Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Early Church – Chapter 4 (Shaping Babylon and the Heretic Hunters)

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Here is the result of all the false things the Roman Empire created. Now no one knows what is true or not so we have the fights, the killings and the arguments over disagreements. As much as we say we are doing it out of love… I bet these people had the same idea. They were burning heretics because of “LOVE”. This is the age we still live in.

Shaping Babylon and the Heretic Hunters

In 1480, Isabella and Ferdinand, as a monarchal/Church alliance, instituted the Spanish Inquisition. (Isabella’s daughter was Catherine of Aragon, who is known in history as the first wife of Henry VIII of England and mother of Mary I –bloody Mary). The Inquisition was aimed mostly at Jews and Muslims who claimed to have converted to Christianity but were suspected of practicing their faiths secretly. However, many of these were in fact genuine conversions.

In 1492, all Jews in Spain who refused to convert to Christianity were given six months notice whereupon they were expelled by royal edict. Other less serious allegations saw people tortured or kept in damp cells for months and sometimes years without disclosure of either their crime or the name of their accuser. Ferdinand and Isabella were given the title “the Catholic” by the Pope, in recognition of their role in “purifying the faith”.
Hereafter, Isabella was called “Isabella the Catholic”.

Author Dave Hunt in his book A Woman Rides the Beast writes “more Christians and Jews have been slaughtered at the hands of those obeying Papal instructions than by both Islam and the entire early Roman Empire”. Will Durant, author of The story of Civilization, writes: “Roman Catholicism became the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen … Innocent III murdered far more Christians in one afternoon … than any Roman emperor did in his entire reign.”
Roman Catholic apologists today try to absolve their church by claiming the Inquisition was the work of the State. However it was the Popes themselves who invented the inquisition.
Even Dollinger, a leading Catholic professor of Church History, writes “… both the initiation and the carrying out of this new principle [the Inquisition] must be ascribed to the popes alone”.
Of eighty popes succeeding the thirteenth century, not one disapproved of the theology or methods of the Inquisitions.

Inquisitions toward Christians and Jews particularly was not confined to a point in history.
The Papacy held Europe in the grip of both the Medieval and Spanish inquisitions until its final suppression in 1809. As late as 1808 when Napoleon conquered Spain, his Colonel Lemanouski reported upon his arrival at the Madrid monastery, that the Dominicans denied existence of any torture chambers. However, under the floors were found full chambers with naked prisoners, all insane. The French troops, use to cruelty and blood, could not stomach the site and blew the monastery up.

According to R.W. Thompson in The Papacy and Civil Power (pg82), Canon Llorente, who was secretary to the inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 and who had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated the number of condemned in Spain alone exceeded 3 million with about 300,000 burned at the stake.

The legacy of the Papal reign may well be drunk with the blood of martyred saints.

For a synopsis of persecutions inflicted upon Christians, largely by the Roman Catholic Church, during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, see Key developments leading up to the Reformation, and The Reformation.

Today (statistics with permission: Voice of the Martyrs)
The Barna Research Group states that almost 70 million Christians have paid with their lives for their faith since the Crucifixion of Christ. It may come as a surprise that sixty percent of that number, or over 40 million, were martyred in the 20th century alone.Traditionally, throughout the ages since the birth of the Church, the Christian faith remained in Western Europe and Eastern Orthodox locations. However, gradually since mans ability to travel through exploration etc the gospel has found its way to the uttermost parts of the world.

The shift of Evangelical growth from the Western World to the non-western World over the past few decades in particular has been significant. For example, in 1960, over 70% of all evangelicals lived in North America and Western Europe. By 1990, 70% of all Evangelicals lived in the non-western World and this number continues to grow at a staggering rate. (Source: Operation World).

Accordingly, during this latter period of the 20th century, there has been exponential growth of Evangelicals in places such as Latin America, sub-Sahara Africa and Asia. Not surprisingly, these are the same areas of the world where Christians are experiencing discrimination, harassment and persecution as a result of anti-Christian regimes and political policies. It was estimated at the beginning of the 20th century 34,400 Christians were killed annually (died directly or indirectly as a result of their Christian witness). According to Regent University, by 1998 the number was close to 156,000. The same study estimated 164,000 were martyred in 1999, and 165,000 in the year 2000.

If current trends continue, it is estimated that by 2025, an average of 210,000 Christians will lose their lives as a result of their Christian identity annually. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights on April 8, 2002 reported:”We estimate that there are more than 200 million Christians in the world today who do not have full human rights as defined by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, simply because they are Christians. We believe that this is the largest group in the world without full human rights because of their beliefs,” – Johan Candelin, director of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission.
We know there are more than 200 million Christians presently undergoing persecution in today’s world, most of them in an area called the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 window signifies lines of latitude and longitude stretching from Morocco east to Indonesia.

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”
– The Lord Jesus Christ.


The Early Church – Chapter 3 (Pagan Christianity)

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Here we will see how the early Christian handled what has become what we call church today. I was amazed to find out they actually went to live in caves away from the false Christianity.

Pagan Christianity

Upon the death of Galerius, a struggle for Imperial power broke out. In the spring of 312 Constantine (picture) advanced across the Alps to dislodge his rival Maxentius from Italy and to capture Rome. When he confronted the militarily superior Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge just outside of Rome, he called upon the God of the Christians for help. In a dream he saw a cross in the sky and the words, “in this sign conquer”. This convinced him to advance, and looked upon his success as proof of the superiority of the Christian religion. The rise of Constantine as the result of his victory at Milvian Bridge in 312AD initiated the subsequent ‘Constantinian Revolution’.

After Constantine’s victory, Christianity moved swiftly from the seclusion of the Catacombs to the prestige of affluence. In 313AD, Emperor Constantine (picture), ruling from Byzantium (now renamed Constantinople), issued the Edict of Milan, granting Christians total freedom. From here they were allowed to again meet freely for worship and openly propagate their faith. Constantine found Christians to be peaceful by nature and thought the best way to minimize any up-rising was to make his entire empire, peacefully Christian.Accordingly, he propagated the faith and supplied priests and buildings (just as the custom had been previously for imperially favored pagan religions).Constantine also abolished death by crucifixion, the battles of gladiators, and made Sunday a public holiday. However, his alleged conversion may have been no more than a cleaver political move. Catholic historian Philip Hughes writes “In his manners, he (Constantine) remained very much the pagan of his early life. His furious tempers, the cruelty which spared not his wife neither his son, Crispus, a nephew, and a brother in-law (all who threatened his throne) are … an unpleasing witness to the imperfection of his conversion”.

Chistianisation of the Roman Empire saw the beginning of Imperial interference. For example, magnificent Church buildings arose which, until this time, was foreign to the Church. Favored bishops began to adorn themselves and reign like kings, and politics entered the fold. People still half rooted in paganism, and the politically ambitious massed to the official religion which posed a new challenge for Orthodox Christianity.

Monks rose to protest the secularization. The “called out assembly” came under a under a new threat which raised the question of whether Constantine’s Christianisation of the Empire was a good thing for Orthodox Christianity or not, despite the relaxing of persecution.

Many believers protested the changes claiming the world had invaded the vineyard. Some believers withdrew and began to serve God in caves in the wilderness, so not to be ‘spotted by the elements of the contemporary faith’. They became known as hermits.

Hermits attracted great admiration and followings, much to the displeasure of the hermits themselves. One such man, Simeon Stylites, disliked the disturbance of visitors to his cave so much that he made his home on the top of a high Roman pillar. His fellow Christians faithfully passed him food and water in a basket. It is said he lived there for 30 years secluded in prayer, and at times preached powerfully to the crowds below.

By 380AD, Imperial rewards for Christians expanded to ‘penalties for non-Christians’ when Emperor Theodosius made belief in Christianity an Imperial command.
Theodosius assumed that his own will was that of Gods. However when he demanded the slaughter of 7000 Thessalonians for killing the governor, who had jailed their triumphant homosexual charioteer, he was called to repentance by Bishop Ambrose who refused him communion until he had repented several times (the dogma of the sacrament of Communion was accepted as the divine provision of receiving grace).

This event marked the beginning of a 1500-year clash between the Church and Imperial authorities.

Persecution of true believers, in the West particularly, for the next 1300 years or so was regularly ministered by the arm of the Roman Catholic Church toward any subject who refused to recant and submit to its dogmas and beliefs. Papal figures were determined not only to enforce their rule over Imperial authorities, but over any person in contempt of its ruling dogma.

The “faith” of the empire was seen as a necessary framework for a stable and God-pleasing society. Any person or sect that threatened this was quickly dealt to, usually with the support of society itself.
However, this ethos developed to excessive measures, during the Dark Ages, when Augustine’s edict of “the use of necessary force” was enforced mercilessly. Augustine founded the heavy-handed edict against the Donatists when he wrote: “Why should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost sons compelled others to their destruction? (The Correction of the Donatists, 22–24)

Christian believers were among those persecuted when; in 1095 Pope Urban II initiated the Crusades, which lasted for two centuries. Thousands of knights were sent to ‘serve justice’ in the name of the Roman Catholic Church whereupon they killed Muslims, Jews and Christians. They sawed open dead bodies in search for the gold that Muslims were rumored to have swallowed, ate the flesh, tortured, raped, sent children into slavery, and plundered, all with the assurance from Rome of automatic pardon for sins in the form of an “Indulgence”.

The Crusades left in their wake a legacy of extreme anti-Semitism, which blighted the Crusader Church. Unfortunately, the reproach has remained visceral in today’s Jewry psyche toward the Christian Church ever since.

After the first two Crusades the Roman Catholic Church, with the authoritative blessing of the Papacy, was determined to enforce what it insisted the people were to believe.

Just prior to the third Crusade of 1188, Pope Lucius III in 1184 initiated the idea of an Inquisition when he demanded his bishops “enquire” into the people’s beliefs. Anyone found to have heretical ideas, were immediately excommunicated and often handed over to secular authorities to be burnt by fire. Many true believers suffered a cruel death.

Soon after, the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 saw Pope Innocent III provide formal provision for “State punishment of heretics”. In 1220 he took the Inquisition from the hands of the bishops and gave it to the Dominicans. 1233 saw Gregory IX affirm the Dominican role and demanded it be executed in the name of the pope. The inquisitor was subject to no law, only to that of the pope. They became judge, jury and executioner. The Dominicans became the main enforcers during the Inquisition.

In 1252 Pope Innocent IV expanded the enquiry, and created a new theology when he authorized “torture unto death to expel demons, so the heretic could die in blessedness”.
As many as 700,000 people were murdered over a 100 year period.

Look out for Chapter 4


The Early Church – Chapter 2 (The Apparent End of Christian Persecution)

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The Apparent End of Christian Persecution

The first ‘Empire-wide’ persecution was under Domitian (Emperor 81-96AD).

He was the younger brother of General Titus who sacked Jerusalem in 70AD.

Domitian (picture) was naturally inclined to cruelty, which was illustrated when he slew his brother. It is said that his nephew Flavius Clemens also suffered the same fate.
Both Jews and Christians refused to give homage to the godhead of Domitian, or offer sacrifice before the image, therefore he executed them.
He enforced persecution, on this basis, adding “That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, would be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion.” If famine, pestilence, or earthquakes afflicted any of the Roman provinces, the Christians bore his fury.

Domitian also sought to remove the entire lineage of the Jewish King David. He knew of the rumor that a king from the line of David would one day sit in his stead. So like Herod, because of this perceived threat, he sought out and murdered any citizen known to have proceeded from David’s genealogy.
The Apostle John was exiled to Patmos about this time.

Domitian killed anyone he took objection to. For example, he killed his secretary Epaphroditus because he believed, 27 years prior, Epaphroditus had supposedly helped Nero commit suicide.
He also put to death some of his Roman senators, either through malice or to confiscate their estates. As a result, some remaining servants, made alliance with the Emperor’s wife Domitia and conspired to kill him. It is recorded that Domitia’s servant struck the first blow before the others joined in, and Domitian met his death.

When the news reached the Senators, they tore down all the images of Domitian in their chambers, and ordered all statues of him, and all inscriptions mentioning his name, to be destroyed throughout the empire. He was denied his state funeral.

By 112AD things went from bad to worse when persistence in Christianity alone became a capital offence. Christians had no option but to met for worship in Catacombs – 600 miles of underground mole-like tunnels where they buried their dead (no land was given to Christians for burial).

Ten generations were buried in the catacombs. Archaeologists later found many inscriptions of Scripture including “the word of God is not bound”.

At Lyons, in 177AD, during the fifth of the ten Roman Persecutions, those who had been scourged, branded, and exposed to wild beasts, chose to humbly disown the name ‘martyr’, preferring to confine that exalted title to Christ, saying of themselves: “we are but mean and lowly confessors”. The word martyr implied they were “a true witness of Jesus in word and deed”, to which they dared not claim.

In 249AD Emperor Decius (picture) Emperor 201-251, made Caesar worship universal and compulsory for every race and nation within the empire for two reasons.

1. Many of the pagan temples were being emptied due to Christian converts.

2. A test of political loyalty, and sign of good citizenship.

When an another outbreak of the Antonine plague of 165AD, emerged in 251 (called the Cyprian Plague after the bishop of Carthage), Decius had another bow to his armor to enforce full allegiance because any plague was believed to have been the result of someone, or some group, upsetting the Roman gods.

At its height between 251 and 266 the plague was said to be taking up to 5,000 lives a day in Rome. Just as the Jews were to later suffer the blame in the 14th century for the Black Death, here the Christians received the wrath of the empire for the Cyprian Plague.

Tertullian wrote: “If the Tiber reaches the walls, if the Nile does not rise to the fields, If the sky doesn’t move or if the earth does, if there is famine if there is plague, the cry is at once: “The Christians to the Lions”.

The anti-Christian legislation of Decius was more far-reaching in its effects than any previous persecution. The texts of his edicts have not survived however evidence of their brutal execution does. The object of the emperor was not the extermination of Christians necessarily, but the complete extinction of any religion that would not sacrifice to the emperor’s image (the symbol of the goddess Roma).

Many bishops, including Fabian (bishop of Rome) and the bishops of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, were martyred as well as many of Decius’s own guards. Theologians Origen and Cyprian were persecuted, however were not killed.

On the other hand, those who were willing to recant from “the Christian sect” were to prove their allegiance by offering oblation to idols whereupon they would receive a document (libellus) authenticating their renunciation. Historian H Chadwick states: “the number of apostates especially among property owners was immense”.

When Decius perished in a marshland during a war with the Goths in 251, the persecution ceased.
Almost immediately, the question of readmittance to the Church for the many scores of people who had committed ‘apostasy’ was fiercely debated. “What should be done with professing Christians who had denied their faith to escape persecution?” In contrast, the awe of those faithfully martyred, tortured or sent into exile was enormous.

Subsequently, policies of “re-admittance subject to penance”, and the use of the ‘treasury of grace’ obtained by the martyred, were conceived and discussed for the first time – although not formalized until Augustine’s influence in the fifth century.

One of the worst persecutions came during the reign of Diocletian (picture) 284-305AD, the emperor who had just subdued the long-standing enemy of Persia. During the greater portion of Diocletian’s reign, perhaps as a result of him having a Christian wife, the Christians enjoyed peace and prosperity. In fact, Eusebius (historian) who lived at this time wrote “the glory and the liberty with which the doctrine of piety was honored”, and that “many were flocking to the Church”.

Diocletian inaugurated a Caesar to rule the Eastern Roman empire by the name of Galerius. It was under the influence of Galerius the last of the Early Church persecutions began. In 302 he attempted to purge the empire of all Church buildings, all scripture and Christian literature. Further edicts of 303 and 304 inflicted torture and banishment upon Christians if they would not offer sacrifice. The cruelty with which these edicts were enforced, and the vast numbers of those who suffered for their faith was testified by Eusebius. Galerius went as far as massacring an entire population of a town who professed to be Christian. Many historians believe the Diocletian/Galerian persecution was the most severe of the ten Roman persecutions recorded.

After seven years of prescribing persecution, and nearing his death having failed in his pursuit of ridding the empire of Christian influence, Galerius, issued the Edict of Toleration on 30 April 311 commanding that Christians be tolerated.

This officially ended the period of Early Church persecution.

The TEN major persecutions under Roman rule are identified with the following Emperors:

Look out for Chapter 3


The Early Church – Chapter 1 (The Rise of Christian Persecution)

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I started doing a nice study of early Christian history and wanted to share this information with more people. It is amazing to know how the church developed into the condition it is today.

Now this is all information from encyclopedias and reliable websites (copy and pasted). I just made sure they correlated with other sources. Just thought I’d share with the body.

Remember this is not a surprise because we were told this would happen.

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The Rise of Christian Persecution

2 Tim 3:12 … yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

The first persecution relating directly to the person of Jesus Christ was when Herod (the Great) 37-4BC, demanded the slaughter of children younger than two years of age in an attempt to annihilate the predicted new king. This identified the threat that the promised Messiah posed to all existing emperors; that is, the threat of loosing their rule. This wasn’t exclusive only to Jesus, in fact throughout the entire first century anyone, who was of the seed of David or of his generational line, risked being sought out and killed. Emperor Domitian just prior to his death in 96AD was particularly active in this pursuit.

During the Apostolic Age, persecution came primarily from the Jews, and especially from the religious fraternity of the Pharisees and the Saducees. The preaching of a crucified Messiah, whose death was directly blamed on the Judaic spiritual leadership, was highly provocative.

It was Stephens’ preaching of this fact, as he outlined the transition and fulfillment of the law in Christ, that led to his martyrdom in the presence of Saul. Saul (later named Paul) was a Pharisee active in delivering up Christians to persecution until a supernatural encounter with Christ himself on the road to Damascus perpetrated his repentance, conversion, and subsequent apostolic ministry to the Gentles.
Persecution of Christians in large numbers soon came from Rome, and for the following reasons.

1. Imperial authorities were generally tolerant of other religions providing they gave homage to the Emperor. Like the Jews, Christians would not bow, which infuriated Rome’s tolerance. Rome guarded against other sects joining Judaism in challenging the Emperors divine authority in this manner.

2. Christians were different. Tertullian was quoted in his apology “we have a reputation of living aloof from crowds”. The Christian unworldly ethic in itself was a criticism of pagan beliefs.

3. Christians were scandalously slandered because of their alleged ‘secrecy and mistrust’, including allegations of cannibalism and sexual orgies. The rumor of cannibalism came as a result of the hearing of Christians “eating and drinking of the [Lords] body”. Pliny (the elder) authorized the killing of Christians as a result of this particular rumor, accusing them of being “enemies of the human race”.

4. The Christians were accused of atheism because of their rejection of the Roman gods, and of having a “conflicting pernicious superstition”.

5. The most significant development, however, was their refusal to “worship” the emperor. The emperor was held as the symbol of the Roman goddess Roma – the spirit of Rome, to whom the grandeur of the empire was indebted, and unto whom, all were to offer sacrifice.

All the above reasons, to one degree or another, contributed to set the Roman Empire at variance against the Christian faith.

The first ‘National’ persecution was under Emperor Nero (15-68AD).

Tertullian (early Latin theologian) wrote, “Nero was the first to rage with Caesar’s sword against this sect,”

Nero (picture) was fair-haired, blue eyed, plump, with a body covered with spots. He usually appeared in public wearing a dressing gown without a belt, a scarf around his neck and no shoes.

In character he was said to have been a strange mix of paradoxes; artistic, sporting; brutal, weak; erratic, sadistic, and bisexual, – and later in life almost certainly deranged.

The fire of Rome in July, 64AD ravaged Rome for six days. Tacitus (early Roman historian) reported that “of the fourteen districts of the city, four were undamaged, three were utterly destroyed and in the other seven there remained only a few mangled and half-burnt traces of houses”.
Nero’s indifference to the suffering caused by the tragedy stirred resentment among the people, and soon rumors spread that he himself set the fire in order to rebuild the city based on his pre-drawn plans.

Nero, always seeking to be popular, therefore looked for scapegoats on whom the fire could be blamed. He found it in the relatively new religious sect, the Christians.

Tacitus again wrote, “First, Nero had some of the members of this sect arrested. Then, on their information, large numbers were condemned not so much for arson, but for their hatred of the human race. Their deaths were made a farce.”

Many Christians were crucified, or thrown to dogs and wild beasts with carcasses tied to them. Others were burned to death at night, serving as ‘lighting’ in Nero’s gardens (picture), while Nero mingled among the watching crowds. We know that the Apostles Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at this time.

Look out for Chapter 2


Tithing: The Great False Doctrine

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We have to start reading the word of God for ourselves as the holy spirit teaches. We will find that many of the traditions we have been taught are actually manipulations that were installed over time. Many preachers teach the tithing doctrine with good intentions. They truly believe that is what God wants; but is that what scripture says?
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Check this beautiful article by Van Robison out!
 

 

Many churches teach that tithing 10% of one’s income to the church is a part of obedience to God and a requirement in the New Testament, as well as the Old Testament. They love to quote Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me, but you say, wherein have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.” The truth is that when anyone does an in-depth study of the tithing issue, it will be found that the concept of “tithing” is very misunderstood, even from an Old Testament perspective. Many different authors have presented in-depth studies on tithing, covering all the issues in both the Old and New Testaments. While preachers love to make Christians think that “tithing” represents 10% of one’s “income”, it is easy to prove that in fact, tithes in the Old Testament involved several tithes, used for different purposes and that tithing is not at all what Christians have been led to believe. 

Since there is more than one tithe spoken of in the Old Testament, for those who have never researched and studied this hot topic, it may come as a surprise to read this:
Deuteronomy 14:

* Verse 22: “You shall truly TITHE all the increase of your SEED, THAT THE FIELD BRINGS FORTH year by year.”
* Verse 23: “And YOU SHALL EAT before the Lord your God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, THE TITHE OF YOUR CORN, of YOUR WINE, and of YOUR OIL, and the FIRSTLINGS OF YOUR HERDS and of YOUR FLOCKS; that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.”
* Verse 24: “And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from you, which the Lord your God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord your God has blessed you.”
* Verse 25: “Then you shall turn it (note: “it” refers to the tithe of the corn, the wine, the oil, the firstlings of the herds and flocks) into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose.
* Verse 26: “And YOU shall bestow that money FOR WHATSOEVER YOUR SOUL LUSTETH (King James Version) after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”

Do these verses not tell us, that this particular “tithe” was not money, but rather it was the “tithe” of corn, wine, oil, firstlings of the herd and flock? And was not this “tithe” used to EAT before the Lord and to be consumed by the individual and his family? Some sources believe there were three different tithes in the Old Testament. Some even say four tithes. Have you ever heard a preacher tell you that God in the Old Testament, told the Israelites to EAT (Deuteronomy 14:23) their tithes?

Jesus had this to say about tithes in Luke 11:42: “But woe unto you, Pharisees for YOU TITHE MINT and RUE and all manner of HERBS, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” If tithes were paid on herbs, I suppose you would have to ask the question “Did everyone grow herbs?” What about carpenters, did they pay tithes on their lumber? What about iron workers, did they tithe on iron? What about tentmakers, did they pay tithes on their tents? Even in the Old Testament, tithes involved only certain items such as herbs and firstlings of the herds, but on many other things in life, there was no such thing as “tithes”.

Another verse in the Old Testament that proves that “tithes” was something very different than what we have been led to believe by pastors and preachers of churches today, is Deuteronomy 26:12: “When you hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of your increase THE THIRD YEAR, WHICH IS THE YEAR OF TITHING, and HAVE GIVEN IT UNTO the Levite, THE STRANGER, THE FATHERLESS, and THE WIDOW, that they may eat within your gates, and be filled.” Ever hear of giving “tithes” to strangers, the fatherless and the widows? Ever hear about the “third year, the year of tithing?” Probably not and that is because the preachers don’t know the truth about tithing themselves.

A very good book that deals with the New Testament truth on tithing is: Tithing: Low-Realm, Obsolete & Defunct by Matthew E. Narramore (Copyright 2004) and can be read FREE on the Internet. It can also be purchased from the author at his website, or from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Seed Sowers Christian Books Publishing, and from other book sources. Countless full length and in depth articles on the tithing issue inundate the Internet and can be easily located. Other authors have also published full length books on this important topic. However, if you happen to stumble across a “tithing” book by a prosperity gospel preacher, chances are you will not learn the truth about the false tithing doctrine.

Tithing and money are a constant source of spiritual abuse in the church world and basically for the reason that churchianity today insists on functioning as a business enterprise. Tithing is not only greatly misunderstood, it also causes great false fear in the lives of many.

Here is a quote I took off the Internet about the Mormon Church and their tithing policy: “Tithing is an important test of our personal righteousness.” President Joseph F. Smith (1838-1918) said “By this principle it shall be known who is for the Kingdom of God and who is against it… By it shall be known whether we are faithful or unfaithful” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 276.” Here are some astonishing notes from ex-Mormons about “tithing”. The Mormon Church is worth tens of billions of dollars as a result of tithing and from what I have read about the Mormon Church, they do not disclose how the money is spent.

Tithing is one of the great false teachings in the world of churchianity, and money is one of the false god’s of the church world.

Praise Jesus!
Please read this related post that will give you a more historical understanding of the tithe. (Biblical history not worldly history)

Related Post: http://omarcarter.com/2010/03/23/take-the-tithing-test/


THE SABBATH OF THE NEW COVENANT

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So this is a great article that I read which absolutely is IN LINE with scripture. Everyone is fighting about what the sabbath is.  Is it Saturday or Sunday? Must I go to “church” on the sabbath? What does it mean to rest? I didn’t have to add my many words to this because this teaches wonderfully, I just added some imagery since so many of you guys seem to like them. He did not hold on to ONE scripture to support it but he used them all to work together. The Holy Spirit at work.  Great Job by Mr. Meyer.

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This tract is being written because we as Christians are living in a very peculiar time. In these last days prior to the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, there is such confusion among so many well meaning and Christian-minded people, and one great point of confusion and contention is regarding the Sabbath.
I have personally been confronted by people who condemned me and my ministry because I did not keep the Sabbath the way they were trying to keep it. There is extremism in any belief system, and that extremism occurs when proponents of a belief system do not accept the whole council of God. In this tract, we will look at the whole council of God on the subject of the Sabbath, which will bring forth a clear understanding of what it is and how it must be kept.

We will now go back to the origin of the Sabbath at the time of the creation as told at the beginning of the book of Genesis. In Genesis 2:1-3 we read, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

One thing that should be immediately noticed is that all of the preceding six days end with the following words, “And the evening and the morning were the (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th) day.” We do not find these words of finality or summation ending the seventh day, because in a perfect world, everyday thereafter would be a condition of Sabbath or rest and repose. That day was open-ended! Only sin could take away that condition of Sabbath or rest that was meant for everyday, and sadly, that is exactly what happened. Later, we will see how our Lord Jesus restored the perpetual and continual Sabbath to our souls.

The first time we see the word “Sabbath” is in the book of Exodus, and in Exodus 20:8-11, we find that it is given as one of the Ten Commandments as follows: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

One primary point that must be noted regarding the Sabbath commandment is that it has nothing to do with going to “church“! It has only to do with the cessation from work. Nothing more and nothing less. Sinful man was ordered to do nothing on the seventh day. Thus, one day each week he would not be out there committing sin after sin after sin. It was a “do nothing” day, established as such until the Savior would come to give us victory over sin every day of the week and establish rest for our souls by his spirit dwelling within. This could be made possible only through a New Covenant established by the blood of the Lamb of God!

The Old Testament is replete with examples of Sabbath commandments, but in every example, it is under the Old Covenant of a single day of rest, which by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has given way to a Sabbath, where every day is one where we cease from our old works. The Old Covenant, according to Hebrews 8:13, is no more! It reads as follows: “In that he saith, a New Covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”

In Galatians 3:24-25, we are exhorted “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are NO LONGER UNDER THE SCHOOLMASTER.” Thus, the law could lead us to Christ but no further! Those who think that they are keeping the Sabbath as a day must remember that James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” The only one who has ever kept the Sabbath perfectly is Jesus Christ. Man cannot do what He did in keeping the law. The Lord Jesus took the law to Calvary as well as the sin of the world. It was there that the law and all transgressions met, and He bore the sin of many. See Isaiah 53.

Is there a Sabbath after Calvary? Yes! Hebrews 4:9-10 says, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” There are two words not found in those verses, “Sabbath” and “day.” It is because our rest is no longer a calendar day each week, but every day, which includes the seventh, and thus we keep the Sabbath by living a godly and blood-washed life every day. For we have ceased from our old works. Some people who haven’t come to an understanding of what covenant they are under will point out that Paul often went into the synagogues on the Sabbath. If we look at those incidents, however, we see that it was to bring those who hear out of the synagogue and that system of death. Here is what Paul the Apostle said about the seventh day as found in Romans 14:5-6: “One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord, and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.”

We know that the Sabbath law is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and He abides within us. The seventh day Sabbath was not eliminated but fulfilled, and our Savior added six more days to that rest and gave us the timelessness of eternal life. Thus, the seventh day is kept holy with all the other days. We can worship our Lord any day and every day. We know that Sunday or Saturday is not the Sabbath but rather one of seven days, any of which can be used for worship. Acts 20:7 says, “And upon the FIRST day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

It is my humble prayer that all who read this will realize the joy of keeping all seven days of the week holy and thus fulfill the sacred commandment; for it is not our works but the finished work of Christ that has established the eternal timeless Sabbath of the New Covenant by the power of His blood.

David J. Meyer

Praise Jesus!

http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract8.html

Comments will be limited due to the contentious that develops from this subject. Too much legalism that do not understand the fulfillment of the law. Not everyone will be able to understand all TRUTHS but Praise God that he never wanted us to know everything to be in His Kingdom.


Christian Standards: I’M BETTER THAN YOU!!

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I often speak about the false traditions that entered the church of God and I was surprised at first to see how many did not care what the word of God says. Now I do understand it more because the sinful nature is absolutely more fun to us humans. When I talk about tithing through scripture and how our Christian version of it is NOT biblical, I can now understand how some can say I agree but it still works. It does bring in money for our building funds, to pay the ministers so it clearly works. There is a famous saying in today’s church world, which ‘is that “Church is a business”. This is absolutely a fallacy and it shows that we don’t understand the difference between the kingdom of Mammon and the Kingdom of God. In my last post I showed through scripture that they are supposed to be completely different, opposite. We have created a business called church which relates to Babylon described in Revelations. (I will touch on that later)

What I have noticed in today’s version of church is how compromising we have become. Not only compromising but we actually get inspired by the world to do things like them but place Jesus name in it to make it be considered God’s Will.  The style of music, the business we created. The reasons so many Christians desire to be musicians today, is it really because doing the will of God, or is it something else?

Honestly, what I have witness is that in their mindsets it is a bit of both. While they feel they are in it to only please God, getting a huge check each time you do it is absolutely something they enjoy as well; though most will not openly speak about it. It stems from the system we created in the church world today.  Instead of treating everyone equal as brothers and sisters, we created a value system on different placements in the church. Pastors/Elders, Musicians (mostly singers), and  prophets are usually highly esteemed which as a result most people desire to be in those placements. We love what those placements can do for us, the money they bring in and being seen as having a more intense relationship with Christ. Since there are only 3 placements millions of people desire, it creates competition. Only so many can do the same thing.

Matt 23 8“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

My reason for this post is because I am ashamed by what is taking place in the “Church World”. Notice I keep saying Church and World together. This is because that is exactly what it is. It’s a church that is one with the world. We have TV shows like American Idol out there which is all good being that it is the world doing it. What do you think happens now? That’s right, the Church world liked what they seen and adopted an idea for a show exactly like American Idol. The show is called SUNDAY BEST, where “Christians” are judged by men on how great they sing for God. People get voted off each week because they just were not good enough in mans eyes to sing for God in the business world of Church. Is this what Jesus wanted for his church? Is this the perfect bride that he is creating? Where we judge one another based on their skills and talents; where Christians are hurt and discriminated on based on those very same skills and talents. Would Jesus be sitting in the front row of the studio while Sunday Best is taping? Is he is the room? Just because you sing a sing for God does not mean God is in the room. My friend Vanessa reminded me when we use to fellowship with Mr. Donnie McClurkin, who use to preach how we should not be watching these type of shows. How God does not want us competing against one another. Unfortunately he is now on the show as a judge. No judgement toward him on my part but I’m sure you see how it appears.

Was the early Christians way of doing things not good enough for us? They served one another and did not compete against one another. Acts 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the Apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”

Matt 6 1“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

So brothers and sisters, I want you to really test yourself. Ask yourself are the things you take part in, really God’s will for us. Just because the name God is it God’s will? I see Christians loving these type of things in the body but I also see those who say they follow the Most High God following things that aren’t God’s Will. Which one are you?

Rev 18 He shouted with a powerful voice: “Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great! She has become a lair for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detested beast.

Matt 6

2 “When you give to the poor, don’t be like the hypocrites. They blow trumpets in the synagogues and on the streets so that people will see them and honor them. I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full reward.

5 …They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray so people will see them. I tell you the truth, they already have their full reward.

Praise Jesus!