least evoked at some time, a Being infinitely good who offers Himself as the ‘good,’ Who desires, at least, to carry on the torch of all bygone philosophies and all morals. 

For the Christian who is still a believer, Jesus epitomizes and fulfills the better part of himself. The Christian who has ceased to believe no longer takes the ideals seriously. He may even resent it, even accuse the priest of incompetency or even of deception, but though he denounces it, as an illusion… 

That is the fantasies of Christianity!

…he generally leaves no doubt as to the grandeur and beauty of that illusion. To the Jew who still believes and professes his own religion, Christianity is the greatest theological and metaphysical usurpation in history. It is a spiritual scandal of subversion and blaspheme. 

That’s how they view Christianity! To this day, even Messianic Jews are not allowed to live in Israel. They are expelled by order of the court. 

To all Jews, even if they are atheists, the name of Jesus is a symbol of a threat of that great threat that has hung over their heads for centuries and which may, at any moment, burst forth in catastrophes of which we know neither the cause nor the prevention. 

I might mention here that the Jews do not recognize any single problem that they have had in the way of lying, cheating, stealing, robbery, subversion and all of these things, because they are done to further their cause, so therefore, they are perfectly all right to do. That’s why it’s important that you understand that in the Talmud it says

  • it’s all right to kill a Gentile 
  • it’s all right to lie to a Gentile 
  • it’s all right to steal from Gentile 
  • it’s all right to destroy his nation 
  • it’s all right to destroy his family 

You won’t find that in The Code of Jewish Law, but you will find some very important things to understand about Judaism. 

So, we are dealing with an implacable enemy of God. If you think that is anti-Semitism, then what you need to do is don’t take the emotional reaction that most people have been programmed into doing since WWII. that is you don’t dare say anything against the Jews. Why don’t you just take the situation to honestly look into it and see if it is true or not? 

That name is part of the accusation of Serd and Frensie that is so effectively cruel that it makes social life barely livable. That name has in fact, come to be one of the signs, one of the names, of the immense apparatus that surrounds the Jew, condemns him and excludes him. I hope my Christian friends will forgive me. That they may better understand, let me say to the Jews, their god—in a way the devil—if they say the devil is a symbol, in essence, of all evil on the earth; iniquitous, an all powerful, incomprehensible and bent on crushing helpless human beings. 

That’s what we’re dealing with, with the Jewish mentality. In another place in this book, I want to read what they have tried to do down through the centuries to cleanse Christianity. Here is an ad that is Biblical Review magazine, vol. 10, #1, February 1993. I want you to see how they view Christianity today, ongoing, in their own writing and their own advertisement: 

From Biblical Review, Feb., 1993 by Richard K. Finn—Holocaust is a Pathological Act of Secularization—from the American Inter-Faith Institute: 

Is the Christian Gospel any longer moral credible? 

Why do we have all these undermining of Christian belief and everything in such an ongoing way? 

In the post-‘shoah’ world… 

‘Shoah’ is the event of the Holocaust, and there are great disputations over how many Jews actually died in the Holocaust. Someone asked me about that one time and I said that there very well may have been six-million Jews who were killed. I don’t mind them having a memorial to those who died. But I will not set foot in it until they also acknowledge the tens of millions that were killed by the Soviets and the Ukrainians who were starved to death, the hundreds of (who knows how many) millions killed by the Communist Chinese. 

Those, and the other things that were done, when they acknowledge that then fine and I’ll set foot in it. But otherwise it becomes a propaganda vehicle to put a guilt trip on all people. That’s exactly what it’s for, so that you don’t dare raise your voice against anything that is done by the Jews. 

In the post-‘shoah’ world, many Christian spokespersons have expressed a readiness to rethink Christian teachings to avoid Christian super-sessionalism. 

Which means that Christianity superseded Judaism!

When a critic from within the Christian community raises a moral question concerning concrete Christian teachings—that is christilogical teaching—he or she is usually dismissed as a radical who is undermining the faith. It is as if the critic were on trial. But is it not rather that the entire Christian message is what’s on trial? If such dismissals are to be accepted where is there any hope for the kind of Christian change that may help prevent future holocausts. 

What is the change that they’re wanting? They’re wanting Christians to admit that the Jews didn’t kill Christ! And that the Christian ‘religion’ is responsible for all the persecution against the Jews. 

quote from Rabbi Eliezer Berkowitz: 

Christianity’s New Testament has been the most dangerous anti-Semitic tract in history. It’s hatred charged diatribe against the Pharisees and the Jews have poisoned the minds and hearts of millions and millions of Christians for almost two millennia now. No matter what the deeper theological meaning of the hate passages against the Jews might be in the history of the Jewish people, the New Testament lent its inspiring support to opposition persecution and mass murder of an intensity and duration that were unparalleled in the entire history of man’s degradation. Without Christianity’s New Testament, Hitler’s Mein Kampf could never have been written. 

Jewish thinking today!

from Biblical Archeology, February 1993—Paul and Judaism: Five Puzzles

It goes through to show, reportedly, Christianity is only a branch out of Judaism. What we’re going to do in this study is to show that true Christianity never had a part of what is real Judaism. But, in fact, the Christianity of the world did come out of Judaism!

If conversion means changing religions, i.e. moving from one religion to another, then Paul was not a convert. 

This is what is going on in so-called Christian theological circles today! 

This is because Judaism and Christianity were not yet viewed as separate religions in the 50s of the first century when Paul wrote his letters… 

We’re going to see what happened in the 50s and why the New Testament was written within a period—except the books of John and Revelation—of about 12 years. Most people don’t realize that. The whole New Testament was written—with the exception of perhaps Jude and the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, 3rd John and Revelation—within a period of about 12 years, from 50A.D. to about 63A.D.—12-14 years. We’re going to understand the great and immense miracle that it is that we have the New Testament. 

When Paul wrote his letters, people still looked on Christians as a particular kind of a Jew. Paul never disavowed his Judaism. 

That’s not the way I read the New Testament!

Paul tries to help Gentile Christians locate themselves in God’s people with reference to Jewish Christians and other Jews. The problems that encounters are for the most part Gentile Christian problems. 

Not so! Has there been a revision of history? Is the history of the United States trying to be revised today? Yes! Well, there’s a revision of Christian history going on. 

Christianity, of course, had its roots in Judaism. The Messiah lived and died on this earth as an observant Jew! 

He was a Jew, but was He a Pharisaical observing Jew? 

Moreover, Gentiles familiar with Judaism and Jewish ways, as an associate member of the synagogues, God fearing. 

There are currently some people today who used to be members of the main affiliation we were members of, who have since left and set up their own ‘religion,’ who openly say and advocate that Jesus Christ was a practicing, ordained, orthodox, Pharisaical rabbi. Have the infiltrations of Judaism had an impact upon Christianity? Yes, indeed! Their goals are to seek out and pervert or to wholly paganize or to destroy. That, brethren, is the doctrine of Baalim! 

  • You pervert them through immorality! 
  • You pervert them through false doctrine! 
  • You bring them back into the bondage of Judaism! 

One of the three!

I give this background, reading this book, and the book: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim. I know it’s tough reading, but you read it. It is tough reading! You may be able to hack only a couple of pages a day. But in there contains everything that shows the roots of Judaism and worldly Christianity. 

(go to the next track) 

You have to know what you’re looking for. And I would have to say that we could not come to this understanding wholly until after we had gone through the things that we did concerning what I wrote in the book The Christian Passover, and come the knowledge of the Passover and rejected, i.e. the 15th Passover. 

The things that we have covered, we have known for a long time in different degrees. So, when we cover them, we’re going to see how new things are going to open up to our understanding. We can start out with the New Covenant or what the Christian Covenant is, then we will go back and see how God prepared for the coming of the New Covenant. 

Matthew 9:16: “Now no one sews a new piece of cloth onto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill up the hole takes away from the garment, and a worse tear develops.” This is just a parable showing that God did not build Christianity on the foundation of Judaism!

Verse 17: “Neither do they put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins will burst, and the wine will spill out, and the wineskins will be destroyed; but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved together.” 

The New Covenant is new! It is built upon the foundation of the promises of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the laws of Moses and so forth. Let’s see where Jesus built the foundation of Christianity. It’s not built upon the traditions of Judaism; you can be guaranteed that! 

Luke 24—Jesus was talking to those two who were walking on the way to Emmaus where He went in and had dinner with them: 

Luke 24:25: “Then He said to them, ‘O foolish and slow of heart to believe… [He’s talking to those disciples that He taught] …in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning with Moses, and from all the prophets, He interpreted to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (vs 25-27). 

Verse 44: And He said to them, ‘These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in thePsalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (vs 44-45). 

I want to make it a clear, distinct new definition: Scripturalism means that you base all of what you believe and practice on the Scriptures of God! Was Jesus a Scripturalist? Yes! Absolutely! Now we are going to see that Scripturalism is based upon Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. God always, in every circumstance, in every part of the history of what we call the Old Testament, had the Scripturalists: those who followed the Scriptures!

Ezra was the main one that we’re going to focus in on coming down toward Judaism. When Ezra got back he had the power and he re-wrote (copied) and canonized all the Old Testament. He wrote 1st and 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. Plus he edited and re-wrote all of the Old Testament in the Hebrew block lettering, which by the way, originated in Babylon. 

Anyone who says that sacred names is anti-Babylonianism, do not have the faintest clue as to what they’re talking about. A language is not pagan; a ‘religion’ is pagan—always remember that! When Ezra came back he setup what is called the Great Synagogue or the Great Assembly. He determined that the only way he could keep the knowledge of God for the Jews was to have copies of the Scriptures written, copied and sent to every synagogue everywhere. That’s what the Great Synagogue did. They had there the ones that are called the ‘Sophrim’ and the ‘Sophrim’ were those who counted all the letters on every page of the scrolls. The ‘Sophrim’ later became the scribes. Pharisaism never came into being until about 350-400 years after Ezra. What Ezra did was setup a system based on the Bible to structure the synagogues and the temple to follow the Word of God. Ezra was a Scripturalist!

He also laid out so that the Jews would be forced to read the Bible. He set out a three-year cycle of reading of the Law and the prophets and the Psalms called the triennial cycle of reading. Ezra instituted the instructions to preserve the knowledge of the Scriptures, the reading of the Scriptures and the obedience of the Scriptures. When Ezra died, the great synagogue continued for about another 100 years. After Ezra died, a lot of traditions began to be added to the Law, called ‘oral traditions’ and some of them written, which were designed to make people keep the Law of God. 

What happened was that all of these traditions began to replace the commandment-keeping of the Laws of God and to develop their own interpretation of them, just like we have with Catholicism and some Protestantism today. 

When it came down to the time of Jesus Christ, this made the separation most difficult and most traumatic, because everything that is called Judaism is defined this way: 

  • Judaism includes what is called the Torah, so they say it is Jewish 

The Torah is the first five books of the Bible! 

  • Judaism includes the Prophets, so, they say they are Jewish 
  • Judaism includes the Psalms, so they say it is Jewish 
  • Judaism includes all of the traditional oral things added to the Law 

So, when they speak of ‘tradition’ and Judaism, they are speaking of the whole package, which they call the Law of Mosesand it’s not! These ‘traditions’ became so interfering with the commandment-keeping of the commandments of God, that in Mark 7 we find some of the strongest denunciation that has been given of those ‘traditions.’ 

Someone will surely raise the question: What about the ‘good’ traditions. Well, the only ‘good’ traditions that there would be, were those traditions defining how and when to read the Scriptures. That would be about it. The only ‘good’ traditions would be those that include how the priests would dress. Those are other instructions. Those did not interfere with the keeping of the commandments of God. 

Mark 7:1: “Then the Pharisees… [we’ll learn about the Pharisees] …and some of the scribes…” Those are the descendants of the ‘Sophrim.’

The scribes were actually those who wrote the Law, copied the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. They were actually the ‘legalists’ and they are called ‘lawyers’ in other places, who would make decisions based upon the Laws of God. 

“…from Jerusalem came together to Him. And when they saw some of His disciples eating with defiled hands (that is, unwashed hands), they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews, holding fast to the tradition of the elders, do not eat unless they wash their hands thoroughly. Even when coming from the market, they do not eat unless they first wash themselves. And there are many other things that they have received to observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and brass utensils and tables” (vs 1-4). 

We will see when we get to Code of Jewish Law of categorizing people and categorizing animals and categorizing foods, of categorizing everything that there is under the sun! This was the hedge they built around the Law, supposedly to help people keep the Law. What it did, it kept them from understanding the Law. 

Notice the effect that Jesus said it had, v 5: “For this reason, the Pharisees and the scribes questioned Him, saying, ‘Why don’t Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders… [the law of the fathers, as Paul called it in a later place] …but eat bread with unwashed hands?’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites… [Scripturalists] …as it is written, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.” For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of mensuch as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.’ Then He said to them, ‘Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition’” (vs 5-9). 

Then He gives an example, v 10: “For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘The one who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man shall say to hisfather or mother, “Whatever benefit you might receive from me is corban” (that is, set aside as a gift to God)… [set aside for the temple or religious purpose] …he is not obligated to help his parents.’ And you excuse him from doing anything for his father or his mother, nullifying the authority of the Word of God by your tradition, which you have passed down; and you practice many traditions such as this” (vs 10-13). 

The problem that we find in the battle in the New Testament is the difficulties between Judaism, with all that they claim it is, and Scripturalism, which is what Christianity is built upon

  • they can claim the Law is Jewish, but it’s not, it’s is God’s
  • they can claim the Prophets are Jewish, but they are not, they are from God
  • they can claim the Psalms are Jewish, but they are not, they are from God

Inspired of God! God did not intend the Bible to be kept in a corner and hedged about with ‘traditions’ so that the only way to God is through a tradition

In order to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, God always had those Scripturalists who kept the commandments of God, always! Let’s get a little background here. When we come to some of the more heated confrontations with the Pharisees I will bring you some of that. 

Mal. 2 is a prophecy about the priests, and some of the priesthood was purified sufficiently, keeping the commandments of God sufficiently so that there would be a foundation on which to begin Christianity. In the meantime, he had to give this so that there would be those who would be corrected by this purging, which is given in Mal. 2 & 3. 

Malachi 2:1: “‘And now, O priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to My name,’ says the LORD of hosts…” (vs 1-2). 

They were the ones who would teach God’s way. Most of the scribes and the Sophrim were Levites or priests. Ezra was a Levite, a priest of the house of Aaron, who was also called a ‘scribe.’ 

“…‘then I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yea, I have indeed cursed them already because you do not lay it to heart’” (v 2). 

What did they do? When it came down to the time of the Pharisees, the Pharisees started their own traditions, separate, apart from!

Verse 3: “‘Behold, I will rebuke your seed; and I will spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your appointed feasts. And one shall carry you away with it. And you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, so that My covenant might be with Levi,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him for fear; that he might fear Me, and he was in awe before My name. The Law of Truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips. He walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and turned away many from iniquity’” (vs 3-6). 

There it is, Scripturalism, right there, following the laws and commandments of God!

Verse 7: “‘For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and the people should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the Law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘Therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people, just as you have not kept My ways but have been partial in the Law’” (vs 7-9). Haven’t we seen what effect that had, being partial in the Law? 

Verse 10: “Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously, each man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah has dealt treacherously…” (vs 10-11). God even speaks against the Jews. What do you know, God is an anti-Semite! 

“…and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. The LORD will cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this—the one who calls and the one who answers—and him who offers an offering to the LORD of hosts. And this is a second thing you have done, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, weeping and groaning, so that He does not regard the offering and no longer receives it with delight from your hand” (vs 11-13). 

Isn’t that exactly a profound description of Judaism today? Weeping, crying and gnashing and claiming to do the Word of God, all the while being punished by God for the things that they have done!

Verse 14: “Yet you say, ‘Why?’ Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously—yet, she is your companion and your covenant wife.” 

When the priests and the ministers get into divorcing and remarrying, that really creates a lot of problems for everyone. 

Verse 15: “And did He not make you one? Yet the vestige of the Spirit is in him. And why one? That He might seek a Godly seed….” 

God is saying that this all part of the thing that went on when Ezra forced them to put away their foreign wives. God was trying to protect the seed down to Jesus Christ. Ezra succeeded in accomplishing that. 

“…Therefore, guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously against the wife of your youth” (v 15). 

I remember talking to a man who all of a sudden figured that after 35 years of marriage that he could re-interpret the Law of God and put her away. No man can do that!

Verse 16: “The LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘I hate divorce—and the covering of violence with one’s garment,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘Therefore guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously.’ You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we wearied Him?’ When you say, ‘Every evildoer is good in the eyes of the LORD, and He delights in them;’ or, ‘Where is the God of judgment?’” (vs 16-17). 

That’s a prophecy of what they did with their traditions in rejecting the commandments of God. 

Mal. 3 is a prophecy of the coming of Christ and a prophecy of the one who would be John the Baptist. Then we will look at John the Baptist as an introduction to Christ. 

Malachi 3:1: “‘Behold, I will send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, Whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in Whom you delight. Behold, He comes,’ says the LORD of hosts.” 

We also have the prophecy of the one crying in the wilderness (Isa. 40), which John the Baptist says he was. Then it comes even into the second coming of Christ: who shall abide the day of His coming?

Verse 5: “‘And I will come near to you for judgment. And I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against those who swear falsely, and against those who extort from the hired laborer’s wages—and against those who turn away the widow, the orphan, and the stranger because they did not fear Me,’ says the LORD of hosts.” 

Verse 3: “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. And He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” That’s a prophecy of the coming of John the Baptist and his father and mother!

Let’s see something interesting and very profound concerning John the Baptist and his father and mother. 

In this study, we are going to be mainly Scripturalists. God has always had a remnant who will be faithful to His Word! Let’s see how Luke wrote this that it shows exactly the division that happened between the forces of Judaism and Christ and Christianity, beginning with John the Baptist. There’s a reason for the things that were done. 

Note the name Theophilus (Luke 1:3) means lover of God. There were those who feel that the Theophilus was the name of one of the priests to whom Luke wrote. Very possible, but I can’t say for sure, so don’t say I said. I just said there are ‘some who think.’ 

Luke 1:5 “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest of the course of Abijah, Zacharias by name…” 

What Luke is showing here very clearly is that they were following the Scriptures. Abijah was one of the courses set up by Samuel and David, which you will find listed in 2-Sam. and in 1-Chron. Those are part of the ‘good traditions’ that were given on priestly instructions on how to wait on their course and when to come and so forth. That’s what he’s saying here. 

“…and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth” (v 5). 

  • Why would he include “…the daughters of Aaron…”? To show that they were Scripturalists!
  • Why? Because a priest should not marry anyone other than a daughter of a priest of the house of Aaron!

Verse 6: “Now, they were both righteous before God…”—observing all the traditions of the elders!

I deliberately misread it so that you would get the contrast; so that you will understand that Zacharias and Elizabeth—though they were Levites of the house of Aaron and of the priesthood; she was not a priestess, but was his wife—were Scripturalists and they were following the commandments of God! That’s a very important thing to understand. 

When we come way down into this study to the time of Acts 15 and the problems with the Pharisees, which was 52A.D., you’re going to see that the divorce was complete, and the troubles for the Church really started. False Christianity sprung out of the result of that conference, which excluded and cut off the Pharisees. That’s why I’m going through and making it very clear the distinction between Judaism—what they believe it is—and Scripturalism as to what God shows it is. 

Verse 6: “Now, they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.” Blameless! Nothing whatsoever to do with the traditions of Judaism!That’s a distinction that’s very clear; a distinction that is made. 

You know the story that Zacharias went in at the time of the offering of incense and an angel of God came to him—Gabriel—and said, ‘your prayers have been answered. You’re going to have a son.’ Zacharias said, ‘We’re old, how is this going to be?’ He was struck dumb because he didn’t believe what the angel had told him. He went home and his wife conceived and they had a son; he was born and his name was called John. You can read all of the prophecy that was given at the birth of John the Baptist. 

Here’s an obscure little verse (v 80) that a lot of people do not think is important, but it’s just as important as the rest of it. 

Verse 80: “And the little child grew and was strengthened in spirit; and he was in the wilderness until the day of his appearing to Israel.” 

Why is this significant? He wasn’t corrupted! He wasn’t a Pharisee! Furthermore, even greater than that, he was never trained as a priest! He was kept in the desert until the day of ‘his showing.’ 

To make it even more ridged and stringent, he was a Nazarite from birth! He never had his hair cut; never drank any wine; never even ate any raisins! 

  • Was this a sudden departure from the past? 
  • Was this not something that was new and a clean break? Absolutely!

Not only from the traditions, but also from the priesthood! God used a Levite, a priest of the house of Aaron, to announce the coming of the Messiah! That becomes very important. 

Right at the very beginning of the writings in Luke, he is a Scripturalist, and he is showing that what God was doing was bringing in the New Covenant, which was separate even from the priesthood! I don’t think many people have thought of it that way, or looked at it that way. But this becomes very, very important! 

Let’s see about the ministry of John the Baptist. We are going to see that John the Baptist was an independent, hard-minded, flint-headed, tongue-lashing preacher for Christ! He spared no words! The reason that he was kept aside and away from everyone was so that he would be independent. He did not give deference to anybody, except his dad and Christ. What did Jesus say of John the Baptist? He said, ‘I say, and I tell you, that there is not born of woman any man greater than John the Baptist!’

Let’s read of his ministry, Matthew 3:1: “Now, in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’ For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet… [Scripturalist!] …saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.”’ Now, John himself wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey” (vs 1-4). 

He must have been a fierce looking person! He probably had hair all scrunched up in the back hanging down to his ankles, or wrapped up with a turban on top of his head, and a huge, long beard. And probably piercing, deep-set, fiery eyes! He ate locust and wild honey. I think that means the real thing, the real locust, juicy and dried. As it were his words were bitter and sweet, weren’t they? What we need to do is see that God inspired these Scriptures for us that they live in our mind with understanding. 

Verse 5: “Then went out to him those from Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the country around the Jordan.” 

Remember, the whole pregnancy and birth of John the Baptist was talked about everywhere! I mean, they didn’t have The Star and the Enquirer like we have today. They didn’t have their supermarkets where they went in and said, ‘Elizabeth, Woman 72-year-old Conceives!’ Has a son and all the relatives wanted to call him Zacharias after his father and he couldn’t talk for nine months. The first word he said, ‘His name is John.’ Everybody knew this!

Let’s understand how small the geographical area was. As Paul said, this wasn’t done in a corner. What we’re going to see when we are done with this study, that this was so widely known, the whole thing of Jesus Christ, and it was so miraculous and widespread that nearly the whole nation of Judea believed one form or another of a kind of Christianity, whether they were converted or not. Here’s John the Baptist. You can imagine, here are all of these scribes and Pharisees and so forth coming out there. 

Verse 6: “And were being baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. But after seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism… [notice how well he received them; it wasn’t ‘oh, my father, rabbi…’]: …he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers…” (vs 6-7)—the offspring of snakes! 

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a Palestinian viper, but they are awesome creatures! They will put the fear of God in you, believe me! They have heads that are about 8-inches across and their heads are about the size of a half-pound box of chocolates in a heart-shaped container. Their bodies are as big around as a softball plus; about like one of those spongy balls that the little kids play with. Their bodies are about 4-feet long, thick and fat all the way down to the tail. The tail comes down to a teeny, little point and about 6-inches. 

When he says, “…You brood… [generation] …of vipers…” (v 7). This is an epitaph; this is so bad! John the Baptist, with this statement in modern parlance, an anti-Semite! 

So, the whole term ‘anti-Semite’ I want you to completely be SC—Scripturally correct—vs PC, politically correct. If you’ve swallowed the propaganda of anti-Semitism today, you are PC—politically correct. But if you want to be on God’s side—He’s not going to be on your side, you have to be on God’s side—you must be SCScripturally correct, naming sin for what it is!

So, here is John the Baptist’s wonderful cordial reception of the great and powerful religious figures of his day. He wasn’t some effeminate-speaking guy in a loincloth standing in a puddle alongside a dried up Jordan River, as the movies picture him today. Now you know why they picture him that way, because they hate John the Baptist to this day. He called them a: 

“…brood of vipers, who has forewarned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore, produce fruits worthy of repentance” (vs 7-8). The whole lesson of everything that God did in the Old Testament and New Testament was how is your heart?

Verse 9: “And do not think to say within yourselves…” Who does this guy think he is? We have the linage! He is insulting us!

“…‘We have Abraham for our father’…” (v 9). Right at the very first, John the Baptist said, ‘It’s not who you are that counts, it is what is your attitude toward God that counts’! It is not your position that you have that is important, nor the money that you possess, nor the fact that you are recipients of the promise of Abraham. 

“…for I tell you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (v 9). 

This was the first baptism, there was no Jewish tradition for baptism. In your study you will see that there were ritual bathings that were akin to baptism. The Essenes bathed fully immersed. Not for this purpose, so this was the first baptism as such. There were other things that you could call baptism in as much as the Greek word ‘baptizo’ means to submerge in water. But this is the first baptism unto repentance! 

Verse 10: “But already the axe is striking at the roots of the trees; therefore, every tree that is not producing good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 

What a reception! I mean, what a welcome! He’s telling them to clean up their act or they’re going to be cut down and burned! 

Verse 11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but the one Who is coming after me is mightier than I, of Whom I am not fit to carry His sandals; He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire; whose winnowing shovel is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather His wheat into the granary; but the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire” (vs 11-12). That’s also quoted in Scripture! 

John the Baptist was a Scripturalist! Why did they all come out to his baptism? They were expecting the Messiah! 

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
  • Revelation 2:9
  • Revelation 3:8-10
  • Luke 4:5-7
  • Revelation 12:9-13
  • Matthew 9:16-17
  • Luke 24:25-27, 44-45
  • Mark 7:1-13
  • Malachi 2:1-17
  • Malachi 3:1, 5, 3
  • Luke 1:5-6, 80
  • Matthew 3:1-12

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 17; 18
  • Isaiah 40
  • Luke 1:3
  • Acts 15

Also referenced:

  • En Route to Global Occupation by Gary Kah (
  • The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion by Victor Marsden (
  • Judaism and the Vatican by Leon De Poncus (
  • Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried and Goldin (
  • Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim (
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter


  • Antichrist


  • Biblical Review, Feb. 1993 (Holocaust in a Pathological Acts of Secularization by Richard K. Finn)
  • Biblical Archeology, Feb. 1993 (Paul and Judaism: Five Puzzles)

Transcribed: 1-12-12
Reformatted/Corrected: 2/2020