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EXTANT DOCUMENT. OF FULFILLED PROPHECY

                                            “CHURCH HISTORY”

 
               History is a record of past events. History of past events are usually preserved in the form of letters, notes and books, which are preserved in Libraries, and Archives of the World. The Above title “History” will reveal many of the records of the past. And to this end I dedicate this title “History of the Lord’s Church”. And it’s Persecution. Its beginning will be seen from (Acts 8:1-8). A Summary Follows.                                                                          

                                           CHAPTER  1

“Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so”. Acts 17:11.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF THE LORD”S CHURCH FROM A.D. 33—2011 AND THE PERSECUTION THROUGH OUT THE AGES, UNTIL THIS DATE.                                        

          The Apostles had labored and died in spreading the gospel Throughout Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, and even farther west, the gospel had been preached and Christian Churches established. These Assemblies were known in ancient times as the Churches of Christ, Romans 16:16. After the Apostles death Christianity had now to make its way without apostolic aid, in the face of obstacles that to human apprehension must have seemed well nigh insuperable. Based upon historical facts the obstacles facing Christianity begins in a very small way. Some scholars do not recognize that with the appointment of Tiberius to the principate actually began the Julio-Claudian dynasty. When Tiberius reached the throne in 14 A. D. he was already fifty five; but to really know him and his blood line we perhaps may learn and understand when we remember that Tiberius was a Claudian; with him began the Claudian branch of that Julio-Claudian dynasty which ended with Nero. Through both parents he inherited the proudest blood in Italy. (Will Durant. Caesar and Christ. P 159. Simon and Schuster. NY).

          Now we must look at the next person within the Claudian dynasty. Thus we pass over the mad man Caligula Gaius, 37 to 41 A. D. and see Claudius obtaining permission from the Senate to marry Agrippina, the ex wife of Caligula who was a rich woman of Rome. The Senate approved of the marriage; she was thirty-two, while Claudius was fifty-seven. Soon Agrippina persuaded Claudius to adopt her son Nero, and to give his thirteen-year-old daughter to her son Nero who was sixteen in marriage. (Will Durant. Caesar and Christ. P 273. Simon and Shuster New York). (The outline of History. By H. G. Wells: From Tiberius Gracchus to the God Emperor in Rome, PP 505-535, Vol. 2, P. F. Collier & Sons. N. Y.) These obstacles will not overcome Christ and His Church.

1.   We shall see that Christians were everywhere persecuted, but that persecution, for the most part tended to spread, rather than suppress the truth.

2.   We shall see that Christianity entered upon its career almost void of literary and philosophical culture social standing, and that at the close of this period it had drawn to itself the culture of the age and had gained the homage of Kings.

3.   We shall see that this accession of culture had its disadvantages as well as advantages; for along with culture came philosophical error and imitations of pagan ceremonial observances. 

4.   Through the study of ancient history both religious and secular. We shall see that as soon as Christianity came to be forwarded by any other than legitimate means, as soon as increase of power and respectability was set up as an object of endeavor, a door was thrown open for the entrance of all sorts of abuses, and corruption by the Church leaders, and those who opposed Christianity.

5.   In general we may characterize the present period as the period of gradual growth and the gradual corruption of Christianity until it became strong enough on the one hand to make its adoption by the empire of Rome a matter of policy, and corrupt enough on the other hand to rejoice in such adoption.

6.   Christianity in its beginning was a “religio illicta” It was a religion that the empire of Rome had not authorized. It was the policy of the Roman Empire to tolerate the religions of conquered people, so long as they would not attempt to proselyte. Judaism was a “religo licta”. Christianity, so far as it was distinguished from Judaism, it was reckoned among secret societies, which were against the Roman law.      

7.   Gaius, book 3, chap. 4. 1; says “Neither a society nor college, nor body of this kind, is conceded to all, Promiscuously; for this thing is coerced (regulated) by laws or codes of the Senate and imperial (or princely) constitutions. The essentially proselyting spirit of Christianity was an additional cause of its unlawfulness”.  Christianity was a religion, which aspired to universality. Christ’s Kingdom was to be set up throughout the whole earth. With the Romans it seems as if they were interested in only what would benefit Rome. Religion was to be promoted only in so far as it served the interest of the State. But the Christian Churches had no sympathy with this idea therefore; their enemies lost no opportunity to represent Christian Churches as dangerous to the State. This brought upon the Christian Churches the enmity of rulers.

8.   During the period of the A. D. Sixties Christianity was a religion hated by the influential classes. The withdrawal of Christians from social intercourse with the Pagans, rendered necessary by the idolatrous practices connected with every department of life, caused the Christians to be looked upon as enemies of the human race. Something that will be said here and later in this study. At this time in the Roman world only the pagan religions existed; it will be more than 300 years before the corrupted Empire moves to consolidate the Churches of Christ through conspiracy between leaders of the Churches and the Roman Empire. This practice of personal gain has existed even to this date, as we will study.  

9.   The primitive Christians were essentially missionary. Each believer regarded it as incumbent on himself personally to propagate the faith that had saved him. Christianity worked. Privately, among friends and relations, by whom, however they were often cast off as a result of their becoming Christians. ( Acts 8: 1-7).  After the time of Paul, most of the spreading of the gospel was effected, not by missionary Efforts, but by the moving hither to thither, throughout the Empire. A great change had come to the Roman Empire. The burning enthusiasm of the early Christians was contagious. God had set His King over the land, and no one could stay His hand. No more would one nation rule the known world When Daniel saw four world Empires come and go, and when the eleventh horn of Daniel served God’s plan, that was the end of Empire rule. The Roman Empire were split asunder, soon there were nothing to rule except a city.

10.         Christianity had won by the time of the Emperor Hadrian, Christianity had attained to considerable importance, and Systematic efforts for the securing of its rights began to be made. It came to be felt that patients, and Endurance might be carried to an extreme, that it was better to live and labor than to suffer Martyrdom. The apologists, who suffered at this time under Hadrian, were Quadratus; Aristides; Justin; Tatian; Athenagoras; Theophilus; Hermias and Melito. The English translations of these Apologists are found in the “Ante-Nicene Fathers. ---I pray now that you the reader will allow me the time to quote what the above men has said in regards to the Church they suffered for (Jem). “They seek to show that Christianity is the oldest religion in the World, and not, as their enemies maintained, a thing of recent origin. Justin, e. g., maintains that Moses wrote the Pentateuch long before the Trojan War, and hence farther back than the Greeks could trace their history. Christianity is simply a fulfillment of the prophecies and types of the Old Testament. It maintains that all that is pure and noble in Greek literature was stolen from the Old Testament; that Socrates and Plato, e. g., derived their ideas of God from Moses. The Sibyl is quoted as prophecy. These Apologists stake everything on the Old Testament. Christ came to fulfill Old Testament prophecy, and to impress Old Testament teachings of prophecy on the minds of men. The main evidence for Christianity, and the Church is prophecy. Miracles might be wrought by demons, but a prediction can come from God alone”. 

(“Justin, and Aristides, the Ant-Nicene fathers, English Edition by Harris and Robinson 1891, edition. Vol. 9., P. 257” New York)  (Eusebius Ecclesiastical History) (Prophecy-By N. Nisbett, M. A. 1787. PP. 4--41. J. Dodsley, Canterbury London, England).

         Not only does the above Apologist confirm their belief in fulfilled prophecy; but also in Christianity and the Church, which teaches this Christianity. The fulfillment of (Matthew 16:15-18), “I will build my Church”, the thought is that Christ would have an Assembly named after Him, as Zion was named after the Father in the old Testament, Zion at the time represented O. T. Religion, (Isa. 2:1-3), Christ would bring about the changing of Covenants, and become Chief. (Heb. 8:13, Gen.49: 10), (Zion. The modern Church of Christ. Britannica World Language Dictionary. P 1520). Thus when Christ said that He would build His Church; He left no room for that one Church to “SPROUT”, other unauthorized branches.  A sprout which comes up from below the graft on a fruit tree will not produce fruit as the original tree, it will produce unfit fruit. This Church is protected throughout the ages of earth; this Church is the tree of life, Gen.3:22-24. Adam and Eve, our first parents were cast out of paradise where the Tree of life originated; because they tried to defy God’s instructions by rebelling against God’s command. God Himself protected the Tree of life for His Son Jesus Christ, Rev. 22:2, Thus the Tree of life is still protected today, its fruit is the same, requirements to eat the fruit remains the same, Acts 4:11-12.      
          This statement does not say that other Churches of Christ would not be established; but states clearly that only the Gospel of Christ can establish the Church by Doctrine and Name. Dear reader you can argue that one Church is as good as another; but you cannot show Scripture for denominational names, or practice. Does It seem, to be a difference between the Churches in the third century, and now? Well there is but little. Many of the early Churches were filled with Paganism, the CHANGE party. Today the Churches are filled with, Paganism, Humanism, Change Party. Compare the TEACHING today with the Holy Word of God, What do you see? Even the Denominational world shows the pangs of weakness, and change, where the preacher demands to RULE over the Church, WEAKNESS in leadership will allow preacher RULE. Is this Scriptural? You make the decision.

Since we have talked about Christianity, and the Church of Christ, and have shown what some of the Apologist have said in reference to Church and Christianity, as well as Fulfilled prophecy, we need to look at some things that Wycliffe wrote about before his death in 1384. Wycliffe had served time in the Roman Catholic Church, and much of this time was spent in announcing the corruption within the Roman Catholic Church. Wycliffe was high in the clergy of the church; but his rejection of their corruption, and false teaching, in 1381 when he began to impugn the doctrine of transubstantiation. The Chancellor of the university at once condemned Wycliffe and his views as heretical, Wycliffe was now obliged to leave Oxford, and to withdraw to Lutterworth, the rest of his life he spent in writing and preaching. Following is some of the things Wycliffe wrote about after leaving the Roman Catholic Church. (Jem).

“Wycliffe’s Reformatory plan, like his predecessors, was, at first, a thorough churchman. He had strong convictions with regard to the unity of the church. As a Realist he looked upon schism as the greatest of evils. As the Church is one, so it ought to have a single head. Yet he was led little by little to assume positions decidedly at variance with the hierarchical church. We can trace three stages in his attitude toward the papacy. Previous to the time of the papal schism in 1378 he recognized to some extent the pope’s authority as the head of the church, while rejecting boldly his usurpations. Even before the schism he declared that “they blaspheme who extol the pope above all that is called God”. The papal schism made upon Wycliffe a deep impression, and from this time forth he declared that it would be better for the CHURCH OF CHRIST if both popes were deposed. During Wycliffe’s controversy on the Lord’s Supper, he was led by the opposition, that he met to pronounce the pope to be Antichrist, and to see in the papacy the fulfillment of the Apocalyptic prophecies with regard to Antichrist. He now declared that only two orders of ministry were established by Christ---Presbyters and Deacons—and the introduction of others orders was the result of the secularization of the Church. Although Wycliffe was, in the first instance, moved to oppose the papacy by political considerations, there is no reason to doubt but that he was actuated at the same time by religious motives. Certain it is, that from the time of his entrance upon public life, his zeal for the purity of the CHURCH OF CHRIST and for the instruction of the people in the way of salvation, knew no bounds, and he would have been ready to die for his principles”. 

 LITERATURE—(Wycliff Society of London England).  (Wycliffe place in history by Trevelyan).  (England in the time of Wycliffe, by Green).  (Manual of Church History. By Albert Henry Newman, D. D. LL. D. The American Baptist publication Society Philadelphia, PA). (The New Schaff—Herzog, Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge—Volume 12, Pages 454—466. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan). (See, W.W. Shirley, Catalog of the original works of John Wycliffe for survey of Wycliffe’s works London, England).

(The Church, The Falling Away, and the Restoration. By J. W. Shepherd. PP. 74-78. Gospel Advocate Company. Nashville, TN). (Fox’s Book of Martyrs. A History of the lives, sufferings and Triumphant Deaths of the Early Christians and the Protestant Martyrs. Wycliffe. PP. 135-139. Zondervan Publishing House. Grand Rapids, Michigan). (HISTORY of the CHURCH OF CHRIST, By J. and I, Miline. Vol. 4, London England 1847).

         In Regards to the Study of The Church History, the first Church for nigh 500 years is the Christian Church, or Church of Christ. (Well how do we know that?). First, there were no other Church for Rome to persecute. No other Church existed, the known world was engaged in Paganism. Second, read early Church  History. I have no idea of writing a book on Church History; rather to give an understandable Brief study. Therefore, on page 1, I make it known that this study will begin in A. D. 33, until present. However I have intentionally set forth a brief study regarding John Wycliffe, and his life in the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, Wycliffe was an active part of the Roman Hierarchy, which brought about the falling away, and the continued Apostasy, which began with Nero, “The man of sin”, in 64 A. D, This Apostasy begins in the Church of Christ; simply by HERETIC people coming into the Church for the purpose of changing the Gospel of Christ---TO ANOTHER gospel. An example of this is shown in (Gal. 1:6-9) such events as this brought forth, and fulfilled the foretelling of the Apostasy in (1 Thess. 2:1-12). While this is true, it is also true that Wycliffe becomes an outstanding figure in the Apostasy during the thirteen hundreds. In as much as he prefigured the HIERARCHY of Rome. YET, as he learned the TRUTH of the GOSPEL of Christ, he began to learn that his activities and teachings were not in keeping with the ORIGINAL GOSPEL.

           Therefore, through the sincere study of Ancient Manuscripts, he changed his life, and began to teach and preach against the HIERARCHY of Roman rule. He restored the ORIGINAL DOCTRINE OF THE  CHURCH OF CHRIST. And some of his last words were that he would DIE for these PRINCIPLES. NOTICE, especially in the Article regarding the Church, at this time in history there were two POPES. Wycliffe states “It would be better for the Church of Christ if both POPES were deposed! Do you think he knew the difference between the original Church of Christ, and the Church of Rome? ----Dear reader do you know the difference? Do you know when the Roman church began? If not you have a pressing need to study Church history. But more so the Holy Scriptures given by the Holy Spirit. Do you know when the ORIGINAL CHURCH of CHRIST began? (Jem) 

         The first CHURCH of CHRIST began in Jerusalem in 33 A. D. Turn in your Bible to the book of (Acts Chapter 2) NOTICE, VERSE 4. The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles UTTERANCES to speak. When it came Peter’s time to preach he preached to the Jews, and accused them of crucifying Jesus Christ, he preached the Gospel of Christ to them. NOT THE GOSPEL OF MARY! Nor unauthorized branches as is seen in Gal. 1:6-9. Read the chapter CAREFULLY, and notice that no Roman HIERARCHY was given credit for salvation. On this day the CHURCH of CHRIST was established. Here is the answer to the question I asked you on page 3. So then, can you see why I inserted the study of Wycliffe? TO CATCH YOUR ATTENTION both sides of the Church is shown by the Study of Wycliffe. Rome used the early Church as a POLITICAL force in order to sustain the Roman HIERARCHY. Wycliffe came out of that, and restored the Original Doctrine OF CHRIST in England. The dominant force during these years were the Roman HIERARCHY. YES, the CHURCH OF CHRIST was present over the face of the earth; but truly the Roman HIERARCHY was the ruling force. From the work of Wycliffe came the RESTORATION MOVEMENT. In the 16th century. Again the men of the restoration movement used the Church of our Lord to PATENT their own interpretation of the Gospel of Christ! Thus begin another FALLING AWAY from the TRUTH. The men in this movement all came out with a different GOSPEL  BEGINNING the world of DENOMINATIONS, such as you see today. So, Do you know about the restoration movement? NO Christian should be without this knowledge. You ask WHY? FIRST, let it be known that the Ante-Nicene Fathers had this to say; in or about 60 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. “The Christians seek to show that Christianity is the OLDEST religion known in the World, and not, as their enemies maintain a thing of recent origin. Justin maintains that Moses wrote the Pentateuch long before the Trojan War, hence farther back than the Greeks could trace their history. Christianity is simply a Fulfillment of the prophecies and types of the Old Testament”. (Aristides, Ante-Nicene Fathers). There is a little known command in 2 Tim.2:15, which states the following: “Study to show thyself approved by God a workman that needs not to be ashamed; but rightly dividing the Words of Truth”. I call your attention Dear reader to page 2, and paragraph 1 of this Document, and from this Ancient History I can say unequivocally that the writers here were well educated in the Scriptures; they were taught the truth, and they themselves taught the truth; they gave themselves as did the people in Berea in Acts 17:11, to the study of Scripture; they were full of knowledge, and God gave them wisdom to use it. Both men as Christians wrote their Apology in defense of the early Christians, and presented it to the emperor Hadrian, 117 to 138 AD, Such cost them their lives by the Roman empire. This is indubitable History.

         FIRST, “that Christ has set and established by His Apostles; needs no declaration. SECONDLY, what force of princes, kings, monarchs, governors, and rulers of this world with their subjects, publicly and privately, with all their strength and cunning, have bent themselves against the CHURCH of CHRIST! And, THIRDLY, how this Church, all this not withstanding, has yet endured and holds its own! What storms and tempest it has overcome; its corruption by Church leaders, wondrous to behold: For the more evident declaration where, I have addressed this present history, to the end, first, that the wonderful works of the Lord in His Church might appear to His Glory”. (The Works of Bishop Anthenaius Of Egypt)

CHAPTER 2.
              

1 PETER 4:12-16, “But if anyone suffers as a CHRISTIAN, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.
              

BEGINNING OF THE UNSPEAKABLE PERSECUTION AGAINST CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH.

1.   ST.STEPHEN, Stephen suffered next to Christ in his death. His death was by the faithful manner in which he preached the gospel to the betrayers and murders of Christ. The people were excited with a degree of madness, as Saul of Tarsus edged them forward, thus Stephen was cast out of the city and stoned him to death; while God and Christ opened the doors of heaven, that Stephen might see them standing in his favor. We are told by Luke that there were a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem, and that they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samara, except the Apostles. About two thousand Christians, with Nacanor, one of the seven deacons, suffered martyrdom during this persecution. (Life and Epistles Of ST. Paul. By Conybeare And Howson. PP .203-297. 1899.S. S. Scranton & Co. Hartford, Conn.)

2.   JAMES.  The great the next martyr we come to which according to ST. Luke, in the History of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles. James the son of Zebedee, the elder brother of John, and a relative of our Lord. It was some 10 years after the martyr of Stephen that James met his death, his accuser became obeyed the Gospel and became a Christian. The day of execution of James his accuser came forth and acknowledged that his charges against James were false and asked that he might be killed rather than James; they were both BEHEADED.

3.   PHILLIP. Phillip was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee and was first called by the name of “Disciple”. He labored diligently in upper Asia, and suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, afterwards crucified, (A. D. 54).

4.   MATTHEW. Whose occupation was that of a toll-gatherer was born at Nazareth. He wrote his gospel to the Jews in Hebrew, which was later translated into Greek by James the Less.  The scene of his labors was Parthia, and Ethiopia, in which latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, (A.D. 60) Many of the Jews had settled in this area during the reign of King Solomon, it was always the Jews that instigated persecution against Christ and the Apostles, as well as the Church

5.    JAMES THE LESS.  James the Less is said to be the brother of our Lord, by a former wife of Joseph. This is doubtful by any form of speech. Such would give credit to Catholic superstition, that Mary never had any children other than Christ. He was elected to the oversight of the Churches in Jerusalem; and was the author of the Epistle-ascribed to James in the Sacred Canon. At 94 he was beat and stoned by the Jews and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.

6.    MATTHIAS.  Matthias, of whom we know but little, he was less known than any of the disciples. He was stoned to death at Jerusalem by Jews then be-headed.

7.   ANDREW.  Andrew was the brother of Peter. He preached the gospel to many Asiatic nations; but on his arrival at Edessa he was taken and crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed into the ground making a bow out of the cross. 

8.   ST.  MARK. Mark was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He is said to have been converted to Christianity by Peter, which is reasonable, especially since he served Peter as an amanuensis, and under whose inspection he wrote his gospel in the Greek language. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandra, at the great solemnity of Serapis their idol, ending his life under their hands.

9.   PETER. The Apostle Peter, among many other Christians, was condemned to death, and crucified, and coming to the gate of execution he saw the Lord Jesus come to meet him, to whom he worshipped, and he said Lord, where do you go? To whom He answered and said, I am come again to be crucified. By this Peter, perceiving His suffering to be understood. Jerome said that he was crucified, his head down and his feet up, himself requiring to be as Christ had foretold his death to be.

10.        PAUL, Paul who before was called Saul, after his great travail and unspeakable labors in promoting the gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution under Nero. Abdias declared that under his execution Nero sent two of his esquires, Ferega, and Parthemius, to bring word of the death of Paul his enemy. Many of the people ask prayer by Paul, and asked that they might believe, shortly afterwards they were baptized, and Paul’s neck gave way to the sword.

11.        JUDE. Jude the brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus, he was crucified at Edessa, A. D. 72, as the record goes.

12. BARTHOLOMEW, Preached in several countries, and having translated the gospel of Matthew into the language of India, he propagated it in that country. He was at length cruelly beaten and then crucified by the impatient idolaters.

13.THOMAS.  Called Didymus, preached the gospel in Parthia, and in India exciting the rage of pagan priest, he was martyred by exciting the rage of Pagan Priest; he was martyred by being thrust through with a spear. Thomas also preached on the shores of Malabar, where many Churches were established.

14.JOHN.  The disciple, whom Jesus loved, was the brother to James the Great. John preached and nourished the Seven Churches of Asia, after his release from the Isle of Patmos, and after the death of Paul. Nero ordered that John be brought from Asia to Rome, where he was sentenced to die, by being boiled in a Cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle without injury. Nero afterwards banished John to the Isle of Patmos, and as Roman law was, after the death of Nero, John was released.

15. SIMON. Simon surnamed Zelotes, preached the gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, in which country he was crucified, (A. D. 74).

         THE TEN PRIMITIVE PERSECUTIONS ---THE BEGINNING WITH NERO, A. D. 64—68.

(A, Fact that warrants special notice. Christians of this age failed to recognize the early SIGNS in regards to the emperors Tiberius, and Cladius, read the history of these two, and find that they were forerunners of Nero, therefore, we see in them the attributes also spoken of in (2 Thess. 2:1-12). Thus Nero inherits the full authority to persecute God’s people from Satan. Failure to understand these SIGNS is failure to understand the beast and horns in the Revelation). --- “The  persecutions of the Church began in (A. D. 64), by Nero yet in a small way; but it was to grow to reach into the Christian homes in every land, and especially in the City of Rome. It was there that the Christians were accused of burning a large portion of Rome, although they were not guilty, Nero bribed certain people who were poor and in need, to swear against the Christians, gave them money, then turned and sentenced them to death, after their death he then accused the Christians of burning Rome. Thousands upon thousands of Christians were burned at the stakes, boiled in hot oil, or hot wax was poured upon their bodies, many more thousands were fed to the wild beast in the arena.

          “This was the occasion for the first persecution; and while the barbarities exercised upon the Christians were such as even excited the commiseration ( grief and pity)  of the Romans themselves. Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for the Christians that the most infernal imagination could design. In particular, he had some sewed up in skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs, fixed to axle trees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to illuminate them. This persecution of the Christians was general throughout the whole Roman Empire. But rather than hurt, it increased the spirit of Christianity throughout the whole known world. In the course of the reign of Nero both Paul and Peter were martyred. Added to their names were. Erastus, Chamberlain of Corinth; Aristarchus, the Macedonian, and trophimus, an Ephesian, converted by Paul, and fellow laborer with him, Joseph, commonly called Barsabasn and Ananias, bishop of Damascus; each of these were among the SEVENTY chosen in the beginning of the Church to render service to the poor, and lead the Church in truth”.  (Outline of History, By H. G. Wells, PP.  493-534, Vol.2. The Macmillan Co. New York. 1922)

         “Clearly among all the thousands who were put to death by Nero, homes burned; property taken. None was of the Pagan temples of the Roman Empire. Yet these pagans paid a price to view the slaughter of Christians; they were Nero’s friends, yet Nero used them to further his persecution of the Christians. Nero in late 67 A. D. went down to Greece for the winter Olympics where he met many young men of his own kind man and man. It was in Greece that he called his field General, Vespasian, and gave to him the mandate of power to declare war on the Jews because of their uprising in many cities. Nero then left Greece with his Prectorian Guard, and went through Asia Minor robbing the pagan temples; robbing Christian Churches in the area, persecuting the people as he went. After arriving back in Rome, he was advised to flee the city. The people had given support to the Christians and were blaming Nero for all their problems. Nero fled but the Guard tracked him to the place of his death; but before the Guard could capture him he took a dagger in his throat, and died”. 

         (FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYRS. By John Fox born in Lincolnshire England 1517. Reprinted by permission JOHN C WINSTON. Edited by WILLIAM FORBUSH, D. D. ZONDERVAN PUBLISHING HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN. PP 5-6)   (A MANUAL OF CHURCH HISTORY. By ALBERT HENRY NEWMAN, D. D. LL. D. The American Baptist Publication Society. Chicago. PP.114-119, V0l.1)  (The New SCHAFF- HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA. OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 8, PP. 467—474. BAKER BOOK HOUSE) -- (HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. PHILLIP SCHAFF, Vol. 2. PP.36—82.) (PERSECUTION. WM. B. EERDMANS PUB. CO., GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN). (RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, BY EDWARD GIBBONS, VOL. 1 Complete, PUB. THE MODERN LIBRARY. NEW YORK.)   (HOLY LAND. By, CHARLES W. ELLIOTT, PP.533-550. J.B. Burr & Co. 1867.)

(Tacitus; Annales, 1. 15, C.38-44. Ante-Nicene Fathers)  (SUETONIUS BY J. C. ROLFE, Ph.D. VOL.2. PP 87-187. WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, MASS)

THE SECOND PERSECUTION UNDER DOMITIAN, 81-96 A. D.

         Vespasian and his son Titus are not considered in the group of Emperors who persecuted the Christians; they had compassion for the Christians. Especially since they had fought the war with Israel.

           VESPASIAN, and TITUS, Reigned as Emperors from 69 A. D. till 81 A. D.

         “Now we shall go to Domitian, the son of Vespasion. “Whose first years as Emperor it would seem that his father had influence upon his rule. Records shows that he had moderate consideration for the Lord’s Church; and Christians in general, although he was naturally inclined to cruelty, after he slew his brother then he raised the second persecution against the Christians. First in his rage he put to death some of the Roman Senators, some through malice and others to confiscate their estates. And then commanded all the lineage of David to be put to death. Among the numerous martyrs that suffered during this persecution was Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, who was crucified; and ST. John, who was once boiled in oil under Nero; and survived, and later banished to the Isle of Patmos where he wrote the Revelation, and after the death of Nero who had banished him, was released. Such was the law of the Romans. When one was banished, or in prison, when his Emperor who sent him there died the next Emperor released him. Now a new law was enacted; that no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, should be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion.” In brief if a Christian renounced Christ and His Church; he was not punished. If he would not in most cases he was killed. “A variety of fabricated tales were made against the Christians during this reign; they were made in such order as to injure the Christians. Such was the infatuation of the pagans, that, if famine, pestilence, or earthquakes afflicted any of the Roman provinces, it was laid upon the Christians. These persecutions among Christians increased the number of informers and many, for the sake of gain, swore away the lives of the innocent”.

“Another hardship was, that, when any Christian were brought before the magistrate, a test of oath was proposed, when if they refused to take it, death was pronounced against them; and if they confessed themselves to be Christians, the sentence was the same! The following were the most remarkable men in the Church who suffered during this persecution. Dionysis, the Areopagite, was an Athenian by birth, and educated in all the useful and ornamental literature of Greece. He then traveled to Egypt to study astronomy, and made very particular observations on the great and supernatural eclipse, which happened at the time of our Savior’s crucifixion. The sanity of his conservation and the purity of his manners recommended him strongly to the Christians in general, that he was appointed bishop of Athens.

NICODEMUS, a benevolent Christian of some distinction, suffered at Rome during this rage of Domitian’s persecution. PROTASIUS and GERVASIUS, were martyred at Milan. TIMOTHY, the disciple of Paul in A. D. 97. Timothy meeting a procession, severely reproved them for their ridiculous idolatry, which so exasperated the people that they fell upon him with their clubs, and beat him in so dreadful a manner that he expired of the bruises two days later”.

(FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYS. PP 6-7. ZONDERVAN PUBLISHING HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., ON DOMINITION.) (THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. Second Series, Vol. 2, PP. 128- 174.Melvill Gwatkin, 1906, Edinburgh, London, T. T. Clark.)

DOMITIAN AS IS RECORDED BY EARLY CHRISTIAN FATHERS; AND ANTE- CHRISTIAN WRITERS. “DOMITIAN, was autocratic, arrogant, suspicious, cruel, and ferocious. Vespasian had refused to be worshiped as God. Domitian insisted upon such worship as an imperial prerogative, and assumed the titles “god” Lord and God, “jupiter”, etc. He was zealous for the maintenance of the state religion and regarded secret religious societies as hotbeds of treason, which must be destroyed. He became suspicious of the senate, which opposed his arbitrary measures, and many of its members were proscribed. He instituted a system of espionage and encouraged slaves to betray their masters. During the last two years of his reign his suspiciousness and cruelty became intensified. Christians. Especially those in Rome suffered severely at his hands. Christianity now had its representative among the Roman aristocracy. Flava Domitilla the younger, wife or niece of Flavius Clemens, a consul and a cousin of the Emperor, is said to have been exiled with others to the island of Pontia in consequence of testimony borne to Christ. Flavius Clemens himself was put to death, Eusebius. But whether as a Christian remains uncertain. Suetonius charges him with most contemptible laziness, and Cassius with atheism. This latter was a common charge against early Christians; but we cannot account for the silence of early Christian tradition if so eminent a man had suffered for the faith. Domitian is said to have heard that relatives of Jesus still lived in Palestine and to have suspected them of kingly aspirations. When they had been brought before him and he learned that they were poor rustics and that the Kingdom of Christ was not a temporal nor earthly, but a heavenly and angelic one, which would appear at the end of the age, he let them go, and by a decree put a stop to the persecution of the Church under his rule”.

TERTULLIAN speaks of Nero, and Domitian.  (A MANUEL OF CHURCH HISTORY, BY ALBERT HENRY NEWMAN. PUB. THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION CO. PP. 120-121, Vol. 1)  (HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. BY PHILLIP SCHAFF. VOL. 2. PP. 36-40) (THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA of RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE. BAKER BOOK HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH, PP-467-469. Vol. 8) (SUETONIUS, BY J. C. ROLFE, Ph.D. PUB. WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD, HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE MASS. ON DOMINITION, Vol. 2, PP, 339-385) 

(EUSEBEIUS ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY. Book 3. CHAPTER 17) “DOMITIAN--, “indeed, having exercised his cruelty against many, and unjustly slain no small amounts of Christians, who were of noble and illustrious men at Rome”. Some reports are in the ten’s of thousands at one time. “ And having without cause, punished vast numbers of honorable men, with exile and the confiscation of their property, at length established himself as the successor of Nero, in his hatred and hostility to God. He was the second that raised a persecution against us, although his father Vespasian had attempted nothing to our prejudice”. (See also EUSEBEIUS BOOK 4, Chapter 26)                                                                                                   

          A REMINDER. We have seen a summary of ancient history thus far in regards to the Roman Empire; and yet we have not seen the ESTABLISHMENT of but ONE CHURCH In Rome, or in the Empire. We have not seen any HAIL MARY, NO Counting of the Beads. Therefore, what we have witnessed thus far has been the Empire of Rome in persecution against the only Church; SO NAMED, in this period of time. So when we read about the Church of Rome it is the CHURCH that Paul and other Apostles established in that city. For a CITATION see Romans 16:16, the CHURCH OF CHRIST. You read of NO HAIL MARY in this Church. This CHURCH was purchased by the Blood of Jesus Christ, Acts 20:28. It has SURVIVED all persecutions until this day. Is this Church perfect? NO. There is no perfect Church on earth. Human beings make up the Church; it is the people that are not perfect. The Kingdom in Heaven is perfect. (Archaeology and the Bible, By Joseph P Free. PP 304-333. Scripture Press.1950)

THE THIRD PERSECUTION UNDER TRAJAN, A. D. 108.

         “In the third persecution Pliny the Second, a man learned and famous, seeing the lamentable slaughter of Christians, and moved therewith to pity, wrote to Trojan, “certifying him that there were many thousands of them daily put to death, of which none did any thing contrary to the Roman laws worthy of persecution. The whole account they gave of their crime or error amounted only to this—viz. That they were accustomed on a day to meet before daylight, and to repeat together a set form of prayer to Christ as God, and to bind themselves by an obligation—not indeed to commit wickedness; but, on the contrary—never to commit theft, robbery, or adultery, never to falsify their word, never to defraud any man: after which it was their custom to separate, and reassemble to partake in common of a harmless meal”.  (PLINY NATURAL HISTORY, VOL. 1-5, NERO, DOMITION, TRAJAN). In this persecution suffered the blessed martyr Ignatius, who is held in famous reverence, and high esteem among many. This Ignatius was appointed to the Eldership of Antioch next after Peter in succession. Some do say, that he, sent from Syria to Rome, because he professed Christ, was given to the wild beast to be devoured. It is also said of him, that when he passed through Asia, being under the most strict custody of his keepers, he strengthened and confirmed the Churches through all the cities as he went, both with his exhortations and preaching of the Word of God. Accordingly having come to Smyrna, he wrote to the Church at Rome, exhorting them not to use means for his deliverance from martyrdom, lest they should deprive him of that which he most longed and hoped for. Now I Begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may win Christ. And even when he was sentenced to be thrown to the wild beast such was the burning desire that he had to suffer, that he spake, what time he heard the lions roaring, saying I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beast, that I may be found pure bread”.

         “Trojan being succeeded by Adrian, the latter continued this third persecution with as much severity as his predecessor. About this time Alexander, bishop of Rome, with his two deacons, were martyred; as were Quirinus and Hernes, with their families; Zenon a Roman nobleman, and about ten thousand other Christians. In Mount Ararat many were crucified, crowned with thorns, and spears ran into their sides, in imitation of Christ’s passion. Eustachius, a brave and successful Roman commander, was by the emperor ordered to join in an idolatrous sacrifice to celebrate some of his own victories; but his faith (being a Christian in his heart) was so much greater than his vanity, that he nobly refused it. Enraged at the denial, the ungrateful emperor forgot the service of this skilled commander. And ordered him and his whole family to be martyred. At the martyrdom of Faustines and Jovita, brothers and citizens of Brescia, their torments were so many, and their patience so great, that Calocerius, a pagan, beholding them, was struck with admiration, and exclaimed in a kind of ecstasy, Great is the God of the Christians! Until Quadratus, bishop of Athens, made a learned apology in their favor before the emperor, who happened to be there  Aristides, a philosoper of the same city, wrote an elegant epistle, which caused Adrian to relax in his severities, and relent in their favor”.

        
               “ADRIAN dying A. D. 138, was succeeded by ANTONIUS PIUS, one of the most amiable monarch that ever reigned, and stayed the persecutions against the Christians”. LITERATURE. (FOX”S BOOK OF MARTYRS, ON TRAJAN, PP. 7-8, By WILLIAM BYRON FORBUSH.ZONDERVAN PUB HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH). (EUSEBIUS: H.E.3.2. 32,33,36, EUSEBIUS ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, BAKER BOOK HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH)

 

         PLINY, IN REGARDS TO TRAJAN,  “came in official contact with the Christians. He himself saw in that religion only a depraved and immoderate superstition and could hardly account for its popularity. He reported to the emperor that this superstition was constantly spreading, not only in the cities, but also in the villages of Asia Minor, and captivated people of every age, rank, and sex, so that the pagan temples were almost forsaken, and the sacrificial victims found no sale. To stop this progress, he condemned many Christians to death, and sent others, who were Roman citizens, to the imperial tribunal. But he requested of the emperor further instructions, whether, in these efforts, he should have respect to age; whether he should treat the mere bearing of the Christian name as a crime, if there were no other offense. To these inquiries TRAJAN replied: You have adopted the right course, my friend, with regard to the Christians; for no universal rule, to be applied to all cases, can be laid down in this matter. This decision was much milder than expected from a heathen emperor of the old Roman stamp. Tertullian charges it with self-contradiction, as both cruel and lenient, forbidding, thus declaring them innocent and guilty at the same time. But the emperor proceeded with usual persecution and death for the Christians. This receipt might give occasion, according to the sentiments of governors, for extreme severity towards Christianity. Even the humane PLINY tells us that he applied the rack to women. Syria and Palestine suffered heavy looses during his reign. SYMEON, Bishop of Jerusalem, a kinsman of Jesus was accused by fanatical Jews, and was crucified at the age of (120 years)”. (LITERATURE.  HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, BY PHILLIP SCHAFF, PP. 46-49, Vol. 2, WM. B. EERDMANS PUB CO).   (A MANUEL OF CHURCH HISTORY. BY ALBERT HENRY NEWMAN D. D.  PP. 151-152, Vol. 1) (THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY. CHICAGO).


THE FOURTH PERSECUTION UNDER HADRIAN. (117-138)

         BRIEF SUMMARY ON THE SEARCH FOR THE BEGINNING OF POLITICS IN ROME.

I have gone through many books of ancient sources, both religious, and secular, have turned thousands of pages in search of the least hint that would show that Rome was looking at The Church of Christ as being a force to deal with. Especially since their numbers were increasing daily, world wide, and if something was not done THIS CHURCH would take over the governments of the world. It has been my thought that Rome would gain control of the established Church in some way; they would find a way to slip in unnoticed. Perhaps I have found the beginning. (Jem) 

However, we must I think, remember that Rome had passed laws, even before Christianity. Therefore, Christianity was a “( religio illicita)”. It was a policy of the Roman Empire to tolerate the religions of conquered people, so long as they would not attempt to proselyte, Judaism also was a “(religio licita)”. Christianity, so far as it was distinguished from Judaism, was reckoned among secret societies or collegia, which were contrary to the laws of Rome. Therefore, Christianity was a religion, which aspired to universality. Christ’s Kingdom was to be set up throughout the whole earth,  (Matt. 24: 14, Col. 1:23). With the Romans the State the chief thing, Religion was to be promoted only so far as it served the interest of the State. The Christians had no sympathy with this idea. Thus the persecution’s was done to break the backs of the Established Church of Christ. So what do I see now in “HADRIAN”? (Jem)

(EUSEBIUS, In the Ecclesiastical History.  And RAMSAY. THE CHURCH IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE, Chapter 10, and especially P. 223), this gives us insight into”. “HADRIAN”. “He had little faith in the popular religion and took considerable interest in foreign cults; but he regarded as a “POLITICAL NECESSITY”. He was strongly opposed to the violent outbursts of popular hatred against Christians, very common at this time. He declared that no accusations against Christians were to be received, except such as were in legal form. JUSTIN MARTYR, appeals in his First Apology, addressed to a rescript addressed to MINUCIUS FUNDANUS, proconsul of Asia about 124 A. D.  This document is defended by Ramsay, Lightfoot, Mommesen, Funk, Uhlhorn and Ranke Moeller. “HADRIAN”. Is seen as shielding Christians so much as to discourage tumultuary procedures. After this come blessings of other nature from Rome. This we will see as we travel on. “HADRIAN”. Was of Spanish decent, a relative of TRAGAN, he is represented both as a friend and foe of the Church”. (HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. By PHILLIP SCHAFF. VOL. 2. PP 49-50. WM. B. EERDMANS PUB. CO., GRAND RAPIDS, MICH).

(It is 138 A. D). We have seen nothing but persecution against the Christians. We have seen nothing but persecution against the established Church in Rome, and over the face of the whole earth. Now to those who do not understand what Church is being persecuted look at? (ROMANS 16:16)

The Church of Christ, it was not as some suppose it to be the Roman Catholic Church. If so, why would the government persecute something they established? (Jem)

NO—we have to wait a long time yet before the Roman Catholic Church will raise its head. Politics must gradually work its way into the Church of Christ. We will get there gradually. Notice carefully: As early Christian writers reveal; along with ancient Roman writers; which some were governors of Roman provinces, that each Roman official begins to see the world turning to Christianity. Little do they know that instead of persecution breaking the back of Christianity. Christianity would break the back of Rome as a one world power. Such was God’s plan from the beginning, and not even Rome could stay God’s hand, Dan. 4: 34-35. If you consider Dan. 7: 1-8, and understand that each of the FOUR BEAST represented not just a kingdom; but a WORLD EMPIRE, then you may see that God planned FOUR world empires before Christ, in the last BEAST of verse 8, why did God so name just ELEVEN HORNS in the last Empire; Rome? WELL! It should be seen that God’s plan for Rome would end with the eleventh horn Vespasian. World History reveals that after this period the smaller kingdoms revolted little by little; and at this period; we are seeing the emperors of Rome changing their minds in regards to Christianity. Yet, we do not see but one so named Church; and that is not the Roman Catholic Church. Again the Apostasy in the Leadership of the Churches, namely; Elders, and Deacons, and teachers will sell out the Gospel for personal gain! (Jem)

THE FIFTH PERSECUTION UNDER ANTONINUS PIUS. (138-161)

         “Antoninus Pius was perhaps one of the wisest and most upright of all Emperors thus far to come to power. His biographer, Capitolinus, claims that, so far as he is personally concerned, he enjoys the almost unique distinction      of being free from civil and hostile bloodshed. During his reign various public calamities occurred—famine, the inundation of the Tiber, earthquakes, conflagrations at Rome, Antioch, and Carthage. These aroused the people against the Christians, who were supposed, by forsaking the gods, to have brought on these calamities. The emperor attempted to shield the Christians from popular rage, but not with complete success. (In an edict found in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, and book. 4. Chap.13) Antoninus rebukes the pagans for their violence, telling them that if the Christians have offended the gods, the gods ought to be left to take vengeance for themselves. He commands that if any persist in raising tumults shall be punished. The early Christian tradition that he favored the Christians is well supported in (A. D. 170). Tertullian, early in the third century must have rested on a basis of fact. Melito, in his Apology, addressed to Marcus Aurelius says: ’’’And thy father, when thou also was ruling with him, wrote to the cities forbidding them to take any new measures against us”’. (Quoted by Eusebius book, 4, Chap. 26)

A brief summary of the Roman Empire regarding the Union and Internal Prosperity of the Empire during the age of the Antonines, the Constitution of the Romans, as well as the Cruelty, Follies, and Murder of Commodus, the Election of Pertinax—Also his attempts to reform the State—He was Assassinated by The Praetorian Guards. Things are changing in the Empire From 180 A. D. till about 197 A. D. We see the public Sale of the Empire to Didius Julianus, and this also was done by the Praetorian Guard. There is the Civil Wars and Victories. We also see the Relaxation of Discipline in the Government. (Dates from 96 A. D. till 197 A. D. THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, By EDWARD GIBBON, PUB. THE MODERN LIBRARY, NEW YORK, PP. 25—90 Vol. 2) CAN YOU IMAGINE; the Praetorian Guard selling the Empire of Rome? Does that tell you who was in power of the Empire at this time? You do remember that in the beginning the Praetorian Guard was the security for the Emperor—Right? But later they became a secret club; they gained power by number. Now they are selling the Empire to the highest bidder,  (THEY HAVE BECOME A POLITICAL PARTY. This pattern of Politics has followed the ages down to 2009, where Politics in the United States has the agenda of destroying Christianity. Who has stood up in defense of Christianity? As did Justin and Aristides?

Therefore, ANTONINUS PIUS was indeed the wisest and most upright to this date. During this period Christianity showed remarkable energy and underwent remarkable changes about this time. Gnosticism was at its height. Gnosticism flooded the world with literature. Rome soon put brakes on this SECT, and they began to decline, and the Church of our Lord GREW. (The Apology of Aristides, in 160, has just been brought to light, and was a product of this reign. Justin Martyr wrote many of his works, including his Apology, under this Emperor. Jem)

HARNACK, in his research finds the following: “He attributes the rise of the MONARCHICAL episcopate to this time, and he finds here the beginning of the process of CONSOLIDATION in opposition to Gnosticism that was to result in the early beginning of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Montanism had its rise at this time. Christian Literature was greatly enriched”. (A MANUAL OF CHURCH HISTORY. BY ALBERT HENRY NEWMAN, D. D. LL.D. THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY, PP. 147- 156. Vol. 1) (THE NEW SCHAFF_HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE. PP. 77-90, Vol. 3. BAKER BOOK HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.)  (THE INTERNATIONAL CYCLOPEDIA, A COMPENDIUM OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 3, PP. 824-826,) (Christianity Christ, Church. DOOD--MEAD and CO. NEW YORK, 1900.) (FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYRS, BY JOHN FOX, 1517 A. D. PP. 5-12, ZONDERVAN, PUBLISHING HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH). ) The Model Church, By G. C. Brewer, Gospel Advocate Co Nashville, Tenn. PP.9-82)

If you recall on page 3, I mentioned the fact that in the year 160, nothing was seen of any Church except the established CHURCH OF CHRIST, and it was the CHURCH OF CHRIST being persecuted; not the Roman Catholic church. However, I mentioned also that we would little by little see signs approaching that would result in Rome, and the officials thereof making their way into causing an Apostasy again in the Church; only this time Rome would begin a program of returning Christian slaves to their families, where families were found. Lands returned to the Leaders of Churches, Church buildings that were destroyed, replaced. Special considerations for the Teachers, yet it will take another 100 years before this plan is fully developed. (Jem)

(LITERATURE Regarding Politics, A MANUAL OF CHURCH HISTORY, BY ALBERT HENRY NEWMAN, THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY, CHICAGO, ILL. PP. 147—172, Vol. 1)    (EUSEBIUS ECCL. HISTORY. Books, 6, 7, 8, 9, INDEX).
 

THE SIXTH PERSECUTION UNDER MARCUS AURELIUS TO DECIUS. (161-192)

At this point in this document, I can confidently say that the Roman Empire may be regarded as having prepared the way for the spread of Christian religion in the following way. The Roman conquest broke down the barriers between East and west and between province and province, and welded the whole civilized world into an organic whole administered from Rome as its center. (Jem)

Therefore, Rome was to Unite-to Unite, we may say, also confidently, for Christ. Born at the same time, in the beginning, the Roman Empire and the Christian Church were also providentially appointed for each other. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of seed. If the seed is to be sown the field must be prepared. (Matthew Chapter 13). The Roman Empire was the prepared field. If this be true; we may understand why Daniel’s Visions did not include more than four beast, and eleven horns. Did Daniel see the last world Empire being prepared for Christ and the Gospel? All the accomplishments of the whole world was now comprised in the One and LAST world Empire, Rome. For world rule see (Daniel Chapter 7:13-14.) (Jem)

         “By the time of Marcus Aurelius Christianity had become an important element in society. Conscious of its strength, it had become bold and aggressive. Many cultivated men had come into the Church and were devoting their powers to its defense. Most of the persecutions during this time had for their object the restoration of the declining paganism to its original splendor and power. And Aurelius being an educated Philosopher and was imbued with the ethical principles of Stoicism. He was simple and temperate in life and sought to rule justly. Yet Christians suffered under him more severely than under any emperor since Nero, whose cruelty he abhorred and whom he pronounced as “not a man” The enthusiasm of Christians seemed to him mere fanaticism, and their steadfastness under persecution he looked upon not as fidelity to a constituted authority. His teacher, Fronto, had given him an early and decided bias against Christianity, and the Cynic philosopher, Crescens, the bitter opponent of Justin Martyr. The Philosophers of all ages deemed it necessary to persecute Christianity. Justin Martyr, had confirmed him in his aversion. While he had little faith in the State religion, like Hadrian he regarded its maintenance as a Political necessity; and not only withheld from Christians the protection from popular violence that had been accorded to them by Trojan and his successors, but he encouraged and promoted persecution”. (Jem)

“This reign, like the preceding, was remarkable for calamities. Earthquakes more terrible than those under Antonius, destructive inundation’s followed by famine and pestilence, insurrections and invasions on the frontiers involving the Empire in almost continuous and often disastrous war, this aroused the fury of the populace against the Christians whose impiety and rapid increase was thought to have angered the god’s. Christians on the other hand, saw in these disasters the divine judgment on the iniquity of the government. “ The Adversary” is said to have endeavored in every manner to practice and exercise his servants against the servants of God, not only shutting us out from houses and baths and markets, but also forbidding any of us to be seen in any place whatever. The emperor enraged issued a decree against the Christians, which, in the opinion of Melito of Sardis, was not fit to be executed even against barbarian enemies. This decree encouraged informers by allowing them to take the property of the accused Christian and made it possible for the governors to enrich themselves by confiscations! Now for the first time pagan scholars thought it worth while to read the literature of the Christians and to attempt to overthrow Christianity by polemical writings. Foremost among efforts of this kind was the work of Celsus, the Platonist, whose discourses Origen was to answer at length about fifty years later. “Celsus supposed that the persecuting measures of the emperor would result in the extermination of Christianity. In their sufferings was fulfilled the saying of Apollo’s priest: the mills of the gods grind slowly; referring to Christ he wrote. The demon is not only reviled but also banished from every land and sea, and those who, like images, are consecrated to him, are bound and led to punishment and impaled, while the demon- or as you call him, the son of God- takes no vengeance on the evil doer. The Jews, instead of being masters of the whole world, are left with not so much as a patch of ground or a hearth; and of you Christians one or two may be wandering in secret, but they are being sought out to be punished with death”. 

(Preserved by EUSEBIUS BOOK 1. ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.) (HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, VOL. 2. BY PHILLIP SCHAFF, PP. 51-52) (A MANUAL OF CHURCH HISTORY, By ALBERT HENRY NEWMAN, THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY, CHICAGO, ILL. PP. 56-59, Vol. 1) (THE NEW SCHAFF- HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA OF KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 8, PP. 467-469, BAKER BOOK HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.).

PERSECUTION COMMENCING WITH SEVERUS. (192)

“SEVERUS, having been recovered from a severe fit of sickness by a Christian, became a great favorer of the Christians in general; but the pagan prejudice and fury of the ignorant multitude prevailing, obsolete laws were put into execution against Christians. The progress of Christianity alarmed the pagans, and they revived the stale calumny of placing accidental misfortunes to the account of its professors, (A. D. 192). But, though persecuting malice raged, yet the Gospel shone with resplendent brightness; and, firm as an impregnable rock, withstood the attacks of its boisterous enemies with success. Tertullian, who lived in this very age, informs us that if the Christians had collectively withdrawn themselves from Roman territories, the empire would have been greatly depopulated. The persecution under, SEVERUS, was without reason, his reign was controlled by the pagan population, who naturally would try to preserve their way of religion. So, they knew nothing but war, carnage and murder of their own people. The pagan world controlled for the most part the politics of the various nations. So Empires like unto Rome, played the part with pagan religion, the Rome Empire of Rome authorized pagan religion. When Rome had prisoners worthy of death, the pagan army, or the (Secret society) of pagans were used to persecute unto death. It mattered not that the accused was perhaps a family member, a child, mother, father; they were burned to death, or beheaded. But, now both Rome, and the pagans were at war with the Lord’s Church, or individuals who called themselves Christians. The persecutions did not terminate under, SEVERUS. Rather increased, yet Christianity grew by leaps, and bounds. If you wonder why just remember this was God’s plan from the beginning”.

I am very sure that during this period of time many people ask the question why would God allow Rome to persecute the people and Church to this extent? (I ask that you read Daniel 4:34-35), herein lies the answer to what is happening to the people under Rome in the early years of Christianity. As also, under the Roman Catholic Church, from its beginning to this very day the Lord’s Church is persecuted unto death. For the Roman Catholic Church until the 17th century maintained a paid army to carry out the churches persecution. Since the Restoration movement, there has been such mass falling away from the Catholic Church, that they have to some degree become a tamed animal. (Jem)

         THE PERSECUTION, UNDER MAXIMUS, (A.D. 235)

         “It is not to say, that the persecutions did not continue through out the periods of all the emperors; it did. However, there were certain periods when it made headlines in all the worlds communications, and was worsened by the pagans. During this persecution, raised against Christians by Maximus numberless Christians were slain without trial, and buried indiscriminately in heaps, sometimes fifty or sixty being cast into a pit together, without the least decency”. The tyrant maximinus dying, (A. D. 238), was succeeded by Gordian, during whose reign, and that of his successor Phillip, the Church was free from persecution for the space of more than ten years; but in (A. D. 249), a violent persecution broke out in Alexandria, at the instigation of a pagan priest, without the knowledge of the emperor”.

         PERSECUTION, UNDER DECIUS. TRAJAN.  (A. D. 249)

“This was occasioned partly by hatred Decius bore to his predecessor Phillip, who was deemed a Christian and was partly his jealousy concerning the amazing increase of Christianity; for the heathen temples began to be forsaken, and the Christian Churches thronged. These reasons stimulated Decius to attempt the very extirpation of the name Christian; and was unfortunate for the Gospel, that the Christians were at variance with each other; SELF INTEREST”. (I call your attention to earlier use of the word POLITICS, by the Roman authorities, wherein I pointed out the fact that Rome was dealing with a problem, which in time would be to their demise. Therefore, many of the Roman officials were looking forward to controlling the leadership of the Churches, everywhere, in that way; if they controlled the leadership; they controlled the Churches. Again, little by little Rome is purchasing the grace of the leadership. You will notice under Decius, Churches were at variances with each other, and the variance is so named. SELF INTEREST (Jem) ----  “Self interest divided those whom social love ought to have united; and the virulence of pride occasioned a variety of factions. The heathen in general were ambitious to enforce the imperial decrees upon this occasion, and looked upon the murder of a Christian as a merit to themselves. The martyrs, upon this occasion were innumerable; but the principle we shall give some account of.

Fabian, the Bishop of Rome was the first person of eminence who felt the severity of this persecution. The deceased emperor, Phillip, had, on account of his integrity, committed his treasure to the care of this good man. But Decius, not finding as much as his avarice made him expect, determined to wreak his vengeance on the good prelate. Julian, a native of Cilicia, as we are informed by St. Chrysostom, was seized upon for being a Christian. He was put into a leather bag, together with a number of serpents and scorpions, and in that condition thrown into the sea”.

         This history of the Lord’s Church, and the persecutions regarding Christians, can sometimes become confusing, in  2011 people in all denominations are referred to as Christians. So it is possible with people today to also think that when the history speaks of Christians being persecuted; the first thought is that many denominations existed back in the early centuries; but that is not the case, History of the Christian Church, By Phillip Schaff. There were the pagan religion that instigated the persecutions against Christians, the Christians were those people from (Acts 2:1-46), who were first called Christians at Antioch; there were no denominations which existed. Not even the Roman Catholic Church existed this early. Therefore, the Christians are the same as the Church of Christ, Rom. 16:16, Jem.)

DECIUS TRAJAN, “was an Italian solder, he was raised to the throne by the Dasnubian army after the battle with the Goths at Verona, in which Phillip lost his life. He seems to have an earnest desire to restore the empire to its pristine order and vigor. The millennium of the city was being celebrated with great splendor when Decius returned from the Gothic war. Special occasion was doubtless afforded thereby for remarking the decay of the State religion, (Pagan). The fact had been especially favored by his predecessor probably led Decius to suspect them of disloyalty to himself. It may well be assumed from what we know of this ruler that his exterminating measures against Christianity did not proceed from sheer wantonness, but were from his point of view a POLITICAL necessity. Only by the extermination of Christianity and the rehabilitation of the State religion could the unity and the stability of the empire be secured. In the year (250, A. D), was issued the first imperial edict aiming at the universal suppression of Christianity. Christians everywhere were required to conform to the State religion by participating in its ceremonies, and officials were commanded, under heavy penalties, rigorously to enforce the requirement. In each official district all Christians were required within a definite to appear before the magistrates and to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods. Those who would not sacrifice to the Roman gods; those were herded up like sheep, beaten, burned, torture, hunger and thirst. This was done to break down the will of the people. To the Church leaders, and many of the clergy, who were spending their energies in secular pursuits rather than in the ministry of the word. They received a double dose of torture, even to death”.

PERSECUTION UNDER VALERIAN. (253-260 A. D)

VALERIAN, “who had been closely associated with DECIUS, is said by Dionysis (An early writer) of Rome to have been mild and friendly toward the men of God and to have treated them more kindly and favorably than any of his predecessors. Not even those emperors that were said openly to be Christians received them with such manifest hospitality as he did. His house persons and was the Church But public calamities continued and when recourse had been had to every known expedient, including human sacrifices, he was persuaded, it is said by one of his generals (Macrianus), an adept in Egyptian magic, to renew the persecution of Christians. At first he sought to suppress Christianity without blood shed. In (257 A. D.) he issued an edict commanding all Christians to conform to the State religion, (Paganism) on pain of banishment. He directed that pastors be separated from their Churches, and prohibited Christian assemblies of every kind. These measures proving futile, he issued in (258) an edict more sanguinary by far than that of Decius. Cyprian, an early Bishop of the Carthaginian Church, who had again gone into banishment by reason of the earlier edict and was soon after to fall a victim to the severer measure, gives the substance of the latter as follows: (As quoted by Eusebius Church History, Bk. 7. Chap 9)

“’ That bishops and presbyters and deacons should immediately be punished (i.e., put to death); but that senators and men of importance, and Roman knights, should lose their dignity and moreover be deprived of their property; and if, wen their means were taken away, they should still persist in being Christians, then they should lose their heads”’(See also Eusebius Church History, Bk. 8. Chap 1).

         GALLIENUS, (260-268 A. D.).

         Gallienus, “was the successor of Valerian, favored the Christians, recalled the exiles, restored their Church property, and forbade further molestation of them. From this time of Diocletian the Christians suffered almost no persecution. They grew in numbers, wealth, Church organization, and worldliness. Pagans flowed into the Churches, taking with them many of their pagan habits of life and thought, so that by the time of Diocletian the Church was corrupt and worldly as never before, and was in no condition to meet a relentless persecution. Christians again had become so bold and aggressive as to arouse the jealousy of the pagans”.

         Strange as it may seem, such action of events prepared the way for Diocletian and Constantine, in just the same way that Tiberious, and Cladius prepared the way for Nero during the first years of persecution. It would seem that the Christians should see the signs of persecution in Tiberious, and Cladius in just the same way that Christ gave signs of the impending destruction of Jerusalem in (Matthew 24: 1-34). But being over zealous in regards to the first edict of Gallienus in regards to their freedom restored, their property restored, Church property restored; they easy forgot the millions who gave their lives in the order of Christ, that the Church might survive throughout eternity.

The signs with these last two emperors tend to show better times for the Christians. But at the same time we will see that Constantine pays a high price for the grace, which would be given by the Christians, and will I suggest show how the leaders of the Churches sold out to the Roman Empire by accepting great gifts from the emperor for suggestive changes in Church policy. However, Constantine being one of six emperors who ruled the World Empire in some small way was influenced by other Emperors. Maximian died in 310; Galerius in 311, then we come down to four emperors; Diocletian in the East, Maximian at Rome, Constantius in Britain; Constantine in Rome. Notice we started with six emperors, now in (305) we are down to four. An obvious reason is that the empire is losing provinces; through death of two, emperors; they were not replaced, so, loss of provinces indicates loss of power. So, now, Rome is looking for a political intercourse with the Church. (Jem) 

PERSECUTION, “Under the rule of DIOCLETIAN the record shows that although his wife and daughter was Christians he himself was unfriendly to Christianity almost from the beginning, such is evident from a decree against the Manichaeans issued from Egypt in  (287 A. D.) This decree involves a condemnation of Christianity. According to (Eusebius Church History, Bk. 8. Chapter 1-2, Eccl. History).

Royal edicts were published everywhere, commanding that the Churches be leveled to the ground and the Scriptures destroyed by fire, and ordering that those who held places of honor be degraded. This first edict, issued in (February, 303), was followed according to Eusebius, by other decrees commanding that all the rulers of the Churches in every place be first thrown in prison for punishment, some went to the mines as slaves. Many gave up their Scriptures and suffered punishment; but the many defied the edict, and decrees. Persecution continued against the Christian Church”. (EUSEBIUS CHURCH HISTORY, HISTORY, BK. 8, CHAP. 5, ECCL. HISTORY)  (A MANUAL OF CHURCH HISTORY. BY ALBERT HENRY NEWMAN.  THE AMERICAN BAPTIST, PUBLICATION SOCIETY, CHICAGO, ILL. PP. 147-172, Vol. 1)  (THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, BY EDWARD GIBBON, THE MODERN LIBRARY, NEW YORK, PP. 444-533, Vol. 1) (GUZIOTS ANCIENT HISTORY, APPLETON AND COMPANY PUBLISHERS NEW YORK.) (SEE DION CASSIUS, 1 lxviii. Ch. 32, PAGE 1145. DION CASSIUS. 1 lxii. Ch. 16, PP. 1014)  (FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYS, WILLIAM BYRON FORBUSH, ZONDERVAN PUB HOUSE, PP. 31-32), (HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, BY PHILLIP SCHAFF, WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING CO., GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. PP. 71-74 Vol. 2)

                                           CHAPTER 3

      PERSECUTION UNDER THE RULE OF CONSTANTINE.

               CONSTANTINE, shared his father’s favorable disposition toward Christianity. Galerius was stricken with disease and may have been thereby induced to relent. In (311) together with Constantine and Licinius, he issued an edict granting a limited toleration to Christians. Persecution was renewed in the East with terrible severity by Maximinus. “Forged Acts of Pilate” full of blasphemies against Christ were sent forth, with the emperor’s approval, throughout his whole domain, with commands that they be publicly posted in every place and that schoolmasters teach them to their scholars. Some vile women of Damascus were induced to declare that they had been Christians and to accuse the Christians of the most impious and licentious conduct. Everything possible seems to have been done to arouse the fury of the people against Christians. The way thus prepared, he issued an edict to be engraved on brazen pillars in the cities declaring Christianity to be an “Execrable vanity”, attributing to the toleration of Christians all the calamities that had come upon the land, and commanding that Christians be driven far from each community. This edict was issued in response to numerous petitions for the extermination of Christianity, which Maximinus himself was thought to have inspired. After the victory of Constantine he was constrained to grant complete toleration to Christians, with the restoration of confiscated property. After the battle of the Milvian Bridge, between Constantine and Maximinus, in which Constantine, being now sole emperor in the West, attributed his victory to the succor of the God of the Christians. Constantine granted full toleration to the Christians, making it lawful for any one that wished to embrace Christianity (313). In this he secured the co-operation of Licinius, who soon afterward defeated Maximinus and became sole emperor in the East. This edict is know as the “ (Edict of Milan)”, and is one of the most important documents of the age”. (See page 17), for documentation.

(I have located a copy of the original “Edict of Milan”, I will copy this Edict for the readers of this lesson to study and look closely at its Ramifications. I will copy it as it pertains to different subjects, by sentences, or paragraphs. I do this because the reader needs to know just why Constantine drafted this in the manner he did. Also, I call your attention to Fox News on (May 11, 2011). Where the host of the Fox news program, GLENN BECK, made the public statement that Constantine established Christianity! But, Now, we have come almost 300 years since Christianity, and the Lord’s Church was first established by the 12 Apostles of Christ, on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus Christ. Where in Jerusalem, the Apostles did, according to Scripture Acts Chapter two establish both Christianity, and the Church of Christ. And, Constantine did not establish the Church in Rome. The Apostle Paul is given credit for establishing, and working with, and this was not the Roman Catholic Church. (Romans, 16:16) declares it to be the Church of Christ.

               However, this Edict opens the door for the establishment of any kind of religious institution that a person desires, and that he should not be hindered. I have already shown you that in the years (189-199), between the reigns of Marcus Aurelius, and Septimius Severus the Roman Empire sought to bring about change in the Congregations within the leadership of the Churches. Scripturally speaking each Congregation were to select men of honorable character as Elders, and Deacons, such was the government of each Congregation. The leadership had no authority over the government of another Congregation. However, we now see, in the above dates that the system of Government for each Church has made a drastic change. VICTOR, the Elder at Rome was appointed by the Secret Police (Pretorian Guard) as Chief Elder of the Church in Rome, in short he was over the whole Church, and its other Elders. CHIEF Elders, in brief, a chief Elder was elected to rule over districts, or counties where there were several Churches. Later, the Chief became Chief over even States. Perhaps this was done because of torture, persecution. Or even by great gifts from the Roman Government. Remember that on one occasion on Page 12, paragraph 2, the Roman Pretorian Guard had the power to sell the Empire of Rome to Didius Julianus in 190 AD. Having this power, they could inflict torture or death to the Elder, or his family, in this way they made the infiltration into the Lord’s Church at Rome. But through Constantine we will see greater change. Each change brings closer the merging of the Lord’s Church with State Religion! That will FAIL ALSO. Jem)

         “EDICT OF MILAN”

“Perceiving long ago that religious liberty ought not to be denied, but that it ought to be granted to the judgment and desire of each individual to perform his religious duties according to his own choice, we ad given orders that every man, Christians as well as others, should preserve the faith of his own sect and religion”. (1). There follows an explanation of the change of policy, and the new policy is then described. (2). We resolved to grant both to the Christians and to all men freedom to follow the religion which they choose, that whatever heavenly divinity exists may be propitious to us and to all that live under our government. (3). We have, therefore, determined, with sound and upright purpose, that liberty is to be denied to no one to choose and follow the religious observances of the Christians, but that to each one freedom is to be given to devote his mind to that religion which he may think adapted to himself. (4). In order that the Deity may exhibit to us in all things his accustomed care and favor. (5). And we decree still further in regards to the Christians, that their places, in which they were formerly accustomed to assemble…Shall be restored to the said Christians, without demanding money or any other equivalent, with no delay or hesitation…. For by this means… the divine favor toward us which we have already experienced in many matters will continue sure through all time”.

THIS EDICT IS SHOWN IN MANY ANCIENT DOCUMENTS. THAT WHICH IS MOST AVAILABLE IS FOUND IN, A MANUAL OF CHURCH HISTORY BY ALBERT NEWMAN. THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY, CHICAGO, ILL. P-171. Vol. 1)

In researching the (Catholic Encyclopedia I find in Volume 4, 1908 Ed.  PP 297-301) which I will give a summary beginning on page 297. HISTORICAL APPRECIATION---“Constatine can rightfully claim the title of Great, for he turned the history of the world into a new course, and made Christianity, which until then had suffered bloody persecution, the religion of the State. It is true that the deeper reasons for these changes are to be found in the religious movement of the time; but these reasons were hardly imperative as the Christians formed only a small portion of the population. Constatine grew up under the influence of his father’s ideas. He was the son of Constantius Chlorus by his first, informal marriage, called concubinatus, with Helena, a woman of inferior birth. For a short time Constatine had been compelled to stay at the court of Galerius, and had evidently not received a good impression from his surroundings there. The army raised the young Constatine to the vacant position. Right here was seen at once how unsuccessful would be the artificial system of division of the Empire and succession to the throne by which Diocletian sought to frustrate the overweening power of the Praetorian Guard. Soon this body of soldiers known as the Praetorian Guard numbered not quite 200,000 men. The Civil and military administration were, perhaps somewhat more sharply divided than before, but an equally increased importance was laid on the military capacity of all state officials”.

“In deciding for Christianity he was no doubt also influenced by reasons of conscience—reasons resulting from the impression made on every unprejudiced person both by the Christians and by the moral forces of Christianity, and from the practical knowledge which the emperors had of the Christian military officers, and State officials. Directly after his victory Constantine granted tolerance to the Christians, and next year 313 took a further step in their favor, Licinius and he issued at Milan the famous joint Edict of Tolerance. This declared that the two emperors had deliberated as to what would be advantageous for the security and welfare of the Empire and had, above all, taken into consideration the service which man owed to the deity. Therefore, they had decided to grant Christians and all others freedom in the exercise of religion”.

          “And even if the Church had recognized this form of freedom the State could not have remained tolerant. Without realizing the full import of his actions, Constantine granted the Church one privilege after another. As early as 313 the Church obtained immunity for its ecclesiastics, including freedom from taxation and compulsory service, and from obligatory state offices—such for example as the curial dignity, which was a heavy burden. The Church further obtained the right to inherit property, and Constantine moreover placed Sunday under the protection of the State. It is true that believers in Mithras also observed Sunday as well as Christians”.

“Constantine did much for children, slaves, and women, those weaker members of society whom the old Roman law had treated harshly. Constantine himself preferred the company of Christian bishops to that of pagan priest. The emperor frequently invited the bishops to court, gave them the use of the imperial postal service, invited them to his table, called them his brothers, and when they had suffered for the faith, kissed their scars. He banished bishops only to avoid strife and discomfort, that is, for reason of State. He opposed Athanasius because he was led to believe that Athanasius desired to detain the corn ships, which were intended for Constantinople. Constantine’s alarm can be understood when we bear in mind how powerful the Patriarchs eventually became. When at last he felt the approach of death he received Baptism declaring to the bishops who had assembled around him that, after the example of Christ, he had desired to receive the saving seal in the Jordan, but that God had ordained otherwise, and he would no longer delay Baptism. Laying aside the purple, the emperor in the white robe of a neophyte, peacefully and almost joyfully awaited the end”.

(THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA. VOLUME 4. 1908 EDITION. ROBERT APPLETON COMPANY. PP.297-301). (See also JESUS OF NAZARETH, FACT OR FABLE. CHURCH OF CHRIST FACT, OR FABLE. BY JESSIE MILLS, D. M. ON LINE AT.)     www.bibicalfullfillment.org


                                        CHAPTER 4
                The following statements are inevitable, as they have been taken from Ancient writers whose works are extant to this day. You will find no nebulous ideas from this writer; but only pertinent evidence of Rome making its infiltration into the Christian Church by way of its leadership.

                With the above documented information, and evidences, I fail to find any supporting evidence that Constantine established Christianity! 12 great men chosen by Christ to establish His’ Church established the Church. The 12 Apostles on the day of Pentecost (A. D. 33) established the Church of Christ. The Church of Christ was the Church that the Roman Empire persecuted. It was Constantine who decreed that this Church was at the time of his decree the only Church which existed, that Christianity was the religion of the State. I find no mention of his decree in which the original (Gospel) policy and rules of the early Church would be changed. Therefore, he did not establish the Church of Christ; he accepted it as it were. He did not establish the Roman Catholic Church; but did open the gates for any, and all religions to flourish under the new Roman law. Which gave legal authority to the Roman Hierachical establishment to begin such change as to establish the “ holy Roman catholic church”. We do find that Constantine’s sons were somewhat divided, the eldest Constantine ll showed deep decided leanings to paganism. While the second Constantius was a more pronounced Christian, he was an unwavering opponent of paganism. His maxim was Let superstition cease; let the folly of sacrifice be abolished. These laws had an unfavorable influence on the middle ages, and were basis for much abuse, especially in the INQUISITION period. (Jem)

          I suggest that those who believe that Constatine established the Church during his reign; look again at recorded history. ---- Again I repeat, CONSTATINE, did nothing of the sort. In fact he chose the Church as it was established by the 12 Apostles, he chose the doctrine without question; he chose the means of salvation as it was established by the Apostles in 33 A. D. There is no mention of Constantine adding anything to Church policy; neither did he seek to change the doctrine. Perhaps he knew about Revelation 22: 18-19. He did not seek to change the name of Elders and Deacons in the Church; but used the names given by the Holy Spirit, Titus 1:7, Bishop. The Roman Catholic Church would like for you to believe that he did. In that way they would have a CRUTCH to lean upon. And again, if he chose to establish the Lord’s Church. What Church suffered persecution under the Roman government from Nero, until this period, Certainly it was not the Roman Catholic Church, or was it? (Jem)

With a substantial summary, well documented regarding the Lord’s Church from (A. D. 33), until present day. A summary of the great persecution brought upon the Church by Pagan Israel, and the Roman Empire. I suggest that we take notice of Acts chapter 8, verses 1-8, and notice the persecution beginning with Judah of Israel. After the conversion of Saul, later the Apostle Paul, the nation was quieter. Christianity grew. But we find that during the reign of Tiberious, and Cladius, the forerunners of Nero, also we see from them the hatred for Christianity. The seeds of persecution were planted by Judah of Israel against the young Christian Church in 50 A. D. Acts CH. 8, records these events. This persecution was seen by the Roman Empire, and since they believed that Christianity would be a great problem for Rome; those seed planted by Judah of Israel, had made a visible crop for Rome to plan their own persecution against the Christians. Judah had left a pattern for Rome to follow. Each emperor in his own reign followed the pattern of Judah.

         At this point I suggest that we separate the persecution by the Roman Empire, and “ that of the holy Roman catholic church”. In and around 340 A. D. we see the appearing of the DONATIST controversy, within this period we can read of the DONATIST under the emperor Julian, there was several points that the DONATIST would not accept from the Church at Rome. PAGANISM have crept into the Lord’s Church at Rome; they had begun to decorate the inner building with crosses, and much artwork. They were speaking of: the “mother of God” referring to Mary, some of the pagan practices had overtook the Church. Names of Church officers were changed, this began with Victor a Bishop in the Church, and he was elevated to Chief Bishop having authority over several Churches. The Bishops now are called Catholic Bishops. The DONATIST refused fellowship with the Church at Rome. Soon this News spread throughout the Empire. At this time the Empire was falling apart. The hierarchical politics of Rome were declining there had to be another political outlet for the Empire, the Church at Rome became that outlet for power, it was not long before Popes were appointed by the hierarchical political group. Now we have the holy Roman Catholic Church ruling as a supreme power over all the Churches of Christ. It will not be long before many of the Churches will rebel against this use of unauthorized power. Many fell in line because they were forced to acknowledge this change, or die. Others fought to the death to preserve the Lord’s Church. ---Many times the question has been asked. Why does God allow such as this to continue, even after almost 1 million Christians were put to death because of their belief in the Gospel of Christ? ---There is an answer, consider this. (Matthew 10:38-39)

Those who died the death for Christ had no worry as to where they would meet Christ; they found life in Christ; they gave their life for the sake of Christ; they took up the Cross and followed Him. Therefore, if there were no evil to confront the Christian, we would have no way of proving our discipleship to Christ. On the other hand if everyone on the face of the earth were Righteous we would be like robots in a dream world, (Jem)

         I have been redundant in the mention of Church history; but there was no other Church for Rome to persecute, so I record the facts and that for a reason. History is acknowledged by all to be one of the most valuable instruments of intellectual culture. Church History is so essential a part of universal history that the history of humanity would be incomplete and unintelligible without it. Universal history is best understood when Christ is regarded as the central figure, for whose advent the past, with its systems of religion, philosophy, and government was, an important sense, a preparation; and when Christ’s Church, under His guidance, is recognized as the aggressive and conquering power in modern history. Without a knowledge of the history of the Christian Church established by the Authority of God, on Pentecost, A. D. 33, By the Apostles, and in all the departments and relations it is impossible to understand the present condition of Christianity, along with its multitudinous doctrines, its divisions, its pagan philosophy regarding doctrines of Christ. When man begins to interpret God’s word he becomes pagan in this thoughts. The doctrines of Christ is not complicated, it does not have variegated forms of organization, in life, and worship.

         The history of the Church of Christ is, in one aspect, the history of Christian life. To know how the people of God have, from age to age, struggled and suffered and triumphed will tend to prepare us to meet the trials that always beset the Christian life; to know how large a proportion of those that have professed Christianity have lived in sin and dishonored the name of Christ will tend to put us on our guard against a similar failure.

         When we read the truth recorded in regards to unfaithful, and uneducated leaders of the Lord’s Church. The Elders, (Bishops) and Deacons, and when we learn that it was because that these officials failing to instruct the Congregation in Apostolic teaching. Ancient records will show the lack of many Churches that did not receive Apostolic teaching. (2 Tim. 3:16) History teaches that one should learn from experience. But, History also repeats itself. Notice in our lifetime that we also have Elders, and Deacons who will allow only what they determine by their interpretations, fit to be taught; they refuse to discuss as did early Elders and Deacons matters of interest to others, (thus the Church failed. Jem)

         During the period of the emperor HADRIAN, and during the third Apologetical era the steadfast Christian writers, as well as non-Christian writers were clearly obligated to write in regards to the Old Testament types, and patterns, which led to, fulfilled prophecy. The Christian writers are. Quadratus, Aristides; Justin; Tatian; Athenagoras; Theophilphilus; Hermias; and Melito. Fragments of their writings reads thus. We the Christians seek to show that Christianity is the oldest religion, and not, as our enemies maintain, a thing of recent origin. Justin, e.g., “maintains that Moses wrote the Pentateuch long before the Trojan War, and hence farther back than the Greeks could trace their history. Christianity is simply a FULFILLMENT of the prophecies and types of the Old Testament. It is maintained that all that is pure and noble in Greek literature was stolen from the Old Testament; that Socrates and Plato, e.g., derived their ideas of God from Moses. The Sibyl is quoted as prophecy…the apologists stake everything on the Old Testament. Christ came to FULFILL Old Testament prophecy, and to impress Old Testament teachings on men’s minds, but he taught nothing new. To make these things appear, the allegorical method of interpretation is freely employed. The main evidence for Christianity, therefore, is PROPHECY. Miracles might be wrought by demons, but a prediction can come from God alone. Much effort is made to show definite FULFILLMENT of prophecies”…

            (With this in mind I am assured that I am not the only one teaching FULFILLED PROPHECY. But, in this age, to teach the works of the Holy Spirit one is demonized as false teachers, and this mainly comes from uneducated leadership, who will not discuss the issues of the written Word, as is directed by (2 Tim. 3:16). I ask the question to my readers. Since we begin in (Matthew 5:17) where Jesus himself mandated that through Him all prophecy of the O.T would be fulfilled, and further declared in (Matt. 24:1-34), that all things would be fulfilled in His own Generation. And further Luke records clearly the Fulfillment of all things, which were written being fulfilled during the period of the destruction of Jerusalem, (Luke 21: 20-32)? And why is it that those who oppose teaching the Scriptures, and commit their own interpretation to prophesy, and that by their own authority stand and declare Fulfill prophecy as false teaching? Why? This method of teaching, and rejection of God’s plan is clearly covered by God’s decree in (Zechariah 13: 1-3). Read this and see if you are the false prophet. Any time you take it upon self to change dates for the fulfillment of Prophecy you become the false prophet of (Zechariah 13:1-3), if not, please tell me why! --- And where you obtain Authority to do so Scripturally. Be sure within this search to understand that prophecy was not fulfilled during the lifetime of Jesus; but, according to Biblical accounts it would be fulfilled within His own GENERATION; (Matt. 13:10-11) (Matthew 16:27-28) (Matt. 24:1-34) (Luke 21: 20-32) ---Then for the finished work of the Holy Spirit in the N. T. (See Col. 1:26)  (Rom. 11:24-25). (Rom. 16:25, the Revelation of the Mystery. Made known, fulfilled). (1 Cor. 2:6-8) (Eph. 1:3-10) (Eph. 3: 3-10) The above is sufficient for understanding. (Jem)

         It is heart warming for me, when I can read the history of the RESTORATION movement of some of our most learned men during the 13th centuries through 1656, Would you allow me time to use three, out of the many who fought to restore first century Christianity.

                           CHAPTER 5.   

THE WYCLIFFE MOVEMENT: THE BEGINNING OF FREEDOM FROM THE TRYANT ROME.

               (1) Wycliff movement. The turning away from the “ holy Roman catholic Church restore the ancient first century Church of Christ. In this change he pressed to restore Scriptural obedience to the Gospel of Christ, the observance of Communion; bread, and wine, the correct baptism by being emersed in water.  The proper appointment of Elders and deacons. The forgiveness of sins by God alone. Remove schism and paganism from the Church. Qualified Elders and Deacons as teachers. Repentance and confession of sins to the God head only. Fulfillment of prophecy events of the past. “Wycliff, declared that it would be better for the Church of Christ if both popes were deposed”. (Page 604, A MANUEL OF CHURCH HISTORY. ALBERT NEWMAN. THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY.COPYRIGHT, 1899.) Please notice here Newman is not giving a history of the Baptist Church, rather of the first century Church. Wycliff is giving a history of both the corrupt pagan “holy Roman catholic church”, and the existing Church of Christ, Literature for Wycliff. (The Wycliff Society of England, Wycliffe’ Select works edited by Arnold, Wycliff Society of England, Wycliffe place in history, Wycliffe Society of England)

 

(2) John Wesley, with others engaged in the restoration movement, that is restoring first century Christianity. Supposing that like Wycliffe, he had drawn a line between the Church at Rome, as did Wycliffe; but we see from the history of John Wesley that he had not fully withdrawn from pagan views introduced into the “holy Roman catholic church”. John Wesley engaged many years in private, and in schools regulated by Christ’s Church, teaching and correcting doctrines which had been forced upon the people of England by the Pretorian Guard of Rome, which consisted of some 20,000 soldiers who enforced the “holy Roman churches doctrine upon all nations. At this date, there was such rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church, that Rome drew its forces back to Rome.
          So England relaxed, and the movement to restore original Christianity began. Among many, John Wesley was one. He began teaching early in 1700, he gave his society no name, at that time; but was teaching from the Wycliffe Bible, and the King James. (Early in 1729) a young student of Christ Church came to him, as well as other young men of a serious mind who were from different colleges of Oxford, one student offered Wesley a name for his society, “Methodist”; the society had acquired the magnitude of a new “Sect”; Wesley replied, as the founder of the restoration society, I wished that the very name of “Methodist”, not to be used, in his own words, “ might never be mentioned more, but be buried in eternal oblivion”. The term was selected by the students from various colleges, it is believed this was an allusion to the style of teaching by Wesley he had a methodical approach to Scripture. But now the restoration society of Wesley has left the original idea of restoring first century Christianity. The society, or group has now become a “sect”. Look at it now, the dress of the clergy, and many doctrines, follow the pattern of Roman Catholic. Wesley plan of restoration has failed. We can see when, and how he was influenced to accept changes in his original plans for the Gospel. What are they today? The stepchild of the Roman Catholic Church! “The change society.” Notice; in 1739 Wesley himself draws up rules for the Methodist society, an accepted “Sect”, “this he calls the first Methodist society”. (THE INTERNATIONAL CYCLOPEDIA. 1885 ED. DOOD, MEAD AND COMPANY. NEW YORK. PP-759-762.)
And all these years, I thought that the Bible gave rules regulations, and authority for worship? 

                  The Baptist Church of England, and America.

         So far as history can clearly be traced, the (DENOMINATION, a Part of) rose as part of the great English movement for ecclesiastical independency. So far as history records are concerned, none of these groups followed the aspiration of the Wycliffe restoration; it seems that each group of the Baptist movement had their own ideas of restoration in regards to Biblical doctrine, and name under which salvation is granted. Many of the earliest movements who had differences with the doctrine of baptism fell by the wayside, soon only one remained John Smyth, like John Wesley desired to be called Christian, but also like Wesley, when he died the younger class desired to call the teachings of Smyth “Baptist” because he taught baptism by immersion. Many others could not escape the teachings of Wycliffe.Wycliffe Society of England, He made the following statement in regards to doctrine, and name in which salvation is granted when he said, “he declared that it would be better for the Churches of Christ if both popes were deposed”. (“Select works by Wycliffe, edited by Dr. Arnold, the Wycliffe Society of England).

         Soon after John Smyth gathered a church at Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire. So far as is known, the initial discussions of this age were the Scriptural mode of Baptism. Smyth and his church contended for immersion in water. The Baptist church grew as history records. It came to north America, and grew here because of its firm grip upon the doctrines of the Bible, Baptism; the separation of Church and State; the strong desire to receive members worthy of the blood of Christ; to obtain faithful and strong church leaders who themselves had rule over church affairs; ministers who would submit to Elder and Deacon rule; members who became unfaithful, and brought shame upon the church were quickly removed. Brief summary. (THE INTERNATIONAL CYCLOPEDIA. VOL. 2, PP-207-210, 1885 Ed)

         Then comes, Albert Henry Newman, D. D., LL.D. became professor of Church History in Rochester Theological Seminary in 1887, restoring many Biblical doctrines to a point of Biblical acceptance, he served many other Baptist institutions with great honor. In one of his books, (A MANUAL OF CHURCH HISTORY, 1889), he traces the history of the Lord’s Church up to 1517, and makes no objections to ancient doctrines taught in the Church of Christ; but did object when the Roman hierachical

Politics invaded the Church and caused a falling away sufficient to destroy the ancient doctrines of Christ, and the Apostles. Therefore, beginning the “holy Roman catholic church”. With all its paganism and change, its colorful robes, crosses, and Hail Mary’s, its bead worship, its image worship. 

              One of the best, honest, and straight forward histories I have consulted has been Henry Newman. However, his teaching would not live much longer!  Along with, and forward comes another Baptist Doctor; (Edward T. Hiscox)

D. D., the author of THE STANDARD MANUAL for BAPTIST CHURCHES), where he states, unlike Newman, “It is most likely that in the Apostolic age when there was but one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism, and No differing denominations existed, the baptism of a convert by that very act constituted him a member of the Church, and at once endowed him with all the rights and privileges of full membership. In that sense, baptism was the door into the Church. NOW, it is different; and while the Churches are desirous of receiving members, they are wary and cautious that they not receive unworthy persons. The churches therefore have candidates come before them, make their statements, give their experiences, and their reception is decided by a Vote of the members, and yet they cannot become a member without baptism”. (NOW IT IS DIFFERENT)!!! (THE STANDARD MANUAL FOR BAPTIST CHURCHES. Edward T. HISCOX, THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY, CHICAGO.) This opens the door for drastic change in the Baptist churches. Look at where they are today! The Pastor’s has oversight of the Church! Shame on you. Only Elders, Deacons has authority over the Church. You have become weak it’s not the Pastors fault. It’s yours for unfaithfulness toward Christ. You have a pressing need to study the History of the Christian Church. You cannot understand Church History, or the History of the Denomination you are a member of, until you study early Church History for in this way you find how and why Denominations were first brought into being. To initiate this plan of study, you see the past, present, and future, see where you are going.

         CHURCH OF CHRIST, (Established A. D. 33), in Jerusalem this Church was persecuted severally by the Jewish “Hierarchical”, and political society in 50, A. D. in as much as it caused a dispersion of the Jewish Christians from Jerusalem, some 50,000 fled Jerusalem with their life, property was confiscated; they fled into Gentile countries, bordering Israel, after other persecutions by the Jews.

Rome began its persecutions against Christians with Tiberias, and Cladius the fore runners of emperor Nero. Other emperors persecuted, enslaved, and killed up to a million Christians. Constantine as emperor of Rome had compassion for the Christians, and comes forth with the Edict of Milan, wherein he decreed that Rome would no longer persecute the Christians. This lasted through his, and one son who reigned, and had compassion on the Christians. After which the hierachical society of politics began to bring forth the pagan believers for Church membership in the Church, which the Apostle Paul established in Rome. Rom. 16:16, for the sole purpose of dividing the Church, and prepare the way for the “holy Roman catholic church”. The Pagans soon outnumbered the Christians, and therefore, took charge of the Church, after which they put up their idols, crosses, art work, and very soon appointed a (Pope). It was planed before, that the Roman Pretorian Guard of some 20,000 solders who would enforce the new laws, rules, and wishes of the Roman catholic church.

         Now a new Edict went out, over the whole Empire of Rome, the Pretorian Guard would force compliance to all the Churches of Christ in all nations. Failure to comply with the Pagan doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, was sure punishment, and, or death. No pagans were persecuted. Well this rampage of the Roman church began to wither along, and about the time of Wycliffe, who before hand was a part of this persecution. But he changed courses, and began to persecute the Roman Hiearchical church. Soon he was writing and preaching the original Gospel of Christ, and made a statement of fact included in his works, which is held by the Wycliffe Society of England. His statement, it would be better for the Churches of Christ if both (Popes) were deposed. Much is said in regards to the existing Church. In 1800 Thomas, and Alexander Campbell came to America from Ireland and soon began to teach reformation, and back to the Bible for authority, the Church of Christ began to grow, and became a Church to be received by Biblical authority. The extreme south is less populated with Churches of Christ, than mid south mid west, or northern states. In its missionary work of almost every country on the face of earth, perhaps India supports more Churches than any other one nation. India at the last census report in early 2010 showed between 70, and 75,000 Churches of Christ in India.

         Since 1952, and during the Korean War, the Church suffered from unprepared preachers, desiring To make changes in Church doctrine, as well as those who desired more authority in the pulpit; those who wanted to get the Church into the entertainment business. Elders, and Deacons, accepting leadership roles while being unqualified to perform their duty; unable to teach in the Church; uneducated to discuss doctrines openly with membership. There is a direct link between (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 4-9) and that of (2 Tim. 2:15, and 3:16). If not, then how can the Elders deny Scriptural subjects, which they know nothing about, and have not studied them? The Church doctrine of Luke 21: 20-32, retains the same importance as Mark 16: 16. If not, why not? The command is to study both.

A long time minister of the Church of Christ writes in regards to the Eldership in the Lord’s Church. “I think we can get some wisdom from what Moses did in selecting seventy elders to assist in the judging of Israel. He was told to gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou know to be elders of the people. Then notice how careful God was to state their qualifications. Here is what He said: Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them. (See Ex. 18:21-22.) Again, of these men who were selected it is said: Thou shalt not wrestle judgment; thou shall not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift does blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. That which is altogether just shall thou follow, that thou may live, and inherit the land which Jehovah thy God gives thee. (Deut. 16:19-20)  Should the Churches be as careful today? And follow as explicitly the instructions, we would not only have better Churches, but would avoid much of the trouble that afflicts the cause everywhere. The Churches of Christ in many cases ignore the Word of the Lord when they want to appoint elders. The results are hazardous to the Church in the end. Men are often appointed who are not married, who have no believing children, who are not able to teach, and who have an unsavory report among the people. Politics are played and cliques built up in the face of the very plain orders of the Lord”. (See 2 Tim. 3 and Titus 1.)  (The Life And Works Of Charles Mitchell Pullias, PP 540-545, Article Elders, Gospel Advocate Company. Nashville, TN. 1948.)

                                                 CHAPTER 6.
                OBSERVATIONS, CREDITABILITY,SUGGESTIONS, AND BRIEF REDUNDANCY.                           

               OBSERVATIONS: Observations will be by brief usage of other ancient sources.
As a missionary to Churches in Canada, West Indies, Africa, India, we are confronted with people who do not believe that God planned, in the beginning, and paved the way for Christ’s Church to be established at Pentecost in 33 A. D. They also believe that other denominations were established at the same time. However, the above lessons clearly shows that during the period of the Roman Empire, there was no denominations present, no other church were persecuted, why? Because there was no other Church. But the Lord’s Church. Before the teaching of Christ, the whole world thrived off of Paganism, even the Jewish nation. Is there evidence of God which shows His plan being completed before the creation of man? Yes, there is both indubitable Scriptural and historical evidence, as has already been documented, which emphatically shows the doctrine of the Church, as well as the fulfillment. (See Matt. 25:34, Heb. 4:3 Luke 21:20-32  Col. 1:25-27, Eph. 1:4-10, 1 Cor. 2:6-8) God’s finished plan before the creation of man; (George Park Fisher D. D. LL.D. Speaks), “The Gospel, and Church Kingdom are not an afterthought of God”. P. 164. On the preplanned Kingdom Dr. Fisher says, “The Kingdom of God is the fundamental reality of fulfilled prophecy planned before time”. (PP. 328-332). (The Grounds Of Theistic and Christian Belief, By George Park Fisher, Copyright 1883. Christ Church. Second Copyright. Charles Scribner’s Son’s New York.) (See also The Human Elements in the Church of Christ. PP. 18-72. Newman Press)

Being redundant I call your attention to N. Nisbett who in 1787 wrote his research on fulfilled prophecy. (Published for the Author By Simmons and Kirkby. Canterbury London). Beginning his illustration at (Matt. 5:17, PP 6-13).   and using New Testament Scripture produces sufficient Scripture to prove that God Himself planned for all prophecy to have its fulfillment during the generation in which Jesus lived. In viewing his documentation, ( Jortian’s Eccl History, vol. 1, page.30, and Newcome’s Observations, page 246, and from the highly esteemed Dr. Hammond, in his paraphrase of the New Testament, as well as Dr. Macknight’s, commentary). From these documents it is safe to say without being indigant that the early Christians did indeed teach as a Church Doctrine the total fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecy during the generation of the destruction of Jerusalem, and thereafter. How could they teach a Doctrine which they had never heard of? And where is the Scriptures which teaches that God ever used large armies to enforce His teaching and to confiscate personal property, as did the Roman catholic church by the use of the pretorian guard? Such history of Rome is today extant. What Scriptures given by the Holy Spirit ever gave the Bishop, (Elder), power to forgive sins, as was practiced by the Roman catholic church? Where is the authority of having a Chief Elder in the Lord’s Church?
              
               OBSERVATIONS: Further, Paganism, and humanism in the Churches teach that the O. T. Is not essential in modern times! (The Theological Encyclopedia, and Methodology. By Franklin Weidner, D. D. LL.D. Warburg Publishing House, Chicago. P. 164. 1898. States)” The order of salvation, or the economy of Grace, which comes forth in its clearness in the New Testament has its way prepared in the O. T. Both reveal God in the same attributes, relations and general plan. The verbal peculiarities, the language and modes of thought found in the; O. T., furnish the only clue to the meaning of the New. No man can be a master of the N. T. without a deep acquaintance with the O. T. It is rich in instruction of types and patterns”.

OBSERVATIONS: Another problem we have seen in History of the Church, and its persecution.
Sufficient writers of ancient source has revealed in detail under each Roman leader who was persecuted, what Church was persecuted. And clearly shows that the Pagan world was not persecuted. Ancient writers question why the persecution against Christians? Then they, the ancient writers, answer the question. I have not researched any ancient writers who lived between 40 A. D. and 1600 A. D. who do not bring charges against a majority of the leadership, and that because of an undetermined confidence of God on the part of leaders. The idea is that the leaders were not working for God; but rather themselves; they gave way to fear from those who persecuted them. And finally they gave in to filthy lucre, fame, and popularity. Could the past; become a type and pattern which many Churches suffer from in this generation? We must study past History, in order to understand the future. Look at the Churches for the last 20 years, and ask yourself; how did the change agents get in power, if not by the leadership? Church’s has cast out the name Church of Christ, for secular names. Think, when leadership fails to discuss any approved subject within God’s Word, he is assuming the Authority to legislate for God. In addition to this it shows Scriptural prejudice, which God does not allow. (2 Tim. 3:16)


            In the copy of ancient material, and statements made in regards to historical findings, questions, I have asked. Questions I have answered.  I have tried to be honest and truthful in regards to such lesson. It is not my intention to be critical to anyone who has pleased God with his, or her service. But, if I have been critical of anyone who has not given his all in the service of God, and Christ, then perhaps that one will Re-dedicate his, or her life, and become qualified to act as the servant of God, and Christ; fulfilling all qualifications to serve. Those who over step their authority as servants, back off. The Scriptures does not teach that Bishops can forgive sins, neither does the Scripture teach that the Bishop can lord it over the flock, but are “Apt to teach”. There were no female Bishops hidden away for special input, when others have no voice. “Examine yourselves; prove your own faith, prove that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates”? (2 Cor. 13:5) (Universal Beliefs, By E. F. Burr, D. D. PP. 5-7. American Tract Society, N, Y.)

          CONCLUSIONS: I have tried to relate a brief summary of Ancient, and Secular History in regards to our Lord’s Church; the severe persecutions of both Christians, and Church by the Roman Empire, and after the Empire began to fall apart, then the Political force of Paganism flooded the Church with Pagan forces after the EDICT of Milan by Constantine. Because of his ruling the Pagan population was accepted into the Church at Rome. Soon they were a majority, that is when a Pope was elected in the Lord’s Church, and thus the Roman catholic Church was established on these premises. From then until late 1600 this church persecuted the Church of Christ. I have been very careful when quoting ancient writers, as well as those who wrote their history after 1400 A. D. Hundreds of scholars who has written from personal knowledge, as well as personal view, I have not used. The Evidence is out there. A person has only to go to a good Library, or obtain the books I have quoted from to come to the knowledge that there were only one Church authorized by God in the first century. I have not failed to show abundant evidence of the established Church of Christ in Rome, as well as the known world.

I have not failed to show as Ancient writers did also; that the Church leadership failed in most of the early Churches. More than likely the problems within the Churches today are caused by the leadership allowing preachers (Pastors) to run the Church. The change agents, again the lack of leadership. A lack of Biblical knowledge within the Church. Leadership Elders not qualified. Lack of knowledge in the Congregation. “Pick some one that is popular with the young people, forget about qualifications”!  Membership themselves has become weak; in most cases they know nothing more than what the preacher teaches, and that is soon forgotten. 2 Tim. 2:15, and 2 Tim. 3:16, is not considered anymore. Restore these two Scriptures to the memory of Church members, and you have gained Christians. Where the testimony of Christ’s history has not been given, and this proven by Types and Patterns of the Old Testament, then Christ has not been effectively shown. The current subjectivism is doubly dangerous: In the first place, it is certain to evaporate into skepticism. In the second place, it is equally certain to lose its ethical vitality. The Church needs to be equally on its guard against subjectivism, and against intellectualism. Subjectivism turns Christ into a receding image. Intellectualism turns Him into a dead fact. Faith, that is at once intellectually grounded and pneumatically energized is the true Christian value that has been so creative across the centuries.

          I have used in this documentation the Church History as was written during the lifetime of John Henry Newman to the best of my knowledge I will be able to say that based upon his own quotation, his own writings he called himself by no name other than Christian. Yet he carried with him such great amount of Biblical knowledge, as well as Historical that many Schools, and universities relied upon him for Scriptural teaching, and for his knowledge of Ancient History.

“In several of John Henry Newman’s spiritually powerful sermons at St. Mary’s Oxford, he gives voice to splendid appreciation’s of the Christian Church. I quote from his sermon, “The Church a home for the Lonely”. By the word “lonely” he is meaning all those who have been disillusioned as to this world, and its power to satisfy the vast aspiring of the soul. They are disappointed, they long for an infinite word to speak back to the infinite within them, Our Lord Jesus Christ after dying for our sins on the cross, and ascending on high, left not the world as He found it, but left a blessing behind Him. He left in the world what before was not in the world, a secret home for faith and love to enjoy, wherever found in spite of the world around us.-This is the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ which is our true home of God’s providing, thou art in a body of flesh  a member of this world, thou hast but to kneel reverently in prayer, and thou art at once in the society of saints and angels. Wherever thou art, thou can, through God’s incomprehensible mercy, brings thyself into the midst of God’s holy Church invisible, and receive secretly that aid, the very thought of which is a present sensible blessing”. (Sermons preached at St. Mary’s Oxford, pub The American Baptist Society, Philadelphia, Pa).

          Christianity is a life of knowledge of God, and His plan for mankind, only in His House can mankind find peace, joy and love. Without knowledge of God and Christ, and His written Word we become disillusioned and will fall for anything. Knowledge is paramount. Look back through this document and see how that the Roman catholic church had its beginning, and how the leadership was used to promote additions to the original Church Doctrines. First, the authority of Church leadership was changed from the original pattern found in Titus 1:6-9; 1 Tim. 2:1-5, read these instructions. But in the Church in Rome Rom.16:16, the Roman empire sought to change the authority of the Elder, or Bishop of God, and give him authority over all the Churches in a certain Province. Soon he was appointed as having control over the property of the Churches in that Province, as well as overseer! ! Well now what is happening since 1850, just in the United States? For one thing, there is counsels which controls the contribution of the Churches, the Churches must pay to the counsels a certain percent of their contributions; these counsels also controls who the Churches hire as their preacher—(“Pastor with elevated power to rule”). Then for another thing the preachers trained in the different colleges are taught to become pastors, rather than preachers, as “Pastors, or Elders they have rule over the Church after they are hired, and quite another thing these men will dress in robes and head gear! In short they look more like a catholic priest, than do the priest themselves! Question---Are we slowly becoming a catholic church? Are we allowing men without marriage, without children, without Scriptural knowledge of raising grown children to rule over our Churches? Did the Holy Spirit really mean what He said in, 1 Tim. 3:1-5, and 2 Pet.4:11, as well as 2 Tim. 3:16, regarding His Word and duty of Elders?

          Does the above fit the description of qualifications given by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle?
Will God deal with those who adds to, or takes away from His instructions? Deut. 4:2; Rev.22:18-19; Deut.12:32.


Jessie E. Mills, D. M. — Ph.D.

1729 Hwy 79-n.

Bonifay, Fl. 32425

TO- International School of Biblical Research- Students.

 


 

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