The greatest danger facing all Believers today is not some outside enemy, or persecution, or even death. Our greatest danger is something that we hold dear among ourselves, and is revealed in the many warnings given in Scripture. That something can cause Yahushua to have a few things against us. That something is our widespread practice of (unknowingly) eating of things sacrificed to idols.
Let’s see what this is, so that we might remove it from our practice.
Note: This post is a shortened summary. For the full-length article with full Scripture references, including the apostle Paul’s teaching on these related truths, see Eating Things Sacrificed Unto Idols: A Warning to the Bride.
I have a few things against you
For those who are serious about preparing themselves for their Bridegroom, and who desire to be among the “Lamb’s Wife (who) has made herself ready” (Rev 19:7), Yahushua gives a curious warning:But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. (Revelation 2:14)
First, let us notice that the above passage in Revelation is addressed to the last-days congregations (that’s us). Next we see above that the Doctrine of Balaam results in a stumblingblock (something that impedes our walking in The Way.) And finally, we see the nature of this particular stumblingblock — to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. These two items describe one single stumblingblock, and one single practice we hold dear.
The above passage tells us this one stumblingblock results from the teaching (the Doctrine) of Balaam. So let’s review what Scripture reveals about the Doctrine of Balaam.
The Doctrine of Balaam
As we saw in detail here, the Doctrine of Balaam is not greed, but is simply the practice of the Error of Balaam. In summary, the Error of Balaam was that Balaam rejected the earlier Word of Yahuweh, but was willing to obey only the later Word of Yahuweh. For this, Yahuweh sought to kill Balaam.
Today we are doing exactly the same as Balaam did. We are practicing the Doctrine of Balaam — for most of our congregations have rejected the earlier Word of Yahuweh, and have accepted only the later Word of Yahuweh. This has happened because many have believed the words of the theologians, and have not read the Scriptures for themselves. Let’s look briefly at some of the results of the Doctrine of Balaam.
Since the Doctrine of Balaam is the rejection of the ‘earlier’ Word of Yahuweh in favour of the ‘later’ Word of Yahuweh, we see that there will be ignorance and misunderstanding as to Yahuweh’s will for us today.
If a Doctrine or practice is truly of Yahushua, it will be found within the writings of ‘Moses and all the Prophets’ (John 5:47; Luke 24:25, 27). It will also be seen being practiced in the lives of Yahushua, and His disciples, and the apostle Paul, as we are told we have them for our examples (Php 3:17; 1Pet 2:21; 1John 2:6; 1John 3:2).
Substitution of man’s own Doctrine or practice, in place of that prescribed by Yahuweh, is the basic definition of idolatry. Throughout the Scriptures Yahuweh pleads with His people to forego their idolatries, which Yahuweh likens to spiritual fornication.
Now let us see how the rejection of the earlier Word teaches us to eat things sacrificed to idols.
Things Sacrificed to Idols
We noted that the above passage in Revelation is addressed to the last-days congregations (to us). Yahushua is telling us that the Doctrine of Balaam teaches men to ‘eat things sacrificed to idols.’ So we see that this is not only idolatry by having a man-made substitute, and is spiritual fornication, but we see it is also related to the eating of a sacrifice.
We now see that this passage refers to the eating of a FALSE sacrifice, a substitute for the TRUE Sacrifice — for which only the Body and Blood of Yahushua qualifies!
Now let’s look closely at this. As Believers, what are we told to eat and drink that represents the Body and Blood of Yahushua? Scriptures tell us exactly:And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. … 26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament [‘covenant’], which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:18; 26-28) And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? … 22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament [‘covenant’], which is shed for many. (Mark 14:14; 22-24) And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: … 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament [‘covenant’] in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:15; 19-20) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed [‘Passover’] took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament [‘covenant’] in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)
The above passages reveal that the Body and Blood of Yahshua are eaten and drunk at the Passover meal. Let us recall that Yahushua and His Disciples are an example for us today. This Passover meal (the TRUE Lord’s Supper) was not some new Doctrine for the Disciples — it was something Yahuweh’s people had practiced for thousands of years, as commanded of ALL of Yahuweh’s people, in Lev 23:4-5. Yahushua was simply revealing the TRUE meaning of Passover for them, and for us today.
Now that we have an understanding from Scripture of the New Covenant Passover, we can more easily understand the words of Yahushua:Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except [‘unless’] ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (John 6:53)
We now understand clearly from Scripture that Yahushua is referring to the Passover meal, which is only for His people, and is not for ‘outsiders.’ It is the outsiders who have ‘no Life in them’ [do not have Yahushua living within them]. The ‘outsiders’ can not keep Passover, for it is ‘Messiah-in-you’ who desires to keep Passover; only those who have been ‘Born-Again’ have Messiah living within.
Yahuweh commands His people to observe Passover as a memorial for ever (Ex 12:14), a Feast we see practiced by Yahushua and all His Disciples. Even Paul reminds us not to fail to keep Passover (1Cor 5:7-8).
The Man-Made Substitute for Passover
Since the Doctrine of Balaam rejects the earlier Word of Yahuweh, it allows the Doctrines of Men to create a ‘substitute’ Passover in place of the true Biblical Passover. This substitution was made many centuries ago, perhaps as early as the first century, and later handed down to us from the ‘church fathers’ and ‘Reformers’ who had come [part-way] out of Rome.
Today this man-made practice is highly revered, and is called by the names ‘communion’ and ‘Lord’s Supper.’ These words appear in Scripture, but have been twisted by men, applying these words to something other than Passover. The Biblical Passover occurs only once per year, after sunset in the night that begins the 14th day of the first month.
To be Biblical, the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup of Passover is to be observed strictly according to Scripture. Messiah tells us this timing in Luke 22:15 was “before He suffered,” and the apostle Paul confirms this timing in 1Co 11:23-24 as “the same night Messiah was betrayed,” that is, at the beginning of the 14th day. As followers of Messiah, we are not allowed to ‘tweak’ the observance by including man’s own ideas or practices, no matter how popular they may be.
When we refuse Yahushua’s Passover, but then practice a man-made replacement of Passover — even if we call it by the name of ‘communion’ or ‘Lord’s supper’ — we are then practicing a substitute for the Biblical command — which is idolatry! We have substituted a man-made practice in place of a Biblical practice. In Yahuweh’s sight that is spiritual fornication, because we are supposed to be His people, and we are supposed to be ‘Betrothed’ to Him as a Bride.
When we forget the ‘earlier’ Word of Yahuweh, men will attempt to invent many doctrines to take its place.
Now we can understand how most congregations today unknowingly promote and teach their people to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication. Now we can see how widespread the problem is today, as addressed by Yahushua in the above passage in Revelation.
For those who desire to prepare themselves for their Bridegroom, let us cease immediately committing idolatry and spiritual fornication, and eating of things sacrificed to idols.
Let us cease ‘taking communion’ and ‘eating the Lord’s Supper’ according to man-made religious tradition handed down from our ‘church fathers.’
Let us instead begin to embrace the TRUE Passover meal — the TRUE Body and Blood of Yahushua. We will do this only when we cease practicing the Doctrine of Balaam, and begin to obey the earlier Word of Yahuweh.