Christian Church History

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Basic Christian: blog History Study - Christian Church History

Completed: The Basic Christian blog History study is now completed! -- This completes both studies - The Basic Christian: blog Bible Study (2009-2010) - The Basic Christian: blog History Study (2010-2012) -- Thank you, to everyone who participated in the studies and also to all those who are still reading the studies - God bless everyone! ~ David Anson Brown

Update: Currently there are several projects in process regarding the Basic Christian Ministry. Among the next projects will probably be a Biblical study of the End Times and also it is my hope to present a Holiness Summit via website postings. Also the new Basic Christian Research Wiki page has begun and is well underway. The Holiness Summit would be an excellent opportunity to look at Holiness Doctrines to see where the Holiness Movement historically has been and also to see what changes can be made in order to better present the movement, revitalize the movement for today and help move it on into the future. -- Coming Soon: Holiness Summit 2012!! and Basic Christian: End Times!! [link]

The 'blog History Study' is dedicated to the Glory of God, the Son, the Savior Jesus Christ!

Heavenly Father, I pray for Your blessing upon this study that we might better know You through Your tremendous, faithful and historical works that You have accomplished and in what You continue to accomplish throughout Your Glorious Christian Church Age, the one True Church, the Church of God on earth and in Heaven, Jesus Christ being the foundation the beginning and the eventual conclusion of His Church. - Amen! [link]

Basic Christian: blog History Study - Christian Church History - The 8 Kingdoms of the World (PDF)

Nimrod, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, [Revised Rome - NWO] Antichrist, Millennial (1,000 year) Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ and the complete Christian Church History. [link]

Basic Christian: blog Church History Study

0 A.D. - 312 A.D. -- Birth of Jesus and the Early Church Age

313 A.D. - 1521 A.D. -- Birth of Revised Rome and the Holy Roman Empire

1522 A.D. - 1880 A.D. -- Indigenous Bible Translations and Doctrines Era - The Reformation - Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, etc.

1881 A.D. - Present (2012) -- Corrupt modern bible translations and compromised Seminaries and Universities - The modern Emergent [return to occult/paganism] Era - Westcott and Hort (1881), NIV (1972) Zondervan, NKJV (1979) Thomas Nelson Inc., ESV (2001) Crossway, etc. [link]

1881 A.D. - Present (2012)

Update: 1881 A.D. to Present (2012) - Corrupt modern bible translations and compromised Seminaries and Universities - The fourth and final section of this Church History Study isn't going to be quite as straight forward as the previous three sections where - It's going to take a little longer to bring material together for this part of the project - This last section isn't something that I have researched out the way that I had the previous sections - I have an idea or two of where to go in this study but I'm not exactly sure of the information that is needed or of how available it is to form the postings that are going to need to come together for this last section - This last section is still a Church History section and not a current events section and therefore the intention of this last section is to research and examine how we as a Church have gotten to where we are at today, but thankfully, not really to examine the events of today - In examining this last section it's possible, though not intended, that a couple of toes could get stepped on along the way - If your favorite pastor, teacher, or denomination gets dinged in this section and only a few will because we are only going to look at a couple of almost generic case studies and any toes that are stepped on is an unintended byproduct of the study - If your favorite pastor or teacher does get dinged a little in this study section it's probably because they deserve it -- God bless everyone ~ David Anson Brown

The concept of this section is going to be to look at the phenomenon of the rise [and fall] of the Christian Church Denominations, a practice that is almost exclusive to this period of Church history. Most Denominations if not all originally started with the best of intentions but what is it that has continually and systematically gone so wrong with the Church Denominational system? The following posts are going to be a look at a system, a flawed system, that quite possibly might have been more of an intentionally designed faulty system. A system where the flaws are built in and perpetuated simply in order to benefit one class of people at the expense and discomfort of the majority of the others. A system though where in actuality the desires and designs of a few greedy men have actually outpaced the built in flaws of the system itself. The problem with Denominations is that though they might start out well not a single one has been able to finish well. -- Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it [finish well]. [link]

Holiness Movement at a Crossroads - By the late 19th century, the Wesleyan-Holiness Movement floundered at the edge of a sectarian snakepit, divided by race, region, and national boundaries - Yet from this doubtful setting, the Church of the Nazarene arose -- Nazarenes Reflect On Their Past: They Shared a Dream by Stan Ingersol, Denominational Archivist

Early in the 19th century, Sarah Lankford combined the women's prayer groups of two Methodist in New York City to create the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness. That action, coupled with the publication of Boston pastor Timothy Merritt's Guide to Christian Perfection, marked the Holiness Movement's advent. ... John Inskip, J.A. Wood, and other Methodist clergy initiated a new phase of the movement after the Civil War. The National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness fostered specialized meetings throughout the United States. But Inskip was dead by 1890, while Wood had retired to California and preached occasionally from Phineas Bresee's pulpit. A democratic spirit pervaded the Holiness Movement. Bishops could control Methodist clergy but not the laity who led many local, county, and state Holiness associations. Some were headed by women excluded from leadership in other areas. Independent-minded evangelicals defied the Methodist Discipline and used a local preacher's license as authority to conduct revivals, even competing with local pastors. By century's end, the Wesleyan-Holiness Movement included sectarian "come-outers," "put-outers" dismissed from their churches, and Methodist loyalists. The fragmenting Holiness revival posed daunting questions: would anyone--could anyone--gather the pieces? [link]

Did the Denominational name begin on shaky ground? - He goes on to write that the naming of the (Nazarene) Church was the work of Joseph Widney - "For Widney, the name "Church of the Nazarene" **conveyed nothing explicit about the Methodist doctrine or the experiences of conversion and entire sanctification - It was much more an expression of late-nineteenth-century "Jesus of history" theology, which preferred the name "Jesus" to the more exalted name "Jesus Christ" - The "Jesus of history" [Jesus of Nazareth] was not so much the eternal Second Person of the Trinity who on the Cross made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world" as He was the human Person remembered for words and deeds whom Christians were to follow as Teacher and Example - Widney's subsequent religious pilgrimage bears out the connoation of low Christology, and also low ecclesiology, that the term suggested" -- 'Concerned Nazarenes' Facebook Page

Did the Denominational name begin on shaky ground? At the beginning of TCotN [The Church of the Nazarene] both Phineas Bresee and Joseph Widney were made general superintendent "for life". This info is from the book by Carl Bangs "Phineas F. Bresee", 1995, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City. p. 196-197; He goes on to write that the naming of the Church was the work of Joseph Widney. "For Widney, the name "Church of the Nazarene" conveyed nothing explicit about the Methodist doctrine or the experiences of conversion and entire sanctification. It was much more an expression of late-nineteenth-century "Jesus of history" theology, which preferred the name "Jesus" to the more exalted name "Jesus Christ." The "Jesus of history" was not so much the eternal Second Person of the Trinity who on the Cross made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world," as He was the human Person remembered for words and deeds whom Christians were to follow as Teacher and Example. Widney's subsequent religious pilgrimage bears out the connoation of low Christology, and also low ecclesiology, that the term suggested." It is suggested that Bresee accepted the Name because he did not know Widney's true theology. To Bresee the name "Nazarene" represented Jesus association with the common man. So what was the outcome with Widney? He became increasing seperated from the Nazarenes and eventually started his own church. "He wrote a number of books on the borderline of politics, history, and culture. These were laced with mysticism and with a core theme of Aryan racial theory (Q. Nazism?). He developed a syncetistic religion followed by relatives and friends in his privately built "Beth-El", A Chapel and Manse of the Church of the All-Father" (or "All Fader")." (P. 214). Notice that this was not someone outside the Naz. throwing mud. This was published by Beacon Hill. Are we seeing sowing and reaping? It is amazing to me how quickly things seemed to change. Yet as we see from the origins our name, one of our first Generals began on shaky ground. -- posted by Robert Bruce Fruehling at 'Concerned Nazarenes' Facebook Page [link]

The CalvaryChapelAbuse.com website - Sue says -- January 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm, 4 years ago I read "Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola and it was a very freeing book - Also another book that's really helped me heal is "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" by Dave Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen

Reaching4Truth says: January 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm -- Hanna, you said: "I still keep my hopes up that we will find a church, but as I have said before..in our town it is all about who can have the biggest church, who can draw the largest crowd, who can own more hotels and claim more territory on the monopoly board. People have no idea what the Pastor is purchasing in terms of real estate and investments, and they don't really even care because they trust him completely." -- This is not just a phenomenon in your town, but is widespread everywhere. Because in this era, pastors have been given celebrity status and encouraged to build their kingdoms, their resume, on ideas borrowed from the business realm. Over time they've been seduced by numerous voices from without and within the evangelical world, to produce measurably "effective" and "successful" ministries.. Pursuing and inculcating worldly business values and methodologies and wrongly applying them to the church and the realm of ministry. And basically it turns out to be an abandonment of their allegiance to the Lord in exchange for the approval of men and the respect of men, both in the church and in the world. -- Pastors and ministry leaders have been seduced by things appealing to their pride to pursue accomplishments and a measure of renown - respectability - for themselves. To be someone that others in the community (church and beyond) look up to and speak well of. -- Through many avenues and means, Christian pastors and ministry leaders have received worldly advice dressed up in acceptable Christian language, and coming from trusted "christian" sources. I employ the quotes because to look at the nature of what has come to be accepted as wise Christian insight and counsel, through resources such as Leadership Journal and Christianity Today, just to name two among a plethora of resources with a large readership among pastors, is to find, if one compares the "wisdom" offered from such sources, they wander quite a distance from sound spiritual wisdom or true compatibility with the word of God. -- Our pastors have been drinking from poisoned wells, even from what have been in the past trusted Christian sources. But, minus the requisite discretion and discernment that is expected of those we trust, a scourge has set upon the churches. Having listened to and consulted the voices of so many Pied Pipers in the business realm, there is very little left now of truly Holy Spirit-inspired leadership. We have been in the business of exchanging the truth of God for a lie for so long that we can barely distinguish the difference. Church and ministry leaders, in their efforts to win the worldly (yes I mean "worldly") to Christ through clever means, have drunk deeply from the wells of "vain philosophy and empty deceit". And we are sadly observing the results of that exchange. -- Clever wolves have entered in, and/or risen up from our midst, and had their effect upon the churches. I have observed with great sadness and sobriety the Christian establishment being given over to a host of clever lies and the spirit of the world. -- And hero worship has had a lot to do with it. A WHOLE lot to do with it. I think it's for lack of (or for need of) a hero in our lives that we (pastors and their flocks) have become worshippers of admired Christian men, inclined to enshrine them in a sort of "holy glow" - a sort of spiritual 'static' where we assume they will always and forever continue in a faithful path, as if they can do no wrong and, like their Lord, were immaculately conceived of the Holy Spirit. -- We have been, the whole lot of us - pastors and others alike - led onto deceptive paths because of having given our unquestioning trust to men with feet of clay. I believe we have entered a time of the Lord cleaning house, and waking His people up from a long slumber, a longer slumber than we would guess, wherein the enemy has now effectively infiltrated the mustard tree and overspread the churches. -- Jesus was careful to warn us that these days would come, and tremendous deception all around us was given as a key sign of the nearness of His return. He led with "See to it THAT NO MAN DECEIVES YOU." It was much more a matter of having our eyes/hearts exercised to recognize cleverly cloaked deception and delusion than it was ever a call to make an idol of earthly Jerusalem, for instance. JESUS is to be our focus; ALWAYS JESUS. We were instructed not to put our trust in man, but only IN HIM. -- So… pastors are to blame, for having wandered from the scriptures as their sole source of spiritual light, life and guidance, and succumbing to spiritual blindness… but so are we. We are living in a time of strong hero worship, leading to strong delusion, with sobering effect. The sooner we return our affection to the LORD and away from faulty leaders, the better for all of us. -- Chuck Smith is simply one example of what hero worship - the desire to elevate a hero in our midst (besides Jesus) can lead to. By giving our indiscriminate trust to men we admire, we forget that they can be just as prone to sin and error as the rest of us. The mercy of God is a great need in all of our lives, and our relationship with Him is to be first and foremost. I need these reminders as much as the next person. --- Lord, I'm thankful for your MERCY and your GREAT, GREAT kindness to us. Help us wind our way out of this mess we find ourselves in and into singlehearted allegiance to You and affection for your word. Clean us up and restore the broken places? and rekindle our love for YOU. [link]

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse By David Johnson and Jeff Vanvonderen (Bethany House, 1991, 2005) 235 pages -- The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse discusses unhealthy spiritual patterns in a constructive and helpful way - There are many books that attempt to address various unhealthy spiritual patterns, but often with the goal of stigmatizing them and promoting the churches or belief systems of the authors - I have read a number of these type of books and found these more interested in putting down people of different beliefs than anything else - That's nothing new in religious literature-the "I'm right and you're a heretic" approach has been around for nearly 2000 years, the 21st century version is "I'm right, you're a cult" - Some of these books may help people identify with some troubling practices and discuss recovery strategies, but the over-generalizing, demonizing, building of composite stories (which make things look much worse) and theological biases get in the way of making the books really helpful towards solving any problems

But this book by Johnson and Vanvonderen is different. Drawing upon years of ministry experience as pastor and counselor (respectively), they examine the fine line between Biblical leadership and abuse. Without mentioning groups or demonizing those involved, they discuss how well-intentioned leadership can have abusive effects. This "high road" approach is highly helpful in identifying some of the critical factors that have led to harsh and harmful leadership in churches. -- Marks of a Spiritually Unhealthy Environment: For example, the authors identify the marks of a spiritually unhealthy system. I'd like to include these here as a sample of how the authors address these issues. (The following consists of verbatim citations of copyrighted material from Chapter 5,6 of "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.") -- 1. Power-Posturing: Power-posturing simply means leaders spend a lot of time focused on their own authority and reminding others of it, as well. They spend a lot of energy posturing about how much authority they have and how much everyone else is supposed to submit to it. The fact that they are eager to place people under them-- under their word, under their "authority"-- is one easy-to-spot clue that they are operating in their own authority. -- 2. Performance Preoccupation: In abusive spiritual systems, power is postured and authority is legislated. Therefore, these systems are preoccupied with the performance of their members. Obedience and submission are two important words often used. The way to tell if someone is doing the right thing for the wrong reason is if they are keeping track of it. Let's say that another way. If obedience and service is flowing out of you as a result of your own dependence on God alone, you won't keep track of it with an eye toward reward, you'll just do it. But if you're preoccupied with whether you've done enough to please God, then you're not looking at Him, you're looking at your own works. And you're also concerned about who else might be looking at you, evaluating you. What would anyone keep track of their godly behavior unless they were trying to earn spiritual points because of it? For many reasons, followers sometimes obey or follow orders to avoid being shamed, to gain someone's approval, or to keep their spiritual status or position intact. This is not true obedience or submission, it is compliant self-seeking. When behavior is simply legislated from the outside, instead of coming from a heart that loves God, it cannot be called obedience. It is merely weak compliance to some form of external pressure. -- 3. Unspoken Rules: In abusive spiritual systems, people's lives are controlled from the outside in by rules, spoken and unspoken. Unspoken rules are those that govern unhealthy churches or families but are not said out loud. Because they are not said out loud, you don't find out that they're there until you break them. The most powerful of all unspoken rules in the abusive system is what we have already termed the "can't talk" rule. The "can't talk" [rule] has this thinking behind it: "The real problem cannot be exposed because then it would have to be dealt with and things would have to change; so it must be protected behind walls of silence (neglect) or by assault (legalistic attack). If you speak about the problem, you are the problem. -- 4. Lack of Balance: The fourth characteristic of a spiritual abusive system is an unbalanced approach to living out the truth of the Christian life. This shows itself in two extremes: Extreme Objectivism - The first extreme is an empirical approach to life, which elevates objective truth to the exclusion of valid subjective experience. This approach to spirituality creates a system in which authority is based upon the level of education and intellectual capacity alone, rather than on intimacy with God, obedience and sensitivity to His Spirit. Extreme Subjectivism - The other manifestation of lack of balance is seen in an extremely subjective approach to the Christian life. What is true is decided on the basis of feelings and experiences, giving more weight to them than what the Bible declares. In this system, people can't know or understand truths (even if they really do understand or know them) until the leaders "receive them by spiritual revelation from the Lord" and "impart" them to the people. In such systems, it is more important to act according to the word of a leader who has "a word" for you than to act according to what you know to be true from Scripture, or simply from your spiritual growth-history. As with the extreme objective approach, Christians who are highly subjective also have a view of education-- most often, that education is bad or unnecessary. There is almost a pride in not being educated, and a disdain for those who are. Everything that is needed is taught through the Holy Spirit. ("After all, Peter and Timothy didn't go to college or seminary...") -- 5. Paranoia: In the church that is spiritually abusive, there is a sense, spoken or unspoken, that "others will not understand what we're all about, so let's not let them know-- that way they won't be able to ridicule or persecute us." There is an assumption that (1) what we say, know, or do is a result of our being more enlightened that others; (2) others will not understand unless they become one of us; and (3) others will respond negatively. In a place where authority is grasped and legislated, not simply demonstrated, persecution sensitivity builds a case for keeping everything within the system. Why? Because of the evil, dangerous, or unspiritual people outside of the system who are trying to weaken or destroy "us." This mentality builds a strong wall or bunker around the abusive system, isolates the abusers from scrutiny and accountability, and makes it more difficult for people to leave-- because they will then be outsiders too. While it is true that there is a world of evil outside of the system, there is also good out there. But people are misled into thinking that the only safety is in the system. Ironically, Jesus and Paul both warned that one of the worst dangers to the flock was from wolves in the house (Matthew 10:16, Acts 20:29-30). -- 6. Misplaced Loyalty: The next characteristic of spiritually abusive systems is that a misplaced sense of loyalty is fostered and even demanded. We're not talking about loyalty to Christ, but about loyalty to a given organization, church, or leader. Once again, because authority is assumed or legislated (and therefore not real), following must be legislated as well. A common way this is accomplished is by setting up a system where disloyalty to or disagreement with the leadership is construed as the same thing as disobeying God. Questioning leaders is equal to questioning God. "We Alone Are Right" There are three factors that come into place here, adding up to a misplaced loyalty. First, leadership projects a "we alone are right" mentality, which permeates the system. Members must remain in the system if they want to be "safe," or to stay "on good terms" with God, or not be viewed as wrong or "backslidden." - Scare Tactics - The second factor that brings about misplaced loyalty is the use of "scare tactics." We're already seen this in some of the paranoia described in the last section. Scare tactics are more serious. This is more than just the risk of being polluted by the world. We have counseled many Christians who, after deciding to leave their church, were told horrifying things. "God is going to withdraw His Spirit from you and your family." "God will destroy your business." "Without our protection, Satan will get your children." "You and your family will come under a curse." This is spiritual blackmail and it's abuse. And it does cause people to stay in abusive places. - Humiliation - The third method of calling forth misplaced loyalty is the threat of humiliation. This is done by publicly shaming, exposing, or threatening to remove people from the group. Unquestionably, there is a place for appropriate church discipline. In the abusive system, it is the fear of being exposed, humiliated or removed that insures your proper allegiance, and insulates those in authority. You can be "exposed" for asking too many questions, for disobeying the unspoken rules, or for disagreeing with authority. People are made public examples in order to send a message to those who remain. Others have phone campaigns launched against them, to warn their friends and others in the group about how "dangerous" they are. -- 7. Secretive: When you see people in a religious system being secretive-- watch out. People don't hide what is appropriate; they hide what is inappropriate. One reason spiritual abusive families and churches are secretive is because they are so image conscious. People in these systems can't even live up to their own performance standards, so they have to hide what is real. Some believe they must do this to protect God's good name. So how things look and what others think becomes more important than what's real. They become God's "public relations agents." The truth is, He's not hiring anyone for this position. Another reason for secrecy in a church is that the leadership has a condescending, negative view of the laity. This results in conspiracies on the leadership level. They tell themselves, "People are not mature enough to handle truth." This is patronizing at best. Conspiracies also develop among the lay people. Since it is not all right [sic] to notice or talk about problems, people form conspiracies behind closed doors and over the telephone as they try to solve things informally. But since they have no authority, they solve, and solve, and solve-- but nothing really gets solved. And all the while, building God's true kingdom is put on hold. -- Conclusion: I hope that what I have cited gets your attention and motivates you to read this book. The subtle patterns of unhealthy characteristics are discussed in a way that actually helps people identify them, resist them, and recover from them. Copyright © 2000 John Engler. All rights reserved. The Barnabas Ministry [link]

Pagan Christianity (by Frank Viola and George Barna) Reviewed - Like most reformers, Viola manages to express some valid issues that need attention - He well states the clergy-laity distinction - He is clear about the disastrous domination of clergymen, the official function of "pastors" who enforce denominational creed and tradition, and even speaks with validity against the Charismatic movement and its' impact in modern worship "styles" - I believe there is veneration of religious architecture that can cripple us both spiritually and financially, though Viola goes way beyond questioning an expediency

I understand the "excessive and pathological dependence on the clergy," but I'm not willing to classify all preaching within that condemnation. (This is the same old stuff - human abuse is cited as the reason to cast out something legitimate when used properly.) When we tell people what the Word of God says and challenge the right response, there is no excess or pathology in that! Let's expose and condemn the real problem, without throwing out the legitimate. -- And I'm wondering about something. Frank Viola has written a book. What is it that lifts his book out of the condemned category? What if someone read his book to a group of people (he does affirm his book to be needed truth)? Would the reading of his book stifle spiritual health and create a pathological dependence on his writings or books in general? Nonsense. -- Don't overlook, Viola is a high school teacher. When he speaks to a class in a building with attention focused on him, does he consider that to be an exercise that is passive, tradition bound and pagan? Likewise, he "speaks at church-life conferences!" Apparently the kind of speaking he does he values in some way. Yet he reacts with outrage when someone stands before an audience and directs their attention to the text of Scripture in an orderly form without interruption. This is the excess and decoration of a militant reformer, who is in bondage to his system while attacking another. It is gimmickry and passion born in the contention of a reformers narrow mentality, not based on the content of Scripture. -- Behind the charm and sophistry of these reformers there is an arrogant spirit. Mr. Viola wants us to know that "the NT is not a manual for church practice." Yet, he wants us to be led by "the light that is within you!" When all of that has been said, the footnote on the last page of the book is truly the bottom line. He says in this small print entry: "If you plan to leave the institutional church, I strongly recommend that you read the next volume in this series: So You Want To Start A House Church? First-Century Styled Church Planting For Today. It will give you the next step." -- Unbelievable! He steers us away from the New Testament, then recommends his next book as our next step. Now here is my recommendation. Don't let any man dictate "the next step." Not Viola, Berkley or any man. Open the Bible. Read what it says, and let God direct your steps (Psa. 37:23; 119:133). --- Good Recently Published Resources To Study The House Church Movement: "The House Church Movement," Harry Osborne; in The Renewing Of Your Mind, 2004 Truth Magazine Lectures, GOT Foundation, 2004. "The House Church Movement," Jim Deason; True Worship, 2205 FC Lectures. By Warren E. Berkley The Front Page From Expository Files 13.1 January 2006. [link]

What is a Protestant [Pro-Witness Christianity] and why the protest - The English word 'Protestant' comes from the Latin and is made up from two words, pro-for, and testari-witness - And it has come to mean to write or speak strongly against - The three fundamental [Pro-Witness] doctrines are: The Protestant goes directly to the word of God for instructions, and to the throne of grace in his/her devotion; while the pious Roman Catholic consults the teachings of his/her church, and prefers to offer prayers through the mediums of the virgin Mary and Saints, (note here that the bible teaches that the dead know not anything and Necromancy, the talking or praying to the dead, is an abomination Ps.106:28; Col.2:8) --- ***From this general principle of evangelical [Biblical Truth] freedom, and direct individual relationship [Believers' Priesthood] of the believer to (Jesus) Christ, comes the three fundamental [Pro-Witness] doctrines of Protestantism: 1.) The Bible only 2.) by Grace only 3.) the general Priesthood of believers -- {Note: Jesus told both the Pharisees and His Disciples (Luke 16:26) that there is a divided dimension "a great gulf" between the living and the dead and that the two groups cannot communicate or interact in any way with each other, because God has a division between the living and the dead. Any interaction with the living that feints interaction as from the dead should be highly suspect as being deceptive in nature and possibly even of demonic origin.}

By the Bible only, is meant that we do not need extra revelations nor dogmas that contradict the 'Holy Word of God'. When the Bishop of Rome was elevated to the throne of Caesar in 538 A.D. as head of the Empire, he continued the same persecution against the Christian Church that Caesar began. See Revelation 17:6 "I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints." (Note here that a woman symbolizes a church and every bible believer is called a saint by virtue of Christ's righteousness being credited to them). Sainthood is not conferred onto the persecutors. [link]

WHY BAPTISTS ARE NOT PROTESTANTS by Dr. Vernon C. Lyons - The 'Protestant' Reformation is usually dated from October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany - However, this was only one of a series of acts that led to the open rupture with Rome - Protestants date from the sixteenth century (1517) - They are the Lutherans, the Reformed, and others who were once Roman Catholics and left the Roman Catholic faith to start denominations of their own - The Baptists never left the Roman Catholic church as did Luther, Calvin and Zwingli -- **They (Baptists) never left because they were never in -- They did not begin their existence at the time of the Reformation, but hundreds of years prior to the Reformation

Baptists make no effort to trace a historical succession back to the age of the Apesties. Their only claim is that at every age in church history there have been groups that have held to the same doctrines that Baptists hold today. These groups may or may not have been connected and they have been known by various names. There were the Montanists (150 A.D.), the Novatians (240 A.D.), Donatists (305 A.D.), Albigenses (1022 A.D.), Waldensians (1170 A.D.), and the name Anabaptists came into prominence just before the time of the Protestant Reformation. Full historical data immediately refutes the view that there was only one religious group -- the Roman Catholic church -until the time of Martin Luther. Anyone who claims this simply has not done his homework. ... It is also evident that the Baptists were not Protestants because they were fiercely persecuted by the Protestant Reformers and their followers. Uncounted thousands of them lost their goods, their lands, and their lives in these persecutions. Konred Grebel died in prison in 1526. Felix Manz was drowned by the authorities at Zurich in 1527. Noted Baptist leader Baithauser Hubmaier was burned alive at the stake in Vienna March 10, 1528. Three days later his wife was drowned by being thrown over the Danube bridge with a stone tied to her neck. The facts abundantly attest that historically Baptists are not Protestants. [Corner/why_baptists_are_not_protestants.htm link]

Methodist [Method Christianity] Beginnings - John Wesley was a priest in the Church of England, but did not have a personally moving experience of the forgiveness of his own sins until May 24, 1738 - He then embarked on a career of bringing others to this experience through preaching, and the organization of small groups for spiritual encouragement - After his death, his followers formed a new Protestant denomination, known as the Methodists [Method Christianity] - Wesley began sending preachers to the American colonies in 1771.As in England, he had a team of lay preachers who rode from society to society, monitoring the beliefs and efforts at holiness of each society member - Because of the hostility of many Americans toward the Church of England following the Revolutionary War, and because of the great distance from England, Wesley allowed Methodists in America to form a separate denomination - At the "Christmas Conference" in Baltimore in 1784-85 Dr. Thomas Coke (who had been ordained as a superintendent or bishop by Wesley) and Francis Asbury formed the Methodist Episcopal Church and began to ordain ministers who could offer the sacraments [Communion] as well as preach

Wesley agreed with the great Protestant Reformers Martin Luther (1483-1546), Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531), and John Calvin (1509-1564) that people were saved by the free grace of God's forgiveness of sin, and that there was nothing one could do to merit such forgiveness-it was simply a gift.This is the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone. -- Wesley's theology was distinctive in that he argued that this justifying grace was preceded by a grace that prepared individuals and allowed them to accept or reject justifying grace freely ("prevenient grace"), and that, in addition to justifying grace, they are given additional grace that leads them on toward a life of sinless perfection ("sustaining grace").Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin had argued that individuals are not free to accept or reject God's grace-if offered, it is an offer that cannot be refused.Further, they argued that though one could not lose this grace, sinless perfection was not possible-though their sins are forgiven Christians always remain sinners. -- Wesley saw his movement as an effort to revitalize the Church of England.He required his followers to attend church services at their local parishes, and he did not allow his lay preachers to administer sacraments.While his use of lay preachers, his willingness to preach not just from pulpits but on street corners and in fields, and his eventual willingness to allow women leadership roles in his movement caused tension with some in the Church of England, Methodism remained part of the Church of England in England for as long as Wesley was alive. [link]

Primitive Methodist Church - Primitive Methodism began in England, in the early 1800's, as an attempt to restore the Methodist Revival begun under the ministry of John Wesley - In America, Methodist preachers invented a new form of Evangelism, **the Camp Meeting [aka Revival Meetings, Tent Meetings, Evangelism Outreach, Crusades] - On May 31, 1807, these two leaders called for and aggressively promoted [in England] an American style Camp Meeting, an all day prayer, song, and preaching event - Many people were converted to Christ at that meeting, now called: "Mow Cop" - John Wesley [had] won many to Christ preaching outdoors, but the leaders of the [English] Wesleyan church of that day found this [American] innovation unbearable - They firmly refused to allow any of the Mow Cop converts to join their churches - They dismissed Hugh Bourne and William Clowes for their innovation without permission - For two years, these enthusiastic converts waited in vain for acceptance by the established Church - Finally, they decided to form their own society - They named it "The Society of Primitive Methodists" because they desired to return to the Roots of the Methodist movement

OUR BEGINNINGS: Primitive Methodism began in England, in the early 1800's, as an attempt to restore the Methodist Revival begun under the ministry of John Wesley. In America, Methodist preachers invented a new form of Evangelism, the Camp Meeting. Such a preacher, Lorenzo Dow, visited England. He told of many converts being won to the Lord in these outdoor meetings. He spoke of John Wesley, and his Field preaching. Hugh Bourne and William Clowes listened. On May 31, 1807, these two leaders called for and aggressively promoted an American style Camp Meeting, an all day prayer, song, and preaching event. Many people were converted to Christ at that meeting, now called: "Mow Cop". -- At the left is an artist rendition of a rock outcropping of the remains of a castle that is located on the top of a hill that is known as Mow Cop. The artist is Carol Kropp. Her husband is Rev. George Kropp and he is the pastor of the Laurel Run Primitive Methodist Church. You may click on the following link to go to a web site with much information about the hill and castle known as "Mow Cop", as well as information pertaining to early Primitive Methodism. -- John Wesley won many to Christ preaching outdoors, but the leaders of the Wesleyan church of that day found this innovation unbearable. They firmly refused to allow any of the Mow Cop converts to join their churches. They dismissed Hugh Bourne and William Clowes for their innovation without permission. For two years, these enthusiastic converts waited in vain for acceptance by the established Church. Finally, they decided to form their own society. They named it "The Society of Primitive Methodists" because they desired to return to the Roots of the Methodist movement. In 1829, a group of missionaries arrived in America to minister to English and Welsh Immigrants living in the industrial and mining areas. Their ministries thrived and their Churches grew. On September 16, 1840, the "American Primitive Methodist Church" was established. [link]

George Whitefield (1714-1770) -- George Whitefield was a renowned English preacher, considered to be much more eloquent that John Wesley - He persuaded John Wesley to preach in the fields - George Whitefield [Calvinism] and John Wesley [Arminianism] did not see eye-to-eye on a theology of grace however - They parted ways but managed, in the end, to maintain a respect for each other in that their hearts were the same in terms of unity in Jesus Christ

George Whitefield and John Wesley did not see eye-to-eye on a theology of grace however. In 1740 Wesley published "Free Grace," saying that God's grace was extended to all. Wesley rejected the concept of divine election. Whitefield was a Calvinist. He once wrote, "God, himself, I find, teaches my friends the doctrine of election. If I mistake not, my dear and honored Mr. Wesley will hereafter be convinced of it also." -- The two men were never to agree on divine election. Whitefield thought Wesley's was preaching universal redemption whereas Wesley thought Whitefield's preaching implied Christians need not take moral responsibility. They parted ways but managed, in the end, to maintain a respect for each other in that their hearts were the same in terms of unity in Jesus Christ. After Whitefield's death, John Wesley preached a memorial sermon. -- Wesley said: "Let my last end be like his!" How many of you join in this wish? Perhaps there are few of you who do not, even in this numerous congregation! And O that this wish may rest upon your minds! - that it may not die away till your souls also are lodged "where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest!" [link]

John Wesley (1707-1788) -- English preacher, Theologian and Founder of the Methodist Church

The Wesley family was made famous by the two brothers, John and Charles, who worked together in the rise of Methodism in the British Isles during the 18th century. They were among the ten children surviving infancy born to Samuel Wesley (1662 - 1735), Anglican rector of Epworth, Lincolnshire, and Susanna Annesley Wesley, daughter of Samuel Annesley, a dissenting minister. -- John Wesley was born June 28, 1703, died Mar. 2, 1791, and was the principal founder of the Methodist movement. His mother was important in his emotional and educational development. John's education continued at Charterhouse School and at Oxford, where he studied at Christ Church and was elected (1726) fellow of Lincoln College. He was ordained in 1728. -- After a brief absence (1727 - 29) to help his father at Epworth, John returned to Oxford to discover that his brother Charles had founded a Holy Club composed of young men interested in spiritual growth. John quickly became a leading participant of this group, which was dubbed the Methodists. His Oxford days introduced him not only to the rich tradition of classical literature and philosophy but also to spiritual classics like Thomas a Kempis's Imitation of Christ, Jeremy Taylor's Holy Living and Dying, and William Law's Serious Call. -- In 1735 both Wesleys accompanied James Oglethorpe to the new colony of Georgia, where John's attempts to apply his then high-church views aroused hostility. Discouraged, he returned (1737) to England; he was rescued from this discouragement by the influence of the Moravian preacher Peter Boehler. At a small religious meeting in Aldersgate Street, London, on May 24, 1738, John Wesley had an experience in which his "heart was strangely warmed." After this spiritual conversion, which centered on the realization of salvation by faith in Christ alone, he devoted his life to evangelism. Beginning in 1739 he established Methodist societies throughout the country. He traveled and preached constantly, especially in the London-Bristol-Newcastle triangle, with frequent forays into Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. He encountered much opposition and persecution, which later subsided. -- Late in life Wesley married Mary Vazeille, a widow. He continued throughout his life a regimen of personal discipline and ordered living. He died at 88, still preaching, still traveling, and still a clergyman of the Church of England. In 1784, however, he had given the Methodist societies a legal constitution, and in the same year he ordained Thomas Coke for ministry in the United States; this action signaled an independent course for Methodism. [link]

Wikipedia: John Wesley (June 28, 1703 - March 2, 1791) -- A Church of England cleric and Christian theologian - Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield - In contrast to George Whitefield's Calvinism, Wesley embraced the Arminian doctrines that were dominant in the 18th-century Church of England - Methodism in both forms was a highly successful evangelical movement in the United Kingdom, which encouraged people to experience Jesus Christ personally -- Wesley's teachings, known as Wesleyanism, provided the seeds for both the modern Methodist movement, **the Holiness movement, Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement, and Neo-charismatic churches, which encompass numerous denominations across the world -- In addition, he refined Arminianism with a strong evangelical emphasis on the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith

Doctrines and theology: The 20th century Wesley scholar Albert Outler argued in his introduction to the 1964 collection John Wesley that Wesley developed his theology by using a method that Outler termed the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. In this method, Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture; and the Bible was the sole foundational source of theological or doctrinal development. The centrality of Scripture was so important for Wesley that he called himself "a man of one book"-meaning the Bible-although he was well-read for his day. However, he believed that doctrine had to be in keeping with Christian orthodox tradition. So, tradition was considered the second aspect of the Quadrilateral. -- Wesley contended that a part of the theological method would involve experiential faith. In other words, truth would be vivified in personal experience of Christians (overall, not individually), if it were really truth. And every doctrine must be able to be defended rationally. He did not divorce faith from reason. Tradition, experience and reason, however, were subject always to Scripture, Wesley argued, because only there is the Word of God revealed "so far as it is necessary for our salvation." -- The doctrines which Wesley emphasised in his sermons and writings are prevenient grace, present personal salvation by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and sanctification. Prevenient grace was the theological underpinning of his belief that all persons were capable of being saved by faith in Christ. Unlike the Calvinists of his day, Wesley did not believe in predestination, that is, that some persons had been elected by God for salvation and others for damnation. He understood that Christian orthodoxy insisted that salvation was only possible by the sovereign grace of God. He expressed his understanding of humanity's relationship to God as utter dependence upon God's grace. God was at work to enable all people to be capable of coming to faith by empowering humans to have actual existential freedom of response to God. -- Wesley defined the witness of the Spirit as: "an inward impression on the soul of believers, whereby the Spirit of God directly testifies to their spirit that they are the children of God." He based this doctrine upon certain Biblical passages (see Romans 8:15-16 as an example). This doctrine was closely related to his belief that salvation had to be "personal." In his view, a person must ultimately believe the Good News for himself or herself; no one could be in relation to God for another. -- Sanctification he described in 1790 as the "grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called `Methodists'." Wesley taught that sanctification was obtainable after justification by faith, between justification and death. He did not contend for "sinless perfection"; rather, he contended that a Christian could be made "perfect in love". (Wesley studied Eastern Orthodoxy and particularly the doctrine of Theosis). This love would mean, first of all, that a believer's motives, rather than being self-centred, would be guided by the deep desire to please God. One would be able to keep from committing what Wesley called, "sin rightly so-called." By this he meant a conscious or intentional breach of God's will or laws. A person could still be able to sin, but intentional or wilful sin could be avoided. -- Secondly, to be made perfect in love meant, for Wesley, that a Christian could live with a primary guiding regard for others and their welfare. He based this on Christ's quote that the second great command is "to love your neighbour as you love yourself." In his view, this orientation would cause a person to avoid any number of sins against his neighbour. This love, plus the love for God that could be the central focus of a person's faith, would be what Wesley referred to as "a fulfilment of the law of Christ." Wesley believed that this doctrine should be constantly preached, especially among the people called Methodists. In fact, he contended that the purpose of the Methodist movement was to "spread scriptural holiness across England." -- Advocacy of Arminianism: Wesley entered controversies as he tried to enlarge church practice. The most notable of his controversies was that on Calvinism. His father was of the Arminian school in the church. Wesley came to his own conclusions while in college and expressed himself strongly against the doctrines of Calvinistic election and reprobation. -- Whitefield inclined to Calvinism. In his first tour in America, he embraced the views of the New England School of Calvinism. When in 1739 Wesley preached a sermon on Freedom of Grace, attacking the Calvinistic understanding of predestination as blasphemous, as it represented "God as worse than the devil," Whitefield asked him not to repeat or publish the discourse, as he did not want a dispute. Wesley published his sermon anyway. Whitefield was one of many who responded. The two men separated their practice in 1741. Wesley wrote that those who held to unlimited atonement did not desire separation, but "those who held 'particular redemption' would not hear of any accommodation." -- Whitefield, Harris, Cennick, and others, became the founders of Calvinistic Methodism. Whitefield and Wesley, however, were soon back on friendly terms, and their friendship remained unbroken although they travelled different paths. In 1770 the controversy broke out anew with violence and bitterness, as people's view of God related to their views of men and their possibilities. Augustus Montague Toplady, Rowland, Richard Hill, and others were engaged on the one side, and Wesley and Fletcher on the other. Toplady was editor of The Gospel Magazine, which had articles covering the controversy. In 1778 Wesley began the publication of The Arminian Magazine, not, he said, to convince Calvinists, but to preserve Methodists. He wanted to teach the truth that "God willeth all men to be saved." A "lasting peace" could be secured in no other way. His system of thought has become known as Wesleyan Arminianism, the foundations of which were laid by Wesley and Fletcher. [link]

Wikipedia: Jonathan Edwards (1703-1778) -- An American preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian," and one of America's greatest intellectuals - Edwards's theological work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Reformed theology/Calvinism - Edwards played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first fires of revival in 1733-1735 at his church - First Church in Northampton, Massachusetts - Edwards delivered the **sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", preached at Enfield, July 8, 1741, a classic of early American literature {Note: the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is considered to be the best sermon ever given by an American Preacher.}

Great Awakening: On July 7, 1731, Edwards preached in Boston the "Public Lecture" afterwards published under the title "God Glorified - in Man's Dependence," which was his first public attack on Arminianism. The emphasis of the lecture was on God's absolute sovereignty in the work of salvation: that while it behooved God to create man pure and without sin, it was of his "good pleasure" and "mere and arbitrary grace" for him to grant any person the faith necessary to incline him or her toward holiness; and that God might deny this grace without any disparagement to any of his character. -- In 1733, a religious revival began in Northampton and reached such intensity in the winter of 1734 and the following spring as to threaten the business of the town. In six months, nearly three hundred were admitted to the church. The revival gave Edwards an opportunity for studying the process of conversion in all its phases and varieties, and he recorded his observations with psychological minuteness and discrimination in A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton (1737). A year later, he published Discourses on Various Important Subjects, the five sermons which had proved most effective in the revival, and of these, none, he tells us, was so immediately effective as that on the Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners, from the text, "That every mouth may be stopped." Another sermon, published in 1734, A Divine and Supernatural Light, Immediately Imparted to the Soul by the Spirit of God set forth what he regarded as the inner, moving principle of the revival, the doctrine of a special grace in the immediate, and supernatural divine illumination of the soul. -- By 1735, the revival had spread-and popped up independently-across the Connecticut River Valley, and perhaps as far as New Jersey. However, criticism of the revival began, and many New Englanders feared that Edwards had led his flock into fanaticism. Over the summer of 1735, religious fervor took a dark turn. A number of New Englanders were shaken by the revivals but not converted, and became convinced of their inexorable damnation. Edwards wrote that "multitudes" felt urged-presumably by Satan-to take their own lives. At least two people committed suicide in the depths of their spiritual duress, one from Edwards's own congregation-his uncle, Joseph Hawley II. It is not known if any others took their own lives, but the suicide craze effectively ended the first wave of revival, except in some parts of Connecticut. -- However, despite these setbacks and the cooling of religious fervor, word of the Northampton revival and Edwards's leadership role had spread as far as England and Scotland. It was at this time that Edwards was acquainted with George Whitefield, who was traveling the Thirteen Colonies on a revival tour in 1739-1740. The two men may not have seen eye to eye on every detail-Whitefield was far more comfortable with the strongly emotional elements of revival than Edwards was-but they were both passionate about preaching the Gospel.They worked together to orchestrate Whitefield's trip, first through Boston, and then to Northampton. When Whitefield preached at Edwards's church in Northampton, he reminded them of the revival they had experienced just a few years before. This deeply touched Edwards, who wept throughout the entire service, and much of the congregation too was moved. Revival began to spring up again, and it was at this time that Edwards preached his most famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in Enfield, Connecticut in 1741. This sermon has been widely reprinted as an example of "fire and brimstone" preaching in the colonial revivals, though the majority of Edwards's sermons were not this dramatic. Indeed, he used this style deliberately. As historian George Marsden put it, "Edwards could take for granted...that a New England audience knew well the Gospel remedy. The problem was getting them to seek it." -- **Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God, A Sermon Preached at Enfield, July 8, 1741, by Rev. Jonathan Edwards. Published at Boston, 1741 -- The movement met with opposition from conservative Congregationalist ministers. In 1741, Edwards published in its defense The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, dealing particularly with the phenomena most criticized: the swoonings, outcries and convulsions. These "bodily effects," he insisted, were not distinguishing marks of the work of the Spirit of God one way or another; but so bitter was the feeling against the revival in the more strictly Puritan churches that, in 1742, he was forced to write a second apology, Thoughts on the Revival in New England, his main argument being the great moral improvement of the country. In the same pamphlet, he defends an appeal to the emotions, and advocates preaching terror when necessary, even to children, who in God's sight "are young vipers… if not Christ's." He considers "bodily effects" incidental to the real work of God, but his own mystic devotion and the experiences of his wife during the Awakening (which he gives in detail) make him think that the divine visitation usually overpowers the body, a view in support of which he quotes Scripture. In reply to Edwards, Charles Chauncy wrote Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England in 1743 and anonymously penned The Late Religious Commotions in New England Considered in the same year. In these works he urged conduct as the sole test of conversion; and the general convention of Congregational ministers in the Province of Massachusetts Bay protested "against disorders in practice which have of late obtained in various parts of the land." -- In spite of Edwards's able pamphlet, the impression had become widespread that "bodily effects" were recognized by the promoters of the Great Awakening as the true tests of conversion. To offset this feeling, Edwards preached at Northampton, during the years 1742 and 1743, a series of sermons published under the title of Religious Affections (1746), a restatement in a more philosophical and general tone of his ideas as to "distinguishing marks." In 1747, he joined the movement started in Scotland called the "concert in prayer," and in the same year published An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God's People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ's Kingdom on Earth. In 1749, he published a memoir of David Brainerd who had lived with his family for several months and had died at Northampton in 1747. Brainerd had been constantly attended by Edwards's daughter Jerusha, to whom he was rumored to have been engaged to be married, though there is no surviving evidence for this. In the course of elaborating his theories of conversion Edwards used Brainerd and his ministry as a case study, making extensive notes of his conversions and confessions. [link]

SermonAudio: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (Mp3)

"Great Sermon!" This particular reading of the "greatest sermon ever preached on American soil", scared the hell out of me. Even as a regenerated Christian, I was trembling throughout the entire sermon. The actor who performed the reading of this certainly outdid himself. I would recommend this particular reading (produced by cloudaudio.com) over all the others. [link]

Wikipedia: Charles Finney (Finney (August 29, 1792 - August 16, 1875) -- An American preacher and leader in the Second Great [American] Awakening - He has been called The Father of Modern Revivalism [Alter calls and the 'sinners prayer'] - Finney was best known as an innovative revivalist, an opponent of Old School Presbyterian theology, an advocate of Christian perfectionism, a pioneer in social reforms in favor of women and blacks, a religious writer, and president at Oberlin College -- {Note: Charles Finney (1792 -1875) was one of the greatest men of the Christian faith. -- Finney was a primary influence on the "revival" style of theology which emerged in the 19th century (1800's). Though coming from a Calvinistic background, Finney rejected (Shepherding) tenets of "Old Divinity" Calvinism "Old School Presbyterian theology" which he felt were unbiblical and counter to evangelism and the Christian mission. - Wiki.com}

Theology: Finney was a primary influence on the "revival" style of theology which emerged in the 19th century. Though coming from a Calvinistic background, Finney rejected tenets of "Old Divinity" Calvinism which he felt were unbiblical and counter to evangelism and Christian mission. -- Finney's theology is difficult to classify, as can be observed in his masterwork, Religious Revivals. In this work, he emphasizes the involvement of a person's will in salvation. Whether he believed the will was free to repent or not repent, or whether he viewed God as inclining the will irresistibly (as in Calvinist doctrine, where the will of an elect individual is changed by God so that they now desire to repent, thus repenting with their will and not against it, but not being free in whether they choose repentance since they must choose what their will is inclined towards), is not made clear. Finney, like most Protestants, affirmed salvation by grace through faith alone, not by works or by obedience. Finney also affirmed that works were the evidence of faith. The presence of unrepentant sin thus evidenced that a person had not received salvation. -- In his Systematic Theology, Finney remarks that "I have felt greater hesitancy in forming and expressing my views upon this Perseverance of the saints, than upon almost any other question in theology." At the same time, he took the presence of unrepented sin in the life of a professing Christian as evidence that they must immediately repent or be lost. Finney draws support for this position from Peter's treatment of the baptized Simon (see Acts 8) and Paul's instruction of discipline to the Corinthian church (see 1 Corinthians 5). This type of teaching underscores the strong emphasis on personal holiness found in Finney's writings. -- Finney's understanding of the atonement was that it satisfied "public justice" and that it opened up the way for God to pardon people of their sin. This was the so-called New Divinity which was popular at that time period. In this view, Christ's death satisfied public justice rather than retributive justice. As Finney put it, it was not a "commercial transaction." This view of the atonement is typically known as the governmental view or government view. -- Princeton Theological Seminary Professor Albert Baldwin Dod reviewed Finney's 1835 book Lectures on Revivals of Religion and rejected it as theologically unsound from a Calvinistic perspective, not necessarily from a Christian perspective. Dod was a defender of Old School Calvinist orthodoxy (see Princeton theologians) and was especially critical of Finney's view of the doctrine of total depravity. [link]

Charles Finney Revivals - Charles Finney Messages - Sermons From The Penny Pulpit (Resources)

CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE: LECTURES TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS (1836-37). DELIVERED IN THE CITY OF NEW-YORK, 1836 AND 1837. BY CHARLES G. FINNEY - What is the gospel, and what is Christianity? Are there false converts in the church? What is the real difference between true and false converts? Why do Christians struggle to live a life of obedience, and to win the lost to Christ? Does salvation really produce holiness? Does Christ actually make us holy so that we can enter heaven? Is this the message of the gospel? And how can we ourselves become HOLY? [link]

Christian and Missionary Alliance: TOZER DEVOTIONAL, THOUGHTS ON COMMUNION - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - What a sweet comfort to us that our Lord Jesus Christ was once known in the breaking of the bread - In earlier Christian times, believers called the Communion "the medicine of immortality," and God gave them the desire to pray - But do not then depart; Savior, abide with us and spread Thy table **in our heart [not just in our mind]

THOUGHTS ON COMMUNION: What a sweet comfort to us that our Lord Jesus Christ was once known in the breaking of the bread. In earlier Christian times, believers called the Communion "the medicine of immortality," and God gave them the desire to pray: Be known to us in breaking bread, But do not then depart; Savior, abide with us and spread Thy table **in our heart [not just in our mind]. Some churches have a teaching that you will find God only at their table-and that you leave God there when you leave. I am so glad that God has given us light. We may take the Presence of the table with us. We may take the Bread of life with us as we go. Then sup with us in love divine, Thy body and Thy blood; That living bread and heavenly wine Be our immortal food! In approaching the table of our Lord, we dare not forget the cost to our elder Brother, the Man who was from heaven. He is our Savior; He is our Passover! [link]

Revival Hymn a Call to Action (Video & Mp3 Downloads)

Have We No Tears for Revival? "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Ps. 126:5). This is the divine edict. This is more than preaching with zeal. This is more than scholarly exposition. This is more than delivering sermons of exegetical exactitude and homiletic perfection. Such a man, whether preacher or pew dweller, is appalled at the shrinking authority of the Church in the present drama of cruelty in the world. And he cringes with sorrow that men turn a deaf ear to the Gospel and willingly risk eternal hell in the process. Under this complex burden, his heart is crushed to tears. The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the blindness of the Church, grieved at the corruption in the Church, grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. He is embarrassed that the Church folks no longer cry in their despair before a devil-ridden, sin-mad society, "Why could we not cast him out?" (Matt. 17:19). [link]

Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) - Erasmus' Bible Version the 'Textus Receptus' meaning the 'Received Texts' - In considering the experiences of Linacre and Colet, the great scholar Erasmus was so moved to correct the corrupt Latin Vulgate, that in 1516 A.D., with the help of printer John Froben, he published a Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament - The Latin part was not the corrupt Vulgate, but his own fresh rendering of the text from the more accurate and reliable Greek, which he had managed to collate from a half-dozen partial old Greek New Testament manuscripts he had acquired - This milestone was the first non-Latin Vulgate text of the scripture to be produced in a millennium… and the first ever to come off a printing press - The 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus further focused attention on just how corrupt and inaccurate the Latin Vulgate had become, and how important it was to go back and use the original Greek (New Testament) and original Hebrew (Old Testament) languages to maintain accuracy {Note: The King James Version Bible published in 1611 A.D. is an English TRANSLATION from the Greek New Testament and Hebrew Old Testament texts assembled by Erasmus that he published in 1516 A.D. as the Textus Receptus. The 1611 KJV Bible is for the most part a word for word Translation and not a paraphrase so the accuracy of the 1611 KJV translation can easily be checked for errors or corruptions by simply comparing it to the Greek and Hebrew of the previously published (1516 A.D.) Textus Receptus. The scholarship of the KJV translation was the very best the world had to offer at that time, or possibly of any time since the time of the Apostles and as the best scholars they didn't write the Bible or even re-write the Bible they only TRANSLATED the already written Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew into the English of our day and Nationality.}

Writings of Erasmus: His more serious writings begin early with the Enchiridion Militis Christiani, the "Manual (or Dagger) of the Christian Gentleman" (1503). In this little volume Erasmus outlines the views of the normal Christian life which he was to spend the rest of his days in elaborating. The key-note of it all is sincerity. The chief evil of the day, he says, is formalism, a respect for traditions, a regard for what other people think essential, but never a thought of what the true teaching of Christ may be. Another of Erasmus's books worthy of mention was, Praise of Folly, dedicated to his friend Sir Thomas More. -- While in England Erasmus began the systematic examination of manuscripts of the New Testament to prepare for a new edition and Latin translation. This edition was published by Froben of Basel in 1516 and was the basis of most of the scientific study of the Bible during the Reformation period. It was the first attempt on the part of a competent and liberal-minded scholar to ascertain what the writers of the New Testament had actually said. The Greek text produced by Erasmus is known as textus receptus and was the basis for the King James Version of the New Testament. Erasmus dedicated his work ironically, to Pope Leo X., and he justly regarded this work as his chief service to the cause of a sound Christianity. Immediately after he began the publication of his Paraphrases of the New Testament, a popular presentation of the contents of the several books. These, like all the writings of Erasmus, were in Latin, but they were at once translated into the common languages of the European peoples, a process which received the hearty approval of Erasmus himself. [link]

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) -- (Occult) philosopher and statesman, was the youngest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper, by his second wife - In 1596 he was made a Queen's Counsel, but missed the appointment of Master of the Rolls, and in the next year (1597), he published the first edition of his Essays, ten in number, combined with Sarced Meditations and the Coulours of Good and Evil - In his great office Bacon showed a failure of character in striking contrast with the majesty of his intellect - He was corrupt alike politically and judicially - Thenceforth he devoted himself to study and writing (aka William Shakespeare) - In 1622 appeared his History of Henry VII, and the 3rd part of the Instauratio; in 1623, History of Life and Death, the De Augmentis Scientarum, a Latin translation of the Advancement, and in 1625 the 3rd edition of the Essays, now 58 in number - He also published Apophthegms, **and a translation [here we have the beginnings of what we have so much of today, modern occultists translating versions of the Bible] of some of the Psalms -- The intellect of Bacon was one of the most powerful and searching ever possessed by man, and his developments of the inductive philosophy revolutionised the future thought of the human race

Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam, and Viscount St. Alban's, philosopher and statesman, was the youngest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper, by his second wife, a daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, whose sister married William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the great minister of Queen Elizabeth. He was born at York House in the Strand on Jan. 22, 1561, and in his 13th year was sent with his elder brother Anthony to Trinity College, Cambridge. Here he first met the Queen, who was impressed by his precocious intellect, and was accustomed to call him "the young Lord Keeper." Here also he became dissatisfied with the Aristotelian philosophy as being unfruitful and leading only to resultless disputation. -- In 1576 he entered Gray's Inn, and in the same year joined the embassy of Sir Amyas Paulet to France, where he remained until 1579. The death of his father in that year, before he had completed an intended provision for him, gave an adverse turn to his fortunes, and rendered it necessary that he should decide upon a profession. He accordingly returned to Gray's Inn, and, after an unsuccessful attempt to induce Burghley to give him a post at court, and thus enable him to devote himself to a life of learning, he gave himself seriously to the study of law, and was called to the Bar in 1582. He did not, however, desert philosophy, and published a Latin tract, Temporis Partus Maximus (the Greatest Birth of Time), the first rough draft of his own system. -- Two years later, in 1584, he entered the House of Commons as member for Melcombe, sitting subsequently for Taunton (1586), Liverpool (1589), Middlesex (1593), and Southampton (1597). In the Parliament of 1586 he took a prominent part in urging the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. About this time he seems again to have approached his powerful uncle, the result of which may possibly be traced in his rapid progress at the Bar, and in his receiving, in 1589, the reversion to the Clerkship of the Star Chamber, a valuable appointment, into the enjoyment of which, however, he did not enter until 1608. -- About 1591 he formed a friendship with the Earl of Essex, from whom he received many tokens of kindness ill requited. In 1593 the offices of Attorney-general, and subsequently of Solicitor-general became vacant, and Essex used his influence on Bacon's behalf, but unsuccessfully, the former being given to Coke, the famous lawyer. These disappointments may have been owing to a speech made by Bacon on a question of subsidies. To console him for them Essex presented him with a property at Twickenham, which he subsequently sold for £1800, equivalent to a much larger sum now. -- In 1596 he was made a Queen's Counsel, but missed the appointment of Master of the Rolls, and in the next year (1597), he published the first edition of his Essays, ten in number, combined with Sarced Meditations and the Coulours of Good and Evil. By 1601 Essex had lost the Queen's favour, and had raised his rebellion, and Bacon was one of those appointed to investigate the charges against him, and examine witnesess, in connection with which he showed an ungrateful and indecent eagerness in pressing the case against his former friend and benefactor, who was executed on Feb. 25, 1601. This act Bacon endeavoured to justify in A Declaration of the Practices and Treasons, etc., of...the Earl of Essex, etc. His circumstances had for some time been bad, and he had been arrested for debt: he had, however, received a gift of a fine of £1200 on one of Essex's accomplices. -- The accession of James VI in 1603 gave a favourable turn to his fortunes: he was knighted, and endeavoured to set himself right with the new powers by writing his Apologie (defence) of his proceedings in the case of Essex, who had favoured the succession of James. In the first Parliament of the new king he sat for St. Alban's, and was appointed a Commissioner for Union with Scotland. In 1605 he published The Advancement of Learning, dedicated, with fulsome flattery, to the king. The following year he married Alice Barnham, the daughter of a London merchant, and in 1607 he was made Solicitor-General, and wrote Cogita et Visa, a first sketch of the Novum Organum, followed in 1609 by The Wisdom of the Ancients. -- Meanwhile (in 1608), he had entered upon the Clerkship of the Star Chamber, and was in the enjoyment of a large income; but old debts and present extravagance kept him embarrassed, and he endeavoured to obtain further promotion and wealth by supporting the king in his arbitrary policy. In 1613 he became Attorney-General, and in this capacity prosecuted Somerset in 1616. The year 1618 saw him Lord Keeper, and the next Lord Chancellor and Baron Verulam, a title which, in 1621, he exchanged for that of Viscount St. Albans. Meanwhile he had written the New Atlantis, a political romance, and in 1620 he presented to the king the Novum Organum, on which he had been engaged for 30 years, and which ultimately formed the main part of the Instauratio Magna. -- In his great office Bacon showed a failure of character in striking contrast with the majesty of his intellect. He was corrupt alike politically and judicially, and now the hour of retribution arrived. In 1621 a Parliamentary Committee on the administration of the law charged him with corruption under 23 counts; and so clear was the evidence that he made no attempt at defence. To the lords, who sent a committee to inquire whether the confession was really his, he replied, "My lords, it is my act, my hand, and my heart; I beseech your lordships to be merciful to a broken reed." He was sentenced to a fine of £40,000, remitted by the king, to be committed to the Tower during the king's pleasure (which was that he should be released in a few days), and to be incapable of holding office or sitting in parliament. He narrowly escaped being deprived of his titles. -- Thenceforth he devoted himself to study and writing. In 1622 appeared his History of Henry VII, and the 3rd part of the Instauratio; in 1623, History of Life and Death, the De Augmentis Scientarum, a Latin translation of the Advancement, and in 1625 the 3rd edition of the Essays, now 58 in number. He also published Apophthegms, and a translation of some of the Psalms. -- His life was now approaching its close. In March, 1626, he came to London, and shortly after, when driving on a snowy day, the idea struck him of making an experiment as to the antiseptic properties of snow, in consequence of which he caught a chill, which ended in his death on 9th April 1626. He left debts to the amount of £22,000. At the time of his death he was engaged upon Sylva Sylvarum. -- The intellect of Bacon was one of the most powerful and searching ever possessed by man, and his developments of the inductive philosophy revolutionised the future thought of the human race. [link]

Who wrote the Bible that you are reading? - Satan, Demons, necromancers, drunks, occult and Bible Translators writing modern Bibles - The two main perpetrators of the crime of mutilating the Word of God are Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort who lived in the 1880's and their work has caused a virtual death blow to the pure Word of God - John R. Kohlenberger of Zondervan which published the NASB, Living Bible, Amplified Bible, NIV, and RSV said that all versions that have come after the King James Version from the RSV to the present versions have come from the text [of Westcott and Hort] that was developed by these two snakes who feign themselves translators of the pure Word of God - Wilbur Pickering, author of The Identity of the New Testament Text states, "The W-H (Westcott-Hort) critical theory is erroneous at every point" {Note: Where Erasmus compiled the Textus Receptus from known reliable Byzantium [the region of Galatia where the Apostles traveled, preached and wrote some of their epistles] sources in 1516 A.D. later in 1881 A.D. Westcott and Hort would fashion together a counterfeit Greek N.T. version designed to supplant Erasmus' famous Textus Receptus. The 'Siniaticus' text of Westcott-Hort is supposedly based on Greek texts from Mt. Sinai in Egypt [the other Mt. Sinai] though the Siniaticus is clearly an Alexandrian Gnostic text.}

I have just finished reading a fantastic book by G.A. Riplinger entitled, "New Age Bible Versions." Among other things, it details who the writers were of the Greek Text used to translate the NIV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NAB, REB, RSV, CEV, TEV, GNB LIVING, PHILLIPS, NEW JERUSALEM, and NEW CENTURY versions of the Bible. If you own one of these, you probably bought them because they supposedly come from the most ancient manuscripts and they are more accurate and authentic than the old standard King James Version of the Bible. WRONG!!!!! If you are reading one of these versions, it is a compilation of the work of Satan, Demons, drunks, necromancers, channelers, ghost followers, Nazi staff members, Lucifer worshipers, Plato, Origin, Philo, and many other NEW AGE (demon inspired) thinkers who want nothing more than to bring in a One World Government under a New World Order, with the Anti-Christ as the ruler of the world, and Marxism as the world political system. What angers me the most is that supposedly God fearing ministers of the Gospel have, like the Pied Piper, led their congregations by a passive attitude that will open up the door to the religion of the Anti-Christ one day. -- I just wrote an email to a good friend of mine, a minister, who sent me an email with a quote from one of these OCCULT translations of the bible. He is a good man and a soul-winner. I then realized that the Bible is true when it says that in the last days deceivers will come that will deceive, "if it were possible," the very elect. I then knew that it is happening right before our very eyes. People purchase Bibles thinking that there are godly men that have made these new translations with much care along with prayer and that they are delivering what is the most accurate copy of the Word of God in existence today. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. Since the book that I cited above gives more evidence than I can possibly give here, I want to tell you about the men that did the translations of the revised Greek text and some of their friends and acquaintances. Once you have read this, if you can continue using one of these OCCULT versions of the Bible, God help your soul. [link]

Lighthouse Trails Publishing - Looking Back at 2011 and Looking Ahead at 2012 - "HarperCollins Buys Thomas Nelson, Will Control 50% of Christian Publishing Market" - And many of the more established Christian publishers have been bought out by huge secular corporations giving their marketing budgets even more clout

As Lighthouse Trails Publishing (the publishing arm of Lighthouse Trails Research Project) soon nears the end of our 10th year (10 years this coming March), we'd like to take a moment to ponder 2011, which was a busy year for us. It's not easy being a small publisher in today's western society where book reading is being slowly squeezed out of many people's lives by the Internet, television, radio, and a host of other technological inventions. Not only that, small publishing houses must compete with the large houses that seem to have marketing budgets that keep them selling thousands, if not millions, of books. And many of the more established Christian publishers have been bought out by huge secular corporations giving their marketing budgets even more clout. An article in Christianity Today this past fall titled "HarperCollins Buys Thomas Nelson, Will Control 50% of Christian Publishing Market" is a case in point. HarperCollins bought Zondervan in 1988. Thomas Nelson and Zondervan are Christian publishing's two largest publishing house. -- But in spite of the huge challenge it is for small publishers to stay in business, Lighthouse Trails is still here after nearly a decade. We believe that God has continued to provide for us; and we thank Him for giving us the wisdom to keep our overhead small, live and work as simply and frugally as we can, and never lower our standards from what we believe they should be just so we can sell more books. We'll never be a Thomas Nelson or Zondervan (we think that might be a good thing considering their move toward contemplative and emerging), but we hope and pray we can be around another ten years and represent even more authors than we already have who have biblical and personal integrity. [link]

Firestorm grows over 'Christian heresy' book - "A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived" was heading towards universalism (i.e. everyone goes to their own version of heaven regardless of their acceptance of the cross, works and sacrifice of Jesus Christ) - The book was scheduled to be released March 29, 2011 but Harper One [HarperCollins] pushed the release up to March 15 [Ides of March] - next Tuesday {Possibly intentionally being released on the 15th of March to commemorate yet another NWO accomplished agenda and stab in the back to traditional Christianity.}

He said the controversy swirling is unlike anything else he has seen in this category of books. "I'm not sure I've ever seen this amount of anticipation," he said. "Love Wins" is Bell's first book since his break from Zondervan, the Christian publisher based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that published Bell's first four books and also publishes the New International Version [NIV] of the Bible, one of the most popular translations of the Bible among evangelicals. Bell's split from Zondervan came in part over this new book. "The break with Zondervan was amicable," Tauber said. "In the end the president of Zondervan made the decision. The proposal came in and they said, 'This proposal doesn't fit in with our mission.'" Zondervan would not discuss its relationship with Bell but released a statement: Zondervan has published four books by Rob Bell, as well as numerous Nooma videos in which Rob was featured. We published these titles because we believed they were consistent with Zondervan's [fooling of Christians - occult] mission statement and publishing philosophy. We still believe these titles are impactful with their message and positive contribution and intend to continue to publish them. Tauber said when he got the call that Bell's new book was up for bid, HarperOne jumped at the chance. "There were at least four or five major publishers that were involved in bidding for this book," he said. *When pressed for financial figures of the deal, he said, "We're talking a six-figure deal for the advance, but I can't say more than that." Tauber said HarperOne had been "keeping an eye on him" since Bell's first [ghost authored - actually written by an anonymous, interested, agenda driven, vested 3rd party] book, "Velvet Elvis," came in as a proposal. That book went on to sell 500,000 copies. Bell skyrocketed to prominence with the the Nooma series, which were short teachings by Bell, away from the pulpit and with indie film sensibilities. The high production values and quick releases of the short films made them a hit in [easily deceived] evangelical circles. In them Bell honed his trademark style of asking tough traditional questions about faith and exploring them from angles other than traditional answers. [link]

Satanic Bible by Anton La Vey (called "The Black Pope") -- from HarperCollins Publishers owend by Fox News Channel owner Rupert Murdoch

Called "The Black Pope" by many of his followers, Anton La Vey began the road to High Priesthood of the (lurch of Satan when he was only 16 years old and an organ player in a carnival: ... From that time early in his life his path was clear. Finally, on the last night of April, 1966 -- Walpurgisnacht, the most important festival of the believers in witchcraft -- LaVey shaved his head in the tradition of Ancient executioners and announced the formation of The Church Of Satan. He had seen the need for a church that would recapture man's body and his carnal desires as objects of celebration. [link]

More Than A Wizard: L. Frank Baum by Cat Rambo Published May 2009 -- Politically, Baum was a flaming liberal - His wife was the daughter of suffrage leader Matilda Joslyn Gage, ** [Theosophist - occult] author of The Women's Bible and companion to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Lyman Frank Baum, author of Ozma of Oz, didn't just write one of the most popular children's books in history. He also produced thirteen other Oz books as well as over 40 other novels, 82 short stories, hundreds of poems, and an unknown number of scripts. -- As a young man, Baum was a printer, producing several amateur newspapers, a poultry breeder specializing in the Hamburg chicken, and a theater lover. Despite working as a clerk in his brother-in-law's dry goods store, he found time to perform in plays until eventually his father, who owned numerous opera houses and theaters, built him a theater on his 24th birthday. Baum wrote plays, including the highly successful musical "The Maid of Arran," and composed music for them as well. Two years later he married Maud Gage, and moved with her a few years later to Aberdeen in the Dakota Territory, where he operated a store called "Baum's Bazaar." In 1890 the store failed, and Baum turned to newspaper writing and working as a traveling salesman. -- He believed deeply in the power of children's literature, saying "Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams - day dreams with your eyes wide open - are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization." -- Politically, Baum was a flaming liberal. His wife was the daughter of suffrage leader Matilda Joslyn Gage, author of The Women's Bible and companion to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Baum wrote editorials trying to convince the public to vote for women's suffrage and served as secretary of Aberdeen's Women Suffrage Club. [link]

Wikipedia: Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826 - 1898) -- Gage was considered to be more radical than either Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton (with whom she wrote History of Woman Suffrage) - Along with Stanton, she was a vocal critic of the Christian Church, which put her at odds with conservative suffragists such as Frances Willard and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union - Despite her opposition to the Church, Gage was in her own way deeply religious [occult - the Theosophical Society], and **she joined Stanton's Revising Committee to write 'The Woman's Bible' - She became a Theosophist and encouraged her children and their spouses to do so, some of whom did

Family: A daughter of the early abolitionist Hezekiah Joslyn, Gage was the wife of Henry Hill Gage, with whom she had five children: Charles Henry (who died in infancy), Helen Leslie, Thomas Clarkson, Julia Louise, and Maud. Gage maintained residence in Fayetteville, New York for the majority of her life. Though Gage was cremated, there is a memorial stone at Fayetteville Cemetery that bears her slogan "There is a word sweeter than Mother, Home or Heaven. That word is Liberty." -- Maud, who was ten years younger than Julia, initially horrified her mother when she chose to marry The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum at a time when he was a struggling actor with only a handful of plays (of which only The Maid of Arran survives) to his writing credit. However, a few minutes after the initial announcement, Gage started laughing, apparently realizing that her emphasis on all individuals making up their own minds was not lost on her headstrong daughter, who gave up a chance at a law career when the opportunity for women was rare. Gage spent six months of every year with Maud and Frank, and died in the Baum home in Chicago, Illinois in 1898. -- Gage's son Thomas Clarkson Gage and his wife Sophia had a daughter named Dorothy Louise Gage, who was born in Bloomington, IL, on June 11, 1898 and died just five months later on November 11, 1898. The death so upset the child's aunt Maud, who had always longed for a daughter, that she required medical attention. Thomas Clarkson Gage's child was the namesake of her uncle Frank Baum's famed fictional character, Dorothy Gale. In 1996, Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, a biographer of Matilda Joslyn Gage, located young Dorothy's grave in Bloomington. A memorial was erected in the child's memory at her gravesite on May 21, 1997. This child is often mistaken for her cousin of the same name, Dorothy Louise Gage (1883-1889), Helen Leslie (Gage) Gage's child. As theosophists, both the Baums and the Gages believed in reincarnation, and thought this child might have been Matilda Joslyn Gage, whose personal spark is apparently written into the character. -- In The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story, Gage was played by Rue McClanahan, whose relationship with Frank was wrongly portrayed as antagonistic, and falsely presented Gage as the inspiration for the Wicked Witch of the West. Annette O'Toole played Maud, and Nancy Morgan and Pat Skipper played Helen and Charles, respectively. [link]

Wikipedia: The Woman's Bible - The Woman's Bible is a two-part book, written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a committee of 26 women, and published in 1895 and 1898 to challenge the traditional position of religious orthodoxy that woman should be subservient to man - By producing the book, Stanton wished to promote a radical liberating theology, one that stressed self-development - The book attracted a great deal of controversy and antagonism at its introduction - Although it was never accepted by Bible scholars as a major work, it became a popular best-seller

Many women's rights activists who worked with Stanton were opposed to the publication of The Woman's Bible; they felt it would harm the drive for women's suffrage. Although it was never accepted by Bible scholars as a major work, it became a popular best-seller, much to the dismay of suffragists who worked alongside Stanton within the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Susan B. Anthony tried to calm the younger suffragists, but they issued a formal denunciation of the book, and worked to distance the suffrage movement from Stanton's broader scope which included attacks on traditional religion. Because of the widespread negative reaction, including suffragists who had been close to her, publication of the book effectively ended Stanton's influence in the suffrage movement. -- In 1881, 1885 and 1894, the Church of England published a Revised Version of the Bible, the first new English version in over two centuries. Stanton was dissatisfied with the Revised Version's failure to include recent scholarship from Bible expert Julia Smith. ... Stanton assembled a "Revising Committee" to draft commentary on the new Bible version. Many of those she approached in person and by letter refused to take part, especially scholars who would be risking their professional reputations. Some 26 people agreed to help. Sharing Stanton's determination, the committee wished to correct biblical interpretation which was biased against women, and to bring attention to the small fraction of the Bible which discussed women. They intended to demonstrate that it was not divine will that humiliated women, but human desire for domination. The committee was made up of women who were not Bible scholars, but who were interested in biblical interpretation and were active in women's rights. Among the more famous members of the international committee were Augusta Jane Chapin, Lillie Devereux Blake, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Olympia Brown, Alexandra Gripenberg, Ursula Mellor Bright and Irma von Troll-Borostyáni. -- Reaction: At its introduction, The Woman's Bible was widely criticized in editorials and from the pulpit. Stanton wrote that "the clergy denounced it as the work of Satan ..." Some were put off just by its prejudicial, sacrilegious title, especially those who did not take the time to read the book. Others countered the book's more extreme conclusions one by one in public fora such as letters to the editor. One female reader of The New York Times wrote to decry The Woman's Bible for its radical statements that the Trinity was composed of "a Heavenly Mother, Father, and Son", and that prayers should be addressed to an "ideal Heavenly Mother". Mary Seymour Howell, a member of the Revising Committee, wrote to The New York Times in defense of the book, saying that its title could be better understood as "The Woman's Commentary on the Women of the Bible". Stanton countered attacks by women readers, writing "the only difference between us is, we say that these degrading ideas of woman emanated from the brain of man, while the church says that they came from God." -- Susan B. Anthony, Stanton's best and most faithful collaborator, concluded after years of working for women's rights that the concentration on one issue-votes for women-was the key to bringing success to the movement. The women's organizations had too varied a membership to agree on anything more complex. Stanton insisted, however, that the women's rights conventions were too narrowly focused; she brought forward a variety of challenging concepts in the form of essays for Anthony to read to the audiences. When Stanton made known her interest in completing The Woman's Bible, Anthony was unhappy at the futility of the effort, a harmful digression from the focused path which led to woman suffrage. Anthony wrote to Clara Colby to say of Stanton "of all her great speeches, I am always proud-but of her Bible commentaries, I am not proud-either of their spirit or letter ... But I shall love and honor her to the end-whether her Bible please me or not. So I hope she will do for me." -- At the NAWSA convention January 23-28, 1896, Corresponding Secretary Rachel Foster Avery led the battle to distance the organization from The Woman's Bible. After Susan B. Anthony opened the convention on January 23, Avery surprised Anthony by stating to the more than 100 members of the audience: During the latter part of the year the work has been in several directions much hindered by the general misconception of the relation of the so-called "Woman's Bible" to our association. As an organization we have been held responsible for the action of an individual ... in issuing a volume with a pretentious title, covering a jumble of comment ... without either scholarship or literary value, set forth in a spirit which is neither reverent nor inquiring. Avery called for a resolution: "That this Association is non-sectarian, being composed of persons of all shades of religious opinion, and that it has no connection with the so-called 'Woman's Bible', or any theological publication." The motion was tabled until later, and motions were made to strike Avery's comments from the official record. A complete account of Avery's remarks were reported the next day in The New York Times. The opinion of NAWSA delegate Laura Clay, expressed in her Southern Committee report on January 27 that "the South is ready for woman suffrage, but it must be woman suffrage and nothing else," was typical of responses to The Woman's Bible conflict. Most suffragists wanted only to work on the right to vote, "without attaching it to dress reform, or bicycling, or anything else ..." On the afternoon of January 28, a list of Resolutions was put to a vote. The first seven were passed without comment. The eighth was Avery's proposed dissociation with The Woman's Bible, and its presence caused an active debate. Anna Howard Shaw, Alice Stone Blackwell, Henry Browne Blackwell, Carrie Chapman Catt and others spoke in favor, while Lillie Devereux Blake, Clara B. Colby, and more spoke against it. Anthony left her chair to join the debate against the resolution, and spoke at length, saying "Lucretia Mott at first thought Mrs. Stanton had injured the cause of woman's rights by insisting on the demand for woman suffrage, but she had sense enough not to pass a resolution about it ..." A majority of 53 to 41 delegates approved the resolution, an action which was seen as a censure of Stanton, and one which was never repealed. Avery's opening report of January 23 was adopted with the part about The Woman's Bible expunged. -- Legacy: Stanton wished for a greater degree of scholarship in The Woman's Bible, but was unable to convince Bible scholars of her day to take part in what was expected to be a controversial project. Scholars continued to avoid addressing the subject of sexism in the Bible until 1964 when Margaret Brackenbury Crook published Women and Religion, a study of the status of women in Judaism and Christianity. Subsequent works by Letty Russell and Phyllis Trible furthered the connection between feminism and the Bible. Today, biblical scholarship by women has come into maturity, with women posing new questions about the Bible, and challenging the very basis of biblical studies. Stanton herself was marginalized in the women's suffrage movement after publication of The Woman's Bible. From that time forward, Susan B. Anthony took the place of honor among the majority of suffragettes. Stanton was never again invited to sit in a place of honor on stage at the NAWSA convention. [link]

Wikipedia: L. Frank Baum (1856 - 1919) -- was an [occult] American author of children's books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - He wrote thirteen novel sequels, nine other fantasy novels, and a host of other works (55 novels in total, plus four "lost" novels, 82 short stories, over 200 poems, an unknown number of scripts, and many miscellaneous writings), and made numerous attempts to bring his works to the stage and screen - His works predicted such century-later commonplaces as television, laptop computers (The Master Key), wireless telephones (Tik-Tok of Oz), women in high risk, action-heavy occupations (Mary Louise in the Country), and the ubiquity of advertising on clothing (Aunt Jane's Nieces at Work)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: In 1900, Baum and Denslow (with whom he shared the copyright) published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to much critical acclaim and financial success. The book was the best-selling children's book for two years after its initial publication. Baum went on to write thirteen more novels based on the places and people of the Land of Oz. ... His final Oz book, Glinda of Oz was published on July 10, 1920, a year after his death. The Oz series was continued long after his death by other authors, notably Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote an additional nineteen Oz books. ... Baum also anonymously wrote The Last Egyptian: A Romance of the Nile. -- Baum continued theatrical work with Harry Marston Haldeman's men's social group, The Uplifters, for which he wrote several plays for various celebrations. He also wrote the group's parodic by-laws. The group, which also included Will Rogers, was proud to have had Baum as a member and posthumously revived many of his works despite their ephemeral intent. Although many of these play's titles are known, only The Uplift of Lucifer is known to survive (it was published in a limited edition in the 1960s). Prior to that, his last produced play was The Tik-Tok Man of Oz (based on Ozma of Oz and the basis for Tik-Tok of Oz), a modest success in Hollywood that producer Oliver Morosco decided did not do well enough to take to Broadway. Morosco, incidentally, quickly turned to film production, as would Baum. -- In 1914, having moved to Hollywood years earlier, Baum started his own film production company, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, which came as an outgrowth of the Uplifters. He served as its president, and principal producer and screenwriter. The rest of the board consisted of Louis F. Gottschalk, Harry Marston Haldeman, and Clarence R. Rundel. The films were directed by J. Farrell MacDonald, with casts that included Violet MacMillan, Vivian Reed, Mildred Harris, Juanita Hansen, Pierre Couderc, Mai Welles, Louise Emmons, J. Charles Haydon, and early appearances by Harold Lloyd and Hal Roach. Silent film actor Richard Rosson appeared in one of the films, whose younger brother Harold Rosson photographed The Wizard of Oz (1939). After little success probing the unrealized children's film market, Baum came clean about who wrote The Last Egyptian and made a film of it (portions of which are included in Decasia), but the Oz name had, for the time being, become box office poison and even a name change to Dramatic Feature Films and transfer of ownership to Frank Joslyn Baum did not help. Unlike with The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, Baum invested none of his own money in the venture, but the stress probably took its toll on his health. -- On May 5, 1919, Baum suffered from a stroke. He died quietly the next day, nine days short of his 63rd birthday. At the end he mumbled in his sleep, then said, "Now we can cross the Shifting Sands." He was buried in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery. ... Political: Women's suffrage advocate - Sally Roesch Wagner of The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation has published a pamphlet titled The Wonderful Mother of Oz describing how Matilda Gage's radical feminist politics were sympathetically channeled by Baum into his Oz books. Much of the politics in the Republican Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer dealt with trying to convince the populace to vote for women's suffrage. Baum was the secretary of Aberdeen's Woman's Suffrage Club. When Susan B. Anthony visited Aberdeen, she stayed with the Baums. Nancy Tystad Koupal notes an apparent loss of interest in editorializing after Aberdeen failed to pass the bill for women's enfranchisement. Some of Baum's contacts with suffragists of his day seem to have inspired much of his second Oz story, The Marvelous Land of Oz. In this story, General Jinjur leads the girls and women of Oz in a revolt by knitting needles, take over, and make the men do the household chores. Jinjur proves to be an incompetent ruler, but a female advocating gender equality is ultimately placed on the throne. His Edith Van Dyne stories, including the Aunt Jane's Nieces, The Flying Girl and its sequel, and his girl sleuth Josie O'Gorman from The Bluebird Books, depict girls and young women engaging in traditionally masculine activities. ... Religion: Originally a Methodist (albeit a skeptical one), Baum joined the Episcopal Church in Aberdeen to participate in community theatricals. Later, he and his wife, encouraged by Matilda Joslyn Gage, became Theosophists, in 1897. Baum's beliefs are often reflected in his writing. The only mention of a church in his Oz books is the porcelain one which the Cowardly Lion breaks in the Dainty China Country in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Baums believed that religious decisions should be made by mature minds and sent their older sons to "Ethical Culture Sunday School" in Chicago, which taught morality, not religion. [link]

Introduction: In this part of the study we are going to examine the modern day phenomenon of the Church Denomination and specifically the characteristics of the personality preacher (male or female) - Where the ministries are oriented to where one individual molds and shapes the ministry after their own particular desires usually with the unspoken goal of increasing their own personal financial gain - It is in part a study of the misuse and collapse of the modern Church system, a system that has neglected righteousness and instead favors abuse, neglect and lies all cleverly wrapped and delivered in a container of arrogance, fraud and deceit - In other words this is simply the perils that exist in the present day modern Church

Note: even with the many problems that these and all the Denominations have both now and historically have had - each of these churches (Pentecostal, Foursquare, SBC, Calvary Chapel, etc.) are still for the most part a valid place to worship and the reason is because God is not a respecter of persons. Even though the person in the pulpit is less than honorable and possibly even a scoundrel at heart their limitations have not limited in any way the ability or desires of God to meet with a person desirous of having a personal, Biblical relationship with God. -- Romans 2:1-13 "But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: *For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." [link]

Wilipedia: 1906 Azusa Street Revival - The Azusa Street Revival was a historic Pentecostal revival meeting that took place in Los Angeles, California and is the origin of the Pentecostal movement - it was led by William J. Seymour, an African American preacher - It began with a meeting on April 14, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915 - The revival was characterized by ecstatic spiritual experiences accompanied by miracles, dramatic worship services, speaking in tongues, and inter-racial mingling - The participants were criticized by the secular media and Christian theologians for behaviors considered to be outrageous and unorthodox, especially at the time - Today, the revival is considered by historians to be the primary catalyst for the spread of Pentecostalism in the 20th century - The Apostolic Faith Mission on 312 Azusa Street, now considered to be the birthplace of Pentecostalism -- Every Church Member that is Charismatic or Pentecostal has roots that stem from The 1906 Azusa Street Revival! (TheAzusaStreetRevival.com)

Background: Welsh Revival - In 1904, the Welsh Revival took place, during which approximately 100,000 people in Wales joined the movement. Internationally, evangelical Christians took this event to be a sign that a fulfillment of the prophecy in the Bible's book of Joel, chapter 2:23-29 was about to take place. Joseph Smale, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Los Angeles, went to Wales personally in order to witness the revival. Upon his return to Los Angeles, he attempted to ignite a similar event in his own congregation. His attempts were short-lived, and he eventually left First Baptist Church to found First New Testament Church, where he continued his efforts. During this time, other small-scale revivals were taking place in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas. By 1905, reports of speaking in tongues, supernatural healings, and significant lifestyle changes accompanied these revivals. As news spread, evangelicals across the United States began to pray for similar revivals in their own congregations. -- Los Angeles: In 1905, William J. Seymour, the one-eyed 34 year old son of former slaves, was a student of well-known Pentecostal preacher Charles Parham and an interim pastor for a small holiness church in Houston, Texas. Neely Terry, an African American woman who attended a small holiness church pastored by Julia Hutchins in Los Angeles, made a trip to visit family in Houston late in 1905. While in Houston, she visited Seymour's church, where he preached the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, and though he had not experienced this personally, Terry was impressed with his character and message. Once home in California, Terry suggested that Seymour be invited to speak at the local church. Seymour received and accepted the invitation in February 1906, and he received financial help and a blessing from Parham for his planned one-month visit. -- Seymour arrived in Los Angeles on February 22, 1906, and within two days was preaching at Julia Hutchins' church at the corner of Ninth Street and Santa Fe Avenue. During his first sermon, he preached that speaking in tongues was the first biblical evidence of the inevitable baptism in the Holy Spirit. On the following Sunday, March 4, he returned to the church and found that Hutchins had padlocked the door. Elders of the church rejected Seymour's teaching, primarily because he had not yet experienced the blessing about which he was preaching. Condemnation of his message also came from the Holiness Church Association of Southern California with which the church had affiliation. However, not all members of Hutchins' church rejected Seymour's preaching. He was invited to stay in the home of congregation member Edward S. Lee, and he began to hold Bible studies and prayer meetings there. -- Seymour and his small group of new followers soon relocated to the home of Richard and Ruth Asberry at 214 North Bonnie Brae Street. White families from local holiness churches began to attend as well. The group would get together regularly and pray to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. On April 9, 1906, after five weeks of Seymour's preaching and prayer, and three days into an intended 10-day fast, Edward S. Lee spoke in tongues for the first time. At the next meeting, Seymour shared Lee's testimony and preached a sermon on Acts 2:4 and soon six others began to speak in tongues as well, including Jennie Moore, who would later become Seymour's wife. A few days later, on April 12, Seymour spoke in tongues for the first time after praying all night long. -- News of the events at North Bonnie Brae St. quickly circulated among the African American, Latino and White residents of the city, and for several nights, various speakers would preach to the crowds of curious and interested onlookers from the front porch of the Asberry home. Members of the audience included people from a broad spectrum of income levels and religious backgrounds. Hutchins eventually spoke in tongues as her whole congregation began to attend the meetings. Soon the crowds became very large and were full of people speaking in tongues, shouting, singing and moaning. Finally, the front porch collapsed, forcing the group to begin looking for a new meeting place. A resident of the neighborhood described the happenings at 214 North Bonnie Brae with the following words: They shouted three days and three nights. It was Easter season. The people came from everywhere. By the next morning there was no way of getting near the house. As people came in they would fall under God's power; and the whole city was stirred. They shouted until the foundation of the house gave way, but no one was hurt. -- Azusa Street: Conditions - The group from Bonnie Brae Street eventually discovered an available building at 312 Azusa Street in downtown Los Angeles, which had originally been constructed as an African Methodist Episcopal Church in what was then a black ghetto part of town. The rent was $8.00 per month. A newspaper referred to the downtown Los Angeles building as a "tumble down shack". Since the church had moved out, the building had served as a wholesale house, a warehouse, a lumberyard, stockyards, a tombstone shop, and had most recently been used as a stable with rooms for rent upstairs. It was a small, rectangular, flat-roofed building, approximately 60 feet (18 m) long and 40 feet (12 m) wide, totaling 4,800 square feet (450 m2), sided with weathered whitewashed clapboards. The only sign that it had once been a house of God was a single gothic-style window over the main entrance. -- Discarded lumber and plaster littered the large, barn-like room on the ground floor. Nonetheless, it was secured and cleaned in preparation for services. They held their first meeting on April 14, 1906. Church services were held on the first floor where the benches were placed in a rectangular pattern. Some of the benches were simply planks put on top of empty nail kegs. There was no elevated platform, as the ceiling was only eight feet high. Initially there was no pulpit. Frank Bartleman, an early participant in the revival, recalled that "Brother Seymour generally sat behind two empty shoe boxes, one on top of the other. He usually kept his head inside the top one during the meeting, in prayer. There was no pride there.... In that old building, with its low rafters and bare floors..." -- The second floor at the now-named Apostolic Faith Mission housed an office and rooms for several residents including Seymour and his new wife, Jennie. It also had a large prayer room to handle the overflow from the altar services below. The prayer room was furnished with chairs and benches made from California Redwood planks, laid end to end on backless chairs. -- The Apostolic Faith Mission on Azusa Street, now considered to be the birthplace of Pentecostalism. -- By mid-May 1906, anywhere from 300 to 1,500 people would attempt to fit into the building. Since horses had very recently been the residents of the building, flies constantly bothered the attendees. People from a diversity of backgrounds came together to worship: men, women, children, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, rich, poor, illiterate, and educated. People of all ages flocked to Los Angeles with both skepticism and a desire to participate. The intermingling of races and the group's encouragement of women in leadership was remarkable, as 1906 was the height of the "Jim Crow" era of racial segregation, and fourteen years prior to women receiving suffrage in the United States. -- Birth of Pentecostal movement: By the end of 1906, most leaders from Azusa Street had spun off to form other congregations, such as the 51st Street Apostolic Faith Mission, the Spanish AFM, and the Italian Pentecostal Mission. These missions were largely composed of immigrant or ethnic groups. The Southeast United States was a particularly prolific area of growth for the movement, since Seymour's approach gave a useful explanation for a charismatic spiritual climate that had already been taking root in those areas. Other new missions were based on preachers who had charisma and energy. Nearly all of these new churches were founded among immigrants and the poor. -- Many existing Wesleyan-holiness denominations adopted the Pentecostal message, such as the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), the Church of God in Christ, and the Pentecostal Holiness Church. The formation of new denominations also occurred, motivated by doctrinal differences between Wesleyan Pentecostals and their Finished Work counterparts, such as the Assemblies of God formed in 1914 and the Pentecostal Church of God formed in 1919. An early doctrinal controversy led to a split between Trinitarian and Oneness Pentecostals, the latter founded the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in 1916. -- Today, there are more than 500 million Pentecostal and charismatic believers across the globe and is the fastest-growing form of Christianity today. The Azusa Street Revival is commonly regarded as the beginning of the modern-day Pentecostal Movement. [link]

Wikipedia: Aimee Semple McPherson (1890 - 1944) -- also known as Sister Aimee, was a Canadian-American Los Angeles, California evangelist and media celebrity in the 1920s and 1930s - In 1913, McPherson embarked upon a preaching career - McPherson [infiltrated the Christian Church and pretended to support fundamental values] sought to eradicate modernism and secularism in homes, churches, schools and communities and developed a strong following in what McPherson termed "the Foursquare Gospel" **by blending contemporary culture with religious teachings - She founded the Foursquare Church in 1927 - McPherson has been noted as a pioneer in the use of modern media, especially radio, which she drew upon through the growing appeal of popular entertainment in North America - "McPherson found no contradiction between her rejection of Hollywood values for her use of show business techniques - She would not hesitate to use the devil's tools to tear down the devil's house" - Collections were taken at every meeting, often with the admonishment, "no coins, please" - On September 13, 1931, McPherson married again ... The marriage also caused an uproar within the church: The tenets of Foursquare Gospel, as put forth by McPherson herself, held that one should not remarry while their previous spouse was still alive, as McPherson's second husband still was - On September 26, 1944, McPherson went to Oakland, California, for a series of revivals, planning to preach her popular "Story of My Life" sermon - When McPherson's son went to her hotel room at 10:00 the next morning, he found her unconscious with pills and a half-empty bottle of capsules nearby - She had been taking sleeping pills following numerous health problems-including "tropical fever" - Among the pills found in the hotel room was the drug Seconal, a strong sedative which had not been prescribed for her - It was unknown how she obtained them - The actual cause of death still officially listed as unknown - There was some conjecture of suicide but most sources generally agree the overdose was accidental as put forth in the coroner's report

Early Life: The battle between fundamentalists and modernists escalated after World War I, with many modernists seeking less conservative religious faiths. Fundamentalists generally believed their religious faith should influence every aspect of their lives. McPherson [infiltrated the Christian Church and pretended to support fundamental values] sought to eradicate modernism and secularism in homes, churches, schools and communities and developed a strong following in what McPherson termed "the Foursquare Gospel" by blending contemporary culture with religious teachings. -- International Church of the Foursquare Gospel: Wearied by constant traveling and having nowhere to raise a family, McPherson had settled in Los Angeles, where she maintained both a home and a church. McPherson believed that by creating a church in Los Angeles, her audience would come to her from all over the country. This, she felt, would allow her to plant seeds of Gospel and tourists would take it home to their communities, still reaching the masses. For several years she continued to travel and raise money for the construction of a large, domed church building in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. The church would be named Angelus Temple. Raising more money than she had hoped, McPherson altered the original plans, and built a "megachurch" that would draw many followers throughout the years. The church was dedicated on January 1, 1923. The auditorium had a seating capacity of 5,300 people and was filled three times each day, seven days a week. At first, McPherson preached every service, often in a dramatic scene she put together to attract audiences. Eventually, the church evolved into its own denomination and became known as the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. The new denomination focused on the nature of Christ's character, that he was Savior, baptizer with the Holy Spirit, healer and coming King. There were four main beliefs: the first being Christ's ability to transform individuals' lives through the act of salvation; the second focused on a holy baptism; the third was divine healing; and the fourth was gospel-oriented heed to the premillennial return of Jesus Christ. -- In August 1925 and away from Los Angeles, McPherson decided to charter a plane so she would not miss giving her Sunday sermon. Aware of the opportunity for publicity, she arranged for at least two thousand followers and members of the press to be present at the airport. The plane failed after takeoff and the landing gear collapsed, sending the nose of the plane into the ground. McPherson boarded another plane and used the experience as the narrative of an illustrated Sunday sermon called "The Heavenly Airplane." The stage in Angelus Temple was set up with two miniature planes and a skyline that looked like Los Angeles. In this sermon, McPherson described how the first plane had the devil for the pilot, sin for the engine and temptation as the propeller. The other plane, however, was piloted by Jesus and would lead one to the Holy City (the skyline shown on stage). The temple was filled beyond capacity. On one occasion, she described being pulled over by a police officer, calling the sermon "Arrested for Speeding." McPherson employed a small group of artists, electricians, decorators and carpenters who built the sets for each Sunday's service. Religious music was played by an orchestra. Biographer Matthew Avery Sutton wrote, "McPherson found no contradiction between her rejection of Hollywood values for her use of show business techniques. She would not hesitate to use the devil's tools to tear down the devil's house." Collections were taken at every meeting, often with the admonishment, "no coins, please." -- Because Pentecostalism was not popular in the U.S. during the 1920s, McPherson avoided the label. She did, however, make demonstrations of speaking-in-tongues and faith healing in sermons. She kept a museum of crutches, wheelchairs and other paraphernalia. As evidence of her early influence by the Salvation Army, McPherson adopted a theme of "lighthouses" for the satellite churches, referring to the parent church as the "Salvation Navy." This was the beginning of McPherson working to plant Foursquare Gospel churches around the country. McPherson published the weekly Foursquare Crusader along with her monthly magazine Bridal Call. She began broadcasting on radio in the early 1920s. McPherson was one of the first women to preach a radio sermon; and with the opening of Foursquare Gospel-owned KFSG on February 6, 1924, she became the second woman granted a broadcast license by the Department of Commerce, the agency that supervised broadcasting in the early 1920s. [link]

Wikipedia: Kathryn Kuhlman (1907 - 1976) -- Was an American faith healer and evangelist - Kuhlman [modeling her career in the mold of her idol Aimee Semple McPherson] traveled extensively around the United States and in many other countries holding "healing crusades" between the 1940s and 1970s - She had a weekly TV program in the 1960s and 1970s called I Believe In Miracles that was aired nationally The foundation was established in 1954, and its Canadian branch in 1970 - After she died, her will led to controversy - She left $267,500, the bulk of her estate, to three family members and twenty employees - Smaller bequests were given to 19 other employees - According to the Independent Press-Telegram , her employees were disappointed that "she did not leave most of her estate to the foundation as she had done under a previous 1974 will - Many accounts of healings were published in her books, which were "ghost-written" by author Jamie Buckingham of Florida, including her autobiography, which was dictated at a hotel in Las Vegas - Buckingham also wrote his own Kuhlman biography that presented an unvarnished account of her life - Many other faith healers, including Benny Hinn, who have been inspired by Kathryn Kuhlman have faced similar suspicions about their methods and practices - Kathryn Kuhlman is interred [near Aimee Semple McPherson] in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California

Early life: Kathryn Johanna Kuhlmun was born in Concordia, Missouri, to German-American parents. She was born-again at the age of 13 in the Methodist Church of Concordia, and began preaching in the West at the age of sixteen in primarily Baptist Churches. -- Career: Kuhlman traveled extensively around the United States and in many other countries holding "healing crusades" between the 1940s and 1970s. She had a weekly TV program in the 1960s and 1970s called I Believe In Miracles that was aired nationally. The foundation was established in 1954, and its Canadian branch in 1970. Following a 1967 fellowship in Philadelphia, Dr. William A. Nolen conducted a case study of 23 people who claimed to have been cured during her services. Nolen's long term follow-ups concluded there were no cures in those cases. Furthermore, one woman who was said to have been cured of spinal cancer took off her brace and ran across the stage at Kuhlman's command; her spine collapsed the following day and she died four months later. -- By 1970 she moved to Los Angeles conducting faith healing for thousands of people each day as an heir to Aimee Semple McPherson. She became well-known despite, as she told reporters, having no theological training. In 1935, Kathryn met Burroughs Waltrip, an extremely handsome Texas evangelist who was eight years her senior. Despite the fact that he was married with two small boys, they soon found themselves attracted to each other. Shortly after his visit to Denver, Waltrip divorced his wife, left his family and moved to Mason City, Iowa, where he began a revival center called Radio Chapel. Kathryn and her friend and pianist Helen Gulliford came into town to help him raise funds for his ministry. It was shortly after their arrival that the romance between Burroughs and Kathryn became publicly known. -- Burroughs and Kathryn decided to wed. While discussing the matter with some friends, Kathryn had said that she could not "find the will of God in the matter." These and other friends encouraged her not to go through with the marriage, but Kathryn justified it to herself and others by believing that Waltrip's wife had left him, not the other way around. On October 18th, 1938, Kathryn secretly married "Mister," as she liked to call Waltrip, in Mason City. The wedding did not give her new peace about their union, however. After they checked into their hotel that night, Kathryn left and drove over to the hotel where Helen was staying with another friend. She sat with them weeping and admitted that the marriage was a mistake. She decided to get an annulment. -- In 1975, Kuhlman was sued by Paul Bartholomew, her personal administrator, who claimed she kept $1 million in jewelry and $1 million in fine art hidden away and sued her for $430,500 for breach of contract. Two former associates accused her in the lawsuit of diverting funds and illegally removing records, which she denied and said the records were not private. According to Kuhlman, the lawsuit was settled prior to trial. -- Death and legacy: In July 1975 her doctor diagnosed her with a minor heart flareup and she had a relapse in November while in Los Angeles. As a result, she had open heart surgery in Tulsa, Oklahoma from which she died in February 1976. Kathryn Kuhlman is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. A plaque in her honor is located in the main city park in Concordia, Missouri, a town located in central Missouri on Interstate Highway 70. -- After she died, her will led to controversy. She left $267,500, the bulk of her estate, to three family members and twenty employees. Smaller bequests were given to 19 other employees. According to the Independent Press-Telegram , her employees were disappointed that "she did not leave most of her estate to the foundation as she had done under a previous 1974 will." The Kathryn Kuhlman Foundation has continued, but in 1982 it terminated its nationwide radio broadcasting. She influenced faith healers Benny Hinn and Billy Burke. Hinn has adopted some of her techniques and wrote a book about her. -- Healing: Many accounts of healings were published in her books, which were "ghost-written" by author Jamie Buckingham of Florida, including her autobiography, which was dictated at a hotel in Las Vegas. Buckingham also wrote his own Kuhlman biography that presented an unvarnished account of her life. Many other faith healers, including Benny Hinn, who have been inspired by Kathryn Kuhlman have faced similar suspicions about their methods and practices. [link]

Kathryn Kuhlman Medallion Coin Keychain Medal - KATHRYN KUHLMAN MEDALLION KEYCHAIN WHICH WAS GIVEN OUT TO SPECIAL GUESTS IN 1972 TO COMMEMORATE HER 25 YEARS OF SERVICE IN PITTSBURG -- Click on the coin photo then click on the right side arrow to view a photo of the back side of the coin -- {Note: There is quite a controversy regarding this coin in that in 1972 Kathryn Kuhlman had this coin designed and minted - the coin's face (heads side) features Kathryn Kuhlman on it in her healing pose - while regulated to the backside (tails side) of the coin is Jesus Christ also in a healing pose, no doubt conducting His healing in a pose and from lessons that Jesus learned from Kathryn Kuhlman at least that's what Kathryn Kuhlman seems to be portraying in that she is the Master and Jesus her student.}

The sculpting was done by E. Frudakis (the Uncle of Dino Kartsonakis, her pianist). Condition = The medallion and keychain are both in great condition with no damage or other issues. The medallion is made of solid bronze or brass. SEE PICS [link]

Kathryn Kuhlman with Duane Pederson, Lonnie Frisbee and Chuck Smith Sr. of Calvary Chapel (YouTube)

Description: Take a trip back in time to 1971 with the kids from Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa as they meet on the set with Kathyrn Kuhlman. Includes rare footage of Chuck Smith, Duane Pederson, Lonnie Frisbee and early performances by Children of the Day, Love Song, Debby Kerner, Country Faith and all the Jesus People. (1971) [link]

Chuck Smith Sr. Autobiography: A Memoir of Grace by (Authors) Chuck Smith Sr. and Chuck Smith Jr. published in 2009 - "I am pleased to invite you to pull up a chair and listen as my Pastor Chuck tells the story of his life." - {Chuck Smith Sr. just like Aimee Semple McPherson with her "Story of My Life" sermon and Kathryn Kuhlman with her "Kuhlman and Jesus coin" now preaches the story of his life and fortunately for us he published it in a book and it's available for sale (with the unspoken admonishment of "no coins, just dollars please") and just like Kathryn Kuhlman the self-promoting Mr. Smith manages to put himself both on the cover of his book and also in the driver seat of his favorite car but what that has to do with Jesus Christ and Ministry is a bit unclear.} (book)

In times of trouble, trial, pain or loss, we often can’t see the value in what we’re experiencing. We don t realize what God is doing, or why He has allowed us to struggle. But there comes a day when we look back over the road map of our lives and we understand, finally. We see the dots laid out along the path, and the events God permitted in order to move us to our destination. I am pleased to invite you to pull up a chair and listen as my Pastor Chuck tells the story of his life. This book is presented to you with the prayer that what you read will help you see how God s grace is at work in your own life. Everything you have experienced in the past, everything you re going through now, and everything that awaits you on the path ahead is all part of God s plan. His will for you is perfect, and He knows just how to prepare you for your life s purpose. Everything is preparation for something else. [link]

Kathryn Kuhlman - The Interfaith Faith Healer - I thought I would just give a brief history of this diabolical woman - Please read this, it's very important you know who this woman was and how she has influenced hundreds of pastors over the years -- Bennt Hinn Praying at Kuhiman's grave - The secret to Hinn's power is his peculiar anointing, which he connects with Kathryn Kuhlman and Aimee McPherson, founder of the Foursquare Gospel Church - He first felt the "full power of the Holy Spirit" on him at a Kuhlman healing service in 1973 - and her mantle has presumably fallen upon Hinn - He conducts his meetings almost exactly like hers - though it takes Hinn much longer to get his audience into the expectant mood that seems to generate psychosomatic "miracles" - In an April 7, 1991 sermon, Hinn revealed that he periodically visits Kuhiman's grave and that he is one of the few with a key to gain access to it. He also visits Aimee's grave, where he says: "I felt a terrific anointing ... I was shaking all over ... trembling under the power of God ... 'Dear God,' I said, **'I feel the [demonic] anointing.' ... I believe the anointing has lingered over Aimee's body." - (Dave Hunt, "Signs of the Times," CIB Bulletin, Jan. 1992)

The Life And Death Of Kathryn Kuhlman: "Her life was a mystery. Many events of her life were shadowed with half-truths, deception, confusion and misrepresentation. If the righteous or wicked die as they live, then her death was a proof of her disobedience and bondage by false spirits. In fact, of all the mysteries about her, her death was the most mysterious." - "On February 20, 1976, in a strange hospital, in a strange city, surrounded by people she hardly knew, with a man she once disdained standing in the wings ready to preach her funeral. The woman whom Time magazine called a 'veritable one-woman Shrine of Lourdes' was dead at the age of sixty-eight." (Daughter Of Destiny, Jamie Buckingham, pp. 1-2.) -- "In the second paragraph above he mentioned a statement by Time magazine in which she was called a "veritable one-woman Shrine of Lourdes." A second biography, written by Wayne E. Warner, entitled The Woman Behind The Miracles, stated that people often used monies saved to visit an apparition of Mary and instead visited a crusade being conducted by Kathryn Kuhlman. It was very apparent that her healing services were on the exact same level as a so-called mystical apparition of Mary." -- ""Although she had not mentioned marriage, everyone seemed to know. A ghastly hush fell over the congregation. All the rumors they had been hearing about Waltrip divorcing his wife in order to marry Kathryn - it was all true. Women began to sob. Several got up from the choir and walked out. Men sat stony faced in their pews, looking at Kathryn in disbelief. How could she do it? This woman, who had preached such dynamic messages about purity and holiness. This woman who had been such a model of decency and divine compassion." (Daughter Of Destiny, pp. 82-83.) -- Kathryn Kuhlman And "The One World Religion" -- Kahryn Kuhlman was apparently the first minister within the Evangelical/Pentecostal world that laid a foundation for the new unity movement of religions. It was said by her official biographer, Buckingham, that Miss Kuhlman did not like to conduct her services without Catholic priests on her platform. He stated, "She had a special love for doctors, and wanted them either on the stage or on the front rows of the auditorium. The same was true of priests and nuns - especially if they were 'in uniform'. Nothing thrilled Kathryn more than to have thirty or forty Catholic clergymen, especially if they wore clerical collars or, better yet, cassocks, sitting behind her while she ministered. Somehow it seemed to lend authenticity to what she was doing - and helped create the proper climate of a trust and understanding which was so necessary for a miracle service." (Daughter Of Destiny, p. 221.) -- She had a special affinity for the Catholic style of high church grandeur. When Kathryn went to Las Vegas for her crusade, the following was reported, "Kathryn had but one pass through Las Vegas, and she would deliver the gospel with power! Hundreds of people in Las Vegas as well as the faithful in Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and Franklin had agreed to pray that the Holy Spirit would stir the city. Not far away a Roman Catholic priest said a Mass for the meeting the day before." (The Woman Behind The Miracles, pp. 229-230.) -- Please remember that a Catholic Mass is believed to be a time when the very bread and wine becomes the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. Millions of Protestants died as martyrs because they rejected this blasphemous assertion. Did her affinity for Catholic dogmas help start the declension within the Pentecostal circles that has now become a watershed of deception and compromise? I certainly believe so! "Kathryn Kuhlman was an ecumenist without portfolio." (Ibid, p. 15.) Jamie Buckingham further stated, "In 1948 while ecumenists designed programs for denominational unity, Kathryn Kuhlman threw open the heavy old doors of north Pittsburgh's Carnegie Music Hall. Streaming through the doors and scurrying for chairs came Protestants, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, and other groups, most related to churches but others not. And they were back the next week and the next." (Ibid, p. 15.) -- This certainly would have been acceptable if they were led out of these cold-dead churches to embrace a life of separation and New Testament lifestyle. That's certainly what Jesus did. On October 11, 1972, Pope Paul gave her a private audience at the Vatican. Mr. Warner stated, "Complimenting her on her 'admirable work,' he admonished her to 'do it well!' and gave her a gold, handmade engraved medallion bearing a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit." (Ibid, p. 172.) -- Kathryn Kuhlman And Her Spirit Guides: I am personally convinced that Miss Kuhlman was controlled by a spirit guide masquerading as the Holy Spirit. There appears to be no other possible answer. Coming to this conclusion has been a very tough and heart-rending experience. The following quote from Benny Hinn's book, Good Morning, Holy Spirit, will give you a glance at her attachment to either the Holy Spirit or a spirit. "I looked up to see Kathryn burying her head in her hands as she began to sob. She sobbed and sobbed so loudly that everything came to a standstill. The music stopped. The ushers froze in their positions. "Everyone had their eyes on her. And for the life of me I had no idea why she was sobbing. I'd never seen a minister do that before. What was she crying about? It was told later that she had never done anything like that before, and members of her staff remember it to this day. "It continued for what seemed like two minutes. Then she thrust back her head. There she was, just a few feet in front of me. Her eyes were aflame. She was alive. "In that instant she took on a boldness I had never seen in any person. She pointed her finger straight out with enormous power and emotion - even pain. If the devil himself had been there, she would have flicked him aside with just a tap. "It was a moment of incredible dimension. Still sobbing, she looked out at the audience and said with such agony, 'Please.' She seemed to stretch out the word, 'Plee-ease, don't grieve the Holy Spirit.' "She was begging. If you can imagine a mother pleading with a killer not to shoot her baby, it was like that. She begged and pleaded. "'Please,' she sobbed, 'don't grieve the Holy Spirit.' "Even now I can see her eyes. It was as if they were looking straight at me. "And when she said it, you could have dropped a pin and heard it. I was afraid to breathe. I didn't move a muscle. I was holding on to the pew in front of me wondering what would happen next. "Then she said, 'Don't you understand? He's all I've got!' "I thought, 'What's she talking about?' "Then she continued her impassioned plea saying, 'Please! Don't wound Him. He's all I've got. Don't wound the One I love!'" (Good Morning, Holy Spirit, Benny Hinn, pp. 8-9.) -- Her words reveal a view of this spirit that is extremely unusual. She said, "Don't you understand? He's all I've got." Again, she said, "Please don't wound Him, He's all I've got. Don't wound the One I love." The Holy Spirit absolutely never speaks of Himself. He glorifies Jesus Christ in His church and in you and Jesus Christ alone. Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (John 16:13-14). She was enamored with this "spirit" that came upon her. Often she spoke of her fear that he would leave her. She would wait behind the stage, even at times while the service languished for this "spirit person" to manifest himself. When he came she was electric and performed as the greatest of actors. Hinn continued in his description of Kuhlman's emphasis on this spirit whom she called the Holy Spirit. He said, "In my church, the pastor talked about the Holy Spirit. But not like this. His references had to do with the gifts or tongues or prophecy - not "He's my closest, most personal, most intimate, most beloved friend." Kathryn Kuhlman was telling me about a person that was more real than you or I." (Ibid, p. 9.) Source: www.pawcreek.org/articles/endtimes/KathrynKuhlmanandHerSpiritGuide.htm [link]

Another Jesuit for Another Gospel - The "Evangelical" Non-Denomination movement was and is funded by Socialists, Nazi-Sympathizers, Anti-Communists, Jesuits, and all in all evil people - What do Bill Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), Billy Graham (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), Tim LaHaye (CNP founder, Left Behind co-author), and Chuck Smith Sr. (Calvary Chapel) have in common?

What do Bill Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), Billy Graham (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), Tim LaHaye (CNP founder, Left Behind co-author), and Chuck Smith Sr. (Calvary Chapel) have in common? They have all benefited financially from Nelson Bunker Hunt. Nelson Bunker Hunt is a business tycoon famous for trying to make a run on Silver (see here), an Equestrian, and something I've learned recently, a Jesuit for the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. The following information is an attempt to show the relationship between Nelson Bunker Hunt and "another gospel." The "Evangelical" Non-Denomination movement was and is funded by Socialists, Nazi-Sympathizers, Anti-Communists, Jesuits, and all in all evil people. There is a saying, "An enemy of my enemy is my friend." This thinking leads to 'frenemies' and an enemy who's a temporary friend ultimately will return to their natural state of being your enemy. God does not work this way. God's word tells us not to yoke with unbelievers. This group of Elitists believe it's okay to work with the enemy, to join hands, to make Covenants and oaths together for a common cause. Jesus did not have a separate gospel for Global Elites like some of the "Family" members would like to believe. I understand that all this information takes a turn down the shadowy world of conspiracy theories that the "New World Order" has Jesuits working for the return to Rome, but oddly enough, they really do have evil plans and they are increasingly revealing it themselves as though we should be grateful for their great ideas. You don't have to believe one thing in this post. It's not up to me to convince you that what we have been told and sold as an "Act of God" via a "Jesus Movement" is truly a conceived fabrication of men leading men and deceiving generations of Jesus Christs' sheep. The good news is, if you're truly called of God He can reveal the truth to you (the truth is Christian Society has chosen to follow men and not Christ and has conversely allowed idol worship, blindness, and delusion to take root). [link]

All in 'The Family' is this politics or a cult? - First and foremost, this is not a conspiracy theory, nor a conspiracy in reality - What it is, is a horrible use of the gospel - something that men have been doing since it was first laid down - It takes the message of Christ and turns it into something political, something disgusting, something human - Instead of calling [admitting] to sin, these people think themselves above the mercy of Christ - If we are chosen, then we are chosen to repentance -- Watch the video below:

As I was watching some news last night, I saw this story on the Rachel Maddow show - and frankly, it's a bit creepy. I usually stop watching news by that late hour - else the children run screaming from the information overload. It concerns The Family, founded by Nazi-sympathizer, Abraham Vereide. As I was watching, I was figuring - 70 years ago? Um, right around the time all this gooblygook with William Branham started and the Manifest Sons of God. Actually, it is quite possible that these two crossed paths. (You may also want to check out this site as well.) -- Remember, these men who live in this house, all powerful, must surrender to being shepherded by another - and consider themselves 'chosen.' In other words, they may do as they choose for they are chosen for greatness in God, and will receive forgiveness. -- Note, from the above article: "At the 1990 National Prayer Breakfast, George H.W. Bush praised Doug Coe for what he described as "quiet diplomacy, I wouldn't say secret diplomacy," as an "ambassador of faith." Coe has visited nearly every world capital, often with congressmen at his side, "making friends" and inviting them back to the Family's unofficial headquarters, a mansion (just down the road from Ivanwald) that the Family bought in 1978 with $1.5 million donated by, among others, Tom Phillips, then the C.E.O. of arms manufacturer Raytheon, and Ken Olsen, the founder and president of Digital Equipment Corporation." -- One of the things that we must endeavor to do, is to make sure that we do not come off sounding like conspiracy theories. I detest them - they destroy when we should build up. They weaken us, because rarely ever are they true. First and foremost, this is not a conspiracy theory, nor a conspiracy in reality. What it is, is a horrible use of the gospel - something that men have been doing since it was first laid down. It takes the message of Christ and turns it into something political, something disgusting, something human. -- Instead of calling to sin, these people think themselves above the mercy of Christ. If we are chosen, then we are chosen to repentance. -- While the connection here between Ensign and Sandford will go unnoticed, it is well remembered that the Dominionists have stated time and time again that they seek to bring about a government of [Anti] Christ built on seven interconnected mountains - one of them being politics. Where else to start but politicians. [link]

Introduction - The Reformation: 1522 A.D. to 1880 A.D. indigenous Bible translations and Church Doctrines era - The glorious Christian light of the Protestant Reformation that began so spectacularly with Wycliffe, Erasmus, Tyndale, Luther, Cranmer and others has unfortunately mostly faded and today it is just the flickering of a light left by Francis Schaeffer and a few others

Francis Schaeffer, the last spark from the glorious flame of the reformation fire that at one time swept Europe and the New World. Schaeffer was a true Christian intellect in the mold of all the famous reformers. Frances Schafer was truly a unique and gifted man as such he was a person with a blessed spirit, a living soul and an awake mind. A spirit, a soul and an intellect that he used mightily to help bring about change in the portion of the world that he occupied. With his departing the Christian Church continues to morn as it laments the loss of a past era. [link]

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) - At one time an agnostic, Francis Schaeffer later became a Presbyterian minister with an ability to see how the questions of meaning, morals, and value being dealt with by philosophy, were the same questions that the Bible dealt with

Francis Schaeffer was a Presbyterian minister with an ability to see how the questions of meaning, morals, and value being dealt with by philosophy, were the same questions that the Bible dealt with, only in different language. Once an agnostic, Schaeffer came to the conclusion that Biblical Christianity not only gave sufficient answers to the big questions, but that they were the only answers that were both self-consistent and livable. With this conviction he became a man of conversation. Schaeffer taught that God is really there and He is not silent. He had spoken to man in the Bible as and a result we could have "true truth" about God and man. Knowing the dignity of man created in God's image, he placed a high value on creativity as an expression of that image. He opened his Swiss home to travelers to discuss these things. Later he began lecturing in universities and writing a number of books. Perhaps no other Christian thinker of the twentieth century, besides C.S. Lewis, has had more influence on thinking people. [link]

Francis A. Schaeffer: The Early Years - MP3 Lectures & Resource List (Free - Mp3's)

Identification of the biblical emphasis in the thought and life of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, with a focus on the development of their early ministry in the United States and Europe and the founding of L'Abri. The course considers issues related to spiritual growth, the Christian family, the unity of the church, Christians and the arts, and various aspects of Christian ministry. [link]

Francis A. Schaeffer: The Later Years - MP3 Lectures & Resource List (Free - Mp3's)

Continuation of material in Francis Schaeffer: The Early Years. An examination of the biblical emphasis in the thought and life of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, with focus on the developments in Schaeffer's theological, cultural, and social concerns from the time of L'Abri's founding until his death in 1984. [link]

Watershed of the Evangelical World by Francis Schaefer (Mp3)

Francis Schaefer shares how the society of North America has succumbed to the humanistic values and ideals. Christian values and standards according to Scripture has all become irrelevant in this type of society. There is a need more than ever to believe and live the standards of the Scriptures. [link]

Church History Francis Schaeffer 1912-1984 - Francis Schaeffer, the missionary to thinking people, shows us how to combine truth and love in reaching the lost for Christ (Mp3)

"Great Sermon!" I've enjoyed the whole series of the lectures on church history by Rev Michael Phillips. these are all very well presented, not only very educational but also interesting and edifying. I recommend this series highly. [link]

Dr. Francis Schaeffer -- How Should We Then Live? The Christian Worldview Mankind's Hope for a Future -- (DVD)

Wondering what the past teaches us about the present? Francis Schaeffer's sweeping series on the rise and decline of Western thought and culture surveys history -- from the Roman Empire through the 20th century -- and offers biblical answers to modern problems. Features an interview with the late Dr. Schaeffer and his wife, Edith. Includes study guide. Set includes 10 episodes on two DVDs with a total running time of approximately 6 hours. [link]

My Utmost For His Highest - Oswald Chambers (1847-1917) Chambers was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1874, the youngest son of a Baptist minister - A gifted artist and musician, Chambers trained at London's Royal Academy of Art, sensing God's direction to be an ambassador for Christ in the world of art and aesthetics - While studying at the University of Edinburgh (1895-96), he decided, after an agonizing internal battle, to study for the ministry - He died in Cairo on November 15, 1917, of complications following an emergency appendectomy - The complete story of his life is told in Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God (1993)

Oswald Chambers sometimes startled audiences with his vigorous thinking and his vivid expression. Even those who disagreed with what he said found his teachings difficult to dismiss and all but impossible to ignore. Often his humor drove home a sensitive point: "Have we ever got into the way of letting God work, or are we so amazingly important that we really wonder in our nerves and ways what the Almighty does before we are up in the morning!" Oswald Chambers was not famous during his lifetime. At the time of his death in 1917 at the age of forty-three, only three books bearing his name had been published. Among a relatively small circle of Christians in Britain and the U.S., Chambers was much appreciated as a teacher of rare insight and expression, but he was not widely known. Chambers was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1874, the youngest son of a Baptist minister. He spent his boyhood years in Perth; then his family moved to London when Oswald was fifteen. Shortly after the move to London, Oswald made his public profession of faith in Christ and became a member of Rye Lane Baptist Church. This marked a period of rapid spiritual growth, along with an intense struggle to find God's will and way for his life. -- A gifted artist and musician, Chambers trained at London's Royal Academy of Art, sensing God's direction to be an ambassador for Christ in the world of art and aesthetics. While studying at the University of Edinburgh (1895-96), he decided, after an agonizing internal battle, to study for the ministry. He left the university and entered Dunoon College, near Glasgow, where he remained as a student, then a tutor for nine years. In 1906 he traveled to the United States, spending six months teaching at God's Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio. From there, he went to Japan, visiting the Tokyo Bible School, founded by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cowman. This journey around the world in 1906-1907 marked his transition from Dunoon College to fulltime work with the Pentecostal League of Prayer. During the last decade of his life, Chambers served as: • traveling speaker and representative of the League of Prayer, 1907-10 • principal and main teacher of the Bible Training College, London, 1911-15 • YMCA chaplain to British Commonwealth soldiers in Egypt, 1915-17. He died in Cairo on November 15, 1917, of complications following an emergency appendectomy. The complete story of his life is told in Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God (1993). [link]

Abandoned to God: The Oswald Chambers Story (DVD)

Abandoned to God: Oswald Chambers Story DVD - From locations in England and Scotland, David McCasland shows you some of the places and describes key events and people that influenced the young Scottish preacher. Also includes an interview with Chambers' daughter Kathleen who shares memories of her father. Come away with a better understanding of this influential man of God. [link]

Wikipedia: George Müller (27 September 1805 - 10 March 1898) -- a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024 orphans in his life - He was well-known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life - He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans - The theology that guided George Müller's work is not widely known, but was shaped by an experience in his mid twenties when he "came to prize the Bible alone as his standard of judgement"

Youth: Müller was born in Kroppenstaedt (now Kroppenstedt), a village near Halberstadt in the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1810, the Müller family moved to nearby Heimersleben, where Müller's father was appointed a collector of taxes. He had an older brother, Friedrich Johann Wilhelm (1803 - 7 Oct 1838) and, after his widowed father remarried, a half-brother, Franz (b 1822). His early life was not marked by righteousness - on the contrary, he was a thief, a liar and a gambler. By the age of 10, Müller was stealing government money from his father. While his mother was dying, he, at 14 years of age, was playing cards with friends and drinking. Müller's father hoped to provide him with a religious education that would allow him to take a lucrative position as a clergyman in the state church. He studied divinity in the University of Halle, and there met a fellow student (Beta) who invited him to a Christian prayer meeting. There he was welcomed, and he began regularly reading the Bible and discussing Christianity with the others who attended the meetings. After seeing a man praying to God on his knees, he was convinced of his need for salvation. As soon as he got home he went to his bed where he knelt and prayed. He asked God to help him in his life and to bless him wherever he went and to forgive him of his sins. He immediately stopped drinking, stealing and lying, and began hoping to become a missionary. He began preaching regularly in nearby churches and continued meeting with the other churches. -- Early work: In 1828, Müller offered to work with Jews in England through the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews, but upon arriving in 1829, he fell ill, and did not think that he would survive. He was sent to Teignmouth to recuperate and, whilst there, met Henry Craik, who became his life-long friend. When he recovered, however, he dedicated himself to doing the will of God. He soon left the London Society, convinced that God would provide for his needs as he did Christian work. Craik invited him to become a minister with him in Teignmouth and he became the pastor of Ebenezer Chapel in Devon and soon after, married Mary Groves, the sister of Anthony Norris Groves. During his time as the pastor of the church, he refused a regular salary, believing that the practice could lead to church members giving out of duty, not desire. He also eliminated the renting of church pews, arguing that it gave unfair prestige to the rich (based primarily on James 2:1-9). -- Theology: The theology that guided George Müller's work is not widely known, but was shaped by an experience in his mid twenties when he "came to prize the Bible alone as [his] standard of judgement". He records in his Narratives that "That the word of God alone is our standard of judgment in spiritual things; that it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; and that in our day, as well as in former times, he is the teacher of his people. The office of the Holy Spirit I had not experimentally understood before that time. Indeed, of the office of each of the blessed persons, in what is commonly called the Trinity, I had no experimental apprehension. I had not before seen from the Scriptures that the Father chose us before the foundation of the world; that in him that wonderful plan of our redemption originated, and that he also appointed all the means by which it was to be brought about. Further, that the Son, to save us, had fulfilled the law, to satisfy its demands, and with it also the holiness of God; that he had borne the punishment due to our sins, and had thus satisfied the justice of God. And, further, that the Holy Spirit alone can teach us about our state by nature, show us the need of a Saviour, enable us to believe in Christ, explain to us the Scriptures, help us in preaching, etc. It was my beginning to understand this latter point in particular which had a great effect on me; for the Lord enabled me to put it to the test of experience, by laying aside commentaries, and almost every other book, and simply reading the word of God and studying it. The result of this was, that the first evening that I shut myself into my room, to give myself to prayer and meditation over the Scriptures, I learned more in a few hours than I had done during a period of several months previously. But the particular difference was, that I received real strength for my soul in doing so. I now began to try by the test of the Scriptures the things which I had learned and seen, and found that only those principles which stood the test were really of value." [link]

George Müller - Robber Of The Cruel Streets (DVD)

George Müller (1805-1898) was a German playboy who found Christ and gave his life to serve Christ unreservedly. His mission was to rescue orphans from the wretched street life that enslaved so many children in England during the time of Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist. Müller did rescue, care for, feed, and educate such children by the thousands. The costs were enormous for such a great work. Yet, amazingly, he never asked anyone for money. Instead he prayed, and his children never missed a meal. This docu-drama presents his life story and shows how God answered prayer and met their needs. It is a story that raises foundational questions regarding faith and finances. Also included are two special documentaries on Müller and some of the lives affected by his work. [link]

George Muller Audio Books as read by Peter-John Parisis (Mp3s)

Here you will find articles by or about George Muller, the man of faith, to encourage you to trust God for great things and to deepen your walk with God. We trust you will be encouraged to trust in the prayer-answering God for your needs. The Bible says "For all the promises of God in Him (Christ) are yea, and in Him (Christ) Amen, unto the glory of God by us" (2 Cor. 1:20) and "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8). [link]

Wikipedia: John Newton (July 24, 1725 - December 21, 1807) -- a British sailor and Anglican clergyman - Starting his career at sea, at a young age, he became involved with the slave trade for a few years - After experiencing a religious conversion, he became a minister, hymn-writer, and later a prominent supporter of the abolition of slavery - He was the author of many hymns, including "Amazing Grace" and "Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken"

Early life: John Newton was born in Wapping, London, in 1725, the son of John Newton Sr., a shipmaster in the Mediterranean service, and Elizabeth Newton (née Seatclife), a Nonconformist Christian. His mother died of tuberculosis in July, 1732, about two weeks before his seventh birthday. Two years later, he went to live in Aveley, the home of his father's new wife. Newton spent two years at boarding school. At age eleven he went to sea with his father. Newton sailed six voyages before his father retired in 1742. Newton's father made plans for him to work at a sugar plantation in Jamaica. Instead, Newton signed on with a merchant ship sailing to the Mediterranean Sea. In 1743, while on the way to visit some friends, Newton was captured and pressed into the naval service by the Royal Navy. He became a midshipman aboard HMS Harwich. At one point, Newton attempted to desert and was punished in front of the crew of 350. Stripped to the waist, tied to the grating, he received a flogging of one dozen lashes, and was reduced to the rank of a common seaman. Following that disgrace and humiliation, Newton initially contemplated suicide. He recovered, both physically and mentally. Later, while Harwich was on route to India, he transferred to Pegasus, a slave ship bound for West Africa. The ship carried goods to Africa, and traded them for slaves to be shipped to England and other countries. Newton proved to be a continual problem for the crew of Pegasus. They left him in West Africa with Amos Clowe, a slave dealer. Clowe took Newton to the coast, and gave him to his wife Princess Peye, an African duchess. Newton was abused and mistreated along with her other slaves. It was this period that Newton later remembered as the time he was "once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in West Africa." Early in 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain who had been asked by Newton's father to search for him. And he made it to freedom. In 1750 he married his childhood sweetheart in St. Margaret's Church, Rochester. -- Spiritual conversion: He sailed back to England in 1748 aboard the merchant ship Greyhound, which was carrying beeswax and dyer's wood, now referred to as camwood. During this voyage, he experienced a spiritual conversion. The ship encountered a severe storm off the coast of Donegal and almost sank. Newton awoke in the middle of the night and finally called out to God as the ship filled with water. After he called out, the cargo came out and stopped up the hole, and the ship was able to drift to safety. It was this experience which he later marked as the beginnings of his conversion to evangelical Christianity. As the ship sailed home, Newton began to read the Bible and other religious literature. By the time he reached Britain, he had accepted the doctrines of evangelical Christianity. The date was March 10, 1748, an anniversary he marked for the rest of his life. From that point on, he avoided profanity, gambling, and drinking. Although he continued to work in the slave trade, he had gained a considerable amount of sympathy for the slaves. He later said that his true conversion did not happen until sometime later: "I cannot consider myself to have been a believer in the full sense of the word, until a considerable time afterwards." Newton returned to Liverpool, England and, partly due to the influence of his father's friend Joseph Manesty, obtained a position as first mate aboard the slave ship Brownlow, bound for the West Indies via the coast of Guinea. During the first leg of this voyage, while in west Africa (1748-1749), Newton acknowledged the inadequacy of his spiritual life. While he was sick with a fever, he professed his full belief in Christ and asked God to take control of his destiny. He later said that this experience was his true conversion and the turning point in his spiritual life. He claimed it was the first time he felt totally at peace with God. Still, he did not renounce the slave trade until later in his life. After his return to England in 1750, he made three further voyages as captain of the slave-trading ships Duke of Argyle (1750) and African (1752-1753 and 1753-1754). He only gave up seafaring and his active slave-trading activities in 1754, after suffering a severe stroke, but continued to invest his savings in Manesty's slaving operations." -- Anglican priest: In 1755 Newton became tide surveyor (a tax collector) of the port of Liverpool, again through the influence of Manesty. In his spare time, he was able to study Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac. He became well known as an evangelical lay minister. In 1757, he applied to be ordained as a priest in the Church of England, but it was more than seven years before he was eventually accepted. Such was his frustration during this period of rejection that he also applied to the Methodists, Independents and Presbyterians, and applications were even mailed directly to the Bishops of Chester and Lincoln and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. -- Writer and hymnist: The vicarage in Olney where Newton wrote the hymn that would become "Amazing Grace". In 1767 William Cowper, the poet, moved to Olney. He worshipped in the church, and collaborated with Newton on a volume of hymns, which was eventually published as Olney Hymns in 1779. This work had a great influence on English hymnology. The volume included Newton's well-known hymns "Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken", "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds!", "Let Us Love, and Sing, and Wonder", "Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare", "Approach, My Soul, the Mercy-seat", and "Faith's Review and Expectation", which has come to be known by its opening phrase, "Amazing Grace". Many of Newton's (as well as Cowper's) hymns are preserved in the Sacred Harp. He also contributed to the Cheap Repository Tracts. [link]

Johann Sebastian Bach - Later in life Bach became blind - Bach died in Lepzig, Germany, July 28, 1750 A.D. - Bach was buried in an unmarked grave, for an unknown reason, in the churchyard of St. John's {Note: It was also common at that time for famous and religious people to request to be buried in an unmarked grave. John Bunyan (1806-1841) author of "Pilgrim's Progress" requested to be buried in an unmarked grave. Desiring that their tomb would not become a monument to themselves but that their life's work would be a monument to Jesus Christ.}

At age 15 Bach joined the choir at St. Michael's church. At age 19 Bach left St. Michael's and became a professional organist at St. Boniface. Bach studied music until 1703. In 1707, when Bach was 22 he married his cousin Maria Barbara. Maria had 7 children with Bach. Three of them died. In 1716, when Bach was thirty-one, he was put in jail for thirty-one days because people didn't believe that he shouldn't be writing that kind of music at that time. In those 31 days, Bach wrote five to ten musicals. Those five to ten musicals he wrote when he was in jail turned into two hundred musicals. In 1717 Bach became the court conductor at Anhalt-Cothen. 14 years later in 1721 Maria died leaving Bach to take care of four children. Bach was thirty-six at this time. One year later when Bach was thirty-seven in 1722 he married another woman. This woman's name was Anna Magdalina. Anna had thirteen children. ... Bach wrote 300 religious and nonreligious pieces called cantatas. Some people think that bach was the best composer of all time. Bach was a very religious man. Bach showed his religions in his music. Bach joined an orchestra at Weimar as a violinist. His home town was famous for music. One time when Bach was young, he walked thirty-five miles to a town named Hamburg to hear a concert. [link]

Wikipedia: George Frideric Handel (23 February 1685 - 14 April 1759) -- was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos - After his success with Messiah (1742 A.D.) he never performed an Italian opera again - Messiah (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 A.D. by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer -- Messiah eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music - Almost blind, and having lived in England for almost fifty years, he died a respected and rich man

After his success with Messiah in 1742 A.D. he never performed an Italian opera again. Handel was only partly successful with his performances of English Oratorio on mythical or biblical themes, but when he arranged a performance of Messiah to benefit the Foundling Hospital (1750) the critique ended. The pathos of Handel's oratorio is an ethical one, they are hallowed not by liturgical dignity but by the moral ideals of humanity. Almost blind, and having lived in England for almost fifty years, he died a respected and rich man. -- Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time, not only because of his Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. But since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and original instrument interest in Handel's opera seria has revived too. Handel composed forty operas in about thirty years; some are considered as masterpieces, with many sweeping arias and much admired improvisations. His operas contain remarkable human characterization, by a composer not known for his love affairs. -- Messiah: (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer (which are worded slightly differently than their King James counterparts). It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. [link]

Wikipedia: "The Pilgrim's Progress" written by John Bunyan (1678 A.D.) - The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678 - It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print

Bunyan began his work while in the Bedfordshire county gaol [jail] for violations of the Conventicle Act, which prohibited the holding of religious services outside the auspices of the established Church of England. Early Bunyan scholars like John Brown believed The Pilgrim's Progress was begun in Bunyan's second shorter imprisonment for six months in 1675, but more recent scholars like Roger Sharrock believe that it was begun during Bunyan's initial, more lengthy imprisonment from 1660-1672 right after he had written his spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. -- The English text comprises 108,260 words and is divided into two parts, each reading as a continuous narrative with no chapter divisions. The first part was completed in 1677 and entered into the stationers' register on December 22, 1677. It was licensed and entered in the "Term Catalogue" on February 18, 1678, which is looked upon as the date of first publication. After the first edition of the first part in 1678, an expanded edition, with additions written after Bunyan was freed, appeared in 1679. The Second Part appeared in 1684. There were eleven editions of the first part in John Bunyan's lifetime, published in successive years from 1678 to 1685 and in 1688, and there were two editions of the second part, published in 1684 and 1686. [link]

Wikipedia: John Bunyan (1628 - 31 August 1688 A.D.) -- an English Christian writer and preacher, famous for writing The Pilgrim's Progress, he was a Reformed Baptist, in the Church of England - 1644 was an eventful year for the Bunyan family: in June, John lost his mother and, in July, his sister Margaret died - Following this, his father married (for the third time) to Anne Pinney (or Purney) and a stepbrother, Charles, was born - It may have been the arrival of his stepmother that, following his 16th birthday, led John to leave the family home and enlist in the Parliamentary army - From 1644 to 1647 John served at Newport Pagnell garrison - The English Civil War (1642-1651) was then nearing the end of the first stage - John was probably saved from death one day when a fellow soldier volunteered to go into battle in his place and was killed while walking sentry duty - After the civil war was won by the Parliamentarians, Bunyan returned to his former trade -- In his autobiography, "Grace Abounding" Bunyan wrote that he led an abandoned life in his youth and was morally reprehensible as a result - The increasing awareness of his (in his view) un-Biblical life led him to contemplate acts of impiety and profanity; in particular, he was harassed by a curiosity in regard to the "unpardonable sin" and a prepossession that he had already committed it - He continually heard voices urging him to "sell Christ" and was tortured by fearful visions - While playing a game of Tip-cat on Elstow village green, Bunyan claimed to have heard a voice that asked: "Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven or have thy sins and go to hell?"

Imprisonments: As his popularity and notoriety grew, Bunyan increasingly became a target for slander and libel; he was described as "a witch, a Jesuit, a highwayman" and was said to have mistresses and multiple wives. In 1658, aged 30, he was arrested for preaching at Eaton Socon and indicted for preaching without a licence. That same year his wife died leaving him with 4 children, one of which was blind. He continued preaching, however, and did not suffer imprisonment until November 1660, when he was taken to the County gaol in Silver Street, Bedford. In that same year, Bunyan married again, Elizabeth, by whom he had two more children, Sarah and Joseph. The Restoration of the monarchy by Charles II of England began Bunyan's persecution as England returned to Anglicanism. Meeting-houses were quickly closed and all citizens were required to attend their Anglican parish church. It became punishable by law to "conduct divine service except in accordance with the ritual of the church, or for one not in Episcopal orders to address a congregation." Thus, John Bunyan no longer had that freedom to preach which he had enjoyed under the Puritan Commonwealth. He was arrested on 12 November 1660, whilst preaching privately in Lower Samsell by Harlington, Bedfordshire, 10 miles south of Bedford. -- John was brought before the magistrate John Wingate at Harlington House and refused to desist from preaching. Wingate sent him to Bedford County Gaol, to consider his situation. After a month, Bunyan reports (in his own account of his imprisonment) that Wingate's clerk visited him, seeking to get him to change his mind. The clerk said that all the authorities wanted was for Bunyan to undertake not to preach at private gatherings, as it was suspected that these non-conformist meetings were in fact being used by people plotting against the king. In answer to the clerk, John argued that God's law obliged him to preach at any and every opportunity, and refused to consider the suggested compromise. -- In January 1661, Bunyan was brought before the quarter sessions in the Chapel of Herne, Bedford. His prosecutor, Mr. Justice Wingate, despite Bunyan's clear breaches of the Religion Act of 1592, was not inclined to incarcerate Bunyan. But John's stark statement "If you release me today, I will preach tomorrow" left the magistrates - Sir John Kelynge of Southill, Sir Henry Chester of Lidlington, Sir George Blundell of Cardington, Sir Wllm Beecher of Howbury and Thomas Snagg of Milbrook - with no choice but to imprison him. So Bunyan was incarcerated for 3 months for the crimes of "pertinaciously abstaining" from attending mandatory Anglican church services and preaching at "unlawful meetings". -- Strenuous efforts were made by Bunyan's wife to get his case re-heard at the spring assizes but Bunyan's continued assertions that he would, if freed, preach to his awaiting congregation meant that the magistrates would not consider any new hearing. Similar efforts were made in the following year but, again, to no avail. In early 1664, an Act of Parliament the Conventicles Act made it illegal to hold religious meetings of five or more people outside of the auspices of the Church of England. -- It was during his time in Bedford County Gaol that John Bunyan conceived his allegorical novel: The Pilgrim's Progress. (Many scholars however believe that he commenced this work during the second and shorter imprisonment of 1675, referred to below.) Bunyan's incarceration was punctuated with periods of relative freedom - lax gaolers allowing him out to attend church meetings and to minister to his congregation. -- In 1666, John was briefly released for a few weeks before being re-arrested for preaching and sent back to Bedford's County gaol, where he remained for a further six years. During that time, he wove shoelaces to support his family and preached to his fellow prisoners - a congregation of about sixty. In his possession were two books, John Foxe's Book of Martyrs, the Bible, a violin he had made out of tin, a flute he'd made from a chair leg and a supply of pen and paper. Both music and writing were integral to John's Puritan faith. John Bunyan was released in January 1672, when Charles II issued the Declaration of Religious Indulgence. [link]

Church History - 35 messages on church history by Pastor Phillips - Pastor Phillips takes us on a tour of some of the early Christians after the death of the Apostle Paul -- Note: Church History **John Bunyan 1628 - Save the "Play!" Version, open it in a player and save it that way, the Mp3 download version link might have an Error (Mp3s)

"WOW - what a great series!!" A couple years ago I followed the journey of the early church by a comprehensive study of the Acts of the Apostles, etc., and have wanted to fill in the gap of church history from that time to present, but don't have much time to read. I like to listen to sermons on the treadmill and in the tractor, so I searched for a series on church history. I found the first 3 and did extra time on the treadmill today so I could keep listening! Pastor Phillips has a way of telling the facts in a very interesting way and then finishes with application and lessons for today. After the 3rd sermon (on Augustine) I really wanted to hear more so I searched again. I was THRILLED to find 39 messages on church history by Pastor Phillips!! I plan to download all of them since spring seeding is coming up and I will be spending many hours in the tractor, and now I am looking forward to that! In the meantime, I'll keep at the treadmill. Thanks for posting all those great sermons! [link]

ccel.org: "Grace Abounding To the Chief of Sinners" by John Bunyan published in 1666 A.D. - John Bunyan's spiritual autobiography (PDF)

Grace Abounding To the Chief of Sinners is John Bunyan's spiritual autobiography. In it he tells of his conversion and struggle with faith. He wrote it while he was imprisoned for preaching without a license. His main issue was a kind of "spiritual obsessive compulsive disorder" as one reviewer puts it. Bunyan was constantly concerned about the state of his salvation and whether God deemed him worthy enough for eternal life. This story communicates the author's anguish over his sin, his confession, and the life-changing impact of God's saving grace. Bunyan's spiritual struggles will remind readers that even the great minds of faith had issues with belief, and his personal testimony will encourage anyone who is doubting the status of their salvation. [link]

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) -- (Occult) philosopher and statesman, was the youngest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper, by his second wife - In 1596 he was made a Queen's Counsel, but missed the appointment of Master of the Rolls, and in the next year (1597), he published the first edition of his Essays, ten in number, combined with Sarced Meditations and the Coulours of Good and Evil - In his great office Bacon showed a failure of character in striking contrast with the majesty of his intellect - He was corrupt alike politically and judicially - Thenceforth he devoted himself to study and writing (aka William Shakespeare) - In 1622 appeared his History of Henry VII, and the 3rd part of the Instauratio; in 1623, History of Life and Death, the De Augmentis Scientarum, a Latin translation of the Advancement, and in 1625 the 3rd edition of the Essays, now 58 in number - He also published Apophthegms, **and a translation [here we have the beginnings of what we have so much of today, modern occultists translating versions of the Bible] of some of the Psalms -- The intellect of Bacon was one of the most powerful and searching ever possessed by man, and his developments of the inductive philosophy revolutionised the future thought of the human race

Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam, and Viscount St. Alban's, philosopher and statesman, was the youngest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper, by his second wife, a daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, whose sister married William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the great minister of Queen Elizabeth. He was born at York House in the Strand on Jan. 22, 1561, and in his 13th year was sent with his elder brother Anthony to Trinity College, Cambridge. Here he first met the Queen, who was impressed by his precocious intellect, and was accustomed to call him "the young Lord Keeper." Here also he became dissatisfied with the Aristotelian philosophy as being unfruitful and leading only to resultless disputation. -- In 1576 he entered Gray's Inn, and in the same year joined the embassy of Sir Amyas Paulet to France, where he remained until 1579. The death of his father in that year, before he had completed an intended provision for him, gave an adverse turn to his fortunes, and rendered it necessary that he should decide upon a profession. He accordingly returned to Gray's Inn, and, after an unsuccessful attempt to induce Burghley to give him a post at court, and thus enable him to devote himself to a life of learning, he gave himself seriously to the study of law, and was called to the Bar in 1582. He did not, however, desert philosophy, and published a Latin tract, Temporis Partus Maximus (the Greatest Birth of Time), the first rough draft of his own system. -- Two years later, in 1584, he entered the House of Commons as member for Melcombe, sitting subsequently for Taunton (1586), Liverpool (1589), Middlesex (1593), and Southampton (1597). In the Parliament of 1586 he took a prominent part in urging the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. About this time he seems again to have approached his powerful uncle, the result of which may possibly be traced in his rapid progress at the Bar, and in his receiving, in 1589, the reversion to the Clerkship of the Star Chamber, a valuable appointment, into the enjoyment of which, however, he did not enter until 1608. -- About 1591 he formed a friendship with the Earl of Essex, from whom he received many tokens of kindness ill requited. In 1593 the offices of Attorney-general, and subsequently of Solicitor-general became vacant, and Essex used his influence on Bacon's behalf, but unsuccessfully, the former being given to Coke, the famous lawyer. These disappointments may have been owing to a speech made by Bacon on a question of subsidies. To console him for them Essex presented him with a property at Twickenham, which he subsequently sold for £1800, equivalent to a much larger sum now. -- In 1596 he was made a Queen's Counsel, but missed the appointment of Master of the Rolls, and in the next year (1597), he published the first edition of his Essays, ten in number, combined with Sarced Meditations and the Coulours of Good and Evil. By 1601 Essex had lost the Queen's favour, and had raised his rebellion, and Bacon was one of those appointed to investigate the charges against him, and examine witnesess, in connection with which he showed an ungrateful and indecent eagerness in pressing the case against his former friend and benefactor, who was executed on Feb. 25, 1601. This act Bacon endeavoured to justify in A Declaration of the Practices and Treasons, etc., of...the Earl of Essex, etc. His circumstances had for some time been bad, and he had been arrested for debt: he had, however, received a gift of a fine of £1200 on one of Essex's accomplices. -- The accession of James VI in 1603 gave a favourable turn to his fortunes: he was knighted, and endeavoured to set himself right with the new powers by writing his Apologie (defence) of his proceedings in the case of Essex, who had favoured the succession of James. In the first Parliament of the new king he sat for St. Alban's, and was appointed a Commissioner for Union with Scotland. In 1605 he published The Advancement of Learning, dedicated, with fulsome flattery, to the king. The following year he married Alice Barnham, the daughter of a London merchant, and in 1607 he was made Solicitor-General, and wrote Cogita et Visa, a first sketch of the Novum Organum, followed in 1609 by The Wisdom of the Ancients. -- Meanwhile (in 1608), he had entered upon the Clerkship of the Star Chamber, and was in the enjoyment of a large income; but old debts and present extravagance kept him embarrassed, and he endeavoured to obtain further promotion and wealth by supporting the king in his arbitrary policy. In 1613 he became Attorney-General, and in this capacity prosecuted Somerset in 1616. The year 1618 saw him Lord Keeper, and the next Lord Chancellor and Baron Verulam, a title which, in 1621, he exchanged for that of Viscount St. Albans. Meanwhile he had written the New Atlantis, a political romance, and in 1620 he presented to the king the Novum Organum, on which he had been engaged for 30 years, and which ultimately formed the main part of the Instauratio Magna. -- In his great office Bacon showed a failure of character in striking contrast with the majesty of his intellect. He was corrupt alike politically and judicially, and now the hour of retribution arrived. In 1621 a Parliamentary Committee on the administration of the law charged him with corruption under 23 counts; and so clear was the evidence that he made no attempt at defence. To the lords, who sent a committee to inquire whether the confession was really his, he replied, "My lords, it is my act, my hand, and my heart; I beseech your lordships to be merciful to a broken reed." He was sentenced to a fine of £40,000, remitted by the king, to be committed to the Tower during the king's pleasure (which was that he should be released in a few days), and to be incapable of holding office or sitting in parliament. He narrowly escaped being deprived of his titles. -- Thenceforth he devoted himself to study and writing. In 1622 appeared his History of Henry VII, and the 3rd part of the Instauratio; in 1623, History of Life and Death, the De Augmentis Scientarum, a Latin translation of the Advancement, and in 1625 the 3rd edition of the Essays, now 58 in number. He also published Apophthegms, and a translation of some of the Psalms. -- His life was now approaching its close. In March, 1626, he came to London, and shortly after, when driving on a snowy day, the idea struck him of making an experiment as to the antiseptic properties of snow, in consequence of which he caught a chill, which ended in his death on 9th April 1626. He left debts to the amount of £22,000. At the time of his death he was engaged upon Sylva Sylvarum. -- The intellect of Bacon was one of the most powerful and searching ever possessed by man, and his developments of the inductive philosophy revolutionised the future thought of the human race. [link]

Sir Francis Bacon (aka William Shakespeare) - Program to Chaos - in Hebrew V=6, therefore (vv) or W=66 in kabbalism (Jewish occultism) is the number of the fallen angels or qlippoth - making a third v therefore equaling 666 the number of the beast {In the Bible 6 = incomplete and 6 equals man as man without God is incomplete. In short 6 = fallen man without God, 66 = fallen angels and 666 = the most incomplete Antichrist. Occultist like Sir Francis Bacon (William Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare is the pen name of Sir Francis Bacon he is the actual Shakespeare. Bacon used the W composed of two v's (VV) equating himself as a fallen Angel (Nephilim) [William = conquer and Shakespeare = "Spear Shaker" one angry and at war with God (Nimrod Genesis 10:9 - mighty spear shaker "hunter" against God). George W. Bush uses his W in the same way to equate himself as a fallen evil Nephilim.}

I had recognized that, in Hebrew, V=6, therefore, W=66. 66 in kabbalism is the number of the fallen angels or qlippoth. Hitler was a kabbalist, as well, and incorporated the VV(66) of the fallen angels into the Volks-Wagon symbol; two V's interlaced, making a third, therefore equaling 666, the number of the beast. Can you spot the number of the beast in this photo? The beast, "W", had arrived, and I knew they would wait no longer. I felt they needed 2 weeks for public reaction, therefore something would need to happen in mid-September. I picked the date 9/11 because it was the date that HW(H stands for the Emperor) stated, "there will be a New World Order." Had I known that both the Pentagon, and the "Twin Towers" had begun construction on 9/11, I would have predicted the targets, as well. I did not feel prophetic, I felt that everything was going according to plan. But, who's plan? [link]

Sir Francis Bacon aka William Shakespeare - More than twenty thousand books and articles have been written about the "identity problem" regarding William Shakespeare - So lets start by looking at the actor from Stratford: All the known autographs of the Stratford actor read "William Shakspere" not "William Shakespeare" - His parents were illiterate - Shakspere's daughter Judith was an illiterate - No record exists of William Shakspere as having ever played a leading role in the famous dramas he is supposed to have written - None of his heirs were involved in the printing of the First Folio after his death, nor did they benefit financially from it - his will mentions no literary productions whatsoever It does however mention his second-best bed and his "broad silver gilt bowl"

Let's look at Sir Francis Bacon: The content in the Shakespearian dramas are politically recognized viewpoints of Sir Francis Bacon (His "enemies" are frequently caricatured in the plays.) The religious, philosophic, and educational messages all reflect his personal opinions. Similarities in style and terminology exist in Bacon's writings and the Shakespearian plays. Certain historical and philosophical inaccuracies are common to both (such as identical misquotations from Aristotle.) Sir Francis Bacon possessed the range of general and philosophical knowledge necessary to write the Shakespearian plays. Sir Francis Bacon was a linguist and a composer. (Necessary to write the sonnets.) He was a lawyer, an able barrister and a polished courtier and possessed the intimate knowledge of parliamentary law and the etiquette of the royal court revealed in the Shakespearian plays. Bacon furthermore visited many of the foreign countries forming the background for the plays (Necessary to create the authentic local atmosphere. There is no record of William Shakspere's ever having travelled outside of England). ... Why the secrecy? Manly Palmer Hall writes: "Sir Francis Bacon knew the true secret of Masonic origin and there is reason to suspect that he concealed this knowledge in cipher and cryptogram. Bacon is not to be regarded solely as a man but rather as the focal point between an invisible institution and a world which was never able to distinguish between the messenger and the message which he promulgated. This secret society, having rediscovered the lost wisdom of the ages and fearing that the knowledge might be lost again, perpetuated it in two ways: (1) by an organization (Freemasonry) to the initiates of which it revealed its wisdom in the form of symbols; (2) by embodying its arcana in the literature of the day by means of cunningly contrived ciphers and enigmas." [link]

Wikipedia: New Atlantis [North America - the discovery of America was known to the Crusaders before the 1492 A.D. voyage of Christopher Columbus] by Sir Francis Bacon, published in 1624 A.D. - New Atlantis is a utopian [Illuminati] novel by Sir Francis Bacon, published in Latin (as Nova Atlantis) in 1624 and in English in 1627 - In this work, Bacon portrayed a [secular - occult] vision of the future of human discovery and knowledge, expressing his aspirations and ideals for humankind - The novel depicts the creation of a [secular] utopian land [North America] where "generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendour, [false] piety and public spirit" are the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants of "Bensalem" (lit. son of Salem) - The plan and organization of his ideal college, "Salomon's House" (or Solomon's House) envisioned the modern research university in both applied and pure sciences {Note: New Atlantis by Sir Francis Bacon, (an unfinished book) is a primer, an instruction booklet, setting out a plan in how to colonize the New World (North America) as a secular occult [non-Christian] society. The outline of Sir Francis Bacon's plan was for a secular society to dominate by gaining and controlling all aspects of society; land, resources, knowledge, wealth, power, science, technology, etc. and to do it primarily by introducing a [non-Christian] population greater in numbers and more privileged than the common Christian community. -- A plan that has been carefully followed and has been by most accounts a complete success in America and throughout all reaches of the New World.}

Plot summary: The novel depicts a mythical island, Bensalem, which is discovered by the crew of a European ship after they are lost in the Pacific Ocean somewhere west of Peru. The minimal plot serves the gradual unfolding of the island, its customs, but most importantly, its state-sponsored scientific institution, Salomon's House, "which house or college ... is the very eye of this kingdom." On arriving to Bensalem, the travellers are initially instructed to leave without landing, but are successively quarantined to "the House of Strangers", then given greater leave to explore the island, and finally granted an explanation of Salomon's House. Their conversations with the inhabitants disclose how they in such isolation came to be Christian, how they came to know so much of the outside world (without themselves being known), the history and origin of the island's government and the establishment of Salomon's House by King Solamona, the Bensalemite customs regarding marriage and family, and purpose, properties, and activities of Salomon's House. The interlocutors include the governor of the House of Strangers, Joabin the Jew, and the Father of Salomon's House. -- Only the best and brightest of Bensalem's citizens are selected to join Salomon's House, in which scientific experiments are conducted in Baconian method in order to understand and conquer nature, and to apply the collected knowledge to the betterment of society. Near the end of the work, the Father of Salomon's House catalogues the activities of the institution's members: "For the several employments and offices of our fellows, we have twelve that sail into foreign countries under the names of other nations (for our own we conceal), who bring us the books and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of all other parts. These we call merchants of light. "We have three that collect the experiments which are in all books. These we call depredators. "We have three that collect the experiments of all mechanical arts, and also of liberal sciences, and also of practices which are not brought into arts. These we call mystery-men. "We have three that try new experiments, such as themselves think good. These we call pioneers or miners. "We have three that draw the experiments of the former four into titles and tables, to give the better light for the drawing of observations and axioms out of them. These we call compilers. "We have three that bend themselves, looking into the experiments of their fellows, and cast about how to draw out of them things of use and practice for man's life and knowledge, as well for works as for plain demonstration of causes, means of natural divinations, and the easy and clear discovery of the virtues and parts of bodies. These we call dowry-men or benefactors. "Then after divers meetings and consults of our whole number, to consider of the former labours and collections, we have three that take care out of them to direct new experiments, of a higher light, more penetrating into nature than the former. These we call lamps. "We have three others that do execute the experiments so directed, and report them. These we call inoculators. "Lastly, we have three that raise the former discoveries by experiments into greater observations, axioms, and aphorisms. These we call interpreters of nature." Even this short excerpt demonstrates that Bacon understood that science requires analysis and not just the accumulation of observations. Bacon also foresaw that the design of experiments could be improved. [link]

Wikipedia: Oxford Martyrs (1555-1556 A.D.) -- The Oxford Martyrs were tried for heresy in 1555 A.D. and subsequently burnt at the stake in Oxford, England, for their religious beliefs and teachings - The three martyrs were the Anglican bishops Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury - A small area cobbled with stones forming a cross in the centre of the road outside the front of Balliol College marks the site - It is claimed that the scorch marks from the flames can still be seen on the doors of Balliol College

History: The three were tried at University Church of St Mary the Virgin, the official church of Oxford University on the High Street. The martyrs were imprisoned at the former Bocardo Prison near the still extant St Michael at the Northgate church (at the north gate of the city walls) in Cornmarket Street. The door of their cell is on display in the tower of the church. The martyrs were burnt at the stake just outside the city walls to the south, where Broad Street is now located. Latimer and Ridley were burnt on 16 October 1555. Cranmer was burnt five months later on 21 March 1556. A small area cobbled with stones forming a cross in the centre of the road outside the front of Balliol College marks the site. The Victorian spire-like Martyrs' Memorial, at the south end of St Giles' nearby, commemorates the events. It is claimed that the scorch marks from the flames can still be seen on the doors of Balliol College (now rehung between the Front Quadrangle and Garden Quadrangle). [link]

Wikipedia: Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 - 21 March 1556 A.D.) -- was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I -- During Cranmer's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, he was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the reformed Church of England - He wrote and compiled the first two editions of the "Book of Common Prayer" a complete liturgy for the English Church

Book of Common Prayer (1548-1549) -- The 1549 Book of Common Prayer: As the use of English in worship services spread, the need for a complete uniform liturgy for the Church became evident. Initial meetings to start what would eventually become the Book of Common Prayer were held in the former abbey of Chertsey and in Windsor Castle in September 1548. The list of participants can only be partially reconstructed, but it is known that the members were balanced between conservatives and reformers. These meetings were followed by a debate on the Eucharist in the House of Lords which took place between 14 and 19 December. Cranmer publicly revealed in this debate that he had abandoned the doctrine of the real presence and believed that the Eucharistic presence was only spiritual. Parliament backed the publication of the Prayer Book after Christmas by passing the Act of Uniformity 1549; it then legalised clerical marriage. -- It is difficult to ascertain how much of the Prayer Book is actually Cranmer's personal composition. Generations of liturgical scholars have been able to track down the sources that he used, including the Sarum Rite, writings from Hermann von Wied, and several Lutheran sources including Osiander and Justus Jonas. More problematic is determining how Cranmer worked on the book and with whom he worked. Despite the lack of knowledge of whom might have helped him, however, he is given the credit for the editorship and the overall structure of the book. -- The use of the new Prayer Book was made compulsory on 9 June 1549. This triggered a series of protests in Devon and Cornwall, the Prayer Book Rebellion. By early July, the uprising had spread to other parts in the east of England. Bucer had just taken up his duties in Cambridge when he found himself in the middle of the commotion and had to scurry to shelter. The rebels made a number of demands including the restoration of the Six Articles, the use of Latin for the mass with only the consecrated bread given to the laity, the restoration of prayers for souls in purgatory, and the rebuilding of abbeys. Cranmer wrote to the king a strong response to these demands in which he denounced the wickedness of the rebellion. On 21 July, Cranmer commandeered St Paul's Cathedral where he vigorously defended the official Church line. A draft of his sermon, the only extant written sample of his preaching from his entire career, shows that he collaborated with Peter Martyr on dealing with the rebellion. [link]

Book of Common Prayer (1662 A.D. Version) - "I believe there is no Liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety than the Common Prayer of the Church of England" John Wesley (PDF)

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England (you can download it by clicking the picture to the left or the link below) is still technically the only "official" prayer book of the Church of England, the mother church (for the moment at least) of the Anglican Communion. It itself is the result of more than a century of liturgical development through a turbulent time in British history. Its literary and theological influence is immense; this alone makes it an important document. [link]

Wikipedia: Westminster Confession of Faith - a Reformed confession of faith, in the Calvinist theological tradition. Although drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly, largely of the Church of England, it became and remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide

In 1643, the English Parliament called upon "learned, godly and judicious Divines", to meet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline of the Church of England. Their meetings, over a period of five years, produced the confession of faith, as well as a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catechism. For more than three centuries, various churches around the world have adopted the confession and the catechisms as their standards of doctrine, subordinate to the Bible. -- The Westminster Confession of Faith was modified and adopted by Congregationalists in England in the form of the Savoy Declaration (1658). Likewise, the Baptists of England modified the Savoy Declaration to produce the Second London Baptist Confession (1689). English Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists would together (with others) come to be known as Nonconformists, because they did not conform to the Act of Uniformity (1662) establishing the Church of England as the only legally approved church, though they were in many ways united by their common confessions, built on the Westminster Confession. -- Evangelical Presbyterian Church: The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which broke from the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in 1981 in order to provide a conservative alternative to the older denomination, holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith composed of a combination of different editions, but based on the American version of the 1647 text.[4] The EPC holds to the Westminster Confession in light of a brief list of the essentials of the faith as drafted at its first General Assembly at Ward Church outside of Detroit, Michigan. [link]

Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) - Downloadable Documents (Doc)

The Westminster Catechism was completed in 1647 by the Westminster Assembly and continues to serve as part of the doctrinal standards of many Presbyterian churches. [link]

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) - Downloadable Documents (PDF)

In 1643, during a period of civil war, the English "Long Parliament" (under the control of Presbyterian Puritans) convened an Assembly of Divines (mostly Puritan ministers, including a few influential Scottish commissioners) at Westminster Abbey in London. Their task was to advise Parliament on how to bring the Church of England into greater conformity with the Church of Scotland and the Continental Reformed churches. The Westminster Assembly produced documents on doctrine, church government, and worship that have largely defined Presbyterianism down to this day. These documents included a Confession of Faith (1646), a Larger Catechism (1647), and a Shorter Catechism (1647), often collectively called "the Westminster standards." Parliamentary efforts to reconstitute the established Church of England along Presbyterian lines were soon thwarted by the rise to power of Cromwell (who favored Independency) and the expulsion of Presbyterians from Parliament in 1648, and then the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, which quickly led to the reinstitution of Episcopacy and the suppression of Puritanism. -- But things were different in Scotland. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland adopted the Confession of Faith in 1647 and the Catechisms in 1648. The Scottish Parliament ratified them in 1649 and again (after a time of political and religious strife) in 1690. The Presbyterian character of the Church of Scotland was safeguarded when Scotland and England were united under one crown in 1707. Numerous Presbyterian bodies have been formed since then, both in the United Kingdom and around the world, and they have always been constituted on the basis of the Westminster standards (although declension from them has sometimes followed). -- When the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America was formed in 1788, it adopted the Westminster standards, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures. However, it revised chapters 20.4, 23.3, and 31.2 of the Confession, basically removing the civil magistrate (i.e., the state) from involvement in ecclesiastical matters. [link]

{Excellent!!} Church History - A Biography of William Tyndale (Mp3)

William Tyndale part 2 by Andy Davis | Mar 7, 2009 | Topic: Christian Biography [link]

The Life of William Tyndale - "Oh Lord, open the King of England's eyes" - translated Erasmus' Enchiridion militis christiani (Handbook of the Christian Soldier, 1503) - Tyndale announced to a visiting clergyman that he meant to translate the Bible so that ploughboys should be more educated than the clergyman himself

William Tyndale was born about 1494 in Gloucestershire. He took his B.A. at Oxford in 1512 and his M.A. in 1515. He also apparently spent time in Cambridge. He was for some time tutor to a Gloucestershire family. He disturbed the local divines by routing them at the dinner table with chapter and verse of scripture, and by translating Erasmus' Enchiridion militis christiani (Handbook of the Christian Soldier, 1503). He was accused of heresy, but nothing was ever proved. John Foxe reports in his Acts and Monuments (1563) that one day at dinner, Tyndale announced to a visiting clergyman that he meant to translate the Bible so that ploughboys should be more educated than the clergyman himself. -- He travelled to London to ask the Bishop, Cuthbert Tunstall, for support in his work. Tunstall rebuffed him. At this time, king Henry VIII was still the defender of the Catholic faith. Realising he could not translate the Bible in England, Tyndale accepted the help of a London merchant and went to Germany in 1524. He never returned to England, but lived a hand-to-mouth existence, dodging the Roman Catholic authorities. In 1525, he and his secretary moved to Cologne, Germany and began printing the New Testament. But Tyndale was betrayed, and fled up the Rhine to Worms. Here he started printing again, and the first complete printed New Testament in English appeared in February 1526. Copies began to arrive in England about a month later. In October, Tunstall had all the copies he could trace gathered and burned at St Paul's Cross in London. Still they circulated. Tunstall arranged to buy them before they left the continent, so that they could be burned in bulk. Tyndale used the money this brought him for further translation and revision. At the same time, he wrote polemical treatises and expositions of the Bible. He began the Old Testament, apparently in Antwerp: Foxe tells how, sailing to Hamburg to print Deuteronomy, he was shipwrecked and lost everything, 'both money, his copies, and time', and started all over again, completing the Pentateuch between Easter and December. Back in Antwerp, Tyndale printed it in early January, 1530. Copies were in England by the summer. Revisions and shorter translations followed. -- Tyndale's writings were popular in England. Henry VIII, fearing Tyndale's influence, sent an ambassador to persuade him to return to England. In a secret, nighttime meeting outside Antwerp city walls, Tyndale agreed that he would return to England, if the king would print an English Bible. By the time Henry published his Great Bible, Tyndale was already dead. In 1535, the fanatical Englishman Henry Phillips betrayed him to the Antwerp authorities and had him kidnapped. He was imprisoned at Vilvoorde, near Brussels, for sixteen months. A letter from him, in Latin, has survived, asking for a lamp, a blanket, and Hebrew texts, grammar and dictionary, so that he could study. Even Thomas Cromwell, the most powerful man next to King Henry VIII, moved to get him released: but Phillips in Belgium, acting for the papal authorities, blocked all the moves. -- On the morning of 6 October 1536, now in the hands of the secular forces, he was taken to the place of execution, tied to the stake, strangled and burned. His last words reportedly were: "Oh Lord, open the King of England's eyes." [link]

Who is William Tyndale? - William Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language

William Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language. Tyndale also went on to first translate much of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew into English, but he was executed in 1536 for the "crime" of printing the scriptures in English before he could personally complete the printing of an entire Bible. His friends Myles Coverdale, and John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers, managed to evade arrest and publish entire Bibles in the English language for the first time, and within one year of Tyndale's death. - These Bibles were primarily the work of William Tyndale. [link]

Wikipedia: William Tyndale (1494 - 1536 A.D.) -- was an English scholar and translator who became a leading figure in Protestant reformism towards the end of his life - He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and by Martin Luther

Tyndale was the first to translate considerable parts of the Bible from the original languages (Greek and Hebrew) into English. While a number of partial and complete translations had been made from the seventh century onward, particularly during the 14th century, Tyndale's was the first English translation to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, and the first to take advantage of the new medium of print, which allowed for its wide distribution. This was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and the English church and state. Tyndale also wrote, in 1530, The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII's divorce on the grounds that it contravened scriptural law. -- In 1535, Tyndale was arrested and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels for over a year. He was tried for heresy, choked, impaled and burnt on a stake in 1536. The Tyndale Bible, as it was known, continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world. The fifty-four independent scholars who created the King James Version of the bible in 1611 drew significantly on Tyndale's translations. One estimation suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale's, and the Old Testament 76%. -- Printed works: Most well known for his translation of the Bible, Tyndale was an active writer and translator. Not only did Tyndale's works focus on the way in which religion should be carried out, but were also greatly keyed towards the political arena. "They have ordained that no man shall look on the Scripture, until he be noselled in heathen learning eight or nine years and armed with false principles, with which he is an clean shut out of the understanding of the Scripture." [link]

400th Year Anniversary (May 1611 - May 2011) of the Authorized King James Version (KJV 1611) of the Bible - Erasmus' Textus Receptus was consulted during the translation of Reformation era Bibles including the Authorised Version (KJV) and represents readings found in the overwhelming majority of Greek texts available in the world today

The Authorised (British spelling) Version of the holy scriptures, commonly known as the Authorized King James Version or KJV, is the word of God and the glory of the English language. For almost 400 years it has led multitudes to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and a whole new life in him and his word. The King James Bible has spread across the world reaching mankind generation after generation. It has saved, comforted, exhorted, rebuked, admonished, warned, enlightened, and edified without ceasing. King James VI & I, founding monarch of Great Britain, not only commanded the translation of the Authorized Version but he actually took an active role in developing the rules for translators and encouraging the completion of the work. The King's College website states, The development of the Bible in English differs from that of other European vernacular translations. Only England has an "authorized version", issued under the auspices of a king who was also the head of the Church. The vernacular Bible was illegal in England long before the Reformation and so began its development at a great disadvantage, but once England became a Protestant country the translated Bible became a symbol of state. [link]

Wesley Center: William Tyndale's Old English Bible Translation - {Old English} New Testament, 1526 A.D. William Tyndale, The newe Testament as it was written and caused to be written by them which herde yt - To whom also oure saveour Christ Jesus commaunded that they shulde preache it unto al creatures - 1526 A.D. (PDF)

To download the entire Tyndale Bible click here. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader for this file. To read a particular book, click on the appropriate link below: -- About the Wesley Center Online -- The Wesley Center Online web site is a collection of historical and scholarly resources about the Wesleyan Tradition, theology, Christianity, and the Nazarene church. Copyright © 1993-2011. Wesley Center for Applied Theology, c/o Northwest Nazarene University. All Rights Reserved. [link]

The Spreading Flame, 5-DVD Set

The Protestant Reformation comes alive with this introduction to the key characters, turning points, and events of this dramatic time in church history. Travel to Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, and England and be inspired by the faith and determination of the Waldenses, the Huguenots, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Knox, Calvin, Zwingli, Luther, and other champions of the faith. Five DVDs, approx. 80 minutes each. DVDs Included: Comes the Dawn - Your heart will be thrilled a the mighty exploits of God's faithful people and how His providence has overruled in the affairs of men and nations, that the truth of the Gospel should never be extinguished. Story of the Bible - From Erasmus to John Wycliffe to William Tyndale, their diligence and perseverance laid the foundation for the Bible we have today Champions of Freedom - John Knox and Ulrich Zwingli wage fierce and courageous battles to bring spiritual freedom to their respective countries Winds of Change - Strange - and wonderful - how the winds of God's providence blow in favour of the truth. The Reformation Comes of Age - The precious saints of God endure many trials and tribulations. But through them all, freedom and truth burn like a spreading flame. [link]

An epic film - Luther: The Movie (2003) - Martin Luther, the brilliant man of God whose defiant actions changed the world (sparked the Protestant reformation) {An excellent movie about God and mankind and the relationship between the two. It also well documents the horrors of when a valid movement (i.e. having a local Bible translation for the people to read like in English) goes to far. Keep in mind that Dr. Martin Luther also had many faults, he later became somewhat anti-Jewish and the Nazis' later used some of Luther's writings to persecute the Jews.} (DVD)

Luther: The Movie, DVD --> Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) stars as Martin Luther, the brilliant man of God whose defiant actions changed the world, in this epic film that traces Luther's extraordinary and exhilarating quest for the people's liberation. Regional princes and the powerful Church wield a fast, firm and merciless grip on 16th-centur Germany. But when Martin Luther issues a shocking challenge to their authority, the people declare him their new leader - and hero. Even when threatened with violent death, Luther refuses to back down, sparking a bloody revolution that shakes the entire continent to its core. Approx. 2 hours 4 minutes. [link]

1522 A.D. - 1880 A.D. -- Indigenous Bible Translations and Doctrines Era - The Reformation - Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, etc.

Introduction: At the time of the death of printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg in 1468 A.D. a young Desiderius Erasmus, publisher of the Textus Receptus (the early version of the KJV Bible) was already two years old - Throughout his life Erasmus would translate and publish the most complete and accurate Bible of his time, his works in use by others would continue to inspire generations of Christians even to the present day

Later on January 3, 1521 A.D. the great Martin Luther would be excommunicated. Excommunicated by the corrupt, occult, Illuminati Pope Leo X. A move by Pope Leo X that would finalize the Protestant Reformation and assure that Rome would never again be the sole Christian authority on earth. [link]

Martin Luther Excommunicated, January 3, 1521 A.D. - The Church usually handed excommunicated persons over to civil authorities to be burned at the stake - However, circumstances prevailed that spared Martin Luther this fate and paved the way for Luther's stand at the Diet of Worms in April 1521 A.D.

On January 3, 1521 the Vatican published the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem ([It] Befits [the] Roman Pontiff), excommunicating Martin Luther for Luther's refusal to recant. The pope [Leo X] had issued a previous bull, Exsurge Domine (Arise, O Lord), giving Luther 60 days to recant and another 60 days to make his recantation known to Rome. Meanwhile, Luther's books were being burned for allegedly containing heresy. On December 10, 1520 Luther responded by publicly burning his copy of Exsurge Domine. -- The Church usually handed excommunicated persons over to civil authorities to be burned at the stake. However, circumstances prevailed that spared Martin Luther this fate and paved the way for Luther's stand at the Diet of Worms in April 1521. The pure teaching of Scripture would not be snuffed out by the flames. -- Luther wasn't looking to split the Church; he wanted the Church to institute reforms and took a more conciliatory tone at first in his writings. When it became clear that the pope cared not at all for Scripture and reason, only for Luther's recantation, Luther rose to the challenge and prepared to take his stand. The truth of God's Word, long muffled or distorted by the noise of human traditions, would find a voice in Martin Luther and others willing to risk everything on the authority and benevolence of Sola Scriptura. [link]

Wikipedia: Martin Luther (10 November 1483 - 18 February 1546) -- A German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation - He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money - He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his **Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 A.D. - His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor

Luther taught that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with Luther's teachings are called Lutherans. -- His (1522 A.D.) translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry. -- In his later years, while suffering from several illnesses and deteriorating health, Luther became increasingly antisemitic, writing that Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed. These statements have contributed to his controversial status. [link]

John Calvin (1509 - 1564 A.D.) -- In 1536 the first edition of "Institutes of the Christian Religion" was published in Basle - It was revised on a number of occasions and the final edition was published in 1559 A.D. - This book was a clear explanation of his religious beliefs - The later versions expanded on how his church should be organized

Calvinism was based around the absolute power and supremacy of God. The world was created so that Mankind might get to know Him. Calvin believed that Man was sinful and could only approach God through faith in Christ - not through Mass and pilgrimages. Calvin believed that the New Testament and baptism and the Eucharist had been created to provide Man with continual divine guidance when seeking faith. In Calvin's view, Man, who is corrupt, is confronted by the omnipotent (all powerful) and omnipresent (present everywhere) God who before the world began predestined some for eternal salvation (the Elect) while the others would suffer everlasting damnation (the Reprobates). The chosen few were saved by the operation of divine grace which cannot be challenged and cannot be earned by Man's merits. You might have lead what you might have considered a perfectly good life that was true to God but if you were a reprobate you remained one because for all your qualities you were inherently corrupt and God would know this even if you did not. However, a reprobate by behaving decently could achieve an inner conviction of salvation. An Elect could never fall from grace. However, God remained the judge and lawgiver of men. Predestination remained a vital belief in Calvinism. [link]

Ulrich Zwingli (1484 - 1531 A.D.) -- A Swiss Protestant leader in the Reformation - Ulrich Zwingli is not as famous as the likes as Martin Luther or John Calvin but he did play his part in the 'Protestant' break with the Roman Catholic Church - Zwingli and Luther met at Marburg in 1529 in an attempt to unite the Protestant faiths - This meeting failed to do this - Both men could not reach an agreement on what Christ said at the Last Supper - Luther believed that 'this is my body' meant just that whereas Zwingli believed that 'my' meant signifies

Ulrich Zwingli was a Swiss Protestant leader in the Reformation. Ulrich Zwingli is not as famous as the likes as Martin Luther or John Calvin but he did play his part in the break with the Roman Catholic Church. Ulrich (sometimes spelt Huldreich) Zwingli was born in 1484. He attended universities at Basle and Vienna and served as a parish priest in Glarus, Switzerland. Zwingli went with soldiers from Glarus to fight in the Habsburg-Valois Wars and between 1516 and 1518 he started to question the whole issue of Catholicism as Humanism started to make an impression on him. It is possible that Zwingli did not read any Lutheran literature until he moved in 1518 to Zurich as a Common Preacher (Leutpriester) at the Great Minster. It was at the Great Minster that Zwingli stated what is called the Zurich Reformation with sermons that were based on the Bible. Zwingli soon converted the city's council to his points of view. The council pushed the city into becoming a stronghold of Protestantism and Zurich's lead was followed by Berne and Basle. -- Zwingli's '67 Articles' (1523 A.D.) were adopted by Zurich as the city's official doctrine and the city experienced rapid reform. Preaching and Bible readings - known as prophesyings - were made more frequent; images and relics were frowned on, clerical marriage was allowed, monks and nuns were encouraged to come out of their isolated existence, monasteries were dissolved and their wealth was used to fund education and poor relief. In 1525, Zurich broke with Rome and the Mass became a very simple ceremony using both bread and blood which merely represented the body and blood of Christ. The church of Zwingli attempted to control moral behaviour and strict supervision became common in Zurich. -- As with Martin Luther and John Calvin, the problem Zwingli faced was that some people were concerned that he had gone too far too soon while others, especially the Anabaptists, felt that he had not gone far enough. The Anabaptists were dealt with when Zwingli fell in with the city's magistrates and supported the move to exile the Anabaptists or if they refused to leave the city, deal with them in another way - drowning. -- Zwingli and Luther met at Marburg in 1529 in an attempt to unite the Protestant faiths. This meeting failed to do this. Both men could not reach an agreement on what Christ said at the Last Supper. Luther believed that 'this is my body' meant just that whereas Zwingli believed that 'my' meant signifies. Such disunity among the Protestant faiths only served to encourage the Catholic Church that the Counter-Reformation was having an impact. -- Though Zurich became a stronghold of Protestantism, the areas surrounding the city remained wary of a resurgent Catholic Church. They also feared that Zurich might become too powerful and assert its city powers within these regions. Also the area around Zurich was famed for the mercenaries it provided and such a 'profession' was frowned on by Zwingli. In 1529, these areas around Zurich formed the Christian Union and joined with the catholic Austrian monarchy. Zwingli preached a religious war against them and two campaigns were launched in 1529 and 1531. Zwingli was killed at the Battle of Keppel in October 1531. His work was continued by his son-in-law, Heinrich Bullinger. [link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} (Part 1 of 3) Pope Leo X: 11 December 1475 - 1 December 1521, born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, [made a Cardinal at the age of 13] was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest (only a deacon) to be elected Pope - He is known for granting indulgences [selling a type of sin tithe] for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses - He was the second son of Lorenzo de' Medici, the most famous ruler of the Florentine Republic, and Clarice Orsini - His cousin, Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, would later succeed him as Pope Clement VII (1523-34) {As an Occult infiltrator [concerned with money, power and destroying Christianity] of the Roman Catholic Church Pope Leo X was primarily involved in stripping money from Churches and individuals affiliated with Rome and appropriating the money for his own use. Pope Leo X used four schemes to gain wealth 1. Starting an overpriced building project [reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica] by taxing other churches. 2. Began the selling of 'indulgences' [licenses to sin] to individuals. 3. Initiating finances for a military Crusade against the Middle-East. 4. The selling of church offices, positions and even the belongings for huge sums of money to unqualified an unworthy individuals.}

Spendthrift [primarily on things not directly benefiting or advancing the Christian message and Gospel of Jesus Christ]: Leo's lively interest in art and literature, to say nothing of his natural liberality, his alleged nepotism, his political ambitions and necessities, and his immoderate personal luxury, exhausted within two years the hard savings of [Pope] Julius II, and precipitated a financial crisis from which he never emerged and which was a direct cause of most of what, from a papal point of view, were calamities of his pontificate. -- He sold cardinals' hats. He sold membership in the "Knights of Peter". He borrowed large sums from bankers, curials, princes and Jews. The Venetian ambassador Gradenigo estimated the paying number of offices on Leo's death at 2,150, with a capital value of nearly 3,000,000 ducats (about 132 million dollars in 2010 dollars) and a yearly income of 328,000 ducats ($14,432,000.00). -- The ordinary income of the pope for the year 1517 had been reckoned at about 580,000 ducats ($2,552,000.00) [around $44 each ducat coin in 2010 dollars], of which 420,000 came from the States of the Church, 100,000 from annates, and 60,000 from the composition tax instituted by Sixtus IV. These sums, together with the *considerable amounts accruing from indulgences, jubilees, and special fees, *vanished as quickly as they were received. Then the pope resorted to pawning palace furniture, table plate, jewels, even statues of the apostles. Several banking firms and many individual creditors were ruined by the death of Leo. [link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} (Part 2 of 3) Pope Leo X: Plans for a [power grabbing] Crusade - A truce was to be proclaimed throughout Christendom; the pope was to be the arbiter of disputes; the emperor and the king of France were to lead the army; England, Spain and Portugal were to furnish the fleet; and the combined forces were to be directed against Constantinople - Papal diplomacy in the interests of peace failed

Plans for a Crusade: The war of Urbino was further marked by a crisis in the relations between pope and cardinals. The sacred college had allegedly grown especially worldly and troublesome since the time of Sixtus IV, and Leo took advantage of a plot of several of its members to poison him, not only to inflict exemplary punishments by executing one and imprisoning several others, but also to make a radical change in the college. -- On 3 July 1517 he published the names of thirty-one new cardinals, a number almost unprecedented in the history of the papacy. Among the nominations were such notable men such as Lorenzo Campeggio, Giambattista Pallavicini, Adrian of Utrecht, Thomas Cajetan, Cristoforo Numai and Egidio Canisio. The naming of seven members of prominent Roman families, however, reversed the policy of his predecessor which had kept the political factions of the city out of the Curia. Other promotions were for political or family considerations or to secure money for the war against Urbino. The pope was accused of having exaggerated the conspiracy of the cardinals for purposes of financial gain, but most of such accusations appear unsubstantiated. -- Leo, meanwhile, felt the need of staying the advance of the Ottoman sultan, Selim I, who was threatening western Europe, and made elaborate plans for a crusade. A truce was to be proclaimed throughout Christendom; the pope was to be the arbiter of disputes; the emperor and the king of France were to lead the army; England, Spain and Portugal were to furnish the fleet; and the combined forces were to be directed against Constantinople. Papal diplomacy in the interests of peace failed, however; Cardinal Wolsey made England, not the pope, the arbiter between France and the Empire; and much of the money collected for the crusade from tithes and indulgences was spent in other ways. -- In 1519 Hungary concluded a three years' truce with Selim I, but the succeeding sultan, Suleyman the Magnificent, renewed the war in June 1521 and on 28 August captured the citadel of Belgrade. The pope was greatly alarmed, and although he was then involved in war with France he sent about 30,000 ducats to the Hungarians. -- Leo treated the Uniate Greeks with great loyalty, and by bull of 18 May 1521 forbade Latin clergy to celebrate mass in Greek churches and Latin bishops to ordain Greek clergy. These provisions were later strengthened by Clement VII and Paul III and went far to settle the constant disputes between the Latins and Uniate Greeks. [link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} (Part 3 of 3) Pope Leo X: Protestant Reformation and last years - Leo was disturbed throughout his pontificate by schism, especially the Reformation sparked by Martin Luther - In response to concerns about [priest-pastor] misconduct from some servants of the church

In 1517 A.D. Martin Luther read his Ninety-Five Theses on the topic of indulgences in the church courtyard at Wittenberg. Students took the theses, translated them from Latin to German, and through the printing press they spread throughout Europe. Within two weeks, the theses had spread throughout Germany, and after two months they had spread throughout Europe. Leo failed to fully comprehend the importance of the movement, and in February 1518 he directed the vicar-general of the Augustinians to impose silence on his monks. -- On 30 May, Luther sent an explanation of his theses to the pope; on 7 August he was summoned to appear at Rome. An arrangement was effected, however, whereby that summons was cancelled, and Luther went instead to Augsburg in October 1518 to meet the papal legate, Cardinal Cajetan; but neither the arguments of the cardinal, nor Leo's dogmatic papal bull of 9 November requiring all Christians to believe in the pope's power to grant indulgences, moved Luther to retract. A year of fruitless negotiations followed, during which the controversy took popular root across the German States. -- A further papal bull of 15 June 1520, Exsurge Domine or Arise, O Lord, condemned forty-one propositions extracted from Luther's teachings, and was taken to Germany by Eck in his capacity as apostolic nuncio. Leo followed by formally excommunicating Luther by the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem or It Pleases the Roman Pontiff, on 3 January 1521. In a brief the Pope also directed Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor to take energetic measures against heresy. -- It was also under Leo that Lutheranism spread into Scandinavia. The pope had repeatedly used the rich northern benefices to reward members of the Roman curia, and towards the close of the year 1516 he sent the impolitic Arcimboldi as papal nuncio to Denmark to collect money for St Peter's. This led to the Reformation in Denmark-Norway and Holstein. King Christian II took advantage of the growing dissatisfaction of the native clergy toward the papal government, and of Arcimboldi's interference in the Swedish revolt, to expel the nuncio and summon Lutheran theologians to Copenhagen in 1520. Christian approved a plan by which a formal state church should be established in Denmark, all appeals to Rome should be abolished, and the king and diet should have final jurisdiction in ecclesiastical causes. Leo sent a new nuncio to Copenhagen (1521) in the person of the Minorite Francesco de Potentia, who readily absolved the king and received the rich bishopric of Skara. The pope or his legate, however, took no steps to remove abuses or otherwise reform the Scandinavian churches. --- Having fallen ill with malaria, Pope Leo X died on December 1, 1521, so suddenly that the last sacraments could not be administered; but the contemporary suspicions of poison were unfounded. He was buried in Santa Maria sopra Minerva. [link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} The Revised Roman Empire - The [two] Medici Popes - Pope Leo X [1513 - 1521] known for being the Pope that challenged Martin Luther's [1517 A.D.] 95 Theses -- Pope Clement VII [1523 - 1534] (Medici cousin of Pope Leo X) known for being Pope during the sacking of Rome in 1527 A.D. [The (Occult) Medici (family), led by (Pope) Clement, had tried to play everyone off against each other and had made everyone their enemy -- at least temporarily - source: mmdtkw.org/VSackRome.html]

Pope Leo X - Giovanni de'Medici, 1475 - 1513 - 1521: Giovanni de'Medici, second son of Lorenzo and younger brother of the fatuous Piero, became the first of the Medici Popes (Leo X - Leone Decimo) at the age of 38 on 11 March 1513. Prior to this his life had been a complete roller coaster. Brought up in Medici luxury alongside Michelangelo (who was included in the Medici household by Lorenzo), older brother Piero and cousin Giulio (who was adopted by Lorenzo after his father (who was Lorenzo's brother) was killed in the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478), he had access to the incomes of several wealthy monasteries, including Badia a Passignano, and was made a Cardinal at the age of 13. All this came to an abrupt end in 1494 when, in the wake of Lorenzo's death, the incompetent surrender of his brother Piero the Fatuous to the French, and the ensuing Savanorola stirred turbulence, he had to sneak out of Florence dressed as a Franciscan Friar, and then live in hiding with his cousin for the next decade, latterly being protected by the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian (who ironically was to be a major cause of the collapse of the Bruges branch of the Medici Bank) and then by the dreadful Cesare Borgia and his father Pope Alessandro VI (1431 - 1492 - 1503 (72)) in Rome. ... Pope Clement VII Giulio de'Medici, 1478 - 1523 - 1534 (56) Illegitimate son of Lorenzo's (Pazzi murdered) brother Giuliano, adopted son of Lorenzo, and companion in exile to Lorenzo's son Giovanni (Leo X), who was three years his senior, Giulio de'Medici became Pope Clement VII (Clemente Settimo). He was good looking, intellectually sophisticated, a talented musician and a political disaster. In reality he also faced the legacy of the corrupt practices of his cousin Leo X, and the impossible task of operating in the emergent nation state Europe dominated by Charles V, Francis I, and Henry VIII (whom he excommunicated), and threatened by Suleiman the Magnificent, plus Martin Luther dealing the protestants into the game as well - see Insight Page. He lost England, and was humiliated by having to flee in disguise from Rome when it was barbarically sacked by Charles V's rabble army after Clement mistakenly got too close to flashy Francis I of France. [Images/Montages/Firenze/Medici Popes.htm link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} The Revised Roman Empire - The Medici Family [generally considered the most Occult family of Medieval Europe] - Other Prominent Medici were *Pope Leo X (1475-1521); Pope Clement VII (1478-1534); Catherine (1519-1589), wife of [King] Henry II of France; and Marie (1573-1642), wife of [King] Henry IV of France and regent for their son [King] Louis XIII [Note: this is also the important and historic timeframe of the general discovery of America by the Italian born explorer Christopher Columbus in his 1492 voyage from Spain to America (Bahamas).]

Medici, an Italian family of merchants and bankers who ruled the republic of Florence through economic power and personal influence. By their patronage of the arts they made Florence the center of the Italian Renaissance. The Medici were created dukes of Florence by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1531, and grand dukes of Tuscany by Emperor Maximilian II in 1575. The last Medici grand duke was deposed by the Austrians in 1737. Important members of the Medici family included the following. Giovanni De' Medici: (1360-1429) established the family fortune and made himself ruler of Florence's merchant oligarchy. Cosimo De' Medici: (1389-1464), his son, used his banking business to gain political power and led Florence in a long period of prosperity and artistic achievement. Lorenzo the Magnificent: (1449-1492), grandson of Cosimo, gained fame as a statesman and patron of arts and letters. He was recognized as a poet himself and was largely responsible for the Tuscan dialect becoming the national speech of Italy. Cosimo (I) the Great: (1519-1574) succeeded to the dukedom in 1537 and ruled as a despot. He restored the duchy of Tuscany by conquering the other republics that had been part of it. [link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} The Revised Roman Empire - 'Occult' power: the politics of witchcraft and superstition in Renaissance Florence - In Florence, how did one family--the Medici--secure their power after over a century of struggle, and how did they come to construct a myth of their own legitimacy? (Book)

Lawrence's interpretation, however narrow and flawed, does highlight an indisputable element of Grazzini's tale of Dr. Manente: its cruelty and "monstrosity," traits that, I will argue, provide insight into the social structures of the mid-sixteenth century, particularly those that rely upon coersion and force. In Florence, how did one family--the Medici--secure their power after over a century of struggle, and how did they come to construct a myth of their own legitimacy? ... It is important to remember that, from 1494--when the friar himself gained widespread support and offered a major threat to the rule of the Medici family--until long after his execution in 1498, Savonarola bequeathed a powerful religious and political vision that was not dependent on his leadership for survival--a fact that fascinated the political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli. Savonarola's followers--called the Piagnoni first by their enemies and later, proudly, by themselves--remained politically active after his execution, through the Republic that lasted until 1513, when the first Medici pope, Leo X, used the considerable influence of this position to help his family and their allies to return to Florence, and again after the sack of Rome in 1527, which occurred during the pontificate of another Medici, Clement VII. The Piagnoni continued to be active even after the Medici, first Alessandro and then Cosimo I, openly turned Florence onto the path of absolutism [unlimited, centralized authority and absolute sovereignty] by accepting the [nobility] title of Duke. ... Lorenzo's manipulation of the Church comes into play in the next phase of the beffa. ... At this point, Grazzini emphasizes not only that many friars and priests were ignorant, but, more importantly, that the kind of people Lorenzo elevated to positions of power in the Florentine church hierarchy were either superstitious [occult] or corrupt, criticisms that Savonarola also often made of the Medici. [link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} The Revised Roman Empire - Christian and Rosicrucian Kabbalah [esoteric (hidden) teachings - the real NWO - New Age bible] - The origional Jewish [Witchcraft - King Solomon] Kabbalah --> Christian mystic, Raymon Lull (1232 - 1316 A.D.) originator of the Christian Kabbalah --> Renaissance Christian Kabbalah (Medici family) --> Rosicrucian (Illuminati - Freemason) Kabbalah --> Modern Occult Kabbalah - The beginning of Christian Kabbalah is to be found in the teachings of the Catalan philosopher and mystic, Raymon Lull - Lull had the idea of unifying all three religions [Judaism, Christianity, Islam] by developing a philosophy incoporating elements common to all - the way he intended to [unite] convert was through rational and mystical doctrine - Renaissance Christian Kabbalah was derived from a number of sources - Firstly, the christological [christ doctrine] speculations of a number of Jewish converts from the late 13th to the late fifteenth centuries - Secondly, the philosophical Christian and Renaissance speculation concerning the Kabbalah that developed around the Platonic Acadamy *founded by the **Medici family in Florence

Lull based his Art on the importance which Christian, Moslem [Islam], and Jew each attached to the Divine Names or Attributes, or, as he called them, Dignities. Lull mentioned nine Dignities (or Dignitaries): Bonitas (Goodness), Magnitudo (Greatness), Eternitas (Eternity), Potestas (Power), Sapientia (Wisdom), Voluntas (Will), Virtus (Virtue), Veritas (Truth), and Gloria (Glory). These are shown in the follwing diagram. ... In addition we also find the incorporation of the four elements [earth, water, air and fire] and the qualities, the seven planets and twelves [astrological] signs, medicine, alchemy, geometry, a letter notation, and so on. There is an elaborate system of correspondences, in that the nine Dignitaries have their correspondences in the celestial sphere, the human level, and the animal, plant, and material creation. In all this we see the influence, not only of Kabbalah, but also of Aristotlean categories, Augustinian Platonism (nearly all the Lullian Dignities can be found listed as Augustine's Divine Attributes), and the celestial hierarchies of angels of the Christian Neoplatonist Dionysius. [Frances A. Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, pp.9-12]. -- Renaissance Kabbalah: Renaissance Christian Kabbalah was derived from a number of sources. Firstly, the christological speculations of a number of Jewish converts from the late 13th to the late fifteenth centuries. Secondly, the philosophical Christian and Renaissance speculation concerning the Kabbalah that developed around the Platonic Acadamy founded by the Medici family in Florence. Pico della Mirandola The Florentines, headed by the renowned Renaissance hermeticist Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-94) believed they had discovered in Kabbalah a lost divine revelation that could give the key to understanding both the teachings of Pythagoras, Plato, and the Orphics, and the inner secrets of Catholic Christianity. Pico himself had a considerable amount of Kabbalistic literature translated into Latin by the scholarly convert Samuel ben Nissim Abulfaraj. Among the 900 theses Pico presented for public debate in Rome was the claim that "no science can better convince us of the divinity of Jesus Christ than magic and the Kabbalah", and he believed he could prove the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation through Kabbalistic axioms. All this caused a sensation in the intellectual Christian world, and the writings of Pico and his follower Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522) led on the one hand to great interest in the doctrine of Divine Names and in practical (magical) Kabbalah (culminating in Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim's De Occult Philosophia (1531) and on the other to further attempts at a synthesis between Kabbalah and Christian theology. [Gershom Scholem, Kabbalah, pp.197-8] -- Rosicrucian Kabbalah: By the late 16th century Christian Kabbalah began to be permeated with alchemical symbolism; a trend that continued through the 17th and 18th century. Well known representatives are the Rosucrucian philosopher and alchemist Robert Fludd (1574-1637) and the alchemist Thomas Vaughan (1622-1666) among others. One of the works of Fludd presents an interpretation of the Sefirotic Tree which he illustrates as a Palm (left), whose ten spreading branches raying forth from the lowest world suggest that man on earth is a microcosm or reflection of the macrocosm or universe. In the second half of the 18th century this alchemical kabbalah was combined with Freemasonic numerology and occultism, from which was ultimately to develop the extraordinary occult/magickal revival of the late 19th century known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn illustration (left) from World Trees by Hazel Minot Kircher's Tree from Oedipus Aegyptiacus published in 1652 by Athanasius Kircher, a Jesuit priest and hermetic philosopher -- Occult Kabbalah: By the 19th century the occultists of the French magician revival, such as Eliphas Levi (Alphonse Louis Constant; 1810-1875) and Papus (Gerard Encausse; 1868-1916) had lost all understanding of the original Jewish meaning of Kabbalah, and brought in various extraneous elements such as Tarot. Levi was an influential figure both on the Theosophy of Blavatsky and even more so the Golden Dawn Order of Mathers and Westcott, with it's unique Kabbalistic (or Qabalistic, to use the prefered spelling) formulation of Sefirot and paths, through which Kabbalah established itself in the contemporary Western Occult Tradition. [link]

Amazon: Empires Collection - The Dynasties - Egypt's Golden Empire / **The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance / Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire / The Roman Empire in the First Century / The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization) - Empires Collection: The Dynasties (5 Disc Gift Set) - Empires Collection: The Dynasties is a compilation of five outstanding stories of some of history’s greatest dynasties (2000 - DVDs)

Egypt's Golden Empire: In 1570 B.C., when Rome was still a marsh and the Acropolis was an empty rock, Egypt was already 1000 years old. Although the period of the pyramid-builders was long over, Egypt lay on the threshold of its greatest age. The New Kingdom would be an empire forged by conquest, maintained by intimidation and diplomacy, and remembered long after its demise. Led by a dynasty of rich personalities, whose dramatic lives changed the course of civilization, Egypt's Golden Empire presents the most extraordinary period in Egyptian history: from 1570 B.C. to 1070 B.C., when the Egyptian Empire reached its zenith. -- The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance - From a small Italian community in 15th century Florence, the Medici family would rise to rule Europe in many ways. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power. They would also ignite the most important cultural and artistic revolution in Western history- the European Renaissance. But the forces of change the Medici helped unleash would one day topple their ordered world. An epic drama played out in the courts, cathedrals and palaces of Europe, this series is both the tale of one family's powerful ambition and of Europe's tortured struggle to emerge from the ravages of the Dark Ages. -- Japan: Memoirs Of A Secret Empire - Commanding shoguns and samurai warriors, exotic geisha and exquisite artisans -- all were part of the Japanese "renaissance" -- a period between the 16th and 19th centuries when Japan went from chaos and violence to a land of ritual refinement and peace. But stability came at a price: for nearly 250 years, Japan was a land closed to the Western world, ruled by the Shogun under his absolute power and control. Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire brings to life the unknown story of a mysterious empire, its relationship to the West, and the forging of a nation that would emerge as one of the most important countries in the world. -- The Roman Empire in the First Century: Two thousand years ago, at the dawn of the first century, the ancient world was ruled by Rome. Through the experiences, memories and writings of the people who lived it, this series tells the story of that time - the emperors and slaves, poets and plebeians, who wrested order from chaos, built the most cosmopolitan society the world had ever seen and shaped the Roman empire in the first century A.D. -- The Greeks: Crucible [melting pot] of Civilization - The Greeks - Classical Greece of the 4th and 5th centuries, B.C. was a magnificent civilization that laid the foundations for modern science, politics, warfare, and philosophy, and produced some of the most breathtaking art and architecture the world has ever known. Through the eyes and words of the great heroes of ancient Greece, this dazzling production charts the rise, triumph, and eventual decline of the world's first democracy. Now, through dramatic storytelling and state-of-the-art computer animation, you witness history, art, and government with giants like Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. [link]

Wikipedia: Desiderius Erasmus (October 28, 1466 - July 12, 1536) - Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament - Erasmus lived through the Reformation period, but while he was critical of the Church, he could not bring himself to join the cause of the Reformers - In relation to clerical abuses in the Church, Erasmus remained committed to reforming the Church from within - He also held to Catholic doctrines such as that of free will, which some Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination - His middle road approach disappointed and even angered scholars in both camps

Known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, early proponent of religious toleration, and theologian. Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a pure Latin style and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists." He has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists." Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works. Erasmus lived through the Reformation period, but while he was critical of the Church, he could not bring himself to join the cause of the Reformers. In relation to clerical abuses in the Church, Erasmus remained committed to reforming the Church from within. He also held to Catholic doctrines such as that of free will, which some Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination. His middle road approach disappointed and even angered scholars in both camps. He died in Basel in 1536 and was buried in the formerly Catholic cathedral there, which had been converted to a Reformed church in 1529. Erasmus was his baptismal name, given after St. Erasmus of Formiae. Desiderius was a self-adopted additional name, which he used from 1496. The Roterodamus in his scholarly name is the Latinized adjectival form for the city of Rotterdam. -- Biography: Desiderius Erasmus was born in Holland on October 28th. The exact year of his birth is debated but some evidence confirming 1466 can be found in Erasmus's own words. Of twenty-three statements Erasmus made about his age, all but one of the first fifteen indicate 1466. He was christened "Erasmus" after the saint of that name. Although associated closely with Rotterdam, he lived there for only four years, never to return. Information on his family and early life comes mainly from vague references in his writings. His parents almost certainly were not legally married. His father, named Roger Gerard, later became a priest and afterwards curate in Gouda. Little is known of his mother other than that her name was Margaret and she was the daughter of a physician. Although he was born out of wedlock, Erasmus was cared for by his parents until their early deaths from the plague in 1483. He was then given the very best education available to a young man of his day, in a series of monastic or semi-monastic schools, most notably a Latin school in Deventer run by the Brethren of the Common Life (inspired by Geert Groote). During his stay here the curriculum was renewed by the principal of the school, Alexander Hegius. For the first time ever Greek was taught at a lower level than a university in Europe, and this is where he began learning it. He also gleaned there the importance of a personal relationship with God but eschewed the harsh rules and strict methods of the religious brothers and educators. [link]

Chick.com: Was Erasmus, the editor of the Textus Receptus (Received Text - manuscript for the later King James Version, KJV 1611 Holy Bible), a "good" Roman Catholic? -- Erasmus, edited the Greek text which was later to be known as the Textus Receptus - The Roman Catholic Church criticized his works for his refusal to use Jerome's Latin translation, a translation that he said was inaccurate - It has been said that "Erasmus laid the egg that Luther hatched" There is probably far more truth to this statement than can be casually discerned - For the reformers were armed with Erasmus's Bible, his writings and his attitude of resistance to Roman Catholic intimidation - Of Luther he said, "I favor Luther as much as I can, even if my cause is everywhere linked with his" - He wrote several letters on Luther's behalf, and wholeheartedly agreed with him that salvation was entirely by grace, not works -- Erasmus was also the FIRST person to use the term "fundamental"

He opposed Jerome's translation in two vital areas. He detected that the Greek text [of the Egyptian manuscripts] had been corrupted as early as the fourth century [by the desert monks - desert fathers]. He knew that Jerome's translation had been based solely on the Alexandrian manuscript, Vaticanus, written itself early in the fourth century. He also differed with Jerome on the translation of certain passages which were vital to the claimed authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Jerome rendered Matthew 4:17 thus: "Do penance, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Erasmus differed with: "Be penitent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Erasmus was also a staunch defender of both Mark 16:9-21 and John 8:1-12. Zeal which our modern day scholars cannot seem to find. -- Possibly Erasmus's greatest gift to mankind was his attitude toward the common man. In the rigidly "classed" society in which he lived, he was an indefatigable advocate of putting the Scripture in the hands of the common man. While Jerome's Latin had been translated at the bidding of the Roman hierarchy, Erasmus translated his Latin with the express purpose of putting it into the hands of the common people of his day. A practice that the Roman Catholic Church knew could be dangerous to its plan to control the masses. Erasmus is quoted as saying, "Do you think that the Scriptures are fit only for the perfumed?" "I venture to think that anyone who reads my translation at home will profit thereby." He boldly stated that he longed to see the Bible in the hands of "the farmer, the tailor, the traveler and the Turk." Later, to the astonishment of his upper classed colleagues, he added "the masons, the prostitutes and the pimps" to that declaration. Knowing his desire to see the Bible in the hands of God's common people, it seems not so surprising that God was to use his Greek text for the basis of the English Bible that was translated with the common man in mind, the King James Bible. -- It has been said that "Erasmus laid the egg that Luther hatched." There is probably far more truth to this statement than can be casually discerned. For the reformers were armed with Erasmus's Bible, his writings and his attitude of resistance to Roman Catholic intimidation. Of Luther he said, "I favor Luther as much as I can, even if my cause is everywhere linked with his." He wrote several letters on Luther's behalf, and wholeheartedly agreed with him that salvation was entirely by grace, not works. He refused pressure by his Roman Catholic superiors to denounce Luther as a heretic. If Erasmus had turned the power of his pen on Luther, it would undoubtedly have caused far more damage than the powerless threats of the pope and his imps were able to do. As it is, only his disagreement with Luther's doctrine of predestination ever prompted him to criticize the Reformer with pen and ink. Erasmus's greatest point of dissension with the Roman Church was over its doctrine of salvation through works and the tenets of the church. He taught that salvation was a personal matter between the individual and God and was by faith alone. Of the Roman system of salvation he complained, "Aristotle is so in vogue that there is scarcely time in the churches to interpret the gospel." And what was "the gospel" to which Erasmus referred? We will let him speak for himself. "Our hope is in the mercy of God and the merits of Christ." Of Jesus Christ he stated, "He ... nailed our sins to the cross, sealed our redemption with his blood." He boldly stated that no rites of the Church were necessary for an individual's salvation. "The way to enter paradise," he said, "is the way of the penitent thief, say simply, Thy will be done. The world to me is crucified and I to the world." Concerning the most biblical sect of his time, the Anabaptists, he reserved a great deal of respect. He mentioned them as early as 1523 even though he himself was often called the "only Anabaptist of the 16th century." He stated that the Anabaptists that he was familiar with called themselves "Baptists." (Ironically, Erasmus was also the FIRST person to use the term "fundamental.") So we see that when Erasmus died on July 11, 1536, he had led a life that could hardly be construed to be an example of what could be considered a "good Catholic." But perhaps the greatest compliment, though veiled, that Erasmus's independent nature ever received came in 1559, twenty-three years after his death. That is when Pope Paul IV put Erasmus's writings on the "Index" of books, forbidden to be read by Roman Catholics. [link]

Wikipedia: Codex Alexandrinus (an Egyptian manuscript) - The Codex (a book with pages vs. a parchment or a scroll) Alexandrinus is a [*corrupted] 5th century manuscript of the Greek Bible, containing the majority of the Septuagint and the New Testament - {All of the Egyptian manuscripts above are of poor quality with scribal errors of all sorts. They are poor copies with more than 5,000 changes compared to the Byzantine [Textus Receptus] manuscripts. Most of these changes are deletions, with verses and entire books missing. Many verses are modified and the reading does not make a complete thought or (use) simple logic. The only writing from the Apostle Paul is the book of Romans. There are more than 3,000 variants in the Gospels between the Codex Alexandrinus (A) and the Codex Vaticanus (B). Their lack of agreement reduces their reliability even further. One Bible text researcher has called this difference the 3,000 lies. (biblelife.org/word.htm)}

It derives its name from Alexandria where it resided for a number of years before it brought by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Cyril Lucaris from Alexandria to Constantinople. Then it was given to Charles I of England in the 17th century. Until the later purchase of the Codex Sinaiticus, it was the best manuscript of the Greek Bible deposited in Britain. Today, it rests along with Codex Sinaiticus in one of the showcases in the Ritblat Gallery of the British Library. As the text came from several different traditions, different parts of the codex are not of equal textual value. The text has been edited several times since the 18th century. [link]

The History of the New Testament Scriptures - Which Version of the Bible is Best? -- History proves that the Greek Textus Receptus or Received Text as edited by Desiderius Erasmus from the Holy Greek Byzantine Manuscripts is the inspired word of God - Only the King James Version [KJV 1611] and the New King James Version [NKJV] were translated into English from the Greek Textus Receptus [unfortunately the changes and modification in the NKJV are from Alexandrian texts - only the KJV 1611 is from th Textus Receptus] - This study will show that all other versions have been corrupted and should be rejected -- Byzantine New Testament Manuscripts - The major doctrines of the Bible were severely neglected and distorted during the Dark Ages (476 AD - 1100 AD), "600 years of degenerate, godless, inhuman behavior" - These doctrines are available today only because of the 5,000 Greek [Byzantine] manuscripts that survived

Vulgate: The Roman Catholic Church has preserved more than 8,000 copies of the Bible written in Latin and called the Vulgate which was originally translated from Greek and Hebrew to Latin by Saint Jerome. ... Jerome obtained his Alexandrian manuscripts (common in North Africa) from which he translated the New Testament portion of the Latin Vulgate. The Vulgate shows that Jerome did not use Byzantine manuscripts from the Eastern Church. -- The printing press had been invented no later that 1456 A.D. -- Textus Receptus: The rush was on to produce printed copies of the Scriptures for the populace. Printer John Froben of Basle contacted Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) to prepare a Greek New Testament manuscript for printing. Erasmus was a Roman Catholic who was highly critical of his own Church. He wanted to change the Church from within and was in disagreement with the Reformers over their harsh methods. He was in a struggle between the two and at times at odds with both. Erasmus' theology was more in agreement with the Eastern Greek Church than either the Roman Catholic Church or the Reformers such as Martin Luther. ... Erasmus used approximately six copies of the Greek Byzantine manuscripts as his source for the new Bible, rejecting copies of the Alexandrian text available in the Roman Catholic Church. The first printing of the new Greek Bible was in February 1516 and contained Greek text parallel to his own Latin version. The work was a huge success and in great demand even though the hurried work left many typographical errors. The second edition was printed in 1519 and the third in 1522. This work became known as the Textus Receptus or Received Text. Erasmus' work came under criticism because of a few small differences not found in a majority of the Greek Byzantine manuscripts. The verse giving a good description of the Trinity (1 John 5:7 in the KJV and NKJV) was inserted in his third edition. However, this was not an addition by Erasmus, because the same text can be found in four of the older Greek manuscripts. Of the Greek manuscripts used by Erasmus only one is said to have contained the book of Revelation but was missing the last page. He is believed to have translated the last six verses from the Latin Vulgate into Greek. Even so, these verses translated today from other Greek manuscripts give the same English rendering. The critics of the Textus Receptus tend to focus on these minor occurrences in the work in order to divert the reader from the real status of the work. The Textus Receptus is the Holy Inspired Word of God. -- Egyptian New Testament Manuscripts: Codex Sinaiticus (Sin.) was discovered in the library at the Monastery of St. Catherine at the foot of Mt. Sinai in 1859 by German theologian and Biblical scholar Count Konstantin von Tischendorf (1815-1874). Some of the Old Testament is missing; however, the whole 4th-century New Testament is preserved, with the Letter of Barnabas and most of the Shepherd of Hermas at the end. It was taken to St. Petersburg (Leningrad, Russia) and in 1933 sold by the Soviet regime to the British Museum Library in London for only 100,000 British Pounds Sterling. It is a partial manuscript believed to be dated about 350 A.D. as shown in the table below. Later revisions representing attempts to alter the text to a different standard probably were made about the 6th or 7th century at Caesarea. - Codex Vaticanus (B) was discovered in the Vatican Library, where it remains and is believed to have been since before 1475 A.D. It is a partial manuscript believed to be dated about 300 A.D. as shown in the table below. The New Testament is missing Hebrews from Chapter 9, verse 14, Philemon, and Revelation. The text type is mostly of the Alexandrian group. - Codex Alexandrinus (A) was discovered in the patriarchal library at Alexandria in the seventeenth century and taken to the British Museum Library in London as well. It contains most of the New Testament but with lacunae (gaps) in Matthew, John and II Corinthians, and also contains the extracanonical books of I and II Clement. In the Gospels the text is of the Byzantine type, but in the rest of the New Testament it is Alexandrian. It is believed to be dated about 450 A.D. as shown in the table below. - Beatty Papyri (P) were made available in the period between 1930 and 1960 from two wealthy book collectors, Chester Beatty and Martin Bodmer. These fragments of papyri were mainly found preserved in the dry sands of Egypt. They are all Alexandrian text type. The various papyri fragments are now located in Dublin, Ireland; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Cologny, Switzerland; Vatican, Rome; and Vienna, Austria. These fragments are partial manuscripts with the Gospel of John 18:31-33 and 18:37-38 (manuscript P52) being the oldest, dating to about 130-140 A.D. P52 is now in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England. The others are believed to be dated about 200 to 250 A.D. as shown in the table below. -- All of the Egyptian manuscripts above are of poor quality with scribal errors of all sorts. They are poor copies with more than 5,000 changes compared to the Byzantine manuscripts. Most of these changes are deletions, with verses and entire books missing. Many verses are modified and the reading does not make a complete thought or simple logic. The only writing from the Apostle Paul is the book of Romans. There are more than 3,000 variants in the Gospels between the Codex Alexandrinus (A) and the Codex Vaticanus (B). Their lack of agreement reduces their reliability even further. One Bible text researcher has called this difference the 3,000 lies. - These manuscripts are believed to have been saved because they were stored away or discarded by the Gnostics, who were later purged from the Roman Catholic Church in the 2nd century. The first anti-Gnostic writer was St. Justin Martyr (d. c. 165). The full purging took place over many centuries until the Roman Catholic Church declared Gnosticism as heresy. The older Egyptian manuscripts are not necessarily in agreement with the original Scriptures. Nobody knows. A manuscript cannot be declared more accurate simply because of its age. This is a common error made by student of Christian history. On the other hand, the Byzantine Greek manuscripts were in constant use as the early Christian church grew. Older Byzantine manuscripts were discarded because of wear and replaced with new copies. - Gnosticism was an esoteric religious movement that flourished and spread to Egypt during the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. It presented a major challenge to orthodox Christianity. Most Gnostic sects professed Christianity, but their belief sharply diverged from those of the majority of Christians in the early church. It is believed that the Gnostics butchered the Greek text with these 5,000 changes, which are mostly deletions. The Gnostics can be identified because the deletions match their [Gnostic] theology. [link]

The Controversy Behind Modern [since 1881 A.D.] Bible Versions - Remember! All the modern versions [NIV, NKJV, The Message, ESV, etc.] are based on the [excessively corrupted] (1881) Westcott and Hort text - writings of men [Westcott and Hort] who boasted between themselves that they held doctrines that would be considered dangerous heresy

Remember! All the modern versions are based on the Westcott and Hort text, compiled by two men who both believed that the sacred text of Holy Scripture was to be approached and treated like any secular text of history. The English people, who felt secure in their trust that these two Cambridge scholars would take care of attacks on the Scripture, unknowingly accepted the public utterances and writings of men who boasted between themselves that they held doctrines that would be considered dangerous heresy. Nowhere in all literature can we find a more perfectly clear self-revelation of Fenton John Anthony Hort than in the Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort published in 1896 by his son, Author Fenton Hort. Hort was brought up by a well taught Bible-believing evangelical mother. She recognized the fact that her son had departed from the faith "once delivered to the saints" and was saddened thereby. -- Hort acknowledged his departure from the Evangelical faith when he wrote, "Further I agree with those who condemn many leading specific doctrines of the popular theology, as to say the least, containing much superstition and immorality of a very pernicious king... The positive doctrines even of the Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue. There are I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, and especially the authority of the Bible," Life and Letters, Vol. I, p.400. Again Dr. Hort states, "Another idea has lately occurred to me: is not Mariolatry displacing much worship of scattered saints and so becoming a tendency towards unity of worship? I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and Jesus worship have very much in common in their causes and their results" Vol. I, p.50-51 "Life and Letters." -- Hort was completely deceived by Darwin Vol. I, p.374 "Life and Letters." "Have you read Darwin?...in spite of difficulties, I am inclined to think it is unanswerable (page 416). "...another last word on Darwin...I shall not let the matter drop in a hurry, or, to speak more correctly, it will not let me drop...there is no getting rid of it any more than a part of oneself." Vol. I, pages 433-434. On the atonement Hort writes, "Certainly nothing can be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christ's bearing our sins and sufferings to His death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy." Vol. I, page 430 "Life and Letters." -- Hort in writing to a friend, John Ellerton, Dec. 20, 1851 said: "I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on the villainous Textus Receptus... Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late manuscripts. It is a blessing there are such early ones." Hort refers of course to the very corrupt Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Alexandrius in which its finder, Tischendorf, noted 12,000 alterations, Codex Sinaiticus. We ask, "From where did Hort get this great antipathy and hatred for the Textus Receptus so early in his career? How did he conceive his ingenious theories to do away with the fact that the Textus Receptus (the Greek text underlying the King James Version) and that which is representative of a very, very high percentage of all Greek Manuscripts?" -- Look at the hidden background for the modern spreading rejection of the King James Version. The followers of Westcott and Hort are following the lead of men who have departed from the faith and have given themselves over to a strictly forbidden prying into the occult. They had received from the world of spirits a hatred for the true Word of God. After we learn that Hort describes the sacred text as "being that vile Textus Receptus," we read Hort's words, "Westcott, Gorham, C.B. Scott, Benson, Bradshaw, Luard, and I have started a society for the investigation of ghosts, and all supernatural appearances, and effects, being all disposed to believe that such things really exist, and ought to be discriminated from hoaxes and mere subjective delusions; we shall be happy to obtain any good accounts well authenticated with names. Our own temporary name is the [occult] Ghostly Guild." Vol. I, page 211. [link]

the expositor: The Message (MSG) "bible" [Author: Eugene H. Peterson] Inserts Earth Reverence, God of "Green" Hope - "Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!" (The Message, Romans 15:13) -- "The Message" text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic, or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses, without express written permission of the publisher, NavPress Publishing Group, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible and do not account for 25% or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted. Notice of copyright must appear as follows on either the title page or the copyright page of the work in which The Message is quoted: "Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group." (www.biblegateway.com/versions/Message-MSG-Bible/) -- How can we understand God's Truth when Truth is no longer there to be read?

Huh? What God of "green" hope? Why does The Message do this? -- Before we examine what seems suggestive of earth reverence/earth worship, let us restate some of what has been covered elsewhere about The Message: A generation has been raised on this disturbing "paraphrase" of the Bible. This is the primary version so many now rely on, and nationally known preachers quote from it with regularity. Yet, as we have seen, The Message flat out omits the sin of homosexuality from several key passages. We see this in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and also in 1 Timothy 1: 8-11 (read about that here). -- Does the acceptance and use of The Message explain why many Christians are lukewarm on the issue of homosexuality? Certainly The Message is not the only factor-we dwell in a pro-homosexual media/culture-but place this "Bible" in a person's hands and it can have, over time, significant influence. How can we understand God's Truth when Truth is no longer there to be read? - "My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart." (Proverbs 4:20-21) The beloved author of The Message, Eugene Peterson, has now endorsed two heretical books: The Shack, and Rob Bell's sly ode to universalism, Love Wins. - The Message, bluntly stated, seems written to make Christians less knowledgeable about the Word of God. While that may seem a strong comment, please consider what Eugene Peterson himself said about the Bible: "Why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? How much do you need to know? We invest all this time in understanding the text which has a separate life of its own and we think we're being more pious and spiritual when we're doing it….[Christians] should be studying it less, not more. You need just enough to pay attention to God….I'm just not at all pleased with the emphasis on Bible study as if it's some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more the better." I believe The Message is forerunner to a christless, sinless bible that will be used by the false church. There will be a "christ" mentioned, but not our Christ. Not the sinless Savior of humanity. Sin will be addressed, of course, but perhaps more in line with the Alcoholics Anonymous generic theology of "wrongs" and "making amends." [link]

Introduction [1 of 2] The High Middle Ages: The period of human history commonly referred to as the High Middle Ages (1000 A.D - 1300 A.D.) brings about two seemingly unrelated events, the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. and the Crusades of 1095 A.D. to 1270 A.D. - Events that have caused some of the most dramatic, functional, substantial and long standing changes known to mankind - And in all actuality the events of the aftermath of 1066 A.D. are the very rails that the train of human society currently rides upon and it is these same rails that are directing mankind into the very events of the End Times

Background: Going back one thousand years prior to 1066 A.D. brings us back to 66 A.D. and the very days of the foundation of the Christian Church especially among the Gentiles having just been laid by the Apostle Paul. With two notable exceptions [Roman Church and State - Charlemagne's designation of the Nations of Europe] not much had changed in the form of human history and human government but that was about to change in 1066 A.D. In the six global Gentile Kingdoms previous to 1066 A.D. all of the six Kingdoms [Nimrod, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome] had similar rulers, venues and Characteristics yet the Bible (Daniel 7:23) tells of a 7th Kingdom the Kingdom of Antichrist a Kingdom that is vastly different from the 6 Kingdoms that preceded it. When and where these Satanically inspired changes would enter into human society would remain a secret that is until the events of 1066 A.D. unfolded. [link]

Introduction [2 of 2] The High Middle Ages: The six Kingdoms prior to the coming Kingdom of Antichrist are all somewhat similar in that each King was head over their own society and also over the society of strangers. The six Kings were each stable functioning dignitaries, each married to at least on wife and each had at least one child to carry on their newly installed Dynasties. The unfortunate hallmark of each King's Dynasty is that what had started so wonderfully and had become so grandiose had in a relatively short time [usually within only a few generations or a few decades later] come crashing down into such a ruinous heap

For example what King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had so magnificently achieved in just a few decades his grandson Belshazzar quickly brought to ruins. What Alexander the Great had accomplished for Greece the later ruler Antiochus Epiphanies needlessly squandered. Likewise what Julius Caesar had accomplished for Rome the later Caesar Nero would bring to an almost complete disaster. - Being a citizen in each of the previous six Kingdoms (especially at the start) had many perks and benefits while it was the outsider that was alien and stranger to the benefits of the Kingdom and the outsider who endured the most risk. What was consistent for the previous six Kingdoms seems to be different (Daniel 11:37) for the last Kingdom, the Kingdom of Antichrist. The Kingdom of Antichrist apparently is going to be self-contained in that where previous Kingdoms disintegrated over time during the rule of multiple rulers the coming Kingdom of Antichrist will implode within itself within a very short period of time, out of necessity in that the ruler of the 7th Kingdom (Satan) is not out to benefit mankind. The seeds of the oppression and destruction of the 7th Kingdom have already been sown back in 1066 A.D. The drastic change that took place in 1066 A.D. was a shift in how the King saw his people, previous to 1066 A.D. the King sought in part to benefit the people but starting in 1066 A.D. the King universally began to seek primarily how the people could benefit the King. The English land census of 1086 A.D. was a complete change of how society would function, no longer would the people (citizens) have a meaningful place in society with the King at the top but the people all people (citizens and aliens) would be in question by the King and in fact as time would continue it would become better to be an alien to the Government rather than a citizen. [link]

Wikipedia: Battle of Hastings 1066 A.D. - The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 A.D. during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II - It took place at Senlac Hill, approximately 10 km (61/4 miles) northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory - Hastings is a town and borough in the county of East Sussex on the south coast of England - The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France - They were descended from Norse [Nordic - Scandinavia; Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland] Viking conquerors

King Harold II was killed in the battle-legend has it that he was shot through the eye with an arrow. He was the last English king to die in battle on English soil until Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The battle marked the last successful foreign invasion of the British Isles. Although there was further English resistance, this battle is seen as the point at which William gained control of England, becoming its first Norman ruler as King William I. The battle also established the superiority of the combined arms attack over an army predominately composed of infantry, demonstrating the effectiveness of archers, cavalry and infantry working cooperatively together. The dominance of cavalry forces over infantry would continue until the emergence of the longbow, and battles such as Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt in the Hundred Years War. The famous Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events before and during the battle. Battle Abbey marks the site where it is believed that the battle was fought. Founded by King William "the Conqueror" (as he became known), it serves as a memorial to the dead and may have been an act of penance for the bloodshed. The site is open to the public and is the location of annual re-enactments of the battle. -- The Battle of Hastings had a tremendous influence on the English language. The Normans were French-speaking, and as a result of their rule, they introduced many French words that started in the nobility and eventually became part of the English language itself. [link]

Wikipedia: Normans - The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France - They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock - Their identity emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and gradually evolved over succeeding centuries

They played a major political, military, and cultural role in medieval Europe and even the Near East. They were famed for their martial spirit and eventually for their Christian piety. They quickly adopted the Romance language of the land they settled, their dialect becoming known as Norman or Norman-French, an important literary language. The Duchy of Normandy, which they formed by treaty with the French crown, was one of the great fiefs of medieval France. The Normans are famed both for their culture, such as their unique Romanesque architecture, and their musical traditions, as well as for their military accomplishments and innovations. Norman adventurers established a kingdom in Sicily and southern Italy by conquest, and a Norman expedition on behalf of their duke led to the Norman Conquest of England. Norman influence spread from these new centres to the Crusader States in the Near East, to Scotland and Wales in Great Britain, and to Ireland. ... In Byzantium: Soon after the Normans first began to enter Italy, they entered the Byzantine Empire, and then Armenia against the Pechenegs, Bulgars, and especially Seljuk Turks. The Norman mercenaries first encouraged to come to the south by the Lombards to act against the Byzantines soon fought in Byzantine service in Sicily. They were prominent alongside Varangian and Lombard contingents in the Sicilian campaign of George Maniaces of 1038-40. There is debate whether the Normans in Greek service were mostly or at all from Norman Italy, and it now seems likely only a few came from there. It is also unknown how many of the "Franks", as the Byzantines called them, were Normans and not other Frenchmen. One of the first Norman mercenaries to serve as a Byzantine general was Hervé in the 1050s. By then however, there were already Norman mercenaries serving as far away as Trebizond and Georgia. They were based at Malatya and Edessa, under the Byzantine duke of Antioch, Isaac Komnenos. In the 1060s, Robert Crispin led the Normans of Edessa against the Turks. Roussel de Bailleul even tried to carve out an independent state in Asia Minor with support from the local population, but he was stopped by the Byzantine general Alexius Komnenos. Some Normans joined Turkish forces to aid in the destruction of the Armenians vassal-states of Sassoun and Taron in far eastern Anatolia. Later, many took up service with the Armenian state further south in Cilicia and the Taurus Mountains. A Norman named Oursel led a force of "Franks" into the upper Euphrates valley in northern Syria. From 1073 to 1074, 8,000 of the 20,000 troops of the Armenian general Philaretus Brachamius were Normans - formerly of Oursel - led by Raimbaud. They even lent their ethnicity to the name of their castle: Afranji, meaning "Franks." The known trade between Amalfi and Antioch and between Bari and Tarsus may be related to the presence of Italo-Normans in those cities while Amalfi and Bari were under Norman rule in Italy. Several families of Byzantine Greece were of Norman mercenary origin during the period of the Comnenian Restoration, when Byzantine emperors were seeking out western European warriors. The Raoulii were descended from an Italo-Norman named Raoul, the Petraliphae were descended from a Pierre d'Aulps, and that group of Albanian clans known as the Maniakates were descended from Normans who served under George Maniaces in the Sicilian expedition of 1038 A.D. [link]

Domesday Book - Important Facts about the Domesday Book of 1086 A.D. - What is the Domesday book? It was a survey, or census, commissioned by the Norman Conqueror King William I, of his newly conquered lands and possessions in England - It was intended to document "What, or how much, each man had, who was an occupier of land in England, either in land or in stock, and how much money it were worth" - This great survey enabled the Normans and William the Conqueror to administer England and levy taxes

The census and assessment proved of the highest importance to William the Conqueror and his successors. The people indeed said bitterly that the King kept the Doomsday, or Domesday book constantly by him, in order "that he might be able to see at any time of how much more wool the English flock would bear fleecing." The object of the Doomsday, or Domesday book, however, was not to extort money, but to present a full and exact report of the financial and military resources of the kingdom which might be directly available for revenue and defence. [link]

Wikipedia: Domesday Book 1086 A.D. - The "Domesday Book" now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 - The survey was executed for William I of England (William the Conqueror): "While spending the Christmas of 1085 in Gloucester, William had deep speech with his counsellors and sent men all over England to each shire to find out what or how much each landholder had in land and livestock, and what it was worth" Anglo-Saxon Chronicle {Note: The required use of a family last name originates from the Norman King William I as a necessary part of the tracking and classification of the 1086 A.D. English land census for use in the accompanying Book of Doomsday. The census, system and cataloguing including a last name is in a sense the precursor of the modern census and SSN data system that we have today.}

One of the main purposes of the survey was to determine who held what and what taxes had been liable under Edward the Confessor; the judgment of the Domesday assessors was final-whatever the book said about who held the material wealth or what it was worth, was the law, and there was no appeal. It was written in Latin, although there were some vernacular words inserted for native terms with no previous Latin equivalent, and the text was highly abbreviated. Richard FitzNigel, writing around the year 1179, stated that the book was known by the English as "Domesday", that is the Day of Judgment "for as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to ... its sentence cannot be put quashed or set aside with impunity. That is why we have called the book 'the Book of Judgment' ... because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgment, are unalterable." In August 2006 a limited online version of Domesday Book was made available by the United Kingdom's National Archives, charging users £2 per page to view the manuscript. In 2011, the Domesday Map site made the manuscript freely available for the first time. [link]

Wikipedia: Family name, Last Name - In Ireland, the use of surnames have a very old history - Ireland was the first country in Europe to use fixed surnames - As noted in the Annals, the first recorded fixed surname was Ó Cleirigh which recorded the death of Tigherneach Ua Cleirigh, lord of Aidhne in Co. Galway in the year 916 A.D. - In England, the introduction of family names is generally attributed to the Normans and the Domesday Book of 1086 A.D.

In England, the introduction of family names is generally attributed to the Normans and the Domesday Book of 1086. Documents indicate that surnames were first adopted among the feudal nobility and gentry, and only slowly spread to the other parts of society. Some of the early Norman nobility arriving in England during the Norman Conquest differentiated themselves by affixing 'de' (of) in front of the name of their village in France. This is what is known as a territorial surname, a consequence of feudal landownership. In medieval times in France, such a name indicated lordship, or ownership, of the village. But some early Norman nobles in England chose to drop the French derivations and call themselves instead after their new English holdings. -- True surnames, in the sense of hereditary appellations, date in England from about the year 1000. Largely they were introduced from Normandy, although there are records of Saxon, surnames prior to the Norman Conquest. By the end of the twelfth century hereditary names had become common in England. But even as late as 1465 they were not universal. During the reign of Edward V (between April and June, 1483) a law was passed to compel certain Irish to adopt surnames as **a method to track and control them more: "They shall take unto them a Surname, either of some Town, or some Colour, as Black or Brown, or some Art or Science, as Smyth or Carpenter, or some Office, as Cooke or Butler." (ramsdale.org/surname.htm) [link]

Wikipedia: The famous Bayeux Tapestry - The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth (not an actual tapestry) nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings - The tapestry consists of some fifty scenes with Latin tituli (captions), embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns - It is likely that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo, William's half-brother, and made in England in the 1070s - In 1729 the hanging was rediscovered by scholars at a time when it was being displayed annually in Bayeux Cathedral - The tapestry is now exhibited at Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy

Events depicted in the tapestry: The tapestry begins with a panel of Edward the Confessor sending Harold to Normandy. Later Norman sources say that the mission was for Harold to pledge loyalty to William but the tapestry does not suggest any specific purpose. By mischance, Harold arrives at the wrong location in France and is taken prisoner by Guy, Count of Ponthieu. After exchanges of messages borne by mounted messengers, Harold is released to William who then invites Harold to come on a campaign against Conan II, Duke of Brittany. On the way, just outside the monastery of Mont St. Michel, the army become mired in quicksand and Harold saves two Norman soldiers. William's army chases Conan from Dol de Bretagne to Rennes, and Conan finally surrenders at Dinan. William gives Harold arms and armour (possibly knighting him) and Harold takes an oath on saintly relics. Although the writing on the tapestry explicitly states an oath is taken there is no clue as to what is being promised. -- Harold leaves for home and meets again with the old king Edward, who appears to be remonstrating with him. Harold is in a somewhat submissive posture and seems to be in disgrace. However, possibly deliberately, the king's intentions are not made clear. The scene then shifts by about one year to when Edward has become mortally ill and the tapestry strongly suggests that, on his deathbed, he bequeaths the crown to Harold. What is probably the coronation ceremony is attended by Stigand, whose position as Archbishop of Canterbury was controversial. Stigand is performing a liturgical function, possibly not the crowning itself. The tapestry labels the celebrant as "Stigant Archieps" (Stigand the archbishop) although by that time he had been excommunicated by the papacy who considered his appointment unlawful. -- A star with a streaming tail then appears: Halley's Comet. Comets, in the beliefs of the Middle Ages, were a bad omen. At this point the lower border of the tapestry shows a fleet of ghost-like ships thus hinting at a future invasion. The news of Harold's coronation is taken to Normandy, whereupon we are told that William is ordering a fleet of ships to be built although it is Bishop Odo shown issuing the instructions. The invaders reach England, and land unopposed. William orders his men to find food, and a meal is cooked. A house is burnt, which may indicate some ravaging of the local countryside on the part of the invaders. News is brought to William. The Normans build a motte and bailey at Hastings to defend their position. Messengers are sent between the two armies, and William makes a speech to prepare his army for battle. -- The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 less than three weeks after the Battle of Stamford Bridge but the tapestry does not provide this context. The English fight on foot behind a shield wall, whilst the Normans are on horses. Two fallen knights are named as Leofwine and Gyrth, Harold's brothers, but both armies are shown fighting bravely. Bishop Odo brandishes his baton or mace and rallies the Norman troops in battle. To reassure his knights that he is still alive and well, William raises his helmet to show his face. The battle becomes very bloody with troops being slaughtered and dismembered corpses littering the ground. King Harold is killed. This scene can be interpreted in different ways, as the name "Harold" appears above a number of knights, making it difficult to identify which character is Harold. The final remaining scene shows unarmoured English troops fleeing the battlefield. The last part of the tapestry is missing but it is thought that story never continued for very much further. [link]

Wikipedia: Robin Hood - Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore - A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor" assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men" - The idea of Robin Hood as a high-minded Saxon fighting Norman lords also originates in the 19th century - The 20th century grafted still further details on to the original legends. The 1938 film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, portrayed Robin as a hero on a national scale, leading the oppressed Saxons in revolt against their Norman overlords while Richard the Lionheart fought in the Crusades; this movie established itself so definitively that many studios resorted to movies about his son (invented for that purpose) rather than compete with the image of this one

There are a number of theories that attempt to identify a historical Robin Hood. A difficulty with any such historical search is that "Robert" was in medieval England a very common given name, and "Robin" (or Robyn), especially in the 13th century, was its very common diminutive. The surname "Hood" (or Hude or Hode etc.), referring ultimately to the head-covering, was also fairly common. Unsurprisingly, therefore, there are a number of people called "Robert Hood" or "Robin Hood" to be found in medieval records. Some of them are on record for having fallen afoul of the law, but this is not necessarily significant to the legend. The early ballads give a number of possible historical clues: notably, the Gest names the reigning king as "Edward", but the ballads cannot be assumed to be reliable in such details. For whatever it may be worth, however, King Edward I took the throne in 1272, and an Edward remained on the throne until the death of Edward III in 1377. On the other hand, what appears to be the first known example of "Robin Hood" as stock name for an outlaw dates to 1262 in Berkshire, where the surname "Robehod" was applied to a man after he had been outlawed, and apparently because he had been outlawed. This could suggest two main possibilities: either that an early form of the Robin Hood legend was already well established in the mid 13th century; or alternatively that the name "Robin Hood" preceded the outlaw hero that we know; so that the "Robin Hood" of legend was so called because that was seen as an appropriate name for an outlaw. It has long been suggested, notably by John Maddicott, that "Robin Hood" was a stock alias used by thieves. [link]

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA - Crusades: The Crusades were expeditions undertaken, in fulfilment of a solemn vow, to deliver the Holy Places from Mohammedan tyranny - The idea of the crusade corresponds to a political conception which was realized in Christendom only from the eleventh to the fifteenth century - It has been customary to describe the (major) Crusades as eight in number

• the first, 1095-1101; • the second, headed by Louis VII, 1145-47; • the third, conducted by Philip Augustus and Richard Coeur-de-Lion, 1188-92; • the fourth, during which Constantinople was taken, 1204; • the fifth, which included the conquest of Damietta, 1217; • the sixth, in which Frederick II took part (1228-29); also Thibaud de Champagne and Richard of Cornwall (1239); • the seventh, led by St. Louis, 1249-52; • the eighth, also under St. Louis, 1270. [link]

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA - Crusades: The origin of the Crusades is directly traceable to the moral and political condition of Western Christendom in the eleventh century

At that time Europe was divided into numerous states whose sovereigns were absorbed in tedious and petty territorial disputes while the emperor, in theory the temporal head of Christendom, was wasting his strength in the quarrel over Investitures. The popes alone had maintained a just estimate of Christian unity; they realized to what extent the interests of Europe were threatened by the Byzantine Empire and the Mohammedan tribes, and they alone had a foreign policy whose traditions were formed under Leo IX and Gregory VII. The reform effected in the Church and the papacy through the influence of the monks of Cluny had increased the prestige of the Roman pontiff in the eyes of all Christian nations; hence none but the pope could inaugurate the international movement that culminated in the Crusades. But despite his eminent authority the pope could never have persuaded the Western peoples to arm themselves for the conquest of the Holy Land had not the immemorial relations between Syria and the West favoured his design. Europeans listened to the voice of Urban II because their own inclination and historic traditions impelled them towards the Holy Sepulchre. -- From the end of the fifth century there had been no break in their intercourse with the Orient. In the early Christian period colonies of Syrians had introduced the religious ideas, art, and culture of the East into the large cities of Gaul and Italy. The Western Christians in turn journeyed in large numbers to Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, either to visit the Holy Places or to follow the ascetic life among the monks of the Thebaid or Sinai. There is still extant the itinerary of a pilgrimage from Bordeaux to Jerusalem, dated 333; in 385 St. Jerome and St. Paula founded the first Latin monasteries at Bethlehem. Even the Barbarian invasion did not seem to dampen the ardour for pilgrimages to the East. The Itinerary of St. Silvia (Etheria) shows the organization of these expeditions, which were directed by clerics and escorted by armed troops. In the year 600, St. Gregory the Great had a hospice erected in Jerusalem for the accommodation of pilgrims, sent alms to the monks of Mount Sinai ("Vita Gregorii" in "Acta SS.", March 11, 132), and, although the deplorable condition of Eastern Christendom after the Arab invasion rendered this intercourse more difficult, it did not by any means cease. [link]

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA - Crusades: As early as the eighth century Anglo-Saxons underwent the greatest hardships to visit Jerusalem

The journey of St. Willibald, Bishop of Eichstädt, took seven years (722-29) and furnishes an idea of the varied and severe trials to which pilgrims were subject (Itiner. Latina, 1, 241-283). After their conquest of the West, the Carolingians endeavoured to improve the condition of the Latins settled in the East; in 762 Pepin the Short entered into negotiations with the Caliph of Bagdad. In Rome, on 30 November, 800, the very day on which Leo III invoked the arbitration of Charlemagne, ambassadors from Haroun al-Raschid delivered to the King of the Franks the keys of the Holy Sepulchre, the banner of Jersualem, and some precious relics (Einhard, "Annales", ad an. 800, in "Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script.", I, 187); this was an acknowledgment of the Frankish protectorate over the Christians of Jerusalem. That churches and monasteries were built at Charlemagne's expense is attested by a sort of a census of the monasteries of Jerusalem dated 808 ("Commemoratio de Casis Dei" in "Itiner. Hieros.", I, 209). In 870, at the time of the pilgrimage of Bernard the Monk (Itiner. Hierosol., I, 314), these institutions were still very prosperous, and it has been abundantly proved that alms were sent regularly from the West to the Holy Land. In the tenth century, just when the political and social order of Europe was most troubled, knights, bishops, and abbots, actuated by devotion and a taste for adventure, were wont to visit Jerusalem and pray at the Holy Sepulchre without being molested by the Mohammedans. Suddenly, in 1009, Hakem, the Fatimite Caliph of Egypt, in a fit of madness ordered the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre and all the Christian establishments in Jerusalem. For years thereafter Christians were cruelly persecuted. (See the recital of an eyewitness, Iahja of Antioch, in Schlumberger's "Epopée byzantine", II, 442.) In 1027 the Frankish protectorate was overthrown and replaced by that of the Byzantine emperors, to whose diplomacy was due the reconstruction of the Holy Sepulchre. The Christian quarter was even surrounded by a wall, and some Amalfi merchants, vassals of the Greek emperors, built hospices in Jerusalem for pilgrims, e.g. the Hospital of St. John, cradle of the Order of Hospitallers. -- Instead of diminishing, the enthusiasm of Western Christians for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem seemed rather to increase during the eleventh century. Not only princes, bishops, and knights, but even men and women of the humbler classes undertook the holy journey (Radulphus Glaber, IV, vi). Whole armies of pilgrims traversed Europe, and in the valley of the Danube hospices were established where they could replenish their provisions. In 1026 Richard, Abbot of Saint-Vannes, led 700 pilgrims into Palestine at the expense of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. In 1065 over 12,000 Germans who had crossed Europe under the command of Günther, Bishop of Bamberg, while on their way through Palestine had to seek shelter in a ruined fortress, where they defended themselves against a troop of Bedouins (Lambert of Hersfeld, in "Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script.", V, 168). Thus it is evident that at the close of the eleventh century the route to Palestine was familiar enough to Western Christians who looked upon the Holy Sepulchre as the most venerable of relics and were ready to brave any peril in order to visit it. The memory of Charlemagne's protectorate still lived, and a trace of it is to be found in the medieval legend of this emperor's journey to Palestine (Gaston Paris in "Romania", 1880, p. 23). -- The rise of the Seljukian Turks, however, compromised the safety of pilgrims and even threatened the independence of the Byzantine Empire and of all Christendom. [link]

The Real History of the Crusades - The crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event in European history - Most of what passes for public knowledge about it is either misleading or just plain wrong -- Whether we admire the Crusaders or not, it is a fact that the world we know today would not exist without their efforts - The ancient faith of Christianity, with its respect for women and antipathy toward slavery, not only survived but flourished - Without the Crusades, it might well have followed Zoroastrianism, another of Islam's rivals, into extinction

When we think about the Middle Ages, it is easy to view Europe in light of what it became rather than what it was. The colossus of the medieval world was Islam, not Christendom. The Crusades are interesting largely because they were an attempt to counter that trend. But in five centuries of crusading, it was only the First Crusade that significantly rolled back the military progress of Islam. It was downhill from there. When the Crusader County of Edessa fell to the Turks and Kurds in 1144, there was an enormous groundswell of support for a new Crusade in Europe. It was led by two kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, and preached by St. Bernard himself. It failed miserably. Most of the Crusaders were killed along the way. Those who made it to Jerusalem only made things worse by attacking Muslim Damascus, which formerly had been a strong ally of the Christians. In the wake of such a disaster, Christians across Europe were forced to accept not only the continued growth of Muslim power but the certainty that God was punishing the West for its sins. Lay piety movements sprouted up throughout Europe, all rooted in the desire to purify Christian society so that it might be worthy of victory in the East. ... Yet, even while these close shaves were taking place, something else was brewing in Europe-something unprecedented in human history. The Renaissance, born from a strange mixture of Roman values, medieval piety, and a unique respect for commerce and entrepreneurialism, had led to other movements like humanism, the Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Exploration. Even while fighting for its life, Europe was preparing to expand on a global scale. The Protestant Reformation, which rejected the papacy and the doctrine of indulgence, made Crusades unthinkable for many Europeans, thus leaving the fighting to the Catholics. In 1571, a Holy League, which was itself a Crusade, defeated the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto. Yet military victories like that remained rare. The Muslim threat was neutralized economically. As Europe grew in wealth and power, the once awesome and sophisticated Turks began to seem backward and pathetic-no longer worth a Crusade. The "Sick Man of Europe" (the Ottoman Empire) limped along until the 20th century [WWI], when he finally expired, leaving behind the present mess of the modern Middle East. [link]

Knights Templar (Modern Freemasonry) History - The Knights Templar History started with the crusades of the Middle Ages, a war between Christians and Moslems centered around the city of Jerusalem - In 1065 the Knights Templar were formed to ensure the safety of the pilgrims of the Middle Ages who flocked towards Jerusalem - Their original name was the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ - The Knights Templar History moved on and in 1128 the ecclesiastical Council of Troyes gave the Knights Templar official recognition and granted their rule of the order - In 1272 King Henry III of England died and the English Council met at the Temple in London and draft a letter to Prince Edward informing him of his accession to the throne - [later, after an extended time of abusing their positions of power and authority] They were charged with heresy - thousands of Knights Templar were arrested across Europe - Templar ships left La Rochelle, heading to Scotland [Rosslyn Chapel] - The Knights Templar leader Jacques de Molay and Geoffroi de Charney were burnt at the stake on March 18th 1314

In A.D. 637 Jerusalem was surrendered to the Saracens. The caliph of the Saracens called Omar gave guarantees for the safety of the Christian population and because of this pledge the number of pilgrimages to Jerusalem still continued to increase. In 1065 Jerusalem was taken by the Turks, who came from the kingdom of ancient Persia. 3000 Christians were massacred and the remaining Christians were treated so badly that throughout Christendom people were stirred to fight in crusades. The Knights Templar were formed to to ensure the safety of the pilgrims of the Middle Ages who flocked towards Jerusalem. Their original name was the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ. ... the Temple of Soloman At first the Knights Templar had no church and no particular place of to live. In 1118, nineteen years after the freeing of Jerusalem, King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, granted the Knights Templar a place to live within the sacred enclosure of the Temple on Mount Moriah. This place was amid the holy structures which were exhibited by the priests of Jerusalem as the Temple of Solomon. The "Poor Fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ" became colloquially known as "the Knighthood of the Temple of Solomon" and subsequently the Knights Templars. ... They were received with great honour by Pope Honorius, who approved of the objects and designs of the holy fraternity. The Knights Templar History moved on and in 1128 the ecclesiastical Council of Troyes gave the Knights Templar official recognition and granted their rule of the order. The Council of Troyes was instigated by Bernard of Clairvaux and the Knights Templars were represented by Hugues de Payen and Andre de Montbard. The Papal approval at the Council of Troyes resulted in many new recruits joining the order - the Rules of the Knights Templar Order: In 1130, Bernard of Clairvaux drew up the rules for the new Knights Templar order. Bernard set up the order with two main classes of knighthood, the knights and sergeants or serving brethren. Sergeants or serving brothers wore a black or brown mantle to show their lower status, whilst the Knights wore a red cross granted by Pope Eugenius III. Married men who joined the order could only join as sergeants, their property coming into the possession of the Order rather than to their wives upon their death. - A Papal Bull was issued in 1139 by Pope Innocent II, a protege of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, stating that the Knights Templar should owe allegiance to no one other than the Pope himself. - The Knights Templar History saw 1146 as the year when the Knights Templar order adopted the splayed red cross as their emblem. The Battle cry of the Templars was "Beau-Séant!" which was the motto they bore on their banner. - The Knights Templar order supported the second crusade in 1148. The decision was made to attack Damascus and armies were assembled in Acre. ... The army of Jerusalem and Guy of Lusignan, the King of Jerusalem, was beaten by Turkish forces in 1184. All Knights Templar and Hospitallers who survived the battle were executed afterwards. This event prompted the Third Crusade headed by Richard the Lionheart who was supported by the Knights Templar order. The city of Acre is taken by the Crusaders in 1191. Richard the Lionheart dies in 1199 and is succeeded by his brother John. - The Knights Templar History goes on and in 1263 problems in England lead to the Baron's revolt led by Simon de Montford opposing Edward I. On the pretence of removing his mother's jewels, Edward I entered the Knights Templar Temple in London and ransacked the treasury, taking the proceeds to the Tower of London. In 1271 Edward leads another crusade and is attacked by an assassin with a poisoned knife. He survives the attack and his life was saved with drugs sent by the master of the Knights Templar, Thomas Bérard. In 1272 King Henry III of England died and the English Council met at the Temple in London and draft a letter to Prince Edward informing him of his accession to the throne, illustrating the political importance of the Knights Templar in England. - King Philip IV of France (1268-1314) who was already heavily in debt to the Knights Templar requested a further loan. The Knights Templar refused his request. King Philip IV subsequently ordered the arrest of all Knight Templars in France. The order to arrest the Templars was sent out several weeks before the date possibly giving the Templars time to hide their wealth. On 11 October, two days before the arrest of many Templar Knights, it is recorded in French Masonic history that Templar ships left La Rochelle, heading to Scotland. On Friday the 13th, in October 1307, Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and 60 of his senior knights were arrested in Paris. They were charged with heresy and accused of homosexual acts. Admissions of guilt were extracted due to the use of torture. Pope Clement V initiated enquiries into the order and thousands of Knights Templar were arrested across Europe. The Medieval order of the Knights Templar become extinct in 1312 when the order is dissolved by the Council of Vienne. Anyone found sheltering a Templar was under threat of excommunication. Much of the Templar property outside of France was transferred by the Pope to the Knights Hospitallers, and many surviving Templars were also accepted into the Hospitallers. - The Death of the last Medieval Master: The Knights Templar leader Jacques de Molay and Geoffroi de Charney were burnt at the stake on March 18th 1314 for rescinding their former admission of heresy under torture. Jacques de Molay cursed the Pope and King Philip and prophesied that they would soon die. Pope Clement V was dead within 40 days and King Philip died that year. Jacques de Molay was the last Master of the Knights Templar. [link]

Rosslyn Chapel - the 12 great mysteries - What's the meaning of carvings of American plants that predate Columbus' 1492 A.D. discovery of America? - Exotic plants featured in the chapel's carving include maize (corn) and aloe vera - One theory is that some of the masons who carved the chapel were descended from Vikings who may have landed in America before Columbus but another says simply that they were added later -- Construction of the chapel began on 20 September 1456, although it is often been recorded as 1446 - The confusion over the building date comes from the chapel's receiving its founding charter to build a collegiate chapel in 1446 from Rome (wikipedia.com)

Rosslyn Chapel, just outside Edinburgh, has been a holy place for centuries. Its name means either "point of a waterfall" or "ancient knowledge down the line" depending on who you ask. -- What is the chapel's link with Freemasons? Apparently Sir William St Clair claimed patronage of the masons - a link passed and strengthened through the generations and evidenced in two seventeenth century charters. In 1736, Sir William Sinclair became the first Scottish Grand Master at the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Edinburgh. By the 1690s, the bond between the Sinclairs and the masons was commented in a celebrated letter. ... Who is the leering green man engraved more than 120 times in the chapel? Carvings of a bearded green man appear in many religious settings in much of the world, but few have as many as Rosslyn. There are many theories about who the green man was. Some say it was either John the Baptist or Hercules. He is depicted as a Robin Hood-type figure, sometimes alternatively named Jack-in-the-green or Jack-in-the-Tree. He also may have been Celtic fertility god or a tree spirit. ... Who is the man with the gash on his head? Rumour suggests that he might be the smited apprentice of pillar fame. However, he could also be Freemasonry's legendary figure, Hiram Abiff, the martyred architect of King Solomon's Temple. Academic symbologists say it could just as easily express a classic archetype of sacrifice and rebirth. ... What do the 213 mysterious cube carvings mean? The mystical symbols carved into the stone ceiling of the chapel have confused historians for generations. But recently music scientists who believe they are part of a musical notation system are making efforts to decode the signs. The series of lines and dots are thought to represent shapes created by sand on a musical instrument during the vibrations caused by sound. [link]

Wikipedia: Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 7 March 1274), also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis - "Aquinas" is not a surname (hereditary surnames were not then in common use in Europe), but is a Latin adjective meaning "of Aquino", his place of birth - He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of Thomism - His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory

Thomas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood. The works for which he is best-known are the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. As one of the 33 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This (Dominican) Order ... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools." [link]

Wikipedia: Chapters and verses of the Bible - The Bible is a compilation of many shorter books written at different times and later assembled into the Biblical canon - By the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the New Testament had been divided into paragraphs, although the divisions were different from the modern Bible - All but the shortest of these books have been divided into chapters, generally a page or so in length, since the early 13th century - Since the mid-16th century, each chapter has been further divided into "verses" of a few short lines or sentences - As the chapter and verse divisions were not part of the original texts, they form part of the Bible's paratext

Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro is often given credit for first dividing the Latin Vulgate into chapters in the real sense, but it is the arrangement of his contemporary and fellow cardinal Stephen Langton who in 1205 A.D. created the chapter divisions which are used today. They were then inserted into Greek manuscripts of the New Testament in the 15th century. Robert Estienne (Robert Stephanus) was the first to number the verses within each chapter, his verse numbers entering printed editions in 1551 (New Testament) and 1571 (Old Testament - Hebrew Bible). The division of the Bible into chapters and verses has often elicited severe criticism from traditionalists and modern scholars alike. Critics charge that the text is often divided in an incoherent way, or at inappropriate rhetorical points [i.e. Isaiah chapter 53], and that it encourages citing passages out of context. Nevertheless, the chapter and verse numbers have become indispensable as technical references for Bible study. [link]

Wikipedia: Johannes Gutenberg (1398 - February 3, 1468) was a blacksmith, goldsmith, printer and publisher who probably introduced movable type to Europe, and is likely to have developed the earliest European printing press - He is sometimes said to have started the Printing Revolution, regarded as the most important event of the modern period - It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses - Martin Luther's 95 Theses were printed and circulated widely

Gutenberg's printing technology spread rapidly throughout Europe, and may well have been refined and perfected by others. The process quickly replaced most of the manuscript methods of book-production throughout the world. Woodblock printing and manuscript rubrication continued to be used to supplement Gutenberg's printing process. His first major work using his printing methods was the Gutenberg Bible. -- Legacy: Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, the printing technologies spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe much faster than before. It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, it was a major catalyst for the later scientific revolution. The capital of printing in Europe shifted to Venice, where visionary printers like Aldus Manutius ensured widespread availability of the major Greek and Latin texts. The claims of an Italian origin for movable type have also focused on this rapid rise of Italy in movable-type printing. This may perhaps be explained by the prior eminence of Italy in the paper and printing trade. Additionally, Italy's economy was growing rapidly at the time, facilitating the spread of literacy. Christopher Columbus had a geographical book (printed by movable types) bought by his father. That book is in a Spanish museum. Finally, the city of Mainz was sacked in 1462, driving many (including a number of printers and punch cutters) into exile. -- **Printing was also a factor in the Reformation. Martin Luther's 95 Theses were printed and circulated widely; subsequently he issued broadsheets outlining his anti-indulgences position (certificates of indulgences were one of the first items Gutenberg had printed). The broadsheet contributed to development of the newspaper. -- In the decades after Gutenberg, many conservative patrons looked down on cheap printed books; books produced by hand were considered more desirable. Today there is a large antique market for the earliest printed objects. Books printed prior to 1500 are known as incunabula. There are many statues of Gutenberg in Germany, including the famous one by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1837) in Mainz, home to the eponymous Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and the Gutenberg Museum on the history of early printing. The later publishes the Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, the leading periodical in the field. Project Gutenberg [www.gutenberg.org], the oldest digital library [of FREE eBooks], commemorates Gutenberg's name. In 1961 the Canadian philosopher and scholar Marshall McLuhan entitled his pioneering study in the fields of print culture, cultural studies, and media ecology, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. Gutenberg remains a towering figure in the popular image. In 1999, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg the No. 1 most influential person of the second millennium on their "Biographies of the Millennium" countdown. In 1997, Time-Life magazine picked Gutenberg's invention as the most important of the second millennium. In space, he is commemorated in the name of the asteroid 777 Gutemberga. A French opera on his life, by Philippe Manoury, was staged in Strasbourg in September 2011. [link]

Johannes Gutenberg - His early training was in goldsmithing - Gutenberg had the idea of utilizing techniques of metalworking, such as casting, punch-cutting, and stamping, for the mass production of books. European books at this time were hand written by scribes in a gothic script with many flourishes and ligatures - The Bible of 42 lines (per page) [a single complete copy of the Gutenberg Bible has 1,272 pages], the oldest surviving printed book in the western world

Johannes Gutenberg was born into a noble family of the city of Mainz, Germany. His early training was in goldsmithing. In 1428, he moved to Strasbourg for political reasons, where he remained for over 20 years. It was in Strasbourg that he probably made his first experiments with moveable type. -- Gutenberg had the idea of utilizing techniques of metalworking, such as casting, punch-cutting, and stamping, for the mass production of books. European books at this time were hand written by scribes in a gothic script with many flourishes and ligatures (interconnected letter pairs). To reproduce this "look" Gutenberg fashioned a font of over 300 characters, far larger than the fonts of today. To make this possible, he invented the variable-width mold, and perfected the blend of lead, antimony, and tin used by type foundries up to the present century. -- Many years of Gutenberg's life are lost to history, but by 1450 he was back in Mainz at work on a printing press. Between 1450 and 1455, while preparing to produce a large folio Latin Bible, Gutenberg is thought to have printed a number of smaller books, a calendar, and a papal Letter of Indulgence. The Bible of 42 lines, the oldest surviving printed book in the western world, was completed by August 15, 1456, and while it is now credited to Gutenberg, he appears to have been relieved of his supervisory position, and his press, before the time of its publication. In fact, no printed material was ever credited to Gutenberg during his lifetime. -- Gutenberg is also believed to have worked on the Catholicon of Johannes de Janua, an enormous encyclopedia: 748 pages in two columns of 66 lines each. In later years, he received a position as a courtier to the archbishop of Mainz, and was buried in the town's Franciscan church. [link]

Timeline of World History - The Middle Ages (476-1453 A.D.)

460 A.D. death of Saint Patrick (d. 461 or 493), Christian missionary and patron saint of Ireland -- 476 A.D. September 4, Fall of the Roman Empire, Emperor Romulus Augustulus deposed by Odoacer/Odovacar, leader of the Germanic Scirii and Heruli (tribes which at that time were foederati or allies of the Romans) -- 500 A.D. King Arthur, semi-legendary Celtic leader resisting Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain [his existence is not historically attested] -- Clovis I, king of the Franks (r. 482-511), queen Clotilda (d. 548), Merovingian dynasty; Clovis became a Christian under the influence of Clotilda (also believing that a victory against the Alemanni was brought about by his invocation of Jesus) -- 520 A.D. Boethius (d. 524), philosopher and author of the Consolation of Philosophy, executed by Theodoric, Ostrogoth ruler of Rome (r. 493-526) -- 550 A.D. Saint Benedict (d. 550), "father of Western monasticism" and author of the Rule of Saint Benedict --- 1450 A.D. invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg -- 1453 capture of Constantinople by Ottoman Turks, flight of Greek Byzantine culture into western Europe -- end of the Hundred Years' War between France and England -- END OF THE MIDDLE AGES AND BEGINNING OF THE RENAISSANCE [link]

Introduction: Already by the early 400's A.D. Christians had become so comfortable in their association with secular Rome that Jerome believed that the restraining force of "the mystery of iniquity" (sin) written about by Paul the Apostle in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 was in action via Rome - To Jerome, the power restraining this mystery of iniquity was the Roman Empire, but as Rome fell this restraining force was removed - {Note: Common Christianity has almost universally considered the "restrainer" (2 Thessalonians 2:7) from sin to be the work of the Holy Spirit and not the works of man alone or of human agencies.}

The Christian Church now well established and also well mingled as Roman Church and State would continue on unabated for the next one thousand years. With a status quo existing between Church and State neither institution sought change of any kind and as a result human history would enter into one of the most stagnant eras of mankind in bringing in and the establishing of the Middle Ages. An era so disastrous that it would be called many names among them the Medieval and Dark Ages. [link]

The Sack of Rome 410 A.D. - "My voice sticks in my throat; and, as I dictate, sobs choke my utterance. The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken." Jerome, (412 A.D.) Letter CXXVII to Principia -- Emperor Theodosius I had decreed a ban on the native paganism, further enforcing Christianity as the official state religion - Just before his death in AD 395, Theodosius I divided the [Roman] Empire (for the third and last time) into East [Byzantium - still centered in the capital of Constantinople] and West [Rome], to be ruled by his two sons - Honorius was only ten years old at the time, and the west was governed in his stead by Flavius Stilicho, his guardian and commander (magister militum) of the army - The two halves of the empire were in contention, a situation exploited by Alaric, whose Visigoths had been used as allies (foederati) but now, with the death of Theodosius I, renounced their allegiance and rose in revolt

Alaric [the older son] died that same year 410 A.D. Two years later, his kinsman Athaulf led the Visigoths into southwestern Gaul, where, in AD 418, Honorius was obliged to recognize their kingdom at Toulouse. The Vandals and other Germanic tribes who had crossed over the frozen Rhine on the last day of AD 406 now were in Spain under their leader, Genseric. Honorius permitted them to stay, as well, although there was little he could have done otherwise. In AD 423 Honorius died and eventually was succeeded by Valentinian III, who was still a child at the time. The Vandals crossed into North Africa, defeated the Romans there, and, in AD 439, conquered Carthage, which Genseric made his capital. In AD 451, Attila and the Huns, who already had become so powerful that they were paid an annual tribute by Rome, invaded Gaul, in alliance with the Vandals. They were defeated at the Battle of Châlons by the Visigoths under the command of Flavius Aetius, magister militum of the west. In AD 455, the death of Valentinian III served as a pretext for the Vandals to enter an undefended Rome, which they plundered for two weeks, carrying away the treasures of the Temple of Peace and the gilded bronze tiles from the Temple of Jupiter. Temple of Vespasian. [link]

Wikipedia: Pope Leo I (391 - 10 November 461 A.D.) was pope from 29 September 440 A.D. to his death - He was an Italian aristocrat, and is the first pope of the Catholic Church to have been called "the Great" - He is perhaps best known for having met Attila the Hun in 452 A.D. and persuading him to turn back from his invasion of Italy - He is also a Doctor of the Church - Leo was a significant contributor to the centralisation of spiritual authority within the Church and in reaffirming Papal authority - An uncompromising foe of heresy - {Note: With Pope Leo I the Church and State of Rome had become so intermixed that it was Pope Leo assuming the dual roles of General and Politician that went forward to meet with the invading forces of Attila the Hun and in persuading him not to attack Rome Pope Leo I saved Rome from being sacked again and possibly conquered.}

Papal authority: Decree of Valentinian - Leo was a significant contributor to the centralisation of spiritual authority within the Church and in reaffirming papal authority. While the bishop of Rome had always been viewed as the chief patriarch in the Western church, much of the pope's authority was delegated to local diocesan bishops. Not without serious opposition did he succeed in reasserting his authority in Gaul. Patroclus of Arles (d. 426) had received from Pope Zosimus the recognition of a subordinate primacy over the Gallican Church which was strongly asserted by his successor Hilary of Arles. An appeal from Chelidonius of Besançon gave Leo the opportunity to reassert the pope's authority over Hilary, who defended himself stoutly at Rome, refusing to recognize Leo's judicial status. Feeling that the primatial rights of the bishop of Rome were threatened, Leo appealed to the civil power for support, and obtained from Valentinian III the famous decree of June 6, 445, which recognized the primacy of the bishop of Rome based on the merits of Peter, the dignity of the city, and the Nicene Creed (in their interpolated form); ordained that any opposition to his rulings, which were to have the force of ecclesiastical law, should be treated as treason; and provided for the forcible extradition by provincial governors of anyone who refused to answer a summons to Rome. Faced with this decree, Hilary submitted to the pope, although under his successor, Ravennius, Leo divided the metropolitan rights between Arles and Vienne (450). -- Dispute with Dioscorus of Alexandria: In 445, Leo disputed with Pope Dioscorus, St. Cyril's successor as Pope of Alexandria, insisting that the ecclesiastical practice of his see should follow that of Rome on the basis that Mark the Evangelist, the disciple of Saint Peter and founder of the Alexandrian Church, could have had no other tradition than that of the prince of the apostles. This, of course, was not the position of the Copts, who saw the ancient patriarchates as equals. -- Council of Chalcedon: A favorable occasion for extending the authority of Rome in the East was offered in the renewal of the Christological controversy by Eutyches, who in the beginning of the conflict appealed to Leo and took refuge with him on his condemnation by Flavian. But on receiving full information from Flavian, Leo took his side decisively. In 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, after Leo's Tome on the two natures of Christ was read out, the bishops participating in the Council cried out: "This is the faith of the fathers ... Peter has spoken thus through Leo ..." -- Battling heresies: An uncompromising foe of heresy, Leo found that in the diocese of Aquileia, Pelagians were received into church communion without formal repudiation of their errors; he wrote to rebuke them, making accusations of culpable negligence, and required a solemn abjuration before a synod. Manicheans fleeing before the Vandals had come to Rome in 439 and secretly organized there; Leo learned of this around 443, and proceeded against them by holding a public debate with their representatives, burning their books, and warning the Roman Christians against them. Nor was his attitude less decided against the Priscillianists. Bishop Turrubius of Astorga, astonished at the spread of this sect in Spain, had addressed the other Spanish bishops on the subject, sending a copy of his letter to Leo, who took the opportunity to exercise Roman policy in Spain. He wrote an extended treatise (21 July 447), against the sect, examining its false teaching in detail, and calling for a Spanish general counsel to investigate whether it had any adherents in the episcopate, but this was prevented by the political circumstances of Spain. -- On Dignity and Equality: In his Nativitate Domini, in the Christmas Day sermon "Christian, Remember your Dignity" Leo appears to articulate a fundamental and inclusive human dignity and equality: The saint, the sinner, and the unbeliever are all equal as sinners, and none is excluded in the call to "happiness": "Our Saviour, dearly-beloved, was born today: let us be glad. For there is no proper place for sadness, when we keep the birthday of the Life, which destroys the fear of mortality and brings to us the joy of promised eternity. No one is kept from sharing in this happiness. There is for all one common measure of joy, because as our Lord the destroyer of sin and death finds none free from charge, so is He come to free us all. Let the saint exult in that he draws near to victory. Let the sinner be glad in that he is invited to pardon. Let the gentile take courage in that he is called to life." [link]

Medieval Sourcebook: [Pope] Leo I and [King] Attila [of the Huns] - The Prosper Account of the events recorded in 455 A.D.

Prosper: Account 1 - Prosper, a Christian chronicler, writing about 455, gives the following simple account of Leo's famous interview with the king of the Huns three years before: Now Attila, having once more collected his forces which had been scattered in Gaul [at the battle of Chalons], took his way through Pannonia into Italy. . . To the emperor and the senate and Roman people none of all the proposed plans to oppose the enemy seemed so practicable as to send legates to the most savage king and beg for peace. Our most blessed Pope Leo -trusting in the help of God, who never fails the righteous in their trials - undertook the task, accompanied by Avienus, a man of consular rank, and the prefect Trygetius. And the outcome was what his faith had foreseen; for when the king had received the embassy, he was so impressed by the presence of the high priest that he ordered his army to give up warfare and, after he had promised peace, he departed beyond the Danube. -- Anonymous Later Account 1 [somewhat condensed] In a life of Leo the Great by some later author, whose name is unknown to us, the episode as told by Prosper has been developed into a miraculous tale calculated to meet the taste of the time Attila, the leader of the Huns, who was called the scourge of God, came into Italy, inflamed with fury, after he had laid waste with most savage frenzy Thrace and Illyricum, Macedonia and Moesia, Achaia and Greece, Pannonia and Germany. He was utterly cruel in inflicting torture, greedy in plundering, insolent in abuse. . . . He destroyed Aquileia from the foundations and razed to the ground those regal cities, Pavia and Milan; he laid waste many other towns, and was rushing down upon Rome. [This is, of course, an exaggeration. Attila does not seem to have destroyed the buildings, even in Milan and Pavia.] Then Leo had compassion on the calamity of Italy and Rome, and with one of the consuls and a lar,e part of the Roman senate he went to meet Attila. The old man of harmless simplicity, venerable in his gray hair and his majestic garb, ready of his own will to give himself entirely for the defense of his flock, went forth to meet the tyrant who was destroying all things. He met Attila, it is said, in the neighborhood of the river Mincio, and he spoke to the grim monarch, saying "The senate and the people of Rome, once conquerors of the world, now indeed vanquished, come before thee as suppliants. We pray for mercy and deliverance. O Attila, thou king of kings, thou couldst have no greater glory than to see suppliant at thy feet this people before whom once all peoples and kings lay suppliant. Thou hast subdued, O Attila, the whole circle of the lands which it was granted to the Romans, victors over all peoples, to conquer. Now we pray that thou, who hast conquered others, shouldst conquer thyself The people have felt thy scourge; now as suppliants they would feel thy mercy." As Leo said these things Attila stood looking upon his venerable garb and aspect, silent, as if thinking deeply. And lo, suddenly there were seen the apostles Peter and Paul, clad like bishops, standing by Leo, the one on the right hand, the other on the left. They held swords stretched out over his head, and threatened Attila with death if he did not obey the pope's command. Wherefore Attila was appeased he who had raged as one mad. He by Leo's intercession, straightway promised a lasting peace and withdrew beyond the Danube. From the accounts translated in J. H. Robinson, Readings in European History, (Boston: Ginn, 1905), pp. 49-51. [link]

{Basic Christian: Gnosticism Exposed} Rise of Modern Islam - The Myth of Mecca (as the early center of Islam) - Let's face it . . . Islam began in the year 666 AD.

In her book, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Dr. Crone demonstrates that Islam did not originate in Mecca. Mecca is located in the Hejaz region of what is today Saudi Arabia. It is portrayed by traditional belief as a wealthy trading center, full of merchants trading goods by caravan from Yemen in the south and Syria and the Byzantium empire in the north. Crone shows that Mecca was in fact way off the incense route from Yemen to Syria, which bypassed where Mecca is today by over 100 miles. Further, there is no mention whatever of Mecca in contemporary non-Moslem sources: ... While there may well have been a historical individual named Ubu'l Kassim who was later entitled Mohammed ("The Praised One"), who raised followers and participated in the initiation of the Arab Conquest, he likely came from northeast Arabia in what is now southern Jordan. The deity that Ubu'l Kassim chose to follow was Allah, a contraction of al-Lah, the ancient Arab God of the Moon [note: which is why the symbol of Islam to this day is the crescent moon]. Ubu'l Kassim died, however, some years before the Arab Conquest was fully underway (the traditional date is 632). Al-Rawandi summarizes what then happened: [link]

{Basic Christian: Gnosticism Exposed} Muslim - British financing of "Da Vinci Code" Movie questioned

Mohammed Yusef, the founder of Invicta Capital in Great Britain, is using a government tax-incentive program to fund the movie version of the anti-Christian "Da Vinci Code" novel for Sony Pictures. According to the Times of London, the London-based Invicta is taking advantage of British tax rules to provide Sony with 100 million pounds of the 114 million pounds that the movie reportedly cost. The capital allows Sony to dramatically reduce its cost of borrowing money to produce and market the movie. [link]

{Basic Christian: Gnosticism Exposed} Movie: Ron Howard Prepares to Unleash Angels & Demons (2009) - the follow-up to The Da Vinci Code [Angels & Demons is part 1 - The Da Vinci Code was actually part 2] - Tom Hanks reprising his role as Robert Langdon from The Da Vinci Code - Variety's report goes on to note that, although the Angels & Demons novel was written before and takes place before The Da Vinci Code, the film will be a sequel {The next Ron Howard movie "Angels & Demons" is a continuing part of the agenda to rise the evil fallen Nephilim [the occult considers Nephilim to be powerful, wise, illuminated (enlightened) and call themselves the followers "Illuminati"] and submit mankind to these fallen evil spirits. Note: Biblically fallen Angels and Demons are probably not the same thing though people often refer to them as being the same thing. Fallen Angels are Angels [that generally do not attempt to possess (indwell) people] while Demons [desire to possess and indwell people] may be offspring of the Nephilim (fallen Angels) & human intermixing that occurred in Geneses chapter 6 and that were all killed in the flood [the reason for the flood] of Noah's time. So saying Angels and Demons does not make one group good and the other bad both groups (angels and demons) would be bad if the Angels are fallen and in rebellion against God.}

One of the many high-profile productions being affected by the looming writers' strike is Angels & Demons, the follow-up to The Da Vinci Code -- but if director Ron Howard and his fellow filmmakers have anything to say about it, their sequel's progress will be unimpeded. Variety reports on the last-minute preparations behind the scenes of Angels & Demons, which will find Tom Hanks reprising his role as Robert Langdon from The Da Vinci Code, the $758 million-grossing adaptation of Dan Brown's bestselling book. Angels is scheduled to start filming in Europe next February, but with the writers' strike coming as early as November 1, Howard's team has to move quickly. ... Meanwhile, the "Angels" team have begun casting around Tom Hanks, who will reprise his role as Robert Langdon. Hanks' character, a Harvard-based expert on religious symbols, this time sleuths a mystery that involves a secret society and a conspiracy that leads to Vatican City and threatens the future of the Catholic Church. Variety's report goes on to note that, although the Angels & Demons novel was written before -- and takes place before -- The Da Vinci Code, the film will be a sequel. [link]

King Charlemagne (742 - 814 A.D.) the "Father of Europe" - The greatest of medieval kings was born in 742 A.D., at a place unknown, he was of German blood and speech - To the medieval mind, only King Arthur vied with Charlemagne as the finest example of what a Christian king could be -- Charlemagne the King a biography from Will Durant's STORY OF CIVILIZATION 1950 A.D.

King Charlemagne: The greatest of medieval kings was born in 742, at a place unknown. He was of German blood and speech, and shared some characteristics of his people- strength of body, courage of spirit, pride of race, and a crude simplicity many centuries apart from the urbane polish of the modern French. He had little book learning; read only a few books- but good ones; tried in his old age to learn writing, but never quite succeeded; yet he could speak old Teutonic and literary Latin, and understood Greek. In 771 Carloman II died, and Charles at twenty-nine became sole king. Two years later he received from Pope Hadrian II an urgent appeal for aid against the Lombard Desiderius, who was invading the papal states. Charlemagne besieged and took Pavia, assumed the crown of Lombardy, confirmed the Donation of Pepin, and accepted the role of protector of the Church in all her temporal powers. -- Returning to his capital at Aachen, he began a series of fifty-three campaigns- nearly all led in person- designed to round out his empire by conquering and Christianizing Bavaria and Saxony, destroying the troublesome Avars, shielding Italy from the raiding Saracens, and strengthening the defenses of Francia against the expanding Moors of Spain. The Saxons on his eastern frontier were pagans; they had burned down a Christian church, and made occasional incursions into Gaul; these reasons sufficed Charlemagne for eighteen campaigns (772-804), waged with untiring ferocity on both sides. Charles gave the conquered Saxons a choice between baptism and death, and had 4500 Saxon rebels beheaded in one day; after which he proceeded to Thionville to celebrate the nativity of Christ. -- The empire [of Europe] was divided into counties, each governed in spiritual matters by a bishop or archbishop, and in secular affairs by a comes (companion- of the king) or count. A local assembly of landholders convened twice or thrice a year in each provincial capital to pass upon the government of the region, and serve as a provincial court of appeals. The dangerous frontier counties, or marches, had special governors- graf, margrave, or markherzog; Roland of Roncesvalles, for example, was governor of the Breton march. All local administration was subject to missi dominici- "emissaries of the master"- sent by Charlemagne to convey his wishes to local officials, to review their actions, judgments, and accounts; to check bribery, extortion, nepotism, and exploitation, to receive complaints and remedy wrongs, to protect "the Church, the poor, and wards and widows, and the whole people"from malfeasance or tyranny, and to report to the King the condition of the realm; the Capitulare missorum establishing these emissaries was a Magna Carta for the people, four centuries before England's Magna Carta for the aristocracy. That this capitulary meant what it said appears from the case of the duke of Istria, who, being accused by the missi of divers injustices and extortions, was forced by the King to restore his thievings, compensate every wronged man, publicly confess his crimes, and give security against their repetition. ... (Charlemagne) had four successive wives and five mistresses or concubines. His abounding vitality made him extremely sensitive to feminine charms; and his women preferred a share in him to the monopoly of any other man. His harem bore him some eighteen children, of whom eight were legitimate. -- The ecclesiastics [priests] of the court and of Rome winked leniently at the Moslem [Muslim] morals of so Christian a king. He was now head of an empire far greater than the Byzantine, surpassed, in the white man's world, only by the realm of the Abbasid caliphate. But every extended frontier of empire or knowledge opens up new problems. Western Europe had tried to protect itself from the Germans by taking them into its civilization; but now Germany had to be protected against the Norse and the Slavs. The Vikings had by 800 A.D. established a kingdom in Jutland, and were raiding the Frisian coast. Charles hastened up from Rome, built fleets and forts on shores and rivers, and stationed garrisons at danger points. In 810 the king of Jutland invaded Frisia and was repulsed; but shortly thereafter, if we may follow the chronicle of the Monk of St. Gall, Charlemagne, from his palace at Narbonne, was shocked to see Danish pirate vessels in the Gulf of Lyons. Perhaps because he foresaw, like Diocletian, that his overreaching empire needed quick defense at many points at once, he divided it in 806 among his three sons- Pepin, Louis, and Charles. But Pepin died in 810, Charles in 811; only Louis remained, so absorbed in piety as to seem unfit to govern a rough and treacherous world. Nevertheless, in 813, at a solemn ceremony, Louis was elevated from the rank of king to that of emperor, and the old monarch uttered his nunc dimittis: "Blessed be Thou, O Lord God, Who hast granted me the grace to see with my own eyes my son seated on my throne!" -- Death: Four months later, wintering at Aachen, he was seized with a high fever, and developed pleurisy. He tried to cure himself by taking only liquids; but after an illness of seven days he died, in the forty-seventh year of his reign and the seventy-second year of his life (814 A.D.). He was buried under the dome of the cathedral at Aachen, dressed in his imperial robes. Soon all the world called him Carolus Magnus, Karl der Grosse, Charlemagne; and in 1165 A.D., when time had washed away all memory of his mistresses, the Church which he had served so well enrolled him among the blessed. [link]

Wikipedia: Charlemagne (742 - 28 January 814 A.D.), also known as Charles the Great - was King of the Franks [German Tribes] from 768 A.D. - The conquest of Italy brought Charlemagne in contact with the Saracens [Muslims] who, at the time (799 A.D.), controlled the Mediterranean - [With his victory over the Saracens] Charlemagne was declared Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) from 800 A.D. to his death in 814 A.D. - He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe -- During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800 A.D.

Wars with the Moors [Muslims]: The conquest of Italy brought Charlemagne in contact with the Saracens who, at the time, controlled the Mediterranean. Pippin, his son, was much occupied with Saracens in Italy. Charlemagne conquered Corsica and Sardinia at an unknown date and in 799 the Balearic Islands. The islands were often attacked by Saracen pirates, but the counts of Genoa and Tuscany (Boniface) kept them at bay with large fleets until the end of Charlemagne's reign. Charlemagne even had contact with the caliphal court in Baghdad. In 797 (or possibly 801), the caliph of Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid, presented Charlemagne with an Asian elephant named Abul-Abbas and a clock. -- In Hispania [Spain], the struggle against the Moors continued unabated throughout the latter half of his reign. His son Louis was in charge of the Spanish border. In 785, his men captured Gerona permanently and extended Frankish control into the Catalan littoral for the duration of Charlemagne's reign (and much longer, it remained nominally Frankish until the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258). The Muslim chiefs in the northeast of Islamic Spain were constantly revolting against Córdoban authority, and they often turned to the Franks for help. The Frankish border was slowly extended until 795, when Gerona, Cardona, Ausona, and Urgel were united into the new Spanish March, within the old duchy of Septimania. -- In 797 Barcelona, the greatest city of the region, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, failing, handed it to them. The Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis of Aquitaine marched the entire army of his kingdom over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated. The Franks continued to press forward against the emir. They took Tarragona in 809 and Tortosa in 811. The last conquest brought them to the mouth of the Ebro and gave them raiding access to Valencia, prompting the Emir al-Hakam I to recognize their conquests in 812 A.D. [link]

Ancient Saracens - Saracen was a term used by the ancient Romans to refer to a people who lived in desert areas in and around the Roman province of Arabia, and who were distinguished from Arabs - In Europe during the Middle Ages the term was expanded to include Arabs, and then all who professed the religion of Islam - The expansion of the meaning occurred first among the Byzantine Greeks and then among the Latins - By the time of the Crusades, beginning in 1095, a "Saracen" had become synonymous with a "Muslim" in European chronicles

Early and medieval Christian literature: Eusebius and Epiphanius Scholasticus, in their Christian histories, place Saracens east of the Gulf of Aqaba but beyond the Roman province of Arabia and mention them as Ishmaelites through Kedar; thus, they are outside the promise given to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and also therefore, in Christian theology, beyond a privileged place in the family of nations or divine dispensation. The Jews viewed them as pagans and polytheists in ancient times and in later Christian times they became associated with cruel tyrants from early Christian history such as: Herod the Great, Herod Antipas and Agrippa I. Christian writings, such as those by Origen, viewed them as heretics who had to be brought into the orthodox fold. To the Christian Saint Jerome the Arabs, who were also considered in Christian theology as Ishmaelites, were also seen to fit the definition of Saracens; pagan tent-dwelling raiders of the lands on the eastern fringes of the Roman empire. -- The term Saracen carried the connotation of people living on the fringes of settled society, living off raids on towns and villages, and eventually became equated with both the "tent-dwelling" Bedouin as well as sedentary Arabs. Church writers of the period commonly describe Saracen raids on monasteries and their killing of monks. The term and the negative image of Saracens was in popular usage in both the Greek east as well as the Latin west throughout the Middle Ages. With the advent of Islam, in the Arabian peninsula, during the seventh century among the Arabs, the term's strong association with Arabs tied the term closely with not just race and culture, but also the religion. The rise of the Arab Empire and the ensuing hostility with the Byzantine Empire saw itself expressed as conflict between Islam and Christianity and the association of the term with Islam was further accentuated both during and after the Crusades. -- John of Damascus, in a polemical work typical of this attitude described the Saracens in the early 8th century thus: There is also the people-deceiving cult (threskeia) of the Ishmaelites, the forerunner of the Antichrist, which prevails until now. It derives from Ishmael, who was born to Abraham from Hagar, wherefore they are called Hagarenes and Ishmaelites. And they call them Saracens, inasmuch as they were sent away empty-handed by Sarah; for it was said to the angel by Hagar: "Sarah has sent me away empty-handed" (cf. Book of Genesis xxi. 10, 14). [link]

The Dark Ages - Early Middle Ages (DVD $16.99) {In case you have ever wondered if Satan is raging a relentless war against the Christian Church and against mankind in general this History documentary will lay aside all doubts.}

Between the Fall of Rome and the dawn of the Renaissance, Europe plunged into a dark night of constant war, splintered sovereignties, marauding pagans, rabid crusaders and devastating plague. That anything of value arose from this chaotic muck - much less the Renaissance - is nothing short of miraculous. Through masterful cinematography and ground-breaking research, THE DARK AGES brings to life this amazing and mysterious time. Relive in striking detail critical turning points in the Early Middle Ages including the fall of Rome to the Visigoths, the horrors of Bubonic Plague, the rise of Charlemagne and the launching of the First Crusade. [link]

313 A.D. - 1521 A.D. -- Birth of Revised Rome and the Holy Roman Empire

Introduction [1 of 2]: 313 A.D. - 1521 A.D. The Birth of Revised Rome [the 7th Global Gentile Kingdom] and the Emergence of the Holy Roman Empire -- As we have already noticed the Anti-Nicene (Church Fathers) era wasn't all doctrinally good and likewise the doctrines of the Holy Roman Empire won't be universally all bad and in fact with the many Church Councils and tight oversight of Rome the Church was able to Biblically smooth out and remove some of the wrinkles and the rough edges of Anti-Nicene doctrines to the extent that the early doctrines of the Holy Roman Empire would correctly guide and direct the Christian Church for the next nearly two millennium up until today and on into the future

Background: As the Christian Church was closing in on its first 300 years of existence the Church itself was mostly a tightknit community but its ideology and practices were a bit of a loose collection of fellowships, doctrines and theologies. The independence, uniqueness and vast dispersion of the Church fellowships left a power vacuum that the Roman Empire, seeing the gaining popularity of Christianity, would soon be very willing to exploit and take advantage of as Rome itself in just a few moves would swoop in and overcome Christianity as the new Church master for the majority of the Christian world. Rome would accomplish their secular takeover of the Christian Church in a relatively short period of time and with just a few simple steps. First by heavily opposing and persecuting the Church the government of Rome was creating the very oppression, confusion and vacuum within the Church structure that Roman leaders intended to fill for themselves. Next in 313 A.D. Rome [Emperor Constantine] issued an Edict of Toleration [the Edict of Milan] providing some relief to the persecuted Church but only if the Church would in a sense submit to Roman secular authority. Finally once in authority and starting with the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. then Rome could and did easily infiltrated the Church at the top positions with their own secular scholars, secular leaders, secular priests, secular monks and even some secular popes. Secular Rome would create a dual system [the two headed eagle] of Church and State that exists to this present day. [link]

Introduction [2of 2]: 313 A.D. - 1521 A.D. The Birth of Revised Rome [the 7th Global Gentile Kingdom] and the Emergence of the Holy Roman Empire -- The extended 325 A.D. Constantinian system of dual Church and State set up a system of both cooperation and tensions between the Church religion and the State governments - A dual system that would last almost unhindered until the Protestant Reformation of the late 1400's and early 1500's

History: The three Church synods of Antioch convened between 264 A.D. and 269 A.D. had so accurately confirmed the Divinity of Jesus Christ among the minds of the common man that the heretics of the day admitted an almost complete defeat and had no alternative but to take their heretical doctrines out, away from civilization and into the deserts of Egypt [becoming the desert monks - desert fathers] in a desperate attempt to revise, retool, re-spin and readapt their heresies into a format that someday could become acceptable to the common people. Emperor Constantine realizing that the Roman agents of disinformation had been regulated to the desert region of Egypt acted quickly and in 313 A.D. issued the Edict of Milan legalizing [though without mentioning Christianity by name] all sects of Christianity with a primary emphasis on protecting, fostering and furthering the heretical sects of christianity while continuing to misrepresent and oppress true Christianity. With Emperor Constantine's 313 A.D. Edict of Milan and the success of his oversight of the Nicene Council in 325 A.D. the heretics of the desert had found their day and were quickly able to return to the cities but by this time with the protection of the Roman government the heretics of the desert not only returned to the cities but began to fill the seats of power and authority both within the city governments and also within the true Christian Church. [link]

Wikipedia: Constantinian shift [Government presiding over Christianity] - The Constantinian shift is a term used by Anabaptist and Post-Christendom theologians to describe the political and theological aspects of the 4th-century (325 A.D.) process of Constantine's legalization [and secular takeover] of Christianity - The term was popularized by the Mennonite theologian John H. Yoder

Historical context: According to Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic tradition, [Emperor] Constantine I adopted Christianity as his system of belief after the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 A.D. His legions, who were victorious, fought under the "labarum", a standard (flag) with the first two Greek letters of Christ's name [XP - the first two (capital) letters chi (X) and rho (P) of the Greek word Christ] {Note: Constantine replaced the cross of Christianity with the letters X and P - the letters probably had a dual occult meaning}. -- In 313 A.D., the Edict of Milan legalized Christianity {Note: without mentioning Christianity by name} **alongside other religions {specifically heretical sects of Christianity} allowed in the Roman Empire. In 325 A.D., the First Council of Nicaea signaled consolidation of Christianity under an orthodoxy endorsed by Constantine, and though this did not make other Christian groups outside the adopted definition illegal, the dissenting Arian bishops [who were in all probability occult agents working for Constantine] were initially exiled. **But Constantine reinstated Arius {the heretic} before his death ***and exiled Orthodox {Christian} Athanasius of Alexandria. In 380 A.D. Emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the Roman Empire's official religion (see State church of the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire and the Goths) and did enforce the edict. In 392 he [Emperor Theodosius I] passed legislation prohibiting all pagan cultic worship. During the 4th century, however, there was no real unity between church and state: In the course of the Arian controversy, leading Trinitarian bishops, such as Athanasius, Hilary of Poitiers, and Gregory of Nyssa, were exiled by Arian emperors, as were leading Arian and Anomoean theologians such as Aëtius. Towards the end of the century [during the ongoing Church and State power struggle], **Bishop Ambrose of Milan made the powerful Emperor Theodosius do penance for several months after the massacre of Thessalonica before admitting him again to the Eucharist [Communion Supper]. On the other hand, only a few years later, Chrysostom, who as bishop of Constantinople criticized the excesses of the royal court [the Government], and was eventually banished and died while traveling to his place of exile. -- Theological Implications: Theologians critical of the Constantinian shift [Government presiding over Christianity] also see it as the point at which membership in the Christian church became associated with citizenship (in the country) rather than a personal decision (with Jesus). American theologian Stanley Hauerwas names the shift as the foundation for the expression of Christianity in the United States today that is closely associated with patriotism and civil religion. [link]

Wikipedia: Constantine the Great - Roman Emperor from 306 A.D. to 337 A.D. - The foremost general of his time, Constantine defeated the emperors Maxentius and Licinius during civil wars - He also fought successfully against the Franks, Alamanni, Visigoths, and Sarmatians - Constantine built a new imperial residence in place of Byzantium, naming it Constantinople, which would later be the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for over one thousand years - He is thought of as the founder of the Eastern Roman Empire - The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the emperor as having some influence within the religious discussions going on within the Catholic Church of that time, e.g., the dispute over Arianism -- Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius (AD 250-336), a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the persons of the Trinity ('God the Father', 'God the Son' and 'God the Holy Spirit') and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a [created] subordinate entity to God the Father - Deemed a heretic by the First Council of Nicaea of 325 A.D., Arius was later exonerated in 335 at the First Synod of Tyre, and then, after his death, pronounced a heretic again at the First Council of Constantinople of 381 -- The Roman Emperors Constantius II (337-361) and Valens (364-378) were Arians or Semi-Arians

Religious policy: Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor; his reign was certainly a turning point for the Church. In February 313, Constantine met with Licinius in Milan where they developed the Edict of Milan. The edict stated that Christians should be allowed to follow the faith of their choosing. This removed penalties for professing Christianity (under which many had been martyred in previous persecutions of Christians) and returned confiscated Church property. The edict protected from religious persecution not only Christians but all religions, allowing anyone to worship whichever deity they chose. A similar edict had been issued in 311 by Galerius, then senior emperor of the Tetrarchy; Galerius' edict granted Christians the right to practice their religion but did not restore any property to them. The Edict of Milan included several clauses which stated that all confiscated churches would be returned as well as other provisions for previously persecuted Christians. ... Constantine did not patronize Christianity alone, however. After gaining victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), a triumphal arch-the Arch of Constantine-was built (315) to celebrate it; the arch is decorated with images of Victoria and sacrifices to gods like Apollo, Diana, and Hercules, but contains no Christian symbolism. In 321, Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun, referencing the esoteric eastern sun-worship which Aurelian had helped introduce, and his coinage still carried the symbols of the sun cult until 324. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coinage, Christian symbols appeared only as Constantine's personal attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum, but never on the coin itself. Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem. -- The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the emperor as having some influence within the religious discussions going on within the Catholic Church of that time, e.g., the dispute over Arianism. Constantine himself disliked the risks to societal stability that religious disputes and controversies brought with them, preferring where possible to establish an orthodoxy. The emperor saw it as his duty to ensure that God was properly worshiped in his empire, and that what proper worship consisted would be determined by the Church. In 316, Constantine acted as a judge in a North African dispute concerning the validity of Donatism. After deciding against the Donatists, Constantine led an army of Christians against the Donatist Christians. More significantly, in 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified). Nicaea was dealt mostly with Arianism. Constantine also enforced the prohibition of the First Council of Nicaea against celebrating the Lord's Supper on the day before the Jewish Passover (14th of Nisan) (see Quartodecimanism and Easter controversy). Constantine made new laws regarding the Jews. They were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves. [link]

The Revised Roman Empire - Saint Helena - the mother of Emperor Constantine I - She is traditionally credited with finding the relics of the True Cross, with which she is invariably represented in Christian iconography - Constantine appointed his mother Helen as Augusta Imperatrix, and gave her unlimited access to the imperial treasury in order to locate the relics of Judeo-Christian tradition - In 326-28 A.D. Helena undertook a trip to the Holy Places in Palestine [Israel] - The chapel at St. Catherine's Monastery [in Sinai Egypt - including Helen's Chapel of the Burning Bush] often referred to as the Chapel of Saint Helen-is dated to the year AD 330 {Note: every 'discovery' of Helena the mother of Emperor Constantine I is considered to be discredited - especially her [confirming] Mt. Sinai in Egypt [the Chapel of the Burning Bush - Source: SacredSites.com] when the Bible proclaims that the real Mt. Sinai was 'outside' (Exodus 18:1,5) of Egypt (Galatians 4:25) [in Arabia - Saudi Arabia]. Also Note: **it is one of the most blasphemous concepts [Mt. Sinai in Egypt] to locate God in Egypt - God is not in Egypt, He is outside of Egypt [human slavery and human bondage] - the whole concept of the Bible is to leave Egypt [the world system] and for worshipers go outside of Egypt (the world) to have a true relationship [fellowship] with God - **pastors who preach that one corner of Egypt [Sinai Peninsula - St. Catherine's Monastery] is acceptable to God have missed much of the entirety of the Bible - The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus was even crucified outside the city of Jerusalem so we would know to look outside the [world system] city for a true relationship with Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:12-14).} -- Note: A sustainable relationship with God is generally not to be found in this worldly system though minor glimpses and interactions with God can be experienced. The worldly system saturated with misconceptions and false premises from deceived and misinformed individuals like Richard Dawkins is a system designed and maintained simply to hinder a person's true relationship with God. Therefore leaving the misinformed worldly system and entering the Promises of the Biblical realm is an important part of a sustainable relationship with God.}

Family life: The bishop and historian Eusebius of Caesarea states that she was about 80 [years old] on her return from Palestine (Israel). Since that journey has been dated to 326-28, Helena was probably born in 248 or 250. Little is known of her early life. Fourth-century sources, following Eutropius' "Breviarium," record that she came from a low background. Saint Ambrose was the first to call her a stabularia, a term translated as "stable-maid" or "inn-keeper". He makes this fact a virtue, calling Helena a bona stabularia, a "good stable-maid". Other sources, especially those written after Constantine's proclamation as emperor, gloss over or ignore her background. ... Relic discoveries: Constantine appointed his mother Helen as Augusta Imperatrix, and gave her unlimited access to the imperial treasury in order to locate the relics of Judeo-Christian tradition. In 326-28 Helena undertook a trip to the Holy Places in Palestine. According to Eusebius of Caesarea she was responsible for the construction or beautification of two churches, the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, and the Church on the Mount of Olives, sites of Christ's birth and ascension. Local founding legend attributes to Helena's orders the construction of a church in Egypt to identify the Burning Bush of Sinai. The chapel at St. Catherine's Monastery--often referred to as the Chapel of Saint Helen-is dated to the year AD 330. -- Jerusalem was still rebuilding from the destruction of Emperor Hadrian, who had built a temple dedicated, according to conflicting accounts, to Venus or Jupiter over the site of Jesus's tomb near Calvary and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina. According to tradition, Helena ordered the temple torn down and, according to the legend that arose at the end of the fourth century, in Ambrose, On the Death of Theodosius (died 395) and at length in Rufinus' chapters appended to his translation into Latin of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, which does not mention the event, chose a site to begin excavating, which led to the recovery of three different crosses. Then, Rufinus relates, refusing to be swayed by anything but solid proof, the empress (perhaps through Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem) had a woman who was already at the point of death brought from Jerusalem. When the woman touched the first and second crosses, her condition did not change, but when she touched the third and final cross she suddenly recovered, and Helena declared the cross with which the woman had been touched to be the True Cross. On the site of discovery, Constantine ordered built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as well as those on other sites detected by Helena. -- She also found the nails of the crucifixion. To use their miraculous power to aid her son, Helena allegedly had one placed in Constantine's helmet, and another in the bridle of his horse. Helena left Jerusalem and the eastern provinces in 327 to return to Rome, bringing with her large parts of the True Cross and other relics, which were then stored in her palace's private chapel, where they can be still seen today. Her palace was later converted into the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. This has been maintained by Cistercian monks in the monastery which has been attached to the church for centuries. Tradition says that the site of the Vatican Gardens was spread with earth brought from Golgotha by Helena to symbolically unite the blood of Christ with that shed by thousands of early Christians, who died in the persecutions of Nero. -- According to one tradition, Helena acquired the Holy Tunic on her trip to Jerusalem and sent it to Trier. Several of Saint Helena's treasures are now in Cyprus, where she spent some time. Some of them are a part of Jesus Christ's tunic, pieces of the holy cross and the world's only pieces of the rope to which Jesus was tied with on the Cross. The latter has been held at the Stavrovouni Monastery, which was also founded by Saint Helena. [link]

Wikipedia: Athanasius (296 - 2 May 373) - In June 328, at the age of 30, three years after Nicaea and upon the repose of Bishop Alexander, he became archbishop of Alexandria - He continued to lead the conflict against the Arians for the rest of his life and was engaged in theological and political struggles against the Emperors Constantine and Constantius and powerful and influential Arian churchmen, led by Arian Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia and others - He was known as "Athanasius Contra Mundum" - Within few years of his departure, St. Gregory of Nazianzus called him the "Pillar of the Church" - His writings were well regarded by all Church fathers who followed, in both the West and the East - His writings show a rich devotion to the Word-become-man, great pastoral concern, and profound interest in monasticism -- The so-called Athanasian Creed dates from well after Athanasius's death and draws upon the phraseology of Augustine's De trinitate {Note: The Athanasian Creed, was probably written by Vincent of Lérins in about (475-525 A.D.) as a summary of Athanasius' works and writings in the same way that the Apostles' Creed was earlier written by Ambrose in about 390 A.D. as a summary of the Apostles (N.T) works and writings.}

Athanasius is counted as one of the Great Doctors of the Church in Eastern Orthodoxy where he is also labeled the "Father of Orthodoxy". He is also one of the four Great Doctors of the Church from the East in the Roman Catholic Church. He is renowned in the Protestant churches, who label him "Father of The Canon". Athanasius is venerated as a Christian saint, whose feast day is 2 May in Western Christianity, 15 May in the Coptic Orthodox Church, and 18 January in the other Eastern Orthodox churches. He is venerated by the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox, the Roman Catholics, the Lutherans, and the Anglican Communion. ... Athanasius' letters include one "Letter Concerning the Decrees of the Council of Nicaea" (De Decretis), which is an account of the proceedings of that council, and another letter in the year 367 which was the first known listing of the New Testament including all those books now accepted everywhere as the New Testament. (earlier similar lists vary by the omission or addition of a few books, see Development of the New Testament canon). Several of his letters also survive. In one of these, to Epictetus of Corinth, Athanasius anticipates future controversies in his defense of the humanity of Christ. Another of his letters, to Dracontius, urges that monk to leave the desert for the more active duties of a bishop. There are several other works ascribed to him, although not necessarily generally accepted as being his own work. These include the Athanasian creed, which is today generally seen as being of 5th-century Galician origin. Athanasius was not what would be called a speculative theologian. As he stated in his First Letters to Serapion, he held on to "the tradition, teaching, and faith proclaimed by the apostles and guarded by the fathers." In some cases, this led to his taking the position that faith should take priority over reason. He held that not only was the Son of God consubstantial with the Father, but so was the Holy Spirit, which had a great deal of influence in the development of later doctrines regarding the Trinity. [link]

Wikipedia: Ambrose - Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose (337 - 4 April 397), was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century - He was one of the four original doctors (of particular importance) of the Roman Catholic Church - In spite of Imperial opposition, Bishop Ambrose declared: "If you demand my person, I am ready to submit: carry me to prison or to death, I will not resist; but I will never betray the Church of Christ. I will not call upon the people to succour me; I will die at the foot of the altar rather than desert it. The tumult of the people I will not encourage: but God alone can appease it." - Soon after acquiring the undisputed possession of the Roman empire, Theodosius died at Milan in 395, and two years later (April 4, 397) Ambrose also died - He was succeeded as bishop of Milan by Simplician - Ambrose's body may still be viewed in the church of S. Ambrogio in Milan, where it has been continuously venerated - along with the bodies identified in his time as being those of St. Gervase and St. Protase - and is one of the oldest extant bodies of historical personages known outside Egypt

Bishop of Milan: In the late 4th century there was a deep conflict in the diocese of Milan between the Catholics and Arians. In 374 the bishop of Milan, Auxentius, an Arian, died, and the Arians challenged the succession. Ambrose went to the church where the election was to take place, to prevent an uproar, which was probable in this crisis. His address was interrupted by a call "Ambrose, bishop!", which was taken up by the whole assembly. Ambrose was known to be Catholic in belief, but also acceptable to Arians due to the charity shown in theological matters in this regard. At first he energetically refused the office, for which he was in no way prepared: Ambrose was neither baptized nor formally trained in theology. Upon his appointment, St. Ambrose fled to a colleague's home seeking to hide. Upon receiving a letter from the Emperor Gratian praising the appropriateness of Rome appointing individuals evidently worthy of holy positions, St. Ambrose's host gave Ambrose up. Within a week, Ambrose was baptized, ordained and duly consecrated bishop of Milan. As bishop, he immediately adopted an ascetic lifestyle, apportioned his money to the poor, donating all of his land, making only provision for his sister Marcellina (who later became a nun), and committed the care of his family to his brother. Ambrose also wrote a treatise by the name of "The Goodness Of Death". -- Ambrose and Arians: According to legend, Ambrose immediately and forcefully stopped Arianism in Milan. He studied theology with Simplician, a presbyter of Rome. Using his excellent knowledge of Greek, which was then rare in the West, to his advantage, he studied the Hebrew Bible and Greek authors like Philo, Origen, Athanasius, and Basil of Caesarea, with whom he was also exchanging letters. He applied this knowledge as preacher, concentrating especially on exegesis of the Old Testament, and his rhetorical abilities impressed Augustine of Hippo, who hitherto had thought poorly of Christian preachers. In the confrontation with Arians, Ambrose sought to theologically refute their propositions, which were heretical. The Arians appealed to many high level leaders and clergy in both the Western and Eastern empires. Although the western Emperor Gratian held orthodox belief in the Nicene creed, the younger Valentinian II, who became his colleague in the Empire, adhered to the Arian creed. Ambrose did not sway the young prince's position. In the East, Emperor Theodosius I likewise professed the Nicene creed; but there were many adherents of Arianism throughout his dominions, especially among the higher clergy. In this contested state of religious opinion, two leaders of the Arians, bishops Palladius of Ratiaria and Secundianus of Singidunum, confident of numbers, prevailed upon Gratian to call a general council from all parts of the empire. This request appeared so equitable that he complied without hesitation. However, Ambrose feared the consequences and prevailed upon the emperor to have the matter determined by a council of the Western bishops. Accordingly, a synod composed of thirty-two bishops was held at Aquileia in the year 381 A.D. Ambrose was elected president and Palladius, being called upon to defend his opinions, declined. A vote was then taken, when Palladius and his associate Secundianus were deposed from the episcopal office. Nevertheless, the increasing strength of the Arians proved a formidable task for Ambrose. In 385 or 386 the emperor and his mother Justina, along with a considerable number of clergy and laity, especially military, professed Arianism. They demanded two churches in Milan, one in the city (the basilica of the Apostles), the other in the suburbs (St Victor's), to the Arians. Ambrose refused and was required to answer for his conduct before the council. He went, his eloquence in defense of the Church reportedly overawed the ministers of Emperor Valentinian, so he was permitted to retire without making the surrender of the churches. The day following, when he was performing divine service in the basilica, the prefect of the city came to persuade him to give up at least the Portian basilica in the suburbs. As he still continued obstinate, the court proceeded to violent measures: the officers of the household were commanded to prepare the Basilica and the Portian churches to celebrate divine service upon the arrival of the emperor and his mother at the ensuing festival of Easter. -- In spite of Imperial opposition, Bishop Ambrose declared: "If you demand my person, I am ready to submit: carry me to prison or to death, I will not resist; but I will never betray the church of Christ. I will not call upon the people to succour me; I will die at the foot of the altar rather than desert it. The tumult of the people I will not encourage: but God alone can appease it." [link]

Creeds: The Apostles' Creed, written by Ambrose -- The Nicene Creed 325 A.D. -- The Athanasian Creed, possibly by Vincent of Lérins

The Three Ecumenical or Universal Creeds -- The Apostles' Creed [The title, Symbolum Apostolicum (Symbol or Creed of the Apostles), appears for the first time in a letter from a Council in Milan (probably written by Ambrose himself) to Pope Siricius in about 390 A.D. - Wiki.com]: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic [universal] Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. -- The Nicene Creed [adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first (second) ecumenical council (Jerusalem Acts 15:6 was the first ecumenical Church council), which met there in 325 A.D. - Wiki.com]: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic [universal] and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. -- The Athanasian Creed [The use of the Creed in a sermon by Caesarius of Arles, as well as a theological resemblance to works by Vincent of Lérins, point to Southern Gaul as its origin. The most likely time frame is in the late fifth or early sixth century A.D. (475-525 A.D.) at least 100 years after Athanasius (293 A.D. - May 2, 373 A.D.) - Wiki.com]: Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [universal] faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic [universal] faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three Eternals, but one Eternal. As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, So are we forbidden by the catholic [universal] religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another; But the whole three Persons are coeternal together, and coequal: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ: One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic [universal] faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved. [link]

The Nicene Creed (325 A.D.) - The Nicene Creed "I believe in one holy catholic [universal] and ***[A]postolic Church" is the most widely accepted and used brief statements of the Christian Faith - In liturgical churches, it is said every Sunday as part of the Liturgy - It is Common Ground to East Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists, and many other Christian groups - Many groups that do not have a tradition of using it in their services nevertheless are committed to the doctrines it teaches

Someone may ask, "What about the Apostles' Creed?" Traditionally, in the West, the Apostles' Creed is used at Baptisms, and the Nicene Creed at the Eucharist [AKA the Mass, the Liturgy, the Lord's Supper, or the Holy Communion.] The East uses only the Nicene Creed. I here present the Nicene Creed in two English translations, The first is the traditional one, in use with minor variations since 1549, The second is a modern version, that of The Interdenominational Committee on Liturgical Texts. Notes and comment by [James E. Kiefer] follow. [link]

Council of Seleucia 359 A.D. - In 358, the Roman Emperor Constantius II requested two councils, one of western bishops at Ariminum and the other of eastern bishops at Nicomedia, to resolve the controversy over Arianism regarding the nature of the divinity of Jesus Christ, a controversy that had divided the fourth-century church - Before the council was convened an earthquake struck Nicomedia, killing many people including the bishop, Cecropius of Nicomedia - As a result on September 27, 359 A.D. the eastern council (of about 160 bishops) met at Seleucia instead - The council was bitterly divided, and disorganized - The two parties met separately and reached opposing decisions - Later that year, Constantius called for a council in Constantinople to consider the decision at Ariminum and resolve the split at Seleucia - This council met in 360 A.D., which did not settle the disputes

Acacius' proposed creed: -- Preface: "We having yesterday assembled by the emperor's command at Seleucia, a city of Isauria, on the 27th day of September, exerted ourselves to the utmost, with all moderation, to preserve the peace of the church, and to determine doctrinal questions on prophetic and evangelical authority, so as to sanction nothing in the ecclesiastic confession of faith at variance with the sacred Scriptures, as our Emperor Constantius most beloved of God has ordered. But inasmuch as certain individuals in the Synod have acted injuriously toward several of us, preventing some from expressing their sentiments, and excluding others from the council against their wills; and at the same time have introduced such as have been deposed, and persons who were ordained contrary to the ecclesiastical canon, so that the Synod has presented a scene of tumult and disorder, of which the most illustrious Leonas, the Comes, and the most eminent Lauricius, governor of the province, have been eye-witnesses, we are therefore under the necessity of making this declaration. That we do not repudiate the faith which was ratified at the consecration of the church at Antioch; for we give it our decided preference, because it received the concurrence of our fathers who were assembled there to consider some controverted points. Since, however, the terms homoousion and homoiousion have in time past troubled the minds of many, and still continue to disquiet them; and moreover that a new term has recently been coined by some who assert the anomoion of the Son to the Father: we reject the first two, as expressions which are not found in the Scriptures; but we utterly anathematize the last, and regard such as countenance its use, as alienated from the church. We distinctly acknowledge the homoion of the Son to the Father, in accordance with what the apostle has declared concerning him, "Who is the image of the invisible God." -- Creed: "We confess then, and believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and of things visible and invisible. We believe also in his Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who was begotten of him without passion before all ages, God the Word, the only-begotten of God, the Light, the Life, the Truth, the Wisdom: through whom all things were made which are in the heavens and upon the earth, whether visible or invisible. We believe that he took flesh of the holy Virgin Mary, at the end of the ages, in order to abolish sin; that he was made man, suffered for our sin, and rose again, and was taken up into the heavens, to sit at the right hand of the Father, whence he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. We believe also in the Holy Spirit, whom our Lord and Saviour has denominated the Comforter, and whom he sent to his disciples after his departure, according to his promise: by whom also he sanctifies all believers in the church, who are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Those who preach anything contrary to this creed, we regard as aliens from the catholic church." [link]

Wikipedia: Gregory of Nazianzus - Gregory of Nazianzus (329 - January 25 390) - also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople - He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the Patristic Age [generally reckoned as Church Fathers - A rough classification of these patristic writings is as: Apostolic Fathers and the 2nd century; 3rd century; 4th century; 5th century; and 6th century] - As a classically trained orator and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials - Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology among both Greek and Latin-speaking theologians, and he is remembered as the "Trinitarian Theologian" - Much of his theological work continues to influence modern theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three Persons of the Trinity [Father, Son, Holy Spirit] - Along with the two brothers Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, he is known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers - Gregory is a saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity - In the Roman Catholic Church he is numbered among the Doctors of the Church; in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eastern Catholic Churches he is revered as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, along with Basil the Great and John Chrysostom

Priesthood: In 361 Gregory returned to Nazianzus and was ordained a presbyter by his father, who wanted him to assist with caring for local Christians. The younger Gregory, who had been considering a monastic existence, resented his father's decision to force him to choose between priestly services and a solitary existence, calling it an "act of tyranny". Leaving home after a few days, he met his friend Basil at Annesoi, where the two lived as ascetics. However, Basil urged him to return home to assist his father, which he did for the next year. Arriving at Nazianzus, Gregory found the local Christian community split by theological differences and his father accused of heresy by local monks. Gregory helped to heal the division through a combination of personal diplomacy and oratory. By this time Emperor Julian had publicly declared himself in opposition to Christianity. In response to the emperor's rejection of the Christian faith, Gregory composed his Invectives Against Julian between 362 and 363. Invectives asserts that Christianity will overcome imperfect rulers such as Julian through love and patience. This process as described by Gregory is the public manifestation of the process of deification (theosis), which leads to a spiritual elevation and mystical union with God. Julian resolved, in late 362, to vigorously prosecute Gregory and his other Christian critics; however, the emperor perished the following year during a campaign against the Persians. With the death of the emperor, Gregory and the Eastern churches were no longer under the threat of persecution, as the new emperor Jovian was an avowed Christian and supporter of the church. Gregory spent the next few years combating Arianism, which threatened to divide the region of Cappadocia. In this tense environment, Gregory interceded on behalf of his friend Basil with Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (Maritima). The two friends then entered a period of close fraternal cooperation as they participated in a great rhetorical contest of the Caesarean church precipitated by the arrival of accomplished Arian theologians and rhetors. In the subsequent public debates, presided over by agents of the Emperor Valens, Gregory and Basil emerged triumphant. This success confirmed for both Gregory and Basil that their futures lay in administration of the Church. Basil, who had long displayed inclinations to the episcopacy, was elected bishop of the see of Caesarea in Cappadocia in 370. -- Gregory at Constantinople: Emperor Valens died in 378. The accession of Theodosius I, a steadfast supporter of Nicene orthodoxy, was good news to those who wished to purge Constantinople of Arian and Apollinarian domination. The exiled Nicene party gradually returned to the city. From his deathbed, Basil reminded them of Gregory's capabilities and likely recommended his friend to champion the trinitarian cause in Constantinople. In 379, the Antioch synod and its archbishop, Meletios, asked Gregory to go to Constantinople to lead a theological campaign to win over that city to Nicene orthodoxy. After much hesitation, Gregory agreed. His cousin Theodosia offered him a villa for his residence; Gregory immediately transformed much of it into a church, naming it Anastasia, "a scene for the resurrection of the faith". From this little chapel he delivered five powerful discourses on Nicene doctrine, explaining the nature of the Trinity and the unity of the Godhead. Refuting the Eunomion denial of the Holy Spirit's divinity, Gregory offered this argument: "Look at these facts: Christ is born, the Holy Spirit is His Forerunner. Christ is baptized, the Spirit bears witness to this… Christ works miracles, the Spirit accompanies them. Christ ascends, the Spirit takes His place. What great things are there in the idea of God which are not in His power? What titles appertaining to God do not apply also to Him, except for Unbegotten and Begotten? I tremble when I think of such an abundance of titles, and how many Names they blaspheme, those who revolt against the Spirit!" -- Gregory's homilies were well-received and attracted ever-growing crowds to Anastasia. Fearing his popularity, his opponents decided to strike. On the vigil of Easter in 379, an Arian mob burst into his church during worship services, wounding Gregory and killing another bishop. Escaping the mob, Gregory next found himself betrayed by his erstwhile friend, the philosopher Maximus the Cynic. Maximus, who was in secret alliance with Peter, bishop of Alexandria, attempted to seize Gregory's position and have himself ordained bishop of Constantinople. Shocked, Gregory decided to resign his office, but the faction faithful to him induced him to stay and ejected Maximus. However, the episode left him embarrassed and exposed him to criticism as a provincial simpleton unable to cope with intrigues of the imperial city. Affairs in Constantinople remained confused as Gregory's position was still unofficial and Arian priests occupied many important churches. The arrival of the emperor Theodosius in 380 settled matters in Gregory's favor. The emperor, determined to eliminate Arianism, expelled Bishop Demophilus. Gregory was subsequently enthroned as bishop of Constantinople at the Basilica of the Apostles, replacing Demophilus. [link]

Wikipedia: Augustine of Hippo - Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 - August 28, 430), also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, - was Bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria) - He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province - His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity

According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith." In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus. After his conversion to Christianity and baptism in AD 387, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war. -- When the Western Roman Empire was starting to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Catholic Church as a spiritual City of God (in a book of the same name), distinct from the material Earthly City. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. Augustine's City of God was closely identified with the Church, the community that worshipped God. In the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, he is a saint and pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinian religious order; his memorial is celebrated 28 August, the day of his death. ... Works: Augustine was one of the most prolific Latin authors in terms of surviving works, and the list of his works consists of more than one hundred separate titles. They include apologetic works against the heresies of the Arians, Donatists, Manichaeans and Pelagians, texts on Christian doctrine, notably De Doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine), exegetical works such as commentaries on Book of Genesis, the Psalms and Paul's Letter to the Romans, many sermons and letters, and the Retractationes, a review of his earlier works which he wrote near the end of his life. Apart from those, Augustine is probably best known for his Confessiones (Confessions), which is a personal account of his earlier life, and for De civitate dei (Of the City of God, consisting of 22 books), which he wrote to restore the confidence of his fellow Christians, which was badly shaken by the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410. His De trinitate (On the Trinity), in which he developed what has become known as the 'psychological analogy' of the Trinity, is also among his masterpieces, and arguably one of the greatest theological works of all time. He also wrote On Free Choice Of The Will (De libero arbitrio), addressing why God gives humans free will that can be used for evil. ... Influence on St. Thomas Aquinas: For quotations of St. Augustine by St. Thomas Aquinas see Aquinas and the Sacraments and Thought of Thomas Aquinas. On the topic of original sin: Aquinas proposed a more optimistic view of man than that of Augustine in that his conception leaves to the reason, will, and passions of fallen man their natural powers even after the Fall. Influence on Protestant reformers: While in his pre-Pelagian writings Augustine taught that Adam's guilt as transmitted to his descendants much enfeebles, though does not destroy, the freedom of their will, Protestant reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin affirmed that Original Sin completely destroyed liberty (see total depravity). Abortion and ensoulment: Like other Church Fathers such as Athenagoras St Augustine "vigorously condemned the practice of induced abortion" as a crime, in any stage of pregnancy. [link]

Wikipedia: Jerome - Saint Jerome (347 - 30 September 420) was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church - He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia - He is **best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), and his list of writings is extensive - He is recognized by the Catholic Church as a saint and Doctor of the Church, and the Vulgate is still an important text in Catholicism - He is also recognized as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church, where he is known as St. Jerome of Stridonium or Blessed Jerome {Note: That the discipline, of sticking strictly to the Bible of the earlier Church Fathers and Church Theologians has already began to diminish as the newer generations of Roman Theologians, no longer preoccupied with persecution, were able to speculate more widely about possible Biblical scenarios. -- Also Note: Already during the time of Jerome that Christian Theology was shifting into a primary focus of End Times. That the End Times were soon to unfold and unfold within the context of the events of their day.}

Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus was born at Stridon around 347. He was not baptized until about 360 or 366, when he had gone to Rome with his friend Bonosus (who may or may not have been the same Bonosus whom Jerome identifies as his friend who went to live as a hermit on an island in the Adriatic) to pursue rhetorical and philosophical studies. He studied under the grammarian Aelius Donatus. There Jerome learned Latin and at least some Greek, though probably not the familiarity with Greek literature he would later claim to have acquired as a schoolboy. As a student in Rome, he engaged in the superficial activities of students there, which he indulged in quite casually but suffered terrible bouts of repentance afterwards. To appease his conscience, he would visit on Sundays the sepulchers of the martyrs and the Apostles in the catacombs. This experience would remind him of the terrors of hell: Often I would find myself entering those crypts, deep dug in the earth, with their walls on either side lined with the bodies of the dead, where everything was so dark that almost it seemed as though the Psalmist's words were fulfilled, Let them go down quick into Hell. Here and there the light, not entering in through windows, but filtering down from above through shafts, relieved the horror of the darkness. But again, as soon as you found yourself cautiously moving forward, the black night closed around and there came to my mind the line of Vergil, "Horror unique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent. Jerome used a quote from Vergil - "The horror and the silences terrified their souls" - to describe the horror of hell. Jerome initially used classical authors to describe Christian concepts such as hell that indicated both his classical education and his deep shame of their associated practices, such as pederasty. Although initially skeptical of Christianity, he was eventually converted. After several years in Rome, he travelled with Bonosus to Gaul and settled in Trier where he seems to have first taken up theological studies, and where he copied, for his friend Tyrannius Rufinus, Hilary of Poitiers' commentary on the Psalms and the treatise De synodis. Next came a stay of at least several months, or possibly years, with Rufinus at Aquileia, where he made many Christian friends. Some of these accompanied him when he set out about 373 on a journey through Thrace and Asia Minor into northern Syria. At Antioch, where he stayed the longest, two of his companions died and he himself was seriously ill more than once. During one of these illnesses (about the winter of 373-374), he had a vision that led him to lay aside his secular studies and devote himself to God. He seems to have abstained for a considerable time from the study of the classics and to have plunged deeply into that of the Bible, under the impulse of Apollinaris of Laodicea, then teaching in Antioch and not yet suspected of heresy. ... The works of Hippolytus of Rome and Irenaeus greatly influenced Jerome's interpretation of prophecy. He noted the distinction between the original Septuagint and Theodotion's later substitution. Jerome warned that those substituting false interpretations for the actual meaning of Scripture belonged to the "synagogue of the Antichrist". "He that is not of Christ is of Antichrist," he wrote to Pope Damasus I. **He believed that "the mystery of iniquity" written about by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 was already in action when "every one chatters about his views." To Jerome, the power restraining this mystery of iniquity was the Roman Empire, but as it fell this restraining force was removed. He warned a noble woman of Gaul: "He that letteth is taken out of the way, and yet we do not realize that Antichrist is near. Yes, Antichrist is near whom the Lord Jesus Christ "shall consume with the spirit of his mouth." "Woe unto them," he cries, "that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days."... Savage tribes in countless numbers have overrun all parts of Gaul. The whole country between the Alps and the Pyrenees, between the Rhine and the Ocean, has been laid waste by hordes of Quadi, Vandals, Sarmatians, Alans, Gepids, Herules, Saxons, Burgundians, Allemanni, and-alas! for the commonweal!-- even Pannonians. His Commentary on Daniel was expressly written to offset the criticisms of Porphyry, who taught that Daniel related entirely to the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and was written by an unknown individual living in the 2nd century BC. Against Porphyry, Jerome identified Rome as the fourth kingdom of chapters two and seven, but his view of chapters eight and 11 was more complex. Jerome held that chapter eight describes the activity of Antiochus Epiphanes, who is understood as a "type" of a future antichrist; 11:24 onwards applies primarily to a future antichrist but was partially fulfilled by Antiochus. Instead, he advocated that the "little horn" was the Antichrist: We should therefore concur with the traditional interpretation of all the commentators of the Christian Church, that at the end of the world, when the Roman Empire is to be destroyed, there shall be ten kings who will partition the Roman world amongst themselves. Then an insignificant eleventh king will arise, who will overcome three of the ten kings... after they have been slain, the seven other kings also will bow their necks to the victor. In his Commentary on Daniel, he noted, "Let us not follow the opinion of some commentators and suppose him to be either the Devil or some demon, but rather, one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form." In interpreting 2 Thessalonians's claim that the Antichrist will sit in God's temple, Jerome preferred the view that the "temple" should be interpreted as the Church, not as the Temple in Jerusalem. Jerome identified the four prophetic kingdoms symbolized in Daniel 2 as the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the Medes and Persians, Macedon, and Rome. Jerome identified the stone cut out without hands as "namely, the Lord and Savior". Jerome refuted Porphyry's application of the little horn of chapter seven to Antiochus. He expected that at the end of the world, Rome would be destroyed, and partitioned among ten kingdoms before the little horn appeared. Jerome believed that Cyrus of Persia is the higher of the two horns of the Medo-Persian ram of Daniel 8:3. The he-goat is Greece smiting Persia. Alexander [the Great] is the great horn, which is then succeeded by Alexander's half-brother Philip and three of his generals. [link]

0 A.D. - 312 A.D. -- Birth of Jesus and the Early Church Age

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} The O.T. Book of Malachi - As the final Book of the Old Testament closes, the pronouncement of God's justice and the promise of His restoration through the coming Messiah is ringing in the ears of the Israelites - Four hundred years of [Scriptual] silence ensues [the 400 years are very active years, i.e. the Kingdoms of Persia, Greece and Rome], ending with a similar message from God's next prophet, John the Baptist, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 3:2) - Malachi 3:1-6 is a prophecy concerning John the Baptist - He was the Messenger of the Lord sent to prepare the way (Matthew 11:10) for the Messiah, Jesus Christ

Purpose of Writing: The Book of Malachi is an oracle: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi (1:1). This was God's warning through Malachi to tell the people to turn back to God. As the final book of the Old Testament closes, the pronouncement of God's just and the promise of His restoration through the coming Messiah is ringing in the ears of the Israelites. Four hundred years of silence ensues, ending with a similar message from God's next prophet, John the Baptist, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 3:2). Key Verses: Malachi 1:6, "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the Lord Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name." Malachi 3:6-7, "I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord Almighty." Brief Summary: Malachi wrote the words of the Lord to God's chosen people who had gone astray, especially the priests who had turned from the Lord. Priests were not treating the sacrifices they were to make to God seriously. Animals with blemishes were being sacrificed even though the law demanded animals without defect (Deuteronomy 15:21). The men of Judah were dealing with the wives of their youth treacherously and wondering why God would not accept their sacrifices. Also, people were not tithing as they should have been (Leviticus 27:30, 32). But in spite of the people's sin and turning away from God, Malachi reiterates God's love for His people (Malachi 1:1-5) and His promises of a coming Messenger (Malachi 2:17-3:5). Foreshadowings: Malachi 3:1-6 is a prophecy concerning John the Baptist. He was the Messenger of the Lord sent to prepare the way (Matthew 11:10) for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. John preached repentance and baptized in the name of the Lord, thus preparing the way for Jesus' first advent. But the Messenger who comes "suddenly to the Temple" is Christ Himself in His second advent when He comes in power and might (Matthew 24). At that time, He will "purify the sons of Levi" (v. 3), meaning that those who exemplified the Mosaic Law would themselves need purification from sin through the blood of the Savior. Only then will they be able to offer "an offering in righteousness" because it will be the righteousness of Christ imputed to them through faith (2 Corinthians 5:21). [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Malachi 1-2 - The Prophet Malachi begins to Prophesy about 400 B.C. - Malachi will also prophesy regarding the then coming Messiah [Jesus Christ] and will also prophesy of the forerunner the coming John the Baptist's ministry previous to the ministry of Jesus Christ - The prophesies of Malachi will 'seal' the Old Testament Scriptures concluding the Old Testament Bible but not concluding prophesy in Israel as many will continue to prophesy and write texts primarily as local encouragement and not the office of inherency and global encouragement of the Holy Scriptures that comprise the Jewish and Christian Bible -- 'Malachi 1:1-5 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you [Israel], saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's [physical, blood] brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved [godly] Jacob, And I hated [worldly] Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom [Esau's descendants] saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They [Esau's descendants] shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation forever. And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border [all] of Israel.'

The Prophet Malachi prophesies of the continuing problem of an uncooperative Priesthood. A Priesthood that is doing much more to further the corruption of mankind than it is doing in proclaiming the Blessedness, Holiness and Truth of God: Malachi 2:1-9 And now, O ye Priests, this Commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto My Name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. And ye shall know that I have sent this Commandment unto you, that My Covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The Law of Truth [image of God] was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: *he walked with me in peace and equity, **and did turn many away from iniquity. *For the Priest's lips should keep [holy] knowledge, and they [people] should seek the law at his mouth: for he [Priest] is the messenger of the LORD of Hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of Hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial [biased, incomplete] in the law [representation of God]. ... Malachi 2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} RayStedman.org: ADVENTURING THROUGH THE BIBLE by Ray C. Stedman - #40 The 400 Years between the Old and New Testaments (Mp3)

Sunday evening services at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California, were the setting for a series of 67 messages on the entire Bible preached by Ray C. Stedman. One book of the Bible was covered per message, with an additional message inserted to cover the history of the "400 Silent Years" between the close of the Old Testament canon (Malachi) and the First Gospel (Matthew). This series commenced June 28, 1964 and was completed on August 4, 1968. These sermons constitute Discovery Papers #201-267 inclusive. The book version, "Adventuring Through the Bible," was released in late 1997 and is currently in print. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Ray Stedman - Adventuring Through the Bible - The Message of Matthew: BEHOLD YOUR KING! - People often wonder why we have four Gospels - There is a very good reason for this - It is interesting to note that each of these Gospels is a development of an exclamatory statement that is found in the Old Testament - Four different times -- and only four times -- in the Old Testament there was an exclamatory statement made concerning the Messiah, introduced always by the word ***behold - In one of the prophets (Zechariah 9:9) we read, "Behold thy King, O Israel!" In another place (Zechariah 6:12) we read, "Behold the man!" In a third place (Isaiah 42:1) we read, "Behold my servant!" In still a fourth place (Isaiah 35:3, Amos 4:12) we read, "Behold thy God!" These four statements are amplified and developed in the four Gospels -- Matthew, the Gospel of the King; Mark, the Gospel of the Servant; Luke, the Gospel of the Son of man; and John, the Gospel of God, the presentation of the Son of God (Mp3s)

Beginning in the New Testament we move from the realm of shadow, type, and prophecy, into the full sunshine of the presentation of the Son of God. The Old Testament speaks of him on every page, but speaks in shadows, in types, in symbols, and in prophecies -- all looking forward to the coming of Someone. You cannot read the Old Testament without being aware of that constant promise running through every page -- Someone is coming! Someone is coming! Now, when we open the Gospels, that Someone steps forth in the fullness of his glory. As John says, "We have beheld his glory...as of the only Son from the Father," (John 1:14 (RSV). I love the Gospels. They are to me one of the most perennially fascinating sections of the Bible. There you see Christ as He is. Remember that what He was is what He is; and what He is is what you have, if you are a Christian. All the fullness of His character and being and life is available to us, and we only learn what those resources are as we see Him as He was and is. That is why the Gospel records are so important to us. People often wonder why we have four Gospels. There is a very good reason for this. It is interesting to note that each of these Gospels is a development of an exclamatory statement that is found in the Old Testament. Four different times -- and only four times -- in the Old Testament there was an exclamatory statement made concerning the Messiah, introduced always by the word behold. In one of the prophets we read, "Behold thy king, O Israel!" In another place we read, "Behold the man!" In a third place we read, "Behold my servant!" In still a fourth place we read, "Behold thy God!" These four statements are amplified and developed in the four Gospels -- Matthew, the Gospel of the King; Mark, the Gospel of the Servant; Luke, the Gospel of the Son of man; and John, the Gospel of God, the presentation of the Son of God. These four Gospels give us four aspects of our Lord's character and person. They are not, strictly speaking, biographies. They are really sketches about the Person of Christ -- eyewitness accounts by those who knew him personally, or those immediately associated with them. Therefore, they have the ring of authenticity, and they carry to our hearts that first and marvelous impression that our Lord made upon his own disciples, and then upon the multitudes that followed him. No more amazing character has ever walked among men. As you read the Gospel accounts, I hope something of this fascination breaks upon your own heart as you see him stepping forth from these pages, revealed to you by the Spirit, when you see Him as He is. The first book of the New Testament is Matthew, and this is the place where most people start reading the Bible. I think more people begin reading in the New Testament than the Old, therefore, that would make Matthew the most widely read book in all the world. In fact, Renan, the French skeptic, said of this book, "This is the most important book of all Christendom." He also said, "The most important book that has ever been written is the Gospel of Matthew." But it has its critics, too. There are those who claim that this book contains nothing but the early legends of the church which grew up around Jesus, that these accounts are not historical, and that this book was not actually written until the fourth century A.D. Therefore, they say, we are uncertain as to how much is really true. Other critics make the claim that this is only one of many gospels that were circulated. Now, it is true that there are other gospels besides the four in the New Testament. There is the Gospel of Barnabas, for instance, and the Gospel of Peter, and yet other gospels. They can be found in a book called "The New Testament Apocrypha" if you would like to read them. The critics say that it is mere chance that these four Gospels survived. There is a legend that began with a German theologian named Pappas in about the 16th century who said that the Gospels were selected at the Council of Nice in 325 A.D. by gathering together all the many gospels that were circulating at that time, throwing them all under a table, and then reaching in and pulling out four which happened to be Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The foolishness of such a claim is evident to anyone who reads the Gospels with thoughtfulness. They are stamped with the fingerprints of God. The very pattern of these books reflects the divine imprint, and you cannot read them or compare them with the Old Testament without seeing that they come from an inspired source. Furthermore, you have merely to compare them with the Apocryphal gospels to see how foolish such a claim is. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 2 - The birth of Jesus - The arrival of the Messiah (Christ) - Balaam's prophesied Christmas Star appears - Wise Men from the East journey to Jerusalem - King Herod the area's Roman appointed gentile King then also inquires about the newborn King - Herod a builder of stone and a destroyer of men sought the death of the newborn King - Joseph, Mary and Jesus flee Israel to live in Egypt until the death of Herod when they can safely return to Israel -- 'Matthew 2:1-2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea [Judah] in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him [the Messiah]'

Three Wise Gifts: Wise Men of the East journeyed a long distance to find the newborn King of the Jews and to 'Worship Him' upon being led to the young Jesus [about one year old by the time the Wise Men arrived] the Wise Men presented Jesus with three Worship gifts to honor His unique standing among mankind. 1. Gold - the gift and possession for a King and the covering on the Ark of the Covenant [Exodus 25:11] for the Tabernacle and the Temple. 2. Frankincense - the gift of the Priesthood used by priests in an aroma sacrifice offering to God and as an incense [Exodus 31:34] in offering a sweet smoke aroma to God within the Holy place of both the Tabernacle and later the Temple. 3. Myrrh - the gift of an anointing oil for anointing a Prophet [particularly the 'man of sorrows,' 'acquainted with grief' Prophet [Isaiah 53:3] - 'the oil of joy for mourning' Isaiah 61:3] and as oil to anoint the Holy objects of the Tabernacle and later also for the Temple 'oil of holy ointment ' [Exodus 30:25]. - '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.' [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 3-4 - Jesus begins His earthly ministry by being baptized [washed - public testimony] by John the Baptist - Jesus was Baptized not unto repentance but as a Testimony [Exodus 29:4] to the people that His ministry had begun - Jesus is then led by the Holy Spirit into the desert for forty days of fasting and to be tempted by Satan - 'Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him (John the Baptist), and he saw [Testimony] the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I Am well pleased'

Matthew 4:1-3 Then was Jesus led up of the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter (Devil) came to Him, he said, If [Since, lit. Greek] thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.' - Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus three times and all three times Jesus replied to Satan with a quote from the Bible. 1. Turning stones to bread: Satan encourages Jesus to immediately satisfy His hunger by turning rocks to bread. Jesus had been led by the Holy Spirit to go into the desert to fast [and pray] - this was simply who is Jesus going to follow God for eternity or Satan for a moment. [Deut 8:3] Jesus did not even hesitate and would not even consider the suggestion of the Devil. 2. Satan wanted Jesus to test God's loyalty to Jesus by having Jesus jump from the top of the Temple building forcing God to react to the situation in saving Jesus from bodily harm. Jesus said "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God" [Deut 6:16]. Again Jesus did not even consider Satan's proposal. Finally Satan told Jesus that if Jesus would "fall down" and worship Satan that Satan would give Jesus all the Kingdoms of the world. Note: 'Revelation 17:10 And there are seven kings [kingdoms of the world]: five are fallen [Nimrod, Egypt, Babylon (Iraq), Persia (Iran), Greece], and one is [Rome], and the other [Antichrist] is not yet come; and when he [Antichrist] cometh, he must continue a short space [3 ½ years].' Jesus again [Deut 6:13] declined to submit to Satan and Satan immediately departed from the presence of Jesus. - 'Matthew 4:11 Then the Devil (Satan) leaveth Him (Jesus), and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.' [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 5 - Jesus begins His 'Sermon on the Mount' teachings - it's been about one year since the baptism of Jesus the Gospel of John covers the first year's events with Jesus more fully than the other three Gospels - The 'Sermon on the Mount' teachings are to orientate mankind away from human induced customs, rituals and fables and into a meaningful relationship with God in Jesus Christ -- 'Matthew 5:2-12 And He (Jesus) opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you'

'Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I (Jesus) am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle [strokes of the pen] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.' - The law has been compared to a blueprint that you have to follow in order to build a life pleasing to God. However the law is more of a painting and an illustration (drawing) than a blueprint. The Laws of God and the Prophecies of God are the Image [painting] of the true God that has always existed [John 1:14 And the Word [Law and the Prophets] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth] not a blueprint or a ritual that Jesus needed to conform Himself into. The Law [Leviticus 19:34] says to 'Love your neighbor' "and thou shalt love him (neighbor/stranger) as thyself" because God is Love. Jesus didn't come to learn how to love one another Jesus came to teach us how to love one another. Also Note: Jesus then instructs that the law is external that it is words and ideas written down on paper and that what mankind needs is both the living example in Jesus Himself and mankind also needs a step further than the example of Jesus Christ mankind needs to be enabled internally, in the human spirit, to be like Jesus has always been and for mankind to become the Law unto themselves [obeying and following the law on their own] to actually become in the image, the ability, of God in Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit newly residing inside of the regenerated individual human enabling a human to now become pleasing to God and capable of having an intimate individual relationship with the Holy God. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 7 - Jesus continues to teach and to make that point that what mankind has is temporary and is passing away but what He has to offer is eternal -- 'John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast [Feast of Tabernacles, shelters - temporary homes], Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly [inner-life] shall flow rivers of living water [eternal Tabernacle]. But this spake He of the [Holy] Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet Glorified [Resurrection].' - 'John 7:52-53 They [Pharisees] answered and said unto Him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no Prophet. And every man went unto his own [tabernacle] house.'

'John 7:2-10 Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brethren (brothers; James, Jude, etc.) therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. *For neither did his brethren believe in him [James and Jude are known to have become believers after His resurrection]. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: *I go not up yet unto this feast; *for My time is not yet full come. When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee. But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret [in Resurrection Spirit].' - The time of Jesus to fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles has not yet com in full that is why Jesus went in part in secret. The Feast of Tabernacles is a 'Fall feast' a 'Second Coming' Feast that has begun now with the giving of the Holy Spirit but we do not yet have our permanent bodies we still 'tabernacle' in our physical bodies while on earth. Jesus went to the Feast of Tabernacles 'secretly' to give the Living Water to those who would believe in Him and receive it but the rest of the Feast the tabernacle becoming a temple will be completed at the Second Coming of Jesus. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 24 - Jesus having just permanently departed from the Temple and after telling of the coming destruction of the Temple to His Disciples - Jesus then went and sat by Himself at His favorite location a hillside of olive orchards called the Mount of Olives (Mt. Olivet) - The Disciples having just seen Jesus depart from the Temple [His Father's House] for the last time and having just heard Jesus tell them of the coming destruction of the Temple came to Jesus and asked Him when and where He intended to rule His Kingdom from since the Temple was going to be destroyed - Jesus told His Disciples to be careful that no one deceived them about His Kingdom - That initially His Kingdom is not of this world but that after a long time and a long series of events many of them supernatural that His Kingdom would then be ushered into this world

The coming Generation and the fulfillment of all the events of the Book of Revelation: 'Matthew 24:34 Verily I (Jesus) say unto you, This [End Time] generation shall not pass, till all these things [mainly the book of Revelation] be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.' - Jesus has already said that the Temple was to be destroyed "There shall not be left here one (Temple) stone upon another" and that later the Antichrist (abomination of desolation) was to sit in the Temple "holy place" [rebuilt Temple] 'Matthew 24:15 When ye {presumably the End Time readers} therefore shall *see the abomination of desolation (Antichrist), spoken of by Daniel the prophet [Daniel 9:27], stand in the holy place [inside the 3rd veil in the rebuilt Temple], whoso *readeth, let him understand' Note: The event of the Antichrist is possibly going to be a televised type of event 'When ye therefore shall *see the abomination.' Events inside the Temple were not to be seen by the outside world and are enclosed y walls and curtains however Jesus seems to be alluding that this Temple event will be seen by everyone either in some televised format or possibly even in some demonic projection capabilities or possibly some massive demonic telepathic hallucinogenic type of event. Jesus began His discussion with His Disciples in warning them to not be deceived and Jesus reiterated several times that deception and demonic activity would increase around the time of the Antichrist. - The majority of the last generation End Time events of the book of Revelation are to be centered around the Jews and in the city of Jerusalem including a rebuilt Temple. 'Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem) …' It seems that Jesus is summarizing all of the Jerusalem End Time Antichrist events into a Parable about a Fig Tree [Matthew 24:32-35]. The original Fig Tree was in Genesis 3:7 and was used by Adam and Eve in an attempt to cover their own sin. The Fig Tree in the Parable of Jesus is most probably the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem because the type of Temple worship that is trying to be recreate has become obsolete by the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ so in a sense the 3rd Temple is a recreation of the Fig Tree because like the Fig Tree of Genesis the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem is going to be stitched together by human hands and it will absolutely not cover or remove any sin. However the Antichrist will invade the 3rd Temple and enter into the holy place and attempt to proclaim himself to be God from within the Temple as everyone alive and on the earth at that time will probably witness and *see somehow either by televised technology or a type of demonically spiritual activity. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 24 - Jesus continues His Mount Olivet discussion "Mount Olivet discourse" End Time teachings with His Disciples -- 'Matthew 24:3-6 And as He (Jesus) sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming [Kingdom reign], and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet'

The Elect of God: All the people throughout time who like Abraham have answered the call of God become the elect of God. 'Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those [End Time - war and famine - seven seal judgments - the book of Revelation] days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven [seven trumpet judgments - the book of Revelation], and the [Satanic] powers of the heavens shall be shaken [seven bowl judgments - the book of Revelation]: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming [Second Coming] in the clouds of heaven with Power and Great Glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His *elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.' --- There are actually two groups of *elect people and this stems from the 'Firstborn' inheritance that Jesus Christ is to receive. - 'Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated {divorced wife} for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; *the right of the firstborn is his.' - 'Colossians 1:18 And He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the *firstborn [Resurrection] from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.' The Biblical inheritance of the firstborn is a double portion and as an inheritance Jesus is to receive both the Jews and the Nations (Gentiles) two inheritances and therefore two groups of called and two groups of those who answer the call of God and become the chosen, elect, justified, predestined and glorified by God. Note: Jesus is to inherit the Jews and the Gentiles this does include all of those who have ever existed it includes the Righteous Gentiles of Lot's day before Abraham, all the time up until the Christian [mostly Gentile] Church and the future Gentile Martyred Saints of Revelation. Also Note: The inheritance of Jesus does include the earth, all creation and all possessions, the earth will pass away and there will be a new earth so primarily The Kingdom of Jesus is uniquely about people and about God's love for people. Jesus came to save the people and His plan for eternity is centered and oriented only around the people of His creation. --- Israel is one portion of inheritance for the firstborn Jesus Christ: 'Isaiah 19:25.. and Israel my Inheritance.' - 'Zechariah 2:12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah (Jewish nation) His portion in the holy land and shall choose [to reign from] Jerusalem again.' - 'Psalms 78:70-71 He chose David (king David) also His servant and took him from the sheepfolds [David was a shepherd]: From following the ewes (female sheep) great with young he brought him to feed Jacob His people [Jews] and Israel His (God's) inheritance. {Jacob and Israel are both mentioned both referring to the Jewish nation, this is a poetic way of emphasizing the Jewish nation.} --- Israel is the Elect of God: 'Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel Mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me.' --- The Gentiles are the second [double portion] of inheritance for the firstborn Jesus Christ: 'Psalms 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.' - 'Psalms 2:7,8 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee [both physical birth of Jesus in the manger and Resurrection day of Jesus] Ask of Me (Father) and I shall give thee the heathen (Gentiles) for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.' - 'Isaiah 54:3 For thou shall break forth on the right hand and on the left [the Jewish nation is not going to get wiped out but is going have a great population]; And thy seed (Jesus) shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate to be inhabited.' --- The [Gentile in nature] Christian Church is also the elect of God: 'Titus 1:1-2 [Apostle] Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began ...' [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 24 (Part 2) - Jesus concludes His "Mount Olivet discourse" by telling His Disciples some more parables about the End Times and about His eternal Kingdom - Jesus began His Mount Olivet discourse talking about deception and the End Times and Jesus ends His final Mount Olivet words by talking about eternal judgment and eternal life -- 'Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal'

The Second Coming of the Lord: Matthew 24:44-51 Therefore be ye [Disciples] also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh [Second Coming]. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom His Lord hath made ruler over His household [Church], to give them meat [Bible study] in due season [every day]? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His [Heavenly] goods. But and if that evil servant [backslider] shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth His [2nd] coming; And shall begin to smite [abuse] his fellowservants [Disciples], and to eat and drink with the drunken; The Lord of that servant shall come [Second Coming] in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion [eternal damnation] with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. - The teaching of Jesus Christ is about Heaven and the open opportunity for people to spend eternity in heaven and His teaching is also about hell and the very real possibility of people spending eternity in hell. God created mankind for a purpose and God came to a separated mankind with His purpose to reunite mankind back together with Himself in Heaven where it has always been intended for mankind to be in fellowship and in communion with the Holy God. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 25-26 - Jesus has concluded His Mount Olivet teachings and discourse with His Disciples - Jesus now completely sets His mind on the events of the coming Feasts of the Passover Week - Events that will include initiating and instituting the New Testament with His Communion Bread and Wine offering to the Disciples - His self-sacrifice on the cross and three days later His Glorious Eternal Life Resurrection

'Matthew 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread [The Passover is an unleavened bread feast and the unleavened part starts on the 14the day of Nisan (the selection of the lamb is on the 10th) then the feast continues with the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened bread starting on the 15th of Nisan for a total of eight straight days of unleaded bread] the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover? And He said, Go into the city (Jerusalem) to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with My disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. Now when the even was come, He (Jesus) sat down with the twelve (Apostles). And as they did eat [the Passover], He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you [Judas] shall betray Me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto Him, Lord, is it I? And He answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me. The Son of Man goeth [to the cross] as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed Him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto Him, Thou hast said. And as they were eating, Jesus took Bread, and Blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the Disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My Body. And He took the Cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many [all] for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit [grape] of the vine, until that day when I drink it New with you in [Heaven] My Father's Kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.' - The Communion of Jesus Christ: The sacrifice offering of Jesus Christ was His physical body, His mind (soul) and His Spirit [Jesus was separated from the Father while on the cross]. The Communion Bread and the Communion Cup that Jesus is offering His disciples to partake in references both the physical sacrifice offering of Jesus on and the cross and it also represents the Resurrected Eternal Spiritual Body and Spiritual Life Blood of the Resurrected Jesus. When we take and break the Unleavened Bread of Communion we are referencing the physical body of Jesus Christ and when we take the Wine of the Communion of Jesus Christ and mingle it with the water we are referencing the physical blood of Jesus Christ. When we eat the bread of the body of Jesus Christ we are internalizing the Resurrection and the eternal Spiritual body of Jesus and likewise when we drink of the Wine of Jesus we are drinking and internalizing the Resurrection and the eternal Spiritual life blood of Jesus. In a sense we are breaking the physical and taking on the Spiritual. -- '1 Corinthians 11:23-28 For I [Apostle Paul] have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night [Passover] in which He was betrayed [by Judas] took [physical] bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the Cup, when He had supped, saying, This Cup is the [Resurrection] New Testament in My Blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do shew the Lord's [physical] death till He come [2nd coming]. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the [physical and Spiritual resurrection] Body and Blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself [Melchizedek Priesthood], and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.' -- 'Deuteronomy 32:9-14 For the LORD'S portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance ... and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.' [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 12 - The Gospel of John now takes us into Holy Week that last week of Jesus' Ministry physically among mankind on earth - "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany" with the day of Passover plus the three days and three nights in the Tomb this places Jesus' and the Disciples arrival at Bethany on the Friday 10 days before the Sunday Resurrection with the actual Triumphal Entry "On the next day" occurring on the next day the Saturday Sabbath Day -- 'John 12:1-2 Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him.' - 'John 12:12-15 On the next day [10th of Nisan - selection of the Passover lamb] much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion (Zion): behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.'

John 12:20-32 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the [Passover] feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified. ... And I, if I be lifted up [crucifixion and resurrection] from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.' - The Gentiles were not allowed to seek Jesus until after His death and resurrection as only then will He "draw all men" unto Himself. - Note: It's hard for a Gentile to understand but actually both the O.T. and the N.T. Covenants of God are with the Jews [Jeremiah 31:31] and belong to the Jews [Hebrews 8:8]. There was no Gentile representation at the Passover when the N.T. was initiated apart from the Promise of God given to Abraham [Genesis 12:3] that in Jesus all Nations would be blessed. Everyone involved with and seated at the Passover Table was Jewish including Jesus and none of them became a Christian by eating the Passover. The Jewish Disciples of Jesus became Christian followers of Jesus the same way everyone else does by acknowledging His sinless death on the cross and by acknowledging His resurrection of eternal life. The New Testament that was instituted the evening of the Passover and went into effect with the death and resurrection of Jesus and is for the 'House of Israel'. The New Testament was not finalized at the Passover it was finalized and institutionalized with the giving of the Holy Spirit an event that happened after the Resurrection of Jesus [and after the betrayal and rejection of Jesus] then when He ascended into Heaven briefly the Day of His Resurrection and He was received by His Father in Heaven as the acceptable Atonement offering for mankind to God the Father then that same Resurrection day sent the Comforter the Holy Spirit to mankind in the Baptism of Jesus Christ. As Gentile Christians we have entered into the Jewish New Testament Covenant by the Promises of God not by the Covent of God. The New Testament Covenant belongs to the Jews and through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ we are invited and welcomed into their Covenant to be partakers of their promises and of the blessings that have been given to the Jews from God. Having received an invitation to join in on their eternal Heavenly blessings we need to be certain that we do not, even accidently, take away from the Jews what already belongs to the Jews and we also need to make certain that we are grateful to God and to the Jews for the free gift we have been given and to receive it with gratitude and thankfulness so we don't accidently give a false impression of taking from the Jews something that is not ours and of being guilty of appearing to take and enter the Kingdom of God by force when in fact it has been freely given to us in the promises of God. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 14 - Judas having left before the conclusion of the Passover Feast - Jesus and remaining eleven Disciples conclude the Feast of Passover by singing a Psalm - Then the Passover Feast not being a curfew feast Jesus and His eleven Disciples depart the upper room and go to the Garden of Gethsemane, on Mount Olivet - Along the way to the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus explains that unless He departs the earth and goes back into Heaven that the Holy Spirit cannot be given or sent to mankind [mankind would still be in sin and cannot receive the Holy Spirit] -- 'John 14:1-4 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: *if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go [to Heaven] and prepare a place for you, I will come again [Second Coming], and receive you unto Myself; that where I Am, there ye may be also. And whither I go [Heaven] ye know, and the way [through Jesus Christ] ye know.'

John 14:15-21 If ye love Me (Jesus), keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter [Holy Spirit], that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; *for He dwelleth with you, and *shall be in you [born again]. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye (Disciples) see Me: because I live [Resurrection], ye shall [resurrection] live also. At that day ye shall know that I Am in My Father, and ye in Me, and *I in you [Resurrection Day]. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and *I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him (believer-follower). [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 16 - Jesus explains that the life of a Disciple without the physical presence of Jesus is going to be difficult -- 'John 16:1-3 These things have I (Jesus) spoken unto you, that ye (Disciples) should not be offended. They [religious and political leaders] 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 16:7-16 Nevertheless I (Jesus) tell you the Truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: *for if I go not away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, *He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I [Righteousness] go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince [Satan] of this world [system] is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: *for He [Holy Spirit] shall not speak [referencing] of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear [be in agreement with], that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: *for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. *A little while, and ye shall not see Me [Crucifixion death]: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me [Resurrection Life], because I go to the Father.' [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 17 - The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus - Jesus Prays for His disciples and all of this future followers His 'High Priestly Prayer' -- 'John 17:1-3 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, *that He should give Eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And *this is Life Eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.' - 'John 17:20-21 Neither pray I for these (Disciples) alone [only], but for them [future Disciples] also which shall believe on Me through their word [Ministry]; that they all may be one [Church]; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be one [body] in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me.

John 17:1-26 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to Heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, *that He (Jesus) should give Eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And *this is Life Eternal, that they (humans) might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou Me with thine own self with *the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I have manifested Thy Name unto the men which thou gavest Me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them Me; and *they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given Me are of Thee. *For I have given unto them (Disciples) the Words which thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them (Disciples): *I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I Am Glorified in them (Disciples). And now I Am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, *keep through Thine own Name those whom thou hast given Me, that they [Disciples] may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy Name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition [Judas by his own freewill]; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and *these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I Am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. *They are not of the world, even as I Am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth. As thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I Sanctify [go to Heaven] Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the Truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but *for them [future Disciples] also which shall Believe on Me through their word [Ministry]; That they all may be one [Church]; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be one [body] in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me. And the Glory which thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, *and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am [in Heavena and while on earth]; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it: that the Love wherewith Thou hast Loved Me may be in them, and I in them.' The High Preistly Prayer of Jesus to His Father in Heaven revealing to His Disciples His heart towards His father and His heart towards all His Disciples. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 19 - The rejection, death and burial of Jesus Christ is completed - The Crucifixion day is the [15th of Nisan] on the Feast of Unleavened Bread day the day after the [14th of Nisan] and the Passover Day - It is the same day [Exodus 12:17] that the Children of God left Egypt after the original death of the firstborn Passover in Egypt - {The Apostle Paul explains that the Passover was the night Jesus was betrayed [1 Corinthians 11:23 - "That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread"] the day before His Crucifixion.} -- John 19:4-5 [Pontius] Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring Him (Jesus) forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in Him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! - 'Zechariah 6:11-12 Then take silver and gold, and make Crowns [silver - High Priest crown, gold - Kings crown], and set them upon the head of Joshua (Jesus) the son of Josedech, the High Priest; and speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, 'Behold the man' whose name is the Branch (Nazarene), and He shall grow up out of His place and He shall build the [Heavenly] Temple of the LORD:'

John 19:25-27 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the Disciple [John] standing by, whom He loved, He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son [Christian fellowship]! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother [Christian fellowship]! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. - The name Mary in Hebrew means bitter so it was a 'bitter,' 'bitter,' 'bitter,' day, event and place to be at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ for the followers of Jesus. Note: Jesus on the cross united His Mother Mary and His Disciple John in Christian fellowship not in some form of worldly adoption. Biblically had Mary adopted the Disciple John then he would have gone to her house because that is what the adoption is it is rights and privileges of the house or estate. Apparently Joseph was clearly deceased not being available for any of the events of the adult life of Jesus and also apparently none of the brothers and sisters were followers of Him either, until after the resurrection so Jesus sent His mother to be with John and the soon to be forming Christian Church. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 20 - Resurrection Day - The first Jewish converts to Christianity through belief in the eternal life Resurrection of Jesus Christ - The Spirit Baptism of Jesus Christ begins - With the receiving of the Spirit of Jesus Christ a person [Jew or Gentile] becomes a Christian - The Christian Church begins! -- 'John 20:14 And when she [Mary Magdalene] had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and *knew not that it was Jesus.' [Note: Only Christians can recognize Jesus while Mary and the other Jewish Disciples and followers all had to become Christians like the Gentiles have to as well to then recognize Jesus] - 'Colossians 1:27 ... [the Resurrected Jesus] Christ in you, the hope of glory'

John 20:19-23 Then the same day [Resurrection Day] at evening, being [Sunday] the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them his hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father [in Heaven] hath sent Me [Jesus has been back to Heaven], even so send I you. And when He had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Having been to Heaven and received by the Father as the acceptable Atonement the Holy Spirit is now given and available to all mankind]: Whose soever sins ye remit [discernment via the Holy Spirit], they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain [discernment via the Holy Spirit], they are retained. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 21 - After His crucifixion and Glorious resurrection Jesus spends 40 more days with His Disciples instructing them in His eternal Kingdom - The Kingdom that that they are to present to all mankind -- 'John 21:1 After these [crucifixion and resurrection] things Jesus shewed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias (aka the Sea of Galilee and Lake Gennesaret); and on this wise shewed He Himself.'

'John 21:24-25 This is the disciple [John] which Testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we [Apostles] know that His Testimony [Jesus Christ] is True. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.' - The beloved Disciple and Apostle of Jesus Christ closes his Gospel to the Christian Church with his personal Testimony that what he has written and recorded for mankind is based in fact and actually did happen and occurred as he has written. [link]

Wikipedia: Saint Peter - Saint Peter or Simon Peter [aka Cephas] was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles

Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle. Simon Peter is venerated in multiple churches and is regarded as the first Pope by the Roman Catholic Church. After working to establish the church of Antioch for seven years presiding as the city's bishop and preaching to scattered communities of believers (Jews, Hebrew Christians and the gentiles), in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor and Bithynia, Peter went to Rome. In the second year of Claudius, it is claimed, he overthrew Simon Magus and held the Sacerdotal Chair for 25 years. He is said to have been put to death at the hand of Emperor Nero. Saint Peter wrote two Catholic (whole church) epistles. The Gospel of Mark is also ascribed to him as Mark was his disciple and interpreter. ... Upon his death, he is said to have been martyred by Emperor Nero and crucified upside down on an inverted cross, as he saw himself unworthy to be crucified the same way like Jesus Christ. Today, Catholic tradition holds that Saint Peter's mortal bones and remains are contained in the underground Confessio of the St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced the excavation discovery of a First-century A.D. Roman cemetery in 1968. Since 1969, a life-size statue of Saint Peter is crowned every year in St. Peter's Basilica with a Papal Tiara, Ring of the Fisherman, and papal vestments every June 29th, commemorating the Holy Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Background to the Book of Acts - The book of Acts has traditionally been called the Acts of the Apostles and this can be a bit confusing because the contents is not about all the apostles, but primarily on the life of Peter (Chapters 1-12) and Paul (Chapters 13-28) - Rather than a history book it is more in line with a biography - Luke gives a record of the life [of Jesus] and events of the early Church for a period of about sixty to sixty five years {About 35 years of Early Church History: The Ascension of Jesus Christ from Mount Olivet, Jerusalem in about 33 A.D. - The Jerusalem Council [1st Church Council] in about 50 A.D. (Acts 15) - until just before the Martyrdom of the Apostle Paul in Rome in about 67 A.D.}

The gospels end with the great commission. (Matthew 28:19-20). "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age." The book of Acts opens with instructions to the Disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. These instructions become the theme of the book of Acts and give us a clue to how the spread of Christianity would take place. The purpose of Acts is to show the spread of the Gospel throughout the then known world. 'But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem , and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.' (Acts 1:1-8). The disciples were to be witnesses. In the first twelve chapters the focus is on the Gospel going forth under Peters direction in Jerusalem. There the ministry was directed mainly among the Jews in Jerusalem. Then the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul is stressed in his missionary activities outside of the boarders of Israel. He is known as the Apostle to the Gentiles. -- Jerusalem: Chapter 1-7: Jewish Christian Church which covers about the first fifteen years. Peter is the central character during this period which centres around Jerusalem. -- Judea and Samaria: Chapter 8-12: Gentile Christian Church takes in the next twenty-five years. Paul is the central character during this period which centres around Antioch. Paul takes the gospel to the Gentiles. Ends of the Earth: Chapter 13-28: Consolidation of the Church covers the last thirty years to the close of this period. John is the central character during this period which centres around Ephesus {though not really mentioned in the Book of Acts}. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 1 - Luke a Gentile Physician-Doctor [a Greek background], historian, companion to the Apostle Paul, eyewitness and early Christian Church recorder/reporter continues his Ministry to the Christian Church with his follow up to the Gospel of Luke in his second and final Book of the Bible the Book of Acts -- 'Acts 1:1-3 The former treatise [Gospel of Luke] {A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject. - Wiki.com} have I [Luke] made [written], O Theophilus, *of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which He [Jesus] was taken up [Ascension at Mount Olivet, Jerusalem], after that **He [Jesus] through the Holy Ghost had given Commandments [Directions] unto the Apostles whom He had chosen: To whom also He [Jesus] shewed Himself alive [Resurrection] after His Passion [Passion to reunite God and mankind - Cross and Resurrection] **by many infallible [irrefutable] proofs, being seen [eyewitness] of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God ...'

Acts 1:4-14 And, [Jesus] being assembled together with them [on the Mount of Olives - at the Ascension of Jesus], Commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for **the promise of the Father [to send the Comforter - the Holy Spirit as a companion], which, saith He, ye have heard of Me [John 14:6]. For John [the Baptist] truly baptized with water; but ye [already baptized by Jesus, with the Firstfruits of the Spirit (John 20:22) - Christians] shall be baptized [by the Father] with the Holy Ghost [for comfort, wisdom, truth, empowerment, etc. to be a witness of Jesus Christ to the world] not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, *wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel [from Rome]? And He said unto them, It is not for you (Christians) [before Pentecost] to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. ***But ye [Christians] shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. **And when He [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their [visible] sight. **And while they looked stedfastly [for His return] toward Heaven as He went up, behold, two men [Angels] stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, **why stand ye gazing up into Heaven [at this spot on Mount Olivet]? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven {but when Jesus visibly returns to Mount Olivet it will be to the Jews not the Church - the Church will already be in Heaven}. Then [departed Mount Olivet] returned they unto Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room [in the upper room - where the Passover, Last Supper was eaten], where abode [lived] both [Apostles and Disciples (brethren)] {Apostles} Peter, and James [brother of John], and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James [son of Alphaeus]. These all continued with one accord [combined purpose] *in prayer and supplication, with the women, *and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His {Disciples} brethren [Christians]. The Promise of the Father is to send the Comforter and the empower [the Holy Spirit] to those who acknowledge Jesus [John 14:16]. The Promise of Jesus is to give eternal life [John 14:6] to all that come to Him. - John 14:6-21 Jesus saith unto him [Apostle - Thomas], ***I [Jesus] Am *the Way, *the Truth, and *the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. ... If ye love Me, keep My Commandments [instructions]. And I will pray the Father, and He [Father] shall give you another (along with Jesus) Comforter [Holy Spirit], that He [Holy Spirit] may abide with you [eternally] for ever; Even the [Holy] Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him [Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit] not, neither knoweth Him [God]: but ye know Him; for He [God] dwelleth with you, ***and shall be in you [Firstfruits - Resurrection Day - birth of the Christian Church]. I [Jesus] will not leave you comfortless: I [Jesus] will come to you [Resurrection]. Yet a little while [death on the cross], and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me [Resurrection]: **because I live, ye shall live also. At that [Resurrection] day ye shall know that I Am in My Father, and ye in Me, **and I [Firstfruits] in you. He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father [who will baptize with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit], and I will love him, and **will manifest [show] Myself [Jesus] to him [Christian]. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 2 - The Christian Church already individually (Luke 24:31) [by faith in the cross and resurrection of Jesus] having the 'born again' Firstfruits of the Spirit of Jesus - The Church corporately (all in one group) receives the 'experience' the promised Baptism of the Father the Comfort and empowerment of the Holy Spirit - Note: At Pentecost The Holy Spirit is poured out upon the entire world [John 16:8] - With Pentecost [empowerment for the Church, conviction for the world] comes the Baptism of Persecution (Fire) for the Church -- 'Acts 2:1-5 And when the Day of Pentecost [lit. 50 days - after the Feast of Firstfruits] [5th levitical Feast - Leviticus 23:16] was fully come, they [Christians] were all with one accord in one place [in the upper room]. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire [refinement, trials, persecution], and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled [empowered] with the Holy Ghost, and [experientially] began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, ***out of [representing] every Nation under Heaven.' - 'John 16:7 Nevertheless I [Jesus] tell you the Truth; It is expedient for you that I go away [back to Heaven]: for if I go not away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] will not come unto you [at Pentecost]; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He [Holy Spirit] is come, ***He will reprove the *world [Pentecost is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the entire world] of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me [Jesus]; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more [after the Ascension]; Of judgment, because the prince of this world [Satan - Devil] is judged.'

Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the Eleven [Apostles - Judas has committed suicide], lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, *be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour [9:00 A.M.] of the day. **But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel [Joel 2:28-32]; And it shall come to pass in the Last Days [days since - The Triumphal Entry of Jesus in to Jerusalem], saith God, I will pour out of My [Holy] Spirit *upon all flesh [the entire world]: and your [Jewish, Christian and Gentile - *the entire world] sons and your daughters shall prophesy [at times everyone (inside and outside of the Church) speaks for a prophetic truth about God, however (outside of the Church) it is often a corrupted message i.e. New Age message (Acts 16:17-18)], and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants [Christians] and on My handmaidens [men and women] I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: [including all days - even the days of Tribulation and Great Tribulation] And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke [Tribulation]: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood [Great Tribulation], *before that Great and Notable Day of the Lord come [2nd Coming of Jesus]: ***And it shall come to pass [at any day, at any time, at any moment, Last Days, Church Age, Tribulation, Great Tribulation], that *whosoever [any person] shall call [at any time] on the Name [Jesus] of the Lord [that person] shall be Saved. - Pentecost, empowerment, witness and persecution: In the few days before Pentecost the Christian Church gathered in the Jewish Temple and worshiped Jesus [Luke 24:53] without any incidents because the Church was without the [external upon] witness of the Holy Spirit. With Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit upon the entire world, upon every individual and with the empowerment of the Christian Church by the Holy Spirit and now all of mankind with the increased presence of God among mankind the conflict between man and God has dramatically increased and the Christian Church is at the forefront of man's conflict with God. With Pentecost the desire for mankind to either accept or reject the Ministry of Jesus Christ has been heightened and those who reject God do so in a more violent manner. - Note: The Baptism of Fire (persecution) upon the Christian is a baptism directly enacted by Jesus [Matthew 3:11] therefore Jesus controls all aspects and intensities of the persecution (Baptism of Fire) in the life of each Christian. To receive the Baptism of Fire from Jesus is to be given the opportunity to grow in faith and trust in Jesus and it is to be trusted enough by Jesus to be able to endure in the Christian faith while continuing to be a witness of Jesus. - Also Note: With Pentecost and the global outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all mankind [since the blood, cross and death of Jesus - the blood of Jesus has cleansed the entire world (Acts 10:15) - the world [system] is now a clean - however [unclean from within] unsaved mankind is working overtime to corrupt what Jesus has cleansed upon] with the Holy Spirit upon all mankind Christianity and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ that Christianity represents is not a philosophy nor just an idea of a select few but Christianity is the living Spirit, Blood and Word - Testimony of God and therefore because Christianity is a living Spirit that unsaved mankind then physically reacts out of proportion [sometimes in strong denial, rejection, even dangerously, etc.] to the Spiritual calling on their life by God in Jesus Christ. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 3 - The early Christian Church continually Worshiped and Served Jesus Christ even after His bodily Ascension back into Heaven - As a part of their Christian Devotion to Jesus their lives and the lives of those around them were dramatically altered being transformed by the Holy Spirit to conform within the Kingdom of God -- 'Acts 3:1-9 Now Peter and John went up together into the Temple at the hour of prayer [Christians went to the Temple only to pray and perform certain services but no longer to sacrifice (a lamb) as Jesus is our eternal sacrifice], being the ninth hour [3:00 P.M.]. And a certain man lame [unable to walk] from his mother's womb [physical birth] was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the Temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms (gifts) of them that entered into the Temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us [make eye contact]. And he gave heed unto them [looked them in the eye], expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said [worldly wealth], Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have [Heavenly wealth] give I thee: *In the Name [at Jesus' bidding] of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he [Peter] took him by the right hand [Christian fellowship], and lifted him up [cross and resurrection of Jesus]: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood [new life - resurrection], and walked [Christian walk], and entered with them [into fellowship] into the Temple [to pray to God], walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God ...'

Acts 3:10-26 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the Temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he *answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? ***The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of [Pontius] Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer [Barabbas] to be granted unto you; And killed [Jesus] **the Prince of life, whom God hath raised [resurrection] from the dead; **whereof we are witnesses. And His Name [Jesus] *through faith [cross and resurrection] in His Name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him [Jesus] hath given him [lame man] this perfect [complete] soundness [health] in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it [crucified Jesus], as did also your rulers. *But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth *of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled. ***Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He [Father] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: [Jesus] *Whom the heaven must receive [remain] {this is where the concept of the Church Rapture emerges as Jesus is to remain in Heaven and not to come physically to the earth until the end of the Book of Revelation and His 2nd Coming to the Jews, Jesus will have gathered His Christian Church together unto Himself in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) avoiding coming to earth until later} until the times of restitution [end of the Book of Revelation] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy Prophets since the world began. **For Moses truly said (Deuteronomy 18:15) unto the fathers, A Prophet [who is God] shall the Lord your God raise up [resurrection] unto you of your brethren, [a leader of the people of Israel] like unto me [Moses]; Him [Jesus] shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet [Jesus], shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the Prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. *Ye [redeemed of God] are the Children of the Prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with our fathers, **saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed [Jesus] shall all the Kindreds [Ethnicity] of the earth be Blessed. Unto you [Jews] first(,) God, having raised up [resurrection] His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you [Jews, first], in turning away every one of you from his iniquities [inability to have a real meaningful relationship with God]. - The Apostles Peter and John demonstrate to the people both in their life and in their preaching that the Spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ though it has only partially arrived [Firstfruits] for mankind the partial Kingdom of Jesus Christ fully Triumphs over and supersedes the current fallen physical realm and predicament of mankind. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 4 - The Gospel of God in Jesus Christ has begun to be Preached (Proclaimed) to mankind first to the Jews in Jerusalem then to the mixed multitude [Jews and gentiles] in Samaria [the ancient (O.T.) Kingdom of Northern Israel] and ultimately to all the Gentiles of the world -- 'Acts 4:1-4 And as they [Apostles] spake unto the people, the Priests, and the Captain [of the guard] of the Temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, *Being grieved [since Pentecost Christianity is a perceivable Spirit that men either rejoice in or are grieved by] that they taught the people, *and preached through Jesus *the resurrection [of just humans] from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide [lit. close of a regular day - G2703]. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men [converts to Christianity] was about five thousand.'

Acts 4:5-31 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the High Priest [the Jewish appointed High Priest], and Caiaphas [the Roman appointed High Priest], and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred [Levitical Tribe] of the High Priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? *Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost [the continuing empowerment and witness of Pentecost], said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole [lit. Salvation]; **Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised [resurrection] from the dead, even *by Him [Jesus] doth this man stand here before you whole. *This [Jesus] is the stone which was set at nought of you builders (Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22), which is become the head of the corner. *Neither is there Salvation in any other: ***for there is none other Name under Heaven ***given among men, ***whereby we must be Saved [eternal resurrection life in Jesus]. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned [unschooled in ministry] and ignorant men [tradesmen], they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this Name [Jesus]. And they called them, *and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the Name of Jesus. **But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. *For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man [who was healed] was above forty years old [an adult], on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they [Christians] heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, **and said, *Lord, thou art God, *which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against thy Holy Child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of thy Holy Child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, *and they [Christians] spake the word of God with boldness. - Now the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ has been removed from the religious institutions and the Gospel News is to be brought directly to the people of the world directly from the Children of God. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 5 - With the presence and assistance of the Holy Spirit people are able to Trust and discern the Truth of Christianity and as a result the Christian Church realizes an enormous, explosive, unprecedented exponential growth in numbers of participants -- 'Acts 5:14 And [Christian] believers were the more added to the Lord [Jesus Christ], multitudes both of men and women.'

Acts 5:17-42 Then the High Priest [Annas] rose up, and all they that were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees [liberal sect of Judaism (Democrats) - Pharisees are the conservative sect (Republicans)], and were filled with indignation, And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. *But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, **and said, Go, stand and speak *in the Temple [speak to the inner spirit of man] to the people all the words of this [eternal resurrection] life. And when they heard that, they entered into the Temple early in the morning, and taught. But the High Priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council [Sanhedrin - Jewish Supreme Court] together, and all the senate of the children of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the [Jewish] officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. Now when the High Priest and the Captain [of the guard] of the Temple and the Chief Priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the Temple, and Teaching the people. Then went the Captain with the Officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the Council: and the High Priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this [Jesus] Name? and, ***behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your *doctrine, and intend to bring this man's [Jesus'] blood upon us. **Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, **We ought to obey God [Jesus] rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince [Son] and a Saviour, *for to give repentance to Israel, **and forgiveness of sins. ***And we are His witnesses of these things; ***and so is also ***the Holy Ghost, *whom God hath given [in comfort, wisdom and empowerment] to them that obey Him. *When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, *and took counsel to slay [kill] them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named *Gamaliel [the Apostle Paul's teacher - Paul was a Pharisee], a doctor [teacher] of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the Apostles forth a little space [in another room]; And said unto them [Jewish Council], Ye men of Israel, *take heed [from God - pray first] to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas [a false christ], boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, *and [God] brought [it] to nought. After this man rose up Judas [false christ] of Galilee in the days of the taxing [about the time of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem], and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed [by God]. *And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: *for if this counsel or this work [of the Apostles] be of men [acting in the Name of God], it will come to nought: **But if it [ministry of the Apostles] be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him *they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and *beaten them, *they commanded that they should not speak in the Name of Jesus, and let them go {they somewhat agreed}. And they [Apostles] departed from the presence of the Council, *rejoicing that they were counted worthy [by Jesus] to suffer shame for His Name. And daily in the Temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. - Note: The famous teacher Gamaliel [whose writings are still with us today - quoted in the Talmud] is who the Apostle Paul as a boy and as a young man received his instruction in the Torah (Bible) from before Paul (Saul) became a Christian. - [Gamaliel, also called Gamaliel I or Gamaliel the Elder was a first century authority on Jewish law who appears in the Acts of the Apostles. In Christian tradition, he was later considered to be a Christian saint (Saint Gamaliel). In Judaism he is a respected authority quoted in the Talmud referred to as Rabban Gamliel. - Wiki.com] (The title "Rabban," was borne only by presidents of the highest religious council, first prefixed to the name of Gamaliel - www.jewishencyclopedia.com). [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} The Apostle Paul - When Paul became a Christian, his very thorough [Jewish] education was enormously helpful - He was able to assimilate Christian doctrines rapidly and relate them accurately to the Scripture teaching he had received - From his education, both from Gamaliel and in the desert [Saudi Arabia] from the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul developed a divine viewpoint attitude toward human history - *Paul knew that the existence of God [by the Holy Spirit since Pentecost] can easily be perceived by anyone, *that man can become aware of God, *but that many men's deliberate sin halted this good beginning [after becoming aware of God] by [continued] immoral activities which accompanied their [past] idolatry

The Apostle Paul - The apostle Paul was one of the most famous citizens of the Roman Empire and without question one of the most influential individuals in history. He was used by the Lord in his missionary and evangelistic activities to set in motion a great deal of the organization known as the Christian Church, the Body of Christ on earth, to the extent that billions of human beings have been directly or indirectly affected by his ministry. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the foundation documents for the Christian way of life, the Word of God which has changed the lives of millions. -- Paul's Education: Paul was educated by his mother until the age of five. From age five to ten he studied with his father in the Hebrew scriptures and traditional writings. At the same time, being a Roman citizen and living in a Greek and Roman environment, he received a thorough education in the Greek language, history, and culture. He was sent to Jerusalem at about the age of ten to attend the rabbinical school of Gamaliel, who was the son of Simeon the son of Hillel. Gamaliel was a most eminent rabbi who was mentioned both in the Talmud and in the New Testament (Acts 5:24-40; 22:3). Gamaliel was called Rabban - one of only seven teachers so called. He was a Pharisee, but he rose above party prejudice. He composed a prayer against the Christian "heretics". He lived and died a Jew. At this time, Herod was dead, and the Romans had complete control of Judea, hence, there was Roman money, language, and culture. The Jews, therefore, were inclined to cling more closely to their religion as the center of unity. [Refer to the topic: Judean History] There were two great rabbinical schools, those of Hillel and Schammai. Hillel, the grandfather of Gamaliel, held that tradition was superior to the Law. The school of Schammai despised traditionalists, especially when there teachings clashed with the writings of Moses. The religious school of Gamaliel (Hillel) was chiefly oral and usually had a prejudice against any book but Scripture. They used a system of Scriptural exegesis, and Josephus in his writings expressed the wish to have such a power of exegesis. When school was in session, learned men met and discussed scriptures, gave various interpretations, suggested illustrations, and quoted precedents. The students were encouraged to question, doubt, even contradict. -- When Paul became a Christian, his very thorough education was enormously helpful. He was able to assimilate Christian doctrines rapidly and relate them accurately to the Scripture teaching he had received. From his education, both from Gamaliel and in the desert from the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul developed a divine viewpoint attitude toward human history. Paul knew that the existence of God can easily be perceived by anyone, that man can become aware of God, but that many men's deliberate sin halted this good beginning by immoral activities which accompanied their idolatry. Therefore, Paul had an intense hatred of idolatry of any kind. Paul's teaching shows that the only reality is God. Idolatry distorts man's conception of the world and external nature. Idolatry is the enemy of mankind. Paul knew the law of growth of human nature. As a Roman, Tarsian, Hebrew, and culturally Greek, he knew of the many distortions of the life of his society. As a nation becomes unhealthy, development is halted. Societies errors as to the nature of God and the true relation of God to man prevented nations from getting rid of their besetting evil. The books of Acts is the chief authoritative record for the ministries of Paul and the other apostles. For a brief outline of Paul's ministry, see the Chronological Table of Paul's Ministry. The most thorough, accurate, and interesting secular work on Paul is The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, by Conybeare and Howson. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 6 - The early Christian Church and Church leaders in Jerusalem learn to handle the continual controversies and conflicts that arise both from within the Christian Church and from outside the Church -- 'Acts 6:1-7 And in those [early Church in Jerusalem] days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians [Greek Jews] against the Hebrews [Israel Jews], because their widows were neglected [not on the list] in the daily [food giving] ministration. Then the Twelve [the Eleven plus Matthias the (temporary) replacement for Judas - Paul in all likeliness became the Twelfth Apostle permanently replacing Judas] called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the [study and preaching] word of God, and serve tables [distribute food]. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this [charity] business. But we [leaders] will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word [Bible]. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a [Greek - Jewish convert] proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the [Levitical Temple] Priests were obedient [converts] to the [Christian] faith. - Note: The Grecian Christians issued the complaint and the early Church (primarily Hebrew) responded not in a compromise but by selecting all seven of the appointed charity workers from the Grecian group. The Greek [Greece the 5th Kingdom of the world - Revelation 17:10] nation ruled over Israel for about 200 years [336 B.C. - 149 B.C.] before Rome began to rule over Israel and the Greek culture was deeply implanted into Jewish society in Israel.'

Acts 6:8-15 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain [Greek - Helenistic Jews] of the Synagogue, which is called the Synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the [Holy] Spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him [Stephen], and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this Holy place [Temple], and the law: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place [Temple], and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. And all that sat in the council, *looking stedfastly on him, saw [observed] his face [with the presence of the Holy Spirit upon him] as it had been the face of an angel [in the very presence of God]. - Stephen living enough in the presence of God to become loving enough to witness to the people around him becomes bold enough to die for the Christian faith and becomes the first Christian martyr. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 7 - Stephen under arrest for blasphemy and on trial for his life in Jerusalem - Stephen uses as his defense the known fact that nearly every single prophet of importance to Israel throughout the history of Israel the people of Israel have first rejected the true Prophet before they ultimately accepted them and their ministry as being of God - Stephen is saying that Jesus was obviously God in the flesh though many people refused to believe it but then rejecting the true Prophets of God is the track record of mankind when it comes to interactions between man and God - Mankind has a propensity to reject the true interaction with God while at the same time embrace the false prophets of the world -- 'Acts 7:52-53 Which of the [true] Prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them [true Prophets] which shewed before [prophesied] of the coming of the Just One [Jesus Christ]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers [their Jewish forefathers put to death the true prophets but they managed to go a step further and put to death the Messiah, Jesus the one prophesied about]: Who have received the law [the image of Jesus] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it [because the law revealed the nature of Jesus].'

Acts 7:52-60 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One [Messiah]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law [Divinely] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart [enraged in their soul], and they gnashed on him with their teeth. *But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, *looked up stedfastly *into heaven, *and saw the glory of God, *and Jesus *standing [Jesus is standing as the Melchizedek High Priest ready to receive into Heaven the acceptable offering of the sacrifice and life of Stephen] on the right hand of God, And said, **Behold, I see the Heavens opened, and the Son of Man [Jesus] standing on the right hand of God [Father]. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city [outside the city limits, probably at the dump], and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul [later the Apostle Paul] {Note: Saul (the Apostle Paul) although perfectly within his rights did not throw a stone himself - Paul was not the violent aggressor that the secular world wants to portray}. And they [not Saul] stoned Stephen, ***calling upon God, and **saying [as Jesus said from His cross (Luke 23:46)], Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. *And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge [as Jesus had said from His cross (Luke 23:34)]. And when he had said this, he fell asleep [to the Christian death is as harmless as sleep and often in the Bible death is referred to simply as a [harmless] sleep for those who are saved and will awake in Heaven]. - Note: Normally in the Bible Jesus is represented as seated [enthroned]at the right hand of the Father Matthew 26:64)however Stephen describes Jesus as standing - standing is a part of the office of the High Priest - sitting is a part of the office of the King. Jesus preforms all three offices of God as King of the Universe, High Priest [Melchizedek] and True Prophet. The Christian Stephen lived his life with Jesus as his example, he preached his life with Jesus as his example and in his death (sleep) he departed with Jesus as his example and as such Stephen saw Jesus standing in Heaven and was received directly into Heaven receiving what the Apostle Paul would call the martyrs death the "better resurrection" (Hebrews 11:35). [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} wikipedia.org - St. Stephen's Day [December 26th]: Commemorates Saint Stephen, the first [Common] Christian martyr

St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian Saint's day celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St. Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on January 9 according to the Gregorian calendar used in secular (and Western) contexts. It commemorates St Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr. -- Protomartyr (Greek "first" + "martyr") is a term for the first Christian martyr in a country. Alternatively, the phrase the Protomartyr (with no other qualification of country or region) can mean Saint Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian church. -- See also: Boxing Day [day after Christiams] - The name derives from the English tradition giving seasonal gifts (in the form of a "Christmas box") to less wealthy people. In the United Kingdom this was later extended to various workpeople such as labourers, servants, tradespeople and postal workers. ... Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, St. Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas Day. Unlike St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day is a secular holiday and is not always on 26 December: the public holiday is generally moved to the following Monday if 26 December is a Saturday. If 25 December is a Saturday then both the Monday and Tuesday may be public holidays. However the date of observance of Boxing Day varies between countries. In Ireland - when it was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland - the UK's Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St Stephen as a non-moveable public holiday on 26 December. Since Partition, the name "Boxing Day" is used only by the authorities in Northern Ireland (which remained part of the United Kingdom). Their Boxing Day is a moveable public holiday in line with the rest of the United Kingdom. The Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 established "Boxing Day" as a public holiday in Scotland. In the Australian state of South Australia, 26 December is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day. -- Calendar: In the countries that observe this holiday, 26 December is commonly referred to both as Boxing Day and as St. Stephen's Day, no matter what day of the week it occurs. However, in some countries, holidays falling on Saturday or Sunday are observed on the next weekday. Boxing Day cannot be on a Sunday, that day being the officially recognised day of worship, so traditionally it was the next working day of the week following Christmas Day, (i.e. any day from Monday to Saturday). In recent times this tradition has been either forgotten or ignored. Most people consider 26 December to be Boxing Day even when it falls on a Sunday. The last year 26 December was called Christmas Sunday in the United Kingdom and Canada was 1993. The next time the date fell on a Sunday (1999), it was known as Boxing Day. If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, then Monday 28 December is declared a bank or public holiday. In the United Kingdom and some other countries, this is accomplished by Royal Proclamation. In some Canadian provinces, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday that is always celebrated on 26 December. As with most statutory holidays in Canada, if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week. If Boxing Day falls on a Sunday then Christmas Day would be on a Saturday, so in countries where these are both bank or public holiday, the Statutory Holiday for Christmas is moved to Monday December 27 and the Statutory Holiday for Boxing Day is moved to Tuesday December 28. If Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then Boxing Day is on Monday 26 December, and no Royal Proclamation is required. In such a circumstance, a 'substitute bank holiday in the place of Christmas Day' is declared for Tuesday 27 December, so the Boxing Day holiday occurs before the substitute Christmas holiday. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 8 - The early Christian Church begins to experience wide scale opposition and persecution -- 'Acts 8:1-3 And Saul [later the Apostle Paul] was consenting unto his [Stephen's] death. *And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they [Christians - Disciples] were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, *except the Apostles [Apostle means 'sent out' at this point in the Church the Disciples basically fled while the Apostles remained calm]. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to *prison [early Christians in Jerusalem were primarily sent to prison for a short time].'

Acts 8:4-25 Therefore they [Christian - Disciples] that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the [Gospel] Word. Then Philip [one of the seven servants as was Stephen] went down to the city of Samaria [ancient capital of Northern Israel], and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon [the Sourcer - Warlock], which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. *But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, *they were baptized, both men and women. *Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God [but not yet the actual Kingdom of God], they sent unto them *Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost [Jesus instructed that the Christian Church would expand orderly and with the participation of Peter (Matthew 16:17-19) the leading Apostle]: For as yet He [Holy Spirit] was fallen upon none of them [Pentecost empowerment]: only they were baptized [Firstfruits] in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they [Peter, John] their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost [i.e. the 2nd Pentecost of the Church "Samaritans" - with the 3rd Pentecost household of Cornelius (Acts 10) Romans-Gentiles yet to come]. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given {actually a new mission field was opened up}, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. **But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee [Peter did not consider Simon the Sourcer to be saved], because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. *Thou [unsaved] hast neither part nor lot in this matter: *for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. *Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. *For I perceive [discern] that thou art in the gall of bitterness [against Jews and Christians], and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon [unwilling to go to God himself], and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. And they, when they had testified and preached the Word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Gospel in many villages [in the now open mission field] of the Samaritans. - The spread of Christianity being a work of God ordained in the Holy Spirit was spread only through the opening of opportunities by the Holy Spirit. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 10 - Acts Chapter 10 - The birth of the Gentile Christian Church -- 'Acts 10:1-7 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a Centurion [soldier - company commander] of the band [unit] called the Italian band, A devout [Gentile] man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the [Jewish and Gentile] people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour [3:00 pm] of the day an Angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he [Angel] said unto him, *Thy prayers and thine alms [giving] are come up for a memorial [eternal remembrance] before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is [Apostle] Peter He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he [Peter] shall [open the doors for the Christian Church to now receive Gentile members] tell thee what thou oughtest to do. ...'

Acts 10:7-48 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour ... And the voice [of God] spake unto him [Peter] again the second time, *What God hath cleansed [with His blood on the cross], that call not thou common [unclean]. ... Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. ... Now therefore are we all here present [back at the house of Cornelious in Caesarea] before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee [Peter] of God. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons [Jew or Gentile]: But **in every Nation he that feareth Him [God], and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. The word which God sent unto the Children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all: That Word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea [Israel], and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; *How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. **And we are witnesses of all things which He [Jesus] did both in the land of the Jews, and in [Holy Week] Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly [visibly]; ***Not to all the people [only Christians (Firstfruits) those haven received the born again' Spirit of Jesus witnessed the Resurrection of Jesus], but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us [Apostles], who did eat and drink [feasting] with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick [living] and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that *through His Name *whosoever believeth in Him *shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, ***the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word [the 3rd and final ethnic Pentecost globally opening the Christian Church to Gentiles]. And they of the circumcision [Jewish Christians] which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid [Baptism] water, that these should not be Baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? *And he commanded them to be Baptized in the Name of the Lord [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit]. Then *prayed [communicated] they him to tarry certain days. - Note: By this time in history with the move of the Holy Spirit to allow Gentiles into the Christian this is about 48 A.D. with the cross, resurrection and Pentecost occurring in about 33 A.D. the Christian Church has been firmly established and is about 15 years old when Gentiles are brought into Christian Fellowship with God. The as a result of Gentiles coming directly into the Christian Church in about 51 A.D. the Christian Church will have its first council the Council of Jerusalem to decide the validity and positioning of Gentiles in the already well-established Christian Church. The decision will be that Gentiles who have also been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ are to be welcomed into the Christian Church as full and equal members in the one universal Church body of the resurrected Jesus Christ. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 12 - The Apostle James the representative of [and Apostle to] the redeemed group of Martyred Saints of Revelation is himself Martyred -- 'Acts 12:1-2 Now about that time Herod [Antipas] the king [the son of King Herod the Great of Matthew 2:1] stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.' Note: Jesus only allowed the Disciples Peter, John and James [each representing a distinct group of redeemed - saved people] to witness and participate at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1) and in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33) while the other disciples were excluded.' - Peter the Apostle representing the Jews (Galatians 2:7), the Disciple John representing the Christian Church (Revelation 4:1) and James the Apostle representing the Martyred Saints of Revelation (Acts 12:2) - John and James were brothers as the Christian Church and the future [primarily Gentile] Martyred Saints of Revelation (Revelation 6:9) are brothers (Revelation 13:7) but are not the same group - The 144,000 (Revelation 7:4) Jewish witnesses of Revelation are also Martyred (Revelation 14:1) during the tribulation period.

The death of Herod Antipas (who put John the Baptist to death) - Herod the Tetrarch (Matthew 14:1): Acts 12:20 And Herod was highly displeased with them [the cities] of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration [speech] unto them. *And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. *And immediately the angel of the Lord smote [stricken] him [Herod], **because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and [five days later] gave up the ghost. *But the Word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul [Apostle Paul] returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry [delivering contributions], and took with them John [Mark John - writer of the Gospel of Mark - nephew of Barnabas], whose surname was Mark. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 13 - The Missionary efforts of the Christian Church primarily to Gentiles begins with Saul [Apostle Paul] and Barnabas being sent out (Apostle) by the Holy Spirit on the first of three Missionary trips undertaken by the Apostle Paul and recorded in the book of Acts -- 'Acts 13:1-4 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen [a childhood friend of Herod], which had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch, and Saul [Apostle Paul]. ***As they ministered to the Lord [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit], and fasted, *the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the [Missionary] work whereunto I have called them. And when they [Church fellowship] had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, *being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia [in modern Syria]; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.' - Note: Where Jesus is the head and authority of the Christian Church it is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit that is in charge of gathering, assembling and orchestrating the Christian Church into becoming the one assembled Bride of Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:43-52 Now when the [Jewish synagogue] (redeemed - Jewish redemption) congregation was [concluded for the Saturday] broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next Sabbath day [Saturday] came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God [for salvation] should first have been spoken to you [Jews the redeemed of God]: but seeing ye put it [Salvation] from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life [here and now], lo, *we turn to the Gentiles. *For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for *salvation [eternal life] unto the ends of the earth. *And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them [evicted] out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. - Note: What is being offered to the Jews is salvation. The [observant obedient - Synagogue] Jews are already redeemed (in the presence of God) and for the redeemed Jews salvation comes *after death. Jesus is offering Salvation [eternal life] here and now. The Gentiles [us]do not have redemption as the observant Jews do, some Gentiles are (saved) in that their conscience was a witness to them that there is a God but they were saved (also after death) not directly knowing God and not being in the presence of God as the redeemed Jews are. Gentiles who become Christians receive instantly both the Redemption (without sin in the presence of God) and Salvation (eternal life). Where the Jews have Jewish redemption and eventually (after death) eternal life (Salvation) a redeemed Jew can become a Christian and then also receive Salvation already having redemption but the Gentiles coming into the Christian Church only have the option of Salvation and with Christian Salvation comes redemption. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} PAUL [the Apostle] has been called the greatest Christian who ever lived

PAUL has been called the greatest Christian who ever lived. He also suffered greatly for the name of Jesus Christ. When Paul defended his calling to the Church, he defined suffering as a major proof of his spiritual office. 'I have worked much harder,' he insisted, 'been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again' (2 Corinthians 11:23). Strength in Weakness: But Paul's many trials did not deter him from living the Christian life. Neither did they restrict his preaching the gospel. To the contrary, suffering seemed to impel Paul to even greater spiritual service. The apostle Paul said something remarkable about his adversities: 'For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong' (2 Corinthians 12:10). We shouldn't, however, think of Paul as bigger than life or an indestructible superman. There were times when the tremendous hardships he confronted were far beyond his human endurance. After suffering one rather malicious incident of persecution, Paul admitted he and his companions 'despaired even of life' (2 Corinthians 1:8). But Paul had faith in the living God to see him through his trial. 'On him we have set our hope,' wrote Paul, 'that he will continue to deliver us' (verse 10). But as Paul's life demonstrates, God usually delivers us out of troubles we are already in, not necessarily from troubles before they begin. Yet, as we must, Paul was able to rise above all his many afflictions. How did he do it? And how can we surmount our trials and troubles? Paul certainly didn't overcome by his own strength or will. He never took personal credit for being able to bear his painfully heavy cross. He attributed his spiritual muscle to its true source - Jesus Christ. Paul said: 'I can do everything through him who gives me strength' (Philippians 4:13). He exulted, not in his own will and courage, but in the power of Christ in him. By his example we know that we, too, have access to the same spiritual power and courage. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 15 - The 1st Church Council takes place about 52 A.D. at the Church in Jerusalem - The 1st Church Council was specifically in regard to the major number of Gentiles that were now joining the Christian Church daily [predominantly through Missionary efforts] and whether or not the Gentiles would have to be circumcised and observe any of the Jewish customs or take part in any of the established laws of Moses -- 'Acts 15:6 And the Apostles and [Church] Elders [including James the ½ brother of Jesus] came together for to consider of this matter.'

Acts 15:6-22 And the Apostles and Elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing [arguing], [Apostle] Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago [Cornelius and his household at Caesarea] God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, *giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, **purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke [law of Moses] upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? **But we believe that through the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we [Jews who are Redeemed] shall be Saved, even as they [Gentiles who are now being Saved - Salvation]. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James [the ½ brother of Jesus - Church leader in Jerusalem] answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon [Apostle Peter] hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, ***to take out of them a [Christian] people for His Name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After [Gentile Christian Church] this I [Messiah] will return [2nd Coming], and will build again the Tabernacle [House - Dwelling] of [the Throne of King] David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That [during the Christian Church Age] the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My Name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. ***Known unto God are all His works ***from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God [those who have the Holy Spirit]: But that we write unto them, *that they abstain from pollutions of [Gentile] idols, and from [Gentile] fornication, and from things strangled [Jewish law], and from blood [Jewish law]. **For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him [abstain from idols and fornication because it is un-Christian, abstain from unclean food and blood only if it offends the local Jewish population], being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole Church [in Jerusalem], to send chosen men of their own company to [the Church in] Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren … - Note: The early Church recognized that God was active in calling Gentiles into His Christian Church and they also recognized that the Gentiles would have to conduct their new life in a manner consistent with Biblical Christianity and finally they concluded that it is important for Christians not to openly offend those that have remained Jewish. Also Note: All food including blood is now clean because the eternal blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed the world. Eating animal blood and probably human blood if it were obtained in a legal manner does not make a person unclean. Satan has devised a scheme that the world is unclean however it is not. It is unprofitable to do questionable things and germs and disease might be involved but if someone for example drank pig blood thinking it is an evil act the act itself is not but the intentions of their heart might be. - Some cultures eat blood foods and if the Jews are simply notified that it is a custom and not a slight on Moses then they are free to eat their blood food of course not offering any of it to a devout Jewish person because that would be terribly offensive. The 1st Church council was saying to the Gentiles to have our Christian Gentile liberties but also to be mindful and respectful of the [Redeemed] Jews who do still follow the laws of Moses. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Acts 15 (Part 2) - Christian Church Councils - All of the Church Councils throughout history have dealt specifically with the issues of God's Redemptive and Salvation plan for mankind and in light of God's plan for mankind the councils have also attempt to explain who God is to mankind - A Note of Encouragement: Participation in the blog Bible Study has been going extraordinarily well since the start of the study and it continues as one of the most active projects on the Basic Christian website. I'm encouraged and blessed daily by the numbers of people who are so actively studying the Bible and seeking a direct relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Continue with prayer, study and fellowship! Continue the good work in Jesus Christ!

A brief background note on the blog Bible Study and a summary of Redemption and Salvation: The Bible is about the Redemption and Salvation plan of God for mankind therefore the blog Bible Study is attempting to be about the Redemption and Salvation of mankind in examining the predetermined plan of God in Jesus Christ for mankind. - Summary: Adam and his wife [later named Eve] were both a part of the original creation of God and were both created possessing Redemption [in the visible, perceivable presence of God] and Salvation [eternal life]. With the fall of Adam and Eve by disobedience to God that directly resulted in sin against God then Adam and Eve lost their Redemption and Salvation and as a result of not having Redemption and Salvation they were then unable to pass along Redemption and Salvation to any of their descendants including us at our present day. The very children of Adam and Eve were without God in any form except in the brief [redemptive] knowledge of God that their parents Adam and Eve were able tell them about from their experiences and for a few corrective and punitive [redemptive] measures from God. It seems we fail to realize how complete the sin separation was for mankind and how devastating the results were. Adam and Eve were a part of the original creation of God and then their immediate children [Cain, Abel, Seth, etc.] composed a group of individuals separated from God but were able through the instructions of their parents to follow substitutional sacrificial practices. This group highly separated from God consisting of individuals and families were known as the 'sacrificing righteous Gentiles' a group of disorganized individuals that encompassed the highly personally [self] esteemed Job and it finally the system spun completely out of control and came to an end in the folly of Balaam the last of the sacrificing Gentiles. God chose the man Abram (Abraham) and his wife Sarai (Sarah) from among the sacrificing Gentiles to become the father of the Jewish Nation of further redeemed of God. Jewish Redemption was to bring mankind through the laws, customs and representation of God into a more direct and more Redeemed presence of God [as an example for all of mankind] than any of mankind had previously been since the fall of mankind. God Redeemed the Jewish Nation of Israel through Covenants (Promises), Laws (Society), Kings (representation of God), Priests (access for the people to God), Prophets (access from God to the people) all a direct representation of the one coming Jesus Christ the Messiah of all mankind. With the now accomplished Redemption and Salvation for all mankind in the Messiah Jesus Christ the finalized Christian Salvation and Redemption provided in the Virgin birth, atoning Redemption blood and eternal Salvation resurrection life of Jesus Christ is the completed work of God among mankind however not everyone is yet at the completed Christian work of God in mankind. The work of God in convicting Gentiles [in remote areas who have not heard the Gospel] through their conscience about the Holy God and through the enormity and splendor of God's creation continues. Also the Redemption of the Jewish people and Nation of Israel continues and soon another group of Redeemed the End Time Martyred Saints of Revelation will be established and quickly joined by the Redeemed 144,000 [Jewish Firstfruits (Revelation 14:4), Jews who acknowledge Jesus and remain Jewish] Jewish Witnesses of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Then after the return of Jesus Christ and during His 1,000 year Righteous Kingdom reign here on earth there will be another group of Redeemed 'Millennial Saints' to continue to fulfill and establish the Redemption and Salvation plan of God in Jesus Christ existing for all of mankind throughout every age and into all of eternity. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} The Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:6-31 (Approx. 52 A.D.): where we read of the first General Church Council - A serious question of doctrine arose, and "the apostles and the presbyters came together to consider this matter" - The decree of the Council of Jerusalem went on, then, to establish a binding obligation upon all Christians in the local churches of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: "that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality" (Acts 15:29) - Did the local churches bristle at this imposition of doctrine and practice from the ecclesiastical leadership of the whole Church? Not at all, but rather they "rejoiced over its encouragement" (Acts 15:31) {The 50 A.D. Jerusalem Council decision was yes, Gentiles can become Christians and then simple directions and reminders were given so that the new Gentile Christians would not offend God. The food (abstain from eating blood) decision was given so that Christians would not offend the Jews. Christians can eat any food however God is still protecting the Jews and He does not want them offended by others even Christians. Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach (law) him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.}

The Council of Jerusalem: We may prove this quite readily by turning to Acts 15:6-31, where we read of the first General Church Council. A serious question of doctrine arose, and "the apostles and the presbyters came together to consider this matter" (Acts 15:6). After hearing the arguments and testimony of Peter, Paul and Barnabas, the leader of the Council, James [half-brother of Jesus, writer of the book of James], then passed a decree with the words, "Therefore I judge" (Acts 15:19, 'dio ego krino'). This passage describes no truly democratic process, but rather it describes submission to the judgment of a central ecclesiastical authority [an authority completely submitted to Jesus Christ]. -- After receiving the judgment of James, "it pleased the apostles and presbyters together with the whole Church" (Acts 15:22: 'apostolois kai tois presbyterois syn hole ekklesia') to dispatch delegates with a letter promulgating the decree of the Council. The council then drafted a letter in the name of "the apostles and the brother-presbyters" (Acts 15:23: 'hoi apostoloi kai hoi presbyteroi adelphoi'). This phrasing, and especially the apposition of 'presbyteroi' and 'adelphoi', is quite precise in establishing the authority of the decision of the Council in the office of the ministers who serve and lead the Church, as opposed to a democratic process. -- Does the phrase "whole Church" here refer to the universal Church, or merely to the entirety of the congregation at Jerusalem. Recalling that the leadership of the Council was comprised of the apostles who were planting local churches in the Hellenistic world, delegates of the Hellenistic churches, and the presbyters of the church at Jerusalem, we can only rightly conclude that they spoke in the name of the universal Church. Indeed, the letter explicitly states that the authors speak in the authority of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28); since Paul tells us that it is by one Spirit that we were baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:13) which is Christ (1 Cor. 12:27) and over which Christ is the head (1 Eph. 1:22-23), when Luke writes in Acts 15:22 of the leadership of the whole Church assenting to the decree of James which is binding on all Gentile Christians, he is necessarily speaking of the Church in its universal or catholic sense. -- The Council then sent the letter to the local churches in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. This letter remarks that the false doctrine which the council repudiated was in fact discernibly false because "we gave no such commandments" (Acts 15:24). Hence, the Bible tells us that right doctrine is subject to the discernment of the leadership of the whole Church. The decree of the Council of Jerusalem went on, then, to establish a binding obligation upon all Christians in the local churches of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: "that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality" (Acts 15:29). Did the local churches bristle at this imposition of doctrine and practice from the ecclesiastical leadership of the whole Church? Not at all, but rather they "rejoiced over its encouragement" (Acts 15:31). Clearly, the Bible itself sets a precedent for the government of the universal Church by means of General Councils. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} 4 Great Church Councils Part 1 & 2 (Mp3s) {Note: The Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:6-31 (Approx. 52 A.D.) is the original and first Christian Church Council. All of the later Church Councils are modeled after the first Jerusalem Council.}

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{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} The Bible and The Creeds - Sermon Series: An Introduction to the Creeds (Mp3s)

Brian Borgman is the founding pastor of Grace Community Church. He earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Biola University (La Mirada, CA), a Master of Divinity from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (Portland, OR) and a Doctor of Ministry from Westminster Seminary (Escondido, CA). [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Historic Baptist Documents - Confessions, Catechisms, Creeds

Many contemporaries have a deep-seated suspicion of catechisms. In our own Baptist denomination, many would consider the words "Baptist catechism" as mutually exclusive. A popular misconception is that catechisms are used in times and places where inadequate views of conversion predominate or the fires of evangelism have long since turned to white ash. If the Bible is preached, they continue, no catechism is necessary; catechisms tend to produce mere intellectual assent where true heart religion is absent. This concern reflects a healthy interest for the experiential side of true Christianity. Concern for conversion and fervor, however, should never diminish one's commitment to the individual truths of Christianity nor the necessity of teaching them in a full and coherent manner.~An Encouragement to Use Catechisms, Tom Nettles. [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} Summary: The Apostle Paul's Journey to Rome - The Four Dispensations of the Times since the 1st Coming of Jesus Christ seem to have been mapped out and enacted throughout Paul's Journey to Rome -- 1. The Apostles Dispensation (Acts 27:1-5) -- 2. The Common Christian Church Age (Acts 27:6-44) -- 3. The Martyred Saints of Revelation Tribulation (Acts 28:1-15) -- 4. The 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ on earth (Acts 28:16-31)

1. The Apostles Dispensation (Acts 27:1-5): Paul and the other Apostles [eyewitnesses] of Jesus Christ go into the world preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. "Acts 27:3-5 And [representing the Apostolic Missionary Journey Age] the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave *him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the **winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia." {Note: Luke and the Apostle Paul seem to be recording two primary things. 1. Looking back on all of Paul's Missionary Journeys that Paul felt that they had gone well and that on the whole the Gospel was being well received "him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself" that Paul had made a lot of friends on his Missionary Trips and was refreshed by the fellowship he had with the Gentile Christians. 2. Also noting that "the [spiritual] winds were contrary" seeming to imply that there was a great deal of spiritual (demonic) opposition to the Gospel Message going forward.} -- 2. The Common Christian Church Age (Acts 27:6-44): "Acts 27:6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein." {Note: The ship of the Apostolic Age has ended and the ship of the Common Christian Church Age has launched - carrying the nourishing wheat (Bible) and the four anchors (4 Gospels). The [Christian] ship spends a great deal of time in the port of "Fair Havens" and then departs into adversity to the extent that the storms of life strand and tear the ship apart. Noteworthy, the Church [ship] has the four anchors [4 Gospels] and correctly uses them to stabilize the ship in dangerous waters however also note how the cargo of wheat [Bible] is considered too big of a burden and is cast overboard (Acts 27:38) away from the Church. -- 3. The Martyred Saints of Revelation Tribulation (Acts 28:1-15): After the Christian Church Age has come to an end the Revelation Tribulation Age begins. {Note: The Saints of Revelation are washed ashore into a strange society and economy where they are refuges; destitute and in peril. Though working hard and trying to get along they are Bitten by the Beast and transported to fellowship with their fellow Martyrs. -- 4. The 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ on earth (Acts 27:16-31): Having finally arrived in Rome the Throne of the King the Millennial Rein of Jesus Christ is now being depicted. {Note: As a type of a citizen of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, Paul is sent not to jail but to his own house to live [for two years]. Once in his Millennial House the Apostle Paul immediately begins to fellowship with the Jews of the Millennial Age.} -- Paul's Journey to Rome and the book of Acts concludes "Acts 28:30-31 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, **Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} [Part 1 of 3] Introduction: Paul's Journey to Rome - Church History Outline: Ceasrea to Malta - End Times (Antichrist) Outline: Malta to Rome

The Apostle Paul's "Journey to Rome" covered in Acts chapters 27 and 28 is a unique set of passages of scripture and seems to tell a parallel story to the main story of Paul's journey and shipwreck while in route to Rome. The first part of Paul's journey from Caesarea, Israel to the shipwreck off of the shores of the island of Malta seems to tell the parallel story of what has been much of Church history up until today. The second main segment of Paul's journey beginning with Malta then the departure and the sailing to Italy, seems to tell the parallel story of the End Times, the Antichrist and the Book of Revelation. - In looking at these events one primary set of verses in each segment is going to be crucial to the study. In the first portion the Church History outline the verses Acts 27:41 and Acts 27:44 [the actual shipwreck and making it to shore] are going to be the crucial verses for the first segment. - The second segment the End Times outline the island of Malta to Rome the main verses are going to be Acts 28:13-15, Paul's arrival in Italy but at first not in Rome. [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} [Part 2 of 3] Church History Outline: Ceasrea to Malta - In Paul's Journey to eventually stand at the feat of [the King] Caesar (Acts 26:32) the Christian Church with the Gospel departs from Israel [where Christianity originated] at the port of city of Caesarea (Acts 27:1-2) to go to the Rome and the Gentile world

Christian Church Age: After making some [missionary] stops along the way Paul and company (Acts 27:6) transfer to a ship [carrying nourishing wheat] that can take them to Rome. While sailing "many days" on their voyage to Rome the ship [Christian Church] encounters the alternating "contrary winds" of persecution and also the favorable port of "Fair Havens" entailing that "much time had been spent" on the Journey. - The first real hint of trouble for the Christian Church comes in the form of the Apostle Paul admonishing the Church that the Jewish Feast day [the fast] of Yom Kippur had passed and that the primarily Gentile Church was no longer marking or paying attention to the Jewish Feast Days putting the Christian Church in peril of not knowing the Times or the Seasons in which it sailed (Acts 27:9-12). The Church (ship) now unable to chart and follow its own course was caught in the winds of the days and the crew now instead of directing the ship the events of the day carried the ship (Church) along on its own course while the ship (Church) was mostly unable to affect, alter or counter any of the blowing winds (Acts 27:15). The ship (Church) tossed in the storms of life brought their sails down and just attempted to weather out the storm and at least they had four anchors to cast out into the water and help steady and protect (from hitting bottom) the Ship. The Apostle Paul then informs everyone that unless they remain aboard the one ship (of Christian faith) they cannot be saved (Acts 27:31). The one ship representing Christianity (the one true Church) then partakes in the act of Christian Communion (Acts 27:35). A distant land (Heaven) is sighted and the passengers (Christians) are not martyred but are able to reach the land (Heaven) alive as each person clings to some wood (cross of Jesus) from the one ship. The ship (Church) itself is finally caught in enough turmoil that it runs aground and breaks up [amazingly at a place were two sea's meet (Acts 27:41) - where the Eastern sea of Mysticism and the Western sea of Rationalism meet the Christian boat as one Catholic body gets stuck in the sand and breaks apart - into many denominations] though the individuals make it ashore (to Heaven) by clinging to wood (the cross of Jesus Christ), the one requirement to get a sinner into Heaven is to know that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on His cross. With the Church (ship) stuck and broken apart and ALL the passengers (Christians) from the one ship of Christianity safely ashore (in Heaven) the Christian Church Age comes to an end (Acts 27:44). -- "Acts 27:44 And the rest [of the Christians], some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship [all clinging to the cross of Jesus]. **And so it came to pass, **that they escaped [sin-death] **all safe to [Heaven] land." [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} Wikipedia.org: Saint Publius (Acts 28:7) - Saint Publius [a Church Apostolic Father] is venerated as the first Bishop of Malta - Publius' conversion led to Malta being the first Christian nation in the West, and one of the first in the world - He was martyred in 125 A.D., during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian

It was the same Publius who received the Apostle Paul during his shipwreck on the island as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul cured Publius' dysentery-afflicted father. -- Book: by Rev. Alban Butler (1711-1773 A.D.). Volume I: January. "The Lives of the Saints" last published 1866. - St. Publius, Bishop and Martyr [died January 21, 125 A.D. in Athens, Greece] HE succeeded St. Dionysius the Areopagite in the see of Athens, as we are assured by St. Dionysius of Corinth, quoted by Eusebius. 1 He went to God by martyrdom, and Saint Quadratus was chosen third bishop of that city. See Le Quien, Or. Christ. t. 2. p. 169. Note 1. Euseb. l. 4. c. 23. [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} [Part 3 of 3] End Time Outline: Malta to Rome - End Times - Martyred Saints of Revelation: The refugees come ashore upon a foreign island (Malta) with "barbarous people" [barbarous only means not Romans (not citizens of the Kingdom) and not Jewish]

Paul and the other castaways find themselves on an unfamiliar island (Malta), a society of unfamiliar people with unfamiliar customs. In the entire narration of their time on Malta only one person is identified by name (and also by title) and it is the intriguing person of Publius (Public) [Publius a Latin (Roman) name - definition of Public: of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people; relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community - ardictionary.com]. The intriguing person Publius is the "chief" or first [G4413 - Protos] person of the Island of Malta and though Publius is not a Roman citizen he has a Roman name and connections to Rome. - In this scenario, in what we are trying to read between the lines that Luke wrote for us in his book of Acts Chapters 27 and 28 we have the scenario that the Church Age has ended (Acts 27:44), the one ship of Christianity has broken apart and ALL the Christians are in Heaven. Here upon Malta (Acts 28:1) we seem to have the dispensation after Christianity [after the Church Age] - the dispensation of the End Times and the Martyred Saints of Revelation. In this intriguing scenario one person is in charge [of buying and selling] for an entire society and also that person is not a part of the 6th Kingdom in Rome. Publius is not a Roman citizen, instead this very public and in charge figure is first in his own system (the 7th Kingdom Revised Rome). Publius {before he becomes a Christian} is a type of the Antichrist and the Island society of Malta is a type of the 7th Kingdom (Revised Roman Empire). Further establishing that Luke intends for Malta to represent the Martyred Saints of End Times is that Luke tells of Paul being bitten by a viper (Acts28:3) but then Luke chooses to call the poisonous viper a "beast" (Acts 28:4,5) using the same word "beast" (G2342 - Therion) that John would later use in his Book of Revelation [Revelation 13:18 - the Mark of the Beast] to describe the Antichrist - Paul "he shook off the beast into the fire" (Acts 28:5) refusing to take the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 19:20). Luke is determined to present the spirit of Antichrist at the Island of Malta. - Note: The End Time events that Luke portrays on Malta is not quite like the End Times often portrayed today in common media, where saints are on the run for their lives. In this End Time depiction by Luke the Saints are busy, working, helpful and briefly an integrated part of the society of Malta. But the Saints have a determined destination and a departure date and depart the island society of Malta not out of anger or desperation but out of a necessity. It seems that Luke is portraying Malta [Revised Rome] as a society that is vastly different than today (there might not be any private property - everything might be 'public' in name only) a tightly controlled and managed society with each person knowing where they rank in society and one person Publius is first. Further after departing the island of Malta and continuing their Journey [a journey that is no longer given in great detail - because technically the Saints departed Malta as Martyrs]. The End Time martyrs of Malta continue on to their desired destination to the feet of the King [Caesar] but like the Book of Revelation the Martyrs of Malta do not go directly to Rome they depart the ship outside of Rome and fellowship with other believers for a while. In the Book of Revelation the 5th Seal "Revelation 6:9 And when He [Jesus] had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain (Martyrs) for [faith in] the Word of God, and for the Testimony [faith in Jesus] which they held:" The Martyred Saints of Revelation do not go directly (individually) to the Throne of Jesus but instead gather outside the Temple at the altar and fellowship until their numbers (dispensation) are complete. Then at the end of the End Times all the Martyred Saints of Revelation join (Revelation 7:9) in with the Christian Church also in Heaven worshiping at the feet of the King Jesus Christ. -- "Acts 28:14-15 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage." [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Global Kingdoms of the Earth} Conclusion: The Apostle Paul's journey to Rome - Once in Rome the Apostle Paul continues to prophetically enact out End Time Biblical events - Amazingly the Apostle Paul does not go to jail with the other prisoners (unbelievers) instead Paul safely goes and lives in his own house - Enacting out the forth part of the End Times - The Millennial Reign 1,000 year Kingdom of Jesus Christ [the 8th Kingdom] on earth - (Acts Chapters 27 and 28)

In the last two chapters of the Book of Acts in chapters 27 and 28 there are three distinct portions of the Apostle Paul's journey to Rome [to stand before Caesar]. The First Portion, departing Israel with the Christian Gospel Message until the shipwreck and safely coming ashore at the island of Malta correlates with what has been the Christian Church Age. The second portion of Paul's journey, being stranded at Malta and then quickly getting to Italy but not Rome itself correlates with what is written in the Book of Revelation regarding the future End Times and the Martyred Saints of Revelation. Then the Third and final portion of Paul's journey to Rome correlates with what is written in the Bible regarding the Millennial Reign upon the earth of the Messiah [Jesus Christ] after the events of the Book of Revelation have occurred and been fulfilled. - Once arriving in Rome (Acts 28:16) Paul [a Christian] is allowed to go live by himself in his own house while the other prisoners (unbelievers) are sent to jail (John 12:31). Living in one's own house and dwelling safely is an unmistakable euphemism for the Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah (1 Kings 4:25, Jeremiah 23:6). The Apostle Paul's recorded journey to Rome is concluded along with the Bible's Book of Acts in the last two verses of Acts. -- "Acts 28:30-31 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house [i.e. the Millennial Reign of Christ], and [free to] received all that came in unto him, Preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Revelation 19 - The Great eternal Congregation of Saints in Heaven all Worship and Praise God at the same time and in the same place -- 'Revelation 19:1-5 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For True and Righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great [unfaithful] whore, **which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the Throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the Throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.'

The Lord Jesus Christ begins to take physical possession of the earth to reign and rule on the earth for His Millennial (1,000 year)Kingdom on earth: Revelation 19:6-21 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent [all powerful] reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: *for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife [the Christian Church] hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [in Jesus Christ] of Saints. And he saith unto me, **Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb {probably occurring shortly after Revelation 4:1 and before the first Seal is broken}. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him [Angel]. And he [Angel] said unto me, See thou *do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the Testimony of Jesus: ***worship [only] God: **for the Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse [the true conquering King Jesus]; and He [Jesus Christ] that sat upon Him was called Faithful and True, and in *righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were [judgment] as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns [authorities]; and He [also] had a [personal] Name written, **that no man knew, but [only] He himself {this unknown Name is a reference to God's creation (mankind) being at war with God, even after the cross of Jesus and no man can possibly know the agony of the experience of having to eternally judge mankind that God loves so much}. And He was clothed with a vesture [garment] dipped in [human] blood {we are offered to wear Jesus' shed blood for our eternal life covering but those who reject it God will shed their blood}: and His Name [Jesus] is called The Word of God. And the armies [various dispensations] which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword [word of God], that with it He should smite the Nations: and He shall rule [8th Kingdom] them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture [garment] and on His thigh a Name [we will all know] written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. **And the beast [Antichrist] was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. **These both [two parts of the unholy trinity ] were cast alive [directly] into a lake of fire burning with brimstone [skipping the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11)]. And the [unholy] remnant were slain with the sword [Word] of Him [Jesus Christ] that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Revelation 20 - Satan is to be incarcerated for the entire 1,000 year Kingdom reign of Jesus Christ on earth -- 'Revelation 20:1-3 And I saw an Angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:1) and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, *and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the Nations no more, till the thousand years [Kingdom reign of Jesus Christ on earth, 8th Kingdom] should be fulfilled: and after that he [Satan] must be loosed a little season. - Note: The human elements of Satan's 7th Kingdom the human Antichrist and the human false prophet have at this point already been sentenced to the eternal lake of fire. Satan is held in chains for the 1,000 years and then he is released for a brief final temptation on mankind.'

Revelation 20:4-15 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and *which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; **and they [saints Martyred during the Tribulation period] lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. *But the rest of the dead [all the unsaved] lived [manifested] not again until the thousand years were finished. **This is the first resurrection [the resurrection of the Holy Saints of Jesus Christ]. **Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: **on such the second death [judgment] hath no power, but they shall be [Righteous, Melchizedek] Priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, *Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the Nations [the new nations established or re-established during the 1,000 reign of Jesus Christ] which are in the four quarters of the earth, *Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38:1-23), to gather them [sinners from the 1,000 Kingdom] together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed [encircled] the Camp of the Saints about, and the beloved city [Jerusalem]: and fire came down from God out of Heaven, and devoured them. And the devil [Satan] that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. ***And [later the 1,00 years] I saw a Great White Throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the Heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. {Note: during the Great White Throne judgment there is no earth and no sky, and the people being judged are naked disembodied spirits - so apparently if they want to contend with God [and smirk and insult] during their judgment it will be more than a bit awkward for them having no body and even no planet to stand on.} And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the [judgment] books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, **according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead [demons] which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the [spiritual] dead [fallen angels] which were in them: and they were judged every man {human, demon and fallen angel} according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. **This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. - Note: After the Church age and after the Revelation [Martyred Saints, 144,000] Tribulation age there is then the 1,000 year Kingdom age. The testing by Satan after the 1,000 year Kingdom age is only for the people of the 1,000 year Kingdom age. The resurrected Saints are not judged again (Hebrews 9:27) not judged continually. A Saint that was with Moses in the desert and once resurrected that Old Testament Saint is not judged during the Church era and the Church is not judged in the Martyred Saints of Revelation era and only the people physically alive in the 1,000 year Kingdom reign are in a position to receive or reject their eternal salvation. Once a Saint receives resurrection [adoption as a Son of God] then it is eternal and being eternal it is secure. It is not even the remotest possibility [no longer even having a sin nature] that resurrected Christian Saints or resurrected Old Testament Saints could even rebel against God and then hypothetically need to be judged and removed from God's eternal Kingdom at any given point in time in the Kingdom. Once a Saint [we are born with a sin nature and die with our sin nature but we are resurrected without a sin nature] is in the resurrected Kingdom of God and God being faithful and love God does not ever turn against His own people (and again resurrected Saints will not even have a sin nature) so the eternal Kingdom of God is in all actuality, and in all reality, and for all purposes - eternity - and eternity with God is security and that is eternal. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Revelation 21 - The earth and sky are going to pass away as humanity enters into a new earth and a new sky in the eternal state with God -- 'Revelation 21:1-5 And I [St. John] saw a new heaven (sky) and a new earth: for the first heaven (sky) and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the Tabernacle [dwelling] of God [the Father] is with men, and He [the Father] will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God [Jesus] Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: **for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: **for these Words [being from God] are True and Faithful.'

The New Jerusalem, the new Holy City on the new earth is revealed and the gates of the Holy City are permanently open inviting all the eternal Saints to freely enter into the eternal city to bring in their glory and honor in worship and praise to God: Revelation 21:6-8 And He [God] said unto me [Disciple John], It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, *the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, ***and he shall be My [adopted] Son. *But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. ... Revelation 21:22-27 And [in the New Jerusalem, the new Holy City on earth] I saw no Temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. **And the Nations of *them *which *are *saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings [mighty] of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the Nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but [only] they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. - Note: There appears to remain a societal structure for mankind (Saints) complete with individual Nations, cities and towns even out into the eternal state. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Revelation 22 - The Disciple John is shown the Eternal State of the Saints with the New Jerusalem containing the Eternal Throne of God [Father, Son Jesus (Lamb), Holy Spirit] on earth - The beloved Disciple John closes the great Revelation of the beloved Jesus Christ by sealing (the 8th Seal) it with a promise, this final Seal is an unbreakable promise from Jesus Christ Himself to return quickly, when it is time (opened) and when the 8th Seal is opened Jesus will return according to all of His promises - The Disciple John then prays in agreement with Jesus Christ and requests the return of Jesus Christ - The Disciple John then finalizes all Holy Bible Scripture with a blessing from Jesus Christ to all the beloved Saints in Jesus Christ -- 'Revelation 22:1-6 And he [Angel] 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 New Jerusalem]. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there *the Tree of Life (Genesis 2:9), which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and **the leaves of the tree were for the healing [wellbeing] of the Nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the Throne of God and of the Lamb [Jesus Christ] shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are Faithful and True: **and the Lord God of the holy prophets **sent His Angel [messenger] **to shew unto His servants [Christians - Saints] the things which must shortly be done [accomplished].'

The Bible's book of Revelation concludes completing the Holy Bible: Revelation 22:7-21 Behold, I [Jesus Christ] come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I [Jesus Christ] come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 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. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine Angel [messenger] to testify unto you these things in the Churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the [Holy] Spirit and the Bride [Christian Church] say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the Words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book. He [Jesus Christ] which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. [link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} The Region of Ephesus - Ephesus [in modern Turkey] maintained its importance during the [early] period of Christianity; the Apostle St. Paul arrived there during the years of 50 A.D., and [the Disciple] St. John was buried on the hill of Ayasuluk (Selcuk, near Izmir) at the beginning of the 2nd century [about 100 A.D.] - On Bulbul Dag (Nightingale mountain) there is the House of the Virgin [Mary] where it's believed that she passed last years of her life and passed away - She [Mary - the mother of Jesus] came to Ephesus together with St. John and taken up to Panaghia Kapulu mountain to survive the Roman persecutions

Ephesus: The findings obtained in this region where the native people, namely the Lelegs and the Carians have lived since the beginning, indicate that the city is dated back to 2000 years B.C. As far as the years of 1000 are concerned, it is assumed that the Ions came to this region, lead by Androckles. Ephesus was captured by the Kimmers (Cimmerians) in the 7th century B.C., by the Lydians in 560, and later in 546 B.C. by the Persians; and was rescued from the Persian domination when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 334 B.C. -- Lysimachos, a commander of Alexander's, had the settlement removed from the whereabouts of the Temple of Artemis to the location between the Mount of Panayir and the Mount of Bülbül, and had a wall built around the city. The city was taken by the Kingdom of Pergamon after 190 B.C., by Rome in 133 B.C., and later by Byzantium. Ephesus maintained its importance during the period of Christianity; the apostle St. Paul arrived there during the years of 50 A.D., and St. John was buried on the hill of Ayasuluk (Selcuk, near Izmir) at the beginning of the 2nd century. Ephesus lived through its third glorious period during the reign of Justinian in the middle of the 6th century A.D. At this time, the Church of St. John was built by the Byzantine emperor. -- The ruins of Ephesus, situated near Selçuk town at 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Izmir, is a main center of archaeological interest owing to the ancient remains that still exist. When you enter through the Magnesia Gate (south gate or upper gate), you can see the State Agora (or Upper Agora). The Temple of Isis is situated at the center of the Agora, and Stoa is placed on the North side of it. The Odeion (Bouletarion or Parliament) with a capacity of 1,400 persons is placed behind it and the Prytaneion (Town Hall) where the sacred fire used to burn, is on its flank. The Baths of Varius are placed on the east side of Odeion. On the west of the Agora, the Monument of Memmius built in the 1st century BC., the fountain of Sextilius Pollio built in the year 93 A.D., and the Temple of Domitian (81-93 A.D) are placed. On the south of the Agora, the fountain of Laecanius Bassus is situated. The Curetes street starts downwards from the Temple of Memmius. The Gate of Heracles (Hercules) is placed on this avenue. After passing through this part, the fountain of Trajan built in the years 102-114 is seen on the right hand side and after this, the Temple of Hadrian appears in front of us, in all its splendid beauty (117-138 A.D). The Scholastica Baths, built in the 4th century A.D., are situated behind the Temple of Hadrian. The houses of the rich people of Ephesus which were in front of it, have been restored and opened for visits at present with special permits. -- At the corner formed by the Curetes street and the Marble Road, the House of Love (Pornaion or Brothel) is placed and the Library of Celsus, restored and reestablished in recent years, stands right in front of this. The library which had been built in the name of proconsul Gaius Celsus completed in the year 135 A.D. by his son Tiberius Giulius Aquila, is entered by way of a stairway, 21 meters (69 feet) in width and having 9 steps. The southeastern gate of the Trade Agora opens to the Library of Celsus. Emperor Augustus' slaves, Mazaeus and Mithridates, liberated by him had this gate built in the year 1st century A.D.; it comprises three sections and has been restored today. The Corinthian columns of the Stoa encircling the Trade Agora with the dimensions 110 x 110 meters (361 x 361 feet), are standing erect today. The Temple of Serapes built in the period of Antony (138-192 A.D.) is placed behind the Trade Agora. -- One of the magnificent buildings of Ephesus is the Great Theater, largest in Asia Minor, which had a capacity of more than 24.000 people and is in a rather well preserved condition. The construction had started during the Hellenistic period but it could only be completed during the time of Trajan (98-117 A.D.). St. Paul was dragged into this theater to face the crowed because of his famous letter to Ephesians, but rescued by the security corps of the city. Festivals are celebrated in this theater today. -- All the streets of Ephesus were illuminated at night with oil lamps, this shows us the richness of the city. The Port Avenue extends in front of the theater. The avenue is 11 meters (36 feet) wide and 600 meters (1970 feet) long, and it has been called Arcadian Street because it was renewed during the time of Arcadius. On the whole north side of the avenue, there are the Harbor Gymnasium, baths and the Theater Gymnasium. The avenue that passes along the front of the theater, extends towards the Stadium built during the Nero period (54-68 A.D.) and towards the Vedius Gymnasium. The Church of the Virgin Mary built at the beginning of the 4th century A.D. is situated behind the Port Gymnasium just before the exit from the lower gate (north gate). **This was also the meeting place of the 3rd Ecumenical Council [The Council of Ephesus may refer to: The First Council of Ephesus of 431 AD. The Second Council of Ephesus of 449 AD. The Third Council of Ephesus of 475 AD. - Wiki.com]. ... The House of Virgin Mary: On Bulbul Dag (Nightingale mountain) there is the House of the Virgin where it's believed that she passed last years of her life and passed away. She came to Ephesus together with St. John and taken up to Panaghia Kapulu mountain to survive the Roman persecutions. The House was destroyed by many earthquakes and not discovered until 1951 thanks to a German nun, Catherine Emmerich, who saw its location in her visions. The site is recognized as a shrine by Vatican and visited by the Popes. Today, the House of Virgin Mary is renovated by George Quatman Foundation from Ohio and serves as a small church which attracts many Christians as well as Muslims coming to pray for Her. The Mass is held here every Sunday. On the 15th August 2000 there was a great ceremony for the Assumption of the Virgin, the year which marked the two thousand years of the birth of Jesus. [link]

Basic Christian: blog Bible Study - Genesis - Revelation (PDF)

The complete Through the Bible blog Bible Study in PDF format. [link]

OrthodoxWiki.org: Timeline of Church History: Ante-Nicene Era 100 A.D. - 325 A.D.

The History of the Church is a vital part of the Orthodox Christian faith. Orthodox Christians are defined significantly by their continuity with all those who have gone before, those who first received and preached the truth of Jesus Christ to the world, those who helped to formulate the expression and worship of our faith, and those who continue to move forward in the unchanging yet ever-dynamic Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church. [link]

Wikipedia.org: Saint Publius 33 A.D. - 125 A.D. (Acts 28:7) -- Saint Publius [a Church Apostolic Father] is venerated as the first Bishop of Malta - Publius' conversion led to Malta being the first Christian nation in the West, and one of the first in the world - He was martyred in 125 A.D., during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian

It was the same Publius who received the Apostle Paul during his shipwreck on the island as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul cured Publius' dysentery-afflicted father. -- Book: by Rev. Alban Butler (1711-1773 A.D.). Volume I: January. "The Lives of the Saints" last published 1866. - St. Publius, Bishop and Martyr [died January 21, 125 A.D. in Athens, Greece] HE succeeded St. Dionysius the Areopagite in the see of Athens, as we are assured by St. Dionysius of Corinth, quoted by Eusebius. 1 He went to God by martyrdom, and Saint Quadratus was chosen third bishop of that city. See Le Quien, Or. Christ. t. 2. p. 169. Note 1. Euseb. l. 4. c. 23. [link]

Justin Martyr (100-167 A.D.), Philosopher, Apologist, and Martyr (1 June 167 A.D.) - Justin was born around 100 A.D. (both his birth and death dates are approximate) at Flavia Neapolis (ancient Shechem, modern Nablus) in Samaria (the middle portion of Israel, between Galilee and Judea) of pagan Greek parents - He was brought up with a good education in rhetoric, poetry, and history - He studied various schools of philosophy in Alexandria [Egypt] and Ephesus, joining himself first to Stoicism, then Pythagoreanism, then Platonism, looking for answers to his questions - While at Ephesus, he was impressed by the steadfastness of the Christian martyrs, and by the personality of an aged Christian man whom he met by chance while walking on the seashore - This man spoke to him about Jesus as the fulfilment of the promises made through the Jewish prophets - Justin was overwhelmed - "Straightway a flame was kindled in my soul" he writes, "and a love of the prophets and those who are friends of Christ possessed me" Justin became a Christian

Justin became a Christian, but he continued to wear the cloak that was the characteristic uniform of the professional teacher of philosophy. His position was that pagan philosophy, especially Platonism, is not simply wrong, but is a partial grasp of the truth, and serves as "a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." He engaged in debates and disputations with non-Christians of all varieties, pagans, Jews, and heretics. He opened a school of Christian philosophy and accepted students, first at Ephesus and then later at Rome. There he engaged the Cynic philosopher Crescens in debate, and soon after was arrested on the charge of practicing an anauthorized religion. (It is suggested that Crescens lost the debate and denounced Justin to the authorities out of spite.) He was tried before the Roman prefect Rusticus, refused to renounce Christianity, and was put to death by beheading along with six of his students, one of them a woman. A record of the trial, probably authentic, is preserved, known as The Acts of Justin the Martyr. ... Justin's works are found in the multi-volumed set called The Ante-nicene Fathers [Church leaders before the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.], and in various other collections of early Christian writings. [link]

Dionysius (about 120-200 A.D.) - Bishop of Corinth (about 165-195 A.D.) - Our father among the saints Dionysius of Corinth was the Bishop of Corinth during the last half of the second century - The dates of his tenure as Bishop of Corinth is not known, but part of it overlapped that of Soter of Rome (about 167 to 175 A.D.) - His feast day is April 8

Life: Little is known of the life of Dionysius, and what is known is from Eusebius Pamphilius and text fragments from his letters. It is clear Dionysius was held in high esteem as a writer of letters by the second century churches, not only from Eusebius' statement, but also from the fact that heretics thought it worthwhile to circulate interpolated and mutilated copies of his letters. That he wrote epistles to churches so widely scattered shows that he possessed a widely held reputation. Most of these letter are no longer extant. -- Dionysius can be dated to the second half of the second century from the dating of his letters to noted Christians of the time, such as to the Bishop of Rome Soter who served from about 167 to 175, a period of service overlapping that of Dionysius. -- Eusebius knew of a collection of seven Catholic Epistles by Dionysius, a letter to him from Bishop Pinytus of Knossus, a private letter of spiritual advice to a lady named Chrysophora, who had written to him, and his letter to Bp. Soter. In his letter to Bp. Soter, Dionysius lauds the practice of the Church of Rome for its practice of sending alms and gifts for the needy to churches in many cities. In a letter to Nicomedia, Bp. Dionysius praises the Nicomedians for their standing fast in the truth and condemnation of the heresy of Maricion of Sinope that was active in his day. The date and cause of Dionysius' death is unknown. He reposed [retired] before the year 199 A.D. While traditionally Dionysius has been held by some in the Eastern Church to be a martyr, there is no historical foundation for his martyrdom. [link]

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, France (120-203 A.D.) - As a boy he had, as he delighted to point out, listened to the sermons of the great bishop and martyr, Polycarp of Smyrna, who was regarded as a disciple of the Apostles [John and possibly Paul] themselves - Later he went as a missionary to southern Gaul [Europe], where he became a presbyter at Lyons, France - The era in which Irenaeus lived was a time of expansion and inner tensions in the church - In many cases Irenaeus acted as mediator between various contending factions - Irenaeus adopted a totally negative and unresponsive attitude, however, toward Marcion, a schismatic leader in Rome, and toward the Valentinians, a fashionable intellectual Gnostic movement in the rapidly expanding church that espoused dualism - Against such statements Irenaeus maintains that the bishops in different cities are known as far back as the Apostles and none of them was a Gnostic

Relatively little is known of the life of Irenaeus. As a boy he had, as he delighted to point out, listened to the sermons of the great bishop and martyr, Polycarp of Smyrna, who was regarded as a disciple of the apostles themselves. Here he came to know, 'the genuine unadulterated gospel', to which he remained faithful throughout his life. Perhaps he also accompanied Polycarp on his journey to Rome in connection with the controversy over the date of celebrating Easter (154 CE). Later he went as a missionary to southern Gaul, where he became a presbyter at Lyons. A Catholic Encyclopedia article is online at St. Irenaeus. Irenaeus was absent from the city when the persecution there reached its zenith. It seems that he had been sent to Rome by the Gallican churches in order to confer with Pope Eleutherus, perhaps as a mediator in the Montanist disputes. Evidently Irenaeus stayed in Rome for just a short time, and soon after the end of the persecution we find him again in Lyons as the successor to Bishop Pothinus (178). When and how he died is unknown to us. Jerome and others state that he died as a martyr in the persecution under the Emperor Septimus Severus (202), but there is no certainty about this tradition. In short, we know Irenaeus almost solely from his writings, and these have not been preserved in their entirety. ... The era in which Irenaeus lived was a time of expansion and inner tensions in the church. In many cases Irenaeus acted as mediator between various contending factions. The churches of Asia Minor (where he was probably born) continued to celebrate Easter on the same date (the 14th of Nisan) as the Jews celebrated Passover, whereas the Roman Church maintained that Easter should always be celebrated on a Sunday (the day of the Resurrection). Mediating between the parties, Irenaeus stated that differences in external factors, such as dates of festivals, need not be so serious as to destroy church unity. Irenaeus adopted a totally negative and unresponsive attitude, however, toward Marcion, a schismatic leader in Rome, and toward the Valentinians, a fashionable intellectual Gnostic movement in the rapidly expanding church that espoused dualism. Because Gnosticism was overcome by the Orthodox Church, Gnostic writings were largely obliterated. In reconstructing Gnostic doctrines, therefore, modern scholars relied to a great extent on the writings of Irenaeus, who summarized the Gnostic views before attacking them. After the discovery of the Gnostic library near Nag Hammadi in Egypt in the 1940s (see Robinson), respect for Irenaeus increased. He was proved to have been extremely precise in his report of the doctrines he rejected. The oldest lists of bishops also were countermeasures against the Gnostics, who said that they possessed a secret oral tradition from Jesus himself. Against such statements Irenaeus maintains that the bishops in different cities are known as far back as the Apostles - and none of them was a Gnostic - and that the bishops provided the only safe guide to the interpretation of the Scriptures. With these lists of bishops the later doctrine of "the apostolic succession" of the bishops could be linked. [link]

Hippolytus of Rome (170-235 A.D.) - Photios I of Constantinople describes him in his Bibliotheca (cod. 121) as a disciple of Irenaeus, who was said to be a disciple of Polycarp a disciple of the Apostle John

Hippolytus of Rome (170 - 235) was the most important 3rd-century theologian in the Christian Church in Rome, where he was probably born. Photios I of Constantinople describes him in his Bibliotheca (cod. 121) as a disciple of Irenaeus, who was said to be a disciple of Polycarp, and from the context of this passage it is supposed that he suggested that Hippolytus himself so styled himself. However, this assertion is doubtful. He came into conflict with the popes of his time and seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival bishop of Rome. For that reason he is sometimes considered the first Antipope. He opposed the Roman bishops who softened the penitential system to accommodate the large number of new pagan converts. However, he was very probably reconciled to the Church when he died as a martyr. He is the person usually understood to be meant by Saint Hippolytus. Starting in the 4th century, various legends arose about him, identifying him as a priest of the Novatianist Schism or as a soldier converted by Saint Laurence. He has also been confused with another martyr of the same name. [link]

Tertullian.org: The 'Noddy' guide to Tertullian - Tertullian lived in the ancient city of Carthage [North Africa] in what is now Tunisia, sometime around 200 A.D. - Tertullian was the first Christian writer to write in Latin - He was deeply conscious of his own failings, and had a burning desire for truth and integrity - His most important work is the Apologeticum, in defense of the Christians - Running it close must be Adversus Praxean, in which the doctrine of the Trinity comes into clear focus for the first time, in response to a heretic who was twisting the biblical balance between the persons of the Godhead - In this work, he created most of the terminology with which this doctrine was to be referred and is still, such as Trinitas (Trinity), etc. - Tertullian had grown angry at what looked like compromise creeping into the church - unwillingness to be martyred, willingness to forgive more serious public sins - and aligned himself with the Montanists - It is unclear whether this involved actually leaving the church - As such he was not recognised as a Saint, despite his orthodoxy, and his works were all marked as condemned in the 6th Century Decretum Gelasianum

Tertullian lived in the ancient city of Carthage in what is now Tunisia, sometime around 200 AD. Very little is known about his life - that little comes either from writers two centuries later, or from the scanty personal notes in his works. Much of it has been asserted to be untrue anyway by some modern writers. He was born a member of the educated classes, and clearly gained a good education. Life in his times wasn't very different in some ways to the modern day - he indulged his passions as he saw fit, including sex, and like everyone else attended the games where gladiators killed each other and criminals were eaten alive, for the enjoyment of the spectators. But among the sights he saw, was that of Christians being executed this way. He was struck with the courage with which stupid and contemptible slave men and little slave girls faced a hideous death, against all nature; and after investigating, became a Christian himself, and turned his budding talents to writing in defense of this despised and victimised group. Tertullian was the first Christian writer to write in Latin, and was described three centuries later as writing 'first, and best, and incomparably', of all the writers to do so. (by the unknown author of 'Praedestinatus'). His writing is aggressive, sarcastic and brilliant, and at points very funny even after 2000 years. He was deeply conscious of his own failings, and had a burning desire for truth and integrity. He was described by Jerome as celebrated in all the churches as a speaker; and his works bear the marks of the need to keep an audience awake! His erudition was immense. Much of what he read is lost, but what remains gives a picture of wide reading, which was celebrated even in antiquity. He wrote a great number of works - how many is unknown. Thirty-one are extant; lists of known lost works are elsewhere on this site; but we have no reason to suppose this to be anything like an exhaustive list. Most of those extant have come down to us by the slenderest of threads, and the very nature of Tertullian's terse and ironic style, means that copyists made many errors, and in some cases his text is beyond certain restoration. Not all of his works were ever completed. His most important work is the Apologeticum, in defense of the Christians. Running it close must be Adversus Praxean, in which the doctrine of the Trinity comes into clear focus for the first time, in response to a heretic who was twisting the biblical balance between the persons of the Godhead. In this work, he created most of the terminology with which this doctrine was to be referred (and is still), such as Trinitas, etc. His discussion of how heretical arguments are in general to be handled in De praescriptio haereticorum also deserves wider recognition. Tertullian wrote no systematic theology; all of his works are brought forth by a local event, a persecution, or a heretic. In his time, the church finally decided to reject a movement calling itself 'The New Prophecy', and known later as Montanism. The New Prophecy made no doctrinal innovations, but said that the Holy Spirit was calling Christians to a more ascetic position. But obeying the prophets inevitably meant a problem, if the bishop did not recognise their authority. Tertullian had grown angry at what looked like compromise creeping into the church - unwillingness to be martyred, willingness to forgive more serious public sins - and aligned himself with the Montanists [it was a prophetic movement that called for a reliance on the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit and a more conservative personal ethic. Parallels have been drawn between Montanism and modern day movements such as Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement - wiki.com]. It is unclear whether this involved actually leaving the church, but his later works are avowedly Montanist, and one or two explictly attack the mainstream church on these points. As such he was not recognised as a Saint, despite his orthodoxy, and his works were all marked as condemned in the 6th Century Decretum Gelasianum. His later life is unknown, and we do not know if he was martyred or died of old age as Jerome says. [link]

Clement of Alexandria (150-211 A.D.) - Clement of Alexandria was one of the major Greek-speaking thinkers of the early church - He came from a pagan background at Athens and his Christian theology was strongly influenced by Greek philosophy - Clement taught at the catechetical school in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was succeeded by another great teacher, Origen of Alexandria - Clement's best-known work is a set of three treatises entitled Protrepticus, Paedagogus, and Stromata - According to a tradition cited by Eusebius, St. Mark [writer of the Gospel of Mark] is the founder of the Church of Alexandria -- Between St. Mark and Bishop Demetrius, who governed that church in 221 A.D., Julius Africanus counts ten bishops - {The heretics} Valentine [the Valentinians], Carpocrates, and Basilides went out from Alexandria to establish their dissident sects, a circumstance which alone implies that, already in the middle of the second century (150 A.D.), the intellectual activity there was intense

Clement was born probably c. 150 A.D. of heathen parentage at Athens. The circumstances of his conversion are not known. It is supposed that he was troubled, like Justin, by the problem of God and, like him, was attracted to Christianity by the nobility and purity of the evangelical doctrines and morals. His conversion, if it had not yet taken place, was at least imminent when he undertook the journeys spoken of in his writings. He set out from Greece and travelled through southern Italy, Palestine, and finally Egypt, seeking everywhere the society of Christian teachers. -- Towards 180 A.D., he met Pantaenus at Alexandria, and took up his permanent residence in that city. There he was ordained a presbyter and, from being a disciple of Pantaenus, became, in 190, his associate and fellow-teacher. In 202 A.D. or 203 A.D., he was forced to suspend his lessons on account of the persecution of Septimius Severus, which closed the Christian school of Alexandria. He withdrew into Cappadocia, residing there with his former disciple, Bishop Alexander. We meet him again in 211 A.D., carrying to the Christians of Antioch a letter from Alexander, in which are mentioned the services he, Clement, had rendered in Cappadocia.-- In 215 A.D. or 216 A.D.the same Alexander, now bishop of Jerusalem, writes to Origen and speaks of Clement as having gone to his rest. Clement must therefore have died between 211 A.D. and 216 A.D. Ancient authors speak of him as St. Clement, but his name was not admitted to the Roman Martyrology by Benedict XIV. [link]

Origen Adamantius of Alexandria (184-254 A.D.) - Origen was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church - As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls - Today he is regarded as one of the Church Fathers

Origen was probably born in Alexandria, to Christian parents. Origen was educated by his father, St. Leonides, who gave him a standard Hellenistic education, but also had him study the Christian Scriptures. In 202, Origen's father was martyred in the outbreak of the persecution during the reign of Septimius Severus. A story reported by Eusebius has it that Origen wished to follow him in martyrdom, but was prevented only by his mother hiding his clothes. The death of Leonides left the family of nine impoverished when their property was confiscated. Origen, however, was taken under the protection of a woman of wealth and standing; but as her household already included a heretic named Paul, the strictly orthodox Origen seems to have remained with her only a short time. -- Eusebius of Caesarea, our chief witness to Origen's life, says that in 203 Origen revived the Catechetical School of Alexandria where Clement of Alexandria had once taught but had apparently been driven out during the persecution under Severus. Many modern scholars, however, doubt that Clement's school had been an official ecclesiastical institution as Origen's was and thus deny continuity between the two. But the persecution still raged, and the young teacher visited imprisoned Christians, attended the courts, and comforted the condemned, himself preserved from persecution because the persecution was probably limited only to converts to Christianity. His fame and the number of his pupils increased rapidly, so that Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria, made him restrict himself to instruction in Christian doctrine alone. -- His own interests became more and more centered in exegesis, and he accordingly studied Hebrew, though there is no certain knowledge concerning his instructor in that language. From about this period (212-213) dates Origen's acquaintance with Ambrose of Alexandria, whom he was instrumental in converting from Valentinianism to orthodoxy. Later (about 218 A.D.) Ambrose of Alexandria {not to be confused with Saint Ambrose (337 - 4 April 397 A.D.) Bishop of Milan}, a man of wealth, made a formal agreement with Origen to promulgate his writings, and all the subsequent works of Origen (except his sermons, which were not expressly prepared for publication) were dedicated to Ambrose. In 213 or 214, Origen visited Arabia at the request of the prefect, who wished to have an interview with him; and Origen accordingly spent a brief time in Petra, after which he returned to Alexandria. In the following year, a popular uprising at Alexandria caused Caracalla to let his soldiers plunder the city, shut the schools, and expel all foreigners. The latter measure caused Ambrose to take refuge in Caesarea, where he seems to have made his permanent home; and Origen left Egypt, apparently going with Ambrose to Caesarea, where he spent some time. Here, in conformity with local usage based on Jewish custom, Origen, though not ordained, preached and interpreted the Scriptures at the request of the bishops Alexander of Jerusalem and Theoctistus of Caesarea. When, however, the confusion in Alexandria subsided, Demetrius recalled Origen, probably in 216 A.D. -- Origen excelled in multiple branches of theological scholarship, including textual criticism, biblical interpretation, philosophical theology, preaching, and spirituality. Some of his teachings, however, quickly became controversial. Notably, he frequently referred to his hypothesis of the pre-existence of souls. As in the beginning all intelligent beings were united to God, Origen also held out the possibility, though he did not assert so definitively, that in the end all beings, perhaps even the arch-fiend Satan, would be reconciled to God in what is called the apokatastasis ("restitution"). Origen's views on the Trinity, in which he saw the Son of God as subordinate to God the Father, became controversial during the Arian controversy of the fourth century, though a subordinationist view was common among the ante-Nicene Fathers. A group who came to be known as Origenists, and who firmly believed in the preexistence of souls and the apokatastasis, were declared anathema in the 6th century. This condemnation is attributed to the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, though it does not appear in the council's official minutes. Few scholars today believe that Origen should be blamed, as he commonly was in the past, for tentatively putting forward hypotheses, later judged heretical, on certain philosophical problems during a time when Christian doctrine was somewhat unclear on said problems. [link]

Eusebius of Caesarea (263 - 339 A.D.) also called Eusebius Pamphili - a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist - He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine [Israel] about the year 314 A.D. - Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon

Eusebius of Caesarea (c. AD 263 - 339) also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about the year 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History" he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. ... Little is known about the life of Eusebius. His successor at the see of Caesarea, Acacius, wrote a Life of Eusebius, but this work has been lost. Eusebius' own surviving works probably only represent a small portion of his total output. Since he was on the losing side of the long 4th-century contest between the allies and enemies of Arianism (Eusebius was an early and vocal supporter of *Arius), posterity did not have much respect for Eusebius' person and was neglectful in the preservation of his writings. Beyond notices in his extant writings, the major sources are the 5th-century ecclesiastical historians Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, and the 4th-century Christian author Jerome. There are assorted notices of his activities in the writings of his contemporaries Athanasius, Arius (Arianism heresy), Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Alexander of Alexandria. Eusebius' pupil, Eusebius of Emesa, provides some incidental information. -- By the 3rd century, Caesarea had a population of about 100,000. It had been a pagan city since Pompey had given control of the city to the gentiles during his command of the eastern provinces in the 60s BC. The gentiles retained control of the city in the three centuries since that date, despite Jewish petitions for joint governorship. Gentile government was strengthened by the city's refoundation under Herod the Great (r. 37-4 BC), when it had taken on the name of Augustus Caesar. In addition to the gentile settlers, Caesarea had large Jewish and Samaritan minorities. Eusebius was probably born into the Christian contingent of the city. Caesarea's Christian community presumably had a history reaching back to apostolic times, but it is a common claim that no bishops are attested for the town before about AD 190, even though the Apostolic Constitutions 7.46 states that Zacchaeus was the first bishop. -- Through the activities of the theologian Origen (185/6-254) and the school of his follower Pamphilus (later 3rd century - 309 AD), Caesarea became a center of Christian learning. Origen was largely responsible for the collection of usage information regarding the texts which became the New Testament. The information used to create the late-fourth-century Easter Letter, which declared accepted Christian writings, was probably based on the Ecclesiastical History [HE] of Eusebius of Caesarea, wherein he uses the information passed on to him by Origen to create both his list at HE 3:25 and Origen's list at HE 6:25. Eusebius got his information about what texts were accepted by the third-century churches throughout the known world, a great deal of which Origen knew of firsthand from his extensive travels, from the library and writings of Origen. In fact, Origen would have possibly included in his list of "inspired writings" other texts which were kept out by the likes of Eusebius, including the Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, and 1 Clement. On his deathbed, Origen had made a bequest of his private library to the Christian community in the city. Together with the books of his patron Ambrosius, Origen's library (including the original manuscripts of his works formed the core of the collection that Pamphilus established. Pamphilus also managed a school that was similar to (or perhaps a re-establishment of) that of Origen. Pamphilus was compared to Demetrius of Phalerum and Pisistratus, for he had gathered Bibles "from all parts of the world". Like his model Origen, Pamphilus maintained close contact with his students. Eusebius, in his history of the persecutions, alludes to the fact that many of the Caesarean martyrs lived together, presumably under Pamphilus. [link]

Welcome! Greetings and Blessings to everyone! The Basic Christian: blog History Study - Christian Church History Study portion has begun and is well underway! - The Timeline of the study is now at the point where the last Apostle, the Beloved Disciple John, has passed away at about the year 100 A.D. near the town of Ephesus in Asia -- The Church History Study is now going to continue with the early Church History Era studying material and Church History from the close of the Apostolic Era in about 100 A.D. up until 312 A.D. and the takeover of the Christian Church by the Roman Government specifically by the tactics of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 313 A.D. with his governmental edicts and his personal preferences corrupting and even replacing the Teachings of Jesus Christ and the Doctrines of the Apostles by a secular (worldly) government beginning to directly dictate to and over the Christian Church

The foundation of the study has been laid and it consists of beginning in the Old Testament by showing the prophesies of the book of Malachi in about 400 B.C. and of the continued revelation of the coming Messiah Jesus Christ. Revealing that the much prophesied Messiah (Jesus Christ) and the existence of His Christian Church is exactly the foretold works, accomplishments, plans, directions and ownership of the Lord Jesus Christ. -- The foundation of the study begins with some Old Testament prophecies of the Coming Messiah Jesus Christ then enters the New Testament Gospels at the birth in the year 0 A.D. of the Messiah Jesus Christ then highlights the Sermon on the Mount in 31 A.D. given by Jesus to His Disciples, more teachings of Jesus, then His Mount Olivet Sermon given in 33 A.D. to a few of His Disciples, then following through Holy Week in 33 A.D. with the Triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, the rejection followed by His crucifixion and resurrection then 40 days later His bodily ascent back into Heaven. Then the empowering of the Christian Church by the Holy Spirit at the Day of Pentecost followed by the Church building Ministries and Missions of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, notably Peter, John and Paul, including the first Church Council the Council of Jerusalem in about 47 A.D. then concluding the introduction to the study with Jesus' promises of His Eternal Kingdom found at the Bible's conclusion at the end of the Book of Revelation. [link]

The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church closes in about the year 100 A.D. with the complete Bible Scriptures now written, confirmed and in the presence of a still young Christian Church. -- "Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once [completely] delivered unto the saints [Christians]."

With the close of the Apostolic Age [the actual original Disciples of Jesus Christ] four main things happened to the Christian Church. 1. The greater [catholic] Church had the Bible Epistles (letters) in their possession and with the teachings, doctrines, known customs of Jesus and the Apostles [i.e. love, grace, fellowship, teaching, baptism, communion, etc.], along with the scriptures of the Holy Bible and the presence and direction of the Holy Spirit the Christian Church grew exponentially even though several obstacles existed that opposed the Christian Church. 2. Physical opposition and persecution against the Christian Church continued to grow in intensity. 3. Spiritual opposition primarily in the form of Gnosticism along with attacks on the Bible's authenticity and canonicity also grew and intensified against the Christian Church. 4. With the original Apostles no longer alive and among the Christian Church then Social opposition; the subtle deceit, compromises, worldly gain, financial benefit and common deceptions of the world began to enter into and infiltrate the Christian Church in a much more unprecedented and less restricted way. [link]

Marcionism was an Early Christian dualist belief system that originated in the teachings of Marcion of Sinope at Rome around the year 144 A.D. -- Marcion believed Jesus Christ was the savior sent by God and Paul of Tarsus was his chief apostle, **but he rejected the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel (YHWH Elohim) - Marcionists believed that the wrathful Hebrew God was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving God of the New Testament - This belief was in some ways similar to Gnostic Christian theology; notably, both are dualistic -- Marcionite canon: Tertullian claimed Marcion was the first to separate the New Testament from the Old Testament - Marcion is said to have gathered scriptures from Jewish tradition, and juxtaposed these against the sayings and teachings of Jesus in a work entitled the Antithesis - Marcion produced the first Christian canon, or list of the books of the Bible that he considered authoritative - His list [11 books], however, was much smaller than that currently recognised [66 books] as valid by most Christians - Marcion omitted Paul's pastoral epistles, addressed to Timothy and Titus and he completely rejected the Old Testament, believing and teaching that it should not be part of the Christian Bible and was of no value to Christians (source: religionfacts.com) -- The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 characterized Marcion as "perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known." {Note: Marcion in 144 A.D. and later Muratorian's Cannon [a list from an unknown author - found in the library of Aurelius Ambrosius (St. Ambrose)] of about 155 A.D. were both attempting to hinder, limit and restrict the already general (catholic) canon of Scripture [66 books] that existed within the true Christian Church. -- Muratorian's discovered list is from a contemporary of Marcion and though the unknown author refutes Marcionism he goes on and attempts to hinder and restrict known standard Biblical texts while at the same time attempting to promote extra biblical materials that were known to be heretical at that time i.e. 'The Shepherd of Hermas' both Marcion and the unknown author of Muratorian's Cannon were in effect creating a two pronged assault against the known and trusted Scriptures of the Christian Church.}

Marcionism, similar to Gnosticism, depicted the Hebrew God of the Old Testament as a tyrant or demiurge (see also God as the Devil). Marcion was labeled as gnostic by Eusebius. **Marcion's canon consisted of [only] eleven [NT] books: A gospel consisting of ten sections from the Gospel of Luke edited by Marcion; and ten of Paul's epistles. All other epistles and gospels of the 27 book New Testament canon were rejected. Paul's epistles enjoy a prominent position in the Marcionite canon, since Paul is credited with correctly transmitting the universality of Jesus' message. Other authors' epistles [Notably: Peter, James, Jude, Matthew and John] were rejected since they seemed to suggest that Jesus had simply come to found a new sect within broader Judaism. Religious tribalism of this sort seemed to echo Yahwism, and was thus regarded as a corruption of the "Heavenly Father"'s teaching. ***Marcionism was denounced by its opponents as heresy, and written against, notably by Tertullian, in a five-book treatise Adversus Marcionem, written about 208 A.D. Marcion's writings are lost, though they were widely read and numerous manuscripts must have existed. Even so, many scholars (including Henry Wace) claim it is possible to reconstruct and deduce a large part of ancient Marcionism through what later critics, especially Tertullian, said concerning Marcion. [link]

The Muratorian Canon Fragment (about A.D. 155) - It is called a fragment because the beginning of it is missing - The Muratorian Fragment is [among] the oldest known list of New Testament books - the list itself is dated to about 170 A.D. because its author refers to the episcopate of Pius I of Rome (died 157 A.D.) as recent - The Apocalypse of Peter [2nd Peter] is mentioned as a book which "some of us will not allow to be read in church"

The Muratorian Fragment is the oldest known list of New Testament books. It was discovered by Ludovico Antonio Muratori in a manuscript in the Ambrosian Library in Milan, and published by him in 1740. It is called a fragment because the beginning of it is missing. Although the manuscript in which it appears was copied during the seventh century, the list itself is dated to about 170 because its author refers to the episcopate of Pius I of Rome (died 157) as recent. He mentions only two epistles of John, without describing them. The Apocalypse of Peter is mentioned as a book which "some of us will not allow to be read in church." A very helpful and detailed discussion of this document is to be found in Bruce Metzger's The Canon of the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), pp. 191-201. [link]

ReligionFacts.com: Marcion (110 A.D. - 160 A.D.) - Marcion of Sinope was an early Christian teacher whose teachings were condemned by the catholic Church as heresy

Life of Marcion: Marcion was a native of Sinope (modern Sinop, Turkey), in Pontus, Asia Minor. He was a wealthy shipowner. According to St Hippolytus, he was the son of a bishop who excommunicated him on grounds of immorality. He eventually found his way to Rome (140 A.D.) and became a major financial supporter [infiltrator] of the Church there. In the next few years after his arrival in Rome, he worked out his theological system and began to organize his followers into a separate community. He was excommunicated by the Church at Rome in 144 A.D. From then on, he apparently used Rome as a base of operations, devoting his gift for organization and considerable wealth to the propagation of his teachings and the establishment of compact communities throughout the Roman Empire, making converts of every age, rank and background. A story told by Tertullian and St Irenæus of Lyons says that Marcion attempted to use his money to influence the Church to endorse his teaching; they refused. His numerous critics throughout the Church include the aforementioned, along with St Justin Martyr, St Ephraim of Syria, Dionysius of Corinth, Theophilus of Antioch, Philip of Gortyna, St Hippolytus and Rhodo in Rome, Bardesanes at Edessa, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen. [link]

Wikipedia: Development of the New Testament canon - The Canon of the New Testament is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible - For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation - The books of the Canon of the New Testament were written mostly in the first century and finished by the year 150 AD. [actually about 100 A.D.]

Writings attributed to the Apostles circulated among the earliest Christian communities. The Pauline epistles were circulating, perhaps in collected forms, by the end of the 1st century A.D. - Justin Martyr (103 A.D - 165 A.D.) in the mid 2nd century, mentions "memoirs of the apostles" [New Testament] as being read on Sunday alongside the "writings of the prophets" [Old Testament]. A four gospel canon (the Tetramorph) was asserted by Irenaeus, c. 180 A.D., who refers to it directly. -- By the early 200s A.D., **Origen may have been using the same twenty-seven books as in the Catholic New Testament canon, though there were still disputes over the canonicity of the Letter to the Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, and Revelation, known as the Antilegomena. Likewise, the Muratorian fragment is evidence that, perhaps as early as 200 A.D., there existed a set of Christian writings somewhat similar to the twenty-seven-book NT canon, which included four gospels and argued against objections to them. Thus, while there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings are claimed to have been accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the 3rd century. -- In his Easter letter of 367 A.D., Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of the books that would become the twenty-seven-book NT canon, and he used the word "canonized" (kanonizomena) in regards to them. The first council that accepted the present canon of the New Testament may have been the Synod of Hippo Regius in North Africa (AD 393); the acts of this council, however, are lost. A brief summary of the acts was read at and accepted by the Councils of Carthage in 397 A.D. and 419 A.D. These councils were under the authority of St. Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed. Pope Damasus I's Council of Rome in 382 A.D., if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it, issued a biblical canon identical to that mentioned above, or, if not, the list is at least a 6th-century compilation. Likewise, Damasus' commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, c. 383 A.D., was instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West. In c. 405 A.D., Pope Innocent I sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse. Christian scholars assert that, when these bishops and councils spoke on the matter, however, they were not defining something new but instead "were ratifying what had already become the mind of the Church." -- For the Orthodox, the recognition of these writings as authoritative was formalized in the Second Council of Trullan of 692 A.D., although it was nearly universally accepted in the mid 300's A.D. The Canon of Scripture was the result of debate and research, reaching its final term for Catholics at the dogmatic definition of the Council of Trent when the Old Testament Canon was finalized in the Catholic Church as well. -- Thus, some claim that, from the 4th century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon (as it is today), and that, by the 5th century, the Eastern Church, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the canon. Nonetheless, full dogmatic articulations of the canon were not made until the Canon of Trent of 1546 A.D. for Roman Catholicism, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 A.D. for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 A.D. for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 A.D. for the Greek Orthodox. [link]

The Ten Major Persecutions of the Early Church 54 A.D. - 304 A.D.

1st Under Caesar Nero A.D. 54-68 {the last Caesar} The Apostle Paul was beheaded during this persecution. -- 2nd Under Emperor Domition A.D. 81- 96 The Apostle John was [said to have been] boiled in oil and survived through a miracle of God. Later he [John] was banished to [the island of] Patmos (Revelation 1:9). -- 3rd Under Emperor Trajan A.D. 98-117 Ignatius was martyred. -- 4th Under Emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus A.D. 138-180 Polycarp (a disciple of the Apostle John) of Smyrna was martyred (Saturday, February 23 in about either 156 A.D. or 166 A.D.). -- 5th Under Emperor Severus A.D. 193-211 Irenaeus (a disciple of Polycarp), Bishop of Lyons, was beheaded in 202 A.D. The two women Perpetua and Felicitas were martyred in the city of Carthage, North Africa in the year 203 A.D. -- 6th Under Emperor Maximus A.D. 235-238 In some provinces everything was done to exterminate all Christians. -- 7th Under Emperor Decius A.D. 249-251 This persecution was brought on because of Decius's hatred for his predecessor Emperor Phillip [from Syria - Reigned 244-249 A.D.] a Christian, and partly by his jealously concerning the amazing increase of Christianity. Heathen temples began to be forsaken, and the Christian churches grew. -- 8th Under Emperor Valerian A.D. 253-260 The martyrs that fell during this time period were innumerable and their tortures were various and painful. Neither rank, gender, nor age were regarded. The Edict of 257 A.D. and 258 A.D. ordered all Christian leaders to be put to death that did not take part in sacrificing to the gods. -- 9th Under Emperor Aurelian A.D. 274-287 He had the whole legion [of Christian soldiers] butchered by the other soldiers. This event took place on 09/22/286 A.D. -- 10th Under Emperor Diocletian A.D. 292-304 During this persecution, the emperor ordered 4 edicts against the Christians. [link]

Wikipedia: Nero - He is infamously known as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned" and as an early persecutor of Christians - The Great Fire of Rome erupted on the night of 18 July to 19 July 64 A.D. - It was said by Suetonius and Cassius Dio that Nero sang the "Sack of Ilium" in stage costume while the city burned

He is infamously known as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned", although this is now considered an inaccurate rumor, and as an early persecutor of Christians. He was known for having captured Christians burned in his garden at night for a source of light. This view is based on the writings of Tacitus, Suetonius, and Cassius Dio, the main surviving sources for Nero's reign. Few surviving sources paint Nero in a favorable light. Some sources, though, including some mentioned above, portray him as an emperor who was popular with the common Roman people, especially in the East. The study of Nero is problematic as some modern historians question the reliability of ancient sources when reporting on Nero's tyrannical acts. ... According to Tacitus, the population searched for a scapegoat [for the fire] and rumors held Nero responsible. To deflect blame, Nero targeted Christians. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned. [link]

SAINTS PERPETUA, FELICITAS, AND COMPANIONS - MARTYRS 203 A.D. - Feast Day: March 6 - The record of the Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is one of the great treasures of martyr literature, an authentic document preserved for us in the actual words of the martyrs and their friends - It was in the great African city of Carthage, in the year 203 A.D. during the persecutions ordered by the Emperor Severus, that five catechumens [undergoing catechism studies] were arrested for their faith - The group consisted of a slave Revocatus, his fellow slave Felicitas, who was expecting the birth of a child, two free men, Saturninus and Secundulus, and a matron of twenty-two, Vivia Perpetua, wife of a man in good position and mother of a small infant

Perpetua's father was a pagan, her mother and two brothers Christians, one of the brothers being a catechumen. These five prisoners were soon joined by one Saturus, who seems to have been their instructor in the faith and who now chose to share their punishment. At first they were all kept under strong guard in a private house. Perpetua wrote a vivid account of what happened. ... [link]

Wikipedia: Emperor Philip [the Arab] of Syria - Roman Emperor from 244 A.D. to 249 A.D. - Among early Christian writers Philip had the reputation of being sympathetic to the Christian faith - It was even claimed that he converted to Christianity, becoming the first Christian Emperor - Philip and his wife received letters from [Christian writer and theologian] Origen - Origen 184-253 A.D. was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian - Philip was overthrown and killed following a rebellion led by his successor [Emperor] Decius

Philip the Arab (Latin: Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus; c. 204 - 249), also known as Philip or Philippus Arabs, was Roman Emperor from 244 to 249 A.D. He came from Syria, and rose to become a major figure in the Roman Empire. He achieved power after the death of Gordian III, quickly negotiating peace with the Sassanid Empire. During his reign, Rome celebrated its millennium. Among early Christian writers Philip had the reputation of being sympathetic to the Christian faith. It was even claimed that he converted to Christianity, becoming the first Christian emperor, but this is disputed. He supposedly tried to celebrate Easter with Christians in Antioch, but the bishop Babylas made him stand with the penitents. Philip and his wife received letters from Origen. Philip was overthrown and killed following a rebellion led by his successor Decius. -- Religious beliefs: Some later traditions, first mentioned in the historian Eusebius [Eusebius of Caesarea (c. AD 263 - 339) also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian] in his Ecclesiastical History, held that Philip was the first Christian Roman Emperor. According to Eusebius (Ecc. Hist. VI.34), Philip was a Christian, but was not allowed to enter Easter vigil services until he confessed his sins and sat among the penitents, which he did so willingly. Later versions located this event in Antioch. However, [modern] historians generally identify the later Emperor Constantine, baptised on his deathbed, as the first Christian emperor, and generally describe Philip's adherence to Christianity as dubious, because non-Christian writers do not mention the fact, and because throughout his reign, Philip to all appearances (coinage, etc.) continued to follow the state religion. Critics ascribe Eusebius' claim as probably due to the tolerance Philip showed towards Christians. Saint Quirinus of Rome was, according to a legendary account, the son of Philip the Arab. [link]

Wikipedia: Council of Jerusalem, the 1st Church Council - The Council of Jerusalem is generally dated to around the year 49 A.D., roughly twenty years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth, which is dated about 33 A.D.

At the time, most followers of Jesus (which historians refer to as Jewish Christians) were Jewish by birth and even converts would have considered the early Christians as a part of Judaism. According to Alister McGrath, the Jewish Christians affirmed every aspect of then contemporary (Second Temple) Judaism with the addition of the belief that Jesus was the Messiah. Unless males were circumcised, they could not be God's People. Genesis 17:14 said "No uncircumcised man will be one of my people." The meeting was called because, according to the NRSV translation of Acts 15:1-2, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." However, this command is given considerably before Moses' time, stemming from the time of Abraham (see also Abrahamic covenant), but it is cited as 'the custom of Moses' because Moses is the traditional giver of the Law as a whole. And then the circumcision mandate was made more official and binding in the Mosaic Law Covenant. Jesus himself also says in John 7:22 that Moses gave the people circumcision. It was hard for Gentile Christians to keep up with all the laws listed in the Jewish Scriptures, which many Christians came to generally call the "Old Testament", a term linked with Supersessionism. [link]

Wikipedia: Ancient church councils (Pre-ecumenical) -- Pre-ecumenical councils (also known as synods) were conferences of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts of the early Christian Church that were convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice - They were held when Christianity was still illegal in the Roman Empire - Until the Edict of Milan, councils did not have a civil, legal status - They must be distinguished from [later] Ecumenical Councils which are seen as traditional and as a continuation of previous councils or synods

Such councils include the *Council of Jerusalem (50 AD) [Acts 15:6], the Council of Rome (155 AD), the Second Council of Rome (193 AD), the Council of Ephesus (193 AD), the Council of Carthage (251 AD), the Council of Iconium (258 AD), the *Council of Antioch (264 AD), the Councils of Arabia (246-247 AD), the Council of Elvira (306 AD), the Council of Carthage (311 AD), the Synod of Neo-Caesarea (314 AD), the Council of Ancyra (314 AD) and the Council of Arles (314 AD). -- and later the **Council in Nicaea, Bithynia (Turkey) in 325 A.D. [link]

Regarding our further blog studies - The First Three major Church Councils - Jerusalem in about 49 A.D. (Acts 15:6) attended by the Apostles and Supervised by James [a brother of Jude and half-brother to Jesus] - The Councils of Antioch [Christological (is Jesus really God) controversies] in 264-268 A.D. -- and later the Nicaea Council in Nicaea, Bithynia (Turkey) in 325 A.D. attended by the Church Bishops [Constantine had invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church, about 1000 from the Roman Eastern Empire and 800 from the Roman Western Empire - Wiki.com] *supervised (incognito) by Roman Emperor Constantine I aka Constantine the Great

The first Church Council in Jerusalem [about 49 A.D.] was to determine the important issue of allowing Gentiles access into the Jewish Christian Church (i.e. Genesis 12:3). The second Church Council the Councils of Antioch [in Turkey] where in regard to the important issue of letting Jesus have access back into His own Church (Revelation 3:20) [i.e. as the heritics, desert fathers (desert monasticism), etc. had attempted to remove Jesus from His Church -- Losing in the verdicts of the Councils at Antioch the heretics went out into the desert of Egypt and became the desert (monks) monastics]. The third Church Council Nicaea 325 A.D. was in regard to allowing the Roman Government access into and over the Christian Church (i.e. Romans 13:1). Constantine in a sense attempted to prevail for the Roman Government [in false doctrine] where the earlier heretic monks had failed to gain influence over the Christian Church at Antioch. Don't be misled the Arian heresy [Jesus as Son was not God] and the few other topics [The date of celebration of the Paschal (Passover)/Easter observation. The Meletian schism. The validity of baptism by heretics. The status of the lapse in the (Christian) persecution under co-Emperor Licinius. - Wiki.com] were not about a healthy Church and doctrine but were about setting a secular Roman Government up as arbitrator and mediator over the affairs of the Christian Church. When we study Church History much of the study is going to be in regards to the give and take between Church Authority (i.e. Bishop Ambrose 339-397 A.D.) and Government (State) Authority (i.e. King James I of England 1566-1625 A.D.) -- Note: the Nicaea Council is often considered the first Church Council because it was the first Church/State Council and because it was the biggest and most impacting of the time. [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Kingdoms study} Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog - I have been downright encouraged to note the response that has appeared to the amazing statements of James McDonald of "Vertical Church" wherein he basically throws Nicene orthodoxy under the proverbial bus - Now I know that "emergent" folks have an odd relationship with history---they love to drag stuff out of history, without its attendant context, as if it is "new" but when it comes to accepting that [we] stand on the shoulders of giants and that there are things that have simply been settled in the past, they rebel and want to put everything "back on the table" -- {Note: The Jerusalem Creed [1st Church Council about 49 A.D. in Jerusalem] has 4 Cornerstones the fourth one being not to offend traditional Jews. The Church Creeds [Jerusalem, Nicene, etc.] are important and relevant to all of Christianity. Since one of the Cornerstones of the 1st Church Council is to support Jews and Traditional Judaism it is an original and longstanding tenant that true Christianity acknowledges its debt and emergence from (God ordained) Mosaic Judaism. "Acts 1:20-21 [The Jerusalem Creed - 1st Church Council about 49 A.D. in Jerusalem] But that we [Apostles] write unto them [Gentile Christians], (1.) that they abstain from [occult] pollutions of idols, (2.) and from [immorality] fornication, (3.) and from things [cruelty] strangled, (4.) and from [Levitical] blood. **For Moses of old time hath [traditional Jews] in every city them that preach him (Moses), being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day."}

But even more importantly than the tweaking of Modalism so that it gets a place at the table is the attitude McDonald has displayed toward the Nicene definition. He says he does not trace his beliefs to creedal statements. Really? If by that he means creeds are always subject to the higher authority of Scripture, of course. But this is where you fall off the other side of the narrow path and rather than believing in sola scriptura, you end up with something much less, and in fact, much different. Nicea's authority comes from its fidelity to Scripture. It does not stand alone as a new revelation, and it survived simply because it is, despite all the arguments to the contrary, the consistent, harmonious testimony of divine writ. To throw its authority into the dustbin of history in the service of some kind of "emergent" attitude is not only to display an astoundingly arrogant hubris, it is to show deep disrespect to those who fought, and some who died, in defense of its truth. And for what? For some kind of post-modern feel-goodism that cannot even recognize modalism when it is standing right in front of you. A truly educational example of just how far the emergent movement is willing to go in pursuit of its ultimately destructive goals. -- Recently Jamin Hubner has raised issues relating to a simple question: is the modern secular state of Israel religiously and theologically significant? Is it "Israel" as in the Israel of Scripture, or Romans 11? And if it is not, is it open to criticism? He is concerned about the strength of the movement, mainly amongst American evangelicals, that has granted to Israel not only a theological position it does not actually hold, but which precludes even the slightest mention of criticism of a secular state. Now, I am not going to re-hash everything here, but he has even been accused of being a "shill for Hamas" due to sources he has cited and issues he has raised (which seems to me to provide strong evidence of the need to raise such issues and challenge the knee-jerk reactions of many in the Evangelical community as a whole). While he has sought fair and non-emotional responses to questions he has raised, his requests have, in the main, fallen upon deaf ears, for I see no evidence that his critics really want to have a give-and-take. [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Kingdoms study} Note: Regarding the previous "Decoding the Apostles" blog series that was recently partially posted at BasicChristian.org - One of the more interesting aspects of looking at the lives of the Apostles is just how much each of their individual lives changed - The change among each individual Apostle seems to have been huge as it encompassed their personalities, individual behavior and individual outlook on life - Therefore the majority of the Biblical writings of the Apostles is directed at a certain amount of expected godly behavior modification ... in the lives of each new Christian convert - But by the time the Christian Church matured into the later Church Councils the majority of the entire Church Council was no longer about individual Christian behavior modification but instead became vested, almost exclusively, in individual Christian though, knowledge and doctrine - Though now Pastor Rick Warren and many others are dramatically shifting the current Christian Church away from thought, creeds and doctrines and are again shifting the Christian Church back into the realm of behavior modification but disastrously it is not a return to the original behavior modification and godly accountability the Church Apostles sought for each Christian convert - It is instead a behavior modification that is directing each individual away from Christianity and back into the abyss of the world -- In the following six posts are several examples all from the last week or two of current Christian events

One of the more interesting aspects of looking at the lives of the Apostles is just how much each of their individual lives changed and it changed primarily from their outlook from being socially [worldly, societally] aware to becoming Kingdom aware and eternally aware in Jesus Christ. The change among each individual Apostle seems to have been huge as it encompassed their personalities, individual behavior and individual outlook on life and in fact the very meaning of life itself for each of them. Therefore the majority of the Biblical writings of the Apostles is directed at a certain amount of expected godly behavior modification, in a good way i.e. removing doubt, uncertainty and fear, in the lives of each new Christian convert. The first Church Council in Jerusalem offered four behavior modification agendas to the new Christians. - But by the time the Christian Church matured into the later Church Councils (i.e. Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.) the majority of the entire Church Council was no longer about individual Christian behavior modification but instead became vested, almost exclusively, in individual Christian though, knowledge and doctrine. This later Christian Pastoral emphasis on individual Christian thought (i.e. think as I do) has continued on until the present modern Church day. Though now Pastor Rick Warren and many others are dramatically shifting the current Christian Church away from thought, creeds and doctrines and are again shifting the Christian Church back into the realm of behavior modification but disastrously it is not a return to the original behavior modification and godly accountability the Church Apostles sought for each Christian convert it is instead a behavior modification that is directing each individual away from Christianity and back into the abyss of the world specifically the very spiritually dangerous occult and pagan world. [link]

Desert Fathers - The Desert Fathers were hermits, ascetics, monks, and nuns (Desert Mothers) who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt {in the area of Sinai Peninsula, Egypt - not the Mt. Sinai area of Saudi Arabia} beginning around the third century [200's] AD - The most well known was Anthony the Great, who moved to the desert in 270-271 A.D. and became known as both the father and founder of desert monasticism - By the time Anthony died in 356 A.D., thousands of monks and nuns had been drawn to living in the desert following Anthony's example his biographer, Athanasius of Alexandria, wrote that "the desert had become a city" [the mostly heretical community of pseudo-christians were moving away from the cities where they were being exposed as heretics to the desert much as a result of the Church Councils of Antioch in 264-268 A.D.]

Development of monastic communities: The small communities forming around the Desert Fathers were the beginning of Christian monasticism. Initially Anthony and others lived as hermits, sometimes forming groups of two or three. Small informal communities began developing, until the monk Pachomius, seeing the need for a more formal structure, established a monastery with rules and organization. His regulations included discipline, obedience, manual labor, silence, fasting, and long periods of prayer - some historians view the rules as being inspired by Pachomius' experiences as a soldier. -- The first fully organized monastery under Pachomius included men and women living in separate quarters, up to three in a room. They supported themselves by weaving cloth and baskets, along with other tasks. Each new monk or nun had a three year probationary period, concluding with admittance in full standing to the monastery. All property was held communally, meals were eaten together and in silence, twice a week they fasted, and they wore simple peasant clothing with a hood. Several times a day they came together for prayer and readings, and each person was expected to spend time alone meditating on the scriptures. Programs were created for educating those who came to the monastery unable to read. -- Pachomius also formalized the establishment of an abba (father) or amma (mother) in charge of the spiritual welfare of their monks and nuns, with the implication that those joining the monastery were also joining a new family. Members also formed smaller groups, with different tasks in the community and the responsibility of looking after each other's welfare. The new approach grew to the point that there were tens of thousands of monks and nuns in these organized communities within decades of Pachomius' death. One of the early pilgrims to the desert was Basil of Caesarea, who took the Rule of Pachomius into the eastern church. Basil expanded the idea of community by integrating the monks and nuns into the wider public community, with the monks and nuns under the authority of a bishop and serving the poor and needy. -- As more pilgrims began visiting the monks in the desert, the early literature coming from the monastic communities began spreading. Latin versions of the original Greek stories and sayings of the Desert Fathers, along with the earliest monastic rules coming out of the desert, guided the early monastic development in the Byzantine world and eventually in the western Christian world. The Rule of Saint Benedict was strongly influenced by the Desert Fathers, with Saint Benedict urging his monks to read the writings of John Cassian on the Desert Fathers. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers was also widely read in the early Benedictine monasteries. -- Withdrawal from society: The legalization of Christianity by the Roman Empire in 313 A.D. actually gave Anthony a greater resolve to go out into the desert. Anthony, who was nostalgic for the tradition of martyrdom, saw withdrawal and asceticism as an alternative. **When members of the {desert monastic} Church began finding ways to work with the Roman state, {a few of} the Desert Fathers saw that as a compromise between "the things of God and the things of Caesar." **The monastic communities were essentially **an alternate [heretical] Christian society. The {few early} hermits doubted that religion and politics could ever produce a truly Christian society. For them, the only Christian society was spiritual and not mundane. -- {Note: Where the early (heretics) Desert Monks failed to influence the early Christian Church via their false doctrine the Roman Government via Constantine would succeed in exerting a secular influence over the Christian Church. Then with a Roman secular influence over the Christian Church [starting from about 313 A.D - 325 A.D. the Desert Heretics were then able to leave behind the desert and [under the guise of the 313 A.D. edict of religious tolerance] once again entered the cities to work as scholars, faculty, administrators, and priests for avenues to continue to influence the true Christian Church with their destructive and very unchristian heresies.} [link]

{Basic Christian: The 8 Kingdoms study} Pietism Timeline - "Hebrews 10:18-25 Now where remission (forgiveness) of these (sins) is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, **boldness to enter into the Holiest [presence of God] by the blood of Jesus, By a new [the New Testament] and living way, which He (Jesus) hath consecrated for us, through the veil [closed partition], that is to say, His flesh [physical appearance]; And having [Jesus] an High Priest [in the order of Melchizedek] over the House of God; **Let us draw near with a true heart **in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water [credo-baptism]. Let us hold fast the profession of our [Christian] faith without wavering; for He (Jesus) is faithful that promised; And let us consider one another to provoke [encourage] unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day [2nd Coming] approaching."

Pietism Timeline: The Cross and Resurrection birth of Christianity (about 33 A.D.) - 1st Church Council [Acts 15:2] in Jerusalem (about 47 A.D.) regarding Gentile Christian piety [holiness] - *Until about 313 A.D. the N.T. Epistles (Scriptures) and the O.T of the Holy Bible were being translated from the Greek and Hebrew into the common languages of the day i.e. Syrian, Egyptian, Arabic, etc. - Following the 313 A.D. Edict of Milan by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great which proclaimed religious tolerance the Bible in any language other than Roman [Latin] was not tolerated and all other versions of the Bible were deemed illegal by Rome. Latin was the only Bible Translation until the era of the Protestant Reformation Bible translators [John Wycliffe 1328-1384, Desiderius Erasmus 1466-1536, William Tyndale 1492-1536, Martin Luther 1483-1546, etc.] resulting in 1611 with the English language King James Bible [KJV 1611]. With the English Bible in the possession of the common person in England and accompanying Bibles [i.e. German, Dutch, French, etc.] in the possession of other common European citizens the people began to read the Bible and understand that Salvation [eternal life] in Jesus Christ is a free gift from God and is not to be confused with the works, tithes, customs, statutes and traditions of ordinary men and women. Then in about the mid 1650's to the late 1880's as the common person reading the Bible began to realize the assured nature of their own individual Salvation in Jesus Christ the Piety movement began as an answer of how then do we with eternal Salvation live and conduct our life here on earth. {Note: The modern (intentionally confused - not by Roman Catholicism but by occultists) bible versions [i.e. NIV, NKJV, NET, NASB, Message, etc.] are in a sense a return to the Latin Bible where the only Bible translations of the time were in a version that could not be easily understood by the average citizen.} [link]

{Conclusion} Early Christianity: A Brief Overview of the (before 325 A.D.) Ante-Nicene Era - The Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 is a natural time to end "early Christianity" the post-Apostolic period (100 AD. - 325 AD) - Almost every history book will refer to the period from A.D. 100, which is about the time of John the Apostle's death, to A.D. 325 as the "Pre-Nicene" or "Ante-Nicene" era -- Nicea (325 AD) serves as a [Church History] dividing line because the [occult leader] Emperor Constantine, though never becoming a Christian until his deathbed, greatly [pretended to] favor Christianity during his reign - As a result, the number of Christians increased from about 10% of the Roman Empire to about 90% - *Most of these converts were simply following the emperor, not submitting themselves to Jesus - The effect on early Christianity [after 325 A.D.] was dramatic {Note: the New Testament era is 0 A.D. to 33 A.D. -- The Apostolic era is 33 A.D. to 100 A.D. -- The Ante-Nicene era is 100 A.D. to 325 A.D. -- The Emergent Holy Roman Empire era is 313 A.D. to about 1521 A.D. -- The Protestant Reformation era is about 1522 A.D. to 1880 A.D. and the current epoch of time is the Modern Emergent return to occult/paganism era of 1881 A.D. to the Present Time (2012)}

Unity and Apostolic Truth in the Early Christianity: If I have to pick the outstanding feature of this era, then I choose the independence of the churches. People like to say that a hierarchy began to form before Nicea. It began in the 3rd century, but not in the 2nd. The ante-Nicene churches were simple and free. They found their unity in wholehearted devotion to Christ, not in a systematic theology or set of doctrines. ... Holiness in the Early Churches: The other notable thing about this era was the holiness of the early churches. Christians were still subject to intermittent persecution in the early Christianity. As a result, those who chose to follow Christ were those willing to commit everything to the kingdom of God. It could cost them their lives! Holiness and perseverance lessened as the 3rd century wore on; however, the remarkable lives of Christians during the 2nd century-their deep love for one another and their endurance during persecution-were powerful testimonies to the Romans around them. -- By the 3rd century, Christianity was becoming popular: The result was that there were Christians who were not so separated from the world as others before them. Tracts can be found calling Christians to separate from Roman entertainment and other worldly pursuits. ... Evangelism in Early Christianity: It is worth noting that unlike the apostolic era, Ante-Nicene Christianity had no famous evangelists or apostles. When Justin Martyr describes those converted to Christianity in the mid-2nd century, he says it was caused by: • The consistency they witnessed in their neighbors' lives, • the extraordinary forbearance they saw in fellow travelers when defrauded, • and the honesty of those with whom they conducted business. (First Apology 16) [link]

Resources

*** Basic Christian 2011 Extended Version - News-Info Feed (RSS)

The 2011 Extended Basic Christian info-news feed - a longer list of past Info and RSS postings. [link]

Basic Christian Wiki: The Basic Christian Wiki 'Common Christian Faith' (CCF)

Preview: The Basic Christian Wiki 'Common Christian Faith' wiki website. [link]

Basic Christian: Select Internet Mp3s - The Christmas 2011 Download and Share Project - FREE Downloads (Mp3s)

The Basic Christian list of select Mp3 downloads from various internet websites. -- Selected as a part of the original 2003 Tract-CD Project the Basic Christian Ministry was asked to share two PDF resources [Basic Christian: Theology, Biblical Proof Jesus is God] with the Tract-CD project and in return a CD of Mp3's was mailed to the Ministry. -- These are some of those original Mp3s plus many more new mp3s have been added for download. [link]

Mp3 Links (Part 2) - The Christmas 2011 Download and Share Project - FREE Downloads (Mp3s)

Basic Christian: Links to Free Mp3s. [link]

Update: 12-06-2011 - Back home for a few days but the blog postings won't resume until January - Have a Blessed Christmas Holiday Season in Jesus Christ! ~ God bless everyone, David Anson Brown

The current Christmas blog postings are intended to be the only postings until after the end of the year. It seems important to be really focused on Jesus Christ during this 2011 Christmas Season so there won't be any other postings, posts that could get us off topic and get in the way of our Christian Worship of Jesus Christ during the Christmas Holiday Season. -- Currently I'm working on a few projects, mostly regarding the coming Church History blog Study and getting ready to resume the blog postings in January. I'll be out of town again during the Holidays so the blog will be on a break until January. [link]

Coming Soon: blog History Study - Church History (RSS)

A.D. 0 - 100 A.D., A.D. 100 - 200 A.D., A.D. 200 - 300 A.D., A.D. 300 - 400 A.D., etc. [link]

Church History - This study is crucial for understanding what God is doing in our day - A Church Lecture Series - 13 Lectures {This is an excellent intro into Church history. It is very informative, there are a few misquotes though so some fact checking, as always, is in order.} (Free Mp3's)

"Someone once noted that history was 'simply one thing after another.' However, for the Christian history represents an amazing story of the redemption of mankind in which our sovereign Lord is seen to be advancing His purposes towards His pre-ordained and pre-determined end. For the modern day believer, this study is crucial for understanding what God is doing in our day." [link]

Church History - 35 messages on church history by Pastor Phillips - Pastor Phillips takes us on a tour of some of the early Christians after the death of the Apostle Paul (Free Mp3's - Note: Church History **John Bunyan 1628 - Save the "Play!" Version, open it in a player and save it that way - the Mp3 download version has an Error.)

"WOW - what a great series!!" A couple years ago I followed the journey of the early church by a comprehensive study of the Acts of the Apostles, etc., and have wanted to fill in the gap of church history from that time to present, but don't have much time to read. I like to listen to sermons on the treadmill and in the tractor, so I searched for a series on church history. I found the first 3 and did extra time on the treadmill today so I could keep listening! Pastor Phillips has a way of telling the facts in a very interesting way and then finishes with application and lessons for today. After the 3rd sermon (on Augustine) I really wanted to hear more so I searched again. I was THRILLED to find 39 messages on church history by Pastor Phillips!! I plan to download all of them since spring seeding is coming up and I will be spending many hours in the tractor, and now I am looking forward to that! In the meantime, I'll keep at the treadmill. Thanks for posting all those great sermons! [link]

The blog Bible Study has concluded the Bible study portion! - Sometime after Holy Week and Resurrection Day (Easter) the study will continue with some ancient history and Church history segments - Thanks to everyone for your participation and especially for your prayers!

The blog Bible Study concluded fairly quickly - I had looked at the website visitor logs a couple of weeks ago and saw that people were scattered all throughout the study though primarily in the New Testament while the study was blogging O.T. studies at the time and that's a good thing because the material is designed to be a self-help service but with people so scattered [though many people were current] I decided to move along and if at all possible conclude the study and the study has been concluded. The material is now available as a complete resource for the convenience of anyone who wants to use it. The study really turned into an amazing, fascinating study! I learned a lot during the study and I mostly learned that I need to spend more time reading the Bible and being in prayer, and in fellowship and just in general being in a Christian life. We serve a Great God!!! Thanks to everyone especially for your prayers - the study truly encountered the heights of Heaven and the depths of other things unmentionable and through it all it was the prayers of the Saints in fellowship that gave us a tremendous victory! After Holy Week we will continue with the history portion of the study but in the time before Holy Week it seems like a good opportunity to look at some areas and aspects of the events of Holy Week as we prepare ourselves for Holy Week 2010. Then after Holy Week and some history segments the blog will continue with some basic Topical Bible studies and devotions. -- God bless everyone! ~ David Anson Brown [link]

David Anson Brown 16:20, 19 August 2012 (MST)