Keith Hunt - Church History #20 - Page Twenty   Restitution of All Things

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History of the Church #20

Theology of the Apostolic Church #2


BRIEF CHURCH HISTORY

30-100 AD.

From the multi-volume work of Philip Schaff (late 1800s).

Schaff has many "notes" of technical nature in this section,
which the reader can probably see online on the Internet or by
buying his work as I did - Keith Hunt.


JOHN THE GOSPEL OF LOVE

GENERAL CHARACTER

The unity of Jewish Christian and Gentile Christian theology
meets us in the writings of John, who, in the closing decades of
the first century, summed up the final results of the preceding
struggles of the apostolic age and transmitted them to posterity.

Paul had fought out the great conflict with Judaism and secured
the recognition of the freedom and universality of the gospel for
all time to come. John disposes of this question with one
sentence: "The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came
through Jesus Christ." His theology marks the culminating height
of divine knowledge in the apostolic age. It is impossible to
soar higher than the eagle, which is his proper symbol. His views
are so much identified with the words of his Lord, to whom he
stood more closely related than any other disciple, that it is
difficult to separate them; but the prologue to his Gospel
contains his leading ideas, and his first Epistle the practical
application. The theology of the Apocalypse is also essentially
the same, and this goes far to confirm the identity of
authorship.
     
John was not a logician, but a seer; not a reasoner, but a mys-
tic; he does not argue, but assert; he arrives at conclusions
with one bound, as by direct intuition. He speaks from personal
experience and testifies of that which his eyes have seen and his
ears heard and his hands have handled, of the glory of the Only-
Begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.
John's theology is marked by artless simplicity and spiritual
depth. The highest art conceals art. As in poetry, so in
religion, the most natural is the most perfect. He moves in a
small circle of ideas as compared with Paul, but these ideas are
fundamental and all-comprehensive. He goes back to first
principles and sees the strong point without looking sideways or
taking note of exceptions. Christ and Antichrist, believers and
unbelievers, children of God and children of the devil, truth and
falsehood, light and darkness, love and hatred, life and death:
these are the great contrasts under which he views the religious
world. These he sets forth again and again with majestic
simplicity.



JOHN AND PAUL

John's type of doctrine is less developed and fortified than
Paul's, but more ideal. His mind was neither so rich nor so
strong, but it soared higher and anticipated the beatific vision.
Although Paul was far superior to him as a scholar (and practical
worker), yet the ancient Greek church saw in John the ideal
theologian. John's spirit and style may be compared to a calm,
clear mountain-lake which reflects the image of the sun, moon,
and stars, while Paul resembles the mountain-torrent that rushes
over precipices and carries everything before it; yet there are
trumpets of war in John, and anthems of peace in Paul. The one
begins from the summit, with God and the Logos, the other from
the depths of man's sin and misery; but both meet in the God-man
who brings God down to man and lifts man up to God.

John is contemplative and serene, Paul is aggressive and
polemical; but both unite in the victory of faith and the
never-ending dominion of love. John's theology is christological,
Paul's soteriological; John starts from the person of Christ,
Paul from his work; but their christology and soteriology are
essentially agreed. John's ideal is life eternal, Paul's ideal is
righteousness; but both derive it from the same source, the union
with Christ, and find in this the highest happiness of man. John
represents the church triumphant, Paul the church militant of his
day and of our day, but with the full assurance of final victory
even over the last enemy.

THE CENTRAL IDEA

John's Christianity centres in the idea of love and life, which
in their last root are identical. His dogmatics are summed up in
the word: God first loved us; his ethics in the exhortation:
Therefore let us love Him and the brethren.  He is justly called
the apostle of love. Only we must not understand this word in a
sentimental, but in the highest and purest moral sense. God's
love is his self-communication to man; man's love is a holy
self-consecration to God. We may recognize - in rising stages of
transformation - the same fiery spirit in the Son of Thunder who
called vengeance from heaven; in the Apocalyptic seer who poured
out the vials of wrath against the enemies of Christ; and in the
beloved disciple who knew no middle ground, but demanded
undivided loyalty and whole-souled devotion to his Master. In him
the highest knowledge and the highest love coincide: knowledge is
the eye of love, love the heart of knowledge; both constitute
eternal life, and eternal life is the fulnese of happiness.

The central truth of John and the central fact in Christianity
itself is the incarnation of the eternal Logos as the highest
manifestation of God's love to the world. The denial of this
truth is the criterion of Antichrist.

(So far Schaff is correct, as just about anyone from a teenager
up, should be able to see from the reading of John and Paul -
Keith Hunt)

     
THE PRINCIPAL DOCTRINES

I. The doctrine of GOD.  He is spirit (Greek), he is light
(Greek), he is love (Greek). These are the briefest and yet the
profoundest definitions which can be given of the infinite Being
of all beings. The first is put into the mouth of Christ, the
second and third are from the pen of John. The first sets forth
God's metaphysical, the second his intellectual, the third his
moral perfection; but they are blended in one.

God is spirit, all spirit, absolute spirit (in opposition to
every materialistic conception and limitation); hence
omnipresent, allpervading, and should be worshipped, whether in
Jerusalem or Gerizim or anywhere else, in spirit and in truth.
God is light, all light without a spot of darkness, and the
fountain of all light, that is of truth, purity, and holiness.
God is love; this John repeats twice, looking upon love as the
inmost moral essence of God, which animates, directs, and holds
together all other attributes; it is the motive power of his
revelations or self-communications, the beginning and the end of
his ways and works, the core of his manifestation in Christ.

(And LOVE is defined by John; a reading of the letters of John
will make it abundantly clear as to God's definition of LOVE -
which today most Christianity do not really want to hear or
understand, because of the 4th of the Ten commandments, which
they either want to "do away with" or claim was changed to the
1st day of the week, which it never was, hence they stradle the
fence of true love - Keith Hunt)
 
2. The doctrine of CHRIST'S PERSON.     

He is the eternal and the incarnate Logos or Revealer of God.    
No man has ever yet seen God (Greek, without the article, God's
nature, or God as God); the only-begotten Son (or God
only-begotten), who is in the bosom of the Father, he and he
alone (Greek)  declare him and brought to light, once and
forever, the hidden mystery of his being.
This perfect knowledge of the Father, Christ claims himself in
that remarkable passage in Matthew (11: 27) which strikingly
confirms the essential harmony of the Johannean and Synoptical
representations of Christ.
John (and he alone) calls Christ the "Logos" of God, i.e., the
embodiment of God and the organ of all his revelations. As the
human reason or thought is expressed in word, and as the word is
the medium of making our thoughts known to others, so God is
known to himself and to the world in and through Christ as the
personal Word. While "Logos" designates the metaphysical and
intellectual relation, the term "Son" designates the moral
relation of Christ to God, as a relation of love, and the epithet
"only-begotten" or "only-born" (Greek) raises his sonship as
entirely unique above every other sonship, which is only a
reflection of it. It is a blessed relation of infinite knowledge
and infinite love. The Logos is eternal, he is personal, he is
divine. He was in the beginning before creation or from
eternity. He is, on the one hand, distinct from God and in the
closest communion with him (Greek); on the other hand he is
himself essentially divine, and therefore called "God" (Greek).

This pre-existent Logos is the agent of the creation of all
things visible and invisible. He is the fulness and fountain of
life (Greek, the true, immortal life, as distinct from "Bios,"
the natural, mortal life), and light (Greek, which includes
intellectual and moral truth, reason and conscience) to all men.
Whatever elements of truth, goodness, and beauty may be found
shining like stars and meteors in the darkness of heathendom,
must be traced to the Logos, the universal Life-giver and
Illuminator.

Here Paul and John meet again; both teach the agency of Christ in
the creation, but John more clearly connects him with all the
preparatory revelations before the incarnation. This extension of
the Logos revelation explains the high estimate which some of the
Greek fathers (Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Origen) put
upon the Hellenic, especially the Platonic philosophy, as a
training-school of the heathen mind for Christ.

(John gives the simple truth about Christ - He was God, was with
God, and was made flesh. The Godhead is then made up of TWO
individuals, separate beings, with form and shape. The word "God"
is often used as a "sir-name" - sometimes as a proper name for
the Father, and sometimes as the name of Christ. All in the
Godhead are "God." John and the very words of Christ in the
Gospel of God, make the truth about God very clear. I have given
you on this website the full in-depth details of the truth about
God. It blows my mind that some who call themselves "Christian"
have teachings that hold that Jesus never existed till created in
the womb of Mary. Or have the strangest ideas and teachings about
a so-called "trinity" of God, from the one side of "a
nothingness" God, to the other side of one God being that can be
one, or two, or three, at any given time. The Gospels give the
simple truth about "God" - so simple a child can understand. I
know for as a child, 8,9,10 years old I could read the Gospels
[as I did over and over again] and understand the truth about God
- Keith Hunt)

The Logos revealed himself to every man, but in a special manner
to his own chosen people; and this revelation culminated in John
the Baptist, who summed up in himself the meaning of the law and
the prophets, and pointed to Jesus of Nazareth as "the Lamb of
God that taketh away the sin of the world."
At last the Logos became flesh. He completed his revelation by
uniting himself with man once and forever in all things, except
sin. The Hebraizing term "flesh" best expresses his condescension
to our fallen condition and the complete reality of his humanity
as an object of sense, visible and tangible, in strong contrast
with his immaterial divinity. It includes not only the body
(Greek), but also a human soul (Greek) and a rational spirit; for
John ascribes them all to Christ. To use a later terminology, the
incarnation (Greek incar-natio) is only a stronger term for the
assumption of humanity (Greek, Menschwerdung). The Logos became
man - not partially but totally, not apparently but really, not
transiently but permanently, not by ceasing to be divine, nor by
being changed into a man, but by an abiding, personal union with
man. He is henceforth the Godman.  He tabernacled on earth as the
true Shekinah, and manifested to his disciples the glory of the
only begotten which shone from the veil of his humanity. This is
the divine-human glory in the state of humiliation as distinct
from the divine glory in his pre-existent state, and from the
final and perfect manifestation of his glory in the state of
exaltation in which his disciples shall share.

The fourth Gospel is a commentary on the ideas of the Prologue.
It was written for the purpose that the readers may believe 
"that Jesus is the Christ (the promised Messiah), the Son of God
(in the sense of the only begotten and eternal Son), and that
believing they may have life in his name."

3. THE WORK of CHRIST (Soteriology). 

This implies the conquest over sin and Satan, and the procurement
of eternal life. Christ appeared without sin, to the end that he
might destroy the works of the devil, who was a liar and murderer
from the beginning of history, who first fell away from the truth
and then brought sin and death into mankind. Christ laid down his
life and shed his blood for his sheep. By this self-consecration
in death he became the propitiation (Greek) for the sins of
believers and for the sins of the whole world. His blood cleanses
from all the guilt and contamination of sin. He is (in the
language of the Baptist) the Lamb of God that bears and takes
away the sin of the world; and (in the unconscious prophecy of
Caiaphas) he died for the people. He was priest and sacrifice in
one person. And he continues his priestly functions, being our
Advocate in Heaven and ready to forgive us when we sin and come
to him in true repentance.

This is the negative part of Christ's work, the removal of the
obstruction which separated us from God. The positive part
consists in the revelation of the Father, and in the communica-
tion of eternal life, which includes eternal happiness. He is
himself the Life and the Light of the world. He calls himself the
Way, the Truth, and the Life. In him the true, the eternal life,
which was from the beginning with the Father, appeared personally
in human form. He came to communicate it to men. He is the bread
of life from heaven, and feeds the believers everywhere
spiritually without diminishing, as He fed the five thousand
physically with five loaves. That miracle is continued in the
mystical self-communication of Christ to his people. Whosoever
believes in him has eternal life, which begins here in the new
birth and will be completed in the resurrection of the body.

(Schaff does not understand the truth about the new birth or the
resurrection of the body, as most Protestants follow and have
adopted the Roman Catholic theology of the immortal soul, which I
have proved on this website is totally wrong as taught by the
church of Rome - Keith Hunt)

Herein also the Apocalypse well agrees with the Gospel and
Epistles of John. Christ is represented as the victor of the
devil. He is the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah, but also
the suffering Lamb slain for us. The figure of the lamb, whether
it be referred to the paschal lamb, or to the lamb in the
Messianic passage of Isaiah 53:7, expresses the idea of atoning
sacrifice which is fully realized in the death of Christ. He 
"washed " (or, according to another reading, he "loosed") "us
from our sins by his blood;" he redeemed men "of every tribe, and
tongue, and people, and nation, and made them to be unto our God
a kingdom and priests." The countless multitude of the redeemed
"washed their robes and made them white (bright and shining) in
the blood of the Lamb." This implies both purification and
sanctification; white garments being the symbols of holiness.
(and the symbol of righteousness, which is defined for us in
Ps.119:172 - Keith Hunt)

Love was the motive which prompted him to give his life for his
people. Great stress is laid on the resurrection, as in the
Gospel, where he is called the Resurrection and the Life. The
exalted Logos-Messiah has the keys of death and Hades. He is a
sharer in the universal government of God; he is the mediatorial
ruler of the world, "the Prince of the kings of the earth," "King
of kings and Lord of lords." The apocalyptic seer likewise brings
in the idea of life in its highest sense as a reward of faith in
Christ. To those who overcome and are faithful unto death, Christ
will give "a crown of life," and a seat on his throne. He "shall
guide them unto fountains of waters of life; and God shall wipe
away every tear from their eyes."

4. THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (Pneumatology). 

This is most fully set forth in the farewell discourses of our
Lord, which are reported by John exclusively. The Spirit whom
Christ promised to send after his return to the Father, is called
the Paraclete, i.e., the Advocate or Counsellor, Helper, who
pleads the cause of the believers, directs, supports, and
comforts them. He is "another Advocate" (Greek), Christ himself
being the first Advocate who intercedes for believers at the
throne of the Father, as their eternal High priest. The Spirit
proceeds (eternally) from the Father, and was sent by the Father
and the Son on the day of Pentecost. He reveals Christ to the
heart and glorifies him (Greek); he bears witness to him (Greek);
he calls to remembrance and explains his teaching (Greek);      
he leads the disciples into the whole truth (Greek); he takes out
of the fulness of Christ and shows it to them (Greek). 

The Holy Spirit is the Mediator and Intercessor between Christ
and the believer, as Christ is the Mediator between God and the
world He is the Spirit of truth and of holiness.  

(No where is such an idea taught in the NT. The Holy Spirit is
NOT a third individual in the Godhead. The truth about the Holy
Spirit is expounded in studies on this website. The Holy Spirit
is the very divine nature of both the Father and the Son, it
comes from them and can be in the whole universe at any time -
Keith Hunt)

He convicts (Greek) the world, that all men who come under his
influence, in respect of sin (Greek ), of righteousness (Greek),
and of judgment (Greek); and this conviction will result either
in the conversion, or in the impenitence of the sinner. The
operation of the Spirit accompanies the preaching of the word,
and is always internal in the sphere of the heart and conscience.
He is one of the three witnesses and gives efficacy to the other
two witnesses of Christ on earth, the baptism (Greek), and the
atoning death (Greek) of Christ.

5. CHRISTIAN LIFE.  

It begins with a new birth from above or from the Holy Spirit.   

(It begins with a new converted life and mind-set. Schaff like
all fundamental Christians does not understand correctly the "new
birth" or "being born again" - which truth I give you on this
website - Keith Hunt)

Believers are children of God who are "born, not of blood, nor of
the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." It is
a "new" birth compared with the old, a birth "from God," as
compared with that from man, a birth from the Holy "Spirit," in
distinction from carnal birth, a birth "from heaven," as opposed
to earthly birth. The life of the believer does not descend
through the channels of fallen nature, but requires a creative
act of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel. The
life of the regenerate is free from the principle and power of
sin. "Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin, because his seed
abideth in him; and he cannot sin because he is begotten of God."
Over him the devil has no power.

(Schaff is correct and wrong at the same time - conversion and
the new birth is expounded in detail for you on this website -
Keith Hunt)

The new life is the life of Christ in the soul. It is eternal
intrinsically and as to duration. Eternal life in man consists in
the knowledge of the only true God and of Jesus Christ - a
knowledge which implies full sympathy and communion of love. It
begins here in faith; hence the oft-repeated declaration that he
who believes in Christ has eternal life. But it will not appear
in its full development till the time of his glorious
manifestation, when we shall be like him and see him even as he
is. Faith is the medium of communication, the bond of union with
Christ. Faith is the victory over the world, already here in
principle.
John's idea of life eternal takes the place of Paul's idea of
righteousness, but both agree in the high conception of faith as
the one indispensable condition of securing it by uniting us to
Christ, who is both righteousness and life eternal.

The life of the Christian, moreover, is a communion with Christ
and with the Father in the Holy Spirit. Our Lord prayed before
his passion that the believers of that and all future ages might
be one with him, even as he is one with the Father, and that they
may enjoy his glory. John writes his first Epistle for the
purpose that his readers may have "fellowship with the Father,
and with his Son Jesus Christ, and that thus their joy may be
made full." This fellowship is only another word for love, and
love to God is inseparable from love to the brethren. "If God so
loved us, we also ought to love one another." "God is love; and
he that abideth in love abideth in God and God abideth in him."  
Love to the brethren is the true test of practical Christianity. 
This brotherly fellowship is the true essence of the Church,
which is nowhere even mentioned in John's Gospel and First
Epistle.

(The principles of true brotherly love should be easy to see as
you read the Gospels, no specific words should be needed, it is a
part of the true nature of God to love your fellow man. The life
of Christ examplies it as should be easily seen from reading the
Gospels. But John needed to remind his readers for towards the
end of the first century true bortherly love was hard to find as
many using the name of Christ were disliking and fighting one
another in many ways. Some have wondered why Polycarp and
Polycrates in the second century AD took the time and trouble to
go to Rome and debate with the bishop of Rome concerning the
Easter/Passover issue. It was because the bishops of Asia Minor
still held the church at Rome to be brothers, yet brothers going
astray from the teachings of the original apostles of the first
century AD - Keith Hunt)

Love to God and to the brethren is no mere sentiment, but an
active power, and manifests itself in the keeping of God's
commandments.

(Ah.....Schaff now does give you the definition of 
"love" - the "keeping of God's commandments." Some in his day
still taught the keeping of the commandment of God, for they
taught Sunday was a holy day, the Sabbath being changed as they
taught to Sunday, but they were in those days observing Sunday as
a holy day, even much of general society closed their shops etc.
on Sunday; no pro sporting games were done on Sunday. I well
remember as a child growing up in the 1940s and 1950s that Sunday
was observed by much of society in the Western world, as a holy
day. That was one of the reasons as a child I thought I was
observing the 7th day of the week on Sunday. No teacher at school
of Sunday-school ever told me that Sunday was the first day of
the week, hence I belived it to be the 7th day of the week. It
was not until I was 19 that I found the actuality of the
deception, and was shocked to discover Sunday was NOT the 7th day
of the week, and that all Christianity I knew was in the
wrong....indeed what a SHOCK it was for me - Keith Hunt)


Heretical Perversions of the Apostolic Teaching


The three types of doctrine which we have briefly unfolded,
exhibit Christianity in the whole fulness of its life; and they
form the theme for the variations of the succeeding ages of the
church. Christ is the key-note, harmonizing all the discords and
resolving all the mysteries of the history of his kingdom. But
this heavenly body of apostolic truth is confronted with the
ghost of heresy; as were the divine miracles of Moses with the
satanic juggleries of the Egyptians, and as Christ was with
demoniacal possessions. The more mightily the spirit of truth
rises, the more active becomes the spirit of falsehood.     
"Where God builds a church the devil builds a chapel close by."  
But in the hands of Providence all errors must rebound to the
unfolding and the final victory of the truth. They stimulate
inquiry and compel defence. Satan himself is that "power which
constantly wills the bad, and works the good." Heresies in a
disordered world are relatively necessary and negatively
justifiable; though the teachers of them are, of course, not the
less guilty. "It must needs be, that scandals come; but woe to
that man by whom the scandal cometh."

The heresies of the apostolic age are, respectively, the
caricatures of the several types of the true doctrine.
Accordingly we distinguish three fundamental forms of heresy,
which reappear, with various modifications, in almost every
subsequent period. In this respect, as in others, the apostolic
period stands as the type of the whole future; and the
exhortations and warnings of the New Testament against false
doctrine have force for every age.

1. The JUDAIZING tendency is the heretical counterpart of Jewish
Christianity. It so insists on the unity of Christianity with
Judaism, as to sink the former to the level of the latter, and to
make the gospel no more than an improvement or a perfected law.
It regards Christ as a mere prophet, a second Moses; and denies,
or at least wholly overlooks, his divine nature and his priestly
and kingly offices. The Judaizers were Jews in fact, and
Christians only in appearance and in name. They held circumcision
and the whole moral and ceremonial law of Moses to be still
binding, and the observance of them necessary to salvation. Of
Christianity as a new, free, and universal religion, they had no
conception. Hence they hated Paul, the liberal apostle of the
Gentiles, as a dangerous apostate and revolutionist, impugned his
motives, and everywhere, especially in Galatia and Corinth,
labored to undermine his authority in the churches. The epistles
of Paul, especially that to the Galatians, can never be properly
understood, unless their opposition to this false Judaizing
Christianity be continually kept in view.
The same heresy, more fully developed, appears in the second
century under the name of Ebionism.

(Schaff gives the overall of the matter here. There was a
"Jewish" heresy for sure, yet in all this we must never forget
the teaching of Jesus as in Matthew 4:4. The question then is
"How do we live by every word of God?" I have answered this for
you in a two part study of mine called "Living by Every Word of
God - How?" - that study is on this website - Keith Hunt)

2. The opposite extreme is a false Gentile Christianity, which
may be called the PAGANIZING or GNOSTIC heresy. It is as radical
and revolutionary as the other is contracted and reactionary. It
violently breaks away from the past, while the Judaizing heresies
tenaciously and stubbornly cling to it as permanently binding.   
It exaggerates the Pauline view of the distinction of
Christianity from Judaism, sunders Christianity from its
historical basis, resolves the real humanity of the Saviour into
a Doketistic illusion, and perverts the freedom of the gospel
into antinomian licentiousness. The author, or first
representative of this baptized heathenism, according to the
uniform testimony of Christian antiquity, is Simon Magns, who
unquestionably adulterated Christianity with pagan ideas and
practices, and gave himself out, in pantheistic style, for an
emanation of God. Plain traces of this error appear in the later
epistles of Paul (to the Colossians, to Timothy, and to Titus),
the second epistle of Peter, the first two epistles of John, the
epistle of Jude, and the messages of the Apocalypse to the seven
churches.
This heresy, in the second century, spread over the whole church,
east and west, in the various schools of Gnosticism.

(Schaff again gives just an overall statement here about this
heresy. But the turth of the matter is that this heresy is the
one that led the church of Rome to become the Babylon Mystery
Religion of the book of Revelation. Rome adopted more and more
the pagan rites and customs and teachings of Babylon as time went
on. Stop now and think: think of all the gliter and pomp and
elaborate dress and chantings and traditional rites in worship
services that the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches [church of
England] have in their theology, and put that next to the simple
life and theology of the first century Church of God. You can
then go on the Internet and find the dates when certain Roman
Catholic teachings were adopted, such as the "assumption of Mary"
and etc. Then of course there is the foundation of the Bible to
show you ALL the false doctrines that have come into the Catholic
and Protestant churches over the centuries. Jude called out in
his day, for a return to the faith once delivered to the saints,
if it was hard to find that true faith in his day, just think how
far Christianity has fallen away since the days of Jude - Keith
Hunt)
 
3. As attempts had already been made, before Christ, by Philo, by
the Therapeutae and the Essenes, etc., to blend the Jewish
religion with heathen philosophy, especially that of Pythagoras
and Plato, so now, under the Christian name, there appeared
confused combinations of these opposite systems, forming either a
PAGANIZING JUDAISM, i.e., Gnostic Ebionism, or a JUDAIZING
PAGANISM, i.e., Ebionistic Gnosticism, according as the Jewish or
the heathen element prevailed. This SYNCRETISTIC heresy was the
caricature of John's theology, which truly reconciled Jewish and
Gentile Christianity in the highest conception of the person and
work of Christ. The errors combated in the later books of the New
Testament are almost all more or less of this mixed sort, and it
is often doubtful whether they come from Judaism or from
heathenism. They were usually shrouded in a shadowy mysticism and
surrounded by the halo of a self-made ascetic holiness, but
sometimes degenerated into the opposite extreme of antinomian
licentiousness.

Whatever their differences, however, all these three fundamental
heresies amount at last to a more or less distinct denial of the
central truth of the gospel - the incarnation of the Son of God
for the salvation of the world. They make Christ either a mere
man, or a mere superhuman phantom; they allow, at all events, no
real and abiding union of the divine and human in the person of
the Redeemer. This is just what John gives as the mark of
antichrist, which existed even in his day in various forms. It
plainly undermines the foundation of the church. For if Christ be
not God-man, neither is he mediator between God and men;
Christianity sinks back into heathenism or Judaism. All turns at
last on the answer to that fundamental question: "What think ye
of Christ?" The true solution of this question is the radical
refutation of every error.

(And this website is devoted to exposing all the errors of
popular Christianity and bringing to you a restitution of all
things, for indeed there is much that needs to be restored, the
truths of God and the Bible have been cast aside by the large
popular Christianity down through the centuries. We must ever be
growing in grace and knowledge; ever be proving all things and
holding fast to that which is good. We must ever be willing to
live by every word of God and not by the dictates and teachings
and traditions of men - Keith Hunt)

NOTES

"It has often been remarked that truth and error keep pace with
each other. Error is the shadow cast by truth, truth the bright
side brought out by error. Such is the relation between the
heresies and the apostolical teaching of the first century. The
Gospels indeed, as in other respects, so in this, rise almost
entirely above the circumstances of the time, but the Epistles
are, humanly speaking, the result of the very conflict between
the good and the evil elements which existed together in the
bosom of the early Christian society. As they exhibit the
principles afterward to be unfolded into all truth and goodness,
so the heresies which they attack exhibit the principles which
were afterward to grow up into all the various forms of error,
falsehood and wickedness. The energy, the freshness, nay, even
the preternatural power which be longed to the one belonged also
to the other. Neither the truths in the writings of the Apostles,
nor the errors in the opinions of their opponents, can be said to
exhibit the dogmatical form of any subsequent age. It is a higher
and more universal good which is aimed at in the former; it is a
deeper and more universal principle of evil which is attacked in
the latter. Christ Himself, and no subordinate truths or
speculations concerning Him, is reflected in the one; Antichrist,
and not any of the particular outward manifestations of error
which have since appeared, was justly regarded by the Apostles as
foreshadowed in the other." - Dean STANLEY (Apostolic Age, p.
182).

LITERATURE--The heresies of the Apostolic Age have been
thoroughly investigated by Neander and Baur in connection with
the history of Ebionism and Gnosticism (see next vol.), and
separately in the introductions to critical commentaries on the
Colossians and Pastoral Epistles; also by Thiersch, Lipsius,
Hilgenfeld. Among English writers we mention BURTON: "Inquiry
into the Heresies of the Apostolic Age," in eight Sermons
(Bampton Lectures). Oxford, 1829. Dean STANLEY: "Sermons and
Essays on the Apostolic Age," pp. 182-233, 3d ed. Oxford, 1874.  
Bishop LIGHTFOOT: "Com. on St. Paul's Ep. to the Colossians and
to Philemon," pp. 73-113 (on the Colossian heresy and its
connection with Essenism). London, 1875. Comp. also HILGENFELD:
"Die Ketzergeschichie des Urchristenthums." Leipzig, 1884 (642
pages).
....................

NOTE:

YES A NUMBER OF PROTESTANT {MAYBE EVEN COTHOLIC) WRITERS HAVE
EXPOSED SOME OF THE HERESIES THAT AROSE AFTER THE FIRST CENTURY
AD. YET SUCH MEN COULD NOT SEE THE VERY HERESY THEY WERE PART OF
- THE FALSE TEACHINGS AND PRACTICES AND TRADITIONS AND RITES OF
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT WORLD. SUCH IS THE DECEPTION OF
THE GREAT DECEIVER, SUCH IS THE DEPTHS OF SATAN THE DEVIL, SUCH
CAN BE THE DARKNESS OF THE HUMAN MIND. THEN AGAIN IT IS GOD ONLY
WHO CAN CLEAR AWAY THE DARKNESS AND BRING THE LIGHT OF TRUTH TO
THE HUMAN MIND.

I PRAY THAT YOU WHO READ AND STUDY FROM THIS WEBSITE WILL DESIRE
THE TRUTH MORE THAN DARKNESS, THAT YOU WILL HUNGER AND THIRST
AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND SO WILL BE FILLED. I PRAY YOU WILL PROVE
ALL THINGS AND HOLD FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD, CORRECT, AND
HOLY.

I PRAY YOU WILL FIND THE FAITH THAT WAS ONCE DELIVERED TO THE
SAINTS.

Keith Hunt


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