And Now Ye Know What Withholdeth

"...even as there shall be false teachers among you..." (2 Peter 2:1)
“…even as there shall be false teachers among you…” (2 Peter 2:1)

In one of his several communications with the church at Thessalonica, Paul informed them that they already knew what was holding back “that man of sin,” “the son of perdition,” “that Wicked” one, even “him, whose coming is after the working of Satan” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8-9). We note that in his admonition to them, he said someone or something was holding him back, and would eventually be taken out of the way, so that the Wicked one could be seen plainly for who he was:

“And now ye know what withholdeth [κατέχον] that he might be revealed in his time. … only he who now letteth [κατέχων] will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed …” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8).

Paul’s language here has left not a few commentaries wondering as to his meaning, not least because Paul does not identify the restraining power which is described both as a “thing” and a “person.” Heinrich Meyer, in his New Testament Commentary, observes,

“The restraining power, on which Paul thought, must accordingly have been so constituted that it can be brought under a twofold form of description, and be represented both as a thing and as a person.” (Meyer, Heinrich, Critical and Exegetical Hand-book to the New Testament, Volume 8 (Funk & Wagnalls, 1885) 601-2)

Albert Barnes, in his Notes on the Bible makes a similar observation about the two references to the restraining power in verses 6 and 7—namely that he “is not quite certain” which power it was that operated as a check against “growing corruptions”:

“There can be no doubt that there is reference to the same restraining power, or the same power under the control of an individual; but what that was, is not quite certain. It was some power which operated as a check on the growing corruptions then existing, and which prevented their full development, but which was to be removed at no distant period, and whose removal would give an opportunity for these corruptions to develop themselves, and for the full revelation of the man of sin.” (Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 2 Thessalonians 2:7).

Many commentaries—even those that see Papal Rome as that “man of sin”—understand “what withholdeth [κατέχον]” and “he who now letteth [κατέχων] … until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7) to be a reference to the Roman Empire.  Under that interpretation, Antichrist is not made manifest until the Roman Empire is gone. Then, when the Roman Empire is “taken out of the way,” Papal Roman Catholicism is able to emerge. That traditional interpretation, of course, pushes the rise of Antichrist well into, or even beyond, the 5th century, after the last Roman Emperor.

Meyer objected to that tradition: “To make ὁ κατέχων denote the ruling power is … contrary to the context” (Meyer, 602). Meyer by no means represents a majority opinion on this, but we agree with him nonetheless, not only because the context of 2 Thessalonians 2 does not lend itself to such an interpretation, but also because Daniel rules it out as well.

According to Daniel’s warning, the Little Horn was to arise during, not after, the Roman Empire. To be sure, the Little Horn arose among the fragments of Rome, but those fragments were still the remnants of the Roman Empire even in its fragmented state. This can be seen when Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 are aligned with their respective historical periods in Figure 1, below.

Figure 1: the Succession of Empires, from Babylon to the Fragmentation of Rome
Figure 1: the Succession of Empires, from Babylon to the Fragmentation of Rome

From Legs to Toes, or from Body to Horns, the fourth beast was still an Empire and was still quintessentially Roman. As we showed in The Rise of Roman CatholicismA See of One and The Fourteenth Diocese, the Roman Empire was not “taken out of the way” to make it possible for the Little Horn to be revealed. The Little Horn was revealed, and then took over the Roman Empire, which was still very much in existence at the time of the Little Horn’s rise. The Scriptures are consistent on this. Daniel, for example, sees the rise of the arrogant Little Horn taking place prior to the destruction of the body of the Fourth Beast:

“I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” (Daniel 7:11).

Thus, the Little Horn arises while the body of the Fourth Beast—the Roman Empire—is still in existence. The body would eventually be destroyed, leaving only the remaining horns to align with the Little Horn and “give their power and strength” to him (Revelation 17:12-13). But at the time that the Little Horn came up, the fourth Empire was still “partly strong,” even if it was also “partly broken” (Daniel 2:42).

It is clear therefore that the Man of Sin is revealed before the Roman Empire is completely removed, and therefore before the Roman Empire is “taken out of the way.” By way of illustration, we observe that Emperor Theodosius I’s decree, De Fide Catholica (380 A.D.), claiming that Pope Damasus I was the new Pontifex of the state religion, hardly qualifies as a “restraint” against Papal ambition. Far from restraining the Little Horn, the Roman Empire voluntarily transferred its titles and infrastructure to Roman Catholicism and encouraged its rise.

Thus, the Roman Empire simply cannot be “he who now letteth [κατέχων]” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7). It would hardly be consistent for the Little Horn to rise up, and speak “great words,” and for the whole world to wonder after him before “the [fourth] beast was slain,” and yet at the same time to be concealed by that same Fourth Beast until it be “taken out of the way.”

Who then might the Restrainer be? To ask the question using Albert Barnes’ phraseology, who “operated as a check on the growing corruptions then existing, and prevented their full development”?

The answer is quite simple: the Church.

The Church served as that restraint against the mystery of iniquity, just the apostles instructed its bishops and elders to do. Then, when the time appointed for Antichrist came and for the whole world to succumb to his errors, the Church was to be taken out of the way. That is, the church was to be “given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness” (Revelation 12:14). It is the Church that restrained the mystery of lawlessness, and then it was the Church that was “taken out of the way” to its place of safety in the wilderness. Notably, the Church is described by Paul not only  as a thing, but also as person, “a perfect man,” the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13), consistent with Paul’s description of that restraining power in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7.

In his second epistle to them, Paul reminds the Corinthians of their assets for protecting against error, among which possessions he includes a full complement of defensive weapons in full battle array:

“pureness, … knowledge, … longsuffering, … kindness, … the Holy Ghost, … love unfeigned,  … the word of truth, … the power of God, … the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.” (2 Corinthians 6:6-7)

Notably, having reminded them of their defensive armor, Paul then instructs the Corinthians that they have been so equipped for a purpose, lest the temple of God be profaned by idolaters:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

We find this usage significant because after Paul reminds the Thessalonians that he has already informed them “what withholdeth” (2 Thessalonians 2:6), he warns them that the Wicked one will sit “in the temple of God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4), which is to say, within the Church (2 Corinthians 6;16, Ephesians 2:21, 1 Peter 2:5). It is the duty of the Church to maintain and defend the purity of “the temple of the living God.”

On a similar note, in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul had also said that the enemies of the Church would arise from within:

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

Paul registered a heartfelt plea with the Corinthians that they not be “beguiled” by “false apostles” (2 Corinthians 3:13). Peter, too, issued the same warning, that “there shall be false teachers among you” and will “make merchandise of you” (2 Peter 2:1,3). As a defense against those teachers, Peter wrote his epistle specifically to “stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets” (2 Peter 3:1-2). Paul had warned the Ephesian elders at Miletus of the internal threat, and he commended them to the protection of God and “the word of His grace” (Acts 20:32). The Ephesians must have heeded Paul well, for Jesus Himself commended them for resisting the false apostles, just as they had been trained to do (Revelation 2:2).

Based on these apostolic warnings that wolves and false teachers would arise “among you … of your own selves,” would “draw away disciples after them,” and “make merchandise of you”—the very thing the Wicked one would attempt to do as he sits in the very temple of God—Paul’s language in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is taken to mean that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work” inwardly, from within the Church.

This had been evident since Peter first insisted that Christ must not go to the Cross (Matthew 16:23), since Paul had to withstand Peter “to the face” (Galatians 2:11), since the disciples first wondered who among them would be greatest (Luke 22:24), and since Diotrephes “loveth to have the preeminence among them” (3 John 9), and since John had to correct Diotrephes’ error of excommunicating the brethren (3 John 10). The mystery of iniquity was already at work from within, and the Wicked one would finally be revealed when there came a worldwide “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, Revelation 13:3), and when the restraining Church would be “taken out of the way” to her place of  refuge (2 Thessalonians 2:7; Revelation 12:14).

Because there cannot be a “falling away” except from within, the mystery of iniquity was an internal phenomenon, already at work, trying “to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22). Thus, although Albert Barnes could not identify the restraining power “which operated as a check on the growing corruptions then existing,” his summary of its effects appears to be an apt description of the Church when corrupting influences continue to manifest from within.

What was the Church to do when the inevitable happened, when internal errors became so pervasive that professing Christians everywhere were succumbing to error? The answer was obvious. Per Paul’s instructions, they were to “come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Soon, “all the world” would wonder after the Wicked one (Revelation 13:3), for the Devil “which deceiveth the whole world” had been cast down to earth (Revelation 12:9). But the Church would of necessity have to withdraw “from among them,” lest the true temple of God be profaned by the Wicked one’s arrogance, idolatry and error, and the world’s universal reception of it.

This idea of the Church withdrawing from the overwhelming propagation of error is suggested by Paul’s language in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. “He that [restraineth]” the Wicked one will not just be “taken out of the way” as is typically translated, but rather “taken out of the midst (μέσου).” Everyone else would fall into error, but the remnant Church would be protected from the “strong delusion” that enveloped the world (2 Thessalonians 2:11). The mystery of iniquity would arise from within the Church, as we noted, and Church would restrain that mystery of iniquity for the allotted time. But when the appointed time came, and the “falling away” manifested, the Church would be taken “out of the midst,” the time of her ministry of resistance completed, allowing the Wicked one finally to be manifested for who he truly was. Accordingly, in Revelation it is just when the serpent unleashes a flood in order to try to cause the Church “to be carried away,” and grants to the beast “his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Revelation 13:3), that the Church is taken away to a place of safety (Revelation 12:13). Her removal was to coincide with the Beast’s rise, Satan’s flood of error, and the “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Lest the elect, too, be carried away of the flood and join in the apostasy, the Woman was provided with wings to flee to her place of safety.

It was also at that time that “the earth helped the woman” and “opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood” (Revelation 12:16). The “earth” coming to the aid of God’s people to “swallow up” that which threatens them is the language of Moses, language he used to describe how God preserved His people from persecutors (Exodus 15:12-13), and protected them from apostates (Numbers 16:32, 26:10, Deuteronomy 11:6, Psalms 106:17), guiding them to safety on their flight from Egypt. John resurrects that language and applies it again when it is time for God’s people to flee from the great apostasy.

Thus, it was the Church that “withholdeth” and “now letteth,” and it was the Church that would be taken out of the way, so that the Man of Sin would be revealed.

Those who followed our series, The Visible Apostolicity of the Invisibly Shepherded Church, will recall that the Church served in just such a restraining capacity for the first three hundred years of the sub-apostolic era. The Bishop of Rome had repeatedly attempted to rise up to rule over his brethren, and he was repeatedly corrected. Not a few times was he subjected to the ridicule, indignation and astonishment of the surrounding churches. The apostolic churches had witnessed pride, arrogance, obstinacy, wickedness, madness, heresy, “contumacious discord,” presumptuousness, error and a conspicuously inflated sense of importance flow out of Rome for three hundred years, and for three hundred years, the Roman episcopate had been kept in check by the surrounding churches. The Bishop of Rome had on many occasions attempted to claim and assert primacy, and for three hundred years, peals of laughter echoed back at him from three continents. His claims were consistently rebuffed and dismissed as the ravings of an inflated ego with a propensity to think above its station. It was by this means that the church restrained the mystery of iniquity.

By way of a refresher, we will revisit some of the highlights of the first three hundred years of Roman ambition. We recall that the Shepherd of Hermas believed that it was Michael, not the Bishop of Rome, “who has authority over this people, and governs them” from heaven (The Shepherd of Hermas, Book III, Similtude 8, chapter 3). Likewise, Mathetes thought it was unconscionable for one man to seek the supremacy over his brethren:

“For it is not by ruling over his neighbours, or by seeking to hold the supremacy over those that are weaker, or by being rich, and showing violence towards those that are inferior, that happiness is found; nor can any one by these things become an imitator of God.” (The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, chapter 10)

It simply did not occur to the early church to have a supreme bishop ruling over them, except from Heaven.

When “pope” Victor attempted to force all churches to obey his mandate on the date of Passover, Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, told Victor that his opinions carried no weight outside of Rome. Here Polycrates responds with Petrine fortitude, explaining that the churches of Asia were unmoved by Victor’s impudent tone

“I … have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’ [Acts 5:29]” (Eusebius, Church History, Book V, chapter 24, paragraph 3).

For his presumptuous error, Victor earned a sharp rebuke from Irenæaus and other bishops on every side, even from those who agreed with his dating of Passover:

“But this did not please all the bishops. And they besought him to consider the things of peace, and of neighborly unity and love. Words of theirs are extant, sharply rebuking Victor. Among them was Irenæus…” (Eusebius, Church History, Book V, chapter 24, paragraphs 9-11)

Irenæaus went on to explain that there was no Scriptural mandate that any bishop could impose on the matter, and that various churches had “formed a custom for their posterity according to their own simplicity and peculiar mode” (Eusebius, Church History, Book V, chapter 24, paragraph13). They were to be left to themselves in the spirit of Romans 14:5, “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

Later, it was Tertullian who reported that the bishop of Rome had collaborated in importing heresy “into Rome from Asia,” and only under pressure did he ultimately rescind the letters he had written in support of it (Tertullian, Against Praxeas, chapter 1). When a certain Roman bishop claimed that the Church had the power to forgive sins, Tertullian mocked him for “subverting and wholly changing the manifest intention of the Lord,” derogated him as a “Pontifex Maximus” for his presumption to issue an imperial decree, reminding him that the duty of the bishop was “presiding not imperially, but ministerially” (Tertullian, On Modesty, chapter 21).

It is at this time that Origen derided the base carnality of the Jews for thinking to rule the nations from a chief earthly metropolis:

“[I]magining to themselves that the earthly city of Jerusalem is to be rebuilt” and “that the natives of other countries are to be given them as the ministers of their pleasures, … [and] that they are to receive the wealth of the nations to live on, and that they will have control over their riches;” (Origen, De Principiis, Book II, Chapter 11, paragraph 2)

To the contrary, Origen insisted, “those cities which are said to belong to the nation of Israel have the heavenly Jerusalem as their metrop­olis” (Origen, De Principiis, Book IV, chapter 22), not an earthly one. The idea of a chief earthly metropolis was repugnant to him.

Back in Rome we find Hippolytus quite animated in his criticism of the shamefully corrupt and conniving heretics occupying the bishopric there. The responsibility of the Roman Bishop to administer “the affairs of the Church” was only a figment of “pope” Zephyrinus’ uninformed imagination, and Hippolytus refused to align himself either with Zephyrinus or “pope” Callistus after him. Instead, Hipplytus complained that these two were constantly advancing heretical views, “but we have frequently … refuted them, and have forced them reluctantly to acknowledge the truth,” only to find them repeatedly wallowing in “the same mire” again (Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, chapter II).

Church historian, Eusebius, describes the administration of “pope” Zephyrinus as a period during which “the truth had been corrupted” (Eusebius, Church History, Book V, chapter 28, paragraph 3). On this same account we find Irenæaus—already obliged to travel to Rome from Gaul to correct the Montanist heresy that was thriving under the blessing of “pope” Eleutherus—also reminding his audience that Polycarp, too, was moved to come to Rome from Smyrna to correct the heresies then prospering under “pope” Anicetus’ watchful eye (Irenæus,Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 3, paragraph 4).

We find that Cyprian, too, knew very well that Peter had never “claim[ed] anything to himself insolently, nor arrogantly … as to say that he held the primacy” (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 70, paragraph 3). “Pope” Stephen, by way of contrast, was now  channeling the spirit of Victor and Diotrephes, siding with heretics against believers:

“Does he give glory to God, who, a friend of heretics and an enemy to Christians, thinks that the priests of God, who support the truth of Christ and the unity of the Church, are to be excommunicated?” (Cyprian, Epistle 73, paragraph 8)

Here Cyprian points out “pope” Stephen’s “error in endeavouring to maintain the cause of heretics against Christians” (Cyprian, Epistle 73, paragraph 1), and complaining that “pope” Stephen was “forgetful of unity,” and had adopted “lies” and “contagion” instead (paragraph 2). Further, “pope” Stephen had demonstrated “obstinacy” and “presumption” by preferring “human tradition to divine ordinance” (paragraph 3), and, what is more, his “blindness of soul” and “degradation of faith” had caused him “to refuse to recognize the unity” (paragraph 4). Things would not go well for Stephen on the day of judgment because he “does not hold the unity and truth that arise from the divine law, but maintains heresies against the Church” (paragraph 8).

Writing “to his brother Pompeius” against “pope” Stephen, Cyprian insisted that it was Stephen who was now originating heresy and lacerating and laying waste Christ’s flock, and thus it was time for the rest of the churches to step up. Stephen’s haughty, unskilled, contradictory and erroneous encyclical (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 73, paragraph 1), required the rest of the bishops to pull rank on him and invoke their own Petrine authority to put him in his place. We note that Cyprian invokes “Peter himself” in his explanation of why it was necessary to separate from the bishop of Rome (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 73, paragraph 11).

To this, Firmilian, bishop of Cæsarea, responded in full agreement, complaining that “they who are at Rome … vainly pretend the authority of the apostles.” Firmilian’s complaint highlights in particular “pope” Stephen’s “audacity and pride” and “the things that he has wickedly done,” and includes thanks to Cyprian because he had “settled this matter” of an upstart bishop thinking more highly of himself than he ought (Cyprian of Carthage, Letter 74, From Firmilian, Against the Letter of Stephen, paragraphs 3 & 6).

But Firmilian was not even close to being finished as he excoriated the galactic failure of Stephen to conduct himself in a manner becoming of a bishop in Christ’s church. In his response to Cyprian, Stephen of Rome had called him a false Christ, a false apostle and a worker of deceit, and Firmilian had had the temerity to turn those appellations right back on “pope” Stephen himself:

“And yet Stephen is not ashamed to afford patronage to such in opposition to the Church, and for the sake of maintaining heretics to divide the brotherhood and in addition, to call Cyprian ‘a false Christ and a false apostle, and a deceitful worker.’ And he, conscious that all these characters are in himself, has been in advance of you, by falsely objecting to another those things which he himself ought deservedly to hear.” (Cyprian of Carthage, Letter 74, (from Firmilian), paragraph 27)

On account of this propensity for bishops, particularly the one residing in Rome, to interfere in each other’s territories, even as late as 380 A.D. at the council of Constantinople, the bishops were insisting that each man manage the affairs of his own diocese alone, and stop confusing the churches by their incessant meddling:

Diocesan bishops are not to intrude in churches beyond their own boundaries nor are they to confuse the churches: … Unless invited bishops are not to go outside their diocese to perform an ordination or any other ecclesiastical business. If the letter of the canon about dioceses is kept, it is clear that the provincial synod will manage affairs in each province, as was decreed at Nicaea.” (Council of Constantinople, Canon 2)

Indeed, after centuries of pride, arrogance, overreach and error, the bishops of the world were frankly tired of the many of bishops in Rome who maintained heretics (as Eleutherus had), meddled in the affairs of other episcopates (as Victor had), and attempted to impose their will on their neighbors (as Stephen had).

For three hundred years the Roman episcopate had irritated the surrounding churches with her obstinacy and impudence, arrogance and pride, had propagated error, rashly excommunicated her brethren without cause, and was in frequent need of support, correction, instruction and rebuke, presuming to forgive sins and preside imperially from an earthly metropolis. For three hundred years, the alleged “primacy” of the Roman episcopate was unknown to the Early Church. Rather, it was an episcopate that had so polarized the body of Christ as to be a cause of factiousness, schism and error instead of a guardian of unity and peace between the brethren. In spite of, not because of, that episcopate, the rest of the churches managed to enjoy unity within the body. The early church saw any desire for a chief earthly metropolis to be more suited to the base carnality of the Jews than to the heavenly ambition of Christ’s church, and stood aghast at Rome’s persistent carnality and obstinacy. In short, for three centuries, the Church resisted that mystery of iniquity.

And then—seemingly out of nowhere—Rome finally got her wish. As Pope Damasus claimed at a council in 382 A.D., “the holy Roman church is given first place by the rest of the churches without [the need for] a synodical decision” (Council of Rome, III.1). It was, of course, a novelty of his own imagination. For three hundred years the Church had consistently restrained such lawlessness, and succeeded in keeping Rome at bay.

It is at this time in history that we see the Empire of Rome finally divided into thirteen dioceses, Roman Catholicism claiming three of them as her own (Italy, Egypt and Oriens), subduing three metropoli in the process (Milan, Alexandria and Antioch), and rising up to rule over the remaining ten, as we showed in The Fourteenth Diocese. It is also during this period that we see Roman Catholic errors rising and spreading throughout the world like a flood, as we showed in The Rise of Roman Catholicism and Longing for Nicæa. At the very same time, we see the remnant “taken out of the midst” of the rising apostasy and removed to her place of safety in the wilderness, protected there “from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14). It is the Church that resisted the mystery of iniquity, and when the great apostasy finally came and Roman Catholicism arose to rule the known world, the true Church was taken out of the midst and removed to her place of refuge, just as John and Paul had prophesied.

We will continue on this theme in following posts, but we will conclude this week with Albert Barnes’ uncannily accurate description of a phenomenon of iniquity that “doth already work,” and the restraining power that held it back. Barnes could not pinpoint the specific iniquity, and could only guess as to its substance. About that “mystery of iniquity,” he wrote,

“Any secret sources of iniquity in the church—anything that tended to corrupt its doctrines, and to destroy the simplicity of the faith of the gospel, would correspond with the meaning of the word. … In his own time, [Paul] says, there were things which, if not restrained, would expand and ripen into that apostasy.”

As to that restraining power, Barnes could not identify it, but could only surmise the benefits of it resistive force and the calamitous effects of its removal. He continued,

“[B]ut what that [power] was, is not quite certain. It was some power which operated as a check on the growing corruptions then existing, and which prevented their full development, but which was to be removed at no distant period, and whose removal would give an opportunity for these corruptions to develop themselves, and for the full revelation of the man of sin.” (Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 2 Thessalonians 2:7)

There is hardly a better description of the Church in this role and in this period than what Barnes has written: The church was that “power which operated as a check on the growing corruptions then existing, and which prevented their full development, but which was to be removed at no distant period.” The true Church was removed to her place of safety, leaving Antichrist Roman Catholicism to rule the known world, a diabolical imposter claiming to be the very Church of God.

But if the true Church “was to be removed at no distant period” so that the Man of Sin could be revealed, where did the Church go? Where was her place of refuge? Where was the Bride of Christ all those 1,260 years that Roman Catholicism ruled arrogantly from Rome, falsely claiming to be the Church?

Very good questions, indeed.

55 thoughts on “And Now Ye Know What Withholdeth”

  1. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” – Isa. 2:2, KJV

    1. TIM–
      The USCCB footnotes on 2Thes are interesting in this respect:

      * [2:6–7] What is restraining…the one who restrains: neuter and masculine, respectively, of a force and person holding back the lawless one. The Thessalonians know what is meant (2 Thes 2:6), but the terms, seemingly found only in this passage and in writings dependent on it, have been variously interpreted. Traditionally, 2 Thes 2:6 has been applied to the Roman empire and 2 Thes 2:7 to the Roman emperor (in Paul’s day, Nero) as bulwarks holding back chaos (cf. Rom 13:1–7). A second interpretation suggests that cosmic or angelic powers are binding Satan (2 Thes 2:9) and so restraining him; some relate this to an anti-Christ figure (1 Jn 2:18) or to Michael the archangel (Rev 12:7–9; 20:1–3). A more recent view suggests that it is the preaching of the Christian gospel that restrains the end, for in God’s plan the end cannot come until the gospel is preached to all nations (Mk 13:10); in that case, Paul as missionary preacher par excellence is “the one who restrains,” whose removal (death) will bring the end (2 Thes 2:7). On the alternative view (see note on 2 Thes 2:1–17)*, the phrases should be referred to that which and to him who seizes (a prophet) in ecstasy so as to have him speak pseudo-oracles.
      * [2:1–17] The Thessalonians have been shaken by a message purporting to come from Paul himself that the day of the Lord is already present. He warns against this deception in eschatology by citing a scenario of events that must first occur (2 Thes 2:3–12) before the end will come. The overall point Paul makes is the need to reject such lies as Satan sends; he also reaffirms the Thessalonians in their calling (2 Thes 2:13–14). They are to uphold what Paul himself has taught (2 Thes 2:15). There is a concluding prayer for their strengthening (2 Thes 2:16–17). As in 2 Thes 1:8–10, the Old Testament provides a good deal of coloring; cf. especially Is 14:13–14; 66:15, 18–21; Ez 28:2–9; Dn 11:36–37. The contents of 2 Thes 2:3b–8 may come from a previously existing apocalypse. The details have been variously interpreted. An alternative to the possibilities noted below understands that an oracular utterance, supposedly coming from a prophetic spirit (2 Thes 2:2–3a), has so disrupted the community’s thinking that its effects may be compared to those of the mania connected with the worship of the Greek god Dionysus. On this view, the writer seems to allude in 2 Thes 2:6–8 to Dionysiac “seizure,” although, of course, ironically, somewhat as Paul alludes to witchcraft (“an evil eye”) in Gal 3:1 in speaking of the threat to faith posed by those disturbing the Galatians (Gal 1:6–7; 5:10b). On this view of 2 Thes 2:2, the Greek participles katechon (rendered above as what is restraining) and katechōn (the one who restrains) are to be translated “the seizing power” in 2 Thes 2:6 and “the seizer” in 2 Thes 2:7. They then allude to a pseudocharismatic force or spirit of Dionysiac character that has suddenly taken hold of the Thessalonian community (see 2 Thes 2:2). The addressees know (2 Thes 2:6) this force or spirit because of the problem it is causing. This pseudocharismatic force or spirit is a kind of anticipation and advance proof of the ultimate, climactic figure (the lawless one or the rebel, 2 Thes 2:3), of which the community has been warned (see note on 1 Thes 3:3). It is, however, only the beginning of the end that the latter’s manifestation entails; the end is not yet. For in the course of the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thes 2:7), false prophetism, after it ceases in the Thessalonian community, will be manifested in the world at large (2 Thes 2:8–12), where it will also be eliminated in turn by the Lord Jesus.
      [2:7–12] The lawless one and the one who restrains are involved in an activity or process, the mystery of lawlessness, behind which Satan stands (2 Thes 2:9). The action of the Lord [Jesus] in overcoming the lawless one is described in Old Testament language (with the breath of his mouth; cf. Is 11:4; Jb 4:9; Rev 19:15). His coming is literally the Lord’s “parousia.” The biblical concept of the “holy war,” eschatologically conceived, may underlie the imagery.

          1. Bob,

            I don’t understand the relevance of “all the nations in the Western Hemisphere.”

            Thanks,

            Tim

          2. Bob,

            For clarification, it is important to distinguish between “every nation in existence at the time” and “every nation intended by Jesus’ reference.” To conflate those two concepts may cause you to miss what Jesus was actually saying.

            Take for example, Daniel’s statement to Nebuchadnezzar:

            “wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.” (Daniel 2:38)

            I am assuming (correct me if I am wrong) that you do not believe Nebuchadnezzar was then reigning over the indigenous people of what is now known as Argentina, or the continent of Antarctica. And yet Daniel, if his words are taken out of their eschatological context, can be construed to mean that Nebuchadnezzar’s dominions had been expanded into the Americas, and even included Antarctica, since there were very probably penguins and other animals residing there at the time. I do not believe that Nebuchadnezzar was then reigning over Argentina and Antarctica.

            Daniel goes on, and says that the next kingdom after Nebuchadnezzar, and the next kingdom after that “shall bear rule over all the earth” (Daniel 2:39), and the next kingdom after that “subdueth all things” (Daniel 2:40). The king of the Greeks is said to rule “on the face of the whole earth” (Daniel 8:5)

            Unless we are willing to concede that Daniel was just wrong (I am not willing to concede that), we have to read his words through the lens of his perspective rather than ours. When he says “wheresoever the children of men dwell,” he is saying, “the whole of the known world.” What Daniel said was true. Nebuchadnezzar was then reigning over the known world.

            Just so, in Acts when it is reported that “there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5), unless we are willing to insist that there were in Jerusalem at the time devout men even from among the indigenous people of what would become Argentina, we need to read the words in the context, and the context is “the known world.” You can see this from the list of “every nation” that follows:

            “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” (Acts 2:8-11)

            Here, “every nation” clearly does not refer to every single nation in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. It refers to the known world.

            In any case, Jesus was speaking in a context that suggests He was referring to the known world, just as Luke was in Acts, and Daniel was as well. The Early Church seemed to understand that, since Clement of Rome (late first century) and Justin Martyr (100 – 165 AD), for example, believed that the apostles had already published the gospel among all nations during the apostolic era:

            “After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects.” (Clement of Rome, to the Corinthians, chapter 5)

            “But our Jesus Christ, being crucified and dead, rose again, and having ascended to heaven, reigned; and by those things which were published in His name among all nations by the apostles, there is joy afforded to those who expect the immortality promised by Him.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 42)

            Thus, to answer your question,

            “So, in your scenario, was the gospel preached to ALL nations?”

            Yes.

            But I do not believe the gospel was at that time preached to the indigenous people of what would become known as Argentina, and I don’t believe Jesus was including the indigenous people of what would become known as Argentina in His reference to “all nations” in Mark 13:10.

            I hope that answers your question.

            Tim

          3. TIM–
            You said: “Here, “every nation” clearly does not refer to every single nation in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. It refers to the known world.”

            But here’s the thing. The “known world” to Daniel during Nebuchadnezzar’s (Babylonian Empire)time was smaller than in Jesus’s time (Roman Empire). And as trade routes were established in farther and farther places, the “known world” got larger and larger with more and more nations to hear the gospel.
            Was the British Islands and Scotland in particular included in the “known world” to Jesus and the apostles? Was India, Tibet, and Far East China?

            I just don’t see how you can apply your timeline to the revealing of the Son of Perdition and not take into account the expansion of the “known world” when referring to only the “known world” in apostolic times. If you are limiting the “known world” to apply to your scenario, then those of us who are in the Western Hemisphere are excluded from bible prophecy.

          4. TIM–
            You asked: “Why does Bible prophecy have to include those of us in the Western Hemisphere?”

            Because we are part of the “known world” today. Are you saying that the “known world” applies to only the geographic “known world” of apostolic times? That’s it? None of bible prophecy applies to the “known world” today?

          5. Bob, I am not sure what you are asking. Your original question was:

            “So, in your scenario, was the gospel preached to ALL nations?”

            To this I answered in the affirmative. You responded:

            “Even ALL the nations in the western hemisphere?”

            I responded that the gospel was preached in all nations of the known world at the time. I provided citations from Clement of Rome and Justin Martyr that the Apostles had preached the gospel in every nation, including the extreme limit of the West, which of course would include the British Isles. Tertullian and Eusebius both testify of this as well, and include everything from India to Britain:

            “and the haunts of the Britons—inaccessible to the Romans, but subjugated to Christ, and of the Sarmatians, and Dacians, and Germans, and Scythians, and of many remote nations, and of provinces and islands many, to us unknown, and which we can scarce enumerate?” (Tertullian, An Answer to the Jews, Chapter 7)

            “How is it possible to think that they were all in agreement to lie, being twelve in number especially chosen, and seventy besides, whom He is said to have sent two and two before His face into every place and country into which He Himself would come? …B ut to preach to all the Name of Jesus, to teach about His marvellous deeds in country and town, that some of them should take possession of the Roman Empire, and the Queen of Cities itself, and others the Persian, others the Armenian, that others should go to the Parthian race, and yet others to the Scythian, that some already should have reached the very ends of the world, should have reached the land of the Indians, and some have crossed the Ocean and reached the Isles of Britain, all this I for my part will not admit to be the work of mere men.” (Eusebius, Demonstration of the Gospel, Book III, chapter 5)

            Daniel’s prophecies are highly geographic. His prophecies of the Babylonian empire speak of the whole world under Babylonian dominion. His prophecies of the Medo-Persian dominion were the whole world at the time. His prophecies of the Greek empire refer to Alexander covering the whole face of the earth. His prophecies of the Roman Empire refer to a beast that “subdueth all.” The “whole world” in Daniel’s prophecies of the succession of empires refers geographically to the reaches of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. Then from the Roman Empire would come up horns signifying a geographic division, just as the geographic division of the four horns of Alexander’s divided empire.

            Does it shock or surprise you that the prophecies of the fragments of the Roman empire together constitute the geographic reaches of the formerly united Roman empire? The prophecies about Babylon were about Babylon. The prophecies of Medo-Persia were about Medo-Persia. The prophecies about Greece are about Greece. The prophecies about the divided Greek Empire are about the geographic reaches of the divided Greek Empire. The prophecies about Rome are about Rome. And yes, the prophecies about the divided roman empire are about the geographic divisions of the divided Roman empire. Jesus’ eschatology is nothing if not Danielic, and when he refers to the whole world in eschatology, He refers to it in Danielic terms. The fact that the gospel had been preached in Africa, Europe, Asia, India and even Britain is consistent with Jesus’ words that the gospel must first be preached in every nation.

            Clement, Justin, Tertullian and Eusebius were under the impression that that had been fulfilled in the apostolic and subapostolic era, and from Eusebius, it appears to have been fulfilled during the apostolic times, such that the gospel had “reached the very ends of the world”, the limits of which were coterminous with the geographic limits of Daniel’s prophecies.

            Correct me if I misunderstand you, but your original question seemed to be offered from the perspective of someone who did not believe anyone would suggest that the gospel had been preached in every nation so early. I maintain that it was and I offered proof. Now you ask,

            Are you saying that the “known world” applies to only the geographic “known world” of apostolic times?

            Yes, I thought I was clear on that. That is why I cited the Acts 2:5 reference to show that “every nation” in Jesus’ day did not include “every nation” in the known world today.

            That’s it? None of bible prophecy applies to the “known world” today?

            You asked, “So, in your scenario, was the gospel preached to ALL nations?”. In the context in which Jesus stated it, the answer is “yes.”

            “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)
            “And the gospel must first be published among all nations.” (Mark 13:10)

            The prophecy of Jesus was in the context of the apostolic era, and in the apostolic era, the gospel was preached from India to Britain.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          6. China was part of the “known world” in apostolic times. The silk road was an important trade route. Rome even had embassies there.
            There is no evidence to Christianity in China until the eighth century. Was China not considered a nation?
            You probably think I am being facetious, but your kind of exegesis doesn’t make any more sense than Ray Sullivan’s Who’s the whore of Babylon.

  2. Tim,

    I’m a little over half way through, and it is just incredible how you are comparing scripture with scripture. Excellent job.

    You might want to put a link into your article about the reference for changing the date of passover. I’m not aware of it, so any reference or link would be helpful to the reader.

    I’m back to reading now…

  3. Incredible article. The best one I’ve read yet as it ties together so nicely from Scripture and history.

    It is going to be so painful to see Jim, Bob and Kirk now come through and blather us to death with Jim’s one liners, and Bob’s wikipedia “corrections” and Kirk profound questions to get everyone to tell them what aunt or grandmother told them God wrote the Bible. Oh, the pain is just soon to begin with another week of foolishness and irrelevant comments.

    However, what is really so fascinating, is that in Tim’s article it is really a perfect mirror of how the Church (those Christians) rose up to rebuke and correct the Romish defenders of their Papal error, heresy and ignorance of Scripture. What the true church did week after week, month after month, year after year to correct Rome is a mirror what we few do here in a similar sense against those Romish/Methodist followers who jump in here seeking to claim superiority over the word of God, and God’s pure testimony from the Scriptures.

    In a real person sense, I can now understand what Tim outlined today that the church testified against Rome and the Romish followers as we do here. Nothing new under the sun!

    Very interesting.

  4. Tim, i too am getting allot out of this article. Tim, i always believe that restrainer in 2 Thess 2 Paul was talking about holding him back, was God ? Is this possible? K

  5. Tim, i need to be more clear. It seems there is only one power that can restrain evil, and that is God. Ive always just assumed the “he” restraining is God. Your thoughts. Thanks

    1. The restraining power has always been the Triune God with the Vicar of Christ, the Holy Spirit, speaking in the Scriptures to Christ’s church. Christ is the head of His church, and rules & reigns from heaven at the right hand of the Father, and directs the Holy Spirit within the individual Christian heart, mind and soul to walk the narrow path, not the broad way of the world. The true Vicar of Christ in the Spirit of God has been given the sole authority to speak in the Scriptures infallibly and inerrantly.

      The Scriptures and the Vicar of Christ are the restraining authority on earth and Pastors, Teachers and Ruling Elders have been cloaked with authority from Christ to represent Him as His servants to proclaim the Gospel, and to execute His church and state governments throughout the earth. Sometimes these periods are more visible and less visible in history, but certainly the invisible, faithful, remnant church has always refused to bow their knees to Baal, and its evil outworkings that have been fulfilled in the Romish anti-Christ.

      That is why it is so interesting to watch that video that Rome is the fulfillment of Baal worship in its origins in history. As a former Roman Catholic, it makes perfect sense to me.

      1. Walt, i completely agree. The Spirit, the true vicar of Christ speaks all God’s truth to the heart of a believer. I think one of Tim’s overall points in the article is one of the great arguments against the infalible Roman church, and that is that individual belivers are comanded by scripture to judge for themselves what is and isnt error, and to hold themselves back from it and come out of it. Dave Anders told me that chrisrians cant sit down with the Spirit and their bible and discern truth. How convienient! But here is what Jesus said ” if someone comes to YOU and says ” I am the Christ” , dont believe him. ” Believers must guard their own souls by the power of the Spirit with the word. K

    2. Thanks, Kevin,

      That’s what makes 2 Thessalonians 2 so interesting. Paul mentions God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Satan and the Man of Sin, but does not identify “what withholdeth” and “he that letteth.” When we understand the Mystery of Iniquity as an internal phenomenon, and compare the writings of the Apostles and their warnings about just such internal problems, and the apostolically prescribed defense against them, it becomes clear that it was the Church that restrained the internal phenomenon, as instructed. The means of course is the Word by the Spirit, so it is by the power and protection of God and His Word that the mystery was restrained. But the Church was equipped to restrain exactly this phenomenon, and it did. But it pleased God to ordain that Antichrist should rise, and He provided a place of security for His people when it happened.

      In any case the rap sheet of the Roman Bishop is a pretty interesting one during those early centuries when the Bishop of Rome was allegedly ruling the Church and allegedly receiving the abject submission of the surrounding bishops. Far from it.

      Thanks,

      Tim

  6. The answer to the final questions Tim asked is Scotland and Ireland, and they they took with them the faithful Scriptures to be translated and preserved for all generations.

    Imagine the look that Kirk would get if he asked these incredible men who carried the Scriptures to Scotland when he said, “Who told you that is the Word of God? Now give me a straight answer!” I suspect they would have gave him a big stare, and just kept on walking shaking there head wondering “How did this Roman Catholic follower get here to badger us? Does he not know his place is in Rome following anti-Christ?”

  7. Walt said ” the answer to the final questions Tim asked is Scottland and Ireland” I would add the Waldensians, Albigensians, people of the Vadois and many others who made up the universal church of ben esse. K

  8. Kevin wrote:

    “Dave Anders told me that chrisrians cant sit down with the Spirit and their bible and discern truth. How convienient! But here is what Jesus said ” if someone comes to YOU and says ” I am the Christ” , dont believe him. ” Believers must guard their own souls by the power of the Spirit with the word.”

    Tim’s point was that the Church was the resisting influence, but of course it was the true and faithful church in well-being. It was not the visible church that was resisting, as the Roman Bishop and “popes” were part of the visible church in being proclaiming Christ along with error, heresy, wickedness, and anti-Christ fundamental principles.

    However, Tim was talking about the true and faithful church in well-being (as described so excellently by the reformers) and the invisible church of Christ that was not so easy to see as was Rome spouting false doctrines.

    The church and its ministers are defined, again excellently in my opinion, by the Session decision below by Covenanters in defining our Terms of Communion. Please read it carefully, slowly and understand what it is saying.

    The true church is out there…and is anti-Christ within the overall visible church. It was no different in the Church of Israel as it is today. A few did not bow their knee to Baal, but within the visible church of Israel, many (99%?) did. The question for every Christian…are you in the 99% Baal worshipers as Israel faced, or are you in the 7000 that the Lord preserved who would not bow their knee to Baal.

    The biblical principle below will help you see the function of the church that Tim has outlined.

    ———
    First, whatsoever reverence or dignity is by the Spirit of God in the Scriptures given to particular men in office, all of it is given, not properly to men themselves, but to the office of the ministry which those men occupy. Those particular men who are called of Christ to serve in an official capacity are “clothed” with the ministry. In essence, the official requirements of the ministry, and the associated spiritual power to fulfil their attendant duties are “committed” unto them (Exod.3:4 and 14:31; Duet.17:9,10; Mal.2:4,6; Ezek.3:17; Jer.23:28 and 1:6; Matt.28:19; Acts 15:10).

    Accordingly, these men, as official ministers called and sent of Christ, have been given a limited ministerial power to make subordinate rules and decrees. These rules and decrees do not bind except where and when they wholly conform to that first infallible and unerring rule prescribed by Christ Himself (Luke 22:25-27; 1Pe5:2,3; 2Tim.3:15,16,17; 1Thess.5:12; Eph.6:1).

    In essence, the authority of all ministerial rules and decrees are founded solely upon and wholly deprived from the Word of God. Not only is the authority associated with ministerial declarations of doctrinal abstractions, such as Confessions of Faith, solely dependent upon the authority of the written Word of God, but also the administration and exercise of the same-the practical out-working of these doctrinal positions in time and history-must also conform to this alone infallible rule, or else such rules, decrees, or practical examples of mere men have no binding authority (Isa.8:19,20; Mal.2:6,7; Matt.28:19).

    In so far as any ministerial declaration or practical application does actually err and decline from that which is taught in God’s Word, these officers do act without power and authority from Jesus Christ. Because they are commissioned by Christ, and clothed with the ministry, ministers may do nothing against the Truth, but only for the Truth (2Cor.13:8), with power that He has given unto edification and not unto destruction (2Cor.13:10).

    It is, therefore, both the duty and privilege of every church member to use his own judgment and discretion in order to examine every thing that a church judicatory decrees or declares.

    If after a diligent and impartial examination, any ministerial decree or practice is found to be “certainly” contrary to God’s Word, then these members are not to bring their conscience in bondage to the mere dictates of men (Isa.9:15,16; Jer.8:8,9; Mal.2:8,9; Isa.40:6-8; Rom.3:4; 1Cor.13:9-12). (The Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton, (1) What authority does that historical testimony which is manifested in our subordinate standards actually possess? (2) What are the criteria by which we judge which subordinate documents are included among the historical testimony contemplated within our six terms of communion?, 1999, pg. 1-2)

  9. Kevin wrote:

    “Walt said ” the answer to the final questions Tim asked is Scottland and Ireland” I would add the Waldensians, Albigensians, people of the Vadois and many others who made up the universal church of ben esse. K”

    I was getting to the root of where those Scriptures went in the 2nd to the 4th centuries that Bob has been waiting all this time to “discover”. His argument has always been if Rome Catholicism is the foundation for the anti-Christ, then where is the true church, and when did it begin. Where did it start if somehow it branched off away from the “true church” of Rome? Tim’s whole series is on the principle that Rome has always proclaimed she is the true Church, and all other churches are false churches. The reformers and Tim argue that it is totally opposite. Rome is the false church, and the elect of God make up the true church.

    I think he will define this true church by following where the Scriptures led men of courage, faith, conviction and may have seen the Romish anti-Christ before anyone…maybe even before many of the Early Church fathers. If Jerome is the fundamental translation author for the Scriptures in the Roman Catholic church, and as Tim has argued made waste of some of the verses that led Rome to become the great anti-Christ, then where did the original copies of the manuscripts of Greek New Testament and Old Testament go?

    Later when did the Hebrew Scriptures come into light within the Christian Church. I have studied this line extensively in the past, and mapped out the history of where the Hebrew Masoretic Text originated and surfaced in the Christian church. For me, many years ago, it was a fascinating study. I never did the same with the Septuagint, but have looked a lot into the Aleppo Codex here:

    http://www.aleppocodex.org/

    Enjoy.

  10. Walt, do you think that its also fair to say that as the church fled to the wilderness that we can also say this was the true visible church fleeing, although it looked a little different in each place. I look at the final Reformed confessions that culminated out of the Reformation, WCF,Helvetic, London Baptust, etc., the amazing consistency in their confessions . While people do not realize from history is the complete disarray, disorginization, steeped in mystycism and idolatry, and papal ignorance ( Priests couldnt list the ten comandments ) that the church of Rome was in thru the dark ages culminated at the Reformation. It was truly apostate. Your thoughts? Thanks K

  11. Kevin said:

    “Walt, do you think that its also fair to say that as the church fled to the wilderness that we can also say this was the true visible church fleeing, although it looked a little different in each place.”

    Indeed. Again, I was only referring to the root of where the faithful Scriptures went very early in Church history. I was not limiting God where He planted churches and harvested those faithful churches. They exited likely all over the world to certain degrees with and without the entire word of God available to them. God is the author of salvation, and where He lights men’s heart on fire for His truth existed all over the world invisibly, but visibly you see it in the groups you mentioned above.

    One easy test I learned growing up as a Roman Catholic: Where ever the Roman Catholic encyclopedia lists as heretics and evil men teaching against the true church of Rome according to this source book, take the opposite as I believe no. Anyone labeled a heretic by Rome, consider them to be a true witness for Christ, and an opposer of anti-Christ.

    The Roman Catholic encyclopedia as growing up it as the source where we could learn of all those heretics against the true church of Rome. Today, it is a good source for me to see in history where the faithful elect of God surfaced to proclaim the gospel of Christ.

  12. Walt, i completely agree, and think you have a good grasp on all this. I always say rather crudely say whoever Rome persecuted probably are the real church, although they persecuted those outside of it also. Certainly the Scottish reformers were crucial in all of this. Tim makes the point that the elect need to be encouraged to come out of that communion. And I think by Tim clarifying the true early church and eventually defining where that church is will give the elect in Rome a tangible alternative. The biggest lie that Rome has convinced not only Catholics, but also some Protestants, is that Rome is the historical church. Anything but. The question needs to be put to wishy washy Prots. Either you are a co laborer with a Catholic in Christ, or they need the gospel. Roman Catholicism isnt another denomination, its another religion. K

  13. Tim said:

    “In any case the rap sheet of the Roman Bishop is a pretty interesting one during those early centuries when the Bishop of Rome was allegedly ruling the Church and allegedly receiving the abject submission of the surrounding bishops. Far from it.”

    Tim, I have a question. I assume you believe that the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scriptures and in history is the Vicar of Christ on earth. If you believe this, I wonder what you think about this issue in light of your comments above. Follow me.

    Great Bible site says:

    “These groupings of papyrus were called a “codex” (plural: “codices”). The oldest copies of the New Testament known to exist today are: The Codex Alexandrius and the Codex Sinaiticus in the British Museum Library in London, and the Codex Vaticanus in the Vatican. They date back to approximately the 300’s AD. In 315 AD, Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identified the 27 Books which we recognize today as the canon of New Testament scripture.

    In 382 AD, the early church father Jerome translated the New Testament from its original Greek into Latin. This translation became known as the “Latin Vulgate”, (“Vulgate” meaning “vulgar” or “common”). He put a note next to the Apocrypha Books, stating that he did not know whether or not they were inspired scripture, or just Jewish historical writings which accompanied the Old Testament.

    The Apocrypha was kept as part of virtually every Bible scribed or printed from these early days until just 120 years ago, in the mid-1880’s, when it was removed from Protestant Bibles. Up until the 1880’s, however, every Christian… Protestant or otherwise… embraced the Apocrypha as part of the Bible, though debate continued as to whether or not the Apocrypha was inspired. There is no truth to the popular myth that there is something “Roman Catholic” about the Apocrypha, which stemmed from the fact that the Roman Catholics kept 12 of the 14 Apocrypha Books in their Bible, as the Protestants removed all of them. No real justification was ever given for the removal of these ancient Jewish writings from before the time of Christ, which had remained untouched and part of every Bible for nearly two thousand years.

    By 500 AD the Bible had been translated into over 500 languages. Just one century later, by 600 AD, it has been restricted to only one language: the Latin Vulgate! The only organized and recognized church at that time in history was the Catholic Church of Rome, and they refused to allow the scripture to be available in any language other than Latin. Those in possession of non-Latin scriptures would be executed! This was because only the priests were educated to understand Latin, and this gave the church ultimate power… a power to rule without question… a power to deceive… a power to extort money from the masses. Nobody could question their “Biblical” teachings, because few people other than priests could read Latin. The church capitalized on this forced-ignorance through the 1,000 year period from 400 AD to 1,400 AD knows as the “Dark and Middle Ages”.”

    In our sermon today the Pastor said that during the Roman Catholic reign of the Middle Ages the Priest would teach only in Latin and would not face the people, but would have his back to the people and face the alter reading and speaking in Latin which nobody could understand. Have you heard of this?

    If the Pope claims to be the Vicar of Christ, and truly removed the Bible from the vulgar language of the people, this means he really totally removed the true Vicar of Christ speaking in the Scriptures from the people. This says to me that the Pope TOTALLY REMOVED from the Christian Church the Vicar of Christ speaking in the Scriptures, and replaced it with himself claiming he was the Vicar of Christ.

    I really wonder if the dates when the Scriptures were totally converted in the Roman Churches to ONLY Latin which many could understand, if it was at this point (or near this time) that the Papacy declared HE WAS THE VICAR OF CHRIST.

    It would make perfect biblical and historical sense if by removing the true Vicar of Christ from the churches and claiming that now the Vicar of Christ was the Pope, that during the middle ages the people fell into utter ignorance and total blindness thanks to the Anti-Christ of Scriptures.

    I’m not sure where you are taking this going forward, but I do think there is merit to following this Scripture translation by Jerome, and what Rome did with this as their “sole source” of Latin text to silence the true Vicar of Christ from the people.

  14. Walt, I know from my study, it is true that the Priest turned his back to the people during mass. The people were far removed from not only the scriptures, but from the altar and the Priest. The historian Dabenet called the mass the grand opera of the poor. Wycliff was hunted down for the crime of translating the bible unto english. And when Mary took over in England, immediately all bibles were confiscated. So if your point is thru the middle ages the Vicar of Christ the Spirit and the word were held back from the people so the pope and his religion could make laws outside of scripture, i say its clear this is the case. Just my opinion from my study. K

  15. Kevin, Tim wrote:

    “When “pope” Victor attempted to force all churches to obey his mandate on the date of Passover, Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, told Victor that his opinions carried no weight outside of Rome.”

    Do you know anything about this statement that Victor attempted to force all churches to “obey his mandate on the date of the Passover”? I’ve never heard of this issue before now reading it in Wikipedia.

    According to Lev.23:5 it says, “5’In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’S Passover. 6’Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.…” so changing it makes no sense to me.

    The Passover is the evening before the Day of Unleavened Bread. There was 7 full weeks (Feast of Weeks) between the Day of Unleavened Bread and the Day of Pentecost/Weeks.

    During the intertestamental period (between Malachi and the birth of Christ—approx. 425 years) the Greek speaking Jews called it the Feast of Weeks, the Day of Pentecost (which means “fifty”, referring to the fifty days after the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) as explained by our Pastor in his November 15, 2015 sermon on the Day of Pentecost.

    I’m going to have to go back and study the sermon to see if there is a reference to the “date” of Passover as perhaps I’ve overlooked it in Scripture.

    It must be this reference in Wikipedia:

    “Quartodecimanism, a word not used in Eusebius’ account as he wrote in Greek, is derived from the Biblical Latin term for the practice of fixing the celebration of Passover for Christians on the fourteenth (Latin quarta decima) day of Nisan in the Old Testament’s Hebrew Calendar (for example Lev 23:5). This was the original method of fixing the date of the Passover, which is to be a “perpetual ordinance”.[1] According to the Gospel of John (for example John 19:14), this was the day that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. (The Synoptic Gospels place the day on 15 Nisan, see also Chronology of Jesus.)….

    Around 195, Pope Victor I, attempted to excommunicate the Quartodecimans, turning the divergence of practice into a full-blown ecclesiastical controversy. According to Eusebius, synods were convened and letters were exchanged, but in the end, having overstepped his mark, Victor, the Bishop of Rome, was rebuked and had to back down.”

    There is no reference to this Victor mandate in Wikipedia to this controversy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_controversy

    1. You can read about Victor’s mandate in Eusebius, Church History, Book V, chapter 28, paragraph 3 here.

      Start at Chapter 23. The Question then agitated concerning the Passover. In the next chapter, it shows how Victor attempts to excommunicate all the churches of Asia.

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Tim, so Victor’s issue was about ex communicating a part of the church for not celebrating a day a certain way? Tim, does this verse aply in your opinion, Colossians ” let no one pass judgment ( disqualify ) you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the thibgs to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” Seems perspicuous doesnt it. Perhaps Victor was unaware of the discontinuity between OT and NT. Or perhaps that was a problem of the whole church at the time. Or maybe Im misreading this. Thanks K

  16. Tim wrote:

    “You can read about Victor’s mandate in Eusebius, Church History, Book V, chapter 28, paragraph 3 here.

    Start at Chapter 23. The Question then agitated concerning the Passover. In the next chapter, it shows how Victor attempts to excommunicate all the churches of Asia.”

    Hmmm, I read everything. Chapter 28 seems to be discussing the heresy of those denying the deity of Christ, not the mandate of Victor to change the Passover date. Starting at Chapter 23 indeed does discusses the controversy. I’ll read it again and see if I can get it straight. I’m not even sure what date he was trying to change. Perhaps I’ve been reading to much my mind is losing its capabilities. Time for a cup of tea!

    1. Sorry. 28 was a typo. Here is chapter 24:

      1. But the bishops of Asia, led by Polycrates, decided to hold to the old custom handed down to them. He himself, in a letter which he addressed to Victor and the church of Rome, set forth in the following words the tradition which had come down to him:
      2. We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate.

      3. He fell asleep at Ephesus.

      4. And Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna.

      5. Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito, the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead?

      6. All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven.

      7. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’ Acts 5:29

      8. He then writes of all the bishops who were present with him and thought as he did. His words are as follows:

      I could mention the bishops who were present, whom I summoned at your desire; whose names, should I write them, would constitute a great multitude. And they, beholding my littleness, gave their consent to the letter, knowing that I did not bear my gray hairs in vain, but had always governed my life by the Lord Jesus.

      9. Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate.
      10. But this did not please all the bishops. And they besought him to consider the things of peace, and of neighborly unity and love. Words of theirs are extant, sharply rebuking Victor.

  17. Tim, you probably have read all this, but I just read it after clicking on “episcopate” that was defined for Eletherus who served 13 years before handing the reigns to Victor.

    I’m starting (I think) figure out this division you reference of the diocese. However, in the Catholic Encyclopedia they don’t mention the changing of the Diocese that you have in the past. Is this left out for any particular reason? Hmmm.

    ————-
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05001a.htm

    A Diocese is the territory or churches subject to the jurisdiction of a bishop.

    Originally the term diocese (Gr. dioikesis) signified management of a household, thence administration or government in general. This term was soon used in Roman law to designate the territory dependent for its administration upon a city (civitas). What in Latin was called ager, or territorium, namely a district subject to a city, was habitually known in the Roman East as a diœcesis. But as the Christian bishop generally resided in a civitas, the territory administered by him, being usually conterminous with the juridical territory of the city, came to be known ecclesiastically by its usual civil term, diocese. This name was also given to the administrative subdivision of some provinces ruled by legates (legati) under the authority of the governor of the province. Finally, Diocletian designated by this name the twelve great divisions which he established in the empire, and over each of which he placed a vicarius (Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Stuttgart, 1903, V, 1, 716 sqq.). The original term for local groups of the faithful subject to a bishop was ekklesia (church), and at a later date, paroikia, i.e. the neighbourhood (Lat. porœcia, parochia). The Apostolic Canons (xiv, xv), and the Council of Nicæa in 325 (can. xvi) applied this latter term to the territory subject to a bishop. This term was retained in the East, where the Council of Constantinople (381) reserved the word diocese for the territory subject to a patriarch (can. ii). In the West also parochia was long used to designate an episcopal see. About 850 Leo IV, and about 1095 Urban II, still employed parochia to denote the territory subject to the jurisdiction of a bishop. Alexander III (1159-1181) designated under the name of parochiani the subjects of a bishop (c. 4, C. X, qu. 1; c. 10, C. IX, qu. 2; c. 9, X, De testibus, II, 20). On the other hand, the present meaning of the word diocese is met with in Africa at the end of the fourth century (cc. 50, 51, C. XVI, qu. 1), and afterwards in Spain, where the term parochia, occurring in the ninth canon of the Council of Antioch, held in 341, was translated by “diocese” (c. 2, C. IX, qu. 3). See also the ninth canon of the Synod of Toledo, in 589 (Hefele, ad h. an. and c. 6, C. X, qu. 3). This usage finally became general in the West, though diocese was sometimes used to indicate parishes in the present sense of the word (see PARISH). In Gaul, the words terminus, territorium, civitas, pagus, are also met with.

  18. Tim,

    I’m a little confused as to what “pope” Victor was trying to do, and what the early Church was seeking to defend. Follow me.

    “11 Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you [n]live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you [o]to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

    The Passover was a sign in eating the first born Paschal lamb and afterward taking the blood of the lamb and placing it upon above the door of the house of the Israelite’s. This SIGN would (let me repeat SIGN) was used to signify to the angel of death who would go throughout Egypt that night and kill all the first born children that those with the blood sign should be spared. The wrath of God was set in motion, but the SIGN of eating the lamb and placing the blood above the door was deliverance for Israel from the wrath of God, and giving them freedom to escape Egypt after that night’s events.

    Yes, I understand there were specific dates each year (see my reference above) that Israel was required to celebrate this feast perpetually. I assume this was the date in question by Victor and the early church.

    However, Christ fulfilled this Passover in the room the night he was to celebrate the Passover, but in the midst of the Passover celebration he CHANGED the SIGN to remember HIM as being the soon to be sacrificed lamb of God, and that HIS blood would be shed. This SIGN and SEAL at the Lord’s Supper that He instituted pointed to His fulfillment as the true Passover to spare His elect given Him by His Father from all the wrath to come upon those who have not received Christ alone, in faith alone, by grace alone.

    This DATE that is in question that Victor and the early church fathers are all discussing is confusing me. What is this Passover Date that is to be instituted (and not changed) in the New Testament? Please help me understand.

    The Lord’s Supper is to be offered as a sign and seal as Christ instituted it with the sign of unleavened bread signifying His body, which is why He passed it around the table for all to partake. Then the wine was to signify His blood which would be shed for their sins as His elect and save them from the wrath of God coming to all mankind.

    There is no date of the Lord’s Supper in the Scriptures. There is no reason to argue about a date. To claim that there is some sort of date to be identified for Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God is unknown to me in Scripture.

    Where these men trying to link the Passover supper and the Lord’s supper to the Roman Catholic holiday of Easter celebration? Or, were they attempting to CONTINUE the biblical old testament feast of Passover, and keep the same date for a perpetual celebration after Christ was slain as the lamb of God to remember Him every year on “Passover date”?

    “6. All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven.”

    What? I’m confused.

  19. I think I just figured it out. They want to change the Lord’s Day that is celebrated weekly in worship of Christ as our Passover to Saturday mass? Certainly, these who are proclaiming the celebration of Passover, and think this is Easter as an appointed Holy Day have significantly misunderstood Scripture. The Lord’s Day is our weekly Sabbath and celebration of Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension to the Father. Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath.

    What are the talking about when they say, “the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith.”?

    Shed some light on this early church tradition for me? I hope this does not lead into the Roman Catholic church ultimately creating Easter and really messing up the Eucharist celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

    1. Walt,

      They were simply commemorating the day of the actual calendar day of the Lord’s suffering. You can see the dispute summarized here in paragraph 1 of Chapter 23, Book V of Eusebius’ Church History:

      “1. A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour’s passover. It was therefore necessary to end their fast on that day, whatever day of the week it should happen to be. But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this time, as they observed the practice which, from apostolic tradition, has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the resurrection of our Saviour.”

      They understood that the Lord’s Supper was instituted at the Feast of Passover, and though they celebrated the Lord’s Supper weekly, the annual recognition of the day of Christ’s suffering was important to them.

      Some Churches thought it should be commemorated on the precise calendar day, the 14th day of the new moon of Nisan, according to the Old Testament dating system. They were called the Quartodecimans (for the 14th). Whichever day of the week was the 14th of the New Moon was the day they ended their fast. Others thought, no matter which day was the Passover according to the Jewish Calendar, if we are to fast, let us break that fast on Sunday, the day of the resurrection. Different parishes or congregations had different customs, and Victor insisted that people were heretics unless they did it his way. Otherwise, they should be excommunicated. Thus he attempted to excommunicate the brethren as Diotrephes had tried to do (3 John 9-10).

      You can see this issue arise in a statement made by Aphrahat in his Demonstration on the Passover Sacrifice:

      “Since you have been persuaded, you can now persuade the brothers, the members of your congregation who are troubled about the time of the Passover. It is not difficult for those with sound judgement to understand these things. If the day of the Passover sacrifice, which is the suffering of our Saviour, should fall for us on the first [day] of the week, according to the Law we ought to make it [fall] on the second day, so that his whole week might be observed with his suffering and his unleavened bread. … If the suffering [of our Saviour] should fall on another one of the days of the week, we are not troubled by these things, since our great day is Friday.”

      As you can see, Aphrahat took a position against Quartodecimianism.

      It was not about changing the day to Saturday or corrupting the Lord’s Supper. It was simply about what day to celebrate the actual crucifixion of Christ. Should we do it on the actual day? Or should we adjust the celebration so that the fast terminates on Sunday morning? Lacking any Scriptural warrant for even imposing the fast in the first place, it was simply a different tradition developed in different parts of the world and nobody had a right to impose his tradition on everyone else.

      Firmilian, in his response to Cyprian, made note of the controversy, and makes the same point Irenæus did in his sharp rebuke of Victor, namely that the dating of the celebration should not destroy the peace and unity of the Church as pope Stephen is now doing:

      “But that they who are at Rome do not observe those things in all cases which are handed down from the beginning, and vainly pretend the authority of the apostles; any one may know also from the fact, that concerning the celebration of Easter, and concerning many other sacraments of divine matters, he may see that there are some diversities among them, and that all things are not observed among them alike, which are observed at Jerusalem, just as in very many other provinces also many things are varied because of the difference of the places and names. And yet on this account there is no departure at all from the peace and unity of the Catholic Church, such as Stephen has now dared to make;” (Cyprian of Carthage, Letter 74, From Firmilian, Against the Letter of Stephen, paragraphs 6).

      I hope that helps you understand the controversy. This little tempest that erupted lends some aid to us now in understanding the Early Church. First, they despised Rome’s attempt to rule over the brethren, and second, it was in response to this controversy that Aphrahat reminds us that the day of the Jews celebrate Passover (Thursday the 14th) hardly matters to us anyway, “since our Great Day is Friday,” not Thursday night, as Roman Catholicism now claims. “Our Great Day is Friday” is not something you would say if you believed that Jesus had set us free from our sins the night before in the “Sacrifice of the Mass.”

      Thanks,

      Tim

  20. Tim, I just watched a tv special on National Geographic Explorer called the Cult of Mary. It was a trip into modern day Mary devotion around the world. It involves a place Caritas and the fallout of those who were caught up in it and their exit from that cult. It also dealt with the Roman church’s not knowing what to do with the outbreaks in churches of all these apparitions and those applying for apparition miracles. This special actually says the church is concerned that the apparitions are becoming to big and its focus off of Christ. It was fascinating. I dont know how recent this was done, but it seems like its out of controll even for Rome. They cant handle the escalation of their own idolatries. Anazing. K

    1. Yes, the apparition phenomenon is pervasive. The visions vary in their messages, duration, frequency and approval by the church, but there is one thing they are consistent in: everyone needs to spend more time adoring “her” son in the Eucharist.

      Thanks,

      Tim

  21. Tim, re reading the article, I missed something. You are saying the ” who” now restrains and the ” he” that is taken out of the way are the same, the church, am I correct? This gave me the shivers, I dont know how I missed this yesterday. And it is consistent with Rev 12 the church flying off to the wilderness. It cant refer to the lawless one because the next verse says ” THEN the lawless one will be revealed” Am I correct to say ( and if you covered this forgive me) that the church flew off before the little horn pops up. It would seem like that is what Paul said. When Paul says to them, dont you remember I was telling you these things before, and then , the mystery of lawlessness is already ar work, he saw something like Romanism coming. I often wonder to myself that the profundity of the book of Romans, and the subject matter written to that specific church ( namely the complete falleness of man, jbfa, the glory of the resurection), God was shining a brighter light in that Epistle for the true church because of what was going to happen in the Roman church. I want to watch it and not read to much here. Thanks Tim

  22. WALT–
    You said: “It is going to be so painful to see Jim, Bob and Kirk now come through and blather us to death with Jim’s one liners, and Bob’s wikipedia “corrections” and Kirk profound questions to get everyone to tell them what aunt or grandmother told them God wrote the Bible. Oh, the pain is just soon to begin with another week of foolishness and irrelevant comments.”

    But you also said:
    “Tim,
    I’m going to have to step back from your blog for a while. Today I was gently rebuked in our corporate worship public prayer for generally violating 2 Timothy 3-5 (For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.)
    We are taught in Scripture to beware of false teachers and we can know them by their fruits (Matt.7:16). We know them by their doctrine and worship, and you and I both know that we have strong differences in our understanding of biblical (reformed) doctrine such as the issue of celebrating Christmas, regulative principle of worship (e.g., exclusive psalmody, use of instrumental music in public worship), binding nature of covenants, binding nature of confessions & creeds agreeable to Scripture that have been ratified by faithful Christian courts (faithful subordinate standards), occasional hearing, binding nature of terms of communion, etc.
    In history, we have seen those like Joseph Smith (prophet) and Ellen G. White (prophetess) who have deviated from historical, biblical reformed tradition, and established entire denominations upon their visions and prophetic interpretations. I am not saying you have had any visions, but certainly you are teaching against all of the reformed church, the early church fathers and the Apostles in historic eschatology and the rebuke I was given today is a public warning that I’m going to be easily deceived with itchy ears.
    Near all the reformers and early church fathers had agreement as our previous sermon quote makes clear as to how post millennial eschatology is to be interpreted in Scripture, and you have given us not one historical figure that has agreed (unfortunately) with your public position.
    The Apostles and Jesus Himself must have seen Dan.9:24 as Messianic, and there is no evidence that no Jewish church leader would have seen Dan.9 as Mosaic. Certainly, there has never been an early church father, nor any reformer that has your interpretation. How can you be right when the entire history of the faithful, remnant Christian church be wrong?
    My dad used to ask me the same question over and over. How could I and less than 50 covenanters in our church claim to be right against 1 billion Roman Catholics? It was the joke in my family to stand against 1 billion Roman Catholics when I chose to leave the church and become Charismatic-Jack Van Impe follower. Then to leave that to chase Rushdoony and other God’s Law, Baptist types was even more laughable.
    All Covenanters and reformed agree on historical eschatology, and there is not one chance they could be wrong. Chasing a lone prophecy wolf like Joseph Smith or Ellen G. White on a new prophecy trail is not only dangerous, but in light of our extreme differences in doctrine and pure worship (just like I have against Mormons & Adventists), Scripture tells me to beware of itchy ears.
    I’m not saying we don’t have agreement in identifying the Papacy as antichrist, but I’m saying that you have totally overturned all post-mill historicist Ministers and Pastors with interpretations that are dangerous to lead many astray.
    Please know I will be reading your series, but I must refrain from any support to avoid being preached against, or being rebuked in public prayers in our service. I do pray you will learn the true reformed, biblical teaching on eschatology, and repent for your backsliding and errors.

    So are you not a Covenanter anymore, or was that rebuke too gentle?

  23. Hi Tim, if you can ( since I know you are in the middle of a complete series) give me an overall outline of your perspective. IOW, I know you are going to tie in where the church went ( which has been really interesting) to eschatology, but can you give me an understanding of where in revelation has not been fullfilled yet, and if you are historic premill? I think if I had a better overall picture of how this plays in. One of only real hangups in Reformed eschatology is all the verses in the OT that specifically talk about the future of the nation of Iarael. I never really bought the dispensational view, however its hard to spiritualize all the verses that speak of literal Israel and its future. I have fully embraced the historicist position. And you have convinced me of prophecy in Daniel that is Mosaic fulfillment. Now im trying to piece the rest together. Anything you can tell me about overall picture will help. Thanks K

  24. Tim,
    I recently stumbled upon a blog called “Lonely Pilgim”. In the comment rules it says no trolling allowed. It goes on to define just what the term “troll” means. Click on and see if it is anyone you know.
    ( Hint: His initials are K.F. )
    http://lonelypilgrim.com/about/comment-policy/

    It’s exactly what I said about Kevin two weeks ago. He posts for one reason only; to OFFEND.

    1. Jim, I read the lonely pilgrim definition of a troll. I think the lonely pilgrim is right, especially the part about “no redeeming message and no interest in meaningful discussion.” That suits you to a T.

      Based on your insistence that trolls be excluded, you can consider that your last comment at Out of His Mouth.

      Goodbye.

      Tim

  25. Tim said:

    “….“no redeeming message and no interest in meaningful discussion.” That suits you to a T.

    Based on your insistence that trolls be excluded, you can consider that your last comment at Out of His Mouth.”

    You know it is really sad with Jim. It would have been so great to have found a Roman Catholic to have really brought positive discussion to this blog. Almost all of us who comment are former Roman Catholics, and while it is clear NO Roman Catholic understands anything about its papal religion, Jim was one of those who loved Mary and the saint’s so much that he was sort of the perfect model Catholic to educate on the sin of this common Catholic idolatry. However, the troll definition fits Jim to the tee. He never wanted to provide any redeeming messages nor did he want to provide meaningful discussion. He simply desired to slur people’s comments that did not fit his Romish presupposition, and make jokes about people hoping to discourage them to leave the discussion.

    He is sort of the backyard bully we had growing up to some degree. One who knew how to us words to hurt people’s feelings, and back it up with the power of the fist. Jim is really the opposite of most Roman Catholics in this regard. Most I know are super liberal in politics, and so nice and kind to everyone. They would break there backs trying to help anyone (no matter their faith or religion or color) that needed help. My dad was this way as a dedicated Roman Catholic. I know a local lawyer like this who bends over backwards to help everyone he can…many without money to even pay…and he just loves being Catholic and being part of the Catholic mob they call these guys who will be there to help anyone.

    Certainly, it just dawned on me that the Italian and Mexican drug mafia are the opposite of what I mention as those who help people (except their families which they worship), but they all claim mostly to be devout Roman Catholics and worshipers of the Pope. Think about it. Rome definitely has a broad spectrum of followers…those who are sincerely wicked and ready to murder anyone in their way and those who are sincerely liberal willing to help anyone that calls for help.

    Interesting.

  26. Walt, i completely agree that Roman Catholics my wife and I know are wonderful people, very nice and loving in so many ways. However, what I have experienced is visible morality is deceptive. With our closest Catholic friends, who are known as the most respectful and upright members of their community, when we brought up the gospel and tried to talk to them about their church, it was like DrvJeckl and Mr Hyde. This taught me allot, namely when error is confronted with truth, it will never go well, no matter how winsome we are, and we should always be loving in presenting the truth. Tolerance can tolerate everything but intolerance. This has been my experience. K

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