The Ankh & Hezekiah

H (2)

Ezechias-Hezekiah

King Hezekiah reigned from 727 to 698 BC and is considered to be a good King according to scripture. We read,

“He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.” 2 Kings 18.5

For more on King Hezekiah have a look at 2 Kings 16:20-20:21; 2 Chronicles 28:27-32:33; and Isaiah 36:1-39:8 as well as Proverbs 25:1; Isaiah 1:1; Jeremiah 15:4; 26:18–19; Hosea 1:1; and Micah 1:1.

Hezekiah was a zealous believer in YHWH and tried to cleanse his lands of pagan altars, images, idols and temples. The people had forgotten God’s Law in their rebellion, even turning the bronze serpent held by Moses in Numbers 21 into an idol, so Hezekiah destroyed it. The good King reinstated the Priesthood, reopened the Temple his father had closed and religious fervour returned to Judah. For the most part Hezekiah was a faithful King and committed believer.

In 2015 news outlets reported the finding of a seal or bulla dating from the 8th century BC belonging to Hezekiah. The team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem were excavating a dumpsite when they found the ancient seal. The seal grabbed my attention because of the symbolism used by the faithful King. The seal reads, “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah”and includes a two winged sun disc flanked by two Ankh or Egyptian crosses. The winged sun was a symbol used in ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Hittite, Anatolian, and in Persia by Zoroastrianism, South America and even Australia. The Ankh is a common image found in Egyptian art meaning life and is carried by the gods.

Hezekiah seal drawing 00

I found it interesting that what is now considered an occult pagan symbol, and was at the time used by pagans, was also chosen by King Hezekiah for his bulla. According to Wiki the two winged sun disc is a symbol of the Egyptian god Ra and latter Horus. It looks like the faithful King Hezekiah redeemed the symbol from its pagan origins and used it for his own.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Sacerdotal System Rejected

(first published in 2013)

Notes and quotes from chapter 7 of Schaff’s History of the Christian Church. (Schaff had a killer beard!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

THE SACRAMENTARIAN CONTROVERSIES: 101. Sacerdotalism and Sacramentalism.

Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy:

The Catholic system of Christianity, both Greek and Roman, is sacramental and sacerdotal. The saving grace of Christ is conveyed to men through the channel of seven sacraments, or “mysteries,” administered by ordained priests, who receive members into the church by baptism, accompany them through the various stages of life, and dismiss them by extreme unction into the other world. A literal priesthood requires a literal sacrifice, and this is the repetition of Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross offered by the priest in the mass from day to day. The power of the mass extends not only to the living, but even to departed spirits in purgatory, abridging their sufferings, and hastening their release and transfer to heaven.

The Reformed Church:

The Reformers rejected the sacerdotal system altogether, and substituted for it the general priesthood of believers, who have direct access to Christ as our only Mediator and Advocate, and are to offer the spiritual sacrifices of prayer, praise, and intercession. They rejected the sacrifice of the mass, and the theory of transubstantiation, and restored the cup to the laity. They also agreed in raising the Word of God, as the chief means of grace, above the sacraments, and in reducing the number of the sacraments. They retained Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, as instituted by Christ for universal and perpetual observance.

Lutheranism:

The Lutheran Confession is, we may say, semi-sacramental, or much more sacramental than the Reformed (if we except the Anglican communion). It retained the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, with the rite of exorcism, and the corporal presence in the eucharist. The Augsburg Confession makes the sacraments an essential criterion of the church. Luther’s Catechism assigns to them an independent place alongside of the Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. It adds to baptism and the Lord’s Supper confession and absolution as a third sacrament. At a later period, confirmation was restored to the position of a quasi-sacrament as a supplement of infant-baptism.

Zwingli and Calvin Agree:

Zwingli and Calvin reduced the sacraments to signs and seals of grace which is inwardly communicated by the Holy Spirit. They asserted the sovereign causality of God, and the independence of the Spirit who “bloweth where it willeth” (John 3:8). God can communicate his gifts freely as he chooses. We are, however, bound to his prescribed means. The Swiss Reformers also emphasized the necessity of faith, not only for a profitable use of the sacrament (which is conceded by the Lutherans), but for the reception of the sacrament itself. Unworthy communicants receive only the visible sign, not the thing signified, and they receive the sign to their own injury.

On Things That Differ:

These theories are not isolated; they proceed from different philosophical and theological standpoints, and affect other doctrines. Luther was not quite wrong when he said to Zwingli at Marburg “You have a different spirit.” Luther took his stand on the doctrine of justification by faith; Zwingli and Calvin, on the doctrine of divine causality and sovereignty, or eternal election. Luther proceeded anthropologically and soteriologically from man to God, Zwingli and Calvin proceeded theologically from God to man.

The Roman doctrine of transubstantiation is the outgrowth of a magical supernaturalism which absorbs and annihilates the natural and human, leaving only the empty form. The Lutheran doctrine implies an interpenetration of the divine and human. The commemorative theory of Zwingli saves the integrity and peculiar character of the divine and human, but keeps them separate and distinct. The eucharistic theory affects Christology, the relation of church and state, and in some measure the character of piety. Lutheranism inclines to the Eutychian, Zwinglianism to the Nestorian, Christology. The former fosters a mystical, the latter a practical, type of piety.

Calvin’s View According to Schaff:

Calvin, who appeared on the stage of public action five years after Zwingli’s, and ten years before Luther’s, death, advocated with great ability a eucharistic theory which mediates between the Lutheran realism and the Zwinglian spiritualism, and which passed into the Reformed confessions Luther had to deal with Zwingli, and never came into contact with Calvin. If he had, the controversy might have taken a different shape; but he would have maintained his own view of the real presence, and refused the figurative interpretation of the words of institution.

With the doctrine of the eucharist are connected some minor ritualistic differences, as the use of the wafer, and the kneeling posture of the communicants, which the Lutherans retained from the Catholic Church; while the Reformed restored the primitive practice of the breaking of bread, and the standing or sitting posture. Some Lutheran churches retained also the elevation of the host; Luther himself declared it a matter of indifference, and abolished it at Wittenberg in 1542.

Online source.

 

Toleration Act 1689

1689
The TolerationAct 1689 (1 Will & Mary c 18), also referred to as the Act of Toleration,[3] was an Act of the Parliament of England, which received the royal assent on 24 May 1689.[4][5]

The Act allowed freedom of worship to nonconformists who had pledged to the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and rejected transubstantiation, i.e., Protestants who dissented from the Church of England such as Baptists and Congregationalists but not to Catholics. Nonconformists were allowed their own places of worship and their own teachers, if they accepted certain oaths of allegiance.

It purposely did not apply to Catholics, nontrinitarians[6] and atheists.[7] The Act continued the existing social and political disabilities for Dissenters, including their exclusion from political office and also from universities.

Dissenters were required to register their meeting locations and were forbidden from meeting in private homes. Any preachers who dissented had to be licensed.

Between 1772 and 1774, Reverend Doctor Edward Pickard gathered together dissenting ministers in order that the terms of the Toleration Act for dissenting clergy could be modified. Under his leadership, Parliament twice considered bills to modify the law. Both were unsuccessful and it was not until Pickard and many had lost interest that a new attempt was made in 1779.[8]

The Act was amended (1779) by substituting belief in Scripture for belief in the Anglican (doctrinal) articles, but penalties on property remained.

Penalties against Unitarians were finally removed in the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Former State Church

Recently I was asked, “why do you refer to the Eastern Orthodox Church as a denomination and former State Church?”

When I refer to the Eastern Orthodox denomination as such I honestly mean no disrespect. I am trying to deal honestly with history as I have come to understand it and help others to understand the development of the denomination over time. One simply has to look at the Russian or Greek Orthodox Churches to find evidence of this. Both Eastern Orthodox Church bodies were tied to the secular State and influenced by the State.

Unfortunately, faith in a Church hierarchy can create blinders to the truth and many Orthodox Christians fail to see what seems obvious to others. In Philip Jenkins book on the First World War titled The Great and Holy War he explains;

“The Orthodox church operated in intimate alliance with the imperial authorities, from which it drew its power and wealth. From the time of Peter the Great, in the 1700’s, the church’s ancient patriarchate ceased to function, leaving the church as a virtual arm of the government. It was supervised by a Holy Synod appointed by the Tsar and under the authority of a cabinet-level imperial official.”

“For many Orthodox thinkers, moreover, rival Christian churches, Catholic and Protestant, were only in the most technical sense fellow believers or brothers, and as such they deserved little more political consideration than did Muslims or Jews.”

“The causes of the monarchy, empire, and church were all one, and they merged into a messianic vision of the Tsarists regime…”

Many examples can be found throughout history where the Eastern Orthodox Church worked hand in hand with the State to accomplish the States goals. I have already detailed how that played out in the Controversy Over Images. The State continuously waged a war for the use of Icons until the Church relented and this happened only after murdering their opponents and replacing the Patriarch with a layman.

Even today Russian President Vladimir Putin is using the Eastern Orthodox Church to rally neo-nationalism while the Orthodox Church receives benefits from the government. After much reading on the matter, using secular and Christian sources, I have to concluded that Eastern Orthodoxy is a former State Church that carries a lot of historical baggage linked with Byzantine and other political intrigue. This often affected doctrine and relations even if the outward ritual and ceremony remained the same. If Putin has his way the Eastern Orthodox might become a State Church once again.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

 

Papal Simony

papacy

‘Simony’ (corruption and sale of ecclesiastical offices) and ‘nepotism’ (favouritism shown by the popes to their ‘nephews’) had long been in vogue but had increased greatly in the course of the preceding century. It was scarcely ever claimed any longer that any pope had been elected without simony; legation reports gave precise details of payments and promises of high honours made during the elections. The sales of ecclesiastical offices, of both high and medium rank, had become recognized practice; the cardinals themselves pressed the pope to resort to this well-tried means when money was short. A further well-known custom, and one that was bitterly contested, especially abroad, was ‘pluralism’ – the bestowal of three, four and up to as many as ten or fifteen high offices on a single favoured individual; it was forbidden under canon law but practised widely without compunction. In Luther’s day there was hardly a cardinal who did not enjoy the rich rewards of four of five highly lucrative offices, in many cases aboard; usage permitted these to be transferred to members of family, thus creating a further nepotism within the great nepotism of the popes. But the establishment of their nephews and cousins in high office by the popes, which had been going on for centuries, now developed on a really big scale; the papal families became great Italian landowners. Duchies and even kingdoms were demanded for the clan. These had to be wrested from someone and this necessitated wars and campaigns, which were waged with all the means of ‘ecclesiastical power’, including excommunication and interdict. Italy became a battlefield, above all when the foreign powers – France, Spain, Germany – were drawn in. Source: Luther by Richard Friedenthal

The Two Witnesses

candles7THE TWO WITNESSES (taken from The Tragic Aftermath of Futurism)

see also The Witness of the Church

In Revelation 11:3-12 is described the two witnesses with their work, their death and their resurrection. From the fundamentalist, Futuristic standpoint of Biblical interpretation of prophecy, it is commonly taught that the two witnesses are two men of the Old Testament era that have been resurrected or either the two men of the Old Testament that did not die and therefore are brought back into their physical bodies and placed back on this earth as the two witnesses. Ordinarily, it is believed that the two witnesses are either Moses and Elijah, Elijah and Enoch or Moses and Enoch. There is quite a dispute over the difference of opinion as to which of the two men of these three it will be. These three men have been chosen because their lives, while they were on earth in their physical bodies, are somewhat a type of the work and description of the two witnesses described in Revelation 11. Staying true with the text, we are given the best clue as to their identity in verse four.

First, let us ascertain from the Old Testament who God refers to as His two witnesses. In Isaiah 43:10 it is stated unto Jacob which is inclusive of both houses of Israel, “Ye are my witnesses saith God and my servant whom I have chosen. . .” The prophet is referring to Jacob, yet he says, ye are my witnesses, which denotes more than one or a plurality of witnesses. In Isaiah 44:8 it is stated, “Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses.”

Here again, God is speaking through the prophet unto Jacob His servant, that the house or family of Jacob are His witnesses. In Revelation 11:3 the possessive personal pronoun “my” is used again as it was in both Scriptures in Isaiah. He says, “I will give power unto my two witnesses.” “My” must have an antecedent which is referring back to the angel in verse one. This angel is Jesus Christ. He is telling us through the prophet Isaiah, who His witnesses are. Does Christ have different witnesses than what is stated in the Old Testament? No, His witnesses would be the same.

In Psalm 114:2 the Psalmist speaks of Judah as being the Lord’s sanctuary while Israel as being His dominion. This denotes a two-fold office of religious and civil authority within the family of Jacob.

In Revelation 11:4 we are given a strong clue as to the identity of these two witnesses by the reference to the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the whole earth. In Haggai 1:1 and 14 is mentioned two men and their respective offices which were instrumental in the restoration of the city of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the Governor are the two men which are types of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. It is very significant to remember that the two God-given institutions that were reestablished during this post-exilic era were civil authority under the leadership of Zerubbabel the Governor and religious authority under Joshua the High Priest. The parallel remains the same. Those two institutions are civil authority and religious authority under the dual office of the Messiah originally intended to be exercised through His Church in His Kingdom. Someday Jesus Christ will execute full authority in both of these offices as is reflected in His title, King of kings and Lord of lords.

The three and a half prophetic days or three and a half literal years covers the period of time of May 5th 1545, the date of the fifth Lateran Council to October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five thesis to the Wittenberg Castle Church door in Germany. During this time there were no protestant voices crying out against the corruption of Papal Rome. The bodies of the two witnesses were “dead” (11:18) and the Papal Church of Rome rejoiced (11:10).

Through proper Biblical interpretation, while allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves, we are given a clean understanding who the two witnesses are. While following the Futuristic scheme ‘Protestants’ remain in darkness and once again bow to the bidding of the Jesuits.

Declension of the Early Christian Church

popefrom The History of Protestantism by J. A. Wylie

The declensions in doctrine and worship already introduced had changed the brightness of the Church’s morning into twilight; the descent of the Northern nations, which, beginning in the fifth, continued through several successive centuries, converted that twilight into night. The new tribes had changed their country, but not their superstitions; and, unhappily, there was neither zeal nor vigor in the Christianity of the age to effect their instruction and their genuine conversion. The Bible had been withdrawn; in the pulpit fable had usurped the place of truth; holy lives, whose silent eloquence might have won upon the barbarians, were rarely exemplified; and thus, instead of the Church dissipating the superstitions that now encompassed her like a cloud, these superstitions all but quenched her own light. She opened her gates to receive the new peoples as they were. She sprinkled them with the baptismal water; she inscribed their names in her registers; she taught them in their invocations to repeat the titles of the Trinity; but the doctrines of the Gospel, which alone can enlighten the understanding, purify the heart, and enrich the life with virtue, she was little careful to inculcate upon them. She folded them within her pale, but they were scarcely more Christian than before, while she was greatly less so. From the sixth century down-wards Christianity was a mongrel system, made up of pagan rites revived from classic times, of superstitions imported from the forests of Northern Germany, and of Christian beliefs and observances which continued to linger in the Church from primitive and purer times. The inward power of religion was lost; and it was in vain that men strove to supply its place by the outward form. They nourished their piety not at the living fountains of truth, but with the “beggarly elements” of ceremonies and relics, of consecrated lights and holy vestments. Nor was it Divine knowledge only that was contemned; men forbore to cultivate letters, or practice virtue. Baronius confesses that in the sixth century few in Italy were skilled in both Greek and Latin. Nay, even Gregory the Great acknowledged that he was ignorant of Greek. “The main qualifications of the clergy were, that they should be able to read well, sing their matins, know the Lord’s Prayer, psalter, forms of exorcism, and understand how to compute the times of the sacred festivals. Nor were they very sufficient for this, if we may believe the account some have given of them. Musculus says that many of them never saw the Scriptures in all their lives. It would seem incredible, but it is delivered by no less an authority than Amama, that an Archbishop of Mainz, lighting upon a Bible and looking into it, expressed himself thus: ‘Of a truth I do not know what book this is, but I perceive everything in it is against us.'”

Apostasy is like the descent of heavy bodies, it proceeds with ever-accelerating velocity. First, lamps were lighted at the tombs of the martyrs; next, the Lord’s Supper was celebrated at their graves; next, prayers were offered for them and to them; next, paintings and images began to disfigure the walls, and corpses to pollute the floors of the churches. Baptism, which apostles required water only to dispense, could not be celebrated without white robes and chrism, milk, honey, and salt. Then came a crowd of church officers whose names and numbers are in striking contrast to the few and simple orders of men who were employed in the first propagation of Christianity. There were sub-deacons, acolytes, exorcists, readers, choristers, and porters; and as work must be found for this motley host of laborers, there came to be fasts and exorcisms; there were lamps to be lighted, altars to be arranged, and churches to be consecrated; there was the Eucharist to be carried to the dying; and there were the dead to be buried, for which a special order of men was set apart. When one looked back to the simplicity of early times, it could not but amaze one to think what a cumbrous array of curious machinery and costly furniture was now needed for the service of Christianity. Not more stinging than true was the remark that “when the Church had golden chalices she had wooden priests.”

“This change brought a multitude of others in its train. Worship being transformed into sacrifice – sacrifice in which was the element of expiation and purification – the “teaching ministry” was of course converted into a “sacrificing priesthood.” When this had been done, there was no retreating; a boundary had been reached which could not be recrossed till centuries had rolled away, and transformations of a more portentous kind than any which had yet taken place had passed upon the Church.”

reBlog: HRH

Source:

The Antipas Chronicles

I came across this article in my travels across the web.  I do not have any evidence to back up what this author says, but if it is true, it is very illuminating.

Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, 07 Mar 2006

The fairytale nonsense is that ‘HRH’ stands for His (or Her) Royal Highness, but what the hell is a ‘highness’ apart from a totally ridiculous word and concept?

Thus the meaning of ‘HRH’, Heiliges Römisches Hüter, is to identify a Holy Roman Empire Guardian, a guardian of the secret, who leads their herd of cattle to the slaughter for the Red Dragon’s pleasure and delight.

And You Thought YOUR Pastor Preached Long Sermons!

7 hour mega-sermons?

“While I wouldn’t personally recommend preaching for over 50 minutes, it should be remembered that at times, long sermons have been greatly used by God. For instance, Acts 20:7-12 tells us that during the Sunday worship of the church at Troas, the Apostle Paul preached until midnight, paused briefly to raise a young man named Eutychus from the dead who had fallen asleep and out of a third story window, ate a meal and then continued on speaking till daybreak. The total length of Paul’s message was probably around twelve hours in length.”

Building Old School Churches

Very few congregations today can endure a sermon for longer than one hour, and it’s common to hear complaints when a sermon exceeds 45 minutes in length. But it’s worth noting that in the past Reformed Christians regularly endured and even thrived under preaching that lasted for two hours or even longer. For instance, the following is recorded of John Craig, one of the first Presbyterian ministers in Western Virginia:

“Every Sunday morning Jostoneministerstablet1resampledhn Craig walked five miles to the place of worship. In one hand he carried a Bible. In the other hand or upon his shoulder he usually carried a rifle, to be used against Indians if they should make an attack. All the men of his congregation likewise brought rifles. A powder horn was hung from each man’s shoulder by a long strap. At ten o’clock in the morning the people were seated in…

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