A key to understanding our world today.
(1) The Early Church
(2) The Works of Josephus
These books are available at your local book store and the public library. I encourage you to check out for yourself the startling information about to be presented.
The teacher said "we don't really know what happened during the intermission between act one and act two."
I wanted to know what happened during intermission between Act 1 and Act 2 while the curtain of history was down. Have you ever wondered, what happened to the Apostles?
Seeking the answer, here is what I found on page 35 of Dr. Frend's book, The Early Church.
So far we have been discussing the pagan and Jewish background to Christianity. We now turn to study the impact of the new religion on this many-sided ancient world. How did the primitive community appear to contemporaries, and how was it that after a generation of toleration by the Roman authorities, it was overtaken by the catastrophe of the Neronian persecution?
Significant of the Church’s slow spread through the Greco-Roman world is the silence of the Classical writers of the first century A.D. concerning it. Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Suetonius all writing between 110-20 AD treat Christianity as a new phenomenon which has to be explained to their readers.
In the quotation above you read "In 110-120 AD all writings treat Christianity as new phenomenon which has to be explained to their readers."
How can this be? that 80 years after the Crucifixion, and 80 years after the Apostles were given the great commission to tell the world, that Christianity is a new religion? By this time Christianity should have been well known and well established. There should have been thousands of churches and Christians everywhere.
Now let's look at the beginning of chapter 4 on page 46 of Dr. Frend's book.
The years that followed the fall of Jerusalem are among the most obscure in the life of the primitive Church. The Church is still basically a Jewish body, its organization and worship modeled on that of the synagogue and its relations with the outside world seen principally through Jewish eyes. In Palestine it fights for survival, while in the Dispersion it begins gradually to win over the outer circle of synagogue inquirers and to make headway among the pagan provincials. Despite eschatological expectations portrayed in the darkest of apocalyptic hues, in which the pagans are represented as enemies and persecutors doomed to everlasting destruction, it seldom comes to the notice of the authorities. The repression under Domitian, if such it was, the brief correspondence between Pliny and Trajan in I12 - 13, and Hadrian’s rescript to Minucius Fundanus, Proconsul of Asia in circa 125 AD, are isolated events amid decades of silence.
With the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70
the apparent disappearance of the early Christian Church,
Act One is over.
At The End of Act 1
destruction of Jerusalem Act 1 is over and the curtain of history falls. We know Christians
did not perish in Jerusalem because, having been warned, Christians were not
in or even any where near 70 AD Jerusalem. A very large number of Jews* died in Jerusalem and
the Christians* disappeared from the pages of history.
|* In this article, 'Jews' is not a racial term but rather a national term like Americans. Americans are of many religions. Many of them are Catholics. Most of the others are Protestants. Likewise, those Judeans who believed Jesus are called, in this paper, Christians. Those Judeans who did not accept Jesus are called, in this paper, Jews.|
Christians flee Jerusalem while Jews gather therein
Christians Leave Town
Jews Gather in Jerusalem
|Luke 21:20-21 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.||In Josephus history book, The Wars of the Jews, (Found in The Works of Josephus mentioned above) you will find that, just before the destruction Jerusalem, rejecting Judeans from all over the world gathered together and did 'entered thereinto'.|
Here are some quotes about these silent decades from Chapter 4 of the history book, The Early Church.
|For Rome, Judaism both as a political force and as an erosive propaganda was still the main pre-occupation. Exuere patriam, —to desert (the law of) the country and one’s ancestors, and to spurn the accepted ethic and religion was the reproach against the convert to Judaism. As Juvenal shows in a satire written circa 125 AD, the process of conversion was often subtle, lengthy, but in the end complete. It was probably through Judaism that Domitian’s ‘persecution’ of the Christians arose.|
It may be that Domitian was persecuting Christians, not because they were Christians, but
because the Jews that escaped from 70 AD Jerusalem blamed some of their own
mischief on the Christians. Now page 54.
At least this is a possible explanation for the events in Rome in 95 A.D., at the end of Domitian’s reign. Then, we hear from Dio Cassius that the Emperor had his cousin and heir presumptive Flavius Clemens and his wife Flavia Domitilla arrested, together with the consul for the year 95 AD, Acilius Glabrio, Clemens and Domitilla were charged with ‘atheism’ in that they had ‘slipped into Jewish customs’, and they were condemned, Clemens and Glabrio to death, Domitilla to exile on the island of Pantellaria.
There is the usual difficulty over the evidence. Dio does not say that any of these nobles were Christians, but, though he was writing in 225 AD in Bithynia, one of the most Christianized provinces of the Empire, he never mentions Christianity!
Even so, when Domitian was assassinated in September 96 A.D., and his successor Nerva recalled the exiles, the coin which commemorated these events spoke of ‘abuses of the Jewish tax’ being abolished. Moreover, while the catacomb of Domitilla was Christian by the mid-second century or a little later, it was not so originally, when Domitilla granted the land for the benefit of her freedmen.
All one can say is, that perhaps Christianity had something to do with the ‘Jewish customs’ into which Clemens and Domitilla fell. Even so, a lawyer named Pliny had been in Rome at the time, and could write to Trajan seventeen years later that ‘he had never been at a trial of Christians’.
You just read, "in 225 AD (about 200 years after Christ's founding of the church, in Bithynia, one of the most Christianized provinces of the Empire, he (Dio) never mentions Christianity!"
"Even so, a lawyer named Pliny had been in Rome at the time, and could write to Trajan seventeen years later that ‘he had never been at a trial of Christians’."
Moving on to Chapter 5, Page 60 of The Early Church
With the second capture of Jerusalem we reach the end of the Judaeo-Christian period of the Church’s history. As we have seen, up to now much of its outward form and many of its aspirations had been Jewish, Jewish in the dominance of apocalyptic, Jewish in its defensive arrogance towards the pagan world, Jewish in its tight set little communities with their strict internal discipline, their hierarchical structure, and also their social conscience.
In 130 AD a traveler through the cities of Asia Minor might be excused if he failed to differentiate adequately between the old and the new Israel, for amid all their mutual execrations, was it not merely a question of one group fasting on Mondays and Thursdays and the other on Wednesdays and Fridays? If the Christians were harmless it was only because there were not many of them.
Intermission is over.
The curtain rises.
Act 2 Starts
The modern Catholic church begins.
Recall the religion teacher told the history class, "It is if a curtain went down and when it arose the (Catholic) church was there and we do not know what happened in those lost years."
At this point the religion class was taught the history of the Catholic Church as understood by most of Christianity.
Page 60 continued.
But some pagans had inquired further, and by 130 there were men, such as Justin of Neapolis (Nablus in Samaria), who having tried every philosophy from Stoicism, through the Peripatetics to Platonism, finally turned to Christianity. Christian teaching and Christian bravery in face of death had converted him, and he was not alone. The influx of Greeks into the Church, however, was bringing its own problems. A century later, Origen had a pertinent remark to make on the effect of the Christian message on thinking Greeks of Alexandria.
So then, since Christianity appeared to men as something worthy of serious attention, not only to people of the lower classes as Celsus thinks, but also to many scholars among the Greeks, sects inevitably came to exist, not at all on account of factions and love of strife, but because several learned men made a serious attempt to understand the doctrines of Christianity. The result of this was that they interpreted differently the scriptures universally believed to be divine, and sects arose named after those who, although they admired the origin of the word, were impelled by certain reasons which convinced them to disagree with one another.
Here we have learned men (now called Church Fathers) finding old documents. Liking what they read, they established churches and taught the doctrines of Jesus and the Apostles as best they could forming various disagreeing churches. From here we get the Catholic Church and from the Reformation the Protestant Churches.
Story of the Christian Church - Hurlbut
The first century closed with the death of the last of
the apostles and writers of the New Testament, the Apostle John. No
sooner had the apostles and disciples, who had been with Jesus, fallen
asleep, than a new order arose and a different class of writers began
to pen religious epistles. Hurlbut says of this change, in his Story
of the Christian Church:
What we were taught v. What the history book reports
I was always told that Christianity was started by Jesus and grew steadily ever since even in times of persecution. This history book tells a different story. The history books say Christianity was founded by Jesus but it disappeared for a time and was reestablished to grow continually ever since.
One answer to the question, "What happened during intermission when the curtain of history came down?"; is a doctrine called Preterism".
What is Preterism?
Preterism is an interpretation of Christian eschatology which holds that most or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the End Times refer to events which have already happened in the 1st century after Christ's birth.
The system also claims that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, which is listed in Webster's 1913 dictionary as a prefix denoting that something is "past" or "beyond," signifying that either all or a majority of Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. Adherents of Preterism are commonly known as Preterists. Click here for more info.
Preterists believe that, since the church disappeared following the destruction of Jerusalem, the books of Daniel and Revelation were fulfilled. In other words, "It is all over."
One big problem with that doctrine is the question, "Where does that leave us today?"
A second understanding is Historicism. This is the Protestant Reformation belief that, while the Catholic Church started out good, it became apostate.
Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther believed that the Pope was the Antichrist. Luther and the other reformers began the Protestant Denominations.
Historicist's believe that Daniel and Revelation have been in fulfillment all along and that some of it is yet to be fulfilled.
Futurism is the opposite of Preterism.
While Preterisn teaches that Daniel and Revelation were fulfilled in the past, Futurism teaches that prophesy is yet future.
The Rapture is one of the Futurism doctrines. The 1260 days and 42 months and 3 1/2 times of prophecy were not 1260 years, (as taught by the Historicists) but a literal 3 1/2 years, and therefore none of the book of Revelation had any application to the middle ages or the papacy, but to the future, to a period immediately prior to the second coming, hence the name Futurism.
Historicism is a school of interpretation which treats the eschatological prophecies of Daniel and Revelation as finding literal earthly fulfillment through the history of the church age and especially in relation to the struggle between the true church and apostasy.
Futurism is an interpretation of the Bible in Christian eschatology placing the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Book of Revelation and the Book of Daniel and the Olivet discourse and The Sheep and the Goats generally in the future as literal, physical, apocalyptic and global. Other views place the fulfillment of such prophecies in the past as literal, physical and local (Preterism; Historicism), or in the present as non-literal and spiritual (Idealism).
Preterism is a hopeless doctrine teaching it is all over and has no answer to the question, "But what about us?"
What a strange question. Over time the New World Order has been working hard to make a one world government, (United Nations) one race, (interracial marriage, integration, immigration), a one religion society (National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches).
Matthew 13:44. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
45. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
|Luke 21:20-21 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.||The Christians fled, not just Jerusalem,
but even the Roman Empire.
That is why they disappeared from the history books.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my
people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of
Revelation 16:6. For they have shed the blood of
saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they
|It is understood that we are to "Come out
of her, my people," thinking that these particular plagues are God's
future plagues on the apostate church.
Could it be that 'her plagues' are the millions of Christians killed because they were 'heretics'.
The Inquisition is an example of one of these plagues.
The Albigensian crusade is another.
John 16:2. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
John 16:33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Unlike those crusades whereupon Christians had descended upon infidels,
however, the Albigensian Crusade of 1209 consisted of some thirty
thousand knights and foot soldiers from northern Europe descending like
a whirlwind on the Languedoc -- the mountainous northeastern foothills
of the Pyrenees in what is now southern France.
The crusade, or war, lasted for nearly forty years. Having been called by the Pope himself,
The key problem, from Rome's point of view, was that the Cathars in 1200 constituted a heresy which could conceivably displace Roman Catholicism as the dominant form of Christianity. In general the Cathars subscribed to a doctrine of reincarnation....
Despite Saint Bernard's proclamation concerning the Cathars that, "No sermons are more Christian than theirs, and their morals are pure", Rome made every attempt in the Albigensian Crusade to exterminate the Cathars. When Pope Innocent III ordered a crusade, the goal was nothing less than to reduce the highest European culture of the Middle Ages to destitution and rubble.
One of the allies of this crusade was a Spanish fanatic named Dominic Guzman. Spurred by a rabid hatred of heresy, Guzman in 1216 created the monastic order subsequently named after him, the Dominicans. And in 1233 the Dominicans spawned a more infamous institution -- the Holy Inquisition.*
|Daniel 7:8, 20, 24 I
considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another
little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up
by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man,
and a mouth speaking great things.
20. And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
|The Roman Empire was divided into ten
kingdoms. (The ten horns) The little horn was the Papacy. As the Papacy
came to prominence, it influenced Roman armies to destroy three of the
tribes which opposed its 'Christian' doctrines.
These three were the Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Heruli. The last of these was destroyed in AD 538 when Justinian’s decree went into effect.
These kingdoms followed the teachings of the Bible teacher, Dr. Arius.
These three Arian kingdoms were plucked up as set forth is Daniel 7:8,25 because they were Christian. (Heretics)
|Revelation 12:6. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.||For 1,260 years, the 'heretics' fled the Roman Empire. Crusades and Inquisitions were organized to seek them out and kill them. 538 AD to 1798 AD. At this time (1798) many Constitutions were being written in North America granting freedom of religion. In America an open door was offered to the Church of God. Total Onslaught|
|14. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.||The Puritans, Quakers and others (Heretics) who suffered religious persecution fled to the new world wilderness (America) to be safe from religious persecution in Europe. Heirs of the Promise|
What do Catholics,
Protestants and Heretics believe?
What are the differences?
The Sabbath Day
|Sunday 1st day of the week. Saturday
midnight to Sunday midnight.
Observing the Seventh day Sabbath is classed as a heresy by the Catholic Church.
|Sunday following the Catholics who claim
to have authority to change the Sabbath from the 7th day to the 1st
Rome's Challenge saying "Protestants follow Catholic Church".
|Saturday Sabbath 7th day of the week.
Rome v. 7th Day
Hal Holbrook - The Seventh Day -
Roger Williams, founder of the Rhode Island Colony here in America, was a keeper of the 7th Day Sabbath. The history of the seventh day Sabbath in America is systematically removed from history books. Check it out here. #1, #2, #3 The Sabbath comes to New England.
Communion / Lord's Supper
|Lord's Supper. (Communion) Always taking place somewhere on the Earth 24 Hours a day.||Lords Supper usually once a week Sunday Morning.||The Lord's Supper is observed only once a year on the Passover. Observed in the evening. (John Tombers' Dispute on Baptism, London, page 12,13)|
Holy Days / Holidays
|Easter Sunday. The date for Easter is calculated in such a way that it NEVER falls on the same day as the Passover.||Easter Sunday as do the Catholics.||Do not observe Easter. Observe the Passover instead.|
|Observe Christianized versions of old pagan holidays such as Halloween and Easter.||Follow the Catholic lead in observing
Christianized pagan holidays.
Ezekiel 22:26. ..., and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, ...
|Observe the Bible Holidays such as
Passover and Pentecost as listed in Leviticus 23. Reject Halloween,
Notice that, in Leviticus 23, the word Sabbaths is plural. The weekly Sabbath and the several once a year Sabbaths. (Bible Holidays)
|Eat most anything especially swine. (Ham. Pork, Bacon.)||Eat most anything especially swine. (Easter Ham dinner)||Obey the food laws of the Bible. They make a distinction between clean and unclean meats.|
|Ezekiel 22:26. Her priests have violated my law, (Below) and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, (Holy days above) and I am profaned among them.||
The Bible and God's Law
Catholics believe the Church has the power and authority to change
God's Law and the Ten Commandments. For example Sabbath to Sunday.
Based upon Matthew 16:18-19 "whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
Catholics believe the Church can change the Bible. Jesuit Douay-Rheims for example.
The Law is done away in Jesus. "Not under
the law but under grace." (Law or Grace)
Based upon verses such as Romans 6:14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Many modern Protestant Bible versions have been altered.
Check out this video. Skip forward to 29:40 to see something amazing.
Keep the commandments as written by
Moses. Believe in Law and Grace.
'Heretics' avoid both Catholic versions such as the Jesuit Douay-Rheims and modern Protestant Bibles such as The Living Bible.
There are approximately 242 different denominations of Catholics and thousands of differing Protestant denominations.
|Protestant: Different names for different Protestant
Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Unitarian, etc.
"Attend the church of your choice."
2 Timothy 4:3. For the time will come when they will not
endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears;
|They called themselves either. The
Church of God or The Church of Christ. In the New Testament the name Church of God is used
The Catholics and Protestants usually called them, in a derogatory manner, by the name of their most prominent leader. For example Waldensians after Peter Waldo.
Leonists, Arnoldists, Josephines, Docetae, Gnostics, Ebionites, Anabaptists, Arians, Puritans, Nazarenes, Euchites, Vaudois, Henriciacians, Catharists, Bougres, Paulicans, Lollards, Lombardists, Albigenses, Toulousians, Armstrongites, 7th Day Baptists (Roger Williams), etc.
Catholics believe the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. The Antichrist was either past or is still future. (Preterisn and Futurism.)
|Some Protestants believe the Pope is the Antichrist. Others believe the Antichrist is yet future.||Believe the Pope is the Antichrist. (This was also the belief of the Protestant reformers such as Luther.)|
Life after death.
|Resurrection only. Reincarnation is a heresy.||Resurrection only. Reincarnation is a heresy.||Reincarnation for some Resurrection for others.|
|Infant Baptism OK. Sprinkling OK.||Various modes and ages for Baptism.||Baptism by immersion. Mature adults only.|
SO, in conclusion. Who is the 'true church'?
|( ) A.||The Holy Roman Catholic Church.
|( ) B.||One or more Protestant Denominations.
|( ) C.||The so called Heretics who called themselves The Church of
God and whose members have been hunted down and slaughtered since the time
A History of the True Church by Dugger & Dodd
The Early Church by W.H.C. Frend, D. Phil
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