1/15/2009 On the Breakage of the Catholic Church


On the Breakage
of the Holy Catholic Church

by Mel West

Painting by Mel Copeland from the early 70's


Remedies for this dark and murderous age
– in answer to Mr. Buckley –


This book is part of a series produced during a conversation with Mr. Buckley. A list of these books is in the Preface to Duty and Profit . All of the books were written as epistles, which, in the case of this work, became an epistle upon an epistle. Having addressed the issue of our declining state of affairs in the Second Coming of the American Revolution , I proceeded into this work. We begin:

March 7, 1994

Dear Mr. Buckley,

Thank you for your comments of March 2, 1994. While waiting for your answer against our letter of January 28, 1994, taking advantage of the aposiopesis, we went ahead and prepared our rebuttal, On the Breakage of the Holy Catholic Church , which adds to our troop the ideas of the Church Fathers. Enclosed is an extra copy for your bishop.

We seem to be getting closer together concerning your comments, to wit:

March 2, 1994

"Touching the Lord's robe was not a work; and the Lord specified that it was the woman's faith that had cured her. And St. Paul said, ' God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of Christ.' He also reminded people that they were baptized not in his name, but in Christ's. Maybe you have Paul confused with martin Luther, who was a little rude about St. James."

Wm. F. Buckley Jr.

Dear Mr. Buckley,

We agree on Martin Luther. But evidence in the enclosed book shows that Martin Luther was rude because of orders passed through his [ancient] presbyters, traced to Paul.

Perhaps you and your bishop will also agree that the conclusions of the enclosed might be closer to the faith which lured the woman with the effusion than what might be found in the Pauline church today. Perhaps you might find some healing in it as well.

There is a great degree of difference between the woman's faith and Luther's, and knowing that Luther was following orders from the apostle Paul, we think it appropriate that Paul step ut to the bar, as it were, and assume responsibility for the multitudes who were broken by his doctrine. If the fools who followed Luther's advise were condemned at Nürnberg, though their leaders, Hitler and Luther, were dead, are those who started the doctrine or continue it less culpable? Hoping you can shed more light here, I remain,

Sincerely yours,


encl. 2 copies On the Breakage of the Holy Catholic Church


On the Steps of Heaven

We assume you have all heard of the Stairway to Heaven. Imagine an event which is as one opening the Gate of Heaven, and, in opening that gate the Wisdom of Heaven is finally seen. In our allegory, there are two men standing on the stairs of the gate, and the one, holding a string of pearls, beckons to the other, saying, "come up hither, I have something to show thee." The man with the pearls encourages him that the gate at the top of the stairs is the same as one put here on earth, and that you enter the gate by good works; and he cites a specific work in mind which the other might support. The other man answers that according to his faith in God he has already been given a passport to enter that gate and, therefore, needn't help.

The reason this conversation began is because the man with the pearls had inquired on a matter of truth with the other, which affected the lives of multitudes. And the man with the pearls argued that if he could get this one man to do something (that he would not otherwise do), and thereby lend salvation to a multitude, many could be saved. The man with the pearls spoke of the multitudes of Homeless who beg in America's streets, the afflicted, and those who suffer from, and await, persecution. He spoke of how ill conceived doctrines have led tot he death of multitudes: just as Hitler's doctrine led to the destruction of countless millions of people, among whom were six million Jews, so too are judged those behind Hitler who bequeathed him the anti-Semitic doctrine. Within the center of Hitler's Gospel is a condemnation of the Jews and their Holy Scriptures--which includes the restoration of the Temple and the Promises which attend it. And this came from the Apostle Paul. Witness this small scripture which the Apostle Paul and his disciples (the Christian Church) oppose:

Zech. 1.16...I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it..
6.12..Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of his place, and He shall build the Temple of the Lord.
6.13 Even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall be the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.

In addition to Christian opposition to this Promise, there is yet another fear, among Moslems, of placing the Temple on the Temple Mount, and of the Gate of Righteousness through which the temple builders must enter. This gate, also known as the Gate of Levi, is called the Golden Gate, and it was sealed up by the Moslems long ago to prevent the Messiah from entering the mount. Just to pass through one Gate of Righteousness, as one descends down the stairs, it is apparent that we must persuade both the Moslems and the Christian Church to help remove the stones which seal the gate.

The Temple

We show here that the Temple is not a place of sacrifice, but intended as a House of Prayer for all people. We contrast this with other Houses of Prayer who allow entry only to those tithers of their own persuasion and kill nonbelievers.

As for the Temples of the Flesh which Paul advocated, compared to the [Temple] House of Prayer for all people, we know you will agree that far more blood was sacrificed over Paul's temple than ever contemplated in any Temple of God.

Strings of Light

The conversation on the Stairs of Heaven is as the examination of a String of Pearls or a Chain, as Wisdom has been compared to light [like Pearls] linked to light, as in a chain [or as these web pages]. Examining this chain is Mr. Buckley, who was kind enough to answer me when I called, and myself.

To accommodate Mr. Buckley's penetrating wit, we called forth from the stairs every sage, philosopher, and prophet we could find who could support us. After a manner of speaking we have thrown everything I could find and even considered the kitchen sink. This, a letter in a series (which began with a small book called Against Leviathan, shows the man with the pearls adding to his troop the Catholic Fathers so to plead further his case with Mr. Buckley; and this leads to the opening of the Gate of Righteousness. The key to the Gate of Righteousness, we argued, is to open the Truth, that one is liable for what one knows. Hear, then, this Truth.

Looking from another perspective, to reveal the Truth we squeezed the essence of many great thinkers between the leaves of these works, that you may know, and then knowing, that you may do a good work which you had not thought otherwise to do. Among those we address here is the Chair of Saint Peter, whom we engage on behalf of all those dead and dying "for God."

Welcome, then, to our world of the stairs and their pearls. As words go, these should not be any harder to ascend than the Holy Scriptures. Those who have read the Bible should be able to easily walk through this book.

There was a time when a multitude satisfied themselves on this cause; now we hope for but a few. We salute Mr. Buckley with his patience and understanding.

Mel West
Berkeley, CA
February 28, 1994

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Dear Mr. Buckley,

To appreciate the many facets of the Messiah, would you not agree that one must test it against other diamonds? To include not only the troop we carry – and the recruits we have added herein – but also yourself and your bishop and presbyter? Putting all things to the stone we discover that your response does not consider the fact that the faith upon which you rest is one which has had somewhat of a turbulent formation and evolved, as it were, out of many conflicting doctrines – all presumably led by the Holy Spirit or Jesus, as Christians have been tempted to subscribe. We say this not to cohibit your faith but rather to inquire into it, to collocate its sundry and confusing parts so to ascertain exactly who it is whom Catholics and other Christians worship. By following this tack we may also understand a bit more why so many people have been murdering each other over the meaning of the original doctrine delivered through the oracle of Mt. Sinai.

Surely you will agree that you stand at a moment when many lives may be saved through your presence, not only for reasons applied in Against Leviathan, but for causes fundamental to your faith. Even your faith, which came through Jesus, if followed to its natural progression, can put you in a position where you can save even a larger multitude. Those who seek the higher positions in the public eye bear witness to this reality: that their actions may affect the lives of multitudes. As so many books of Wisdom confirm, of those who hold the highest stations in life more is required; and following this comes our conclusion that in their hands is the balance of life and death for many. We may illustrate here the case of Constantine the Great, for instance, who was persuaded to abandon not only pagan beliefs but also to stop the persecution of Christians. By his conversion to Christianity many lives were saved. We mention this because any man can become a Constantine. Unlike Constantine, however, there are many who use their position and glory not to save lives but to pluck at and destroy them.

Our conversation has a direction to it, which is one you set, not I. By necessity the progression leads to the Chair of Saint Peter. Because of this we have addressed ourself to him in Part II herein and included in this work the recent letters between us (marked by the blue section, appendixes A, B and C) pertinent to our argument. Notwithstanding the end of our correspondence, I hope that it will continue, that out of it can come for the both of us a clearer statement of faith.

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On the stairs of faith. We have compared our progression-using Scripture, to that of a String of Pearls, and then a chain. The Messiah in which you profess your faith comes from that Chain. I recognize this is a hard thing for Christians to understand, as they believe that Christ was before the Chain – existing from the beginning co-equal to God, the Creator.

I was recently invited by a friend to the San Francisco de Young Museum, where an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls is being featured, and the Curator of Antiquities and Art was kind enough to give us a few moments of her time and escorted us through the collection. Featured in the collection were associated artifacts from the museum's own assortment and among them was a large tapestry showing the life of Jacob. As the curator was describing the tapestry, pointing out Jacob's Ladder, it occurred to me that perhaps I have been using the wrong form to express the nature of the Holy Scriptures. Rather than viewing the Scriptures as a String of Pearls or a Chain, let's talk about them as a ladder or stairs reaching to earth from heaven. Each rung or step in the ladder is a precept of God in the Holy Scriptures. Imagine then, when I said we stood before the Gate of Righteousness, we are standing upon the stairs.

Many have bounded up and down the stairs over time; and as I play on the stairs I have been calling you to come up and see!

See here. In our conversation I have rounded up a large troop, of whom we have already spoken, and I did it by running up and down the stairs, getting one and yet another. Now I have brought down some more men, whom you would appreciate into the troop, who confirm that what I have been saying to you is true. I can go up and get more if you like.

As you read the thoughts of the Church Fathers whom we have brought to you herein, consider, therefore, that walking with me in reviewing their words is as if one were walking up the stairs.

The Vine of Knowledge. If we were to describe the original conception in which you believe we might best describe it as a vine with many branches. For the sake of understanding, we can refer to Jesus as a Branch off of that Tree which was, by design, intended-as one would transplant vines to a field of new harbors – to be transplanted to all the nations. After this there would be one New Vineyard and one Wine from it. This has been the mission of the Holy Catholic Church, but in the transplanting phase something went awry, and instead of harvesting one wine we find a considerable variety which, upon first taste, had a vintage which is bitter. The vintage is foul to the taste no matter where you sample it. Our testimony is sure, for the vintage has produced murderers wheresoever one looks. This is the scene described of Israel in Isaiah 5 and it reflects the mood with regard to the world in this day.

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The solution in Isaiah 5, to rid the old Vineyard of the strange vines, was to break down the walls and scatter the seed [sic. to all the nations]. Now that the Vineyard has been scattered the Biblical Plan is to purge the new Vineyard of its weeds, or tares. This also has been a mission of the Holy Catholic Church, as we shall see, who thought to burn the tares, as it were, before it was time to do so.

The parable of the Vineyard has been described since its inception in many ways to fit various points of view. We must keep it in mind whilst we explore the results which we now face, and seeing these results as responsibly as we may, search for appropriate remedies for this crying, dying world.

We have emphasized the need for charity [sic. The Golden Rule ] in all discussions; and usually we end up tying into our argument the plight of the multitudes who have been abandoned on our streets-where the rule of law, rather than charity, is its every man for himself. Because of what we see, therefore, we base our judgments upon some fundamental judgments already stated in the Bible, which are cited firstly in Psalm 12 and again in Revelation 11.18.

The vision personified in a creature who believes in a creed, it is everyman for himself, is a vision of a creature of desolation. To maintain Biblical Terminology, let's call it the Abomination of Desolation. This creature evokes the idea of desecrating that which is Holy unto God. The demon bloomed in the time of the Babylonian Captivity, when the Temple was desecrated; and then again under the Maccabean period, when Antiochus Epiphanes dared to place his image in the temple, a place where images were forbidden altogether.

Because of the vision of the Vineyard there is also combined in the vision against the Abomination of Desolation the idea that man in the Latter Days would be desolating the land, not allowing it to rest, and neither would he give the beasts of the field a rest. The idea of rest was explained in the Sabbath. The abomination of whom we speak cannot agree to the commandment to rest, as was seen in the Book of Job, who links us to the reserves in the Wisdom of God:

Job 40.8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
38.22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
38.23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

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Because of the original charge to Adam (man) to dress and keep the Vineyard (Genesis 2.15) it follows that in the Latter days we might perceive that the fields would even cry out against man, as he desolates them, which is mentioned in the book of Job:

Job 31.37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.
31.38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;
31.39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:
31.40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

From this came the curse mentioned in the book of Enoch:

Enoch 52.6 Cursed is he who brings the Lord's creation into contempt.

Related to these precepts, then, we have the precept of the visitation of the Messiah, Immanuel, mentioned in Isaiah 7.14 who is accompanied by:

Isaiah 7.23 ..in that day [of the Virgin] that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
7.24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.

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Thus, we have the vision Joel expressed for the Latter Days:

Joel 2.1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my Holy Mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand:
2.2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong: there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
2.3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
2.4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen so shall they run.
2.6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
1.7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
1.8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
1.9 The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD's ministers, mourn.
1.10 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth...
2.7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks.
2.8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
2.9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
2.10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
2.11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
2.30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

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2.31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
2.32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
3.1 For behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
3.2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and parted my land.
3.13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

Most of these sentiments are reflected again in Daniel and finally in Revelation 11.18, which concludes:

Revelation 11.18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great;

and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

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Thus, the curse noted in the book of Enoch above, against those who bring the Lord's creation into contempt, seemed to fit appropriately on the back cover of Hidden Pavilions.

Part of the Creation, of course, includes not only the concern over the desolation of the fields (another reason why Israel was scattered – see Isaiah) but also the desolation of the beasts of the field, where we see in the book of Enoch:

Enoch 58.7 And as every soul of man is according to number, similarly beasts will not perish, nor all souls of beasts which the Lord created, till the great judgment, and they will accuse man, if he feed them ill.

When the Apostle Paul thought to make men pure from spot (see Ephesians 5.27) in preparation for the Day of Judgment, he overlooked some of the notions expressed above. Whereas he noted that no man is free from sin:

Romans 3.23 For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God

– we conclude that his vision was so focused [against the Law, the Torah] he failed to comprehend the full vision of that which creates sin or defines wickedness. For in examining the doctrines he established, and their subsequent result, we find substantial differences in magnitudes easily measured, between the investiture of sin Paul viewed, relating to Adam and Eve's fall, which condemned us all according to their Pauline theology, when in fact the Holy Scriptures concluding in Revelation 11.18 do not assume Paul's justification. For the Holy Scriptures were concerned about him who forsakes the commandments of God and desolates his vineyard, or Garden. Who desolates the garden is condemned; thus we have the curse against those who bring the Lord's creation into contempt. No longer are men judged because they fell into sin because of Adam and Eve's wrong-doing; they are judged for their own wrong-doing: for desolation of that which is Holy to God, meaning His Vineyard and His Message on how to manage [sic. dress and keep] that Vineyard.

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When one adopts this point of view one begins to see odd things taking shape in this day and age. The Christian Church – the legacy of Paul – is railing against adulterers and thieves (who deserve reproach) but seem to leave the defense of the garden and fundamentals necessary to maintain the garden, to other, secular, preachers! We speak of organizations such as Greenpeace, who seem to be the only ones zealous over the original idea of putting man in the garden.

Understanding our point of departure – with regard to saving the garden from the Abomination of Desolation – whom we have also called Leviathan – then we may proceed with our discourse, continuing with the progression laid out in our previous correspondence.

To attack the present discussion, we have found it necessary to break it into two parts. Part I will deal with the argument behind the development of a Unified Christian Church – called a Catholic Church by Ignatius – and the patch-work necessary to bring to fruition that ideal. We speak of the Catholic Church as a patch-work, as will be seen, because it has the appearance of a branch upon which many people attempted to carve the image of God. The image of God, of course, is ineffable, and anyone attempting to draw an image of it would be like the blind men describing the Great White Elephant, of whom we have described previously (In honoring our sources we must admit that this parable probably has its origins in the sacred groves of the Brahmins): One blind man brought to the elephant would describe it in terms of the ear which he touched, the other the foot, another the trunk, and so on. Another, being flicked by the tail but yet not close enough to feel the elephant, merely exclaimed, Allah! (We paraphrase the tale for edification based upon the thesis at hand). This is about as close as anyone has gotten to perceiving God; and we would argue that He is better perceived through His Word.

Referring back to the metaphor of a carved branch, the vision is a bit clearer, for in the case of Christianity many men began to carve on the branch the image they thought it should take. Others, seeing some pieces removed which ought not to have been chipped away, tried to band-aid back on pieces which were removed; another, following, plucked a portion that had been restored, and then another tacked on a chip of wood from the ground; another turned it around, and so it went, one chipping away, another putting back, and finally others breaking the branch in pieces, scattering them on the ground. During each age someone has come along to try to make sense out of all those chips and bandaged pieces which he found before him. Usually – we now refer to the written Word of God- they began their works with the titles, Against Heresies, and gathered from there. In Part I, then, we shall re-examine the pieces which were conceived out of the broken branches of Catholicism.

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In Part II we offer a resolution, how to put the breakage back together: through showing the common bond which we all share, we should mitigate much suffering among the multitudes, restore that which was plundered and taken away, and alleviate the persecutions and the murders which the world assumes, as men pray for Unity during their daily prayers. You may see Part II is in answer to many prayers.

Part I
The Fragmentation of the Church

Picking up from where we left off in our last letter, and in consideration of the foregoing, we may now survey some of the underlying features of the Catholic faith which was carved out of Paul's conclusion that Jesus is God. This scripture assumes that God Jesus has, through his presence in the flesh, abolished the Torah and set up the New Covenant reflected in Paul's Gospel – much to the dismay of the Circumcised Church under Saints Peter and James in Jerusalem, we are compelled to reiterate.

Chapter 1
Baseline: the Messiah is as God

The argument between Paul and Saints Peter and James over faith versus works continued after their deaths and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A. D. Clement, the third Bishop of Rome, a disciple of St. Peter, maintained St. Peter's position. In his Second Epistle Clement says:

Clement 1.1 Brethren, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ as of God: as of the judge of the living, and the dead; nor should we think any less of our salvation.
1.2 For if we think meanly of him, we shall hope only to receive some small things from him.
1.3 And if we do so; we shall sin; not considering from whence we have been called, and by whom, and to what place; and how much Jesus Christ vouchsafed to suffer for our sakes.
1.5 And another Scripture saith, I came not to call the righteous but sinners (to repentance). The meaning of which is this: that those who were lost must be saved.
4.13 Wherefore my brethren, let us not doubt in our minds, but let us expect with hope, that we may receive our reward; for he is faithful, who has promised that he will render to every one a reward according to his works.
4.14 If, therefore, we shall do what is just in the sight of God we shall enter into his kingdom, and shall receive the promises; which neither eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man.
4.15 Wherefore let us every hour expect the Kingdom of God in love and righteousness; because we know not the day of God's appearing.

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God versus as God

When Clement refers to Jesus the Messiah as from God only one interpretation can be allowed: that he is as God. The Messiah, by virtue of the proof texts of Scripture which define Him, previously quoted, is either God or as God. Job saw the Messiah thusly:

Job 33.3 My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.
33.4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
33.5 If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up.
33.6 Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay...
33.23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:
33.24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
33.26..For he will render unto man his righteousness.
33.27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
33.28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
33.29 Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man.
33.20 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.

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Isaiah 9, which we quoted in our last letter, says, He shall be called Counsellor [Comforter], The Mighty God, etc. Jesus referred to the Comforter as the Holy Spirit, which we also discussed earlier. A man named Mani (216-277 A.D.), who initiated the Manichaen Heresy, claimed that he is the Comforter [Messiah] of whom Jesus spoke and formulated a dualistic, Gnostic doctrine of Salvation based upon various scriptures.

We have the Christian Church, of course, fulfilling the scripture that the Messiah shall be called Comforter, the Mighty God, etc. This, of course, has little effect on the original concept of the Messiah of being as God in the flesh:

Zechariah 12.8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David: and the house of David shall be as God, as the Angel of the Lord before them.

This refers back to the proof texts which assure David that his seed shall not cease to sit on the throne of Israel, as well as those texts which show the Messiah as a messenger [sic. Angel] like unto Moses:

Deut. 18.15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.
18.18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
18.19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him [see also Exodus 23.20-23-23].

Moses is as God

When Moses was first told to return to Egypt, he argued with God, as his tongue was that of a stammerer, and he did not think that the Children of Israel would believe him. Besides that, he argued, "Who should I say sent me?" In answer He said, tell them that I am that I am [YHVH] hath sent you and:

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Exodus 4.13 ..Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
5.15 And thou shalt speak unto him and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
4.16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and he shall be even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

This is pretty clear. Just as Aaron would be as Moses's mouth, Moses would be as God. Historically we can see that the prophets of Israel were themselves as God. They were referred to as God's Mouth. Furthermore, it was naturally understood that the oracles which came from a prophet came through the Holy Spirit of God. Often the prophet would say, the Spirit of the LORD ([LORD, all capital letters, is read YHVH) is upon me, etc., as is also reflected in Isaiah 61, which Jesus read in the synagogue.

Reconciling the Three Voices of the Holy Scriptures

In the Holy Scriptures three persons speak as of God: The Father or Creator, the Holy One of Israel, and the Servant, who is also in Psalm 2.7 called My Son [see Hidden Pavilions on further references to this; there is also related to this the issue how the several names of God are used in the expression of His Will, such as El, EL Chay, ELOHIM, YHVH, TZVAOT, E LOHIM TZVAOT, ADONAY, and the various ways in which these names are used. For instance, ADONAY ELOHIM TZVAOT refers to judgments of Heaven which have already been decided. In contrast, El Chay and YHVH appear in expressions of great mercy ].

In Isaiah 61.1 we see the Messiah acknowledging:

Isaiah 61.1 ..that the Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound..

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The Son of God epithet drawn out of Psalm 2 comes from an earlier progression where God refers to making someone his firstborn, beginning first with Jacob, who was not Isaac's firstborn, to Pharez [Gen. 38.30], who was not Judah's first-born, and finally to Ephraim, who was not Joseph's first-born. Such is how the Scepter, or Messiah-King, was passed to Judah through the Blessing of Israel, down to David. This is later confirmed in the proof text:

Psalm 78.67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
78.68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
60.7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
60.8 Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.

Since we are dealing with the inheritance and the nature of it, we must pause here on the reference to Edom. The promise to Edom in this sequence is of interest because the act of casting out one's shoe to another is an act which binds one and was done to confirm contracts and marriages. So Edom was not left out in the cold, as discussed in more detail in Hidden Pavilions, with regard to Israel's Blessing in Genesis 49, and which we built upon in our work, Philistia Triumph Thou because of me.

Other proof that the intent of the Holy Scriptures was to create a Messiah which would be as God are listed in Hidden Pavilions, and these also include extracts from the Oral Torah and the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of which is to follow herein. Everyone expected the Messiah to be a man who would be in God's stead, as Moses before Him. When we reflect upon the nature of that thing which was in the nature of Moses we find not only a lawgiver, priest, and shepherd of the people, but also one who carries a rod and a hand which, when raised against someone, brings down upon them the full and mighty wrath of God. One thing must be understood in the Holy Scriptures: they carry an oracle which claims it has the ability to back up the deeds it says it will perform. This is not idle chatter, as might be found and interpreted in the oracles from the Sybilline Caves or the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The oracles of YHVH are of a nature that they can be clearly understood as works which can be fully measured.

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By way of introduction, then, we can conclude that the Messiah, being as another like Moses as a minimum, would have the confirmation of God fully behind him, that whatsoever He says shall be done; also, those things which the Scriptures say shall be done when He appears so also shall be seen. Regarding this point of view, it becomes idle chatter for anyone to attempt to differentiate whether the Messiah is as God or is God. The results are the same. If the Lord of your estate, seeing you as an idle servant, sends his Messenger to remove you – as one pluckes a callous from his heel – and so it is done, what difference does it make whether God or the Hand of God removed you? – Note here that the Messiah, Servant of God, is also called the Hand of God, as it was with Moses.

He shall be called God

We need not dwell too much on this, because what happened in the case of Jesus the Messiah is that after Clement the Church Fathers instructed their followers that they shall call Jesus God, as previously mentioned. So here again we can show how prophesy in the Holy Scriptures was fulfilled.

Clement's Gospel is the same as St. Peter's, confirming that works affect one's salvation, and most noteworthy that Jesus the Messiah is as [from] God. The reason Clement had to express this position was because in Syria the old Pauline argument that Jesus is God was being preached with much vigor. This is probably due to the fact that Jesus's competition were gods, and it would be difficult to present His gospel unless he were greater than they. During that day it was normal to accept a man as a god or a son of a god. Caesar Augustus was universally hailed as a god, for instance; the Emperor, Vespasian, who laid siege to the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D., was also declared a god. The philosopher Juvenal said that he was a priest who served in the temple of the god Vespasian, for instance.

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The incident which involved a Roman Coin, which Jesus examined, further illustrates how men in Jesus's time viewed gods and sons of god(s). Jesus acknowledged that the image on the coin of Caesar Augustus was by law to be worshipped as a god. Not expressed in this story, but evident in a fragment from Epictetus's poems, we have an allegory of the soul being compared to a gold coin (probably following the idea Plato proposed relating to the various qualities of souls, of gold being the most virtuous, silver being less etc.). We paraphrase Epictetus' view of the matter: Just as merchants in the market would never question a gold coin with the image of the emperor upon it and are thereby attracted to such images and accept them as legal tender, so too is it with the soul. One who carries a good soul is attracted to good things, and knowing them acquires them as one who is knowledgeable in gold coins: who is prudent to acquire only those with certified purity.

By comparison we can see in Jesus' answer, Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and God what is God's, we might see better the relationship that Caesar's image requires tokens of gold in contrast to God's image which requires tokens of goodness: i.e., a pure heart, as expressed in our last letter. The argument should be complete here, but then there were those who argued over the things which God owns, concluding that God owns everything, so why make sacrificial offerings when He already owns them? The proof texts that God is fed up with sacrificial offerings are in Isaiah:

Isaiah 1.11 ..I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats..

This also is in the Psalms quoted in our last letter. On the other side of the coin, as it were, no doubt responding to criticism on the blood sacrifices of the Jews, both Clement and Josephus pointed out that the only place they were conducted in Judaea was in the Temple of Jerusalem on specified feasts, as opposed to Pagan practices which demanded sacrifices everywhere.

Chapter 2
The question of Substance(s) (ousiai) of God

Jesus, being the Son of God, and born of the Holy Spirit, is the same substance of God and therefore is God, says the argument. This draws upon Matthew 1.20, which we shall address later.

The Monophysites

During Clement's tenure in Rome circa 96 A.D., in Syria Ignatius of Antioch began preaching a form of the Gospel of Paul which emphasized that Jesus and God are the same substance and, therefore, the same thing. This argument, of course, is founded on the premise that God is a substance; thus, His substance can be duplicated in images such as the carved branch of which we spoke, or a building which Paul conceived. A work called The Shepherd of Hermes later built upon the foundation Paul had discussed. This thing, of creating a Unified substance or building of God, as a substance of One [sic. The Messiah and God are one] was later described as the Monophysite position. This began to present problems which we shall explore momentarily. But first let's see what Ignatius, circa. 96 A.D., claimed to be truth regarding the substance of Jesus and God.

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Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians 1.1 Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the church which is at Ephesus in Asia; most deservedly happy being blessed through the greatness and fullness of God the Father, and predestinated before the world began, that it should be always unto an enduring and unchangeable glory; being united and chosen through his true passion, according to the will of the Father, and Jesus Christ our God; all happiness, by Jesus Christ, and his undefiled grace.
1.2..which ye have very justly attained by a habit of righteousness, according to the faith and love which is in Jesus Christ our Saviour.
1.3 How that being followers of God, and stirring up yourselves by the blood of Christ ye have perfectly accomplished the work that was con-natural unto you.
1.4 For hearing that I came bound from Syria, for the common name and hope, trusting through your prayers to fight with beasts at Rome; so that by suffering I may become indeed the disciple of him who gave himself to God, an offering and sacrifice for us..
1.12 For even Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, is sent by the will of the Father; as the bishops appointed unto the uttermost bounds of the earth, are by the will of Jesus Christ.
1.14..your famous presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as exactly to the bishop, as the strings of a harp.
1.15 Therefore in your concord and agreeing charity, Jesus Christ is sung; and every single person among you makes up the chorus:
1.16 That so being all consonant in love, and taking up the song of God, ye may in a perfect unity with one voice, sing to the Father by Jesus Christ; to the end that he may both hear you, and perceive by your works, that ye are indeed the members of his son.
2.1..who are so joined to him, as the church is to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ to the Father; that so all things may agree in the same unity?
2.3..Let us take heed therefore, that we do not set ourselves against the bishop, that we may be subject to God.
2.4..It is therefore evident that we ought to look upon the bishop, even as we would do upon the Lord himself.

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2.6..Some there are who carry about the name of Christ in deceitfulness, but do things unworthy of God; whom ye must flee, as ye would do so many wild beasts..
2.7 There is one physician, both fleshly and spiritual; made and not made; God incarnate; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible, then impassible; even Jesus Christ our Lord.
2.10 Nevertheless I have heard of some who have passed by you, having perverse doctrine; whom ye did not suffer to sow among you; but stopped your ears, that ye might not receive those things that were sown by them; as becoming the stones of the temple of the Father, prepared for his building; and drawn up on high by the Cross of Christ, as by an engine.
2.11 Using the Holy Ghost as the rope: your faith being your support; and your charity the way that leads unto God.
3.5 The last times are come upon us: let us therefore be very reverent and fear the long-suffering of God, that it be not to us unto condemnation.
3.11 Let it be your care therefore to come more fully together, to the praise and glory of God. For when ye meet fully together in the same place, the powers of the devil are destroyed, and his mischief is dissolved by the unity of their faith.
3.14 For the beginning is faith; the end is charity. And these two joined together, are of God: but all other things which concern a holy life are the consequences of these.
3.15 No man professing a true faith, sinneth; neither does he who has charity hate any.
3.16 The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so they who profess themselves to be Christians are known by what they do.
3.23 Let us therefore do all things, as becomes those who have God dwelling in them; that we may be his temples, and he may be our God: as also he is, and will manifest himself before our faces, by those things for which we justly love him.
4.9 For our God Jesus Christ was according to the dispensation of God conceived in the womb of Mary, of the seed of David, by the Holy Ghost; he was born and baptized, that through his passion he might purify water, to the washing away of sin.
4.13..ignorance was taken away; and the old kingdom abolished; God himself appearing in the form of a man, for the renewal of eternal life.
4.14..forasmuch as he designed to abolish death.

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Fighting the earthly throne of Jesus

When one is focused in a fight, one tends to lose perspective of things which are going on around him. To say the least, it is easy to confuse those focused in battle, as noted in our previous letter, on the ways God saved Israel from aggressors, for instance. As noted earlier and evidenced in his epistles, Paul was principally engaged in a battle against the Jews and the Law of Moses. Following Paul, we see Ignatius in the same battle, where the Pauline Church saw itself trying to be delivered from the persecution of the Circumcised Church in Jerusalem under the guidance of Saints Peter and James. Ignatius was the bishop of Antioch, including Syria, which then was under the influence of the Bishop of Jerusalem (which continued to be an aggravation even one hundred years later, in the days of Eusebius of Caesarea). During Ignatius' and Clement's time the bishop of Jerusalem was Symeon, who was the cousin of Jesus, whose lineage is relevant to the controversy existing still to this day. Symeon was the son of Cleophas, the brother of Joseph the Carpenter, who [Cleophas] was married to the Virgin Mary's sister, Mary. Symeon was, in fact, the divine, eldest heir of David, who inherited the throne of Jesus from St. James, a High Priest of the Temple and the Lord's eldest brother. St. James, second in line of succession to the throne of David, after Jesus, was murdered (thrown off the steps of the Temple and then cudgeled) by the other priests of the temple because he dared to declare that Jesus is the Messiah and further announced that Jesus is "the door to everything" [re: Eusebius of Caesarea, History of the Church Book II.1.23]. The church in Jerusalem, under the guidance of Symeon, was the seat of God's Kingdom on earth, inherited through Jesus. But this throne, though a birth-right, was shared by Saint Peter, initially, because it was he to whom Jesus said He would give the keys to His Kingdom and upon whom He would build His Church. This initial Kingdom, then, was chaired by two bishops: Saint James in Jerusalem and Saint Peter in Antioch. Whilst we can see in some apocryphal and psuedo-epigraphic documents some tension between the disciples of Saints Peter and James, as to which was the ruler, the fact is Saint Peter functioned out of Syria as the Lay Ruler; and Saint James was in Jerusalem as the Priestly Ruler. The church over which they ruled was for practical purposes as other synagogues (usually in a disciple's home) subordinate to the Temple. But the temple was destroyed (in 70 A.D.), and following the persecution of the Jews Symeon evidently took his church underground. Symeon was martyred when he was one hundred twenty years old, during Trajan's [98 -117 A.D.] persecutions of the Christians, according to Hegesippus, a contemporary of Josephus [re: Eusebius, Book III.32].

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After Symeon was executed, the throne of Jerusalem was occupied by a Pauline bishop. As noted earlier, Clement in Rome continued the Petrine Gospel (Gospel of Circumcision of Saint Peter), whilst we can view at the same time that the throne of Christ's Kingdom had passed from Jerusalem to Rome and the church which Saint Peter and the Apostle Paul founded. This church became known as the cathedra of Saint Peter, now called Saint Peter's Cathedral. After Clement passed away the cathedra of St. Peter, (now called the Chair of Saint Peter) passed into the hands of a Pauline bishop, and its doctrine has been Pauline ever since.

During this period, circa. 100 A.D., when the Chair of Saint Peter was being passed over to the Pauline coalition, John, the favorite apostle of Jesus, was still alive, being returned to Ephesus from exile in the island of Patmos, where he wrote the book of Revelation. He was the last living apostle. Papias, who lived at the time of Ignatius, mentions in his work, Against Heresies, V.33.4 [sic.] (Eusebius – Book III.39) that he had listened to John the Apostle. If one were to examine the book of Revelation one will find a strong Jewish bias reflecting fundamental precepts of the descent of the Kingdom to earth with its Messiah (see also Clement's Epistles which share this vision), in contrast to the Pauline perception. In fact, to measure the amount of contrast between Pauline theology and the Petrine view one need only examine the many "tribulation" doctrines invented by the Christian church to reconcile the function of The Word of God in Revelation 19 and 20 to Paul's theory of the Rapture. Now The Word of God appears with his army (re: also the scriptures of Joel cited above) on the sixth day, and at the end of the sixth day we are told (It is Christ's first resurrection also):

Revelation 20.6..This is the first resurrection.

Revelation describes The Word of God's visitation as the first resurrection, after which those who are with Him reign for a thousand years of peace (through the seventh day). Then, at the end of the seventh Day Satan is loosed for short moment, the war with Gog and Magog begins, mentioned in Ezekiel 38, and then is seen the formation of the eighth day and the foundation of a New Heaven and a New Earth, of which Isaiah and St. Peter spoke. Thus, we can see a distinct difference between Revelation and the Pauline Gospel which assumed all the prophesies were completed in Jesus [sic. when he was resurrected from the tomb] and the world would soon be consumed in fire. In contrast to the Pauline thesis Revelation followed the precepts of Job which claim that God will intervene to save [reclaim] the earth.

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Whilst Clement carries on the doctrine delivered to him through St. Peter (Eusebius, Book III.38 says Clement probably wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews, credited to Paul, however), Ignatius, the follower of Paul, waffled somewhat on the argument on faith versus works, no doubt in part due to the fact that he inherited the bishopric of Antioch from Saint Peter, in which event we can expect him to compromise with the Circumcised Christian faction of the church. But then Ignatius, admitting that you are judged by your fruit, etc., railed against the Law of Moses more venomously than was in Paul's argument of faith versus works. He opened Pandora's Box, as it were, and and more emphatically declaimed the Law and Judaism. From his view the Law was not only obsolete the Jews had no part in the Kingdom of God except they be converted from the Law.

The battle over the Law was pretty much over by 95 A.D.; and Ignatius began a new one against heresies of all kinds: for there were many splits from the Church which might threaten the survival of the now Holy Catholic Church. He was not alone in this battle, for we see Clement's epistles to the Corinthians in 95 A.D. pleaded for Unity, against the factions who would break up the church, much of which involved quarrels over the substance of Jesus and His authority. On the issue as to what nature or substance Jesus is, Ignatius followed in Paul's steps, saying that Jesus is God. This created a lot of confusion, which we can see Ignatius trying to resolve, which continues to this day. We now proceed to examine major rifts which surfaced as a result of the Pauline claim that Jesus is God; many of which continue to this day. We view these as cracks in the vessel of Christ. To the ancients a cracked water pitcher, carried by a maiden, symbolized the loss of her virginity, a concept we add here:

Chapter 3
Seven Problems to Unity

1) Judaizers' questions and protests – Because of the influence of the Apostles and Church in Jerusalem the Law of Moses was valid, with many Jews questioning Paul's claim that the Old Testament had been abolished. Paul first, and again Ignatius, abolished the Law upon which the Messiah was formed. Those who questioned the lunacy of Paul's work – as it was like cutting the foundations right out from under Jesus-and stepped forward to defend the Torah were called Judaizers by Ignatius. We saw in our last letter how Paul had called them murdererers of fathers, mother rapists, etc. which, if you think about it, is pretty brassy in view of the fact that Jesus defended the Law and would therefore be identifiable among those whom Paul condemned.

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Ignatius, Epistle to the Philadelphians 2.6 But if any one shall preach the Jewish law unto you, hearken not unto him; for it is better to receive the doctrine of Christ from one that has been circumcised, than Judaism from one that has not.
Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians 3.11 It is absurd to name Jesus Christ, and to Judaize. For the Christian religion did not embrace the Jewish, but the Jewish the Christian; that so every tongue that believed might be gathered together unto God.

This is a new idea: Paul's precept – that the Old Testament is only types and shadows of Jesus the Messiah – is now distorted to convey also the message that the Jews had already embraced Christianity from the beginning and are therefore guilty of rejecting Jesus and the New Covenant of Paul's Gospel.

2) Confusion over the substance of The Holy Spirit – who is He? Since Paul introduced the idea that Jesus the Messiah and God are one and the same thing, in turn rooting out rather complicated doctrines and questions which Ignatius attempted to coalesce, a new problem in doctrine became apparent, because Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, therefore being not the Son of God but the Son of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1.20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
1.21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Two immediate problems are apparent here: first Jesus is the son of the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit], which causes one to ask whether one ought to pray to His Father the Holy Spirit or the Father of all, the Creator, who is Elohim or YHVH. The other problem which has yet to be addressed is the matter that the commission stated by the angel here noted is that Jesus would save his people from their sins. He was not sent to the Gentile. He was sent to the Jews, to save them from their sins. This commission is exactly what Jesus understood, as reflected in our letter of January 28, 1994 and elsewhere. The theme is consistent, as noted before, where he ministered in Samaria and answered the Syro-Phonecian woman, who asked him to minister to her needs, "What have I to do with thee? I am sent to the lost sheep of Israel," he said [Matt. 10.5; see also Matt. 15.24; ed. note].

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After the Transfiguration Jesus' Ministry changed, as noted before, to that of the Suffering Servant who dies for the sins of his people.

Paul and later Ignatius extended Jesus' – we should say, God's – commission to the Gentile, based upon the instruction Jesus gave after his resurrection to the apostles-to preach the Gospel to all Creatures [or nations]. Following this is the other instruction alleged by Paul while he was on the road to Damascus, to be Jesus's Apostle to the Gentile. Here we should mention that St. Peter, then Bishop of Antioch, and St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, accepted Paul's commission, or anointing. One of the Apostles or their anointed disciples obviously baptized Paul, after his vision on the road to Damascus; and because of the anointing, when Paul claimed that he had been directed to preach the Gospel to the nations, the leaders of the church acquiesced. As seen in Saints James' and Peter's surviving epistles [and Acts], there was no contest as to Paul's anointing to preach to the Gentile;

what was contested is what he was preaching to the Gentile.

We shall see later that preaching the wrong Gospel is heresy and grounds for one to be defrocked, even excommunicated. But the assessment of Paul's teachings took some time; and there is evidence in Acts and Paul's vituperative defenses in his epistles, that he had been called on the carpet, as it were, for his critique of the Law on several occasions before 66 A.D., when he was finally arrested and brought before King Agrippa, then judged guilty and sent to Rome to be beheaded. What brought his [ final] arrest was his escort of an uncircumcised gentile into the circumcised courts of the Temple. Now the whole idea of Zionism is that of a people separated unto God, marked by their separation through Circumcision. This idea naturally carried into the design of the Temple, which was designed for all men, but maintained the separation by the creation (after the design of the Tabernacle) a court for the Circumcised, or Jews, and a court for the uncircumcised Gentile. Paul, of course, had taken a different turn on the road to Salvation and condemned this structure which pierced the heart of the Law of Moses.

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Often those in the midst of battle cannot focus on anything except that which they wish to destroy. We called Paul a destroyer, of first the Law, and then its people, or the Jews. We said that whilst we agree with his heart, of emphasizing faith in God and fulfilling the Spirit of the Law, we did not agree with his works, which produced antiSemitism. Good or pure hearts procure a good faith in God, creating a good conscience which in turn promotes good works, or, as we have put it, obedience to the Golden Rule. Had Paul focused on this principle (we shall see it again in Origen), the teachings of Jesus, and the Golden Rule would be sufficient to spread the gospel. What Paul did not seem to understand is that in the Latter Days, when the Temple is restored, the separateness between the Jew and the Gentile would no longer exist- for several points: first the Messiah, Light of the Gentile, brings Judgment to the Gentile, (not an Apostle). Witness:

Isaiah 42.1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

It was pretty insolent of Paul to usurp this divine mission, don't you think? The method of the Divine Judgment is through Wisdom, leading to our Holiness:

Isaiah 28.13 But the Word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
Isaiah 28.5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people.
28.6 And for a Spirit of Judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.

And again:

Isaiah 4.1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
4.2 In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
4.3 And it shall come to pass that He that is left in Zion, and He that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called Holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.

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Now see the difference between Paul and the Messiah, Light of the Gentile. The Messiah calls all of those in Jerusalem "Holy," as part of the Judgment, whereas Paul condemned them. As noted in Philistia Triumph thou because of me, a good mixture of all nations is now in Jerusalem; therefore we called all of them Holy. This includes, moreover, the Palestinians. And the proof text following this is:

Isaiah 60.10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee.
60.11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
60.12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
60.13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
60.14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
60.15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
61.11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Wherefore, in consideration of the forgoing, how could anyone conceivably use the Holy Scriptures to condemn the Torah or its people?

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What Paul did not appreciate is the fact that though YHVH uses others to bring judgment to My People (as was the case of Nebuchednezzar, for instance), that king used by God to bring forth the judgment soon learns afterwards that the judgment would be turned against him. What we see in the thesis on the making of Zion a city of praise and joy is this same process, where the Jews are scattered from the land and put to pursuit, running from nation to nation, a point of scorn and derision to all the Gentile; and afterwards, when the time of the Gentile is fulfilled, as Luke recorded it, the people are gathered back to Zion; and when this happens the tables are turned, as first promised to Abraham, cited in Genesis 27.29 et al., that whosoever persecutes thee shall be punished by the wrath of God. But here we have a mitigating factor, who is called The Light of the Gentile – of whom Paul had no understanding. To illustrate this, we can show another set of proof texts, beginning with Psalm 72.8, which reveal that He is a reconciler of men not a divider (as Paul was):

Daniel 7.13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, One like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him.
7.14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

This is pretty clear, isn't it? Didn't Jesus use this proof text to describe his Second Coming? What was Paul doing requiring people to follow him, claiming that he was an Angel of God and as Christ, and condemning those who did not obey His Gospel?

We continue to examine the real King:

Zechariah 9.9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
2.30 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and He shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.
Psalm 72.1 Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.

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72.2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
72.3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills by righteousness.
72.4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
72.5 They shall fear thee, as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
72.6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.
72.7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace as so long as the moon endureth.
72.8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
72.9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
72.10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
72.11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.
72.12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
72.13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
72.14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
72.15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.
72.16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
72.17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

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This gospel was in Jesus's Teachings, but I did not see it in Paul's, for in this Gospel all people are blessed who follow the commandments of Him who came riding to Jerusalem lowly, upon an ass. We list here one of the Blessings of this man, which Paul did not comprehend:

· Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God.

One cannot make Peace by attacking the Testament of Peace [sic. The Torah] and those first who were given it. The precept of the Bible is that God will persuade, He will reason with the nations* [sic. through the Light of the Gentile ; shown later in this text as a lifting of a veil over the nations ; ed. note ], to the end:

Zechariah 1.15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.
1.16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.
2.10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
2.11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
3.1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
3.2 And the LORD said unto Satan, even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
3.8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
6.11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;
6.12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH: and he shall grow up out of his place and he shall build the temple of the LORD.
6.13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

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6.14 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.
8.22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD..

Again, I say, the Pauline Church has forgotten this lesson. Let's get back to sorting out the confusion:

Salvation in our Common Hope

Both Clement and Ignatius referred to Jesus as our common Hope. The common bonds which did exist between the Church in Jerusalem and Paul's Church were those matters which dealt with the need to be saved through the blood of Jesus. With Jesus being named the Son of God, came the mission of salvation through repentance, and this was achieved, as both St. Peter and Paul agreed, through remission of sins by means of Baptism [sic. born again], following Jesus's teachings and commandments, and participation in the Eucharist of the Lord, which brings up the next problem in doctrine, stemming from the question whether Jesus was of the substance of God or a man with the Holy Spirit upon him [sic. as another prophet].

3 The Eucharist. If Jesus is God, He and God are of the same essence or "ousia." About 265 A.D. (We are getting a bit ahead of ourself, we know), a follower of Origen, Pierius by name, asserted the pre-existence of souls and spoke of the Father and the Son as having two essences (ousiai) and was accused of making the Holy Spirit inferior to the Father and the Son. This new problem, first introduced by Origen and zealously defended by Arius, became known as Arianism, which took five ecumenical councils to resolve [in part], beginning with the first, the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.

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The progression to two essences of God is easy to understand, being of God the Father and God the Son (which then leads to the Nicene question, what about the essence of the Holy Spirit too?).

Joined to the argument on the essence(s) of Christ and God is the Eucharist which pertained to the Testimony of Jesus to His Apostles, as the Last Supper was a rite signifying the means of remembering him. Jesus asked that the supper, or mass, should be continued, where breaking and sharing bread would be as eating his body, and drinking and sharing wine is as drinking his blood [sic. Ecclus.50.15: as the blood of the grape]. This mass was not new and was then similarly a practice of the Essene Community near Engedi (where David hid from Saul) by the Dead Sea:

Dead Sea Scrolls Community Rule ..If they happen to be forgathering for a common meal or to drink wine together, when the common board has been spread or the wine mixed for drinking, no one is to stretch out his hand for the first portion of the bread or wine prior to the priest. It is he who is to pronounce the blessing over the first portion of the bread or wine, and it is he that is first to stretch out his hand to the bread. After that, the anointed (king), a layman, is to stretch out his hand to the bread; and after that the members of the community in general are to pronounce the blessing, in order of rank.
This rule is to obtain at all meals where there are ten or more men present.

New Patriarchs

Jesus's Last Supper, of course, was composed of 12 men besides himself, in emulation or substitution of the 12 patriarchs of Israel, of which he formerly spoke. The rule of ten men to make a "mass," as described above, comes from the fact that the angels of God could not find ten righteous men in Sodom; and thus Sodom was destroyed, except for the family of Lot; since then it has been a tradition among the rabbis, as mentioned in the Oral Torah, to assure that in a meeting there are at least ten righteous men.

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New Testimony

Jesus described his Last Supper as a New Testament, something added to the prevailing Testament(s) of God. The breaking of bread and drinking of wine was to be kept in memory of Him and His Teachings. Under the Pauline Church, however, the problem of Jesus's Flesh, being the Flesh of God (since He and God are one Substance or essence), became an issue.

Eating the Flesh of God?

Jesus had said that he is that manna of Salvation from Heaven (as that which fed the Children of Israel under Moses during the forty years in the wilderness) – a complex idea. If His flesh was God's Flesh, and being God His Word, then the celebration of Eucharist would be the same as eating God's Flesh; and through the Eucharist God would dwell within all those who partake of Him: through the transubstantiation of the bread and wine, shared at mass, changing the bread and wine into the real body of Christ. Following this idea, then, was the precept that being of the Body of Christ one can no longer commit sin or be condemned for sins. This precept was massaged to the effect that as long as one confessed Jesus [sic. Whosoever confesses me before the father I will confess him to the father] one is covered by the sanctifying blood of Jesus. Here Paul pointed out that one could not come to mass unworthily, being unconfessed, and still with spot [sic. with sin]. Don't come to mass a sinner was the message here.

Eating the manna from Heaven is easy to understand. Here the Pauline Church became confused: they dwelled upon the act of the Eucharist, forgetting to eat the Teachings, of manna from Heaven which is: The Word of God. This reflects from the idea seen easily in both Ezekiel and in the book of Revelation, of eating a book from heaven. The book, or Word of God, from heaven is at first sweet but then bitter (because the Word of God is sharp). To this precept Jesus stressed the point: ye cannot live on bread alone. Let's see how the Eucharist can become bitter:

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Ezekiel 2.8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
2.9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
2.10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
3.1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of Man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
3.2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
3.3 And he said unto me, Son of Man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
3.4 And he said unto me, Son of Man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
2.14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
2.17 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2.18 Son of Man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me [the rest of this passage you have already seen in Against Leviathan et al.; ed. note].

Let's now see how John understood this small book:

Revelation 10.1 And I saw another mighty angel come down with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire [sic. and before him went pestillance and coals of fire at his feet {Habakkuk 3.4-3.6} ed. note].
10.2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
10.3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

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10.8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
10.9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10.10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

Here we can see that there is bitterness in eating the Word of God; and we wonder whether there is any man among Paul's successors who has the courage of Ezekiel and John, who might eat of this book which no doubt is bitter to their belly. Here we illustrate that the Manna from Heaven, being of the Word of God, has not the substance of flesh or, as Jesus also put it [sic. A man cannot live on bread alone] of bread. It is the Word of God which is life. Then Jesus said, I am the life. Now witness what has happened: Jesus asked that the bread and the wine be taken in remembrance of his flesh and that flesh's Testimony. What did the Pauline Church end up doing? It fought over the substance of the Eucharist, and, as they broke up the bread, they also broke up the testimony! Thus, we have in our "White Paper" of January 1, 1994 simple evidence how the true Body of Christ--The Word of God-- was cherry-picked. This was allowed through conjecture on the Eucharist! How amusing did they speculate...

4) How to Avoid Sin – avoid sinners! Another issue with regard to the theology propounded by Paul and later reflected in Ignatius, is in two things which are related:

Avoiding false doctrines: one must avoid and close one's ears to teachers of false doctrine. We saw in our last letter and other works how Paul was clear on this issue, that only His Gospel was the true gospel, and if you hear any other do not listen to it. Another gospel to which he was referring was, of course, the Gospel of the Jerusalem Church, which prompted St. Peter's reply [sic. II Peter 1.16, for we have not followed cunningly devised fables...]

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Obeying the hierarchy of the Church: first the presbyters must be obeyed (who assume the places of the 12 Apostles and function, as we shall see later, as a substitute Sandhedrin); secondly the Bishops who are anointed through the Apostles and the presbyters, and finally the Deacons. The Deacon Anthanasias of Alexandria, who later became Bishop during the Emperor Constantine's time, is one to keep in mind here, since he thrust himself into the heat of the controversy over the substance of God and Christ (and the Holy Spirit) and was instrumental in bringing about the idea and doctrine that God is of three things but one essence (called Homousia): the Holy Trinity, which is the thing modern Christians are taught to worship.

Relationships of the Law – of St. Peter and the Koran

How to avoid Sin, and achieve Salvation, of course, is the message of the Holy Scriptures and Jesus, for all the wicked, as even described above and in Revelation 11.18, would one day be destroyed. With regard to the Gospel which Jesus carried in him, we mentioned that St. Peter, who ate of it, would have more in common with the doctrine of the Koran than with that of Paul. This is for three reasons:

firstly the Koran says it confirms the Torah--something which St. Peter must asccept;
secondly the Koran calls Jesus the Messiah, another thing St. Peter must accept;
and thirdly the Koran disputes with Pauline Christianity that Jesus is another God or equal to God. For Paul said (we must add as a reminder):

Philippeans 2.6 ..[Jesus] who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

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The fight over Two Gods

Ignatius made it clear that Jesus is God, sitting at the right hand of God, the Father. Complicating things a bit, noted before, the traditional view of the Jews was that the Messiah(s) is a Servant of God, of the Seed of David, and man. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Oral Torah speak of both a lay Messiah, of David, and Messiah of Aaron, a High Priest. This follows:

Psalm 115.12 The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the House of Israel; he will bless the House of Aaron.

This reflects the idea behind the Two Anointed Ones of Zechariah 4.14 which builds from the address to Joshua the high priest and The Branch and then refers to the Branch by way of allegory to Governor Zerubbabel, the Son of David-who is mentioned as the Sign of the Messiah of the latter Days – another issue which argues that the restoration of the Temple will be as in the prior return from captivity in Babylon under Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest. Here again the emphasis is that the Messiah and his high priest are men who carry The Word of God, after Moses and Aaron.

Two Messiahs

Countering the Pauline arguments, the Circumcised Church and other Jews surely pointed out that the Messiah is man and not God, and here we must note that the rabbinical tradition reflected that there are Two Messiahs; and we see some of this perception in the arguments in the Gospels as to who Jesus was with regard to John the Baptist:

John 1.41 [Andrew speaking]..We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

The argument of Two Messiahs did not persist among Christians, but continued through the Oral Torah (see Sefer Hekhalot, BhM 5; B. Sanh 98b) and the Dead Sea Scrolls, i.e.:

Commentary on Habakkuk. The Lord declares to you that he will build you a House [II Sam. 7]; I will raise up your seed after you [II Sam. 7.12]; I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever [II Sam. 7.13]; I will be his father and he shall be my son [II Sam. 7.14]. He is the Branch of David who shall arise with the Interpreter of the Law to rule in Zion at the end of time...

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Because of the common perception of the rabbis among the pharisees and the Essenes, the eschatological confusion over Elijah (John the Baptist) in the Gospels, etc., there were enough intrinsic questions on the Two Messiahs to cause the Pauline Bishops to respond that Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God. Because Paul claimed Jesus as his source of denouncing the Jews and the Law, Jesus could have no competition. Being the only begotten Son has no relevance unless someone had brought up the view of Two Messiahs (see also Zech. 4.14, 6.13, 11). The idea of the only begotten son was without a doubt created in answer to the Judaizers, many of whom were followers of the Gospel of the advent of the Kingdom of God first preached by John the Baptist and then Jesus. John the Baptist had followers-though most of them went over to Jesus, seen in the Passover feeding of the 5,000 on the mount-and disciples of the Baptist live on in Iraq.

Perhaps to eliminate competition from John the Baptist, whose father Zecheriah was a high priest, (Jesus' disciples complained that John the Baptist's disciples were still baptizing on the Jordan-without Jesus!), Paul noted that the Messiah, Son of God, is also a priest after the type of Melchizedek [Hebrews 5.10], following:

Psalm 110.1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
110.2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
110.3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
110.4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
110.5 The LORD at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
110.6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries..

The Messiah is as Melchizedek and Moses after him, and behind His Rod [sic. of Aaron] is the Wrath of God. Here also we have Two Lords: the LORD God and His Messiah, the Lord, upon whom Jesus and Daniel commented. Tied to this is another proof text, what the Jews believed at the time of Jesus:

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Dead Sea Scrolls, Commentary on Habakkuk...And it will be proclaimed at the end of days concerning the captives as he said, to proclaim liberty to the captives [Isaiah 61.1]. Its interpretation is that he will assign them to the Sons of heaven and to the inheritance of Melchizedek; for he will cast their lot amid the portions of Melchizedek, who will return them there and will proclaim to them liberty, forgiving them the wrongdoings of all their iniquities [this Jesus may have used as His Proof Text, of forgiving sins; ed. note].
..And he will, by his strength, judge the Holy Ones of God, executing judgment as it is written concerning him in the Songs of David, who said, Elohim has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment [Psalm 82.1]
..And Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgment of God..and he will drag them from the hand of Satan and from the hand of all the spirits of his lot. And all the gods of Justice will come to his aid to attend to the destruction of Satan [see Rev. 19-21; ed. note].
..This is the day of Peace/Salvation concerning which God spoke through Isaiah the prophet, who said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims salvation, who sayst to Zion: Your Elohim reigns [Isaiah 52.7]. Its interpretation: the mountains are the prophets..and the messenger is the Anointed One of the Spirit, concerning whom Daniel said, until an Anointed One, a prince [ Dan 9.25]..
..And he who brings good news who proclaims salvation: it is concerning him that it is written..to comfort all that mourn, to grant to those who mourn in Zion [Isaiah 61.2-61.3]. To comfort those who mourn: its interpretation, to make them understand all the ages of time..In truth..will turn away from Satan..by judgments of God, as it is written concerning him, who says to Zion: your Elohim reigns. Zion is..those who uphold the covenant, who turn from walking in the way of the people. And your Elohim is Melchizedek, who will save them from the hand of Satan.

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This appears to be the Lay Messiah, of David, whom the Dead Sea Scrolls discuss together with the Messiah of Aaron. The argument of Two Anointed Messiahs – an anathema among Pauline Christians – also questions whether Messiah Jesus is incomplete, pending the appearance of the other Messiah, of Aaron. The Oral Torah delved into the same question and resolved that Messiah ben Joseph, the first Messiah to appear, would be killed by Gog, but Messiah ben David would come along and resurrect him and the two would reign together on the throne of David in Jerusalem. Adding fuel to the debate is the notion that Jesus is a God, which follows the Melchizedeck Text above and the Midrash Mishle (Editor Buber, p. 87, Commentary to Isaiah 9.6).

Whilst there are several writers who have connected Paul with the theology of the Essenes, and there may have been some intercourse here, Paul nevertheless took the opposite course of the Essenes (who called themselves the Holy People, the Sons of Zadock, the defenders of the Law). They derived their name from Ezekiel 44.15-31, quoted here in part:

Ezek. 44.15 But the priests the Levites, the Sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the Children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:
44.16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.

Clever were the Essenes, the Sons of Zadok, of the Dead Sea Scrolls, who knew how to receive the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel (re: Community Rule: ..until there shall come the prophet and the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel) in their day. Knowing that those who receive the Messiahs must be defenders of the Law, according to this scripture alone (among many), it is evident that Paul and his disciples had little experience in the study of the Law; otherwise they could never have arrived at the conclusion of testing Deuteronomy 30.7; and taking the opposite course of Ezekiel 44.15 they unwittingly avoided being counted among the Sons of Zadok, who are listed as the Messiah's Chief Priests. From the Messianic [sic. Heir's] view Paul and his stumblebums missed the boat by trying to outwit the Law.

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Imitation Religion brings problems

Through the logic of abrogating the Law altogether, Pauline Christianity created an imitation religion and another god, whom they called Jesus, who is separate, equal and more so co-eternal to God. From this comes the debate, then, that God and Jesus would be of two separate substances, or essences and equals, which surfaced under the Arian controversy under Constantine, which will be examined in more detail later. Many people were persecuted and slaughtered over this controversy, which continues via the disputes between Moslems and Christians to this day.

The LORD said unto my Lord. The debate on the relationship of the Messiah to God was not new. Jesus also entered the debate, asking the Pharisees:

Matt. 22.42-45 How then does David in Spirit call Him Lord, saying, the Lord said unto my Lord [see Daniel 10.17; ed. note], sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? [see Psalm 110.1, On Melchizedek; ed. note] If David then called him Lord, how is he his son [see Psalm 2.7; ed. note]?

An explanation of that question--which had to carry the breadth of three scriptures! – is quite obvious in the text of Melchizedek, where the LORD (Psalm 110.5) is YHVH and the Lord (Psalm 110.1) is the Messiah. Elohim was rendered, GOD [God = El; Lord = Adonay; Lord of Hosts = Adonay Tzvaot or Elohim Tzvaot or Adonay Elohim Tzvaot; tzvaot = hosts].

These relationships can be seen only if one knows how to read, for they are carried only through the writtten word, as noted earlier.YHVH, among all the names of God, was considered the ineffable name, and it has been a rabbinical tradition never to render YHVH in print. To accommodate this substitute words were used. Following this procedure from the Oral Torah, the King James Bible rendered YHVH as LORD, as mentioned earlier. So YHVH is LORD GOD and the Messiah, the Word of the LORD, is Lord, as the LORD. To overcome the confusion, aggravated by Paul, in his second epistle to the Corinthians, Clement simply asked that you think of the Messiah as of God, which is good advise. Other good advise is called to mind here, recalling the Proof Texts concerning the Angel of God and the Prophet of God: beware of him – which is the thrust of the Koran which expects the Messiah to confirm it in the Last Days, the Day of Resurrection.

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The Koran Connection – the issue of Two Gods continued to confuse everyone well into the Seventh Century A.D., when Mohammed, in answer to the confusion, assembled the Koran. Before him the Emperor Justinian, who made a final attempt to reestablish the wholly Roman Catholic Kingdom of God established by Constantine, got embroiled in the Arian disputes, of the two essences of God. Whereas the Koran says it was dictated to Mohammed by Angels in the early seventh century A.D., we note here that by the third and fourth centuries A.D. the seeds which created the argument in the Koran had already been laid in the Holy Land and Syria. God is One, said the Koran, as Mohammed cleaned the Ka'aba, the Temple of Abraham, of its many idols, and echoing what the prophets had always been saying and what the rabbis always understood. Any idea that God was composed of two essences or again three essences [sic. or any essences!], as decreed by the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., was heretical to the "Jewish" sects and later the Koran. The Koran confirmed that the Jewish Scriptures were true, as noted earlier in Philistia Triumph thou because of me et al.; and thus there could be but only one God. Here, again, we are getting a bit ahead of ourself. But understand that when we explore the roots of Catholicism we also explore the roots of persecution of Jews and other heretics, eventually including the Moslems, which persecutions still continue. One cannot discuss the essence(s) of God without tying in the arguments of the Koran and the Crusaders thereof.

The She God

The other day, while discussing the matter with The Old Man of the Sea  and his wife, when I referred to God as a He, his wife corrected me, saying, "She." I answered that "It" may more appropriately serve his gender. This follows the idea that Adam and Eve were made in Elohim's Image:

Genesis 1.26 And God [ELOHIM = HOST OF HEAVEN] said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over..all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
1.27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

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How, then can the image of God which is both male and female [sic. Adam], be called, He? Jesus answered this question, seen best in the Gospel of Thomas – also mentioned by Clement – where He said that in heaven the soul is as the angels who are neither male nor female. Nevertheless, there is a Patriarch of Heaven and, since the Scriptures follow the order of a Patriarchy, the head of the Patriarchy would be naturally called by the pronoun, He. This identity, among the infinite names of God – sic. which are as long as the sun-does not describe his essence, as His essence is infinite; no more than when he says He would gather Israel into his wings, that it implies his essence is a bird, or in the Psalm where he says he rides on the wings of a Cherub should that image alone define Him.

Psalm 18.7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
18.8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
18.9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet;
18.10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
18.11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

Now there were Two Cherubim (the name, cherub in Hebrew means, terrible) who guarded the gate of Paradise, who carried flaming swords which prevented Adam and Eve from reentering the place after they were cast out. From these came the Two Cherubim who were placed upon the Mercy Seat of the Tabernacle, and from these came the addition of the two fifteen foot high Cherubim – carved out of Olive Trees – who faced the Temple Sanctuary.

This again calls up Zechariah's question:

Zech. 4.11 Then answered I [to the LORD; ed. note], and said unto him, what are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
4.14 Then said he, These are the Two Anointed Ones [ Messiahs; ed. note] who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.

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The personifications of God are many, for it takes many images to describe them, but none of them nor all of them can adequately describe Him. One thing comes close to describing the Messiahs: something terrible, of God, which carry his Wisdom (and therefore his mercy and wrath, since with Wisdom comes the Patriarch's judgment and in His judgment there is both mercy and wrath). Arguing over the essences of GOD, which is One Spirit of Wisdom, is foolish and serves no purpose but to divide men over God – some casting strange images to describe him; others crafting confusing doctrines – as the Pauline Church conjures till this day. For God we ask, Why only three? My name is as long as the sun. What answer have you?

We must say that a Catholic of this day cannot say he loves all men when the history of Catholicism and its evolved doctrine would rather that those who do not obey them should lose their lives than to live in sin. This, of course, applies to other Christian churches as well, who suppose their God to be different from, and superior to, the God of Islam or the God of the Jews.

5) Reconciliation of heretic doctrines. The Holy Catholic faith involved the reconciliation of several differing doctrines, which we shall review in more detail, any one of which might have been "orthodox" at one time or another. The Arian controversy is a case in point, where church doctrine waffled.

Two Gods or Three? or more? – If Jesus is born of the Holy Spirit, and if the Holy Spirit is a different substance of God, then Jesus is not a son of God but a son of the Holy Spirit. This leads to ideas that there are two gods at least: God the Father, or Dimiurge, and the Holy Spirit, who is the Wisdom of God. This led to the Gnostic or "knowledge" theologies based in Egypt, which surfaced under the Valentinian heresy and others. Here the Creator was placed in subservience to the god of Knowledge. Since Knowledge or Wisdom is identified with the Shechinah (meaning dwelling place but associated as the cloud of God, which is a feminine noun in Hebrew), through the Gnostic and other like translations of Judaism the paramount god became a goddess!

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Then comes the Mother of God!

Whilst the Gnostic heresies were put down with vigor, we are left a remnant, for the heresies placed in the minds of those who believed that Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit and Mary the idea that Mary was therefore the mother of God. Besides the other controversies we mentioned, the Holy Catholic Church had to decide whether Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the mother of God or just the mother of the Messiah. If she is the mother of Christ, then God truly has two substances, and there are two gods (at least) which must be worshipped. If Mary is the mother of God, then, of course, we have but one substance of God (the Father) with which to deal. The other part of this consideration involves the question whether Mary, the mother of God, ought to be worshipped in her own right. We must keep in mind that when these considerations were being waffled from one iron-or to put it mildly, against one bare foot to another-the predominate faith in the Roman Empire was pagan. Whilst paganism was suppressed under Constantine--pagan temples could exist but their priests could no longer accept donations or sacrifice to their gods--in the company of the Nicene Creed adopted by Constantine is the fact that Constantine decorated his New Rome (later named after him, Constantinople) with many pagan statues from temples throughout the empire. Essentially he turned his back on the idea of idolatry, emphasizing that whosoever prays in any temple will be praying to the One and only God, by then known according to the Nicene Creed as the Holy Trinity composed of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, [Spirit].

– Idolaters on the run – Not so fast Buckley – What we have just sketched is but the beginning of the Catholic faith. How it came to be based upon a Holy Trinity which denies that the Virgin Mary is the mother of God whilst accepting Jesus as God, has yet to be discussed. For this curious phenomena of Jesus as God but excluding his mother as a Goddess, occurred through many accords and decrees, by which terms we assume the Catholic Church claims the many diverse, confusing, and conflicting doctrines were issued by the Holy Spirit-not excluding, of course, coming to us by way of the apostolic succession.

Agreeing through the Holy Spirit

The Catholic Faith is supposed to be of the Holy Spirit, and if we were to consolidate what Catholics believe to the level of our "White Paper," which listed the essential commandments of Jesus, then we could begin to agree, that what Catholics believe is of the Holy Spirit (since the Gospel of Matthew says Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit), though in the same gospel we learn curiously that the Holy Spirit joined Jesus only at the time of His Baptism by John the Baptist. This brings us to the next part of the confusion burned into Christian minds:

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The Holy Spirit joins us in Baptism but may flee from us! – Although He joins and lives within us, making us a newborn member of the Body of Christ, He may flee from us due to the influence of Satan. About 125 A.D. and during the time of Pius, the Bishop of Rome, a scripture was added to the growing libraries of the Catholic Church which was called The Shepherd of Hermes. It became quite popular, and within it we find a Shepherd of Repentance speaking to Hermes, a loyal and faithful subject of the church and brother to the Pope. The Shepherd points out the relationship of the Holy Spirit, so to mitigate the prevailing confusion as to who He is, that He must be obeyed also, in addition to the Father and the Son.

What really happens in the Eucharist?

By Pius's time (125 A.D.) there was a substantial problem as to exactly what was happening during Eucharist. If one were partaking of the blood and body of Christ, and had Christ in him (for we should all be Christs or one in Christ) what was the function of the Holy Spirit? What is He doing in me? The Shepherd of Hermes tried to sort this out. Comparing the Kingdom first to a great white tower [re: the white building mentioned earlier] and later to a farm he says:

Shepherd of Hermes, Similitude V.45 ..The farm before mentioned denotes the whole earth. The Lord of the farm is he who created and finished all things, and gave virtue unto them.
V.46 His son is the Holy Spirit: the servant is the Son of God: the vineyard is the people whom he saves. The stakes are the messengers which are set over them by the Lord, to support his people. The weeds that are plucked up out of the vineyard are the sins which the servants of God had committed.
V.47 The food which he sent him from his supper, are the commands which he gave to his people by his Son.
V.49..Why, said I, is the Son of God in this parable, put in the place of a servant?
V.50 Hearken, he said: the Son of God is not put in the condition of a servant, but in great power and authority. I said unto him, how, sir? I understand it not.
V.51 Because, said he, the Son set his messengers over those whom the Father delivered unto him, to keep every one of them; but he himself labored very much, and suffered much, that he might blot out their offences.
V.53 You see, said he, that he is the Lord of his people, having received all power from his Father. But why the Lord did take his Son into counsel, about dividing the inheritance, and the good angels, hear now.

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V.54 That Holy Spirit, which was created first of all, he placed in the body in which God should dwell; namely, in a chosen body, as it seemed good to him. This body therefore into which the Holy Spirit was brought, served that Spirit, walked rightly and purely in modesty; nor ever defiled that Spirit.
V.55 Seeing therefore the body at all times obeyed the Holy Spirit, and labored rightly and chastely with him, nor faltered at any time, that body being wearied conversed indeed servilely, but being mightily approved to God with the Holy spirit, was accepted by him.
V.56 For such a stout course pleased God, because he was not defiled in the earth, keeping the Holy Spirit. He called therefore to counsel his Son, and the good angels, that there might be some place of standing given to this body which had served the Holy Spirit without blame; lest it should seem to have lost the reward of its service.
V.57 For every pure body shall receive its reward; that is found without spot, in which the Holy Spirit has been appointed to dwell [sic. a fundamental of Paul; ed. note].
V.59 Also take heed that it be not instilled into thy mind that this body perishes, and thou abuse it to any lust. For if thou shalt defile thy body, thou shalt also at the same time defile the Holy Spirit; and if thou shalt defile the Holy Spirit, thou shalt not live.
V.60 And I said, What if through ignorance this should have been already committed, before a man heard these words: How can he attain unto salvation, who has thus defiled his body.
V.61 He replied, As for men's former actions which through ignorance they have committed, God only can afford a remedy unto them; for all the power belongeth unto him.
Similitude IX.1..I will shew thee all those things which the Spirit spake with thee under the figure of the Church. For that Spirit is the Son of God [sic. The Church is the Son of God; ed. note].
IX.126 So also those who have believed in God by his Son, have put on his spirit. Behold there shall be one spirit, and one body, and one color of their garments..
IX.153 For before a man receives the name of the Son of God, he is ordained unto death; but when he receives that seal, he is freed from death, and assigned unto life.
IX.154 Now that seal is the water of baptism, into which men go down under the obligation unto death, but come up appointed unto life.
IX.172..Does not he then seem to thee to sin more who ought to follow goodness, if he shall prefer the part of sin; than he who offends without knowing the power of God?
IX.173 Wherefore these are indeed ordained unto death; but they who have known the Lord, and have seen his wonderful works, if they shall live wickedly, they shall be doubly punished, and shall die forever.
IX.235 Hearken, said he: Whosoever have suffered for the name of the Lord are esteemed honorable by the Lord; and all their offences are blotted out, because they have suffered death for the name of the Son of God.

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This tome came from many arguments which had by 126 A.D., following Clement's death, still been unresolved as a result of the doctrine that Jesus is God. Whereas the Gospel of the Jews was rather simple in form, seeing the Messiah(s) as another David or Moses, even another priest like Aaron, and therefore need not get into any issues of "conflicting Spirits", the doctrine involving the Messiah as God or equal to God, as Paul proposed, created severe problems, still unsettled today and particularly evident in the next issue to be discussed: iconoclasm.

Iconoclastic revolt

Besides being a Messianic religion, Judaism had another feature: it denied that there were any other gods besides God Himself-whose image is ineffable – and this precluded the worship of idols. In the Holy Scriptures God [YHVH] vowed to destroy all those who would not one day bow down unto him. In the prophesies we thus have the ban against idol worship, although the curious image of the Serpent placed before the congregation of the Exodus by Moses continued to raise questions, being no doubt more than a conversation piece. Also, whilst we are on the subject, the Two Cherubim upon the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant – between the which God was seen to reside-left also a question as to what is an idol and what is not an idol. Later, as mentioned, in the Temple of Solomon circa. 980 B.C., there were two more images to discuss, who were the Two Cherubim placed before the Temple Sanctuary, where the Ark of the Covenant was placed. Besides these Two Cherubim, there were, as with the Tabernacle, whose covering overhead was graced with images of cherubim, carved images of Cherubim lining the cedar walls of the Temple of Solomon.

The use of allegory or metaphor in the Bible is a means of communication and can easily be understood when we consider the fact that the thing which forbade the casting of any image of God or a thing for worship also surrounded His Presence on the Mercy Seat with the images of Cherubim. He appeared between the Two Cherubim, for instance; extending this aphorism we see a double meaning to Jesus' instructions, where he promised that wheresoever there were two or three men gathered in his name he would appear there between them.

The use of such kinds of imagery in the Bible were not misunderstood by the early Hebrews, once the issue of the Golden Calf, which Aaron himself allowed to be raised in Moses' absence upon Mt. Sinai, was resolved. Again we can see this plainly in the case of the Unicorn, previously discussed in Against Leviathan, which is an allegory of the Messiah; and who, of course, would have dared to eat the griffin, whose existence is only in allegory? Here we see God playing with us: as a father who dangles funny images before the child to distract him or get his attention. Take care, Sir, not to eat any griffins, in any case; neither should you allow the snorting unicorn who comes down from the mountains and stomps in the valleys, to work alone...

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Catholics kneeling before images which have never drawn a breath of life. We refer to another allegory, Sir, of Jesus landing (out of the clouds) on His Second Coming, on the steps of a Christian Church and seeing the Pieta at the entrance, He inquires of the priest who serves that house, Who is this? Seeing that the inquiry came from someone who obviously did not know the Madonna and Child, the priest would not recognize Him and no doubt pass him by. The Church, we assume, is counting on the fact that the Messiah knows what all the images scattered around their precincts are about and what they have to do with the worship of God.

The early Christian Church did not permit images, however. The ban against worshipping images was, unlike circumcision, respected by the early Pauline Church. The consequences of this are evident, since the universal Christian ban against idolatry adopted out of the Law of Moses prevented the creation of images of the Christ or his Apostles. For we do not see evidence of Jesus' Image in either mural or mosaic form until after the time of Constantine (325 A.D.), who permitted, as mentioned earlier, images to be scattered around his city and forbade not the destruction of images in the temples. We presume, therefore, that there must have been a few images of Christ and the Apostles scattered here and there. Still, beginning perhaps with Ireneus and definitely Tertullian (200 A.D.), the presence of idols was a continuing anathema to many in the church, but the issue was batted back and forth and did not finally come to a head until the iconoclast council of 754 A.D. following Leo III (717-741 A.D.) and Constantine V (741-775 A.D.), who ordered the destruction of images throughout the Holy Roman Byzantine Empire. This doctrine was later reinstituted, but poorly imitated, by Leo V (813-820 A.D). Of interest is the fact that whilst these administrations were destroying idols, Moslem rulers were doing the same in obedience to the Koran and the Torah which it confirmed!

Witness, then, in the convergence of the rising tide of Islam under the Arabs and the declining fortunes of the Holy Christian Empire founded by Constantine, a return to some fundamental precepts of the Torah which had been all but neglected by the Pauline Church around the fourth century A.D.

As shown above, the issue of Iconoclasm [against idols of all kinds] did not occur over-night. It came from a chain of Church scholars beginning with Hegesippus, then Ireneus, and finally Tertullian (whose writings cover the period of Bishops Zephyrinus and Callistus of Rome, from 197-220 A.D.). Tertullian was provoked to write in principal against the Gnostic heresies, among whom were Marcion, Hermogenes, and the Valentinians, but brought to a head the real issue at large: how doctrine and idol makers lose sight of what is God. Tertullian concluded, as we shall see, that those who worshipped false doctrines were no different than those who worshipped stone and other images. They are all idolators, he concluded.

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Father of Latin Theology

Based upon what we have already sketched, one should not be surprised to see among Tertullian's many panegyrics to those who followed the right doctrine, and pogroms against those who followed the wrong doctrine, such titles as:

On the flesh of Christ
On the Resurrection of the Flesh
On the Soul
On Baptism
Against the Jews

Tertullian was considered the "Father of Latin Theology" but has been recently downgraded a bit in light of recent scholastic revelation having to do with the pre-existent works which he drew upon, such as those of Clement and the Shepherd of Hermes, previously mentioned. He didn't necessarily evolve much in the way of New Revelation concerning the subject.

Thematic processes created Tertullian: from the early epistles of Paul and St. Peter and St. James, through Clement and Ignatius until Ireneus and Tertullian the principle theme was how to maintain unity in the church and avoid schisms. Paul, as we saw in a previous letter, told the flock to castigate and turn away from those who did not preach His Gospel; St. Peter, on the other hand, urged the flock to inquire into all things. The Gnostics apparently took St. Peter's advise literally [I jest] and began to experiment with whatever produces knowledge, eventually suggesting that the only way to the perfection of God was through sin. To learn good you must learn to sin, they presupposed, advocating perverted sexual and other pleasures, as sirens luring ancient mariners to the rocky sanctuaries of corruption.

In any event, Tertullian was prompted to defend Christianity and its Unity through his life works, among which were experiments in the Montanist Heresy-which was known for its New Prophesy and abundance of female prophets of all things- of which he later repented.

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Having gotten to this point by way of introducing seven principal issues over which the Christian Church was confused, we may now explore in more depth how those issues progressed through one scribe of the church to another, until it reached the form Catholics now seem to worship.

Against Idolatry-Tertullian

Until 200 A.D., the time of Tertullian, Catholic arguments focused upon the need to maintain Unity in the church [re: Clement's and Ignatius's epistles]; and idolatry was not the problem the church had to overcome so much as the ever present, heretic, tendency of a disciple to latch onto the gospel and adopt it to some new and often pagan practice. We can again illustrate here the problem of reconciling Christians to celebrate Christ's resurrection from the tomb under some other feast day than Passover (which was too Jewish). The prevailing pagan festival of the Eastern Roman Empire was that of the mother-goddess, Astarte, or Ishtar, as mentioned earlier. In Ephesus she was known as the many breasted Artemis, whose temple was, until Paul's time, one of the seven wonders of the world. In any event, doctrines tend to persevere longer than idols; and, perhaps influenced by Constantine, who seemed to consent to the worship of idols as long as they were under the name of Christ, it is evident that Ishtar's festival, now known as Easter, became the adopted name for that celebration upon which we feast and fast in memory of Christ's resurrection. We mention this here because Tertullian speaks towards this end, that the worship of both doctrine and stones can be classified as idol worship. Doctrines, lasting longer than stones, are the most threatening part of heresies, for heresies defend their temples and idols; and even when these are destroyed, as shown in the Voodoo religion or the worship of saints and their statutes, for instance, they yet prevail in new forms and with new identities. Let's, for a moment, look at the matter as Tertullian saw it: was not one kneeling before any idol – even if it were a stone carved in the form of Jesus or one of his saints-an idolator?

During Tertullian's time the Christian Church had spread over the world (in his estimation) and was beginning to have an influence, causing those who were Pagans to resent Christians, for Christians cursed the foreign idols and their temples-they tore many down, as in the case of the Temple of Artemis – and worse their prayers and worship of nothing, and then again Jesus, was interfering with the gods themselves, and the gods were failing to prevent storms, floods, droughts, and all kinds of disasters! From the days of Tacitus, whom we quoted earlier, throughout the early years of the church, the Christians had a reputation for being man haters. This mind-set enabled the persecution of Christians, which yet furthered the interest of Christian Unity. Facing persecution from the beginning-first as Jews because of the Jewish uprising in 70 A.D., and later, as Christians, the principal motivation of the church was to establish those principles which would hold it together as a church in spite of persecution [recalling the scripture, for many of ye shall suffer for my name].

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In the beginning the motive was clear: for the problem at hand was Paul's defense of His Church against the criticisms of the Circumcised Church led by Saints Peter and James. Following Paul's martyrdom and Peter's as well, the church had to turn within itself to offset efforts to persecute it from the Pagan factions which would rise up and try to redirect (reconvert) them back to pagan beliefs.

Setting a trend for Unity, out of the conflict he had with the Circumcised Church, Paul emphasized the importance of an apostolic succession which would establish authentic doctrine inspired by the Holy Spirit, as originally delivered through Christ and his apostles. After him we saw in Ignatius, an early church martyr, the emphasis upon this succession, so the doctrine could prevail after his death, reminding the flock that the Bishop is as Jesus Christ and must be followed. Following Paul and Saint Peter, until the time of Constantine (circa 325 A.D.) and Eusebius of Caesarea, each diocese or territorial division of the world under the Church was assigned a Bishop. Bishops could not move from one diocese to another. This was evident when Constantine offered Eusebius of Caesarea another bishopric, which he turned down, citing that rule of apostolic succession. During Eusebius's time, however, another Bishop, Mileteus, contested this restriction and he and his followers appointed their own Bishops and dioceses-another heresy which fell in and out of favor with Constantine we might add, but seemed to crop up again much later when the Papacy was moved to France.

Against foreign doctrines: i.e., the Jews

Tertullian received a faith which had a prescribed pecking order and yet a widely diversified and contested doctrine concerning who Jesus was and just how he should be honored (worshipped). At the root of the Gospel of Jesus inherited by Tertullian was Paul's Epistles which emphasized the Gentile Inheritance: which in exact terms meant transferring all the Blessings of Abraham to the Holy and united Apostolic Church. This transfer, as mentioned many times before, condemned the Jews and their Law; and it is no wonder to discover one of the pogroms Tertullian wrote in his collection against heresies to be one against the Jews. Thus, he explores in more detail what a heresy to the Church can be:

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Tertullian, Prescriptions against Heretics 4.0 Instead of dwelling on such things let us keep in mind the Lord's sayings and the apostles' letters, which warned us that heresies would come and ordered us to shun them.
6.0..We Christians are forbidden to introduce anything on our own authority or to choose what someone else introduces on his own authority. Our authorities are the Lord's apostles, and they in turn chose to introduce nothing on their own authority.
7.0..It is philosophy that supplies the heresies with their equipment. From philosophy come the aeons and those infinite forms-whatever they are-and Valentinus's human trinity. He had been a Platonist. From philosophy came Marcion's god, the better for his inactivity. He had come from the Stoics. The idea of a mortal soul was picked up from the Epicureans, and the denial of the restitution of the flesh was taken over from the common tradition of the philosophical schools. Zeno taught them to equate God and matter, and Heracleitus comes on the scene when anything is being laid down about a god of fire. Heretics and philosophers perpend the same themes and are caught up in the same discussions: what is the origin of evil, and why? The origin of man, and how? And (Valentinus' latest subject) what is the origin of God? No doubt in Desire and Abortion! A plague on Aristotle who taught them dialectic, the art which destroys as much as it builds, which changes its opinions like a coat, forces its conjectures, is stubborn in argument, works hard at being contentious and is a burden even to itself. For it reconsiders every point to make sure it never finishes a discussion.
From philosophy come those fables and endless genealogies and fruitless questions, those "words that creep like as doth a canker". To hold us back from such things, the Apostle testifies expressly in his letter to the Colossians that we should beware of philosophy..

While I have a great deal of respect for Tertullian – particularly with respect to his definition of idolatry which we shall approach in a moment – I am afraid that he-certainly the Church is, it will be seen-may be guilty of the thing he criticized, of reconsidering every point, changing this way and that, to make sure it never finishes a discussion. This we shall demonstrate. Of course any creed which is malleable cannot be from God, Tertullian would say; and we must agree ourself.

Here Tertullian has described a rule passed from Paul which Peter answered, as we saw in our last letter, concerning those who pay heed to fables and endless genealogies.

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The mind-set passed through Paul to the Apostolic Succession was based upon an idea that the Jews were in error first, and the scriptures could now be interpreted so to acquire more knowledge; and since Paul's Epistles, through the theory of types and shadows, took precedence over the Holy Scriptures, Paul's ideas began to be applied to things which Paul hadn't been addressing. Paul had not been writing against the philosophers but rather against the Jews and their Law. Tertullian tweaked the accord, as it were, so to make his point. Let's continue:

ibid, 9.0 ..No word of God is so unqualified or so unrestricted in application that the mere words can be pleaded without respect to their underlying meaning.
My first principle is this. Christ laid down one definite system of truth which the world must believe without qualification, and which we must seek precisely in order to believe it when we find it. Now you cannot search indefinitely for a single definite truth. You must seek until you find, and when you find, you must believe, since you also believe that there is nothing else to believe, and therefore nothing else to seek, once you have found and believed what he taught who bids you seek nothing beyond what he taught. If you feel any doubt as to what this truth is, I undertake to establish that Christ's teaching is to be found with us...They must not interpret, "Seek and ye shall find," without regard to reasonable methods of exegesis.
11.0..I shall wish I had never begun to seek, if I never grasp what Christ taught, what should be sought, what must be believed.
13.0 The Rule of Faith – To state here and now what we maintain – is of course that by which we believe that there is but one God, who is none other than the Creator of the world who produced everything from breathing through his Word, sent forth before all things; that this Word is called his Son and in the Name of God was seen in divers ways by the patriarchs, was ever heard in the prophets and finally was brought down by the Spirit and Power of God the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, was born of her and lived as Jesus Christ; who thereafter proclaimed a new law and a new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles, was crucified, on the third day rose again, was caught up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father; that he sent in his place the power of the Holy Spirit to guide believers; that he will come with glory to take the saints up into the fruition of the life eternal and the heavenly promises and to judge the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both good and evil with the restoration of their flesh.

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This sets the scope of Tertullian's anchor, some of us might be inclined to say; and with this in mind we can proceed to Tertullian's definition of idolatry:

Tertullian, On Idolatry 4.0 God forbids the making of idols no less than the worshipping of them. Just as any object of worship must first be made, so what must not be worshipped must not be made. That is the prior obligation. For this reason, in order to root out the materials of idolatry, God's law proclaims: Thou shalt not make an idol; and by adding: Nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven or in earth or in the sea, it utterly forbade such crafts to the servants of God. Enoch had anticipated this law when he prophesied that the demons and the spirits of the rebellious angels would turn to idolatry every element and property of the universe, everything which heaven and sea and earth contain, to be consecrated as a god against God. So it is that human error worships everything but the very Creator of everything. Their images are idols, the consecration of images is idolatry.
..The Apostle said (so they argue): Let each man continue as he was found [I Cor. 7.20]. On that interpretation we can all continue in our sins. We were all without exception sinners when we were found. Christ came down for no other reason than to set sinners free. Again, they say the Apostle taught that, after his own example, every man should work with his own hands for his living. [I Thess. 4.11]. If all hands can plead this instruction, the thieves at the baths live by their hands, I suppose, and burglars get their living with their hands, and forgers produce their false documents with their hands (not their feet!), while the actors in the pantomime toil for their living with their hands and every limb in their bodies besides. If we are not to exclude the crafts which God's discipline does not admit, we shall have to throw the Church open to everyone who supports himself by his hands and his own work.
6.0 Suppose there were no law of God forbidding us to make idols, and no word of the Holy Spirit threatening their manufacturers no less than their worshippers, even so, a Christian who understood his baptismal profession would see for himself that such crafts are at odds with the faith. How have we renounced the devil and his angels if we are making them? What sort of divorce have we declared when we go on living if not with them, then on them? Have we really broken away from them, as we undertook to do, if we are still tied to them by gratitude for our maintenance? Can your tongue deny what your hand confesses, your words demolish what your work constructs?..

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7.0 On this score a zealous faith will raise its voice, lamenting that the Christian comes into the church from the idols, comes from the enemy workshop into the house of God, raises to God the Father hands that have mothered idols, adores with hands which outside are adored in opposition to God, touches the Body of the Lord with hands which give the demons their bodies. And worse. Small matter, maybe, if they receive from other hands something to contaminate. But they hand to others what they have contaminated, for idol-makers are accepted into the ranks of the clergy. For shame! The Jews laid their hand upon Christ once only, these men harass his Body every day. Off with those hands! Now let them mark how the words of Scripture fit them: If thy hand offend thee, cut it off. What hands are more fit to be cut off than those which offend the Body of the Lord?

What a funny man! Sir, we think you ought to tell those guys running St. Peter's Cathedra that Tertullian, the Father of the Catholic Church, says for them to stop harassing the Body of Christ!

ibid. 11.0 When processions, priesthoods and idol-sacrifices are supplied at your risk, your loss, your damage, by your plans and flurries and business operations, you are plainly nothing but the idols' agent...We have to keep clear of the offenders no less than the offences. That an offence was committed by another does not lessen my guilt, if it was committed by my agency. At no point ought I to be an indispensable instrument to another man doing what I may not do myself. The mere fact that I am forbidden to do it should teach me to take care that it should not be done by my means. An example will establish the presumption that the guilt is no lighter. Since fornication is forbidden to me, I offer no assistance or connivance in it to others. By keeping my own body away from the brothels I acknowledge that I cannot pander or make a profit of that sort on anyone else's behalf. Again, the prohibition of murder shows me that a trainer of gladiators must be kept out of the Church. He cannot escape responsibility for what he helps another to do...
Idolatry can more easily dispense with an idol than with his wares. Let us question the Christian conscience. If a Christian incense-merchant walks through a temple, can he bring himself to spit and blow on the smoking altars for which he has himself provided?..

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12.0..Faith has learned not to be anxious for its life. How much more for a living?..
13.0 ..There are certain days for gifts, which in some cases see the claims of rank discharged, in others the debt of wages. Today, you say, I shall receive what is due to me, or pay back what I owe. This custom of consecrating days is rooted in superstition. If you are altogether free from the vanity of paganism, why do you participate in celebrations dedicated to idols, as if rules about days were binding upon you too, and you must discharge your debts or receive your dues only on the correct day? Tell me in what form you want to be dealt with. Why should you go into hiding, defiling your own conscience by another man's ignorance? If you are in fact known to be a Christian, you are on trial, and you go against another's conscience when you act as though you were not a Christian. But if you conceal your Christianity, you are tried and condemned. In one way or the other you are guilty of being ashamed of God. Whosoever shall be ashamed of me before me, I also will be ashamed of him, he says, before my Father which is in heaven [Matt. 10.33; Luke 9.26]...
14.0 ..But you may say, the Apostle elsewhere bids us take care to please everybody:..I am become all things to all men, that I may gain all, did he become an idolater to the idolaters? Did he become a heathen to the heathen, worldly to the worldly? Even if he does not forbid us all converse with idolaters and adulterers and other criminals, saying, For then must ye needs go out of the world, that does not imply such a slackening of the reigns of good behavior that we can sin with sinners merely because we have to live with them and mix with them. It does not mean that where there is intercourse in living (which the Apostle concedes), there can be sharing in sin (which no one permits). We are allowed to live with the heathen, but we are not allowed to die with them.. We share the world with them, but not their error.
15.0..What then is Caesars? Surely the subject of the original discussion, whether or not tribute should be paid to Caesar. That was why the Lord asked to see a coin and inquired whose image it bore. When he heard that it was Caesar's, he said: Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and unto God the things that are Gods, that is, render to Caesar Caesar's image, which is on the coin, and to God God's image, which is on man. To Caesar, then, you should render money, to God yourself. If everything belongs to Caesar, what will be God's? [sic. Matt. 22.21]..
15.0..If you have renounced brothels, do not give your own house the appearance of a newly opened brothel.

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Now he illustrates his point based upon Jesus' conduct:

ibid. 18.0...So he rejected the glory which he did not desire, and in rejecting it, condemned it, and in condemning it, set it down as the pomp of the devil. He would not have condemned it but for the fact that it was not his own; and what does not belong to God can belong to none but the devil.

We have a problem here, don't we? If Jesus is God whatever He rejected is not of God. He rejected the rich and the proud, as a routine, but also in his routine he forgave people who were known sinners. Here his Aunt Mary comes to mind, together with the other Mary, of Magdala. Paul played a bit with this in II Corinthians 2.17, where he says, But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Of course Jesus came to minister to sinners, following John the Baptist's work, and not the righteous. We now complete Tertullian's progression with the precept that words can commit idolatry as well as works (which is what John the Baptist also complained about):

ibid. 20.0 Walking according to God's moral law is endangered by words as well as deeds. The Bible which says: Behold the man and his deeds, says also: Out of thy mouth thou shalt be justified [Matt. 12.37].

Let's take a look at this Proof text:

Matthew 12.35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
12.36 But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
12.37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

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This precept follows the basic and often repeated warning:

The wicked are caught in the same snares that they set for others...

Christian Duty

To serve God a Christian must fulfill his Christian Duty, says Tertullian [ibid. 21.0]. Then he says:

ibid. 22.0..Many say, no one is obliged to proclaim himself a Christian. Nor, I think, to deny that he is one. For you are denying it, if you dissemble your Christianity when for any reason you are taken for a pagan. And all denial is certainly idolatry, just as all idolatry is denial, whether by word or deed.
23.0..It is the tongue, not the letter, which kills..

Sir, on behalf of Tertullian we ask you to pass to your bishop our concern that I mistook Catholics as idolaters.

ibid. 23.0...Fortunately the Lord spoke of sin in mind and conscience. If (he said) concupiscence or malice rise up into the heart of man, thou art held guilty of the deed [Matt. 5.28].
24.0 ..When the apostles were in council, the Holy Spirit relaxed the bond and yoke for us precisely in order that we might devote ourselves to the Avoidance of idolatry...If the Ark is the type, at any rate, no idolater is found in it. No animal is the figure of the idolater. What was not in the Ark can have no place in the Church.

Here we see Paul's theory of types and shadows falling back upon him. What was in the Ark was, of course, the Ten Commandments, a sample of the Manna from Heaven, the Rod of Aaron, and the Testimony [Torah]. We know the Testimony was in the Ark of the Covenant since it was taken out of the Ark on occasion and read to the people. In addition we have this testimony:

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Joshua 4.15 And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
4.16 Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.

Chapter 4
The Salt of the earth – Cyprian

It is difficult to speak of Tertullian's wisdom without adding to it Cyprian's further definition of that thing which is designed to be a Christian-which according to Tertullian must be:

A man given a good conscience by Christ who does his duty to fulfill it...

The Salt of the Earth

The first principle of Christianity is to give man a good conscience. This comes through a thing called Wisdom, first from the Holy Scriptures, then Christ. Recalling that Wisdom and salt are compared together through a play on words, Cyprian, who wrote his treaty, De Unitate, or The Unity of the Catholic Church, begins with:

Cyprian, De Unitate 1.0 Ye are the salt of the earth [Matt 5.13]...We who have put on Christ, the Wisdom of God the Father, must not lack the wisdom to safeguard our salvation.
..How can we possess immortality unless we keep the commandments of Christ by which death is conquered and defeated, as he warns us: If thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments [Matt. 19.17], and again, If ye do the things which I command you, henceforth I call you not servants, but friends? [John 15.14-15]..He says, he that heareth my words and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock [Matt. 7.24-25].
It is our duty to stand upon his words, to learn and do all that he taught and did. How can anyone profess faith in Christ without doing what Christ commanded? How can he come to the reward of faith without keeping faith with the commandments?

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This, Sir, was the discussion you and I have been having. Speaking of heretics Cyprian says:

ibid. 3.0 ..though they do not stand by the gospel and discipline and law of Christ, they call themselves Christians. Though they are walking in darkness, they think they are in the light, through the deceitful flattery of the adversary who, as the Apostle said, transforms himself into an angel of light and adorns his ministers as ministers of righteousness, who call night day, death salvation, despair hope, perfidy faith, Antichrist Christ, cunningly to frustrate truth by their lying show of Truth. This is what happens, my brothers, when we do not return to the fount of truth, when we are not looking to the head and keeping the doctrine taught from heaven.
4.0..He builds the Church upon one man. True, after the resurrection he assigned the like power to all the apostles, saying, As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you. Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted unto him; whosesoever ye retain, they shall be retained [John 20.21-23]. Despite that, in order to make unity manifest, he arranged by his own authority that this unity should, from the start, take its beginning from one man. Certainly the rest of the apostles were exactly what Peter was..But there was unity at the beginning before any development, to demonstrate that the Church of Christ is one. This one Church is also intended in the Song of Songs, when the Holy spirit says, in the person of the Lord: My dove, my perfect one, is but one. [Song of Solomon 6.9]. Can one who does not keep this unity of the Church believe that he keeps the faith?

Thus, he says:

ibid. 5.0..The episcopate is a single whole, in which each bishop's share gives him a right to, and a responsibility for, the whole.

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The phrase, in solidum pars tenetur, referring to responsibility to the whole, reflects the idea not only of the various bishops' responsibility to their diocese and also to each other, but to Christ first and finally what is intended in Christ: i.e. the proof of God. Wisdom has also been expressed as a garment-which comes from the idea of being clothed with the precepts of the LORD. Thus Cyprian observes:

ibid. 7.0..He who rends and divides the Church cannot possess the garment of Christ...
8.0 Who then is so wicked and perfidious, so mad with the fury of discord, as to believe that the unity of God, the garment of the Lord, the Church of Christ, can be rent-as to dare to rend it? He himself instructs us in his Gospel with the words of warning: And there shall be one flock and one shepherd [John 10.16].
..The faithful have no home but the one Church. This home, this house of unanimity, the Holy Spirit announces unmistakably in the Psalms: God who maketh men to dwell together of one mind in an house [Psalm 68.6].

Those who are unfaithful are seen as empty husks, easily blown about by the wind, he later says. (This is a common rabbinical precept – of emptying all of the husks of heaven – found in the Oral Torah). Seeing that heresies come and go he observes that :

ibid. 10.0..The Lord allows such things out of respect for the freedom of the will, so that, when our hearts and minds are probed by the test of truth, the undamaged faith of such as are approved may shine out in manifest light.

What a wonderful thought! We mentioned in Hidden Pavilions that God creates fools so to enable him to better reflect or magnify his wisdom. Thus, we have the precept that the wicked are caught in the same snares they set for others, which is what expresses most obviously what sets apart a fool from a wise man.

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Cyprian and Tertullian had lived in a period of the first Imperially driven Christian persecutions; thus they were concerned whether a Christian could deny Christ to save his life and survive undamaged. About thirty years later Diocletian (284-305 A.D.) began the Great Persecution. The persecutions, in addition to the other problems the bishops had to handle, were obviously a source of discord. So Cyprian addresses this, the various causes of discord:

ibid. 11.0..No one whose furious discord breaks the Lord's peace can come to the reward of peace.
12.0..How can two or three be gathered together in the name of Christ when they are known to be separated from Christ and his Gospel? For we did not go out from them, but they from us. Heresies and schisms were born after the Church, as men set up separate conveticles to suit themselves.
13.0..Do those who gather themselves outside the Church fancy that Christ is with them when they are gathered together?
14.0 Suppose such men are put to death confessing the Name. Their blood cannot wash away that stain, their suffering cannot purge the grievous and inexpiable guilt of discord. You cannot be a martyr if you are not in the Church. You cannot come into the kingdom if you desert her who is to reign there...You cannot prove yourself a martyr if you have not kept brotherly charity...Discord cannot enter the kingdom of heaven...He who has not charity, has not God. It was the blessed apostle John who said: God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him [I John 4.16].
15.0 ..We have need of right conduct to earn the favor of God when he judges us; we must obey his commands and instructions to obtain the reward of our merits. In the gospel, when he was giving us summary directions for the way of hope and faith, the Lord said: The Lord thy God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets [Matt. 22.40; Mark 12.29-31].

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20.0 Do not be surprised, dear brothers, that even some of the confessors [martyrs who confessed Christ; ed. note] go to such lengths and sin, some of them, so wickedly and grievously. Confession does not guarantee immunity from the snares of the devil nor provide lasting security against the temptations, the perils, the attacks and assaults of the world, as long as you are in the world. Otherwise we should never see fraud and fornication and adultery in confessors after their confession, as we are now seeing in some of them, to our grief and pain. No matter who he is the confessor is not greater or better or dearer to God than Solomon. And Solomon kept the grace which the Lord had given him as long as he walked in his ways, but lost the Lord's grace after he left the Lord's way. Therefore it is written: Hold fast that which thou hast, that no other take thy crown [Rev.3.11]. Surely God would not threaten that the crown of righteousness might be taken away, if it were not necessary that when justice goes, the crown should go also...He is a confessor, then, having obtained glory of the Lord through the gospel, he is all the more bound to stand firmly by the Lord's gospel. To whom much is given, of him is much required: and to whom more honor is ascribed, of him more service is demanded...
One who is called a confessor of Christ should imitate the Christ whom he confesses.

Then Cyprian speaks of humbling oneself:

ibid. 21.0 ..Every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted [Luke 18.14]; and he was himself exalted by his Father because on earth he, the word and power and wisdom of God, humbled himself.

We like this expression: the word and power and wisdom of God humbled himself. We wonder, following what we know the Church fathers put into writing, whether you, Sir, or your bishop could agree that the Word of God is Power and Wisdom, whether, being humble also by design, might ever reach into the Pope's high office? And knowing this we would wonder, as we asked before, how you would recognize the Word of God, knowing:

ibid. 27.0 Dearest brothers, let us rouse ourselves to the full, let us break off the slumber of our former sloth and awake to observe and fulfill the Lord's commands. Behave as he taught us to behave when he said:..Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching [Luke 12-35-37].

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Cyprian refers to this Unity as being within the primacy given to Peter:

..He who deserts the Chair of Peter on whom the Church was founded, does he trust that he is in the Church?

Referring to baptism – the means by which you receive the Holy Spirit – Cyprian says:

Cyprian, On the Baptismal Controversy 18.0 ..If a man denies that God is Christ's Creator, by what power can he obtain remission of sins in baptism, when Christ received the very power by which we are baptized and sanctified from the same Father, whom he called greater than himself, by whom he prayed to be glorified, whose will he fulfilled..
19.0 If the disciples of Christ will not learn from Christ how much veneration and honor is due to the name of Father, at least let them learn from examples of this world, and understand that it was not without grave reproof that Christ said: The sons of this world are wiser than the sons of light [Luke 16.8].
23.0..It befits wise and God-fearing men rather to obey the truth gladly and instantly when it is laid open and made visible to them, than to struggle persistently and obstinately against brethren and bishops on behalf of heretics...

Both Tertullian and Cyprian agree with the position we passed your way. We now proceed to another joined to our troop, whose name is Saint Ambrose.


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