On March 31st, 2012 John Blake posted an article for comments on his blog. The title of the discussion was, “Four big myths of the Book of Revelation.” The use of the word “myths” injected a level of doubt and inaccuracy in the interpretation of the Book of Revelation. It also created a platform for those who did not believe in the inspired word of God to attack and debase the church and the Holy Scripture. The defense presented by the pious prelates, the defenders of the faith, the Christians community was weak, and ineffective or non-existence. One could think CNN would have been flooded with protest especially after publishing a second article that question the existence of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Is this a model for good reporting? If it had been the leader of a minority religion the protest would have made headlines across the world.
“Elaine Pagels, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars, first read Revelation as a teenager. She read it again in writing her latest book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Revelation.” This is a direct quote from Mr. Blake’s post. My question is how does reading the Book of Revelation twice make you a world’s leading biblical scholar? We should be able to stipulate that the author of any book is the best teacher of that book, if that is true and God is the author of the Bible, to understand the Bible one must have one must have the inspired knowledge of God to understand his word.
The Bible, God’s word is written in three types of languages, symbolic, figurative literal. In the Book of Geneses the Devil is introduced as a serpent, and many of us have mental and literal visions of a snake talking to Eve. If you miss the symbolic and figurative nature of the description, you will end up with Eve carrying on a conversation with a snake and plucking an Apple from a tree and eating it. I must quickly add none of this has anything to do with Christian salvation. Yet to promote the idea that God was concerning about Adam and Eve’s eating habit and the Devil feeling he would be more persuasive as a snake is erroneous. A faith built upon erroneous conceptions of God or God’s spirit is easily led down a path of deception and will not stand the test of time.
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|The Bible itself reveals the doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith. They are 1) the Deity of Christ, 2) Salvation by Grace, and 3) Resurrection of Christ, 4) the gospel, and 5) monotheism. These are the doctrines the Bible says are necessary. Though there are many other important doctrines, these five are the ones that are declared by Scripture to be essential A non-regenerate person (i.e., Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, atheist, Muslim), will deny one or more of these essential doctrines. There are other derivative doctrines of scripture that become necessary also, the Trinity being one.
The five core doctrines should permeate the teaching of a church at every level. To deny one or more of these core doctrines is the bases of false teaching. Is the gospel hopelessly confusing? Not so, not even for little children. Here again I must inject my favorite oxymoron, deliberate confusion. The devil started this game in the Garden of Eden, the idea is when you cannot deny or change the word of God, the best defense is to confuse the word of God.
The Council Meet and The Proliferation Of The Churches
The Council of Ephesus met in the town of Ephesus in the year of 431AD. This is important because it mark the first split in the church hierarchy. The Nicolaitanes was firmly entrenched as leaders of the church with the support of the Pagan Roman Empire. This was the third Ecumenical Council. This is also the location of one of the churches Jesus referred to in his letters to the seven churches. John wrote the letters to the Church around AD 96. Jesus hated the group that was setting themselves up as leaders of the church and he urged them to remember and repent or he would remove the lamp stand.
A council of the church is a conference called by the leaders of the church to give guidance to the church. The first council of the church took place in Jerusalem (A.D. 50) for the purpose to dealing with Judaizing legalism. Its events are recorded in Acts 15. The results of this first council became normative for the entire early church. But this council must be distinguished from later councils of the church in that it had apostolic leadership. Later councils of the church are either ecumenical or local; an ecumenical council represents the entire church and a local council has regional or local representation. For example, twelve regional councils met to discuss the Arian heresy between the ecumenical councils of Nicaea in A.D. 325 and Constaninope in A.D. 382.
A study of these Councils meeting did nothing to solidify the church but were the wedge that was used to split the church apart. The church that Jesus had founded became embroiled in petty argument and mortal men striving for positions of leadership. The Pope evolved as the leader of the church and the powers given to him by the Roman Empire made him the supreme authority in the state empowered church. Thus began the splitting of the church..
Diocletian was the last of the persecuting emperors and his persecution had failed to destroy the Church. Now Constantine, the first Christian emperor, succeeded his bloody predecessor. When Constantine ascended to the throne, the edicts of his predecessor were repealed and liberty was granted to the Christians to worship according to their own conscience. This took place in A.D. 313. However, the Christian religion was regarded as but one of the many religions of the empire. All religions were tolerated. As time passed Constantine learned more about Christianity and become better acquainted with the Christians. He noticed that his Christian subjects could be relied upon and trusted, while his pagan subjects were continually causing trouble and giving him much difficulty throughout the empire. This being true, he realized that Christianity certainly had something the pagan religions did not have. Because of this, in A.D. 324 Constantine issued edicts against paganism and used all of his power to force Christianity on his empire as the one and only religion. He banished paganism from his court and from his government, and Christians were given posts of honor. These Christians were not like Daniel. Because the Emperor offered the gold and positions of honor, many of them eagerly swallowed the bait, sacrificed their convictions and allegiance to the Lord—and the church settled into the world. Before that time the church had walked apart from the world (John 17; 2nd Cor. 6:14-16). When Constantine made these kind of gestures towards the church and believers, they locked arms with him and with the state, and thus the church made a fatal union.
Men and women of today are still seeking to honor God and retain doctrinal purity according to their consciences and their understanding of His Word. To do this there is no hesitation to break away and form a new order. Before embarking upon this course of action, prayer and the Spirit of God should be the guiding force.
Once a new order was established based upon its doctrinal belief, to increase its effectiveness it would state that all other beliefs are wrong. This common practice was effective for a short period of time, then newer members began to question the veracity of such statements. To condemn a huge block of humanity to Hell just didn't seems proper.
Many denominations or doctrines were started by the teaching of one person, which later expanded into a group. Usually upon the death of that individual the ideas and concepts of the starter group were hi-jacked by men with swords or guns thus again allowing for the continuing proliferation of the church.
As with any process that involve the church, the Devil seeks to play an important role. The realization that the church was a business and that it could provide financial security for its leaders and improved their status, proliferation became a necessary tool to allow for expansion and control.
The damage done by some of these groups or churches can be seen in action today. The believability of Christianity or God is at an all time low. The church is struggling to compete with the entertainment aspect of the world, the institutes of higher learning and God has been regulated to a back seat. Whereas in the book of Revelation Jesus said he was walking among the candlesticks.
There are five basic core doctrines of christian religion. These doctrines put in simple language are the basic theology of our faith, taking into account the full teaching of the word of God in context. Without these five doctrines a person cannot consider themselves to be a Bible believing, Christ centered, Spirit baptized christian. There are many Christians today from varied backgrounds and ethnic groups that believe and teach the five core doctrines of faith.
What makes a car a car? Is it the paint color, the number of doors or the fancy do-dads in the dash? You must conclude that there are certain key elements that defines a constructed item as a car.
The rule for establishing a new religious order should be Bible based and allows for and enhance the religious freedom of the worshipers.
There is no denominations in the Kingdom.
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The old Oak Tree by the side of the road, once a popular meeting place for preaching and prayer services.