The four men that I think did the most to spread the word of Jesus Christ are:
The Apostle Paul
We are finished with the Catholic Church, for now. Tomorrow we’re going to take another look at the United States and the problem with…
The Heavenly Worship
1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
4:1-5:14 – these two chapters constitute an introduction to chapters 6-20. In the throne room of heaven, the Lamb assumes the responsibility of initiating the great final conflict with the forces of evil, the end of which will see the Lamb triumphant and the devil consigned to the lake of fire.
“Things which must be hereafter” – indicates events that are yet to come.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
“Jasper…sardine…emerald” – since God dwells in “the Light which no man can approach” and is one “whom no man hath seen, nor can see” (1 Tim 6:16).
He is described in terms of the reflected brilliance of precious stones – an emerald rainbow around the throne (cf. Eze 1:26:28). In the Old Testament the rainbows a symbol of divine hope and a promise for the future (Gen 9:13-15).
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
“Four and twenty elders” – representative of either the whole company of believers in heaven or an exalted angelic order worshiping the serving God there.
The number 24 is often understood to reflect the 12 Israelite tribes of the Old Testament and the 12 apostles of the New Testament.
5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
“Lightnings…thunderings…burning” – symbolic of the awesome majesty and power of God (cf. the manifestation of God at Sinai, Ex 19:16-19).
In Revelation, thunder and lightening always mark an important event connected with the heavenly temple (8:5, 11:19, 16:18).
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
“Four beasts” – an exalted order of angelic beings whose task is to guard the heavenly throne and lead in worship and adoration of God.
“Full of eyes” – nothing escapes their attention.
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Ezekiel in a vision also saw four living creatures, each of which had four faces – human in front, lion on the right, ox on the left, and eagle behind (Eze 1:6, 10).
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever,
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
“Cast their crowns” – acknowledgment that God alone is worthy of ultimate praise and worship.
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
The History of the Catholic Church
I have no literature/books about the history of the Catholic Church and I’ve searched over a dozen different sites.
All but one of them, which include Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica, says that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church, but I know that it is not true.
NOTE: I find Wikipedia good for the purpose of finding others sites that have factual proof. Anyone can say whatever they choose for Wikipedia, so be careful.
I know it’s not true because for one thing, “All good things come from God”:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas 1:17).
There is nothing good about the Catholics. Of course, God made us too and we are not good, but we were when He created us and we have the potential to be good. The Catholic Church did not come from heaven, it came from hell, and there is no good in it.
Of course, the Catholics tell people that the Catholic Church was established in 1 A.D., because they say that Jesus founded the church when He said:
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18).
It’s sad that so many people believe that lie. The church Jesus was talking about was His church, i.e., people that believe in Him. There is not a religion or a building for God’s Church; Jesus’ Church is those that accept Him as their Lord and Savior.
But I can see it back then, after the Pharisees and Sadducees crucified Jesus then they tried to butter up Peter and make him the Pope of their wicked religion. But Peter told them:
“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” (I Pet 5:3).
There was no way Peter was going to try and run rickshaw over Jesus, only fools do that. That would be like running head on against a Mack Truck.
One site that I found said that the Catholics came in existence in 742 by Pepin the Younger, also known as Pepin the Short, who was the king of the Franks from 752-768 when he died.
Some suggest that the Catholics came into existence during the Hellenistic Period, which was shortly after Alexander the Great died (323 B.C.).
After Alexander the Great’s ventures in the Persian Empire, Hellenistic kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia (Seleucid Empire, Kingdom of Pergamon) and north-east Africa (Ptolemaic Kingdom).
This resulted in the export of Greek culture and language to these new realms, and moreover Greek colonists themselves.
Equally, however, these new kingdoms were influenced by the indigenous cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary, or convenient.
Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East, and Southwest Asia, and a departure from earlier Greek attitudes towards “barbarian” cultures.
I somewhat, but not fully, agree with the above statement. I believe that the Catholic Church is an offshoot from Judaism.
Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in the ancient world that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture.
Until the fall of the Roman Empire and the Muslim conquests of the Eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria (Egypt) and Antioch (Northern Syria—now Turkey), the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa area, both founded at the end of the 4th century BCE in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great.
Hellenistic Judaism also existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists (sometimes called Judaizers).
The decline of Hellenistic Judaism started in the 2nd century CE, and its causes are still not fully understood.
It may be that it was eventually marginalized by, partially absorbed into or became progressively the Koiné-speaking core of “Early Christianity” centered on Antioch and its “universalist” tradition.
There are disagreements between scholars about the Apostle Paul and his religion:
The relationship between Paul the Apostle and Second Temple Judaism continues to be the subject of much scholarly research, as it is thought that Paul played an important role in the relationship between Christianity and Judaism as a whole.
Paul’s influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than any other New Testament author.
Some scholars see Paul (or Saul) as completely in line with 1st century Judaism (a “Pharisee” and student of Gamaliel or as part of Hellenistic Judaism), others see him as opposed to 1st century Judaism, while the majority see him as somewhere in between these extremes, opposed to “Ritual Laws,” but in full agreement on “Divine Law”.
I don’t understand the confusion or the purpose of finding an answer here because the Bible makes it very clear.
Prior to Paul’s meeting with Jesus his name was Saul and a Pharisee, and he was nothing more than a snake. I’m sure he was a Judaist or a Catholic or some other pagan religion.
The Book of Acts, in my opinion, shows that Saul was an ego-maniac and a “legal” murderer (the United States government certainly would have hired him).
Yet, once he had the “meeting of the minds” with Jesus he became the number one servant to Christ. He butted heads with anyone that stood against Jesus. What more is there to say?
Here’s an interesting read about the Catholics, Hellenism and Hitler:
Nazis, Catholics & Alexander’s Hellenists:
Symbols, Beliefs & Gods
Those (hidden from most historical accounts) deviant sexual habits running rampant in Germany during the Catholic rule of the Nazi era actually connect that reign to ancient Greek Hellions paganism, continuing from Alexander’s Empire.
Hellenism’s multi-god, sexual “freedom” types of worship spread from Alexander’s Empire into the succeeding Roman Empire. Many of those worship practices envelope into The Catholic Church of the Holy Roman Empire.
Usually when historians discuss the Nazi swastika, they relate it to American Indian symbols. Seldom is its relationship to the Hellenistic Thracian-pin well-known throughout Alexander’s kingdom.
However, this symbolism correctly relates Hitler’s reign to Hellenistic paganism.
Moreover, Hitler’s strict rearing in Catholicism, particularly the Jesuits, harken back to Hellenism. Another important symbol connecting Catholicism to Hellenism is pagan multi-god worship at home altars or shrines.
Consider John Henry’s article, ‘The Domestic Church: 7 Steps to a Proper Catholic Home,’ which makes this strange statement: “The true head of the Catholic home is Christ, just as the Head of the Church is the Supreme Pontiff, His Holiness.” Hmmm. Strange, God’s Word says Christ is the Head of the Church:
“. . . as the church is subject unto Christ” (Eph 5: 24).
“He is the Head of the Body, the Church” (Col 1: 24).
“And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church” (Eph 1: 22).
As I had said before, I think the Catholics is a by-product of Judaism and I believe its original home – where the evilness that we see today began – was in Babylon.
Babylon is a very old city:
The earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334- 2279 BC), dating back to the 23rd century BC. But it didn’t become an empire until around 612 B.C.
The Catholics are pagans and are the number one idolaters of the world, e.g., the rosary, the Virgin Mary, the Pope, etc.
Martin Luther Against the Catholic Church
Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany, in 1483, and went on to become one of Western history’s most significant figures.
Luther spent his early years in relative anonymity as a monk and scholar. But in 1517 Luther penned a document attacking the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin.
His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs:
1. The Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds.
2. Sparking the Protestant Reformation. Although these ideas had been advanced before, Martin Luther codified them at a moment in history ripe for religious reformation.
The Catholic Church was ever after divided, and the Protestantism that soon emerged was shaped by Luther’s ideas. His writings changed the course of religious and cultural history in the West.
Martin Luther’s career plan, or at least his father’s plan for him, was to become a lawyer, but one night, but…
In July of that 1505, Luther got caught in a violent thunderstorm, in which a bolt of lightning nearly struck him down.
He considered the incident a sign from God and vowed to become a monk if he survived the storm. The storm subsided, Luther emerged unscathed and, true to his promise, Luther turned his back on his study of the law days later on July 17, 1505. Instead, he entered an Augustinian monastery.
You do not have to promise God anything, but if you do He’ll hold you to it:
“But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee” (Deut 23:22).
“When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee” (Deut 23:21).
“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed” (Ecc 5:4).
In early 16th-century Europe, some theologians and scholars was beginning to question the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
It was also around this time that translations of original texts—namely, the Bible and the writings of the early church philosopher Augustine—became more widely available.
Augustine (340–430) had emphasized the primacy of the Bible rather than Church officials as the ultimate religious authority.
He also believed that humans could not reach salvation by their own acts, but that only God could bestow salvation by his divine grace. In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church taught that salvation was possible through “good works,” or works of righteousness, that pleased God.
Luther came to share Augustine’s two central beliefs, which would later form the basis of Protestantism.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church’s practice of granting “indulgences” to provide absolution to sinners became increasingly corrupt.
Indulgence-selling had been banned in Germany, but the practice continued unabated. In 1517, a friar named Johann Tetzel began to sell indulgences in Germany to raise funds to renovate St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Luther the Heretic
On November 9, 1518 the pope condemned Luther’s writings as conflicting with the teachings of the Church. One year later a series of commissions were convened to examine Luther’s teachings.
The first papal commission found them to be heretical, but the second merely stated that Luther’s writings were “scandalous and offensive to pious ears.”
Finally, in July 1520, Pope Leo X issued a papal bull (public decree) that concluded that Luther’s propositions were heretical and gave Luther 120 days to recant in Rome.
Luther refused to recant, and on January 3, 1521 Pope Leo excommunicated Martin Luther from the Catholic Church.
On April 17, 1521 Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms in Germany. Refusing again to recant, Luther concluded his testimony with the defiant statement: “Here I stand.
God help me. I can do no other.” On May 25, the Holy Roman emperor Charles V signed an edict against Luther, ordering his writings to be burned.
Luther hid in the town of Eisenach for the next year, where he began work on one of his major life projects, the translation of the New Testament into German, which took him 10 years to complete.
Luther returned to Wittenberg in 1521, where the reform movement initiated by his writings had grown beyond his influence. It was no longer a purely theological cause; it had become political.
Other leaders stepped up to lead the reform, and concurrently, the rebellion known as the Peasants’ War was making its way across Germany.
Luther had previously written against the Church’s adherence to clerical celibacy, and in 1525 he married Katherine of Bora, a former nun. They had five children.
Although Luther’s early writings had sparked the Reformation, he was hardly involved in it during his later years.
At the end of his life, Luther turned strident in his views, and pronounced the pope the Antichrist, advocated for the expulsion of Jews from the empire and condoned polygamy based on the practice of the patriarchs in the Old Testament. Luther died on February 18, 1546.
Significance of Martin Luther’s Work
Although Luther was critical of the Catholic Church, he distanced himself from the radical successors who took up his mantle.
Luther is remembered as a controversial figure, not only because his writings led to significant religious reform and division, but also because in later life he took on radical positions on other questions.
These included his pronouncements against Jews, which some have said may have portended German anti-Semitism; others dismiss them as just one man’s vitriol that did not gain a following.
Some of Luther’s most significant contributions to theological history, however, such as his insistence that as the sole source of religious authority the Bible be translated and made available to everyone, were truly revolutionary in his day.
Aside from that, Martin Luther was the first person to translate and publish the Bible in the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people.
He used the recent 1516 critical Greek edition of Erasmus, a text which was later called textus receptus.
The Luther German New Testament translation was first published in September of 1522. The translation of the Old Testament followed, yielding an entire German language Bible in 1534.
Luther is also known to have befriended William Tyndale, and given him safe haven and assistance in using the same 1516 Erasmus Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament that had been the source text for his German New Testament of 1522, as the trustworthy source text for Tyndale’s English New Testament of 1525-26.
…Woe Unto America.