The Church Ages - The 3rd age, Pergamos
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The awful effects when politics and paganism entered the Christian church.
- Pagan religion and politics force people to conform
- 3 non Trinity tribes or horns were wiped out
- Catholic survival by political scheming
- Political power gave the church freedom to murder
- Trinity was forced on the church at the Nicene Council
- Greek philosophy and paganism enter the church
- Worshipping a man as God is the Seat of Satan
- Christians love pagan ideas that the family enjoys
- God hates the elevation of a holy man above the church
- Hidden manna is the revealed truth of Scripture
Pagan religion and politics force people to conform
The Pergamos church age was from AD 312 when Emperor Constantine stopped the persecution of the Christians to AD 606 when the Pope declared himself to be the Universal Bishop. When the Roman Catholic church grew out of the pagan Roman Empire, then it adopted the same policy for governing the church as the emperors had used for governing the Empire.
From AD 64 to AD 312, Satan launched about ten vicious and murderous persecutions against the church by the cruel and brutal pagan Roman empire. But despite losing three million martyrs, the church grew faster than it was destroyed. Realizing that brute force from outside could not crush the church, Satan’s next tactic was for Emperor Constantine to stop the persecution in AD 312 and then launch an attempt to smother the true Bible-believing church at the council of Nicaea in AD 325 with a counterfeit that looks genuine to the eye that is not trained to look through the lens of Scripture.
This vicious behaviour on the part of the pagan Roman empire saw Daniel describe the pagan Roman empire as a real monstrous beast, that only had one head, and that had ten horns with another little horn amongst them.
Having destroyed other nations, this formidable pagan Roman beast would be broken up by many barbarian tribes. But ten of these barbarian horns or kingdoms would also cause another horn, a spiritual church power, to rise up in their midst. Five of these tribes helped the Pope to rise to power inadvertently. The other 5 helped the Pope to rise intentionally.
DANIEL 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
DANIEL 7:20 And of the ten horns that were in his head,
( one head, singular )
Daniel 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
Eyes speak of intelligence. A spiritual power was rising that was based on the" eyes of man", a religion that was built on human intelligence and not on the Word of God.
This pagan Roman beast represented a brutal pagan spirit that crushed everyone into submission to a one-man dictator or Emperor and forced them to obey a common Roman law of government and a common Roman religion of Caesar-worship. Pagan Rome was a compromise that embraced all the pagan gods of the people that they had conquered. This left the masses undisturbed in their false beliefs, making it easier to control them.
Religious unity was the aim of the leaders, not religious truth.
Persuade or force people to toe the official line. Crush any dissenters. Repeat the official line even if you do not believe it yourself.
So pagan religion and politics combined to produce this awful hybrid monster.
A horn represents power as we are all scared of the horns of a bull or a buffalo. A horn can do much damage.
Many barbarian tribes were involved in the breakup of the Roman empire. The ten horns represented ten barbarian tribes that were involved not just in breaking up the physical Roman empire but in establishing the Roman Catholic church so that it could rise to power on the ruins of the Roman empire and then spread worldwide.
The Roman Catholic church was the only Roman institution that survived the break up of the pagan Roman empire.
The Huns from Asia were probably the worst and most feared of the barbarians, and they really got things going. They pushed from the east against the German tribes that were on the Roman border and pushed them into Roman territory.
Thus the breakup of the Roman empire began with a severe refugee problem.
Small groups of barbarians could be absorbed into the empire if the men joined the Roman army as mercenaries to fight for Rome. But floods of refugees, driven on by the fierce and murderous Huns, was more than what the empire could withstand. Historians do not know what started this Hunnic avalanche out of Asia. When God decides to pull the strings, we humans are helpless to resist. Events just go out of our hands. God has control over the good and the bad.
The barbarian invasions were triggered by the destruction of the Gothic kingdoms that were on the Roman borders, by the Huns in AD 372 -375. Under Attila the Hun, starting around AD 434, the Huns invaded and sacked probably about 70 Roman cities. Eventually, Pope Leo 1 spoke to Attila who then turned away from attacking Rome. This greatly increased the reputation of the Pope as the protector of Rome because the western Emperor would not protect Rome.
3 non Trinity tribes or horns were wiped out
In AD 476 Odoacer, a barbarian general from the Heruli tribe, shown below in green, deposed the Western Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus.
Odoacer, a non-Trinitarian, ruled Italy for a few years until the eastern Emperor in Constantinople sent in the Ostrogoths to eliminate the Heruli and rule Italy, which they did. But the Ostrogoths were also non-Trinitarian so the Trinitarian Pope was very unhappy.
The Huns disintegrated when Attila died in AD 453. But they had pushed the other tribes into the Roman Empire. After speaking to Pope Leo the Huns retreated from Rome and this really made Pope Leo famous. People now looked up to the Pope as the effective leader of Rome. But then the Ostrogoths ruled Italy from AD 493. Around AD 533 the eastern Emperor Justinian in Constantinople decided to conquer Italy and establish the Pope as a strong leader. First, he had to conquer the Vandals in AD 534 in North Africa to stop them from attacking him with their strong navy. (This same policy was followed by the Allies in World War 2. They first attacked the Germans in North Africa and then they invaded Italy).
The Vandals were eliminated. By coincidence, they also happened to be non-Trinitarian.
Then Justinian’s army attacked Italy, and a twenty-year vicious war happened that devastated and depopulated Italy, leading to plague and famine. The Ostrogoths were eliminated from Italy by AD 553. Millions died from the famine and plague which plunged Italy and Europe into the Dark Ages. Thus the non-Trinitarian Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths disappeared from the scene to establish the Trinitarian Pope as the strong man of Rome.
Three horns had been plucked up by the roots.
The three non-Trinitarian tribes disappeared from history, so there was no effective opposition to the Trinity doctrine. Luther’s Reformation would only come almost 1000 years later. So for close on 1000 years, the Popes preached Trinity and there was no one of great importance to argue against them. In that time the belief in Trinity was thoroughly established by its endless repetition. Thus the Protestant reformers would leave the Roman Catholic church but take the Trinity doctrine with them. Today, in the last church age of the Laodiceans, the Trinity doctrine is one of the key doctrines that unite the vast majority of the churches with the Roman Catholic church. Together with the unscriptural Christmas, 25 December, Christmas tree, Good Friday, and Easter Monday. None of these expressions appears in the Bible. All came originally from paganism and were modified to sound Christian by the Popes. Then they cunningly infiltrated the Protestant churches.
Then in AD 568, the Lombards invaded Italy. Thus a whole new fourth church age would start soon afterwards in AD 606 with the Pope getting involved with the barbarians until he rose to power amongst them.
In AD 634 the Muslim Arabs erupted out of the Arabian desert and conquered the Middle East and North Africa and Spain.
(Shown by the violet stripe).
The eastern emperor at Constantinople was too busy blocking the path of the Muslim Arabs and was unable to defend Rome, so the Pope was forced to revert to a very cunning trick of political involvement amongst the barbarian tribes.
The Pope claimed that he had the power to anoint a man as king. This became known as the divine right of kings whereby they claimed that God wanted them to rule as kings. The Pope would anoint a man as king so that only his family could be legally kings after him, and in return, he would defend Rome against the other barbarians. Very cleverly, the Pope chose the strongest barbarian tribe, the Franks who were in the north of Germany and France.
When the Lombards conquered Italy, the Pope recognized Pepin as king of the Franks.
In return king Pepin came into Italy and defeated the Lombards who were threatening Rome.
Pepin then gave a lot of Italian territory to the Pope which was called the Papal States. This is shown by the beige colour on the map below.
The Pope was now a king-maker amongst the barbarians and a landowner. This gave him great political clout and prestige. The military power of the Franks enabled him to defeat his opponents.
Three horns had been eliminated and the little horn of papal power was growing.
Catholic survival by political scheming
A huge mistake of this age was the Roman Catholic church thinking up survival doctrines in order to cope with a society that was collapsing.
The dominant Roman Catholic church leaders kept modifying Scripture and adding to the Bible to combat their rapidly changing circumstances and meet the needs of the changing times.
They often achieved short term gains which later became long term disasters as far as Bible truth is concerned, as they kept having to move further and further from the teachings of the apostles in order to hang on to their political power and their control and influence over other churches and people.
But there were always lesser-known Christians in various places and at different times who depended on their deep personal relationship with Jesus and did their best to regard the New Testament as a permanent pattern for the churches.
Departure from this New Testament pattern had disastrous consequences, and the strength of this true church was its ability to remain true to the pattern and principles contained in the Scriptures. These churches at times were dispersed or degenerated, but similar ones then appeared in other places.
Thus the true witness to the saving power of Jesus was always to be found somewhere as there was no organised union of these churches since there was no suggestion in the Bible that one church should control another.
Their unorganised unity and mobility enabled these churches to survive persecution.
Gathering the people around the written Bible as their centre of unchanging guidance enabled truth to disappear in one place and time and then re-appear in another place at another time as God's Spirit revived new believers.
The size of these churches was unimportant to them.
MATTHEW 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
But the Roman Catholic church put their emphasis on having the biggest church and being the most important church.
Bishop Siricius (AD 384 – 399) had been the first Roman bishop to assume the title of Pope which in Italian and Latin is “papa” and in Greek is “pappas” which all mean “father”. But Jesus said we must call no man “father”.
MATTHEW 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
By AD 400 the bishop of Rome was taking one-quarter of the money collected by the Roman church. The bishop of Rome was aiming to be the most important bishop.
By the time of Leo I (AD 440 – 461) the bishop of Rome had adopted the title of the pagan chief priest Pontifex Maximus (also called Pontiff). Leo wanted the bishop of Rome, now also called the Pope, to be the supreme bishop of all the churches. Leo regarded Papal authority as being the authority of Saint Peter himself. As Pope he claimed he was Peter’s representative and spokesman. He alone claimed to be the guardian of orthodox religion.
In AD 452 he somehow persuaded Attila the Hun not to attack Rome. So the retreat of the Huns gave a great boost to the Pope who was the only man who could save Rome from the murderous Huns.
But three years later Gaiseric the Vandal plundered and sacked Rome for 14 days. Pagan Rome was dying but the Roman Catholic church was becoming more and more important. Getting no help from the western Roman Emperor, the Pope was getting more involved in running the city of Rome. By doing a lot of good charity work, the Pope established himself as a strong leader. At times he even paid the soldiers when money was short.
Political power gave the church freedom to murder
Augustine (AD 354 – 430) was probably the most influential Christian writer of his time. He was appointed the bishop of Hippo in North Africa in AD 395. The fall of Rome to Alaric the Goth in AD 410 when the Goths plundered the city alarmed Augustine, and he reacted with a book called “The City of God”.
If the greatest city on earth (Rome) could fall, he felt obliged to point people to some definite earthly institution that would survive and he chose the Roman Catholic church that people could cling to in chaotic times.
His choice seemed justified because the Roman Catholic church was the only Roman institution that survived the breakup of the Roman empire. For instance, the centre of Roman life and entertainment for 390 years was the Colosseum, the world’s largest amphitheatre, built between AD 70 - 80 and today it is a ruin. About 400000 people and a million animals died in that blood-drenched structure which is a sad legacy of Rome’s great engineering skills. This awful slaughter, for the spectator's amusement, justified Daniel's description of the pagan Roman empire as an awful beast.
The Lateran Palace, given to the bishop of Rome in AD 312 remains the official residence of the Pope to this day.
To really make his case that the Roman Catholic church was the world’s greatest church, Augustine developed the doctrine of salvation by the Roman church only.
Only the Roman church offered the sacraments that can save people.
Augustine took salvation out of the hands of Jesus as our Saviour, and put salvation into the hands of the Roman Catholic priesthood and bishops.
He elevated a system of human religious leaders between the sinner and the Saviour. This was a return to the failed priesthood of the Old Testament.
Nicolaitanism, the elevation of a holy man above the congregation, was developed into a doctrine by Augustine.
Then they put idols in the Church, put a priest in a confession box to who you must confess your sins, and then they ordained a Pope to be the head of Christianity. That is the Gospel of Judas.
Then after that, they built schools and educated the preachers instead of having them inspired by God. Then they gave them doctorates, PhDs.
The early apostles never built a Bible school.
In his zeal for church unity, Augustine demanded that there be no differences in doctrine or rituals. He saw the Roman Catholic church as an earthly organisation that alone could save people.
Augustine thereby outlawed every other religion.
Thus he was happy that force, pain, and punishment should be used to compel dissenters to join the church.
His intentions were good but having departed from Scripture in his methods; he gave rise to a vast and ruthless system of persecution, torture, and murder.
Some historians refer to Augustine as the apostle of persecution.
The harmful effects of the error that he taught gave rise to unspeakable misery and cruelty. Tens of millions of people who opposed the Roman Catholic church would be brutally murdered in Europe as well as 15 million Indians in South America, Mexico, and Cuba where the Spanish conquerors landed in the 1500s.
In AD 321 the Roman emperor Constantine legalised donations of land to the church in people’s wills. The church soon became a considerable property owner. During the Dark Ages the Catholic church owned about one-third of Western Europe.
Wanting to make Constantinople (built between AD 225 and 330) a Christian city, Constantine confined the imperial title of Pontifex Maximus (Pontiff or high priest of the Babylonian mysteries) to pagan Rome. This title was first passed to the bishop of Rome, Damasus, in AD 382 and finally adopted by Pope Leo I around AD 450.
Constantine was convinced that God would punish him if there were any splits in the Christian church that disturbed the unity of the church. Thus he felt obliged to use his political power to punish any dissenters and enforce what he claimed were God’s laws. The church and state were marrying in an unholy bond.
The emperor decided which doctrine was the official religion, even though this required changing what was written in the Bible.
Then the iron force of the Roman empire would impose these beliefs on the people who only had one option, and that was to submit to the Roman Catholic church. Constantine gave the beautiful Lateran Palace on the Caelian Hill in Rome (one of the original 7 Hills of Rome) to the bishop of Rome as his official residence together with huge grants of money which made Roman Catholicism a heavily state-subsidised church, with the Emperor as its head. Thus, the Emperor bought the loyalty of the Roman bishop.
This was the next big mistake. Jesus, the Word, was no longer the Head or Absolute authority of the church.
The politician Constantine took over the headship of the Roman church which became the official church of the Roman Empire. With the approval of the church majority, he took upon himself the authority to punish and exile anyone who disagreed with the official Roman church. This was a key decision.
The church that had been persecuted for about two and a half centuries now took the first step towards becoming a persecutor.
After the Nicene council of AD 325, Constantine ordered a severe persecution of those who continued to observe the Christian Passover on the 14th of the first month when it is the full moon. Even today it is very seldom that Easter gets celebrated on the full moon. The unscriptural Good Friday was made compulsory. But Jesus had to be in the tomb for three nights before He arose on Sunday morning. Thus Jesus had to die on Thursday. The Roman Catholic church changed Thursday to Friday and the Protestants followed the Roman tradition. Forsaking the Scripture.
MATTHEW 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jesus had to be in the tomb on Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night. Then He rose on Sunday morning. So, He had to die on a Thursday according to Scripture. But the Catholic church says He died on Friday. Who do you believe? The Bible or the Catholic church?
Constantine banished or exiled those who disagreed with the Nicene Council’s decisions.
Men sharpened their ideas to justify themselves for persecuting others.
Theodosius became emperor in AD 379 and issued laws to persecute pagans, and then later his laws condemned anyone who disagreed with the Roman Catholic church. The official Roman Catholic church was indulging in persecution, less than one hundred years after being persecuted. This was the fruit of the church merging with politics.
St Augustine (AD 354-430) taught that error has no rights. According to Augustine, coercion using "great violence" was justified.
He made a distinction between unbelievers who persecuted others because of cruelty compared to Christians who persecuted others because of love. You could kill and torture Christians as long as you loved them.
He also found a way to avoid churchmen getting blood on their hands: dissension against the Church amounted to dissension against the state, so anyone condemned by the Church should be punished and killed by the state.
In AD 385 the Spanish bishop Priscillian was executed for heresy by emperor Maximus at the request of the Spanish bishops. This opened the floodgates of murder.
Pope Leo I (AD 440 -461) commended the Emperor for torturing and executing heretics on behalf of the Church.
The Christian Emperor Justinian issued severe laws against heretics in AD 527 and 528.
From St Augustine onward for well over a thousand years virtually all Christian theologians agreed that heretics should be persecuted, and most agreed that they should be killed.
St Thomas Aquinas (AD 1225 – 1274) thought it virtuous to burn heretics and favoured the option of burning them alive.
He also wrote,
“With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death”. Saint Thomas Aquinas
The murder machine was building up speed.
So the seed of persecution, planted by Constantine and watered by Pope Leo I would grow into a murderous torrent during the Dark Ages and the Counter-Reformation that opposed Martin Luther.
This mass murder of Christians and others who disagreed with the Catholic church only really stopped in 1648 at the end of the disastrous 30 Years War that devastated Germany.
From around the turn of the millennium executing heretics became ever more common, and the grounds for doing so ever more unlikely. A group of Christians at Goslar in Germany who declined to kill chickens were executed for heresy in 1051.
People thought Constantine was wonderful for “bringing all of the pagans into Christianity.” But Constantine was a sun worshipper who was only baptised on his deathbed and who only “succeeded” in “converting” the pagans by putting Christian labels on their unbiblical customs and observances.
The church means “called out” of the world as she separates unto Christ.
The union of the Roman Catholic church with the State gave the church political power.
Trinity was forced on the church at the Nicene Council
No longer subject to her Lord, the Roman Catholic church exchanged spiritual power with Jesus for earthly authority.
Her short term advantages were great as the Roman church gained wealth and civil political power as well as being able to persecute her religious opponents. But the Roman Empire to whom the church had sold her soul was in decay and would finally disintegrate in chaos in AD 476.
Tertullian (about AD 160 -225) first used the word Trinity (“trinitas” in Latin) to describe three separate persons who shared a common “substance”. But according to him, only God the Father was properly God. The Jehovah Witnesses have a similar doctrine for the Godhead.
Constantine called a Council in the city of Nicaea (just north of Pergamos) to finalise the church viewpoint on the Godhead. The church was now trying to see all three Persons of the Godhead as being equally God. Constantine introduced the unscriptural word “essence” from Greek philosophy. This is a nice fuzzy word that has no precise meaning.
The three Persons were each God because they had the same essence (whatever that means). The 318 bishops were trying to describe an invisible Spirit in human terms. This was impossible since no one knows what “spirit” is. We all have a spirit of life in us but we have no idea what it is or how it works. This unknown spirit of life gives us each personality, but we still have no idea what personality actually is.
We cannot describe the higher dimensions of the Spirit in terms of our human vocabulary which just does not have the words to describe it.
II CORINTHIANS 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
I CORINTHIANS 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Thus we cannot even imagine what Heaven is like. How much less can we begin to imagine or describe what God is like?
So trying to describe God is beyond any human ability. God is a Spirit and we do not know what a Spirit is nor do we know how a Spirit works.
So Constantine, inspired by Satan, forced the church into the realm of deep mystery by telling them to describe God.
In their arrogance, the bishops thought they could do this.
Some mysteries can be solved if they are hiding the truth behind a symbol. A woman symbolises a church. So the woman on the beast in Revelation 17 is a church. If we have the correct interpretation of the symbol, then we reveal the mystery.
But other mysteries cannot be solved by us. What the seven Thunders uttered in Revelation Chapter 10 was not written in the Bible. So we have no symbol to interpret, and thus we cannot reveal this mystery because it is not written in the Bible.
Thus the only mysteries that man has a chance of revealing are those that are written in the Bible.
The extremely cunning trick, perhaps his most successful fraud of all time, that was pulled off by Satan was when Satan used Constantine to force the church bishops into describing the invisible God by means of unscriptural words that were borrowed from Greek philosophy.
As an illustration of this point let us consider energy which is invisible. Scientists have absolutely no clue what energy is. All they can say for sure about energy is that it is a number that comes out of various calculations. We can calculate energy. We can develop a formula to tell us how much energy is present. But what is that energy? We have no clue.
Trying to describe the invisible is humanly impossible and leads to mistakes. We speak of “forms” of energy. But the word “form” implies some shape. However, invisible energy has no shape. So it is wrong to speak of a form of energy. Energy is just formless energy. No other word can really describe energy.
God is a Spirit, and we do not understand spirits. We cannot see spirits. So we should just stay with what the Bible says about God.
But in trying to describe the invisible God the bishops referred to the cleverest of people, the Greek philosophers, to get some ideas. The Greek philosophers, being pagans, had picked up various ideas from the two most ancient pagan civilisations, Babylon and Egypt, whose ideas had influenced all the other pagan civilisations. These were bright people with very brilliant ideas.
But being clever does not mean that a clever idea is either good or true.
Clever men invented the atomic bomb but atomic bombs are not a good invention and humanity would be better off without them. The cleverness of those men just allowed mankind to invent the weapons that will destroy mankind. Were they really clever? Einstein said that mice would never invent a mousetrap to kill themselves. It seems that mice are thus cleverer than nuclear scientists. So, human bright ideas can be deadly. Building up church doctrines on pagan ideas is spiritual poison.
Divine threesomes abound in the religious writings and art of ancient Europe, Egypt, the near East, and Asia. These include various threesomes of male deities, of female deities, of Father-Mother-Son groups, or of one body with three heads, or three faces on one head.
Babylon and Assyria are in the same area and shared many common beliefs. Babylon conquered Assyria just before Nebuchadnezzar, the head of gold in Daniel’s Gentile image, came to power. So Assyria with its pagan ideas was then part of Babylon. The head is where we think. Nebuchadnezzar combined Babylonian and Assyrian thinking into one clever religious scheme.
The next map shows Assyria being close to Babylon. The green portion on the map was the kingdom of Babylon.
The earliest carving that refers to a trinity of gods was found in Assyria. It shows a dominant god as a father with two other heads representing two other persons in the godhead. The godhead itself is symbolised by the shape of a bird.
There were many kingdoms before the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar.
Why did Daniel’s image start with that Babylonian kingdom?
Because the Babylonian priesthood absorbed the Assyrian trinity and the high priest of the Babylonian mysteries was now infected with this pagan superbug or infectious religious virus. This spiritual virus would keep mutating and modifying itself until it was polished up in its final variation as the church Trinity.
Daniel felt that this pagan trinity belief was the most dangerous idea to germinate in the Old Testament. Like any good doctor, he planned to follow the infectious path of the Babylonian mysteries with this trinity-concept, which was still pretty rough and not yet well-packaged for distribution.
But it was still early days, and the Greeks were still to come a few hundred years later, and they would polish up the idea and make Trinity an acceptable Godhead for Christians to believe.
Until then the Pontiff or high priest of these Babylonian mysteries needed a place to lie low when Persia conquered Babylon, so the high priest Attalus fled to Pergamos. Pergamos thus gives its name to this third church age. By 323 BC Alexander had conquered the Persians and called himself a god. Then Pergamos was taken over by one of Alexander's generals called Lysimachus who also claimed to be a god-king. His successors in Pergamos were the high priests with their elaborate robes and Babylonian ceremonies, who now also claimed to be god-kings.
The last god-king-high priest of Pergamos, Attalus III, gave his kingdom to Rome in 133 BC.
Only then were the mysteries able to infiltrate the church when the bishop of Rome, Damasus was first called Pontiff in AD 382. About 70 years later Pope Leo I, around AD 450, made the title of Pontiff or high priest of the Babylonian mysteries belong only to the Pope.
Daniel's vision of the Gentile statue tracked the mysteries of Babylon through the Old Testament Gentile kingdoms. John the Revelator would then, in the New Testament, track their infiltration into the Christian church which would finally be labelled as Mystery Babylon with her harlot Protestant daughters.
Plato, the famous Greek philosopher, invented the word Triad. He claimed that there is a “threesome” quality about nature.
Sky, Earth, Water Sun, Moon, Stars Create, Maintain, Destroy
Thus Plato wanted to describe the pagan idea of god in a three-fold manner, called a triad which Tertullian (about 155 – 240 AD) in Carthage translated into Latin as “trinitas”.
Greek philosophers used the unscriptural expressions “one-in-three” and “three-in-one” which grew into the unscriptural “one God in three Persons”. Constantine, again referring to the Greek philosophers, added the unscriptural word “essence”. Father and Son were of the same essence. This is actually meaningless since we have no idea what a Spirit is. We cannot even say accurately what “essence” means. Jesus then became the unscriptural “second Person of the Godhead”.
The bishops simply abandoned Scripture as they added more and more unscriptural statements in their attempts to describe the invisible God. The Trinity doctrine was endlessly modified as the Roman Catholic bishops developed the idea over several centuries.
But they had plenty of illustrations from pagan trinities.
Egypt developed many trinities usually shown as three people on one throne. Three-people-in-one-god.
Isis, Horus (or Osiris) and Seb (or Set) was one Egyptian trinity.
Amon Ra or Amun Ra, Ramses, and Mut was another Egyptian trinity.
This is not a good model for Christians to follow. We are also not allowed to picture God sitting on a throne and then have a Saviour (Who is Jesus) either sitting or standing beside Him.
ISAIAH 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
But the next picture is a church painting to represent the Trinity. It copies the Egyptian style. Yet this is how most Christians today picture the Godhead.
Three heads on one body was another attempt to describe one-god-in-three-persons, as is seen in this Hindu carving.
So what the Roman Catholic church developed was this pagan idea, brilliantly clothed in Christian language.
The Roman Catholic church became known as baptised paganism.
JOHN 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time;
So our paintings of God are a waste of time.
The celebrated artist of the Chick tracts describes the Godhead this way:
Notice, like the bird shape in the Assyrian trinity, the use of a dove to describe the Holy Spirit.
God the Father has no face which is very awkward for a Person.
A dove is not a person. This picture looks like two Persons. Thus attempts to show the Trinity are very unsatisfactory.
JOHN 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
Imagining God, who is a Spirit, as having some shape is contrary to Scripture. We must not do that.
Then Chick uses a bit more sense and goes for three lights to symbolise the Godhead, with an angel standing behind them. But the Bible says God is Light, not three lights. So the Trinity just does not fit into the Bible.
I JOHN 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light,
This triple light of the Chick picture represents a single light that is blurred and out of focus. Out of focus with Scripture that does not say that God is three lights.
So however you picture the Trinity, it just does not fit into Scripture.
Thus it became a brilliant mystery to inject into the Christian church at the Council of Nicaea. No one could explain the Trinity then, and no one can explain it now because all the statements like “God the Son” or “God the Holy Ghost” are unscriptural and yet “God the Father” is Scriptural. But the Trinitarians cannot tell us why this is so.
But "God the Father" is never found in the Old Testament. Trinitarians cannot explain this.
By this time the bishops were arguing that Father and Son must be two separate Persons but somehow still be one God. This is a concept that has never been resolved nor understood to this day and still remains a mystery.
Thus the name Mystery Babylon began to be applied to the Roman Catholic church.
The great historian Gibbon said, “Christianity conquered paganism, but then paganism corrupted Christianity”.
In order to describe the doctrine of the Trinity, the Catholic church had to develop her own words and vocabulary with the help of certain ideas of philosophical origin. Catechism of the Catholic Church.
According to the Trinity doctrine, Father and Son are co-equal in the Trinity.
But the Bible contradicts this statement.
JOHN 14:28 … for my Father is greater than I.
According to the Trinity, God the Father is a different Person to the Holy Spirit.
MATTHEW 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
The person who places the male seed in a woman’s womb is the father of the child.
Thus the Holy Ghost, who created the Seed in Mary’s womb, must be God the Father. The Child, Jesus, as a Human being, cannot have two fathers.
The Trinity doctrine claims that Christ dwells in the Godhead as the second Person of the Godhead.
But the Bible contradicts this by taking the fullness of the Godhead and placing all of God in Christ.
COLOSSIANS 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
: 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Paul also warns us not to be led astray by philosophy as he could forsee the devasting effects of Greek philosophy on Christian thinking as it leads us away from what is written in the Bible.
"One God in 3 separate Persons" is a totally unscriptural statement.
If God is three separate Persons, then what is the Name of God?
In other words, What is the one Name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
If you believe that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate Persons, then you cannot find one Name for all three of them. Thus effectively you have no Name for the Christian God.
That is one of the reasons that Muhammed rejected Christianity and stressed that the name of the Muslim God is Allah. His logic was obvious. God must have a Name.
Today, it is 1700 years later, and the church has still been unable to find one name for God.
“The second Person of the Godhead” is an unscriptural statement.
“The third Person of the Godhead” is an unscriptural statement. This third Person is the Holy Ghost and He has no Name in the Bible. Three Persons described by only two Names, Jehovah and Jesus, is not a good fit.
But the name "Jehovah" never appears in the New Testament. Trinitarians cannot explain why.
But there is no one Name for all three of them. Thanks to the Trinity, the Christian God has no Name.
This was a big mystery when the mysteries of Babylon entered the church. It remains a big mystery 1700 years later.
A Trinity picture from France. There is no one Name for this Christian God made up of three Persons. Notice the triple crown of the Pope that is worn by God the Father.
Rubens (1577 -1640), the great artist, painted a dramatic picture of the Trinity. God the Father looks like an old man. How long can He last if He shows signs of ageing?
Part of the fuzziness of the Trinity concept is that this picture only represents two Persons, as a dove does not represent another Person. The Bible tells us nothing about what the Holy Spirit looks like as a Person. Nor what His Name is. So any picture of the Holy Spirit is sheer guesswork. And to represent Him as a dove deprives Him of being a separate Person. A dove is not a Person. Thus the mystery of the Trinity continues to confuse us and confound us.
The Greeks loved arguing, whether in defence of truth or in defence of error was immaterial.
As long as they could argue. So the Trinity arguments have continued for seventeen centuries and will never cease to be a mystery, but they have successfully lured millions of Christians to believe what is not written in the Bible.
As such, the Trinity is probably the single most successful doctrine that Satan has captured the minds of men and women with. And it is all based on Greek philosophy which polished up the pagan Babylonian and Egyptian gods so that they could slip into the mainstream of church thinking.
This Council of Nicaea was probably the biggest mistake in church history.
They adopted a Trinitarian godhead that was based on pagan superstitious religions (For instance Isis, Horus, and Seb were an Egyptian trinity).
They allowed a politician Constantine to assume the leadership of the church by calling a Council and then dominating the Council.
They allowed this politician to add an unscriptural word “essence”, which had been obtained from the Greek philosophers to the Christian belief of the Godhead.
Then the unscriptural word "Trinity" was forced on the church.
Greek philosophy and paganism enter the church
Greek philosophy became the foundation of church truth.
So church truth ceased to be Bible truth.
This opened the door to more unscriptural words from Greek philosophy like Plato’s Triad, three-in-one, One God in three Persons, God the Son, Second Person of the Godhead etc. Constantine spoke Latin so he translated the Greek word Triad as the Latin word Trinitas, which we call Trinity. The western Empire spoke Latin so Trinity became the popular word.
Having decided that God was three Persons, it became impossible for God to have one Name for all three Persons. So the Name of God was discreetly dropped in favour of three Titles, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But no Trinitarian can tell us what the one Name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is.
So the Triune Christian God effectively lost His Name.
That is also why virtually no churches baptise in the Name of Jesus Christ, the way Peter told us to do. He had the key to Heaven, not us.
Blasphemy is to take God’s Name in vain by using the Name as a swear word. No sinner has ever sworn in the Name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ is the unfortunate swear word that we hear daily. I have even heard a Muslim man swearing in the Name of Jesus Christ. So the sinners know that Jesus is the human Name of God, when God became a Man. The Christians remain ignorant of this fact.
The most far-reaching mistake from the Nicaean Council was that from then on the Bible was officially not the only source of truth.
The church was free to add in any extra ideas.
Even today Bible lecturers teach doctrines that are not in the Bible. When challenged, they ask if the Trinity doctrine is true? “Yes”, reply 99 % of today’s Christians. Then the lecturer happily says that Trinity is not written in the Bible and you admit it is true, so now you must accept as true other doctrines that are also not written in the Bible. Pandora’s box of error has opened.
Paul said this process was accursed
GALATIANS 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
The unscriptural mysteries of Babylon were entering the church. People would argue about the Trinity for centuries and emerge none the wiser. But the main damage that it did was to get people to believe a doctrine that was not written in Scripture. This would open the door to all sorts of other doctrines being believed that are also not in the Bible.
Basically, the door was opened for a flood of paganism to enter the church. To attract the pagans the church gave a veneer of Christianity to the pagan customs. The Chaldeans believed in 40 days of Lent where you gave up something that you liked for 40 days, just before the spring festival of the goddess Ishtar. This was copied by the church who neatly changed Ishtar to Easter. If you perform a pagan rite under a Christian name, then the church claims that it is fine. That is how they wrongly think. Millions still believe them.
Pagans had incense and flowers in their temples. This was copied by the church. It looks so nice, God must be impressed. So they claimed. But they failed to provide a single New Testament example of flowers in a church. Actually, and this is very awkward, try to find an example of a church building that Christians built in the New Testament. They met in houses. The Jewish Temple was built long before the New Testament started and was destroyed about 37 years after Calvary. All the Christians in the Gentile world obviously did not have access to the Jewish Temple in those 37 years.
The first building that was used as a church, which has been discovered by archaeologists, is dated around AD 220. That is almost 200 years after the church started in AD 33 on the Day of Pentecost.
When Constantine stopped the persecution of Christians he gave many buildings and pagan temples to them. Pagans, who invariably look back to Nimrod and his tower of Babel for their inspiration, put a steeple on their temples so that it pointed high into the sky in the direction of where their gods lived, just like the tower of Babel did.
Because the pagan temples that they took over had steeples, when the Christians began to build their own churches, they copied the idea of steeples.
Christians decided to meet the pagans halfway by giving Christian names to pagan festivals.
The spring festival celebration of the goddess Ishtar who came down in a large egg onto the river Euphrates and hatched out. Pagans boiled eggs and painted their shells. Their sex orgies were represented by rabbits because rabbits are the fastest breeders. This festival was easily developed into the habits of Easter eggs and Easter rabbits.
These pagan symbols are still the main advertisement, worldwide, for the Christian Easter weekend.
Mother and child worship was borrowed from the Babylonian mother Semiramis, wife of Nimrod, and her son Tammuz.
This became Isis and Osiris or Isis and Horus in Egypt. Isi and Iswara in India. Venus and Jupiter in Rome.
Mother and Child statues of Mary and Jesus are still found worldwide.
This statue shows Mary with a crown as the Queen of Heaven. A pagan title for a pagan goddess.
Semiramis was the original Queen of heaven. The church endlessly copies the pagans.
Semiramis was the Queen of heaven and worshipped as the moon goddess by means of a round bun.
A strip of pastry forming a “T” or “+” was baked onto the surface of the bun to stand for the initial of her son Tammuz. The Roman church chose the “cross” symbol which became the Christian hot cross bun.
The 25 December celebration of the sun god’s birthday (started in AD 274 by the Roman Emperor Aurelian) became the Son of God’s birthday. Celebrations in the Roman Catholic church were known as a mass. So the day became known as Christ’s mass. This became shortened to Christmas. After a while, many people realized that this had nothing to do with Christ, so they crossed out His Name with a big X and Christmas became Xmas as we know it today.
Then we have the decorated Christmas tree.
JEREMIAH 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
:3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
:4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
:5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
We are told not to learn the way of the heathen. But the date of Christmas and the decorated tree come from heathen traditions.
GALATIANS 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
Every year there is Christmas time on the 25 th day of the 12 th month. Paul would not be impressed with this festival which entered the Roman church sometime after AD 350.
The Bible never required us to celebrate birthdays. Only two birthdays are mentioned, those of Pharaoh and Herod. Both committed murder on their birthday. Now we guess a wrong day for Christ’s birthday in midwinter when shepherds cannot be out with their sheep because it is far too wet and cold in Palestine with its winter snow. Do you really think that God is impressed?
But this pagan birthday is the best-known church celebration of the year.
Christians are so in love with it that they cannot leave it. They even change the Bible to have the wise men coming into the stable to give presents to Jesus. That is the excuse for all the present buying.
The wise men actually went into a house two years later when Jesus was a young child, not a baby. But most Christians reject this Scripture because it contradicts their habit of Christmas presents at the birth of Jesus.
MATTHEW 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Thus the Babylonian mysteries that officially entered the church in AD 325 at the council of Nicaea have most successfully infiltrated the Christian church and are still with us today.
The candlestick represents the state of the church during the third church age. The true light is getting dimmer. Married to politics and paganism, the false church moves further away from the example of the New Testament church that was set up by the apostles in the first church age. Human leaders dominate the church.
REVELATION 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
A sword combines two sharp edges. The Bible combines the New Testament and the Old Testament. Natural light combines the contradictory behaviour of both a wave and a particle. Jesus in the flesh is a Man, but the indwelling supernatural Spirit within Him is God.
The seven churches in Asia are: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.
Six cities have their usual name. But Pergamos has a Greek name. Its usual name is Pergamum. Around 1850 the archbishop of Ireland asked why Pergamos was singled out as the only city to have a Greek name? The answer is that in the third church age (AD 312 – 606) Greek philosophy would enter the church thinking at the Nicaean Council of AD 325 and after about 200 or 300 years of debate and adjustment, finally produce the polished up and super mysterious Babylonian Trinity doctrine that would most successfully take the church outside the Bible.
COLOSSIANS 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Vain deceit. We are deceived by our vanity, thinking that we can puzzle out an invisible God by means of clever Greek philosophy.
“Vain” means we have far more conceit than what we have mental capacity.
Pagans thought that it was impossible for one Person to do everything that God had to do. So they put three Persons into the Godhead. Many pagans had numerous gods to get all the work done.
I TIMOTHY 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,
God made a Human image of Himself and God, as an invisible supernatural Spirit, dwelt inside that perfect Man.
JOHN 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
A man cannot walk on water. Yet Jesus did walk on water which proved that He was more than a Man. The fullness of God dwelling in Him, made Him the Son of God.
A portion of God dwelling in you is thus the only way that you can be a son or daughter of God.
The physical Man Jesus with His Human spirit (which combine to form the flesh) was not all of God, that is why Jesus is called the Son of God and never God the Son.
God is not flesh and blood. God is a Spirit.
Worshipping a man as God is the Seat of Satan
REVELATION 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
When Cyrus conquered Babylon, the high priest or Pontiff of the Babylonian mysteries fled with his priesthood and treasure to Pergamos. In the east, a king was readily worshipped as a god, but this was not usually the case in the west. Alexander the Great conquered Persia and was regarded, reluctantly by the Greeks, as being a god-king who was to be worshipped because of his brilliant military success. He died and his general Lysimachus took over the kingdom of Pergamos, also claiming to be a god-king. When he died the new god-king of Pergamos was offered the position of the Babylonian Pontiff.
Thus the Babylonian Pontiff was now a Greek god-king. Because the original Pontiff who had come to Pergamos had been at Belshazzar’s famous last party where the sacred vessels of the Jewish Temple had been desecrated, this Babylonian high priest was regarded by all the pagans as the most authentic Pontiff of all the pagans. The god-kings or Pontiffs of Pergamos were the only legitimate Pontiffs because they alone descended from the last high priest of Babylon. The last god-king of Pergamos, Attalus III, left his kingdom to Rome in 133 BC when he died.
Thus Pergamos had been established as the seat of authority for Satan’s Babylonian mysteries for about 400 years.
Being a god-king the ruler of Pergamos was used to being worshipped as a god, in the tradition of Alexander the Great.
The Babylonian mysteries had come to Pergamos to be hidden from the Persians but when the Greeks conquered the Persians, the Babylonian mysteries then had been refined by the cleverness of Greek philosophy. Then these polished up mysteries of Babylon had been handed over to Rome. But no Roman who took the office of Pontiff was very important until Julius Caesar bribed his way to win the election as the new Pontiff in 63 BC. The elaborate robes and ceremonies from Babylon gave Caesar added prestige.
Caesar's military fame gave the Babylonian priesthood great prestige.
But what stayed in Pergamos was the strong desire to worship a man as god.
This was Satan’s real seat of authority over human beings.
The strong desire in mankind to hero-worship some famous person, and then elevating that person to be equal with God as the “Voice of God” or the “mouth of God”. A man’s quotes replace the Word of God.
This worship of a man was common in the east, but not in the west.
ACTS 12:21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
:22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
I THESSALONIANS 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
In the last church age, the Message of William Branham is the shout to wake up the sleeping virgins.
His followers also interpret this shout as being the “Voice of God” (like Herod was claimed to be the "voice of a god") instead of being the voice of the seventh angel or messenger. They claim that William Branham is infallible.
The Roman Catholics meanwhile believe that the Pope is the infallible voice of God.
But the "shout" was not when brother Branham preached and understood the truth of Scripture.
One month before he died, brother Branham was still looking for the "shout" in the future.
65-1127 I HAVE HEARD BUT NOW I SEE
Dear God, in this solemn moment, it's going to be a time like this when there really will be a clap of thunder someday, and the Son of God shall descend from the heavens with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise.
The "shout" will only happen when the Bride individuals are able to join the Bible verses together in a way that makes them able to understand the Scripture.
The "shout" was not brother Branham understanding the Bible truth. The shout will be when the Bride members are able to understand the Bible truth by themselves, not because somebody else said so.
The true Bride believes that the Bible is the Word that God has spoken.
63-0630 THE THIRD EXODUS
for they can hear plainly the God's Voice, calling, through His Word
... Listen to the Bible, the Voice of God calling to you in this day.
Caesar died in 44 BC and in 29 BC Pergamos got permission to worship him as a god. Caesar was thus the first man in Rome to be worshipped as a god. While he was still alive, the Roman Emperor Augustus who was the next Pontiff gave Pergamos permission to worship himself as a god. For the first time, a living man in Rome was worshipped as a god.
Gratian (reigned AD 375–383) was the Roman emperor who stopped using the title Pontiff.
From the time of the Roman bishop Leo I (AD 440–461), the title of Pontiff or high priest of the Babylonian mysteries had been absorbed into the Roman Catholic church. The Pope now claimed that he was the only man who was Pontiff.
“Holdest fast my Name”. The true believers either stayed away from the Nicaean Council or walked out at some stage. They knew that all those unscriptural words were not the way to find the truth. They stayed with the example of the apostles and were baptised in the Name of the Lord Jesus rather than in the three titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
“My faithful martyr”. The false vine, the official Roman Catholic church was starting to persecute the true believers who disagreed with them. Pope Leo 1 complimented the emperor for killing people who opposed the Catholic church. Denying the Trinity was starting to cost people their lives.
“Antipas” sounds like it comes from Anti pappas. That means anti the Pope as the Pope is called Holy Father. And pappas is the Greek word for father.
MATTHEW 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Opposing the Pope was dangerous. The father is the head of his home. So the Pope, being called father, was claiming to be the head of the church. But Christ is the Head of the church.
EPHESIANS 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:
Christians love pagan ideas that the family enjoys
REVELATION 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Idols or carved statues were entering the church. Pagan temples became churches but kept their paganised spirit as they corrupted Christianity into paganised Churchianity. Statues of gods and goddesses were renamed after Christian saints. A black marble statue of Jupiter became Peter.
The church is symbolized by a woman. Fornication is a sin committed by an unmarried woman. Adultery is when she is married and commits sin. So fornication means that the Roman Catholic church was not married to Christ. She had no husband. Spiritual fornication means she is involved with men’s ideas which plant a seed in her mind, which is the spiritual womb. This seed would grow into a monstrous church organisation during the Dark Ages. Babylonian pagan mysteries had been polished up by clever Greek philosophical ideas.
The great pagan-Christian feast was the Nicaean council of AD 325 where the church accepted pagan ideas and gave them a veneer of Christian names. This process would continue as clever men kept on paganising Christianity until Trinity, Christmas, Christmas tree, 25 December birthday of Jesus, Easter eggs, Easter rabbits, fancy ceremonial robes of the Babylonian priesthood and bishops with a mitre on their heads that copied the fish-god Dagon.
Pope, Pontiff, triple crown, church steeples, roosters on church steeples, cardinals, archbishops, metropolitans, indulgences whereby people buy forgiveness for sin, prayers for the dead, baptism of babies, God’s Name becoming Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and so the list of unscriptural ideas kept growing.
Balac was a king, a politician. He got Balaam to unite the Jewish men with Moabite women at a feast of Baalpeor. The Moabites were not proper Jews so the Jewish men should not have got involved with the Moabite women. It was totally immoral. God slew twenty-four thousand Jews. Balaam sold out his gift of prophecy for money and destroyed thousands. Under the lavish money gifts of Constantine, a political emperor, the Roman church sold out their birthright to be Scriptural and fooled around with man-made ideas. These false beliefs would cause millions to lose their souls.
At Nicaea, a Trinity doctrine was invented that is not properly in Scripture. It uses all sorts of man-made expressions to justify it. Bible-believing Christians should stay away from it. It brings spiritual death to the church as they learn to believe things that are not written in Scripture. Paul never used the word, Trinity. He said if we taught anything different to him, we would be accursed. The Roman Catholic church at Nicaea took its first big step along the path towards the Dark Ages. If you fool around with a light, the light will go out. They were now officially corrupting the Bible.
God hates the elevation of a holy man above the church
REVELATION 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Nicolaitanism is the elevation of a holy man. A priest or pastor is elevated to be in charge of a church. Then a bishop is elevated even higher to be in charge of a group of pastors or priests. The Roman bishop was then elevated to be in charge of other bishops. An organisation was growing.
The five-fold ministry was elevated above the congregation to form a New Testament Aaronic priesthood. God hated all this human importance. It would ultimately elevate a man to being the "Voice of God" or the "mouth of God" so that a man’s quotes would be equal to Scripture or even greater than Scripture.
Constantine lavished money and buildings on the Roman Catholic church which made them submissive financial pawns. A religious organisation was built up with the Roman bishop at the top. Just over one hundred years later this Roman bishop would be called both Pope and Pontiff of the Babylonian mysteries. In addition, as the big boss of the church, he would be in favour of persecuting and killing anyone who opposed the Roman Catholic church.
The true believers did not want to be part of this awful Nicolaitan system that dominated the scene and sought the limelight. True believers served God in their own scattered communities, often unnoticed by historians. Occasionally a great man like Martin of Tours was greatly used of God in his attempts to bring the people back to the original simplicity of the New Testament church. His selfless life and inspirational achievements had a hugely beneficial influence on this age. Satan was building up a centralised, cruel, and despotic church organisation but the Holy Spirit could still work freely in the lives of inspired individuals who centred their lives around the written Bible.
The clash was between individuals and the organized church system.
REVELATION 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Nicolaitanism was rapidly building up a false church with the emperor’s help. If believers tried to stay in this church, they would get swept along in the flood of error that was drowning the truth. The sword that comes from the mouth of God is the Word of God, which is the written Bible. It is a two-edged sword, combining the Old Testament with the New Testament. Bible truth will always oppose human opinion.
Jesus defeated the Devil by always quoting, “It is written”.
In this age, the Nicaean council took the people away from Scripture by introducing unscriptural ideas. The only way to please God is to get back to Scripture. The church joined in with politics for the worldly advantages of gaining money and power. As a result, the church lost its spirituality. This was the crucial loss because the Bible is God’s spiritual sword which means that God prizes the spiritual truth far more than any earthly benefits or ideas. Staying with the Bible is far more important than following clever human wisdom.
In our last church age we have a similar problem.
"I have a quote" has replaced "It is written ..."
True believers saw the lack of spirituality and Scripture in the Roman church and they left.
History lost sight of most of them but God did not. True believers are often not in the public eye as their aim is to be faithful to the Scripture rather than to be popular and noticed.
Hidden manna is the revealed truth of Scripture
REVELATION 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
"He that hath an ear". The one common sentence to each age is that the church must listen to the Bible.
We must hear God speaking through His Bible. Not listen to the wisdom of man as he tries to cope in a changing world.
The church must not develop different ideas in order to cope with the changing circumstances of each age. God wants to prove that the same Bible, just the way it is written, can cope with each age and its different challenges. A stone is strong and constant and survives unchanged in buildings, roads, and bridges over the ages. Stones last. Thus a stone symbolises unchanging valour and faith.
God has a new name for each overcomer.
These Christians were pushed aside by the official Roman Catholic church. Shunned, and often persecuted and exiled with their possessions confiscated they lived a hard life.
Many were killed by the official church. There was often no record of their humble lives and it would seem that they had lived in vain as so often their earthly hopes were just trampled on by the ambitious official church.
But then on the other side, they realise that God always has His eye on them. The world forgot their names, but each one got a new name as a white stone was a trophy for the victor in a struggle.
Their new name will be a trophy of their courage to remain faithful to the Bible when all around them the church was just heading into paganised Christianity. They stayed true to the baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ.
They did not follow the crowd that was fooled into thinking that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost was a name. They ate of the hidden manna, the great mystery of God.
They knew that Almighty God who had been a Spirit in the Old Testament had now come down to earth and wrapped Himself into a perfect human Body, the Man Jesus.
JOHN 14:10: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
As the Father, God was above the Jews.
As the Son, God was with the Jews as God dwelled in Jesus.
As the Holy Ghost, God was and still is in the church.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost mean God above, God with, and God in the church.
Jesus Christ is the Human Name of God.
That a Man could be God was a hidden mystery.
Einstein taught us that light can be a wave (moving like ripples in all directions if you drop a stone in a pond) and a particle that just moves in one direction only (like a bullet). This is a great mystery of Nature.
So Jesus is the Light of the world, as only He can be a Man (limited to one place) and yet the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily as a supernatural Spirit (so He can also be completely unlimited in both space and time).
Thus He is truly eternal Light.
JOHN 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
So Jesus was in Heaven while He dwelled on earth.
Unlike us, He was able to be in both dimensions at the same time.