The E.U. Flag origin, Mary worship, & the Revival of Catholic supremacy

***This ministry is not a Catholic ministry, believing that Mary also, according to her own words, needed a Savior, saying “My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior… and His mercy is upon them that fear Him…” (Luke 1:47-50)

In December 8, 1955, on the Catholic Feast of “The Immaculate Conception of Mary the Co-redeemer”, the European Ministers delegates officially adopted the European flag, twelve stars on a blue background, designed by Arsene Heitz, who, today, is an octogenarian artist in Strasbourg.

Mary 12 stars 2Recently Heitz revealed to a French magazine the reason for his inspiration. According to the artist, he thought of the twelve stars in a circle on a blue background, exactly the way it is represented in traditional iconography of this image of the Immaculate Conception. A devotee of the Virgin Mary, Heitz never misses praying a daily Rosary. Heitz noticed the words of the Apocalypse, “And there appeared a great wonder in Heaven; a woman clothed with sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars,” (Revelation 12:1) As a devout Catholic, he applies this to Mary, whom Catholics worship.

The European Union’s flag consists of twelve stars, inspired by the halo of twelve stars that appear around the Madonna in Catholic pictures of her. And, that is how a profoundly religious symbol came to be the official European Union flag.EU FLAG

A former secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Leon Marchal, affirmed that the stars are those of “the woman of the Apocalypse.” Enthusiastically he explained, “It’s wonderful that we have gotten back to the Introit of the new Mass of the Assumption. It’s the corona stellarum duodecim (the crown of the twelve stars) of the woman of the Apocalypse.” The Catholic Church has always claimed that she represents the Virgin Mary, “the mother of God.” This means that the European flag is a Catholic flag.

The EU, which now has 28 member countries, has confirmed that the number of stars will always stay at twelve, which indicates that the stars do not represent countries. A leaflet, “Building Europe Together,” given to visitors to EU headquarters in Brussels, says: “The European flag (is) a shared flag…The number will remain twelve no matter how many countries there are in the European Union.”

The Marian (Mary worship) symbol of twelve stars is on every license plate of the European Union and every banknote in Europe. Vatican-issued Euro coins have the Pope’s image with twelve stars.

So important is Mary in Catholic worship, that on September 2, 1958, Archbishop Montini of Milan (the later Pope Pius XII) released on the mountain Serenissima a twenty-meter high statue of Mary and called it “Our Beloved Lady, Ruler of Europe.” Pope Pius XII called Mary “Mother of all Nations” and called on March 3, 1953, for a reunion of nations. Bishop Dr. Graber said on September 9, 1978: “I’ve asked for a Marian European International. . . . We pray and ask in silence that the western world one day will be as it was: a IMPERIUM MARIANUM [Mary’s Imperial Kingdom].”

Two Italian Northern League MPs, Lorenzo Fontana and Mario Borghesio said  “Few people know that the symbol of unified Europe has exquisitely Marian origins, as the European Union’s official flag proves with its twelve stars and the Virgin Mary’s blue and white colours.”

“Unfortunately – they said – “Europe has deviated dangerously from the symbol’s original source of inspiration, veering in a different direction, to benefit interests that have little to do with those of our people and with the Christian values the vast majority of Europeans uphold.”

Pope Francis, a Jesuit Pope, said that Europe needs to “get back to her roots”, directly referencing that Europe was primarily Catholic for 1260 years under it’s authority to fulfill a prophecy found in Revelation 13:3-4.

The Jesuit Pope addressed all of the members of the European Parliament also, which should give everyone who knows the history of the dark ages, as well as the work of the Jesuits, a definite cause for concern. To learn more about the Jesuits, go here.

Indeed, the European Union is dedicated to Mary, and is a continual token which testifies that it is for the reunification of the Catholic supremacy which was held in the dark ages over the nations of Europe. But it was the gospel, under the translation of the Bible through Luther, which led the German princes to take a stand for the Bible and to oppose Papal supremacy which allowed the people religious freedom. It was the Spirit of God which shone as light in the darkness, to shine into their hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And it was this gospel, thus resisted and rejected by the Papacy, that brought about the loss of it’s authority over the kings of Europe progressively more and more, until in 1798, that power was removed.
Yet if the darkness scattering meant the loss of Papal supremacy through the gospel, what does it mean should the Papacy receive it’s supremacy back? As Catholics boldly state, they do not intend to affect any change in their tyrannical authority which they exercised in years past:

“The supreme duty of Catholics is to obey the Pope, and seek in every way, and especially by means of the ballot, to render the Catholic policy effective in this country.” (Catholic World, Vol. XI, No. 64, 1870.)

“Many non-Catholics fear us as a political organisation, and are afraid that the Catholic Church will dominate and rule; we are working quietly, seriously and I may say effectively, to that end.” (The Catholic magazine The Missionary, June, 1909, p. 69.)

“All Catholics must make themselves felt as active elements in the daily political life in the countries where they live. All Catholics should exert their power to cause the constitution of the states to be modelled on the principles of the true church.” (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter of 1890.)

“What the Church has done, what she has expressed or tacitly approved in the past, that is exactly what she will do, express or tacitly approve in the future, if the same circumstances occur.” (Catholic Review, Jan., 1854.)

In adherence to that very doctrine that she does not change, Catholics have sought to enforce Sunday legislation upon the civil power, showing that she would do exactly what she has done before.

“In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church’s holy days as legal holidays.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2188)

“Who must propose legislation in favor of the family? Christians must, and to do so they must move.”
(Cardinal Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for Families, May 2012)

“Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy.” (John Paul II, Dies Domini, 1998)

For those who have looked at our article, From Sabbath to Sunday, you know it is a practical confession that Sunday sacredness is, in fact, of pagan origin by the Pope’s own confession, and did not originate from any precept in the Bible. It two centuries after the last apostle died. In essence, the darkness of the Papacy is being revived.




THE GOSPEL CALL: A LIVING SACRIFICE

THE GOSPEL KERNEL

Unless a grain of wheat dies, it abides alone...

Unless a grain of wheat dies, it abides alone…

Christ illustrates His death and resurrection in this manner: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit…” (John 12:24)

Christ is the kernel of wheat which died. He dies to give His life for the world, that through Him, the world, believing in Him, might be saved. Christ is sown into the ground, being made conformable to our death, “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12), for it is written of Him that “one died for all” (Cor. 5:14). And what happens to that kernel of wheat after it is buried into the ground? Through the waters it is raised up, bearing on it’s body “much fruit”- that is, many more kernels of wheat. Likewise, “as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:4-5) Christ planted us into His death; that we might be joined to Him in newness of life, for it is written, “your dead men shall live; together with My dead body shall they arise” (Isaiah 26:19). The waters of life, “the glory of the Father”, is what rose up that kernel of wheat, which is Christ, and we are told that these waters upon that Gospel Kernel was the “Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead…” (Romans 8:11). From here, we are then given the promise, by Christ, that “He (the Father) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)

This wonderful truth is summarized by the Scripture: “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Eph. 2:5-6) He hath raised us up in heavenly places. We are now “born of the Spirit” if we will allow sin to be finally crucified in us by fullness of belief in that great burial, and allow the risen life of that kernel to be made manifest in us, we are now children of heaven: “For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20) Christ’s death and resurrection qualify this reality for us if it will be realized in our own lives by a believing heart, for “whosoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). If we are thus “raised up” we are also kernels of wheat, having the life that is in Christ abiding in us.

And what are kernels of wheat for? Christ said “I am that Bread of Life…” (John 6:48) Wheat is for the purpose of bread. He further states, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world….except you eat the flesh…you have no life in you… Whosoever eats My flesh…has eternal life.” (John 6:51-54) This is what it means when Christ says to “abide in Him” and for Him to “abide in you”.

A LIVING SACRIFICE: BEARING MUCH FRUIT

Now, we are kernels as Christ, the Son of man, was. The kernel may be appropriately defined as man who has divinity in him. This is so with Christ, and whosoever is joined to Him is a “partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lus

Only in dying, can the seed bring forth much fruit.

Only in dying, can the seed bring forth much fruit.

t” for “they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” As Christ’s divine life is in us, we are the kernels of wheat that came from the stock of Christ, the Gospel Kernel that sprouted forth to bear “much fruit.” Likewise, we are also called to die as kernels of wheat, that much fruit would be born to God’s glory. “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing…Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8) To bear “much fruit” Christ says the kernel of wheat must die. As Christ had life “by the glory of the Father”, even so, we may glorify the Father if we will have sacrificial service to bear much fruit, that many souls may be saved by the revelation of Christ in us. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

A living sacrifice. That is what the life of a Christian, raised up in heaven with Christ, is to be. Christ was that sacrifice, not only illustrated by the kernel of wheat, but also as that sacrificial “Lamb of God” (John 1:29). The lambs and sheep were always to be without spot or blemish, and they were to prophecy in their sacrifice of Christ. Christ is also the true Shepherd who speaks and His sheep follow Him. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28) Yet the shepherds of Israel had sheep in which to offer sacrifices, as well as to make garments from their wool, and supply meat. Christ, the true Shepherd. The shepherds would supply the sacrifice, and the priests were to execute the sacrifice of the slain victim. Christ as the Shepherd, supplies us, the sheep, as a living sacrifice, and He is also “a great High Priest” which executes the sacrificial service of revealing His death in us to the saving of souls. Therefore it is Christ who brings us to places where His character will be revealed; whether it is through trial and tribulation, persecution or death, all is for Christ to God’s glory. The apostle Paul, understanding this experience well, said “[We are] always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4:10-11)

jesus shepherdThis is the purpose of a living sacrifice. The High Priest works closely with His sacrifices to bring forth much fruit. We should not think that He doesn’t work closely with us: while He works in us, He also directs the knife of circumstances and providences to slay His sacrifice to reveal the gospel through His sheep, who are a revelation of Himself. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:28-31)

The affliction of the flesh, whether light or heavy, was to the eternal life of many others; and it is Christ who permits these trials to abound toward His servants that His glory may be revealed. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Cor. 4:16-17)  He concluded, “So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.” (2 Cor. 4:12-14) To be a living sacrifice is even to communicate the truths of the gospel, despite the affliction it may bring; whether of persecution, excommunication, disfellowship, or death; these are for the purpose of the saving of many souls, and bearing much fruit.

THE DEATH OF THE KERNEL: GOD’S PLEASURE

Yet it is a joy and a revelation of His glory to have this sacrifice, for which cause the apostle cause “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16) God takes joy to see the kernel of wheat die, for by it, many sons are brought to glory.

That living sacrifice, that kernel of wheat, that Christ in you, is to see that “God is well pleased.” To the Gospel Kernel, Christ, the Father declared, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And if that Son is in you by the life of the Spirit, then the sacrifice of Christ is in you to bear much fruit, which Christ our High Priest, executes when He so permits the purposes of affliction, or else great light with accountability to proclaim that light, to others: then in you is the Father “with such sacrifices…well pleased”, “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.” (Philippians 2:13-18)




Let There Be Light: The Evening and Morning Sacrifice

All throughout the Bible, Sanctuary language is used to convey the ideas of salvation. At the beginning of man’s fall, we see the first evidence of this, when it says: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”

What do you see? A sacrifice of living faith: the Lamb of God? Or just a sacrifice?

He requires no less of us than He did of the Jewish nation in sacrifices and offerings, but what does He require?

The first animal sacrifice was slain, foreshadowing the great Sacrifice of the Son of God at Calvary. From this time onward, every morning and evening was the time God declared they were to offer this sacrifice continually, until these shadows met their object, at which time, God purposed that there should be no more death by animal sacrifices, but inasmuch as there was no more animal sacrifices, there was to be, through the death of Christ, an abolition of death, which is “now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” 1 Tim. 1:10

This was foretold in Daniel 9:27 when Christ should “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”; that being said, sister White tells us “God requires no less of His people in these last days, in sacrifices and offerings, than He did of the Jewish nation….” Test. Vol. 2, pg. 573

So, if the sacrifices since the time of Adam, which continued throughout the time of the earthly sanctuary of the Jewish people until Christ, which sacrifices ceased at the death of Christ, there must be a better sacrifice God is desiring for us if He required no less of them, than He does of us in these last days. We’re going to look at:

 

1) The Sacrifice that God requires.

2) Why it is so important.

3) New light, that is precious old light, in the plan of redemption.

 

 

The Sacrifice that God requires:

In the Scriptures, we are told of the sacrifice that God requires, and what He does not require.

Psa 40:6  Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

 

Just like Jesus, at any time, if our ears are opened to what God is teaching through these sacrifices, pointing to a much greater object, we will realize He never desired, nor REQUIRED, the death of animals. As we seen however, there was a sacrifice God did require of His people, even from the earliest times. Of the death of animal sacrifices, we are told:

“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4

And,

“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” Hebrews 10:1

The death of animal sacrifices could not take away sins, nor make those who offered them perfect, so we see that there must be a better sacrifice, accessible even in those times.  Yet Jesus Christ, not being a shadow but the very object those shdows came from, was required even at those times. He is called the:

Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

It was only this Sacrifice that could take away sins, which God required of the Jewish nation, and even before this time. He is also called: “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revation 13:8) indicating that His sacrifice was good from the foundation of the world. This required sacrifice, the Lamb of God, was necessary to take away sins from the time of the very first animal sacrifice, which pointed to His death. These “shadows” could never be disconnected from their true object, or else those who offered them would receive no more benefit than the object itself could offer. In the case of the spilled blood of lambs, it meant absolutely nothing, and for those who didn’t look to the sacrifice of Christ, this visual aid could not help them in the least in bringing them to receive the blessings of His sacrifice. We are told of that Sacrifice available from the foundation of the world:

“after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God…For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:12,14

So we see that it is Christ, not the blood of animal sacrifices that God requires, which can take away sins, and which can perfect forever. Some say that it was through the law before Christ died that men were made righteous, but nothing a man could do could make him righteous; such souls do not realize that even from the first sin, Christ offered Himself as their Lamb if in faith, they would look to Him as their sacrifice. We are told that Abel offered “a better sacrifice” (Hebrews 11:4) “by faith“, and this sacrifice was the sacrifice of seeing Him who is invisible, because faith is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (v.1).

Yet with this required sacrifice in every dispensation of time, there was a manifestation of that sacrifice that was to be revealed in the continual evening and morning offering, as well as in the assemblies of God’s people:

“And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even; And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD:” 1 Chronicles 23:30-31

Every evening and morning offering, where they were to acknowledge the Lamb of God when bringing the animal sacrifices, was to be offered with praise and thanks. This hasn’t changed from the old testament, to the new. We are told in the epistle to the Hebrews, that the continual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving are the sacrifices in the Lamb which God requires:

“By Him (The Lamb of God) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15

 

Even in heaven, we are told of this sacrifice from Ellen White and the book of Ezekiel:

“The temple of God is opened in heaven, and the threshold is flushed with the glory of God which is for every church that will love God and keep His commandments. We need to study, to meditate, and to pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of song and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and precious songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assemblies of the saints. Murmuring and complaining over little disappointments and difficulties will cease. . . . We shall see our Advocate offering up the incense of His own merits in our behalf. . . .

God teaches that we should assemble in His house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for all who love Him. There they will assemble in the sanctuary from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to another, to unite in loftiest strains of song, in praise and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.” (AG, pg. 79)

 

Read the above carefully. Here is the sacrifice that God requires. Praise and thanksgiving by the Lamb of God who sits upon the throne for ever and ever; the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world a perpetual reminder of what has been accomplished for us. To praise God is to acknowledge His goodness, and to give thanks is to acknowledge the reception of something. As we see above, in the temple of God in heaven, the inner courts are opened for assembling, and giving the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. That continual faith in the Lamb, means that as He lives before God, we shall live also by Him, and we become in Him, and all we do by Him, a living sacrifice. This required Sacrifice manifested even in the inner courts in the celestial temple in heaven.

Now, we have seen that God requires a sacrifice, a continual testament to His goodness, which blessings were manifested towards God’s people, not only since the first lamb that was slain as a shadow of the True Sacrifice, but even that True Sacrifice is carried into eternity. This is exactly what we see pictured in Ezekiel’s Temple vision:

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened…And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish.”  (Ezekiel 46:1,4)

The Lamb of God, the true Sacrifice, is the key to Ezekiel’s Temple vision. It is BY HIM (“the prince”) that we offer the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and are made acceptable. Does this mean that we must sacrifice animal sacrifices which Christ caused to cease at the cross? No, it does not, because God never required it. God does require something though.

If you only take away the animal sacrifices, what about the evening and mornings they were tied to? As we’ll continue to see even more, it does not take away the significance of God’s appointed times for consecration and blessing because they were required from the time which God ordained them and onward, because they were (and are) necessary for a living connection with Christ: necessary for the spiritual life of the people.

 

Giving Praise and Thanksgiving unto God that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

Giving Praise and Thanksgiving unto God that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

 

 

New Light that is Precious Old Light:

Since such a bold statement was made regarding the evening and morning sacrifices, I want to clarify, and address, a few points on the evening and morning sacrifice.

Each morning and evening, the Israelites consecrated themselves by the blood of Christ, and the shadow of these things they participated in (the slaying of the animal) was to point forward to that Good Thing (Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God which takes away their sins), but the receiving of that Good Thing did not hinge so much on the future timing of that sacrifice in the still-to-come year, month, day, or hour. We almost wholly unanimously agree that Christ died to fulfill prophetically the specifications of both the morning and evening sacrifices, as well as the Passover, on 31 A.D. The timing of His Sacrifice, and the manner of it, were full of prophetic significance, and were essential to the plan of salvation. However, there are some who are teaching that such a sacrifice, which God requires for all men to be saved, wasn’t available until Christ actually died, but Scripture clearly calls Christ “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” That Sacrifice can be received by all who believe, whether before the cross, or after the cross, because it is given to all who believe. Those prophetic fulfillments Jesus brought about wonderfully ratified these sacrificial blessings which all had received, but it did not hinder them from ever receiving them. It is not the physical blood of Christ that we need to touch, as though the timeframe of Christ’s death could prevent those who were outside of that from receiving salvation, but it is not the time in which the shed blood of Christ occurred that makes salvation possible to some, and not possible to others. Past and future are nothing, but faith exercised in God’s appointed manner will avail much. This is where many make a grave mistake, and many strange errors about God and the gospel take up residence into the minds of people.

The Scriptures tell us of this evening and morning consecration by the blood of Christ in a prophecy:

“Unto two thousand and three hundred days (evenings & mornings); then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

"And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true..." Daniel 8:26

“And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true…” Daniel 8:26

The original word for “days” here is evening and mornings. And in the same chapter, we read: “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true.”

How long did the prophetic period of the 2300 evenings and mornings extend? Until 1844. From the beginning of the count of the restoration of God’s people which was before Christ died, beyond the years of 31 A.D at the year of Christ’s death and resurrection. extending into 1844, to lead us into the Day of atonement. This is symbolic of the continual offering, the daily ministration that takes place for the salvation of men.

The lamb was “slain” every evening and morning, but surely we don’t say that Christ died 2300 times to bring us to 1844. He needed to only die once, and the rest of the period of time is consecrated by the blood that speaketh better things than that of Abel. In the testimonies, we read the following:

“The typical shadows of the Jewish tabernacle no longer possess any virtue. A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. Jesus presents the oblation offered for every offense and every shortcoming of the sinner.”  (Selected Messages Volume 1 page 343)

This however, is not to say that we become carnal again every morning; but that His mercies are new every morning, because by the Lamb we live, and can come before God, being kept alive in Christ by faith through the Lamb, and entrust what was the purchase of that most precious blood for us to God our Father to finish the work He has begun in us. It also says that in preparation for His translation, ignorant sins which come to light, as He faithfully keeps us in the way, will be confessed, and cleansed of, and perfection of character will be wrought by the blood of the Lamb in it’s fullness.

Jude 1:24  Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jude 1:25  To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 

So let’s review:

These evenings and mornings are for-

1) Manifesting faith in the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

2) Abiding a living sacrifice in Him, holy and acceptable.

4) By Him to offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

5) A living connection with the risen Lamb.

6) Consecration unto perfection.

 

Moving Onto Perfection: A Glorious Revelation

So we see that continual faith in the blood of the Lamb is essential for our connection. Yet there is more light to be had upon this subject.

Remember that when saying that God did not require burnt sacrifice and offerings (which are a shadows of better things contained in the law, see Hebrews 10), He also says “Mine ears hast Thou opened.” (Psalm 40:6) Christ was speaking these words, and was saying: I can truly hear what You are saying, and in these sacrifices, “it is written of Me” (Psalm 40:7) ; Christ understood His mission, and what God required of Him, yet He wants to open our ears also in Christ. The Scripture says:

 

“He wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” Isaiah 50:4-5

When He opens our understanding to the precious truths in His law, (“and I was not rebellious”) as the gospel shines forth from it, it is “morning by morning”.

Pro 8:17  I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

The same words for morning are used for the morning sacrifice in the Hebrew. Also, the same words are used by Paul in the Greek form, “though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (same word for morning sacrifice in Grk.).” 2 Corinthians 4:16

We see that in Hebrews (13:15), the apostle still believes in giving sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and we see that these were primarily the evening and morning sacrifices (1 Chron. 23:30), and that he also said we are renewed morning by morning. However, since that text from Paul seems inconclusive without more context, we’ll look at a few more texts from Paul, as well as that chapter more in depth. What more is there?

He said:

1Co 15:31  “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I die daily, and follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.

I die daily, and follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.

Therefore, he saw the daily evening and morning consecration as necessary to being consecrated in the continued outflowing of grace. It is true that we die once to sin, but yet to the flesh, we die daily, a continual dying to the way of the flesh, that the way of Christ might be manifested in us; “inwardly”, we are “renewed” morning by morning. This is how we become that living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in Him.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God (comp. Lam. 3:22-23), that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

This is when we are connected with Christ’s death, associating with it so fully, that the power of sin is broken, and a greater revelation is manifested in us.

Psa 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

 

Ellen White explains the purpose of the consecration sacrifice like this:

“Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, “Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.” This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.”SC, pg. 71

 

We are called to do this, that “day by day“, morning by morning, our lives “will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.” Thus, the evening and morning sacrifice will pour out the life of Christ into us, and we are made into the image of God. All this, by standing in the channel of blessing through the consecrations of our lives to the Lamb that sitteth upon the throne. What a wonder! This is the gospel, from the time of the first lamb’s sacrifice, to the perfection of the saints, and it will be the continual sacrificial song upon our lips: the song of the Lamb.

 

Now, because the Lamb of God is that continual offering by which we come unto God and are made “more and more” into His image, and He is also the Word of God by which all things “were made” (John 1:3) To see the ultimate, and full significance of the evening and morning process, we must understand these two points of His identity: that He is both Creator (The Word), and Redeemer (The Lamb).

Creative power, and redemptive power are one in the same power in the Scriptures. This the Scriptures do abundantly testify. For example:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” Romans 1:16

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…” Romans 1:20

This word for power is the same word. But returning back to the chapter where Paul said “inwardly, we are renewed day by day”, the gospel can be very powerfully revealed as the same power as creation:

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

So it’s the same power. What does this mean? This Lamb, with our consecration in Him every evening and morning, when the sacrifice of sin and the flesh for the heavenly substance of much greater worth is made in choosing to walk with God, it is at this time, we see the flowing forth of His lifeblood to our souls. Because the Redemptive and Creative power are one in the same power, that power found of the lifeblood of the Lamb of God every evening and morning is the very same creative power of the Spirit/Life in the Word that transforms us. Paul testified of God, who by His creative power “commanded the light to shine out of darkness” who in His creating, declared “And the evening and the morning was the first day.” It is this redemptive and creative power, this lifeblood from the Word of God/the Lamb of God, that comes forth and makes us new morning by morning. As we awaken to the reality of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He is our Redeeming Lamb, and Creative Word, and He rejoices over us, saying “Behold, I make all things new!” (Revelation 21:5)

We are told from the beginning, regarding that Word, that “God spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” and that is to be our experience in Him, and it is why daily consecration is so vital to a living connection with Christ. Our experience therefore is now one of victory over sin; one of new life; one where the battles and the wars are won because “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

We see the evidence of this Word at creation. And when He says “And the evening and the morning were the first day”, we see beginning the creative process continuing for six days, the evening and the morning each one, and man was made in God’s image by the molding work of the hand of God, and then came the holy Sabbath rest. This is the gospel which we preach.

 

2Co 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

 

From the first Word of promise, accompanied with the first sacrifice, was to declare to all men who received His promise by faith: “Behold, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” This process is a daily process, a continual offering, that brings about a much greater revelation. This dying daily in the Lamb of God to the will of the flesh, and being renewed and empowered daily spiritually, means that the more this process unfolds, and we receive the life in the blood by faith, pouring forth from the side of our Great High Priest, the more and still more we will manifest His likeness in death, as ‘a sheep for the slaughter’ (Psalm 44:22, Rom. 8:36), ‘bearing in our body the marks of the Lord Jesus‘ (Gal. 6:17, presenting our bodies a living sacrifice Rom. 12:1), and thus will be manifesting the life of Jesus in us: it is thus, that we shall be a living revelation of Jesus Christ upon this earth to manifest His glory. By the evening and morning offering, He is not to ever be left without witnesses to His goodness upon this earth while He pleads His blood in heaven for the transgressors.

 

From the first Word of promise, accompanied with the first sacrifice, was to declare to all men who received His promise by faith: “Behold, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” This process is a daily process, a continual offering, that brings about a much greater revelation. This dying daily in the Lamb of God to the will of the flesh, and being renewed and empowered daily spiritually, means that the more this process unfolds, and we receive the life in the blood by faith, pouring forth from the side of our Great High Priest, the more and still more we will manifest His likeness in death, as ‘a sheep for the slaughter’ (Psalm 44:22, Romans 8:36), ‘bearing in our body the marks of the Lord Jesus’ (Gal. 6:17), and thus will be manifesting the life of Jesus in us: it is thus, that we shall be a living revelation of Jesus Christ upon this earth to manifest His glory. There is coming a day, when every heart will be manifested: the crucified with Christ and the crucifiers of Christ: they will be known by their fruit. So we can take comfort in His power to save, that by the evening and morning offering, He is not to ever be left without witnesses to His goodness upon this earth while He pleads His blood in heaven for the transgressors.

To clarify: All of this does not teach that Christ dies more than once, as some might be tempted to charge me with, but that at all times, man is dependent upon the blood of that One required sacrifice to make salvation possible, and to perfect us forever, and that that blood is available, while there is a Mediator between God and man, at any time, whether past or future. To put it more simply, His blood is the foundation of our new life, from Adam until the last soul saved at last, and the longer we continue in newness of life, this will always be the case: a continual testament to the infinite sacrifice of our God, and the Lamb, forever and ever. Amen.

od, and the Lamb, forever and ever. Amen.

 

Let His power be revealed, His goodness displayed.

Let His power be revealed, His goodness displayed.




STUDY 1/2: The Sure Word of Prophecy

1) BY what means is all Scripture given ?

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of Cod, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3 : 16.

2) For what purpose ?
“That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good
works.” Verse 17.

3) To whom do the things revealed from the Scriptures belong ?
“The ‘secret things belong unto the Lord our God ; but those things which are
revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Deut. 29 :29.
That is, they belong to the human family.

4) What is the last book of the Bible called ?
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him.” Rev. I :I.

5) What are many saying about this book even today?
Isa. 29:11-12 “And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.”

6) What does the Bible say?
Rev. 22:10  “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”
Revelation was given as an unfolding prophecy that is being fulfilled. It was not to be sealed, but to be understood.

7) What is said of those who read or study this book ?
” Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,
and keep those things which are written therein.” Verse 3.

The book of Revelation, then, is not only designed to be understood, but a blessing is
pronounced upon those who read or study it. No one would expect to obtain
a blessing by reading a book he could not understand ; hence the implication
is that he who studies this book may understand it.

8) How were the Old Testament prophecies given ?
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man ; but holy men of God
spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 1 Peter 1: 21.

9) What is said of the interpretation of these prophecies ?
” Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation
[impulse].” Verse 20. The Peshito Syriac version renders this verse :
“No prophecy is an exposition of its own text.” The idea conveyed is that
the text in which the prophecy is found, does not explain itself ; but that one
must go to some other statement of the Holy Spirit for an explanation. No
one, unaided (relying on his own private judgment), is competent to give an
exposition of a prophecy. Its meaning should be sought elsewhere in the
word of God, ” comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” i Cor. 2 : 53.

10) When prophecy is to be fulfilled, what does God do?
Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”

11) In giving their prophetic utterances; what did the prophets seek ?
” Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls ; of which sal:*
vation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of
the grace that should come unto you.” I Peter i : 9, xo.

12) By whose spirit were they actuated ?
” Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them
did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory
that should follow.” Verse ii. Then all the prophecies of the Old Testament,
as well as those of the New, were dictated by .the Spirit of Christ,
and are therefore designed to be studied by Christians.
so.

13) How did Peter confirm his former preaching on the coming of
Christ?

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto
you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of
his majesty.” 2 Peter i : 16.

14) When did the apostle see the majesty (kingship) of Christ, and
hear the approbative words of God ?
” And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in
the holy mount.” Verse i8.

15) What other and more certain evidence did he have of the power
and coming of Christ ?
” We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take
heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawh, and the
day star arise in your hearts.” Verse 19.
The apostle assures his readers that you need not fear if you were not an eyewitness of that majesty, as though your soul would be without an anchor upon which to substantiate your faith. Rather he plainly declares you have the word more sure to you than if you saw it with your eyes, because the prophecy that God has given is absolute.

16) At the time when Jerusalem was to be destroyed, to what prophecy
did Christ point his disciples as a guide to their actions ?
” When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel
the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand).”
Matt. 24: 55

God does nothing new without revealing what He is doing from His word of prophecy to His servants. In the destruction of Jerusalem, not a single Christian perished because they understood the prophecy Christ gave, and fled to the mountains. Likewise, the same prophecies are given for our day so we might be instructed on how to act accordingly. God does not leave His children in the darkness.

17) When were all the prophecies in the book of Daniel to be understood?
“But thou, 0 Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of
the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Dan.
12:4

NOTE. —Certainly it is that the study of prophecy should by no means be neglected.
This part of the word belongs to that which is said to be a lamp unto
our feet and a light unto our path. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
God gives his people, through the prophetic word, an opportunity to learn
what is coming on the earth, that they may know how to act when the predictions
shall come to pass. In view of this, whoever is overtaken unawares by
any calamity which the prophecies have pointed out, will be held guilty by
Him who so kindly reveals these things for our benefit.




The Law in Christ

And took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross . . . !”
Colossians 2:14

“The words ‘abolish,’ ‘take away,’ ‘destroy,’ and ‘change’ have been so persistently connected with the law by some public teachers that there exists in the minds of many people the honest conviction that all which is expressed by these words was done to the law by Christ.

It is true that He came to “abolish” something, and to “take away” something, and to “destroy” something, and to “change” something; but it is important that we-should know just what it was that He abolished, and what it was that He took away, and what it was that He destroyed, and what it was that He intended to change by His work in behalf of man. This we can easily learn from the Scriptures.

WHAT WAS ABOLISHED.

It is said of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, that He “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Tim. 1:10. Death is the result of sin. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

James 1:15. But “sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. Christ, therefore, came to abolish that which is the result of being out of harmony with the law (which is but the written transcript of the self-sacrificing character of God), and He did it, not by abolishing the law, but by bringing us into harmony with the law.

WHAT WAS TAKEN AWAY.

We read that Christ “was manifested to take away our sins.” 1 John 3:5. He is the sin-bearer, “Who His own self carried up our sins in His body to the tree, that we having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness.” 1 Peter 2:24, R.V., margin. Sin is lawlessness, and Christ was manifested to take away, not the law, but lawless-ness.

Note: In Jeremiah 4:4, the LORD tells us, “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem . . .” And then in Colossians 2:11-13, this promise is fulfilled in Christ . . . “In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ !”

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; but the Last Adam was made a quickening (Life-giving) Spirit !” “For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God !”

I Corinthians 15:45 & Romans 6:10

WHAT HE CAME TO DESTROY.

The attitude of Christ toward the law is set forth in the prophecy which says: “He will magnify the law and make it honourable.” Isa. 42:21. In His sermon on the mount, which is itself but the interpretation of the princ-iples contained in the Words spoken from Mount Sinai, Christ said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am, not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Matt. 5:17. He “came to explain the relation of the law of God to man, and to illustrate its precepts by His Own example of obedience.” [Desire of Ages (DA), p. 308]

But we are taught that “for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8. The works of the devil are those which are contrary to God’s law. “The devil sinneth from the beginning,” and in every case “sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4-8

Furthermore, Christ came to destroy the devil himself. Satan had introduced into this world rebellion against God and His law, and Christ’s mission and work were to put an end to that rebellion and the instigator of it. In order to do that, He took our flesh, “that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” Heb. 2:14.

For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God . . . !”     Romans 6:10

WHAT HE CAME TO CHANGE.

It is a blessed thing to know that a change was wrought by Christ in giving Himself for man. There was certainly need that a change should be made. Men were far from righteousness, “being alienated from the Life of

God through the ignorance that is in them” (Eph. 4:18), “having no hope and without God in the world.” Eph. 2:12. “But God, Who is rich in mercy, … hath quickened us together with Christ, … and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:4-6. And thus “we all … are changed into the same imagefrom glory to glory.” 2 Cor. 3:18.

But more even than a change of character has been provided for us, for “we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Phil. 3:20, 21. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.” 1 Cor. 15:51, 52.

Glorious change! A renewed character and a renewed body! This is the fulness of the Salvation provided for us in Jesus Christ. It thus becomes evident from the teaching of the Scriptures that Christ came to abolish, not, the law, but death; to take away, not the law, but our sins; to destroy, not the law, but the devil and his works; to change, not the law, but us. And He did all this “by the sacrifice of Himself !”   Heb. 9:26.

For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, hath made me _______ (your name) free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do (give new life), in that it was weak through the flesh . . . . God sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and in exchange for sin, condemned sin in the flesh . . .

     That the righteousness of the Law might be filled full in us, who walk not by the flesh, but by the Spirit !”
Romans 8:2-4 & Zechariah 4:6

Undated Armadale Campmeetings, 1895, “The Law in Christ; Or, the Relation Between the Law and the Gospel,”




THE COUNCIL OF JERUSALEM & THE LAW OF MOSES I: A SCRIPTURAL CONTROVERSY

One of the most pressing issues to arise in the early church was whether the Gentile converts who had come to Christ were to observe the law of circumcision or not. It would also discuss the relation of these newborn followers of Christ who had little-to-no knowledge in regard to the law or it’s precepts. In Jerusalem, the birthplace of apostolic Christianity, a council of the apostles and elders gathered to consider the matter with the apostle James, bishop of Jerusalem, overseeing the discussions and giving sentence as to the general consensus of the brethren. You can read about this controversy in Acts 15; yet many are reading Acts 15 with an understanding that the church may define what is essential in regards to the law, and declaring it as non-essential for the observance of converts from the Gentiles to Christ. The implications of this are not inconsiderable, but that will not be the purpose of this study (For that study, go to the “I’m a Gentile, not a Jew” article here).
Rather, this study is for the purpose of understanding the early Christian church’a decision as it pertains to understanding the law of God, and whether or not it was decreed as non-essential to be observed. It is not the purpose of this study to arouse further controversy on a sensitive subject, but rather to bring us all into a unity of faith with respect to what Scripture teaches.
To bring out the matter completely, we will examine texts from the Bible, as well as what history said about these councils at Jerusalem. While the Bible is sufficient, historical witnesses supply a secondary testimony, shedding more light on the matter and the controversies erupting in the early church regarding the law of God which were not plainly brought to view directly from the Scripture itself.
Do we uphold the law by keeping the commandments as much of the Bible suggests we should? Or is this council the Achille’s heel to it’s observance? Or perhaps indeed, there is a Greco-Roman Achille’s heel that exists, but it’s in the understanding of those reading their ideas into the Jerusalem council. Scripture and history will bear this out as we bring this controversy back to the table for discussion.

There are two classes of Christians today.
(1) Those who believe they should keep the law of God because they are saved.
(2) Those who don’t keep the law because they believe they are saved, with no necessity of keeping it.

How often has this second class revisited that council in Jerusalem to resort to justifying their identity as Gentiles who need not keep the law of God! So without further delay, let’s look at pulse of the issue: the council itself.

“And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
” (Acts 15:1-2)

And what was the issue? It was an issue and question of salvation, and how a man is saved from sin. “But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.” (Acts 15:5-6) Jesus had taught the apostles to teach “whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20), and the Pharisees believed that the law of circumcision was to be kept [to command them to keep THE law- that law- this particular law- of Moses], and if it, that very law of Moses itself, was not kept, those who believed in Christ and were baptized were not truly saved at all. Thus salvation from sin was the fruit of their keeping of a law of Moses, and not of believing in Christ. The great problem that was not being factored in was that it was only believing in Christ’s power to save from sin who would circumcise the heart to love God wholly, as Moses also instructed (Deuteronomy 30:6); this a man could not do of himself for salvation, as it is wholly a work of God on his behalf.

So the matter was considered, and Peter couldn’t accept the charge upon the Gentiles that they were unsaved until they were circumcised because it is “God, which knows the hearts, and He testified, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did to us; And has put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:8-9) Thus, Peter placed his finger upon the pulse of the issue of the Pharisees; an issue that they long struggled with even in the days of Christ; Peter recognized that they were also born of the Spirit of God, by which alone a man can see the Kingdom of God (John 3:5). It was this very instruction that Jesus gave to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, because it was the instruction so greatly lost sight of amongst that class of believers. The circumcision of the flesh was a sign upon the flesh of the newborn, but the circumcision of the heart was the work of the new birth: a work accomplished by the hand of God and not the hand of man.

The Gentiles constituted those who came from other faith traditions, who in part were unfamiliar with the laws, customs, and traditions of the Hebrew people. The Gentile manner of worship, practice, and things which they allowed were often in sharp variance to the precepts outlined in the laws given to Moses; so much so that the Gentiles were called the uncircumcised, being “without Christ” and “without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). It was not uncommon for Gentiles to sacrifice unclean animals (swine, eagles, lions, beasts of prey) to their gods; or else to consume them. Neither was it uncommon for them to practice sexual immorality, drink fermented wine, and in the case of governors, to oppress and persecute those whose ideas came into sharp conflict with their own; all of this was consistent with their beliefs, as it was the example set forth by many of their heathen gods.

“Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you [the Gentile converts] with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:…(Acts 15:28-29)
The law of circumcision is the portion of the law of Moses which they gave no such commandment as essential to salvation, believing only one circumcision as truly essential was the one performed by the Spirit of Christ. This circumcision that was truly essential was the one which “ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ…” (Col. 2:11)

THE JERUSALEM COUNCIL & THE LIMITATION OF AUTHORITY

In council of the apostles, James presided over the council to make the final decision based upon the consensus among them. “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
” (Acts 15:19-21)

The decision was what commands the apostles should enjoin to the Gentile converts as they were only beginning to learn of the things contained within the law. More specifically, these commands pertained to the individual believer’s own body. Paul the apostle speaks of fornication as sinning “against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). He further comments on these particular commands, saying: “…ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would incease more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God…that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
“(1 Thes. 4:1-4)
.
The decision pertaining to bodily commands as it pertained to the law came from the highest authority on earth, as the mind of God worked through His people in making a judgment. If the judgment was from God, this decision was always to speak in harmony with the law and testimony of Scripture (Isaiah 8:20). Yet many have gone to the extreme as to interpret that the church was given the authority to abrogate God’s law when they are minded together to do so. This sentence issued by James however was not to loose the obligation regarding what was not in those four commands. Those four commands were actually found in the law of Moses itself, thus showing the basis of their decision was guided by the law, so as to not overthrow it, but to maintain gospel order and soundness in their conclusion. It was the apostle’s judgment not to trouble the Gentiles who were coming to God, as overburdening them with more than they could bear. The reason is given, “For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him…”; or to put it simply, “They will learn to rest in time. Let the Sabbath reading of the law be a time for them to learn more.”

The Gentiles who came to the synagogues to learn of the God of the Hebrews had already been attending the assemblies every Sabbath day, as it was written: “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
” (Acts 13:42) The fact that the Gentiles were keeping the Sabbath after they were converted to Christ meant that the four laws were not meant to abbrogate the whole law of Moses, especially the Sabbath observance, but only to specify that the outward observances of the law, such as circumcision and tassle-wearing were not enjoined to the Gentiles; and that the rest of their duties in the keeping of the law would be unfolded as they learned more of the principles of the law of God.

The Sabbath was especially regarded by the Gentile converts in the early church just as it was prophesied would happen in Isaiah: “Also the sons of the heathen (Gentiles), that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keeps the sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of my covenant;
…for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. ” (Isaiah 56:6-8)

That the Gentiles who converted were expected to become established in the law, and not to disregard it a consistent principle laid out in the Scriptures (Rev. 14:12, Rev. 22:14, Rom. 7:7). The apostle Paul says that those who have the law of God, yet break it are actually teaching the Gentiles to blaspheme Him by their example.

“Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God…An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, who has the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
You therefore which teach another, do you not teach yourself? You that preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You that say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You that abhor idols, do you commit sacrilege? You that make your boast of the law, do you, through breaking the law, dishonour God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you…”
(Rom 2:20-24)

The apostle says that to break the law is in fact dishonoring God, while giving a bad example to the Gentile converts whom they are entrusted to teach. The elder is entrusted to teach the younger the way of life.

The fact that God would allow the Gentiles to come to the law of God, and give them His Spirit, while having time to learn His law is exactly as the parable of the prodigal son. The Gentiles lost sight of the law of God, having gone astray because of their fathers who left the way of the God of Noah. Yet they were to return, and God, as a Father to them, was to meet them a great way off, and provoke the other brother to jealousy who had never left the law of God but had no love in his heart for his repentant brother (Luke 15:20, 1 John 4:20, Deut. 32:21, Rom. 11:11).

***For the second witness, the Historical Account of the Council of Jerusalem and the Law of Moses, and to understand the controversy that erupted in the second century, causing the council to depart from the law of Moses entirely, click here.




The Church & Antichrist

The devil had his origin as “the covering cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14), who dwelt “in the midst of the stones of fire.” The covering Cherub’s name was Lucifer, which means “A Bearer of the Light”. These cherubs occupied a high position in heaven at the very throne of the Most High God, in “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Hebrews 8:2) Moses was instructed to make a pattern of this tabernacle, where golden cherubim were made to dwell in the most sacred place of the Sanctuary. The angels were always known as “spirits” and “flames of fire” (Hebrews 1:7), and God’s Sanctuary has always been the church of all the heavenly host: where He sits enthroned, and where His government reigns supreme. His law was placed as the foundation of the throne in the Sanctuary upon the earth, and that very same law was the foundation of His throne in the heavenly assembly, which assembly we are part of:

“ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
(Heb 12:22-24)

THE LIVING STONES OF THE CHURCH

The church we are part of is the very church that the “innumerable company of angels” are part of, and that includes the cherubim. In this church, we are called “lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
(1Pe 2:5) We are to be living stones, building up the temple of heaven. That fallen cherub was no exception, being a “flame of fire”, walking in the midst of those “stones of fire”, the angels were, and as many as are faithful and obedient to God, still remain as part of the church of God in heaven.

So what happened that Lucifer should no longer be part of that church? He began to exalt himself to equality with God. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
(Isa 14:12-14)

Lucifer, the created angel, who was part of the “church of the firstborn”, was desiring to exalt himself to equality with God, and to receive worship that was due to God and Christ alone. Yet the Scripture tells us that this honor was never given to any angels:

“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”
(Heb 1:4-6)

The angels never received the divine inheritance of worship that the Firstbegotten, the Son of God, inherited from the Father. Christ was the foundation of the throne of God, upon His shoulders the entire government and church of heaven was firmly established. So firmly fixed was this foundation, that the “church of the firstborn” is the very church Christ declared to be founded upon Himself in Peter’s confession “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” For Christ declared in return, “upon this rock will I build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:16,18) This honor was not ascribed to any angel to be the foundation of the church, which is built upon the Son of God, but both redeemed man and created angels were made from this Rock, which is Christ, as living stones. This is why Christ gave the acclamation to Peter’s confession by the Spirit of God, saying “You are Peter (a stone)”. The Scripture tells that this confession alone is what the true church is, and ever will be, and Christ’s confession in return is to be what all of God’s people always are in Him, the Rock of salvation. The Scripture says that we “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph 2:20-22) Christ, the firstborn and chief cornerstone of the church, is declared to be the Rock “which you are hewn (carved out) from” (Isaiah 51:1), which “has begotten you” (Deut. 32:18). This church is the only church which the gates of hell will not prevail against, yet of Lucifer it is said at his fall, “thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:15) It is fundamental to our understanding then that Christ is the Son of God.

THE FATHER OF LIARS

God is the Father of Christ, the Son. This testimony speaks true. John, the apostle, declared Christ to be “the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2 John 1:3). Yet of the devil, Christ declares that he, in John 8:44, “…abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Thus did Lucifer, who desired the worship that was given by God to Christ alone, fall from the very church of heaven, and so necessarily saw the gates of hell prevail against him, and why is this so? Because he refused to believe that Christ alone is the only equal with the living God, “as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name” than any angel. Satan, in exalting himself to equality with God, was not abiding in the truth of the Son of God. He was declared to be “a lair”, adding to the Word of God something that God had not declared.

The Scripture tells us that, “…he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son” (1 John 5:10). Satan had done exactly this. In exalting himself to equality with God, Satan brazenly declared that he did not believe the record God gave of Christ, His beloved Son, and by this means, had added to the Word of God and by this means he fell from heaven.

“Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure…Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:4-6).

God created all things by His Word, and Lucifer was now adding to the creation something that was not so from the beginning, and in doing so, he proved himself to be a liar. Thus he declared God to be a liar while in heaven, in not believing the record He gave of His Son. The most startling implications, not then discerned by the rebellious cherub, was the result of Lucifer seeking to exalt himself in his heart. Thus it was that another church was founded which disregarded Christ and which Satan was to be king of. That church is nothing less than the beginning of antichrist, and the stones of fire which composed the church of God were now fallen, and part of the “synagogue of Satan”, which rendered allegiance to the lies of Satan above the Word of God. Every church that is not in intimate connection with the Spirit of Christ, the Son of the living God, is a church of antichrist.

1 John 2:22-23 point this out: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”

Thus, it was that Satan denied the Son of God. There is an abundance of Scriptural testimony regarding that old serpent, the father of lies, that declare that the gates of hell have indeed prevailed against him, and that he has continued this warfare against the creation of God. He continues to this day to declare that God is a liar, and perverts His Word to win souls to his rebellion.

“…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5).

Christ said, “When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own.” While dishonesty and jealousy are exclusively the qualities of the devil, he imposed them upon the Father of truth, thus the prevalence of the gates of hell over one who denies the Son of the living God. Satan has ever won his converts over through subtle deceptions that overthrow God’s authority. As it was then, even so it is now.

THE CHURCH OF ANTICHRIST

Satan’s church has always used lies at it’s foundation, and the growth of his church has always been aimed at the living stones to establish them in his own building. He seeks to incite rebellion through deception, which is what he did to the angels of heaven, Adam & Eve, the worship of false gods amongst God’s professed people. In fact, in speaking of his fall, it refers to Lucifer as “the King of Babylon” (Isaiah 14:3), that is, a heathen nation that is foreign to the nation that is symbolic for God’s remnant church, “the heavenly Jerusalem”. Babylon was known for it’s worship of false gods, and when God’s people became entangled in their worship, it was evidence that Satan had found his way into Jerusalem, and for this cause, they went into captivity under the nation whose gods they served. “The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.” (Lam. 4:12)

Satan artfully conceals himself under the guise of the worship of false gods. When Israel departed from the living God to worship Satan, though they professed to be Israel, they ceased to truly be Israel, or have any right to the blessings that Israel were to receive. “Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these…Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 7:4-11) The living God denounces those who profess to say they are the people of God, declaring they are delivered, and that they are called by the name of the only true God, and then show by their works that they are not at all the people of Jehovah, but of Baalzebub (Satan), the “king of Babylon”, and though they professed to believe the truth, underneath this profession was a manifestation of all that antichrist is and has always been.

The church was in the days of the Babylonian captivity referred to as a woman: “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” (Jer. 6:2) And in prophecy, the last day antichrist church is referred to as a woman, and no less as “Babylon”.

“Come here; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore…with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication…And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Rev 17:4-5)

Satan is the king of this church, and through her, he receives worship. More than this, she is in intimate connection with the kings of the earth, thus Satan, through her, enforces his false system of worship by a church/state union. She is arrayed with precious stones and pearls, but these pearls and stones are to belong to the church of God, but instead adorn the church of antichrist.

Moreover, she is referred to as a whore, because of the false worship associated with her, just as it was with Israel in the days of their apostasy: “Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.” (Jer. 3:3) A whore is one who commits fornication against the true God, and has “a whore’s forehead”; therefore the nature of the god she worships is written upon her head, and is no less than Babylonian Satan worship in nature.

ANTICHRIST DEPARTURE FROM FAITH

This development of antichrist began in heaven, and continued with the concealed deceptions of Satan until it even began to find a foothold in the apostolic era of the Christian church. The apostle John, speaking of this, said:

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
(1Jn 2:18-19)

The apostle’s words were echoing the same voice that was spoken two millennia before, when Moses wrote: “Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;” (Deu. 13:13) A key characteristic that the apostle styled as “antichrist” was “not continuing” in the faith, by going to “serve other gods, which ye have not known.” John seeing this, declared further: “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1Jn 2:21-22) John shows how the very denial of truth that happened in heaven was happening amongst professed followers of Christ in his day, and for this cause John admonished the children of the truth to abide in the truth, that they “shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” (1 Jn 2:24) Two churches both professing to be the Israel of God were developing. One of the most startling revelations regarding antichrist which Satan set up was to “sit in the temple of God;” when the only seat in the temple of God is the throne of God, which is the place of His worship and the seat of His government, where His law is contained. Thus Satan would have one arise in the church to assume prerogatives that did not belong to him.

THE WHORE’S FOREHEAD

This culminated into Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots. Being a whore, upon her forehead was written the name of her god: “Mystery” with whom Satan was mysteriously concealing himself to receive worship in her. This was “serving other gods, which ye have not known.” And for this cause, she persecutes the saints of God. Jesus said “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (John 16:2-3) Thus we see those who are true to God, and know Him and are founded upon fundamental knowledge of the Son of God, and those who do not know the Father or His Son, but think they are serving God, when in fact they are serving the god which they know not under the false guise of worshipping God. This woman, involved in church and state union enforced upon the saints this mystery worship. “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…” (Revelation 17:6) She not only enforced her worship of her mystery god, but moreover, enforced the falsehoods that were framed by a departure from the words of the true God, and like Eve, became a catalyst for promoting the deceptive sentiments of Satan.

Who is this church? She must necessarily meet all of these characteristics:

1) She worships a mystery god.
2) She enforces the worship of that mystery god.
3) She does so by means of a church/state union.
4) She makes war with the Son of God through making war with his church.
5) The mystery god must necessarily have Satan concealed in it’s worship: adding to or removing from the Word of God.

What is the church that identifies the characteristic marks of the antichrist church which wars against the church of the firstborn? It can be nothing less than the Catholic church.

SHE WORSHIPS A MYSTERY GOD
“The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church…” Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11

“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself…his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.” Cathechism of the Catholic church, ch. 1:234,237

This is evidence that the God of Israel was said to have been a mystery god, which “ye have not known”.

SHE ENFORCES THE WORSHIP OF THAT MYSTERY GOD
Speaking of the church that enforces the worship of it’s god by the state, the Scripture says: “in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many…” (Dan. 11:38-39)

The Catholic emperor Justinian made a decree enforceable to subject all men to the worship of the Trinity and to worship under the Catholic system:

Pope Francis addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly- the largest assembly of nations ever gathered.

“CONCERNING THE MOST EXALTED TRINITY AND THE CATHOLIC FAITH AND PROVIDING THAT NO ONE SHALL DARE TO PUBLICLY OPPOSE THEM…

(1) We order all those who follow this law to assume the name of Catholic Christians, and considering others as demented and insane, We order that they shall bear the infamy of heresy; and when the Divine vengeance which they merit has been appeased, they shall afterwards be punished in accordance with Our resentment, which we have acquired from the judgment of Heaven…

Let all bodies of heretics be prevented from holding unlawful assemblies, and let the name of the only and the greatest God be celebrated everywhere, and let the observance of the Nicene Creed, recently transmitted to Our ancestors, and firmly established by the testimony and practice of Divine Religion, always remain secure.”

SHE DOES SO BY MEANS OF A CHURCH STATE UNION

It should suffice that Satan has used the papacy, under which influence the kings of the earth are employed to enforce the Babylonian religion upon the world.

Consider the idea presented in 1965 from the Pope in his encyclical, Gaudium et spes:

“The Church herself makes use of temporal things insofar as her own mission requires it. She, for her part, does not place her trust in the privileges offered by civil authority. She will even give up the exercise of certain rights which have been legitimately acquired, if it becomes clear that their use will cast doubt on the sincerity of her witness or that new ways of life demand new methods (§76).”

There is no suggestion here that the Church’s renunciation of her rights in regard to the state is the ideal, only that sometimes this move might be prudent in order to establish her credibility. Flowing in the same vein of thinking, but more direct in it’s tone, it shows another of the highest legally binding document of the Catholic church (the encyclical) AU MILIEU DES SOLLICITUDES:

“We shall not hold to the same language on another point, concerning the principle of the separation of the State and Church, which is equivalent to the separation of human legislation from Christian and divine legislation. We do not care to interrupt Ourselves here in order to demonstrate the absurdity of such a separation; each one will understand for himself…Catholics cannot be too careful in defending themselves against such a separation. In fact, to wish that the State would separate itself from the Church would be to wish, by a logical sequence, that the Church be reduced to the liberty of living according to the law common to all citizens…. It is true that in certain countries this state of affairs exists. It is a condition which, if it have numerous and serious inconveniences, also offers some advantages – above all when, by a fortunate inconsistency, the legislator is inspired by Christian principles – and, though these advantages cannot justify the false principle of separation nor authorize its defence, they nevertheless render worthy of toleration a situation which, practically, might be worse.”

Again, it says that the church that for many years exercised the authority over the state to persecute God’s church is tolerant where she does not have the influence over the state. It was stated by Pope Francis that the orderly development of “a civil, pluralistic society requires” that the “authentic spirit of religion” not be “confined” to “personal conscience but that its significant role in the construction of society is recognized,” in his remarks to the Italian president. “On the other hand, public authorities—who are primarily expected to create the conditions for a just and sustainable development, so that civil society can develop all its potentialities—can find a valuable and useful support for their action in the commitment and loyal collaboration of the Church.”

SHE MAKES WAR WITH THE SON OF GOD THROUGH MAKING WAR WITH HIS CHURCH

That the Catholic church persecuted other professing Christians by means of the state simply because they would not adhere to their form of doctrine and manner of worship is abundantly testified to throughout history and even at times through the confession of the Catholic church itself in places where she has little to no influence over matters of state.

THE MYSTERY GOD MUST NECESSARILY HAVE SATAN CONCEALED IN IT’S WORSHIP: ADDING TO OR REMOVING FROM THE WORD OF GOD

Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to worship a Trinity. We have only a command to worship God the Father, and that His Son, by His divine inheritance, is to also receive worship. Satan knows this, and has sought for many centuries to secure worship for himself, yet was never permitted to have this in the church of heaven. He idealized the concept in his heart of the Trinity: he disregarded the special prerogative belonging to Christ alone as the Son of God in truth who is entitled to worship, thus removing from the Word of God, and he placed himself in equality with God, to receive worship and added to God’s Word, declaring Him to be a liar. The Trinity presented three divine beings under the worship of one God, yet Scripture never sanctions the worship of three, but one God, and a fundamental part of that worship is honoring and giving worship to His only-begotten Son. Never in Scripture is there a place where we must worship the Spirit of God & Christ, but only to worship God and Christ from which we receive that Spirit. In the Trinity, the worship of the Holy Spirit is a concept idealized in the heart of Satan to be enthroned upon the hearts of men, securing worship from them through his subtlety. Instead of being the angel that is “a ministering spirit”, he flatters himself to be “the holy spirit”, giving himself a name and honor above what God had bestowed upon the angels.

Simply because he conceals himself as this, does not by any means imply that the Holy Spirit does not exist, but rather that the Holy Spirit is not a third divine being to be honored, exalted, worshipped with the Father and His Son. Rather the Spirit of God is their agency whereby they may be everywhere present, teaching, admonishing, guiding, and enlivening the children of God.

IN CONCLUSION

It may be plainly seen that the church of God has always been built up of His faithful children as “a spiritual house”, a “habitation of God through the Spirit”, and that the church of antichrist, the false systems of worship that departs from the worship of the true God and Christ, has a “house that is left desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38) because of the “overspreading of abominations” (Daniel 9::27, Matthew 24:15), being devoid of the Spirit of Christ. These are two opposing forces that have run parallel since the fall of Lucifer in heaven, and that the same measures which caused him to fall are brought to bear by him against God’s church in every age since that time.

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” (Gal. 4:28-30)




Heaven’s Holidays

In the sanctuary that God instructed Moses to build as a pattern of the heavenly sanctuary, we find a wonderful abundance of eternal themes that the Most High desires for His children of every generation to understand.

History is marked with the witness of men who ever assumed to enter upon priestly duties independent of the explicit instructions laid down by God. For Cain, it was offering the fruit of his hands rather than the sacrificial lamb pointing to Christ For Korah, it was disregard of the order which God ordained for the ministration of the priesthood (Numbers 16:3). And Nadab and Abihu entering into the Sanctuary in their own time, in their own way (Leviticus 16:1-2). Or Jeroboam, who ordained a priesthood, and a feast of his own appointing (1 Kings 12:31-33). Yet in all this, it was a departure from the precept and plan of God’s word.

The Sanctuary times of worship were the daily evening & morning, Sabbaths, new moons, and annual holydays (see Numbers 28-29). Each of these were enjoined to a sacrifice executed by the priesthood on behalf of the worshippers (except on Passover, when the victim would be slain by the husband/father of every home) which signified that true and acceptable worship to Jehovah was only acceptable by the blood of Christ. It was at these times that the individuals, families, and congregations were to gather at the Sanctuary when the sacrifice foreshadowing Christ was offered; the sacrifice on occasions was accepted directly from the fire of God’s presence falling upon the altar of the sin-slain victim; yet in most cases, it was offered on the bronze altar of the earthly sanctuary, lit by the fire that comes from God’s throne (2 Chron. 7:1). This is highly instructional because it shows the beauty of what it means to worship in Spirit and in truth.

It is true that in the earthly temple, all things have their appointed season for special blessings and revelations from God as contained in the shadowy elements He ordained during the worship season. This is also true for the heavenly Sanctuary’s appointed times; from the which flow rich currents of water of life from the heart of God, of which the earthly is a pattern. What does this mean? To put it simply, it means that God has times of special blessings that He wants to give to His children. These times of special blessing were also times of worship. One special point for why the temple worship is associated with appointed times is because they cannot be divested of them. In Scripture, a congregation of people in the ancient Hebrew was called “עֵדָה (‛êdâh)”; this word means a company, an assembled host, etc. However, the temple on earth was actually properly entitled as “The Tabernacle of the Congregation” well over 125 times, most appearing in the first five books of the Bible. However, the Hebrew word for the “Congregation” is much different, and it’s proper name is very telling. It is “מוֹעֵד (mô‛êd)” which means “a fixed time or season; specifically a festival”. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts (מוֹעֵד -mô‛êd).” (Lev. 23:2)

 

“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations…”

If the tabernacle of the congregation (appointed times) on earth was a pattern of the heavenly tabernacle, how much more are His worship times regarded in heavenly places? In the mount Zion of heaven, is the place where His throne resides, as well as”the place of our Sanctuary”: “He sendeth thy help from the sanctuary; from Zion He strengthens thee” (Psalm 20:2) “The LORD bless you from Zion…” (Psalm 128:5), also called “His holy mountain” (Psalm 3:4).  Yet Satan seeks to destroy the order of heaven, with a special focus on the appointed times. Notice that in Lucifer’s self-exaltation, he desires to take the place of Mount Zion with it’s appointed assemblies: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation (appointed times), in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isa. 14:12-14) Lucifer was a covering cherub of the Sanctuary of heaven before falling. Special mention is made of these covering cherubs in the construction of the temple pattern on earth, that two golden cherubs should be represented in veiled face holding sacred regard to the law of God; it was to that Sanctuary that Israel anciently assembled to during the appointed times. Now to what assemblies did Satan go to primarily? We note in the Scriptures that he deceived a third of the angels, and he deceived mankind in regards to God’s requirements. We are also told that he deceives the whole world, and chiefly through the Papacy, who prophecy tells us that “he thinks to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25) (click here for clear documented statements of the Catholic church believing to have the authority, and exercising it, to change God’s Sabbath and set feasts); it is this counterfeit of God’s Sanctuary through which Satan can not only deceive the world, but also the place of his worship times are given an appearance of Christian sanctity when having no real sanction in the Word of God at all (Rev. 13:2-4).

Historically, we see the creation of the earth, and Adam (called the “son of God” in Luke 3:38) placed at it’s head. We are told on the fourth day of creation, God ordained the sun to rule the days appointed, the moon to rule the nights appointed, and the stars appointed all as a celestial calendar to keep the appointed times pertaining to the heavenly Sanctuary, whether it was for all the universe or humanity’s appointed season to gather at the throne of God, the heavenly calendar was given for the purpose of knowing heaven’s appointed times of worship: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs of the appointed times (מוֹעֵד – mô‛êd), and for days of the year:” (Gen. 1:14) Furthermore, we are shown heavenly Jerusalem, the true church of God, as a woman clothed in time in the book of Revelation 12 which is symbolic of the heavenly Sanctuary; in chapter 17 however, we see another woman, called Babylon, the counterfeit church, symbolic of the sanctuary which Satan establishes (see here for more details on this). When Isaiah saw in holy vision the terrible scene of self-exaltation in Lucifer’s heart, and his desire to have the authority on Mount Zion, and to change God’s appointed gatherings, Isaiah saw jointly that Lucifer was also called “the King of Babylon”; thus we see with clarity two distinct sanctuaries, and two distinct kingdoms. Yet of the two women, we are told that the earthly woman, desolate of God’s presence, has more children (Isaiah 54:1-2), even the whole world worshipping, honoring, and gathering at her worship times; which are not of God, but are of Babylon, having their origin in paganism (i.e. Sunday, Christmas, Easter, etc). In fact, nothing of a pagan origin regarding the holidays so well loved in this world will be found among the heavenly.

REVEALING THE PATTERN OF PURE WORSHIP

It is because of the apostasy of Satan, and the deceptions he has perpetuated on this planet as “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), his church has counterfeited the church of Christ. As a result, many sincere followers of Christ have been deceived regarding the purity of the worship of the true God, yet remember that the Father is seeking those who will worship Him in “Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). Employing symbolism to teach lessons of the heavenly sanctuary, Jehovah, the God of heaven, instructs Ezekiel to mark out the manner of pure worship.

“Son of man, show the house [the Sanctuary] to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house, and the fashion of it, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form of it, and all the ordinances of it, and do them. This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house…and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies (מוֹעֵד – mô‛êd); and they shall hallow my sabbaths…the people of the land shall come before Jehovah in the solemn feasts…” (Ezekiel 43:10-12, 44:24, 46:9)

“Show them the pattern…”

It’s clear that God the Father would have His people remember His laws; and His ordinances. He has a law of the Sanctuary that is “most holy”; and we find those laws in the Most Holy place: the Most High God’s ten commandments (the foundation of His government), His everlasting priesthood (Aaron’s rod), His legal evidence of provision for His people (the manna), and the book of the law (The statutory laws and judgments of His government). The top of the mountain of Zion, where His Sanctuary is, is called most holy. Here we see the Sabbath, the new moons (Ezekiel 46:1), and the feasts, which are contained in the law, will be kept.  In speaking of this heavenly Sanctuary, the church and city of God, we are told to “look upon Zion, the city of our assemblies (מוֹעֵד – mô‛êd): your eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords of it be broken.” (Isaiah 33:20) 

When we see Zion, the heavenly city Jerusalem where we gather for the sacred assembly times of worship, we see a “tabernacle that shall not be taken down.” Despite this fact that there remains a sanctuary that shall never be removed or taken down, the Papacy, in presuming to have authority to change the law of God, “the place of His Sanctuary was cast down” (Daniel 8:11); for the Papacy “blasphemes His name, and His tabernacle” by supposing to have the authority which they claim is theirs. If the tabernacle of appointed times can be changed by a mere man who is not God, then the heavenly Sanctuary pattern is lost sight of. This is why Ezekiel is told to “measure the pattern” that they might be “ashamed of all that they have done”. It is because of the Papacy that Protestantism observes counterfeit times of worship that are not the times of Jehovah’s worship outlined in Scripture.

FALSE BREAD, FALSE RIGHTEOUSNESS, FALSE SANCTUARY

Yet many take upon themselves the name of Christ, believing sincerely that these appointed times are of His tabernacle, when in fact it is the Papal sanctuary and their times of worship that they are ignorantly, whether willfully or otherwise. honoring. When they choose to have their own doctrine apart from Christ. Moreover, when receiving salvation by grace through faith, we are called “unto good works, which God has ordained beforehand that we should walk in them.” These good works are outlined in the law of God; it is being clothed in the righteousness of God (as the heavenly Jerusalem is depicted as a motherly woman, being clothed with the sun, standing upon the moon, and crowned with stars- all which are given “for signs and for appointed times” ), and walking even as He walked. When the churches of Protestantism follow after the Papacy, refusing the truth and setting themselves in their own traditions, yet still proclaiming to be of Christ and heaven, they may profess Christ, yet in works deny Him, taking hold of the Papacy under the guise of a profession. Instead of the heavenly Jerusalem as their mother, they take “the mother of harlots” (Rev. 17:5) whose ways they follow hard after. Yet those of the heavenly Zion, will be a remnant who are faithful to the ways of God, and stand true in the presence of God, and true to His name and tabernacle, unlike the fallen daughters of Babylon:

Seven women saying “We will eat our own bread…only let us be called by your name…”

“And in that day seven women [all of the fallen churches] shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread [doctrine], and wear our own apparel [righteousness]: only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach… And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem… And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” (Isaiah 4:1-6) 

The women who cannot take hold of Christ, because they would keep their own doctrines and works, must take hold of a Christ who will accept them; this is another Jesus who gives the Pope authority to sit on his throne and change his laws. Thus we see the daughters of Babylon coming back to their mother because of a rejection of truth and light from heaven. Yet the remnant of Zion shall have a tabernacle which has not forsaken the assembling of themselves together as the manner of the Papacy and her daughters are. Yet the Ancient of Days would have us measure the pattern of the tabernacle, with it’s laws, ordinances, and assemblies, to understand the true form of godliness, that God might quicken that form with the fulness of divine power, and have us turn from the Papal darkness to the light of His presence.

And it is to this end that the very Bible speaks. It is to bring us back into intimate communion with the One whose throne is in the Most holy place. The tabernacle demonstrates God would heal people from sin and error.  We’re told healing streams are found there.

“And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” (Ezekiel 47:12)

That sanctuary Ezekiel saw was called Most holy. It is a glimpse of the streams of life that come forth from the very throne of God. Ezekiel is shown the outside of that Sanctuary, but in the very last chapter of the Bible, the throne of God is opened to man’s view; in fact, all of the final chapter of the Bible speaks of the Sanctuary, and in particular, the Most holy place. It brings to light the throne of God, the tree of life which is symbolic of the law of God, which originally was guarded by cherubim to keep that way of life being preserved throughout heaven, when Adam and Eve were driven out from the presence of the Source of life through sin. As pertaining to the judgments, it speaks of the blessings and the first dominion restored; it speaks of the curses being abolished forevermore, and the closing sentence of the gospel dispensation which continued for 6000 years. The very same Sanctuary that Ezekiel saw in prophetic symbolism, John the apostle sees in clear and distinct realities being brought to view:

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads… Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:1-14)

For this cause, we have a glimpse of the beauty of our God, His Sanctuary, and His holy gatherings which shall we shall assemble from Sabbath to Sabbath, one new moon to another (Isaiah 66:22-23), and from year to year to keep the solemn feasts (Zechariah 14, Nahum 1:15)

“The temple of God is opened in heaven, and the threshold is flushed with the glory which is for every church that will love God and keep His commandments. We need to study, to meditate, and to pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of song and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and precious songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assemblies of the saints. Murmuring and complaining over little disappointments and difficulties will cease. As we apply the golden eyesalve we shall see the glories beyond. Faith will cut through the heavy shadow of Satan, and we shall see our Advocate offering up the incense of His own merits in our behalf. When we see this as it is, as the Lord desires us to see it, we shall be filled with a sense of the immensity and diversity of the love of God. 6T 368.2
God teaches that we should assemble in His house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for all who love Him. There they will assemble in the sanctuary from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to another, to unite in loftiest strains of song, in praise and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 368




THE COUNCIL OF JERUSALEM & THE LAW OF MOSES II: A HISTORICAL CONTROVERSY

*This historical account of the council of Jerusalem, mentioned specifically in Acts 15, is a continuation of the second portion of the article regarding the Council of Jerusalem and the Law of God that deals with the Scriptural context. This historical account is the second witness. It is recommended to read the first part to have a clearer understanding of the subject being dealt with. You can find it here.*

History records many similar gatherings as the council of Acts 15 at Jerusalem where a single individual bishop oversaw the meetings as the brethren assembled in conference together. The bishop issued the sentence according to the judgment of the brethren when unity prevailed amongst them. The first recorded bishop overseeing affairs at Jerusalem was the apostle James, and the first recorded sentence was given by him regarding the controversy of the circumcision of Gentile converts. Until the siege of the Jews many years later, which took place under Emperor Hadrian, there were fifteen bishops in succession there, all of whom are said to have been of Hebrew descent, and to have received the knowledge of Christ in purity. And being from Hebrew descent, and having faithfully passed down the knowledge of Christ and the law, they were approved of to be bishops by those who were considered competent in judging of such matters. These continued from the days of the apostles until the siege which took place at that time; in which siege the Jews, having again rebelled against the Romans, were conquered after severe battles.

Critical events happened from that time to after the seige which add witness to the observance of the law of God by the bishops in Jerusalem, far from abolishing the law by the sentences in their councils, they guided their judgments according to the law and not independant of it. The bishops overseeing Jerusalem are historically maintained, leading up to the controversy regarding the law of God under Hadrian’s reign over Jerusalem. They are as follows: (1) The apostle James (2) Symeon (3) Justus (4) Zacchæus (5) Tobias (6) Benjamin (7) John (8) Matthias (9) Philip (10) Seneca (11) Justus (12) Levi (13) Ephres (14) Joseph (15) Judah

At the time of the fifteenth bishop, Judas, Jerusalem was beseiged and a change took place amongst the Christians after the Hebrews were driven from the land. At this time, a new bishop took the office of overseeing affairs in the Christian church at Jerusalem, who made great breaches within the Christian faith with the Roman Emperor.

“And thus, when the city had been emptied of the Jewish nation and had suffered the total destruction of its ancient inhabitants, it was colonized by a different race, and the Roman city which subsequently arose changed its name and was called Ælia, in honor of the emperor Ælius Adrian. And as the church there was now composed of Gentiles, the first one to assume the government of it after the bishops of the circumcision was Marcus.” (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book IV, Chapter VI)

“The first fifteen bishops of Jerusalem were all circumcised Jews; and the congregation over which they presided united the law of Moses with the doctrine of Christ. It was natural that the primitive tradition of a church which was founded only forty days after the death of Christ, and was governed almost as many years under the immediate inspection of his apostle, should be received as the standard of orthodoxy. The distant churches very frequently appealed to the authority of their venerable Parent, and relieved her distresses by a liberal contribution of alms…

The Nazarenes retired from the ruins of Jerusalem to the little town of Pella beyond the Jordan, where that ancient church languished above sixty years in solitude and obscurity…under the reign of Hadrian, the desperate fanaticism of the Jews filled up the measure of their calamities; and the Romans, exasperated by their repeated rebellions, exercised the rights of victory with unusual rigour. The emperor founded, under the name of Alia Capitolina, a new city on Mount Sion, to which he gave the privileges of a colony; and denouncing the severest penalties against any of the Jewish people who should dare to approach its precincts, he fixed a vigilant garrison of a Roman cohort to enforce the execution of his orders…

They elected Marcus for their bishop, a prelate of the race of the Gentiles, and most probably a native either of Italy or of some of the Latin provinces. At his persuasion the most considerable part of the congregation renounced the Mosaic law, in the practice of which they had persevered above a century. By this sacrifice of their habits and prejudices they purchased a free admission into the colony of Hadrian…

When the name and honours of the church of Jerusalem had been restored to Mount Sion, the crimes of heresy and schism were imputed to the obscure remnant of the Nazarenes which refused to accompany their Latin bishop [Marcus]…

It has been remarked with more ingenuity than truth that the virgin purity of the church was never violated by schism or heresy before the reign of Trajan or Hadrian, about one hundred years after the death of Christ (Gibbon E. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I, Chapter XV, Section I. ca. 1776-1788)

“According to rabbinic sources, he [Hadrian] prohibited public gatherings for instruction in Jewish law, forbade the proper observance of the Sabbath and holidays and outlawed many important rituals.” (Barron SW.  Social and Religious History of the Jews, Volume 2: Christian Era: the First Five Centuries. 1952, p. 107).

Feeling it was the first importance to their well-being, to procure for themselves the liberty of removing their effects into the city of Ælia, and to be admitted in the rights of citizenship there, a considerable number of the Christians came to the resolution of formally renouncing all obedience to the law of Moses. The immediate author of this measure was, in all likelihood, that very Marcus whom they appointed as their bishop: a man whose name evidently speaks him to have been a Roman, and who doubtless was not unknown in his nation that had been the chief command in Palestine and might possibly have been related to some officer of eminence there. Perceiving, therefore, one of their own nation placed at the head of Christendom, the Roman prefects dismissed at once all apprehension of their exciting disturbance in the newly-established colony, and from this time ceased to regard them as Jews.

In consequence in this favourable alteration of the sentiments of the Romans towards them…Marcus, at whose insistence, they were prevailed on to renounce the law of Moses… Nothing, in fact, can be better attested than that there existed in Palestine two Christian churches, by the one of which an observance of the Mosaic law was retained, and by the other disregarded. This division amongst the Christians of Jewish origins did not take place before the time of Hadrian, for it can be ascertained, that previously to his reign the Christians of Palestine were unanimous in an adherence to the ceremonial observances of their forefathers. There can be no doubt, therefore, that this separation originated in major part of them being prevailed upon by Marcus to renounce Mosaic ritual, by way of getting rid of the numerous inconveniences to which they were exposed, and procuring for themselves a reception, as citizens, in the newly formed colony of Ælia Capitolina(Mosheim JL. Commentaries on the affairs of the Christians before the time of Constantine the Great: or, An enlarged view of the ecclesiastical history of the first three centuries, Volume 2, 1813, p. 196-197)

Hadrian’s proclamations sought to root out the nationalistic features within Judea’s Jewish communities,[5] which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions. He prohibited the Torah law and the Hebrew calendar, and executed Judaic scholars. The sacred scroll was ceremonially burned on the Temple Mount. At the former Temple sanctuary, he installed two statues, one of Jupiter, another of himself. In an attempt to erase any memory of Judea or Ancient Israel, he wiped the name off the map and replaced it with Syria Palaestina.[16][17][18] By destroying the association of Jews to Judea and forbidding the practice of Jewish faith, Hadrian aimed to root out a nation that inflicted heavy casualties on the Roman Empire. Similarly, he re-established Jerusalem, but now as the Roman pagan polis of Aelia Capitolina, and Jews were forbidden from entering it, except on the day of Tisha B’Av.[56]

Originally written by an Arabic Muslim around the tenth century named Abd al-Jabbar and called Tathbit Dala’il Nubuwwat Sayyidina Mahammad. One chapter of it is believed to be an Islamic interpretation of a lot of “Judeo-Christian” writings (some probably from true Nazarenes, others from Essenes, etc.). Shlomo Pines translated much of the one chapter of it into English, that discussed Arabic Judeo-Christians.

Here is the translation of one section of it that may have additional insight related to Marcus’ supporters:

(71a) ‘After him’, his disciples (axhab) were with the Jews and the Children of Israel in the latter’s synagogues and observed the prayers and the feasts of (the Jews) in the same place as the latter. (However) there was a disagreement between them and the Jews with regard to Christ.

The Romans (al-Rum) reigned over them. The Christians (used to) complain to the Romans about the Jews, showed them their own weakness and appealed to their pity. And the Romans did pity them. This (used) to happen frequendy. And the Romans said to the Christians: “Between us and the Jews there is a pact which (obliges us) not to change their religious laws (adyan). But if you would abandon their laws and separate yourselves from them, praying as we do (while facing) the East, eating (the things) we eat, and regarding as permissible that which we consider as such, we should help you and make you powerful, and the Jews would find no way (to harm you). On the contrary, you would be more powerful than they.”

The Christians answered:”We will do this.”

(And the Romans) said: “Go, fetch your companions, and bring your Book (kitab).” (The Christians) went to their companions, informed them of (what had taken place) between them and the Romans and said to them: “Bring the Gospel (al-injil), and stand up so that we should go to them.”

But these (companions) said to them: “You have done ill. We are not permitted (to let) the Romans pollute the Gospel. In giving a favourable answer to the Romans, you have accordingly departed from the religion. We are (therefore) no longer permitted to associate with you; on the contrary, we are obliged to declare that there is nothing in common between us and you;” and they prevented their (taking possession of) the Gospel or gaining access to it. In consequence a violent quarrel (broke out) between (the two groups). Those (mentioned in the first place) went back to the Romans and said to them: “Help us against these companions of ours before (helping us) against the Jews, and take away from them on our behalf our Book (kitab).” Thereupon (the companions of whom they had spoken) fled the country. And the Romans wrote concerning them to their governors in the districts of Mosul and in the Jazirat al-‘Arab. Accordingly, a search was made for them; some (qawm) were caught and burned, others (qawm) were killed.

(As for) those who had given a favorable answer to the Romans they came together and took counsel as to how to replace the Gospel, seeing it was lost to them. (Thus) the opinion that a Gospel should be composed (yunshi`u) was established among them…a certain number of Gospels were written. (Pines S. The Jewish Christians of the Early Centuries of Christianity according to a New Source. Proceedings of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Volume II, No.13; 1966. Jerusalem, pp. 14-15).

The 19th century scholar J.B. Lightfoot wrote:

The Church of Ælia Capitolina was very differently constituted from the Church of Pella and the Church of Jerusalem…not a few doubtless accepted the conqueror’s terms, content to live henceforth as Gentiles…in the new city of Hadrian.  But there were others who hung to the law of their forefathers…(Lightfoot, Joseph Barber.  Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians: A Revised Text with Introduction, Notes and Dissertations. Published by Macmillan, 1881. p. 317, 331)

The consensus speaks of Marcus as one who cast off the law of God. It was not the apostle James, or any other succeeding bishop who had done this until that time from Jerusalem. However, because of this compromise, the succeeding bishops eventually came to be regarded as the orthodoxy among those ignorant of the historical events. This led to many other breaches in the observance of the law much further than in Jerusalem, affecting the observance of the law from those early professed followers of Christ, such as Justin Martyr, the first century Barnabas (not the companion of Paul), and the bishops of Rome. This led to the development of the Russian Orthodox church where the Jerusalem Patriarchates, claiming to be the successors of the apostle James, found their beginning. Yet these do not succeed James in their works, any more than the Popes have followed after the example of the apostle Peter. Rather, they cast aside the law of God, and observe, as the Papacy does, Sunday sacredness as the legacy of Marcus, the bishop of Aelia Capitolina, while deeply disregarding much of the other principles of the laws contained in Moses.

WHAT OF THE LAW WAS NOT REGARDED ANY LONGER

So then, historically we see the consensus that the law of God was upheld until the time of Marcus, who made concessions with the Romans. By this means, Marcus had effectively severed Christian ties with their Jewish roots with no Scriptural basis for doing so, and in so doing, by disassociating themselves with the law of God, had severed themselves from the religion which Christ established. Then what was it about law of circumcision that made it so disagreeable to the early church? It was the outward nature of it’s observance, which could not profit the man in his relationship with God, nor affect righteousness or salvation from sin; no practical holiness could result from fleshly circumcision, anymore than removing the leaven from the home at the time of the feast of Unleavened bread could purge out sin from the soul.

“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
(Rom. 2:28-29)

All the law is to be upheld, yet the outward carnal elements were not what God regards as essential to salvation or of true religion which springs forth from a pure and undefiled heart. It was for this reason that the early church saw circumcision as unessential as it pertains to salvation.

If we go as far as to say that the apostles would have had the authority to do away with the law of God, they would be going against the very Scripture and instruction which was the test of the prophets and the Messiah: “To the law (Torah) and to the testimony, if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20); if the Messiah came to do away with the law, there is no light in such a Messiah; thus it would have to make such a Christ a false Christ. If His apostles came and spoke of doing away with the law, the same is also true, being false apostles. God be thanked, Christ came to “magnify the law (Torah), and make it honourable” (Isaiah 42:21) and not to destroy it, and His true apostles are to teach whatsoever He commanded, thus they also speak according to the law, magnifying it, showing it as honourable in Christ. So do we do away with the law of God? “God forbid, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:31)




The Day That Was Forgotten: The Change of the Sabbath to Sunday

On this page you can find sources from each of the various churches, groups, and historical references of the world regarding the origin of Sunday, how it was changed, and how it has no true basis in the Bible for it’s observance:

the-fourth

Spoken in different ways, amongst different church affiliations and people, but the testimony leads to the same conclusion: There is no command to observe Sunday, the first day of the week; but only to observe the seventh-day Sabbath.

Anglican/Church of England
Baptist
Catholic
Congregationalist
Evangelical
Church of Christ
Episcopalian
Historical
Infidel/Athiest
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Lutheran
Methodist
Miscellaneous
Moody Bible Institute
Presbyterian