This work is independent of any existing religions denomination, church, organisation or group.
APOSTASY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH CREED DOCTRINES
The identity of Christ has always been the focal issue: Was he God, Angel, or Man? As far as the Roman emperor Constantine was concerned he did not much care which was agreed, so long as it was agreed by all, and the wrangling stopped. From the cauldron of confusion a primitive statement of belief evolved. A simple creed or written statement it was hoped the majority could agree to. This first council was made up of Church fathers and pagan Roman religious priests. The creed slowly crystallised, as conflicts could easily be re-ignited. By stealth through various written stages it became fashioned into a written full statement of belief. The final Nicene version dated 381 as laid down stated:
"Following the holy fathers we all together teach men to acknowledge as one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at the same time, complete in Godhead and complete as man, truly God and truly man, ... of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead.... from Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer...." ( note- 'following the holy church fathers not the Apostles writings' ).
This written statement of belief that God and Jesus Christ were one person became the cornerstone doctrine of this developed creed religion evolving over a period of some 350 years. It became a composite religion, forged by stirring together base pagan religious doctrines and Bible scripture. It had evolved through years of wrangling, compromises and just plain bludgeoning, becoming the official Roman state religion, the only approved religion operating hand in glove with the ruling Roman authorities. It became a completely creed-based religion with its foundation in pagan Roman doctrines, overlaid with a facade of so-called Christian ideas.
From this foundation the new creed religion cherry picked the scriptures for bits it could use that fitted with the evolved creed-based beliefs, while ignoring references in the Apostles' writings that repudiated these creed doctrines. The Apostles would not have recognised this creed religion and certainly would have had no part in it. The fundamental understanding that Jesus was equivalent in nature to Adam, a perfectly created loyal Son of God and could therefore re-balance the scales of justice, had been swept under the carpet. Jesus could not be equal with the creator God as stated in the creeds, any more than Adam was equal to God, both were sons (Romans 5:15-19). The creed doctrines invalidated any legal balancing by the ransom, undermining and devaluing the significance of Jesus Christ's sacrificial death. It is the all-important factor and central support for redemption for mankind - remove it and the entire basis of God's Kingdom is invalidated.
This trinity doctrine, as it became known, the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit all subdivisions of a single spirit-being Godhead, was never believed or taught by the Apostles. They had always taught that Jesus Christ was subordinate to his God and father, confirming himself as a created being. This fake Godhead idea was embellished bit by bit into the full-blown trinity doctrine. This Apostasy through creed development created an acceptance of the erroneous statement, that Jesus Christ was God in man's form. This inspired expression of error emerged and established itself as the central doctrine of the Roman state religion. Nobody was now listening to the writings of the inspired Apostles (1 John 4:1-6).
This Apostasy had been prophesied to occur following the death of the Apostles who had been restraining the onset of these erroneous teachings. The Apostle Paul warned that a full-blown apostasy would eventually take over. He said the warnings he was giving to them were acting as a restraint, holding back the main apostasy until the restraining Apostles died off. He confirmed it was already partly in evidence then but it would not be fully out in the open until the Apostles with the spirit working through them were out of the way in death.
" concerning the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, .. 3 Let no one lead you astray in any way, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. He stands in opposition 6 And now you know what is acting as a restraint, so that he will be revealed in his own due time. True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who is right now acting as a restraint is out of the way. 8 Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his (2nd) presence. 9 But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders 10 and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved. 11 That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-11). See BIBLE TRINITY .
The last living Apostle John, toward the end of his life around 98, confirmed what Paul had already said about this Antichrist which by then was fast taking over. The restraints had all but died off, proof they had reached the end of the first Kingdom recruiting period "it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many Antichrists have appeared, from which fact we know that it is the last hour" 1 John 2:18. The term 'apostasy' carries the original Greek meaning of separating, deserting or abandoning. This Antichrist apostasy abandoned the truths taught by Jesus in favour of its own perverted teachings. In this way the apostasy directly opposed what Christ had taught and revealed; it became an opposing organisation. The teachings of Christ and the Apostles had been completely corrupted by this Apostasy. Described also as 'the man of lawlessness' it openly operated an unrestrained opposition to the teachings of the Christ.
BIBLE CENSORSHIP IMPOSED
Scripture was now more or less completely under the control of this evolved Antichrist creed religion, acting in confederation with the Roman state administration. Once the trinity creed doctrine had become inculcated into the masses it was hardly in its interest to publish much of the information that the Apostles had written down. The last thing they wanted was to stir up the old arguments, particularly any evidence in the scriptures stating that Jesus was a Son of God, born of his Father. Censorship of the writings of the first-century apostles was tightly imposed. Bible copies were controlled and only those teachers approved and appointed by the creed religions were allowed to expound their manufactured apostasy doctrines (2 Pet 2:1-3, 1Tim 4:1-3). This unrestrained opposition to the teachings of Christ became solidified.
Verbal creed statements and later prayer books containing these statements were used for the indoctrination of the masses through oral inculcation. Taught and memorised, through repetitious use. The old adage 'repeat a lie often enough and it will be believed' formed a major part of the indoctrination process of these creeds.
Apart from the trinity doctrine, other erroneous Greek pagan doctrines were similarly consolidated in this way. Hellfire and immortality of the soul were both adopted from Greek and Roman pagan religions. Again, these creed doctrines ran directly contrary to the scriptural information, that when a person dies that is the end. The hope generated by the scriptures was for a later resurrection; until then they 'sleep' in death. How can a being with an immortal soul also have a resurrection?? There can only be one or the other. The Bible advocates resurrection; the pagan and creed religions advocate immortal soul. Resurrection is referred to over 40 times in the Greek scriptures, soul immortality not once. Even Jesus remained dead for three days until God resurrected him, he did not possess an immortal soul!
It is all too apparent that these creed introduced doctrines are still held today as the most important central doctrines by nearly every Christian denomination that exists in the world. What a massive indoctrination has been achieved by the use of creed doctrines by these religions. Of the World's seven billion population, approximately 30% call themselves Christian; of these approximately 98% belong to organisations that teach the trinity and other original pagan ideas in one form or another. Of the remaining 2%, approximately half are not sure what they believe, leaving only a handful in Christendom who reject the trinity teaching.
THE DARK AGES
Returning to the Second Century. The spiritual lights were out; the Apostles were all dead; little, if any, true spiritual knowledge about the Kingdom was available. Darkness had truly set in, the so-called Dark Ages had arrived. God's Kingdom plan was calculatedly on hold, as the Apostles had said it would be. The church state religions had managed to bury God's word. An all-too-often repeated failing of men, when in a position of controlling information. Jesus had warned the religious clergy of his day of this same fault at Matthew 23:13: "You lock people out of the Kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them".
Through these Dark Ages, much blood-letting was done in the name of religion, with very little truth from God's word allowed to shine. The first real threat to the Churches controlling censorship of the Bible came with a mechanical invention. In 1439 Gutenberg developed the printing press in Germany. By 1455 about 150 copies of the Bible had been printed; quickly, printing presses appeared everywhere. The mechanism was now available to allow lay people access to a printed copy of the Christian Greek scriptures, bypassing the control and censorship of the all dominating Churches.
Lay people could now read and study printed translations. Although full of scribal errors through multi-generation copies of the then available manuscripts, they still allowed a partial comparison between scripture and Church doctrine causing a certain amount of erroneous exposure. Once the Church had lost its binding censorship control, it moved to the next best position; it controlled and authorised only the roughest and most doctrinally corrupted bible translations.
This situation continued for over 1,000 years. So inculcated had the central Trinitarian doctrine become within the Church that when the Bible was first printed in its Textus Receptus form it contained words deliberately tampered with and changed to make it read and appear that the scriptures taught this spurious trinity doctrine.
The King James Bible of 1611 translates 1 John 5:7-8: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."
The Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible "And there are Three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. and there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit and the water and the blood. And these three are one".
More accurate translation "For there are three witness bearers: the spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement". Verse 8 has been proven spurious (added much later).
The words in bold were added to this manuscript to support the trinity teaching. Later, more accurate translations corrected this deliberate act of fraud, leaving out the spuriously added words, although even today many Bibles are still sold with this commonly recognised error included. Nevertheless, back then a dirty translation was better than what was previously available, virtually nothing! As time passed, scholars often working against negative church pressure, researched the ancient manuscripts to rake out the errors that had crept in. The inevitable eventually happened: more and more individuals through Bible study began to protest at the obvious non-biblical doctrines and falsified errors they had been taught by the Church. Thus the Protestant Reformation started only 50 odd years after the invention of the printing press and the release of the censorship stranglehold. The first man-motivated 'Age of Awakening', as some referred to it, had started.
Censorship control by the established Church over available scriptural manuscripts was not the only barrier to access of a more accurate Bible. Even presuming permission could be obtained from the Church prior to printing, the price for commissioning a scribe written copy made it completely prohibitive for the ordinary person. Depending on the number of accuracy checks made by the scribes; a decent copy could have cost as much as $100,000. These two factors, Church censorship and cost, virtually cut off the scriptures from the ordinary man. Until after some 1,300 years of censorship, the printing process in 1453 at one stroke, reduced the cost dramatically. Although the first printed Bibles were extremely 'dirty' copies, full of errors; accidental and deliberate through continual chain copying, as far as lay people were concerned at that time any Bible was better than none. At last, after more than 1,350 years, the opportunity to read, study and verify the word of God had arrived. Inevitably with this study came the thirst of discerning scholars for more accurate translations.
What was available then was a very degenerated copy, which had arrived through so many copies of copies of copies. It is possible that the final manuscript material as first printed had passed through as many as one hundred generations of copies. The final copy would be similar to, a detailed hand written business letter, passed to another to be rewritten by hand; this copy passed to the next, who again copies it and passes on his copy to the next, who copies it and again passes his copy on, and so on until it has passed through a hundred different copiers' hands. Each copy carries forward the conglomerate rolled-over errors intentional and unintentional inherited from all the previous copiers. Imagine how the original letter would compare to its hundredth generation copy. This would be similar to the condition of the first multi-generation copy bible manuscripts printed and circulated.
The 1,300 year period of the Dark Ages had taken their toll on manuscripts with great gaps appearing in the copy chain. The newly created appetite to read and understand the Bible more accurately would have to wait a further 350 years. For now, the printing press could only mechanically copy the inferior translation material available. The first printed Bibles were made from a copy of a manuscript that was in the common Roman language, Latin. This manuscript was of a late generation copy of a text prepared by Jerome, which he translated into Latin from earlier Greek copies from around the year 400 which were available to him. This translation became known as the Vulgate. The first Vulgate versions of the bible came off the press in 1455, and by 1610 the Catholic Douay Bible was printed; based on Jerome's Latin copy dating back to around 450, and is still used to this day.
Sixty years after this first edition was printed, a Dutch scholar Erasmus, in 1516 printed a Greek language version of the New Testament. This translation had gone through countless copies converted from Greek to Latin and then back to Greek. This mishmash copy brought about a self-originating, concocted Greek text producing a unique reading never to be found in any other known comparable Greek manuscript.
Unfortunately this artificially converted text became the basis for the received text, the Textus Receptus, later used as the base text of the King James Bible. The unjustified reverence for this Textus Receptus promoted by the church held back more accurate translations for many years. The text, developed from the Erasmus Text, was commonly received and accepted as the Church 'approved' version. In 1611, King James of England had the Textus Receptus adopted into the King James Bible, including all the errors in the Erasmus Text. This later became the basis for most Protestant translations in Europe until the end of the nineteenth century.
To criticise this Church 'approved' text was akin to sacrilege. It was regarded as the Holy Word direct from God's mouth; to tamper with this translation was regarded as blasphemous. Within some religions, this attitude is still held today, although it has since been proved it contains over 2,000 errors. It is interesting to note that upholders of the old 'hot potato' Trinity doctrine, generally hang on with dear life to this far-from-accurate translation. Could it have anything to do with the errors it contains, clouding Bible information and understanding of this erroneous doctrine? Just try and get them to use a more accurately translated Bible and watch the reaction.
Once the Bible was out in the open through printed copies, the drive for accuracy was on, although the ascribed sanctified attitude toward the received text contained in the King James Bible held it back, pressure was building. Discerning individuals reading this 'dirty' corrupted text could see how church doctrines and the information in it were contradictory.
Although often split in their allegiances between loyalty to the institutionalised churches with their control over the financing of these 'clean-up' projects, "the one who pays the piper calls the tune", and their conscious desire for accuracy. Some courageous scholars pressed on for as clean and accurate a translation as they could get. This required getting as far back in the copy chain as possible and as close to the original writings using the very earliest available manuscripts. It was an almost impossible task, yet it has more or less been achieved, although taken some 500 years. Thousands of dedicated scholars have devoted millions of man-hours to this task.
As the original Greek writings are all missing, a massive dragnet went out through the world collecting whatever copies could be found. It was truly amazing what came out of the woodwork! Over the years more and more came to light. People like Griesback, Tischendorf, and Tregelles between 1775 and 1875 collected these manuscripts, researched and investigated them using their skills to make corrections to the then-in-use received text Bibles.
It was becoming so great a job correcting the King James text it eventually became necessary to drop trying to correct such an erroneous translation and restart from scratch. In 1881 a most notable attempt at this was made by Wescott and Hort using the masses of early copy manuscripts that had been raked out and made available to them.
CREED DOCTRINES EXPOSED
Once cleaner translations became available from the start of the 1800s, the old creed doctrines really started to be exposed and took a bashing. Using cleaner translations, and by cross-referencing scripture statements on single subjects using Bible concordances, a clearer pattern emerged as to the true Bible understanding and reading of these various subjects. When the old creed doctrines were held up to the light of this examination, they failed the test. They were shown up for what they were: non-Bible based doctrines. The more important exposures included the immortality of the human soul, exposed as scripturally fake. Hellfire, after-death torment and punishment by fire in purgatory exposed as scripturally false. The Trinity; God, Christ, and spirit as one person exposed as lies.
Although the information was being recovered from the scriptures by means of these cleaner translations, it made very little difference to the major Church religions. These religions were firmly entrenched in the world's systems; their creed doctrines had been established for over 1,000 years and the leopard was not about to change its spots. It would take new individuals in new organisations to promote this retrieval of knowledge. New wine needed to ferment in new wine skins (Matthew 9:17). Following the 1880s, numerous even earlier manuscript evidence closer to the originals have come to light. With these the whole critical process needed to be redone incorporating this more recently recovered evidence.
Since the Westcott and Hort text, following steps have been more a case of one step forwards, two steps back. In 1900 Bernhard Weiss translated the Greek text by applying his own theological views to it. He selected the variant texts according to what he believed to be the most appropriate according to his theological understanding. Then in 1901 Eberhard Nestle produced a version of the Greek text based on the comparison of three earlier texts, Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort and the Weiss text. He simply took the consensus of these three and made this his text. This resulted in the up to then cleanest of the texts the Westcott and Hort text being diluted again by the inferior earlier Tischendorf text and the personally theological weighted text of Weiss.
SEEKING 'CLEANER' TRANSLATIONS
For discerning individuals the window into Bible information has undergone a rigorous cleaning; it is now possible to seek out these 'cleaner' translations. Bearing in mind that all Bibles are only individual translators' versions of the original. Each version is affected by the source of the material translated; the influence of each translator's personal views and beliefs in their selection of alternative words to translate what they consider to be the original meaning in the modern language. This makes multiple Bible translation comparisons essential in perceptive study. An enlightening examination of some of these early discerning individuals is covered in THE FIRST AWAKENING. It is the responsibility of all seekers of truth and the Kingdom to clear away these corrupt Apostasy teachings in order to clarify the true teachings of Christ and his Apostles.
For information on how and when "the lawless one, the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence" see KINGDOM OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHRISTIANS OF ALL DENOMINATIONS.
RETURN TO MAIN INDEX