Welcome to Thus Say the Prophets!
The Revelation of Y'shua the Anointed:
A Study into the Noahide Nazarene Way
By Ben Ruach ha Kodesh (John of AllFaith) � 9.18.09 (3.15.08)
Chapter Three, Part 1
Go to the index page for: The Revelation of Y'shua the Anointed
The Seven Periods of the Church Continued
The Church of Sardis: The Reformation to the Peace of Westphalia and beyond.
1520 CE - 1750 CE: The Church was now fragmented on several fronts despite the Master's instruction:
John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
I Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Y'shua the Anointed, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
The Nicean Christians were now woefully divided on almost every point of doctrine and the world shook its collective head not knowing what to believe anymore!
It was during this period that Deism -- the belief that God exists but is completely unknowable -- and Secular Humanism arose in earnest. Secular Humanism of course is the Humanist religion/philosophy that espouses reason, ethics, and justice while specifically rejecting the supernatural and spiritual as the basis of moral reflection and decision making. While the term wasn't coined until the twentieth century, its origins as a belief system arose during this period among the Elite. The term "Secular Humanism" was coined in contradistinction to the growing influence of "Religious Humanism." Both belief systems developed and were embrace due to Christian divisiveness and disharmony.
Toward the end of this period the United States was preparing to declare its independence from Great Britain and while most of its founders deeply believed in the God of the Bible, they established the nation under the principles of Deism due to the doctrinal infighting within the hopelessly divided Church. The nation was therefore established on "Judeo-Christian principles" but without allowing any of the rival factions to usurp control of the reigns of power.
Due to the destructive influences of the Nicolaitane heresy now embraced by all segments of the Nicean Church (as discussed in Chapter two) it was now objectively impossible to demonstrate what the Master actually taught but the Nicean Christians nonetheless debated endlessly hoping to further their own denominational views and authority!
Jumping ahead a bit, taking advantage of this religious chaos, in the twentieth century Secular Humanism gained control of the nation and the United States government virtually declared war on the Christian faith. The "Supreme Court" essentially outlawed all public expression of religion and the government run schools began openly indoctrinating the children of the nation into Secular Humanist beliefs and values, essentially reducing the human race to slightly evolved monkeys and placing all morality under the determination of cultural relativism. This movement was beginning during this Church age. Of course this was not only happening in the U.S. but I live here and can't very well discuss every nation on earth in this study! The global influences of the U.S. -- both for good and ill -- justifies this inclusion in the study I think.
Had the Way Movement obeyed the Master and not abandoned his teachings things would have gone quite differently. The Church has only itself to blame for its many woes and loss of influence.
During this Sardis period religion had become habit to which one tenaciously clung without question or reason. These Christians, religiously the freest since the days of Constantine, could have researched and prayerfully restored the Way, but instead they faithlessly clung to the status quo passed down to them. And in the Eastern and Roman Catholic Churches, among the Anglicans (Church of England) and the diverse Protestant sects nothing essential changed.
The Way taught by Y'shua the Anointed was largely forgotten. The Pagan additions to Church dogma had become so entrenched by this point that the Reformers, who promised to restore the true faith, didn't know what Master Y'shua taught and their own assumptions limited them from finding out. How then could they restore the Way when they were unwilling to question their own Vatican-formed beliefs? Nicean Christians of this period were woefully ignorant of the Bible, in part because the Church had declared reading it illegal for so long! Now that they could read the Bible for themselves the Church was so doctrinally fragmented and divided by the chaos and infighting as to what it even said that the notion of Christian Unity was seldom even contemplated. The Bible became little more to these people than a book of myths and bedtime stories, a dust covered "coffee table volume" that demonstrated ones "faith" to ones friends and business associates. The word "Christian" came to mean that one was good person -- "My what a Christian thing to do" and "that's not very Christian now is it?" -- not that one is "Christ-like" or operating under God's anointing. This period of Church history is described by Apostle John here as being all but dead.
The main disagreements the Protestants cited with the Roman Church are contained in Martin Luther's Ninety Five Thesis of Reformation (Click Here and scroll down for this list). What is woefully absent from this list is the need to return to the Jewish roots of the Master's teachings. To embrace Shabbat (the biblical Sabbath), to correct certain erroneous dogmas concerning the very nature of the One God and so on. The main Nicolaitane heresies remained in place and were not even questioned by the Protestant Reformers.
Despite this, there were still innumerable sincere and devoted people within the Roman, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Churches and for them and for future generations HaShem remained present within the Church working for the good of His people and the eventual establishment of His Kingdom.
- Revelation 3:
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
In these verses the Master directly tells us that much has now been lost but that some remains.
The Church of Philadelphia: The Church in revival