Preface: There are many prophecies in the bible regarding the restoration of the people of Israel. The purpose of this study is to expose any errors that are preventing the fulfillment of these prophecies.
Ezekiel 37:15 And the word of YHWH came to me, saying, 16 “And you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it, ‘For Yehudah and for the children of Yisra’ĕl, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Yosĕph, the stick of Ephrayim, and for all the house of Yisra’ĕl, his companions.’ 17 “Then bring them together for yourself into one stick, and they shall become one in your hand. 18 “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Won’t you show us what you mean by these?’ 19 say to them, ‘Thus said the Master YHWH, “See, I am taking the stick of Yosĕph, which is in the hand of Ephrayim, and the tribes of Yisra’ĕl, his companions. And I shall give them unto him, with the stick of Yehudah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in My hand.” ’ 20 “And the sticks on which you write shall be in your hand before their eyes. 21 “And speak to them, ‘Thus said the Master YHWH, “See, I am taking the children of Yisra’ĕl from among the gentiles, wherever they have gone, and shall gather them from all around, and I shall bring them into their land. 22 “And I shall make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Yisra’ĕl. And one sovereign shall be sovereign over them all, and let them no longer be two nations, and let them no longer be divided into two reigns.
Before we begin our introductory study we make this statement: 'This site is not anti-Christian, anti-Messianic or anti-Semitic, nor is it attempting to proselytize or convert anyone in any way, shape or form.'
This study gives a factual accounting of the history of the the largest religious organization in the world today. We challenge you to ensure its accuracy in all regards. The intent of this study is not to be biased, but to present historical facts as they occurred so that you the reader may clearly see what has transpired to formulate the doctrines that are in use today.
The History of religious doctrines - Part 1 - Christianity
We begin our study after the Temple is destroyed:
70 A.D. To 300s - “The foundational era of Christianity”
A.D. 110 approx. – The Greek philosopher Ignatius teaches the deity of Jesus, that the Sabbath was to be replaced by “The Lords day”, the “saved by grace” doctrine and against the practice of Judaism.
“Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables, which are profitless. For if even unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we avow that we have not received grace.... If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbaths but fashioning their lives after the Lord's day, on which our life also arose through Him and through His death which some men deny ... how shall we be able to live apart from Him?"... It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practise Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity. Ignatius to the Magnesians
There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible, even Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ignatius to the Ephesians
A.D. 160 approx. The Greek philosopher Justin Martyr teaches that the Sabbath and other commands were done away with upon the appearance of Jesus and also identified him with “Logos”
“While the gentile peoples, seduced by demons, had deserted the true God for idols, the Jews and Samaritans possessed the revelation given through the prophets and awaited the Messiah. The law, however, while containing commandments intended to promote the true fear of God, had other prescriptions of a purely pedagogic nature, which necessarily ceased when Christ, their end, appeared; of such temporary and merely relative regulations were circumcision, animal sacrifices, the Sabbath, and the laws as to food. Through Christ the abiding law of God has been fully proclaimed. In his character as the teacher of the new doctrine and promulgator of the new law lies the essential nature of his redeeming work.”
A.D. 200 approx. – Tertullian founds the basis for the doctrine of the trinity and the divinity of Jesus.
“The Jews regarded Christ as a mere man; we acknowledge Him as the Incarnate Son of God, who lived a wonderful life, and was crucified, as He Himself and the prophets foretold. After His death He rose again on the third day and finally ascended into heaven. If His Divinity be true, all other religions must be false”.
Authors notes: During this time period we see the early founders teaching against practicing Judaism, and asserting that the Old Testament commands do not apply to the Christian believer. The deity of Jesus and the trinity are proposed.
300 A.D.To 1000s - “The Church establishes principal doctrine regarding the nature of Jesus”
A.D. 313 - The Edict of Milan was signed by emperors Constantine I and Licinius that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire.
A.D. 321 - Roman Emperor Constantine made the following declaration: "On the venerable Day of the Sun (SUNday) let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed."
A.D. 325 – The Nicene Council was convened by order of Roman Emperor Constantine in an attempt to bring the various beliefs into unity with one another regarding the nature of Jesus, whether he was the literal son of God (as put forth by Alexander of Alexandria), or that he was a figurative son, like the other "Sons of God" in the Bible (as put forth by Arius and his followers). Alexanders stance won out, Arius was deemed a heretic and the Nicene Creed was created. The other topic which was voted in as doctrine was that Pascha (Passover - later changed to Easter) would no longer be observed by the Jewish calendar which had flaws but would be observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox.
The Nicene Creed: "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost."
The basic Arian stance (There are various forms of Arianism): Jesus was a created being who did not pre-exist with the Father and therefore was inferior to God. John 14:28 was quoted to substantiate the claim using Jesus' own words. "the Father is greater than I".
A.D. 358 - The Council of Seleucia was called by Roman Emperor Constantius II to resolve disputes which were continuing to divide the Church regarding the nature of Jesus; whether he was the literal son of God or that he was a figurative son, like the other "Sons of God" in the Bible. This council was divided on the matter.
A.D. 359 – The Council of Constantinople was called by Roman Emperor Constantius II to once again try to resolve the disputes which were dividing the Church regarding the nature of Jesus; whether he was the literal son of God or that he was a figurative son, like the other "Sons of God" in the Bible. Arianism was condemned by this Council. The Creed of Constantinople was created in an attempt to clarify the Churches stance on the nature of Jesus:
The Creed of Constantinople: "We believe in one God the Father Almighty, of whom are all things. And in the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of God before all ages, and before every beginning; through whom all things visible and invisible were made: who is the only-begotten born of the Father, the only of the only, God of God, like to the Father who begat him, according to the Scriptures, and whose generation no one knows but the Father only that begat him. We know that this only-begotten Son of God, as sent of the Father, came down from the heavens, as it is written, for the destruction of sin and death: and that he was born of the Holy Spirit, and of the Virgin Mary according to the flesh, as it is written, and conversed with his disciples; and that after every dispensation had been fulfilled according to his Father's will, he was crucified and died, and was buried and descended into the lower parts of the earth, at whose presence hades itself trembled: who also arose from the dead on the third day, again conversed with his disciples, and after the completion of forty days was taken up into the heavens, and sits at the right hand of the Father, whence he will come in the last day, the day of the resurrection, in his Father's glory, to requite every one accord-to his works. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit, whom he himself the only-begotten of God, Christ our Lord and God, promised to send to mankind as the Comforter, according as it is written, "the Spirit of truth;" whom he sent to them after he was received into the heavens."
A.D. 365 approx. - The Council at Laodicea made the following decree "Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."
A.D. 380 - Theodosius I proclaimed Catholic Christianity to be the sole religion of the Roman Empire.
A.D. 381 - The 1st Council of Constantinople was called by Roman Emperor Theodosius I to once again try to resolve the disputes which were dividing the Church regarding the nature of Jesus; whether he was the literal son of God or that he was a figurative son, like the other "Sons of God" in the Bible (Arianism). Arianism was once again condemned. The Council was also called to combat the 'heresy' of the Pneumatomachi (Those who denied the divinity the Holy spirit). To try to eliminate this influence, the Nicene Creed was modified to reflect that the Church believed that the Holy Ghost was divine, thus the Trinity was given its official endorsement.
The Nicene Creed of 381: (Changes from the original Nicene Creed are underlined) "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."
A.D. 381 - The Council of Aquileia was called by Roman Emperor Gratian to put an end to the disputes which were dividing the Church regarding the nature of Jesus; whether he was the literal son of God or that he was a figurative son, like the other "Sons of God" in the Bible (Arianism). Palladius who was called to defend the Arian position, used New Testament passages. Ambrose relied upon official Church doctrine to support his position. Ultimately the Catholic clergy pronounced anathema against the Arian position. Arianism faded and never again threatened the Church doctrine to any great degree.
The minutes of this Council is a must read for the serious student and can be read by clicking this link.
A.D. 431 – The 1st Council of Ephesus was called to resolve the disputes which were dividing the Church regarding the nature of Jesus, in particular the idea that there was disunity between Christ's human and divine natures (Nestorianism). The Council condemned Nestorianism. The Council also proclamed that The Virgin Mary was the Mother of God “Theotokos” because her son Jesus is one person, who is both God and man, divine and human.
A.D. 451 - The Council of Chalcedon was convened to resolve the disputes which were dividing the Church regarding the nature of Jesus; specifically Nestorianism, which stated that Jesus had two loosely joined natures, the divine Logos and the human Jesus. The Chalcedon Creed was created in an attempt to clarify the Churches stance on the nature of Jesus:
"We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person (prosopon) and one Subsistence (hypostasis), not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten God, the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
A.D. 553 - The 2nd Council of Constantinople was called by Roman Emperor Justinian in an attempt to eliminate the Nestorian influence which was dividing the Church regarding the nature of Jesus. Nestorianism asserted that Jesus had two loosely bound natures, one human and one divine (which was thought to be too similar to the teaching that Jesus was born a man and adopted by God). Nestorianism also insisted that Mary, the mother of Jesus' title should be "mother of Christ" (Christotokos) rather than "Mother of God" (Theotokos) to reflect his humanity. The Nestorian influence was quashed at this time.
A.D. 680 - The 3rd Council of Constantinople was called by Emperor Constantine IV. At issue was 'monothelitism' which put forth that Jesus had only one will which was divine. The Council concluded that Jesus has two wills as well as two natures (divine and human), and that those two wills do not conflict with each other.
A.D. 787 – The 2nd Council of Nicaea reinstated veneration of Icons “Iconism”.
Authors notes: During this time period Sabbath keeping was considered Judaizing and pressure was placed on the people by Constantine (a sun worshiper) and the religious authorities who were attempting to keep the people from worshiping as the Jews. The timing of the Churches Pascha observance was changed from the Jewish reckoning. The doctrine of the Trinity was created and the nature of Jesus was hotly disputed among the Church leaders at this time.
1500s to Present - “The Protestant organizations are created”
AD 1500s – The Episcopalian movement began when it split from the Church of England. AD 1800s – Papal infallibility defined.
AD 1500s – The Lutheran movement based on the teachings of Martin Luther. Which places emphasis on “Justification by faith alone” and “inerrancy of the bible”.
AD 1500s – The Presbyterian movement began in Scotland by John Knox a student of John Calvin and in England by Thomas Cartwright. Focus is on “confession and church order”. The seven “sacraments” of the Catholic Church formally defined.
AD 1600s – The Baptist movement began in Amsterdam by John Smyth. Which emphasizes belief in baptism and “salvation through faith alone, scripture alone”.
AD 1700s – The Methodist movement began in England by John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield. Emphasizes belief in “free will through Gods grace”.
Authors notes: As with the overwhelming majority of Christian denominations, these faiths have all come into existence within the last 500 years. Having disagreed with certain aspects of the foundational teachings of the Catholic Church, they split from it and became separate entities which are based primarily on the doctrines of the Catholic Church but have been slightly modified by the founders to reflect differences in understandings.
Greek and Roman philosophers, most who were former pagans, soon started to form the foundation of the Christian religion. One of the first things they did was begin to separate themselves from the Jewish roots of the faith. Declaring that the Sabbath no longer needed to be observed and was to be replaced by the Lords day (Sunday) and that circumcision and eating biblically clean were also to be discarded as unnecessary (i.e. Justin Martyr and Ignatius). Ignatius, who also called himself Theophorus (which means ‘God Bearer’) wrote the following: “It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity”.
They then began to define who Yah'shua was. Tertullion (Who drew upon the works of Greek philosophers, such as Plato and Pythagoras) wrote: “The Jews regarded Christ as a mere man; we acknowledge Him as the Incarnate Son of God,.... If His Divinity be true, all other religions must be false”. Which would also include Judaism. During the 3rd and 4th centuries Church leaders were pressured by the Roman Emperors to come to an agreement on the nature of Yah’shua because it was causing considerable discord. There were many varying thoughts regarding this subject, with two being prevalent above the rest. One held as its basic belief that Yah’shua did not always exist, but was created by and therefore distinct from and inferior to YHWH. The chief proponent of this view was Arius and was labeled "Arianism". The other held as its basic belief that Yah’shua was pre-existent and therefore of divine nature. This belief was championed by Alexander and his student Athanasius. After many years and much strife and contention, the Trinitarian position was voted in as the official Church stance.
In an attempt to stamp out Protestant groups whose beliefs did not line up with Church doctrine, they created inquisitions against them. The Cathars, The Waldensians who did not recognize the priesthood or the veneration of saints and martyrs. The Fraticelli; those who openly opposed the wealth of the Church and other Protestant movements that were coming into existence at that time.
Part 1 Conclusion:
We have laid a basic foundation for you in this portion of the study. Part 2 "Judaism" delves deeper and the foundation becomes even firmer.