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Evidence of a great doctrinal apostasy

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by H. Richard, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

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    This is the background of Christ's instruction to Gentiles (through Paul) during the dispensation [age] of grace.

    1 Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me [Paul], as a wise masterbuilder, “”I”” have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon...

    1 Cor 4:14-16 For I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus “”I”” have begotten you through the gospel. [the Kingdom Gospel? No, the Grace Gospel? Yes.] Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers [of whom? All the apostles? No...] of “”me“”. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of “”my”” ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

    1 Cor 11:1-2 Be ye followers of “””me,””” even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as [who? Peter? John? James? No...] I delivered them to you.

    Eph 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given [to who? All the apostles equally? No...] to me for you...

    Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil [Gr. pleroo, complete] the word of God;


    2 Tim 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

    Looking at the record of history...did "faithful men" continue Paul's teaching? ------ Judge for yourself after examining the doctrines that cropped up soon after the apostolic era.


    Three of the "church fathers" --Ignatius, Justin, and Irenaeus--said the Lord’s Supper had some positive mystical influence on your spirit and physical body when you ate it. Ignatius went as far as to call the bread “The medicine of immortality and the antidote that we should not die but have life forever in Jesus Christ.”

    These folks weren’t into transubstantiation as we know it, but they had an early form of it (more like consubstantiation).

    QUESTION: Is that what Paul taught?

    Paul clearly taught that it’s a memorial (1 Cor 11:23-26)...an important, solemn memorial, yes, but it’s still just bread and wine with no mention of any mystical presence of the Lord. So who was right -- these early church "fathers," or Paul?


    Ignatius longed for animals to tear him to bits because he seemed to have believed that suffering and martyrdom would prove his Christianity and ensure his salvation. He seems to have exhibited an attitude of "I must endure to the end to be saved." While Kingdom saints under the law had to believe such dreadful truths (Matt. 24:13), Paul never did.


    Did Ignatius really have a grasp on the Mystery? He knew that the body of professing believers was comprised of Jews and Gentiles, but that was a fact clearly evident even to unbelievers. As to Paul's Mystery, he saw it as something else entirely:

    "Ye are associates in the mysteries with Paul, who was sanctified, who obtained a good report, who is worthy of all felicitation..." (Eph. 12)

    That's as close as can be found that Ignatius got to mentioning Paul's mystery revelation. But he did go into detail on this:

    "And hidden from the prince of this world were the virginity of Mary and her child-bearing and likewise also the death of the Lord---three mysteries to be cried aloud--which were wrought in the silence of God." (Eph. 19)

    Ignatius did not have a clue regarding the Pauline revelation, judging by what he wrote. Yet he considered the virgin birth and the death of Messiah to have been hidden from Satan. But they weren’t hidden, for both were prophesied in the O.T. What WAS hidden from Satan (and from the whole world) was the full scope of the Cross (1 Cor 2:6-8), which was not known until Christ revealed it to Paul as part of the Mystery. Timothy knew it. Titus knew it. The Ephesians knew it. But Ignatius appears to never have understood it. That scope being that through the atonement work of the cross mankind can be saved by the grace of God based on faith in what God (Jesus) did on the cross to pay for their sins.


    This early doctrinal slide is most grossly evident when one examines these writer's opinions of water baptism. Ignatius wrote:

    "It is not lawful apart from the bishop either to baptize or hold a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve, this is well-pleasing also to God; that everything which ye do may be sure and valid." (Smy. 8)

    "Let your baptism abide with you as your shield... (Poly. 6). Elsewhere he said, "...as your arm..."

    What Ignatius meant by "shield" is clear - it's a reference to defense, possibly spiritual armor. However, Paul gave water baptism no such significance. Ignatius is paving the way for a ritualistic, salvational approach to baptism [i.e., Rome's] which is with us to this day, especially when he says only the bishop can perform it or approve of it.

    Justin also said that one could believe but wasn’t actually saved until he/she was dunked. That’s a form of baptismal regeneration, from as early as 150 A.D. (some say they used the terms “baptism” and “regeneration” interchangeably). But did Paul EVER teach this? No! These Gentile philosophers sound far more familiar with Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38 than with Eph 4:5.

    NOTE: The point of this post is that all this doctrinal confusion happened within ONE GENERATION of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles and dispenser of the mystery. Not 100 years after his death, gross doctrinal distortion had already set in and the Church believed, and practiced a mix of two dispensations, law and grace, as well as things not even found in the Bible.

    One thing is certain from what I’ve read -- the Asian fathers largely failed to acknowledge the uniqueness of the revelation Christ gave to Paul. Why? Because, as Paul himself wrote, Asia had already turned away from him even while he was yet alive. Those in Asia were even then “turning aside unto myths.” These church “fathers,” with their compounded mythical doctrines, are only the fruit of the apostasy that began in the first century before Paul died.

    2 Tim 1:15
    15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

    Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
    Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

    This is exactly what happened: from among the Gentile believers of Asia, false teachers DID arise, DID speak perverse things and DID draw away disciples unto themselves. All within 100 years of Paul's death.
    Dave L likes this.