Exclusive: Joseph Farah warns against 'gentile-dominated form of Christianity'
Have you ever felt unwelcome in a church? If so, it doesn’t mean you won’t be welcome in the Kingdom of God.
In fact, you may find it surprising that even the Apostle John was kicked out of a church – and told he and his brethren, other messianic Jewish believers, were not welcome.
It’s scriptural evidence that even before the first century was over, the dangerous heresy of what we call “replacement theology” had already begun – that being the notion that a gentile-dominated form of Christianity had usurped God’s covenantal promises to Israel.
We see this remarkable development in a seldom-studied passage – 3 John 9-11.
“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”
We don’t know a lot about Diotrephes. This is the only reference to him in the Bible. But all we need to know is revealed in this short book. His name means “nourished by Jupiter” or “nourished by Zeus.” That sounds like a strange name for a believer in Jesus in the first century, given that all of his early followers were Jews. He was obviously not a Jew because he was bearing a pagan name. It was common for early gentile believers with pagan names to change them. Diotrephes did not. He kept his pagan name that glorified a pagan Greek god.
We also know that Diotrephes spoke maliciously against the inspired Jewish apostolic leadership and refused to allow messianic Jewish believers into his assembly. In fact, he threw them out!
Just to underscore the incredible historical lesson here: The Apostle John, or Yochanan, one of the exclusively Jewish disciples, was not welcome in a “Christian” church in the latter part of the first century – just decades after Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, suffered and died on the cross to extend salvation and eternal life to the whole world, gentiles included.
Think about that! The Apostle John was not welcome in a “Christian church.”