What most people think of when hearing the word counterfeit is paper money. While undeniably the most popular and tangible product counterfeited today, the truth is that intangible things can be counterfeited as well—things like faith, doctrine, leadership, and motives, to name just a few.
The formal definition of counterfeit means … “To imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value than the real thing.”
Sadly, “fake” has woven itself into the vernacular of our modern culture. So much, in fact, that it’s becoming increasingly challenging to differentiate lies from truth. Yet long before we had fake news, fake designer handbags, fake Facebook profiles, and fake fill-in-the-blanks… we had the king of fake—Satan.
Boldly wearing a counterfeit crown throughout the centuries, Satan has ingeniously woven himself into the fabric of faith, doing his best to distort the truth and destroy our understanding and belief in God as The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.
The Truth About The Trinity
The word trinity comes from “tri,” meaning three and “unity,” meaning one. Though the Bible does not overtly use the term “trinity,” Christians understand that God is One God and has revealed Himself in three roles performing different functions. From the beginning of creation in Genesis to the end of times in Revelation, God refers to Himself as “us” or “our;” God the Father, the Son Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew), and the Holy Spirit, in one true God, hence the reason that Christians often call Him “The Trinity” or “The Triune God.” There are many Bible verses and Scriptures about the trinity that help us have a better understanding of who God is.
14 The grace of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the love of God and the fellowship of the Ruach HaKodesh be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (BSB).
- God the Father is the Supreme One who sits on the Throne of Heaven, the Righteous Judge, and the Maker and Creator of all things.
- Yeshua the Son is the manifestation of the Supreme One in Glory contained in human form (Mishkan ) that paid man’s penalty for sin and death on behalf of those who enter into covenant with Him.
- The Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh in Hebrew) is the transient pouring out of God as He descends upon or fills the spirit portion of His creation, mankind. God made man in His own image so that through repentance, His creation could receive or contain His Holy Presence and be owned by Him.
Ancient Judaism – The Tree of Life
It becomes obvious as one studies the roots of our faith this “three in one” Godhead is not new to Christianity. It can also be found in the top three emanations of the Hebrew Tree of Life called the Eitz Chaim or Sephirot. At the top of the Tree of Life lies the Crown Supreme or Keter also known as The King of the Universe, and from that crown comes two emanations – one, on the right hand is called chocmah or wisdom (which Christianity understands to be the mind of Christ) and on the other side is benah or understanding (which is revelation by the Holy Spirit). Together, these three are called the Supernals of the Tree of Life.
From the time of the Garden of Eden, Satan has challenged the Holy One, enticing God’s creation to worship him instead. Since man was created to receive spirit (specifically His Holy Spirit) so it is also possible for the evil one to deceive man, filling him or her with every evil spirit, even possessing them by entering in and claiming rights to their souls.
Since Adam and Eve were both deceived by the enticer, they chose to reject God’s Tree of Life (that is His wisdom and understanding—His chocmah and benah) and elected instead to choose the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thus deciding for themselves what was good and evil and what was right or wrong. They chose to believe the cunning liar or nachash (a Hebrew idiom that translates as a “snake” but connotes to one who is a liar or deceiver) and so, instead of trusting in their Creator, they believed they could become their own god.
Thus, man gave dominion to the evil one allowing Satan to rule from heavenly places, giving authority to rulers and principalities over what would become nations.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
An Unholy “Counterfeit” Trinity
In pagan times, the nations appeased their gods through human sacrifice, human and animal orgies, and temple harlotry. These pagan (demonic) gods had names listed in both ancient books and Bible records.
The head or supreme dark ruler was known by various names (depending on region or language) such as Ba’al, Mithras or Ra. This supreme male divinity would be connected to a female god or wife, also known by various names such as Oestre, Astarte, or Ashtoreth. From this union, a miraculous child would be born.
These ancient demi-gods were understood to be a trinity for millennia. A powerful father, a nurturing mother, a miraculous conception, a precious child, a family, and ultimately, a sacrifice. Isn’t it interesting that a counterfeit trinity and messiah existed long before Yeshua was ever born?
That’s why, when the true Messiah came, it was a recognizable story.
And sadly, because of this “unholy trinity,” the gospel of Yeshua was received among the nations with a preconceived and warped perspective.
The Unholy Family
We learn through archaic pagan lore that Nimrod, the great-grandson of Ham was considered to be Ra-incarnate. He proposed to build a tower, a mystical labyrinth that would rise into the heavenly realm offering a “path” to enlightenment and once again, like in the garden, enticing man to “be like God” (Genesis 10:8-10; 11:1-9).
Nimrod was married to Semiramis, also known as Ashtoreth-incarnate or the Queen of Heaven. It was told that Semiramis conceived after her husband, Nimrod died. She claimed the baby to be of a miraculous conception yet still being none other than Nimrod’s child.
The child born to Semiramis was named Tammuz but was proclaimed to also be the great Ra-incarnate. Another name for Ra-incarnate was Mithras, the Sun God. It was purported that the father and son were one and the same. Sound familiar?
This “miracle son” of Ashtoreth-incarnate was known to be a hunter. The story goes that when he was older, while on a hunting trip, he was killed by a wild boar. After which, his mother proclaimed a 40-day mournful fast and then at the end of the fast required everyone to kill a boar and eat it on the “Sun” day after the full moon after the vernal spring equinox. This specific day is known as the Sun day of Ashtoreth, also known as Ishtar. Today, modern society refers to the Sun day of Ishtar as Easter Sunday. A day on which it has become customary to serve an Easter ham (aka boar).
Are you beginning to see how counterfeit faith—and doctrine—was born? But that’s not all, listen to what happens next.
In memory of her son, (primarily known as Mithras, the Sun God) Ashtoreth decorated and adorned a tree that grew near his grave every year on his birthday, which was…hold on for it…December 25th. This annual decorating of an evergreen tree became an enduring tradition among many Mithras worshippers in the nations (see Jeremiah 10:3-4).
To also honor Mithras, every year at the spring equinox the priests of Ishtar would prepare an altar for the virgins who would conceive children specifically for sacrifice. These babies would all be born on or around December 25th, his birthday.
Three months after their births, these innocent babies would be prepared for sacrifice and killed on the altars of Ashtoreth on Ishtar Sunday. After this brutal custom, the blood of these babies was collected in vats, and then chicken or bird eggs (symbolizing life and fertility) were soaked in the red infant blood and placed on the altars as fetishes or talismans in order for a new batch of virgins to conceive, starting the whole barbaric, sacrificial process all over again.
That many Christian beliefs and customs have their origins in pagan beliefs and customs may be surprising to modern-day Christians. It’s not something most of us think about when it comes to our faith. Just as we might not think about how we gentiles came to follow Yeshua—a Jewish Jesus in the first place.
The Birth of Christianity
When God chose to partner in covenant with Abraham, He promised that He would one day bless the nations through him. He would do this through a covenant with one nation—a nation on which He would place His Name and a people through whom He would send His Messiah. This nation would be known as Israel, and the tribe of its people would be called Judah.
Because of God’s choice, Satan has been discrediting and persecuting this chosen nation and people from their inception.
The timeline of Jewish history between 2000 B.C.E. and when Jesus was crucified in 35 C.E. is replete with evidence of Gods divine plan, purpose, and prophecy. However, what we know about the life of Jesus is limited. Unfortunately, the Gospels do not give a clear account of the events surrounding His early life. They downplay the fact that Jesus and his followers were Jewish while making the term “Pharisee” synonymous with “evil” and laying the blame for Jesus’ death on the shoulders of the Jews. History records this as well.
The early adherents of Jesus were Jews and, in fact, they remained a sect within Judaism, observing most of the Jewish religious practices, laws, and customs. They even participated in the rituals at the Temple. Only when Paul, a Jew from Tarsus, joined the movement and convinced the followers of Jesus to accept non-Jews into their ranks, did the birth and rapid growth of Christianity take place.
Christianity originated in Judea, but it gained momentum and spread throughout the Roman Empire after St. Paul began to accept non-Jews into the fold. Soon, Christians dropped many Jewish practices; from that point on, the majority of the new converts to Christianity would be former pagans, not Jews. And although the Gospels may have been written in Aramaic, the idiom of the Jews, they were soon to be translated into Greek for the benefit of the gentiles.
Today, thankfully, many Christians are waking up to learn the ways of Yeshua— and beginning to see our Messiah in His own Jewish context. Yeshua was sent to bless the nations just as God promised Abraham. As we begin to understand and shake off the pagan counterfeit doctrine, we are learning to discern true light from Satan’s counterfeit and are being transformed and grafted into a cultivated olive tree.
The Assumption of Constantine
The rapid spread of Christianity became a threat to the Roman Empire, and the persecution of Christians was routinely practiced by various emperors in the second and third century. However, in 313 C.E. Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which formally granted Christians the right to practice their faith in peace.
Constantine was a polytheist and a worshipper of Mithras, the Sun God. When he discovered that Yeshua was known as the Sun of Righteousness, he devised a plan.
20 “But for you who revere My Name, the sun of righteousness will rise, with healing in its wings. Then you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.
Malachi 3:20 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Constantine was also an anti-Semite and rather than allow this Jewish Jesus to continue to gain popularity, he declared to all that Yeshua was none other than Mithras personified. And as such, he proclaimed His birthday to be that of Mithras, December 25th, even though the Bible has absolutely no record of Yeshua’s birthdate. He also declared that the resurrection of Yeshua was to be celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon after the Spring equinox—precisely the time when new life was conceived on the altars of Ishtar. As Christianity spread across the land, Ishtar Sunday would eventually come to be known as Easter Sunday.
During Constantine’s reign and with his support, the Council of Nice declared Christianity to be the one and only official religion of the empire in 325 C.E. –a one-world universal religion void of all things Jewish—totally different from the faith of Yeshua that had been passed down for 300 years.
The following year, Constantine moved to Byzantium (which would be renamed Constantinople in his honor), and the Roman Empire was no more.
However, the great counterfeit was taking on momentum.
Deception of End Times
Yeshua warned us that many false teachers would deceive many people as the end of the age approaches. He warned us of false messiahs and prophets that will rise and will show great signs and wonders, to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24). The Apostle Paul also warned that false teachers led by a different spirit would preach a different gospel and that these teachers will present themselves as ministers of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13–15).
These false teachers will be responsible for the great apostasy of the church by using arrogant arguments about doctrine and philosophical and scientific reasoning.
As Yeshua warned us of false messiahs and prophets there will be the ultimate “man of sin”—a lawless (Torah-less) religious leader (prophet) will cause massive numbers of people who do not know God’s prophetic word to fall. He will display “all power, signs and lying wonders” and cause billions of people to worship a powerful political figure Christians refer to as the Anti-Christ. This religious politician will be a cunning man that will embody a false illumination, the spirit of Satan—as in Satan’s Counterfeit.
We need to be aware. Deception has been operating for centuries and is intensifying.
It’s time for covenant believers to ask some poignant questions. Is your Christian light of the right Spirit? Are you advancing the true light of God’s Kingdom? Are you walking in His love and offering sincere encouragement? Are you aware of the times and keeping your radar up for prophetic signs within the church, it’s leaders – even within yourself?
Or, are you following a selfish agenda, a fleshly cause? Are you blinded by what seems good to man, or you? Are you motivated by anger, self-righteous dogma, or intolerant mindsets? Are you ignorant to the warnings of Yeshua concerning the end-time conditions of the church?
Is Your Light Dark?
Satan is an angel or an agent of light. But it is not God’s light. It will look similar to a good thing. But it is not God. The Word of God below emphasizes a counterfeit light.
23 But if your eye is bad, your body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6:23 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
A Hebrew idiom used in Biblical times for generosity and goodness of heart was “a good eye.” It is natural to assume an evil person who is a deceitful, greedy, and arrogant would have an evil eye. But have you ever considered that a person who believes in what he or she may be doing for God could be deceived as was Adam and Eve?
Be on the watch for those who shine a dark light. For if there is a crack of possibility, then even the elect will be deceived and will justify their erroneous agendas as good. (“Elect” does not only include religious leaders but also elected religious politicians) It looks like light – but it’s a dark light, and it causes people to stumble.
Live by the Spirit
It’s also time to shed off pagan Christianity and religious dogma—to rid ourselves of counterfeit faith. Shed off man’s attempt to be God in the area of social and political agendas. Man does not have the answers! Only Messiah can bring perfect government to this world.
Pray for our leaders but realize before you swing too far over the line that the government and the religious systems are the targets of deception for the End Times; ask the Lord to remove erroneous beliefs from your mind. Ask for His wisdom (chochmah), and ask for guidance to walk and live in the understanding of God’s agendas (benah). Repent and ask Him to wash you clean of any false way that dishonors Him and defiles your soul.
Living in this world requires a perfect balance of mercy and justice and can only be achieved by the Spirit of God—the third entity in the Holy Trinity.
8 Human being, you have already been told what is good, what Adonai demands of you —no more than to act justly, love grace, and walk in purity with your God.
Micah 6:8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
God’s promises are one of life’s few absolutes. I pray we find ourselves on the right side of those promises and prophecy, and not on the dark side of what looks like light. I pray we can discern the difference between Satan’s counterfeit and God’s divine plan—and flourish under His Tree of Life until our Messiah returns.
 The Holy One has “contained His Presence” for the protection and benefit of relating to mankind. He has done this in various ways such as a burning bush, a rock that followed the Israelites, a cloud by day or fire by night in the desert, smoke on Mt. Sinai, and a cloud over the Tabernacle or in the Holy of Holies. The word Shekinah comes from the same root as Mishkan.
 Richard D. Bank and Julie Gutin, The Everything Jewish History & Heritage Book – From Abraham to Zionism, All You Need to Understand the Key Events, People, and Places (Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation, 2003), 168.
 IBID, 148-49
 IBID, 168