Come Hell or High Water, part 7

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)

We continue now with our series on Revelation 12, a chapter that is an Exodus narrative in which the Woman is shown fleeing from the error of that proceeds from the mouth of the devil and seeking her place of safety in the wilderness. As we have noted in this series, the Woman of Revelation 12 must have taken her leave sometime between the end of the Diocletianic persecution (313 A.D.) and the rise of Roman Catholicism to the seat of civil power among the fragments of the Roman Empire in the last decade of the 4th century.

In our previous installment, we noted that many saints took their leave at about the time Roman Catholicism was coming to power, and their objections were consistently raised against the oppressive hierarchy of Roman Catholicism, clerical celibacy, the continuation of the Passover sacrifice in the form of the Lord’s Supper, prayers for the dead, intercession of the saints, the inordinate magnification of Mary, the veneration of human remains in the form of relics, veneration of the wood of the cross, baptismal regeneration and Roman primacy. These objections were raised by Christians who protested against the new apostasy of Roman Catholicism, and even Roman Catholic scholars have acknowledged these men as the early Protestants that they clearly were.

The result of the late-4th century Roman Catholic apostasy and the concurrent Protest against the novelties was the continuation of the True Church in the wilderness, while Roman Catholicism rose to civil power as the Fifth Empire after Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. Roman Catholicism itself was the “falling away” of which Paul had warned (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and took its place as the successor to the Roman Empire, as Daniel had foreseen. The people who protested against the new Roman State Church comprised the Woman of Revelation 12, wandering in the wilderness, safe from the doctrinal errors let loose in the flood that emerged from the Serpent’s mouth. The Catholic Encyclopedia briefly acknowledges the existence of this “non-Catholic” church that resisted the novelties and existed in parallel with Roman Catholicism. The Encyclopedia complains that its leaders “taught doctrines and made use of ceremonies at variance with the teaching and use of the Roman Church, especially in regard to the celebration of Easter [i.e., Passover], the conferring of baptism, celibacy, [and] the papal and episcopal authority” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Saint Boniface).

Yes, they certainly did.

We recall from our previous posts that Vigilantius, had objected to the introduction of relic veneration, criticizing to the introduction of a “heathen ceremony … under the cloak of religion” (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, paragraph 4). Sarmatio and Barbatianus had objected to Ambrose’s magnification of consecrated virginity and marital abstinence above conjugal union (Ambrose, Epistle 63, paragraph 7), and Jovinianus had insisted, against Jerome, that Jesus had been born in the usual way, and that Mary’s physical virginity was therefore not preserved in childbirth (Jerome, Letter 48, paragraph 21). Cyril of Jerusalem had encountered resistance to his novel teachings on praying for the dead (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 23, paragraphs 9-10), and his critics claimed that he was “inventing subtleties” regarding veneration of the pieces of the Cross (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 13, paragraph 19). Ærius, too, objected to prayers for the dead, and to the re-institution of the Jewish Passover sacrifice through the novelty of the sacrifice of the Mass, for “Christ was [already] sacrificed for our Passover” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 3.5)

We have on several occasions proposed that if we could identify the flood of Revelation 12, then we could find the Woman of Revelation 12 too, for the Woman, like “a wise man, which built his house upon a rock,” could not be shaken when the flood came (Matthew 7:24-25). The Woman, as John tells us, had built her house upon the Word of God, for in the Wilderness she is fed (Revelation 12:6) and “nourished” (Revelation 12:14) by her Lord, and her children “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).

In the latter part of the 4th century, Satan let loose a flood of error. Almost the whole world fell for it, and the religion that rose up in the midst of the flood is what we now call Roman Catholicism. Very many fell away into the error. A few faithful Christians appealed to the Scriptures to raise a Protest and rejected the novelties. We are not surprised to find the Woman’s voice crying in wilderness—a simple people, nourished by the Word of God, who believed in Christ and were resistant to the idolatrous strains of Rome’s siren song of error and novelties—just as John had foreseen.

In our previous post we highlighted the spread of the Gospel in France in the mid-5th century, and Pope Celeste’s complaint that foreign priests disguised as “pilgrims and strangers” were teaching things “contrary to the custom of the Church” (Celeste, Epistle 2, Ad Episcopos provinciæ Viennensis & Narbonensis; see Poisson, cols. 181-184). We noted as well the surprise and chagrin of Archbishop Boniface in the mid-eighth century, arriving as a missionary in Germany only to find there a full-fledged church operating independently of Rome, wandering about in his diocese, its leaders “disguised under the name of bishops or priests,” meeting in “separate assemblies,” and “in strange places” (Pope Zachary, Epistle X to Boniface; for original, see Sacrosancta Concilia, Tomus Sextus (Lutetiæ Parisiorum, 1671) cols 1518-1522).

In this post we now turn our attention eastward to Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) where we last saw Ærius in the late-4th century complaining about prayers for the dead, the mass sacrifice and the illegitimate civil power of the office of the bishop. Here in the mid-6th century, we find a thriving church, independent of Rome and in a state of perpetual Protest against her novelties. The Council of Dvin (550 A.D.), Photius I of Constantinople (c.  810 – c. 893), Petrus Siculus and John of Damascus are our witnesses to the faith and testimony of the Paulicians, and we are not surprised to find their detractors confounded by the existence of a separate church that was both well versed in Scripture and stubbornly resistant to Roman novelties.

Photius complained that these men dismiss Rome’s claim to primacy, “blaspheme” the virgin Mary, deny her perpetual virginity, reject the sacrifice of the Mass, oppose the idolatrous veneration of the Wood of the Cross, and deny baptismal regeneration. Peter Siculus complained that they rejected the Roman interpretation of John 6 and the Last Supper, and Chrysostom complained that their clergy “openly cohabit with women,” and paid no honor to the “venerable images of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” and “our Immaculate Lady.”

These faithful men, known to history as Paulicians, were identified as heretics at the 2nd Council of Dvin in 555 A.D. (Garsoïan, Nina G., The Paulician Heresy (Paris: Mouton & Col (1967) 51), and answered Rome’s novelties with the same informed Scriptural fortitude that had so enraged Jerome, Ambrose, Siricius, Cyril and Epiphanius against Jovinianus, Vigilantius, Sarmatio, Barbatianus, Ærius and the rest of the early Protestants.

Resistance to the Flood

Rejection of Roman Primacy

Among his first complaints regarding the Paulicians was that they claimed to be true Christians and that the “Romanists” were criminal interlopers:

“Και τους μεν αληθως οντας Χριστιανους Ρωμαιους, οι τρισαλιτηριοι ονομαζουσιν.” (Photius, Contra Manichaeos, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 6 (Migne, Patrologia Graeca (P.G.), vol 102, col. 24).

“These men believe that they are the true Christians, and Romanists the most wicked of men.”

Here the Paulicians appear to have grasped the significance of the new world empire, a successor to Rome but more wicked, as the prophets and apostles had foretold. They rejected the new Roman Catholic Empire, and all of its attendant novelties. In this, they bear the marks of the Early Church, as evidenced by 2nd century Mathetes, who rejected the core principle of Roman Primacy:

“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)

As we observed in our series, The Visible Apostolicity of the Invisibly Shepherded Church, the only chief metropolis of the new religion of Christianity was the Heavenly Jerusalem, and there was no need, or desire, for a Christian city or an earthly shepherd to govern Christ’s Church.

Rejection of Marian Devotion

Photius reports that the Paulicians acknowledged Mary as “Theotokon,” but only in the sense that Christ entered her and passed through her into the world. They granted to her no more honors than that:

“Πιστευομεν εις την παναγιαν Θεοτoκον εν η εισηλθεν και εξηλθεν ο Κυριο.” (Photius, Contra Manichaeos, book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 7, P.G. v. 102, col 25)

“We believe in the Holy Theotokon, into whom, and out of whom, the Lord passed.”

Photius was offended that they would concede the title, Theotokon, to Mary but would not load it with the idolatrous connotations of the Latin rendering, Dei Genetrix, “Mother of God.” In the “Panagian Theotokon” the Paulicians could only see what must be true of every believer—that Christ must be born in each of us, just as Paul had written:

“Και τοις ρημασι τουτοις την ανω υποβαλλουσιν Ιερουσαλημ, και φασιν εν αυτη προδρομον υπερ ημων εισελθειν τον Χριστον, ως και ο θειος Αποστολος εφη.”

“And this is said of the Heavenly Jerusalem, and that which is said of her [Mary] is a precursor to Christ coming into us, as the Holy Apostle wrote.” (Photius, Contra Manichaeos book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 7, P.G. v. 102, col 25)

The Paulicians had simply invoked Galatians 4, Paul’s description of himself in childbirth pains “until Christ be formed in you” (v. 19) and his instruction that “Jerusalem which is above … is the mother of us all” (v. 26). Christ had entered Mary, but it was just as true that He must be born in any child of God, and it was to the Heavenly Jerusalem, not to Mary, that the children of God owed their allegiance.

Their detractors—ill-equipped to comprehend such conviction, and predisposed to interpret any statement from the Paulicians in the worst possible way—have taken this to mean that the Jesus had not really taken his body from Mary, and that the Heavenly Jerusalem was Jesus’ mother, not Mary. In their mind, the Paulician position was a denial of the incarnation (e.g., Garsoïan, 171).

In reality, the Paulician response was in conformity with the thinking of the Early Church, and importantly, with Christ Himself. It was Jesus, after all, Who said that His followers were blessed “rather” than the womb that bore Him, and the breasts that nursed Him (Luke 11:27-28), and that “whosoever shall do the will of God … is my … mother” (Mark 3:35). Jesus, whenever someone came to Him elevating His physical, genetic relationship to Mary, immediately elevated the believer to the same level, and downplayed the physical, as if the spiritual relationship to Him was more important. This view—that Christ had transferred the blessings of Mary to all believers—is found in Tertullian (On the Flesh of Christ, chapter 7, and Against Marcion, Book IV, chapter 19), as well as in John Chrysostom (Homilies in Matthew, Homily 44.2). The “heretical interpretation of the Gospels to mean that Christ had transferred the particular blessings of Mary, his mother, to all believers” is a charge leveled against the Paulicians, as if they had introduced a novelty (Garsoïan, 110), but it is clear that the Paulicians believed what Christ had taught them from the Scriptures. They can hardly be faulted for imitating their Master so well.

It is clear in any case that the Paulicians, in their careful appropriation of the title, Theotokon, approached Mary just as the early church had. They acknowledged the blessing she enjoyed, and that she had given birth to him, but rejected the deluge of late 4th century superstitious novelties about her. The word “theotokos” (bearer of God) is freely used of her, but not “theogonias” (generator of God).

Lactantius wrote (between 303 and 311 A.D.) of the distinction between Christ’s eternal generation by His Father—in which generation “He was ‘motherless'”—and his birth by Mary—in which birth He was “fatherless.” In Lactantius’ view, Mary was Christ’s mother only in the sense that Jesus was the son of Man, but not in His divine generation (Lactantius, Divine Institutes, Book IV, chapter 13).

We recall as well that Alexander of Alexandria (324 A.D.) had used the term “Theogonias” (θεογονιας) in reference to “His divine generation by the Father,” but then in the same paragraph referred to Mary as “Theotoko” (θεοτοκου) when explaining that Jesus took on a physical body (Alexander of Alexandria, Epistles on Ariansms, 1.12). In this manner, the early church drew a bright line between Christ’s birth from Mary and His eternal generation by the Father.

Augustine, too, had insisted as much—namely that Christ was “begotten of the Father without a mother” and that to the degree that Mary was His mother, it was only in the sense of Him taking on flesh (Augustine, Tractates on the Gospel of John, Tractate 8, paragraphs 8-9).

The similarity we notice—from Lactantius to the Paulicians—is that they all acknowledged Jesus’ divine generation from His Father, and His human flesh from Mary. In that sense, Mary was a conduit through Whom the eternally pre-existant Jesus came into the world, just as the Paulicians described. But insofar as He is God—they all agreed—He had no mother, and thus would never have entertain the title, “Mother of God.”

Denial of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

Photius also complained that the Paulicians would only grant that Mary was a Virgin at Christ’s birth, but would not agree that she remained perpetually so. Christ had come from the Virgin (εκ της Παρθενου), they agreed, but after His birth, Mary had born other sons to Joseph (τοκον ετερους υιους εκ του Ιοσηφ παιδοποιησαι) (Photius, Contra Manichaeos, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 7, P.G. v. 102, col 25).

In Roman Catholicism Mary is not only considered a virgin at Christ’s conception as the Scriptures plainly teach (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:26-34), but her physical virginity is preserved in childbirth such that she had no pain or tearing, and her virginity is preserved thereafter in marriage, having neither sexual relations with, nor children by, Joseph. The Scriptures, however, make no mention of Mary’s painless parturition, and use language wholly incompatible with these Roman Catholic novelties. That Joseph “knew her not till she had brought forth” Jesus (Matthew 1:25) is not the language of perpetual virginity, and the multiple references to Jesus’ brothers and sisters (Matthew 12:47, Mark 3:32, Mark 6:3, Galatians 1:19) indicate plainly that Mary and Joseph enjoyed sustained and fruitful sexual relations after Christ was born. The Paulicians had simply recited what they understood from the Scriptures.

Photius, of course, stood aghast that the Paulicians had entertained of Mary notions about which the Scriptures are explicit, and could not grasp that it was the Paulicians who stood closer to apostolic truth and that it was he who had embraced the novel errors of Antichrist. As preeminent Roman Catholic Mariologist, Fr. Juniper Carol acknowledged, “even in the middle of the fourth century, [we still find] persons, sometimes of considerable authority and prestige, who attributed to Jesus a veritable cortege of brothers and sisters,” and the matter of Mary’s perpetual virginity was settled dogmatically “toward the year 400” (Juniper Carol, The Perpetual Virginity of the Mother of God, Part II). No, it was not the Paulicians who had subscribed to novelties. It was the Romanists.

Rejection of the Veneration of the Cross

Photius was puzzled by the Paulicians’ refusal to venerate what he called “the life-giving cross” (“ζωοποιον δε σταυρον”). They insisted instead (as Photius would have us believe) that Christ Himself was the cross, for He had taken that shape when His hands were spread forth at the crucifixion (“εις σταυρου σχημα τας χειρας εξηπλωσε”.) It was He, not the wood, that was to be adored (Photius, Contra Manichaeos, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 7, col 25).

That Christ should be worshiped, instead of the instrument by which He was killed, is hardly puzzling, for Christ taught us that it was He, not the Cross, that would be lifted up (John 3:14), and by being lifted up, He, not a cross of wood, that would draw all men to Himself (John 12:32). When Paul refers to the cross in the New Testament, he does so in shorthand, as it were, using the cross to summarize the Gospel itself (1 Corinthians 1:18, Galatians 5:11, 6:12, 6:14, Ephesians 2:16, Philippians 2:8, 3:18, Colossians 1:20, 2:14). We are not instructed in the Scriptures to preach the literal cross of Christ, nor lift it up that men may kneel before it. The Paulicians, like the early Christians, apparently had simply reminded their persecutors that it was Jesus, not the cross, that was the object of our affection and worship. Their persecutors misunderstood the significance of their refusal to bow to the cross and interpreted that refusal in the most ridiculous way possible—as if the Paulicians had insisted that Jesus Himself was the Cross.

It is noteworthy that Minucius Felix (d. 250 A.D.), explaining that Christians have no images, insisted rather that the only occurrence of an actual cross in Christian worship is the shape that results “when a man adores God with a pure mind, with hands outstretched” (Minucius Felix, Octavius, chapter 29), a phrase and a sentiment remarkably similar to the alleged expression of the Paulicians. Felix willingly accepts the charge that Christians use “no altars, no temples, no acknowledged images” (chapter 10), and explains further that it is the Romans, not the Christians, who “adore wooden crosses” (chapter 29)—the very words the Paulicians could have used justifiably against their Roman Catholic accusers.

Rejection of the Sacrifice of the Mass

To the dismay of Photius, the Paulicians also understood that Jesus had instituted a memorial meal, not a sacrifice, and in the Lord’s Supper, they denied that we had been instructed to sacrifice the bread and wine:

“…μεταδιδοντα τοις αποστολοις ειπειν ‘Δαβετε, φαγετε και πιετε,’ αλλ ουκ αρτον ποθεν η οινον προσφεροντα.” (Photius, Contra Manichaeos book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 7, P.G. v. 102, col 25).

“…the command transmitted to the apostles was ‘Take, eat and drink,’ but not in any way that they were to offer bread or wine.”

Peter Siculus, a contemporary of Photius (c. 870), confirms the Paulician understanding of the Lord’s supper as a symbolic memorial, and that in the bread and wine the Lord had not given the disciples His flesh and blood to eat and drink:

“…λεγοντες oτι ουκ ην αρτος και οινος, ον ο Κυριος εδιδου τοις μαθηταις αυτου επι του δειπνου, αλλα συμβολικως τα ρηματα αυτου αυτοις εδιδου, ως αρτον και οινον.” (Petri Siculi, Historia Manichaeorum seu Paulicianorum, R. 18 (Gottingae: Prostat apud Vandenboedk et Ruprecht (1846) pp. 12-13)

“…saying that it is not bread and wine the Lord hath given to his disciples the supper, but symbolically His own words, as bread and wine.”

Steeped as they were in the novelties of Rome, neither Photius nor Peter Siculus could imagine that the Paulicians had simply appealed to Christ’s own words in John 6 to understand the concept of eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood. And they had appealed to the accounts of the Lord’s Supper—”Take, eat; this is my body” (Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, 1 Corinthians 11:24)—to show that nothing is sacrificed in the Lord’s Supper. Thus, they concluded the obvious. Jesus’ words, not Roman consecrated bread and wine, are “spirit and life”:

“Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me … Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. …the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:45, 47-48, 63)

Roman Catholics see John 6 through the lens of their novel views on transubstantiation, so John 6 is taken as a narrative on the Lord’s Supper. The Paulician claim, therefore, that to “eat the flesh of the Son of man” (John 5:53) is actually to believe His words was misconstrued by Peter Siculus as a denial of the incarnation and a rejection of the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

Photius, baffled that the Paulicians would celebrate the Lord’s Supper at all, acknowledged that they did so “but this is only to deceive the simpler ones” (Αλλα τουτο προς εξαπατην των απλουστερων μεταλαμβανουσιν) (Photius, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 9, col 29). He could not imagine that it was the Paulicians, not the Romanists, who had correctly understood Christ’s words, and were holding to Christ’s original institution.

We find additional confirmation of their rejection of the Mass Sacrifice, and their devotion instead to offering their prayers as their sacrifice, in their refusal to call their meeting places temples. Rather, they called them prayer houses, or “oratories” (προσευχας, Photius, Contra Manichaeos, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 9, P.G. v. 102, col 29). This is consistent with the Early Church’s view that the sacrifice of the new covenant is not consecrated bread and wine but rather “the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15; see our series, Their Praise was their Sacrifice).

Additionally, they were accused of admitting neither “priests” nor “presbyters” since the priests and presbyters had taken council against Christ (Photius, Contra Manichaeos, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 9, P.G. v. 102, col 29). On the one hand, the Paulicians were exactly correct that “priests and presbyters” (“ιερεις και πρεσβυτεριοι”) had taken council against Christ, for that is precisely what Christ said they would do (e.g. Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31, Luke 9:22). On the other hand, in Photius’ report we see a rejection of the Mass Sacrifice rather than a rejection of the office of presbyter, because this particular accusation comes in the sentence immediately following Photius’ observation that they celebrate the Lord’s supper but only to deceive the simple (Photius, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch. 9, col 29). That is, they celebrated the Lord’s Supper but without a priest—thus Photius’ accusation of pretense.

In reality, the rejection was not of the presbyter—an office clearly established in the Scriptures the Paulicians cherished—but of the priestly connotations loaded onto the office by Rome. We note, for example, that John of Damascus, when reporting on the Aposchistae—a similar “heretical” sect—observed that they “will kiss neither a newly made figure of the venerable cross nor a holy image,” and (equally baffling to him) “will accept absolutely no priest” (John of Damascus, Compendium of Heresies, Heresy 103).

The real objection was not that the Paulicians had no presbyters or equivalent clergy, but that they would accept neither the Roman sacrificial priesthood, nor its sacrificial garments. Peter the Higumen, for example, complained of them that their clergy were indistinguishable from the rest of the people (Garsoïan, 52n), and John of Damascus complained of one group that they were “neither bishops nor presidents of the common herd,” but they were nonetheless “organized under a clergy” (John of Damascus, Compendium of Heresies, Heresy 100). No, it was not the office of presbyter the Paulicians had rejected but the late 4th century novelty of the sacrificial ministrations of a priestly caste that they were rejecting.

Notably, the Paulicians were as wary of the revival of Jewish sacrifices as the Early Church had been. For example, Barnabas (2nd century) warned of exactly this in the second chapter of his epistle, insisting that we must avoid the temptation to return to the sacrifices of the Jews, “[f]or He has revealed to us by all the prophets that He needs neither sacrifices, nor burnt-offerings, nor oblations…” (Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 2). It was precisely for this reason that Ærius, in the late 4th century, warned against the introduction of the Mass sacrifice, which was a return to the sacrifices of the Jews:

“‘What is the Passover you celebrate? You are giving your allegiance to Jewish fables again. We have no business celebrating the Passover,’ he says; ‘Christ was sacrificed for our Passover.’” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 3.4)

Rejection of Baptismal Generation

Photius was also baffled by the Paulician rejection of baptismal regeneration. The Paulicians understood baptism only allude to the words of the Gospel (“τα του Ευαγγελιου ρηματα τη του Βαπτισματος φωνη υποβαλλοντες”), but it was the Lord Himself who was the Water of Life. (“Εγω ειμι το υδωρ το ζων.”) (Photius, Contra Manichaeos, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch 9, col 29). According to Photius, the Paulicians quoted the Lord as saying “I am the water of life” (i.e., “Ο Κυριος εφη, ‘Εγω ειμι το υδωρ το ζων'”) (Photius, Book I, Sermo Primus, ch 9, col 29). Although Jesus does not identify Himself as the water of life in the New Testament, He does refer to Himself as the fountain of living waters in the Old (Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13). The Paulicians clearly understood that partaking of the living water was by faith (see John 4:1-42), and that the water of baptism signified as much (as in 1 Peter 3:21), where the water of baptism is described as a “figure”.

Rejection of Images

Because the Paulicians are recognized as Iconoclasts, we include here John of Damascus’ description of the Christianocategori (lieterally, “accusers of Christians”) who accused Roman Catholics “of worshiping as gods … the venerable images of our Lord Jesus Christ, of our immaculate Lady, the holy Mother of God, of the holy angels, and of His saints” (John of Damascus, Compendium of Heresies, Heresy 102). The Christianocategori are considered contemporaries of the Paulicians, and may have actually been Paulicians.

In any case, their criticism of Roman Catholics’ veneration of images is remarkably similar to the objections Hippolytus (early 3rd century) made against Simon Magus in his Refutation:

“‘And they have an image of Simon (fashioned) into the figure of Jupiter, and (an image) of Helen in the form of Minerva; and they pay adoration to these.’ But they call the one Lord and the other Lady.” (Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, Book VI, chapter 15)

Another group is identified by John of Damascus, the Aposchistae, who “will kiss neither a newly made figure of the venerable cross nor a holy image” (John of Damascus, Compendium of Heresies, Heresy 103). Their objection to the veneration of images and the Cross echoes the objections faced by Cyril of Jerusalem when he attempted to introduce veneration of the cross to his catechumens, as noted above.

Whatever objections these Christianocategori or Aposchistae actually made against Roman Catholics for attempting to import paganism into the Church, they bear a striking similarity to the objections Hippolytus made against those attempting to introduce image veneration, and the objections made against Cyril of Jerusalem as he tried to introduce cross veneration.

Rejection of Celibate Clergy

John of Damascus also makes note of the Autoproscoptae, who are also of the same period as the Paulicians: “[T]hey are orthodox in every respect,” but “boldly cut themselves off from the communion of the Catholic Church.” This group apparently adhered to “canonical ordinances,” but only under pretense (so he says), and their clergy “openly cohabit with women and maintain them privately in their homes” (John of Damascus, Compendium of Heresies, Heresy 100).

False Accusations Against the Paulicians

These Paulicians were accused of many errors that are easily dismissed when considered in their historical and theological context. The Paulicians were accused of being “dualists,”  and yet no evidence exists from their own hands or mouths suggesting that they were any more “dualist” than the New Testament itself is “dualist”:

“…now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John 12:31)

“…the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

“…in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air…” (Ephesians 2:2)

“…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

They were accused of teaching that Satan had created the world—an accusation, we hasten to add, that does not arise until 500 years after the Paulicians were first identified by name (Garsoïan, 166)—but when we see how the Early Church understood these “dualist” verses, we can see that the Paulicians were simply expressing what the Scriptures and the Early Church understood about the evil times in which they lived. Note the similarity of thought as expressed by Barnabas in the second century:

“Since, therefore, the days are evil, and Satan possesses the power of this world, we ought to give heed to ourselves, and diligently inquire into the ordinances of the Lord.” (Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 2)

The Paulicians were classified as Manichæans and were accused of being disciples of the heretic Paul of Samosata, and yet “all the Byzantine sources concede[d]” that the Paulicians freely anathematized Manes and Paul of Samosata (Garsoïan, 116).

They were accused of rejecting Peter’s epistles, and yet they are also reported as teaching that the water of baptism was only figurative, as we noted above, a claim that would require knowledge and acceptance of Peter’s first epistle where baptism is explicitly described as a “like figure” with the flood of Noah (1 Peter 3:21).

They were accused of rejecting the Old Testament—on the basis that all who had come before Christ were “thieves and robbers” (ληστας aυτους και κλεπτας (Photius, VIII))—a plain reference to John 10:8. And yet it was Photius who reported that the Paulicians taught that the Lord identified Himself as “the living waters,” an identification that only occurs only in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13). Further, these “Manichaeans,” by Photius’ testimony, spoke favorably of the “prophetic words” (προφητικους λογους) of the Old Testament that Christ fulfilled according to John 1:11 (Photius, Contra Manichaeos, Book IV, Sermo II, ch. 8) (Migne, P.G., vol 102, col 96)).

They were accused of being Nestorians, and yet, as noted above, we are told that they acknowledged Mary as “Theotokon” (albeit without the attendant Roman Catholic Mariolatry), a term that Nestorius had refused to adopt. As evidence of how they have confounded their critics, the Paulicians are simultaneously accused of refusing the term, and therefore being Nestorian, and of using the term, but only to delude “the ignorant and simple” (Parsons, Reuben, Studies in Church History, vol 1 (New York: Fr. Pustet & Co, 1906) 463).

They are categorized as Adoptionists (Conybeare, Fred C., The Key of Truth, Preface (Oxford: the Clarendon Press (1898) viii), but as noted above, they freely anathematized the Adoptionist Paul of Samosata, and further confessed that God had come into the world through Mary, a precept that is inimical to Adoptionism which holds that Christ was a mere man and did not become God’s Son until His baptism. Like so many other accusations against them, their alleged Adoptionism is imposed upon them from without, but does not come from their own mouths.

Even the title “Paulicians” is one assigned to them by accusers and their historians; in fact, they called themselves “Christians,” and recognizing the theological catastrophe of the great apostasy by referring to themselves as “the people who have not swerved in faith” (Garsoïan, 163).

The Eschatological Confirmation

As we proceed through the accusations leveled against them, we observe exactly what every student of the Paulician phenomenon can plainly see, here summarized by Garsoïan:

“1) Most of our knowledge on the subject must be derived from hostile Orthodox sources, which may be misinformed or which may deliberately distort the dogma of the sect. 2) The apparently irreconcilable disagreement between the Armenian and Greek sources permits no conclusive synthesis of Paulician doctrine.” (Garsoïan, 151),

This is part of the reason we must now turn to the eschatological argument.

Paul and Peter warned that false shepherds would from within the Church “to draw away disciples” (Acts 20:30) and “bring in damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). Paul warned of a great apostasy that would come (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and John warned that Satan would let loose a flood of error in an attempt to ensnare the Woman (Revelation 12:15).

Toward the end of the 4th century, Satan let loose a flood of errors that swept the world—the errors of Roman Primacy, Marian devotion, Mary as “Mother of God,” Mary’s perpetual virginity, relic veneration, image veneration, veneration of the Cross, the sacrifice of the Mass, priestly celibacy, baptismal regeneration, and much more. If we can identify the flood, we can identify the Woman, and this we have certainly done. In both the east and the west from the latter part of the 4th century onward, we find the general apostasy manifesting as Roman Catholicism under the purview of the Harlot city of Rome, and in the same period we find in the wilderness the Woman of Revelation 12 persistently standing in Scriptural purity against the harlot’s novelties.

Of the “heretics,” the Catholic Encyclopedia provides these terse summaries of their theology, according to what can be discerned from the historical data: “[Jesus’] work consisted only in his teaching,” corresponding to what the Reformers would call sola scriptura, and “to believe in him saves men from judgment” corresponding to what the Reformers would call sola fide (Catholic Encyclopedia, Paulicians).

So invested are their accusers in their calumniations that they inadvertently praise the “heretics” in their upright lifestyles and their commendable work ethic:

“They are addicted to business and profit-making and other worldly affairs.” (John of Damascus, Compendium of Heresies, Heresy 100)

“They have separated from the communion of the Church and pretend to a great severity of discipline, with each on vying to prove himself better than the next.” (John of Damascus, Compendium of Heresies, Heresy 103)

These hardworking Christians who were in fact orthodox in their teaching, disciplined in their work, evangelistic in their preaching, and productive in their toil, resisted the flood of error, flying above it with the wings of an eagle, nourished by the Word of God in the wilderness.

For their “crimes,” 100,000 of these early Protestants were murdered in cold blood by the Roman Catholic empire. In short, they were calumniated as heretics, murdered on false charges, and owned the legacy of Christ their Savior Who said,

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)

In the coming installments, we will continue this series and press on toward the Reformation. As we proceed, we will find in every period a simple people, nourished by the Word of God, standing firmly against Roman novelties—both ancient and new—and when the Crusades are announced and Eucharistic adoration is introduced, these faithful people will stand against them, too. A remarkable Woman, flying continually above the flood, she carried the light of the Gospel to the world, and expended her blood and treasure to snatch men from the fire.

We conclude this installment with an elegy worthy of their high calling. Conybeare was wrong about their Adoptionism, but quite right about the part the Paulician’s would play in the twelve centuries between the flood of Revelation 12 and the Protestant Reformation:

“Nor was [the Paulician movement] without its martyrs, who were counted by hundreds of thousands, and whose slayers invariably took their orders from the persecuting clergy of old and new Rome. And when reasons of state or bigotry failed to exterminate this primitive Church among the ranges of the Taurus, its members were deported by hundreds of thousands to Thrace. There they throve for centuries, and the spread of their tenets into Bohemia, Poland, Germany, Italy, France, and even into our own England, must have helped not a little to prepare the ground for the Puritan Reformation.” (Conybeare, civ)

109 thoughts on “Come Hell or High Water, part 7”

  1. Tim, the work you must have put in on this article allows the picture to come alive of a church in many places with many faithful believers who God gave the courage to stand against the beast of Roman Catholicism and it’s paganism. This day I know about the brave Paulicians who joined all the faithful who stood against the errors of Rome in heaven. I thank God for this truth. K

    1. Thank you, Kevin. When you examine the way their doctrines have been reported to us through the writings of their opponents, and how they interacted with their persecutors, it is easy to see that they were not the heretics they were made out to be by Rome.

      But those who grant apostolic continuity to Rome must take her at her word and reject these Christians. But why take antichrist’s words against the bride of Christ?


      1. Peter could never have been the first Pope because Peter never went to Rome ever, al this crucified upside down nonsense is just Catholic myth – Paul was in Rome not Peter

  2. Tim, indeed a very important point you make. Frankly, I’m not aware of anyone who has made these distinctions in detail. I don’t think the importance of knowing how much Roman Catholic history about these believers has been jaded can be overstated. You have carefully detailed the effort on behalf of RC leaders to label these Christians as heretics when in fact the heretic leaders of Rome were condemning Christians faithful to the word of God and true orthodoxy. ” But why take antichrist ‘ s words against the bride of Christ” indeed, not one of their words. The true church has always separated itself from that system and suffered greatly for it. But it serves as a great witness to us . K

  3. While this statement of doctrine is an error, the rest of the research is very well done.

    “As we observed in our series, The Visible Apostolicity of the Invisibly Shepherded Church, the only chief metropolis of the new religion of Christianity was the Heavenly Jerusalem, and there was no need, or desire, for a Christian city or an earthly shepherd to govern Christ’s Church.”

  4. Walt, it sounds like to me by disagreeing with that statement that you believe there is a city or an earthly Shepard to govern Christ’s church? Since I know you don’t believe that city to be Rome or that Shepard to be the pope, what city and what earthly head would fill that role?

  5. “Since I know you don’t believe that city to be Rome or that Shepard to be the pope, what city and what earthly head would fill that role?”

    The key is not to spiritualize Scripture so that you teach there Christ does not rule the earth. This is Tim’s basic theme until Christ returns. Here is a good passage to see that Christ does not only rule from Heaven today, but he has appointed elders and teachers to continue to rule His government on earth.

    So I exhort the elders among you, mas a fellow elder and na witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 oshepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,1 pnot under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;2 qnot for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not rdomineering over those in your charge, but sbeing examples to the flock. 4 And when tthe chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the uunfading vcrown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. wClothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for x“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

    6 xHumble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 ycasting all your anxieties on him, because zhe cares for you. 8 aBe sober-minded; bbe watchful. Your cadversary the devil dprowls around elike a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 fResist him, gfirm in your faith, knowing that hthe same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And iafter you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, jwho has called you to his keternal glory in Christ, will himself lrestore, mconfirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 nTo him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1Pet.5

    1. Walt,

      I don’t deny that the Scriptures establish earthly shepherds. In the context of my statement, I was rejecting an earthly chief shepherd, something the early church clearly rejected as well. If it helps any, I have no problem specifying that to read:

      “As we observed in our series, The Visible Apostolicity of the Invisibly Shepherded Church, the only chief metropolis of the new religion of Christianity was the Heavenly Jerusalem, and there was no need, or desire, for a Christian city or an earthly chief shepherd to govern Christ’s Church.”

      If there is such a chief shepherd on earth (even in your own comment you concede that the Chief Shepherd rules from heaven and not from earth), I will be very interested to know who you think it is.

      It is true that I believe, as you have noted, that the earthly reign of Christ is yet future, but that statement does not contradict the verses you quoted. The same Lord Who gave shepherds (Ephesians 4:11) also insisted that the Kingdom He had established was not earthly (John 18:36). Additionally, as John has revealed to us, the kingdoms of this world do not become the kingdom of our Lord until after the 7th trumpet (Revelation 11:15), something that is yet future. As noted in Daniel 2:35, as well, the kingdom of God does not fill “the whole earth” until after the Gold, Silver and Brass are utterly destroyed such that “no place was found for them,” and Daniel 7:12 indicates that that can’t happen until after antichrist is destroyed, and it is only then that the saints receive a kingdom “under the whole heaven” (Daniel 7:27).

      I have yet to see a verse that shows the saints receiving an earthly kingdom before antichrist is destroyed, and he clearly has not been destroyed yet. I think it is unfortunate, and unwarranted, for you to summarize my position as “Christ does not rule the earth.” I have never suggested any such thing. Of course He does. The Lord’s kingdom “ruleth over all” (Psalms 103:19). Nebuchadnezzar’s lesson in his humiliation was that “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men” (Daniel 4:25,32).

      The question is not whether Christ is in control. The question is, “Does Jesus currently have an earthly kingdom?” No, He does not.

      In any case, I may well be another Ellen G. White, and a Joseph Smith and maybe even a Jim Jones, to boot. Maybe all three combined. Let the reader beware.

      But also let the critic prove his position from the Scriptures, and not just by quoting the traditions of the Church of Scotland. It has no more authority here than the Pope in Rome does.



      1. thank you.

        “…If it helps any, I have no problem specifying that to read:

        “As we observed in our series, The Visible Apostolicity of the Invisibly Shepherded Church, the only chief metropolis of the new religion of Christianity was the Heavenly Jerusalem, and there was no need, or desire, for a Christian city or an earthly chief shepherd to govern Christ’s Church.”

        you also said:

        “But also let the critic prove his position from the Scriptures, and not just by quoting the traditions of the Church of Scotland. It has no more authority here than the Pope in Rome does.”

        Yes, all the reformers have no ability to quote, defend, argue and define doctrine…only you and the Pope can do that with authority.

        Very sad when one man proclaims all truth quoting Scriptures, and all other reformed ministers quoting Scripture are Papal in comparison to you.

        This is the problem with prophets they all believe they are the only truly gifted arbiters of Scripture with Scripture. The reformers are no better than the papacy in their mind. Truly sad.

      2. Tim says:

        “The question is not whether Christ is in control. The question is, “Does Jesus currently have an earthly kingdom?” No, He does not.”

        Only if you spiritualize scripture and take every statement literal, and do not know how to interpret scripture with scripture.

      3. Timothy, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your very complex teaching and I go thru it very slowly, I understand that it is written for smarter people than me however I do have a question probably you said this in error but in your teaching on Gods Editors you make the comment of Paul addressing the church in Ephesus you said that he did not ask them to check with Peter who was in Rome ???? Peter was never in Rome according to your own teaching on Papal transfer over the ages Peter was not the first Pope – am I right, it’s a very small thing but important – blessings on you again my dear Brother

        1. Thank you, Gordon. I appreciate you contacting me. In the context of that message, I was expounding upon Paul’s final words to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Acts 20:32), in which he said, “brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace”. Then I pointed out what Paul did not say:

          “He didn’t say ‘I commend you to St. Peter who lives in Rome.’ He didn’t say ‘A spirit will come and testify to what you should do.’ When he knew that grievous men would rise within the church, he said ‘I commend you to God and His word.'”

          That was about 5 minutes in. You’ll note that I conclude the message (about 60 minutes in) by returning to that theme, noting that Paul had not commended his sheep to any pope or an angel from heaven, and then, citing Peter’s epistles, that Peter had not commended the people to himself, or to his successors, or to any angel from heaven.

          My point in reciting this to you is that, in context, I was simply saying that neither Peter nor Paul had entertained the idea of a Roman papacy at all—i.e., that statement, “Paul didn’t say ‘I commend you to St. Peter who lives in Rome'” should not be taken to mean that I believe, or that Paul believed that Peter was actually in Rome, any more than the later statements should be construed to mean that Paul thought Peter was the Pope.

          I hope that makes sense. Thanks so much for your note.


  6. Walt, thanks for the link. Walt, where does Tim’s statement deny that elders and teachers are appointed by God to rule his church. It says that God didn’t appoint a ” Christian City or a earthly Shepard.” There is no church established by Christ with a home office and earthly vicar. This would include Rome, Geneva, a pope or Reformed leader. That’s all that statement says. No city or man can claim head honcho. Christ is the only head and shepard. I would hardly think you would disagree with that. That’s all that statement says. Unless I’m missing something.

  7. Kevin,

    There is no need to get into Tim’s theology here. I know that he is an enormous value to you in understanding eschatology and doctrine of prophecy.

    I would encourage everyone not to get too caught up with the sole doctrine of one man as being the final arbiter of truth. Tim’s views are very much against the reformers, and not just in eschatology. You must look at all doctrines of a man before you believe his prophecy and views on eschatology.

    Remember that many people have fallen into serious problems with single men and single women who arose in history to define prophecy, and then wrote their teachings down leading hundreds and thousands astray. Joseph Smith is a good example of one man who has led astray millions based upon his views of prophecy. Ellen White has done the same thing with her writings. Benny Hinn and Jack VanImpe have done the same thing as individuals.

    I would encourage anyone to look to faithful church courts comprising faithful ordained ministers, who shepherd Christ’s flock in history, before putting your faith in one man who seeks to ignore reformed doctrines to create their own through independent bible interpretations.

    Everyone has an interpretations, and once you start to create your own against generations of faithful ministers it is time to be cautious. History shows we need to be careful that is all I’m saying.

  8. Kevin,

    I recently finished a discussion with a follower of the “prophetess” Ellen White who wanted details of her false teachings. What about her followers in the SDA sect keeping Christmas and denying the regulative principle of worship?

    Anyone who follows the normative principle of worship, and denies (rejects) the biblical reformed teaching on the regulative principle so they can practice man made holy days, practice man made hymns and songs in worship, and practice instrumental instruments in worship should be viewed with caution when also teaching prophecy and eschatology.

    The marketplace is filled with teachers of prophecy and eschatology in our wicked generation, and yet strongly oppose anything reformed and Presbyterian in practicing biblical worship and government. Ellen White and others who practice false worship, yet argue their views are the accurate interpretation of prophecy make me nervous.

  9. Walt, I’m not interested in your opinion of Tim. You charged a statement in the article of being in error. You said it said something it did not say. You said that the statement denied that God appoint elders and teachers to rule his church. The statement you pulled out doesn’t say that. It says God has not appointed a home office and a earthly Shepard to rule his church. Now if you are going to make a false charge against the article you ought to be able to support it? I’m here to discuss the article, not your opinion on how bad of a Reformed Christian someone is. So, can you please tell me where the statement you pulled from the article denies elders and teachers in the church? Thank you brother.

  10. Anyone who follows the normative principle of worship…….should be viewed with caution when also teaching prophecy and eschatology.” Very well. And those who come here and highlight statements in the article completely misrepresenting those statements should be viewed with the same caution. Agreed?

  11. ” This is the problem with prophets, they all believe they are the only true gifted arbiters of scripture with scripture” Scripture says ” out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” MacArthur says if you want to know what a man struggles with the most listen to what he talks about the most. Walt, the irony is you are the one who ” believes certain men are the true gifted arbiters of scripture with scripture.” I figured it out, this is the reason you continue to come here and make those charges against this author. That’s the last I will say on the matter because I value being able to give input here. Consider my words brother. K

  12. Well, glad that you finally affirmed that your predecessors were the heretical group the Paulicians who believed among other things:
    rejected the Old Testament;
    rejected the Incarnation,
    Christ was an angel sent into the world by God,
    His real mother was the heavenly Jerusalem.
    His work consisted only in his teaching;
    to believe in him saves men from judgment.

    Those were some real Protestant winners there. I knew you would have to align with real heretics to build your trail of lies instead of just following the truth of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church- the Catholic Church.

    1. Mark, one man’s heretic is another man’s faithful believer. Interesting in your post you regurgitate the RC false historical talking points on the Paulicians that Tim’s article takes on both historically and biblically. Iow, Rome jades the history of these wonderful believers by comparing their orthodox faithfulness with Rome’s novel errors. For example the article confirms what the Paulicians believed, what scripture says, Christian is our passover already sacrificed. True believers have already found their rest in Christ. The rejected Rome’s view of Jesus merit earned thru continual sacrifices of Christ. These believers looked to scripture for their doctrine and with the light of scripture they were able to reject the darkness of Rome’s false gospel and idolatry. Look at the arguments in the article. K

    2. Mark, thank you very much for demonstrating the standard Roman Catholic apologetic: cut and paste and assume apostolicity. Regarding your cut and paste from the Roman Catholic encyclopedia:

      “rejected the Old Testament;”

      We have data on the Paulicians from the council of Dvin (550 A.D.), and the first mention of them rejecting the OT is from Gregory Magistros (c. 990–1058 A.D.). Half a millennium after they were identified at Dvin. You’d think there would be more evidence of these magnificent charges against them, but all you’ve got is Gregory, and Gregory is 500 years removed from the first mention of the Paulicians, and his testimony is hardly credible:

      “Concerning the attitude of the heretics toward the Apostle Peter, we have in Gregory Magistros a purported quotation from the heretics in which they are said the “execrate Peter,” but this assertion is unsupported by any other reference, as was the accusation of dualism made by Gregory against the T’ondrakeçi. On the subject of the Old Testament, there is likewise no information, unless Gregory Magistros’ remark that the heretics rejected the old law as well as the new is to be taken in this sense. There is no indication from any source whatsoever that the Paulicians objected to the Gospels, so that this interpretation seems unlikely.” (Garsoïan, Nina G., The Paulician Heresy (Paris: Mouton & Col (1967) 164)

      That’s right: no information supporting their rejection of the Old Testament. And as to the alleged rejection of the “Old Law,” they simply followed the teachings of Paul: “all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses,” (Acts 13:39), and as to the rejection of the new, all they rejected was the importation of Roman novelties like the sacrifice of the mass.

      “rejected the Incarnation,”

      Oh, sure! Because they acknowledged that Mary was the Theotokon, and Jesus was born of a virgin! A sure sign of a denial of the incarnation!

      “Christ was an angel sent into the world by God”

      If you read the history on this, you’ll find that the Paulicians’ detractors couldn’t get their accusations straight on this one.

      “His real mother was the heavenly Jerusalem.”

      Oh, sure! Because Jerusalem was a virgin until she gave birth to Christ!

      His work consisted only in his teaching; to believe in him saves men from judgment.”

      “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12:47-49)

      The Paulicians had not rejected Christ’s work and deeds. In fact they agreed that He instituted the Lord’s Supper, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. They simply rejected the Roman Catholic mass sacrifice, the Mariolatry, the priestly caste, baptismal regeneration, veneration of the cross—all of which Rome says Christ came into the world to establish. He established none of those, and the Paulicians knew it. Salvation was by belief in His Words. I completely agree with that.

      Well, the Catholic encyclopedia is good for showing what Catholics believe[d]. But not so good at history.



      1. Paulicians were “a dualistic heretical sect, derived originally from Manichaeism. ”
        “The cardinal point of the Paulician heresy is a distinction between the God who made and governs the material world and the God of heaven who created souls, who alone should be adored.”

        They were Dualists! Instead of condemning the Catholic Church you should be thanking her for pointing out their heresy! They certainly aren’t the TRUE CHURCH!

        What next? The Albigensians were also the true church?!


        1. Thanks again for your knee-jerk cut and paste response, Mark. You cited the Catholic Encyclopedia:

          Paulicians were “a dualistic heretical sect, derived originally from Manichaeism. ”

          And yet, Nina Garsoïan, who actually believed the Paulicians were “heretics,” nonetheless concluded her exhaustive study with the following words:

          “For this reason, true Paulicianism cannot in any real sense be considered as the purveyor of Manichean beliefs to the medieval world. Nor does it seem to be the link between dualist heresies of late antiquity and those of Western Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.” (Garsoïan, Nina G., The Paulician Heresy (Paris: Mouton & Col (1967) 233)

          Why do you think historians are so conflicted on the Paulicians? Why do you think they have such a hard time figuring out who they were? Why do you think they are only able to reconstruct their belief system from the polemic of their accusers?

          You can keep citing the Roman Catholic encyclopedia, and I will continue citing actual history in response. You think Roman Catholicism is the true church. Yes, we all understand that is your position. But you must also understand that Roman Catholic Antichrist does not get the benefit of the doubt in her calumniation of the Bride of Christ. The Catholic Encyclopedia got this one terribly, wrong. I suggest you spend a little more time studying before you blindly cut and paste from your encyclopedia again.



          1. Tim, do you not know that there are historians who actually write that the Catholic Church murdered millions of people during the Crusades? History books are FULL of dubious claims.

            Quoting ONE person from 1967 doesn’t bolster your position. The best historian is the Catholic Church. She existed throughout the past 2,000 years unlike Garsoïan.

            You’ve butchered the ECFs and so I understand that you are desperate to find anyone to support your fringe views. You won’t be met with applause from any academics; however, as evidenced by David Hunter a while back.

          2. Mark,

            You wrote,

            “You won’t be met with applause from any academics;”

            At last, something upon which we both agree. You are absolutely correct. I do not want, and will not obtain, the approval of academics. It is something I will never have.



          3. “[Jesus’] work consisted only in his teaching,” corresponding to what the Reformers would call sola scriptura”
            Where did Christ make any mention of Sola Scriptura in the New Testament?

            “Nina Garsoïan, who actually believed the Paulicians were “heretics,””

            Can you actually explain why she believed they were heretics? Do you agree they were heretics? Is the church in your “true church” theory heretical? If I dip an Oreo cookie in cow poop, but just a little tiny bit, would you still eat the cookie or throw it out?

            Moreover, does the Holy Spirit allow heresy, just a little bit, in the “true church”?

  13. Tim,

    You will appreciate this video.

    Rabbi Jonathan Cahn is releasing this September his new book on prophecy. He is another modern day prophet like yourself that is selling books, and even though in June this year he announced the collapse of the US Economy for July 13, 2017, he is not dismayed with his prophetical gifts.

    He says this book will be even more explosive in its prophecy than his last books.

    I encourage you to stay up to date on this prophecy is it could fit into your own views as you come down to the end of your series on the destruction of the earth and the next bodily reign of Jesus Christ on the earth.

  14. Dear reader,

    If you have a chance, watch this video:

    “RC Sproul sits down with Stephen Meyer, author of the book, “Signature in the Cell”, and they discuss philosophy, evolution, education, Intelligent Design, and more.”

    This video will give you an incredible background and epistemology into why logically Tim Kauffman cannot be correct in his prophetical interpretation.

    For example, from Scripture, we know that a faithful Prophet of God will never be in error in their prophetical interpretation of God’s revealed will to them. Further, we know that a faithful interpreter of prophecy will not be ignorant on doctrine, worship and government of God as revealed in Scripture…especially in our generation who have access to intelligence from historical generations. These are very basic principles, and the incredible arrogance that flow from these modern day prophets need to be significantly challenged.

    They speak with authority that there interpretation is the only true and biblical interpretation. Just watch Ellen White, Jack Van Impe, Joseph Smith, Rabbi Jonathan Kahn, etc. etc. The list is endless in history of those who are totally ignorant about the fundamentals of the Christian faith, but yet they claim they are prophets of God’s word and inerrant.

    In fact, in Tim’s case, just like in the case of the majority of standard university arguments against intelligent design, those of the reformed faith (being those greatest ministers in the history of the Christian Church) who reject these prophets are slandered and expelled. Ben Stein showed us how bad it has become at the University level, but I can tell you it is far far worse in the Christian church against the reformers.

    What has overtaken the Universities by modern Darwinian skepticism has more so taken over the Christian church with modern day Prophets of eschatology.

    All the basic reformed principles of Scripture interpretation and epistemology are rejected, and so the Prophet marches forward to lay down their arguments using old, infant and often misguided Church Fathers as the basis for their views, and sprinkled with Scripture that violate the truth of biblical form of church government, form of worship, doctrine and discipline are rejected.

    Use of instrumental instruments in public worship, singing of man inspired songs and hymns in public worship, occasional hearing in worship of false teachers, denial of infant baptism, rejection of divine right of Presbyterian government, rejection of true unity in favor of pretended liberty of conscience, utter rejection and public hatred for social covenants and the practice of biblical covenanting in all generations, the abuse of teaching and open public practice of both destructive and damnable heresies, the fear of rejecting any holy day like Christmas, Easter, all saints day, etc. due to offending family and friends, practice of open communion and denial of close communion, etc. The list can go on in what the reformers taught that our generation absolutely abhors and ridicules as “just Popish tradition” and they bow and follow the weak errors of our “ancient Church Fathers”.

    Beware of these prophets who reject solid, reformed, biblical truths and instead practice known, historical errors that have been not only spoke against by our reformed forefathers, but be especially careful for those modern prophets who perpetually attached the reformed as “popish” and “ignorant of scriptures”. No, beware is not strong enough, I say avoid.

    They are growing fast like a fire on the internet, and leading millions and millions astray with their “biblical prophecy”.

    1. Walt, I don’t know why you continue to insist that I use “infant and often misguided Church Fathers as the basis for their views.” I have never done so, and yet you continue reporting that I do. You have never provided evidence for your charge. I do not understand why you continue to affirm something you know to be false.

      Well, in any case, you also over state the significance of this blog. Even in the obscurity of those websites dedicated to eschatology, this one is obscure to the point of irrelevance. It’s obscure even among the obscure. Hardly leading “millions and millions astray”.

      1. Tim,

        The obvious answer to your question on the quote you made above is epistemology. It applies to you and all those involved in prophecy and biblical interpretation. This is the problem of all those who reject reformed theology and choose to create their own interpretation…yet in their own practice (e.g., orthopraxy) engage in error after error as defined by faithful courts.

        1. Walt, Epistemology is the investigation of what separates justified belief from opinion. You have proven here that you have not participated in that investigation providing only your opinion. Sad.

  15. For those interested, you can see:

    “The Official Eschatology of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland, As it was stated in her Public Testimony, 1865.”


    “The Official Eschatology of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, As it was stated in her Public Testimony, 1911.”

    It is understood that these official statements have no credibility, no warrant in truth, no acceptance by our modern day Prophets. This is all pure “popish testimony” or “tradition of the elders” with no weight by the inerrant Prophet of our generation. Their testimony is purely truth using Scripture alone, and these foolish reformers are just popish and tradition. The mind of the modern Prophet is overly confused in my opinion, so any time we have a faithful church court give her testimony she should be clearly analyzed by the true and faithful Christian servant.

    Also, be aware, that the Presbyterian church does not claim all her testimony to be inerrant, and her great reformers have made it clear and listed all the errors in the church. Let the attacks begin!

    “This book is not merely of historical interest; it is also of considerable value now because many of the errors refuted within its pages have surfaced again in the 21st century church under new guises.

    ***Christians today can learn a great deal from the faithful witness of former generations who experienced ‘truth’s victory over error’.***

    Truth’s Victory Over Error contains David Dickson’s lectures on the Westminster Confession of Faith, delivered to the divinity students of Edinburgh University in the early 1650s.

    Here then is a commentary written just a few brief years after the Westminster Divines drew up their famous Confession of 1647 by one of their senior contemporaries.

    Dickson’s comments reveal the burning issues of the day and supply fascinating insight into the robust theology of the Scottish Puritans. In the Introduction to the book Robert Wodrow writes that the author ‘as it were, breaks the truths of our Confession small, and prepares them for the meanest capacities.’

    Here, then, is a useful aid for Christians who want to study and understand the doctrines of the Confession itself. Dickson was concerned to explain the truth and refute error. Not content merely to establish the Confession’s articles from Scripture, he also ‘guards against the gangrene and poison of contrary errors, with judgment and perspicuity’ (Wodrow). Like all true evangelicals, Dickson saw the vital need of expressing the Bible’s teaching in both negative and positive propositions.” – Summary from Reformation Heritage Books

    “All that learning the most profound and extensive, intellect the most acute and searching, and piety the most sincere and earnest, could accomplish, was thus concentrated in the Westminster Assembly’s Confession of Faith, which may be safely termed the most perfect statement of Systematic Theology ever framed by the Christian Church.” – William Hetherington, The History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, p. 345.

    Of course, there are those here who will argue that the Apostle’s Creed is the greatest and most powerful of all creeds written by the Christian Church, but the Apostle’s Creed was the most basic principles of Scripture.

    No, the Early Church Fathers did not compose the greatest of all testimony in the history of the Christian Church.

    No, the Pope’s did not produced the most faithful testimony.

    No, Timothy Kauffman did not produce the most faithful prophetical testimony in the history of the Christian Church.

    Look to our faithful reformed Church Testimony to find the greatest of all Christian Church Testimony!

    I feel being “expelled” here soon coming down the pike!

    1. Walt, what a drama. If you have not love you are a clanging symbol. Brother, nobody is going to care about what you say when your engaged in a systematic assaination of the character of Reformed brothers here. Instead of disqualifying the character of men you have never met, why don’t you just argue your position against the article.

      1. Kevin, go away please. You would not know what a reformed testimony is on the first place. Epistemology condemns you.

    2. ” No, Timothy Kauffman did not produce the most faithful prophetical testimony in the history of the Christian church” Walt, I’m starting to get this Reformed envy deal. Your assertions are less supported than the Mark Rome cut and paste arguments. You don’t argue the merits against the author’s position because you are lazy, sort of like the main stream media. So you make inherent declarations like this one. What is the reader supposed to think when you make a statement like this, OK Walt if you say so. You are going about this in the wrong way. Saying ” Look to our faithful Reformed testimony to find the greatest of all Christian testimony” and then not proving the distinctions from scripture really diminishes your expertise on the matter. I am not saying Tim is correct in his interpretations, but I compare what he says with scripture and history. Plus he has put in the time. That doesn’t mean he is right, but it does cause me to consider his position. Walt, if and when you prove your argument against his position to me, I’ll look at it. It’s one reason I spend my time reading things at the Trinity foundation. Many supported articles and positions from scripture. K

  16. Walt, they said the same thing about Luther the very father of the Reformation. Is there any man who spoke with more authority than Luther.? And have you been expelled from Out of His mouth? If so, how could you be posting? Has this author claimed to be a prophet? I have never heard that. Has this author rejected ALL reformed principles of scripture interpretation and epistomology? No he hasn’t. Beware of unrepentant liars who claimed to be true reformed believers. K

  17. Hi Walt, after re-reading your last post I had a question. Can God use a man speaking directly to him in the scriptures to help Christians to understand doctrine. It seems to me that you would be rejecting Martin Luther if that weren’t true. At the time Luther interpreted justification as well as other things he being condemned by am argument similar to yours. I think you are disqualifying this author by disqualifying his Reformed qualifications or that he in some way has to submit himself to the interpretations of the church of Scotland? Rome made similar arguments against the Reformers? My understanding is the Reformed motto is reformed and always being reformed. I was under the understanding that eschatology is not settled in reform theology? Without posting a link can you address my points because I view your position hypocritical to being Reformed. Thanks K

  18. Well, this one (and the following ones) are bound to raise hell (literally) with the babylonian harlot and her spiritual children. The RCC launched a mission in the 17th century to convert the few remaining paulicans left on the territory of the balkans. The forces of Satan have no clue. The word of God can’t be chained. Jesus’ gospel can’t stay in a tomb. They can hear the sound of the Spirit, but they can’t tell where its coming from and where its going.

  19. The RCC and the Orthodox church have institutionalized and made lying central to the propagation of their system. After all, the first chapter of Chrysostom (the sweet talker Romans 16:18) on the priesthood is dedicated to noble lying for the sake of the truth. Nowithstanding Jesus’ repeated warnings that liars and deceivers have no place in his house (Psalm 101). If the “apostolic” churches and even the half-baked Lutherans of today openly charge the baptists and the reformed with gnosticism and arianism, how thickheaded does one have to be to say that they would fairly represent their arch-enemies when there was no media, but their media and no arbiter, but their power? It is the same as learning about the jews from Hitler’s books. But the name of the faithful must be reviled and cast out until the very end for the prophetic sayings to be fully fulfilled.

  20. Mark said:

    “Can you actually explain why she believed they were heretics? Do you agree they were heretics? Is the church in your “true church” theory heretical?”

    Heretics is the most abused words in Scripture:

    “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” (Titus 3:9-11), KJV


    “But stay foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and brawlings about the Law: for they are unprofitable and vain. [a]Reject him that is an heretic, after once or twice admonition, Knowing that he that is such, is perverted, and sinneth, being damned of his own self. (1599 Geneva)

    Titus 3:10 The ministers of the word must at once cast off heretics, that is, such as stubbornly and seditiously disquiet the Church, and will give no ear to Ecclesiastical admonitions.

    From history we know that during the dark and middle ages, the Roman Catholic church was the most evil institution in history of the world toward bible believing Christians. They would label a bible reading Christian as a heretic, and seek them out to murder them under Church authority. This is well documented in Christian church history.

    However, to label someone a heretic and seek to murder them for their beliefs is largely limited to only Roman Catholic church orthopraxy and orthodoxy. The “true church” bene esse is the hunted, never the hunter.

    Heresy as defined in the KJV and GNV bibles are pretty clear, including the footnote in the Geneva. These men cause division and should be avoided after the first and second admonition. The Elders of the church should attempt to rebuke them in their love for unity among Christ’s small flock (the true church in well-being), If there is no response from those who “stubbornly disquite” the church unity, the Elders should come together in Session and follow faithful court procedures to bring that person before the Session to defend their public and seditious views.

    Initially, as with all cases brought before the Session, the Elders should endeavor to rebuke and ban the member from the Lord’s Supper and other ordinances. There should be a sworn testimony given to insure the member is indeed fully compliant with the churches Terms of Communion. If yes, and the member is still demonstrating a firm testimony in error, and causing division, the final step they face is excommunication from the visible church.

    Never should a church take the power of the sword as practiced by Roman Catholics and shed the blood of these heretics that cause disunity and scandalous division.

    Mark Rome knows his church history well, and he knows how heretics in Roman Catholicism are to be attacked and tortured. We see this in our generation in extremely heavy Roman Catholic areas like Mexico, and parts of Africa and South America. In modern times, the Roman Catholic country of Croatia is filled with brutal Roman Catholic murder, and in Africa Rwanda was the center of Roman Catholic led murder.

    Here is a short list for those who want to know how Rome has historical deal with “heretics”.

    “1096 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter half the Jews in Worms, Germany.

    1098 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter almost all of the inhabitants of the city of Antioch.

    1099 Roman Catholic crusaders massacre 70,000 Muslims and Jews when they capture Jerusalem.

    1208 – 1226 The Albigensian Crusades in southern France. Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter approximately 20,000 citizens of Beziers, France, on July 22, 1209. Albigensian Christians and Catholics were slain. By the time the Roman Catholic armies finished their “crusade,” almost the entire population of southern France (mostly Albigensian Christians) has been exterminated. During the six centuries of papal Inquisition that began in the 13th century, up to 50 million people were killed. Read what J. A. Wylie’s The History of Protestantism has to say about the Crusades against the Abigenses

    1236 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter Jews in the Anjou and Poitou regions of western France. The Catholic crusaders trample to death under their horses 3000 Jews who refuse baptism.

    1243 Roman Catholic mobs burn alive all the Jews in Berlitz, Germany (near Berlin).

    1298 Roman Catholic mobs burn alive all Jews in Rottingen, Germany.

    April 26, 1349 Roman Catholic mobs burn to death all Jews in Germersheim, Germany.

    1348 – 1349 The Jews are blamed for the bubonic plague. Author Dave Hunt tells us, “Accused of causing the ‘Black Death’ Jews were rounded up [by Roman Catholic mobs] and hanged, burned, and drowned by the thousands in revenge.”

    1389 Roman Catholic mobs murder 3000 Jews in Prague when they refuse to be baptized.

    1481 – 1483 At the direction of the Roman Catholic inquisitors, authorities burn at the stake at least 2000 people during the first two years of the Spanish Inquisition.

    1540 – 1570 Roman Catholic armies butcher at least 900,000 Waldensian Christians of all ages during this 30-year period.

    1550 – 1560 Roman Catholic troops slaughter at least 250,000 Dutch Protestants via torture, hanging, and burning during this ten-year period.

    1553 – 1558 Roman Catholic Queen Mary I of England (aka “bloody Mary”) attempts to bring England back under the yoke of papal tyranny. During her reign, approximately 200 men and woman are burned to death at the sake. Her victims include bishops, scholars, and other Protestant leaders.

    1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. French Roman Catholic soldiers begin killing Protestants in Paris on the night of August 24, 1572. The soldiers kill at least 10,000 Protestants during the first three days. At least 8000 more Protestants are killed as the slaughter spreads to the countryside.

    1618 – 1648 The Thirty Years’ War. This bloody, religious war is planned, instigated, and orchestrated by the Roman Catholic Jesuit order and its agents in an attempt to exterminate all the Protestants in Europe. Many countries in central Europe lose up to half their population.

    1641 – 1649 Eight years of Jesuit-instigated Roman Catholic butchery of Irish Protestants claims the lives of at least 100,000 Protestants.

    1685 French Roman Catholic soldiers slaughter approximately 500,000 French Protestant Huguenots on the orders of Roman Catholic King Louis 14 of France.

    Circa 1938 – 1945 Catholic dictators such as Adolf Hitler and Monsignor Tiso slaughter approximately six million Jews in Europe prior to and during World War 2.

    1941 – 1945 The Roman Catholic Ustashi in the fascist state of Croatia butcher up to one million Serbian Orthodox Christians. Roman Catholic killer squads are often led by Franciscan priests, monks, and friars. This genocide is choreographed by two Jesuit prelates: Aloysius Stepinac and Ivan Saric.”

    I would encourage everyone to learn Presbyterian form of church government, and how each court has an appeal process so that the Session court is subject to review by the Presbytery, and the Presbytery subject to review by the Synod court, and all these courts are subject to review by the General Assembly of Elders and Ministers.

    There is never only one Pope or Man of Sin who is the final arbiter to issue the order to murder Christians by their own will. Further, the true church NEVER has the power of the sword. ONLY in Roman Catholicism and Islam does the power of the sword remain in the hands of the Pope and Mohammad followers to execute the “heretic”.

    Beware, learn history, learn Scripture and learn Presbyterian form of church government.

  21. Dave Hunt, A Cup of Trembling (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1995): 160:

    Church historian R. Tudor Jones writes that “the majority of the martyrs were ordinary people, including many women”…John Foxe was an eyewitness and earnest historian of the fierce persecution in England in his day. His Book of Martyrs gives detailed accounts of many public trials and executions of those whom the Roman Catholic Church judged to be “heretics” worthy of death. His descriptions of Christians being burned at the stake tell of their inspiring bravery in the face of such a horrible death and of the determination of Roman Catholicism to exterminate everywhere true Christians who opposed her. Similar records have come down of the massacres of Jews at the hands of the Roman Church.

    John Daniel, The Grand Design Exposed (CHJ Publishing, 1999): 27, 78:

    Through relentless torture, starvation, genocide, massacres, burning at the stake, against every conceivable fury of [Papal] Rome, they [i.e., the ‘seeds of protest’] could not be extinguished. History estimates that over one hundred million people lost their lives during that time of [Papal] Roman tyranny. Is it any wonder that God graphically describes this onslaught of [Papal] Rome as her being ‘drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus’, and calls her the ‘Beast’?

    …For the unbiased researcher, history reeks of the butchery of Romanism, where whole cities and populations were unmercifully wiped out, just because they worshipped God in a manner that was different from Roman Catholicism.
    A painting of Joan of Arc burning at stake. Source: Wikimedia Commons Drawn by Jules-Eugène Lenepveu (1819-1898), a French neoclassical artist.

    Charles A. Bolton (Ex-Roman Catholic priest):

    What has turned my soul against Roman abuse of power is the way in which it has tortured and burned such saints of God as Joan of Arc, hundreds of the Albigensian martyrs in France in the 12th century, the Knights Templar, John Huss [Czech Jan Hus], the Dominican Savonarola, the Dominican Giordano Bruno, [and] the Anglican bishops Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer. The Inquisition has promoted at least two wholesale massacres: [hundreds of] thousands of Protestant Waldensians in northern Italy, and thousands of Protestant Huguenots by the massacre of St. Bartholomew in France. More than 30,000 of the most cultured Protestants of France were put to the sword on the night of St. Bartholomew, August 24, 1572. At the news [of this brutal, bloody massacre], the Pope had cannons fired, proclaimed a jubilee, ordered a Te Deum of thanksgiving to be sung, and struck a special medal to commemorate the glorious ‘victory’.

    Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1994): 80, 261:

    To wring out confessions from these poor creatures, the Roman Catholic Church devised ingenious tortures so excruciating and barbarous that one is sickened by their recital.

    The Medieval Inquisition had flourished for centuries when Pope Paul III, in 1542, gave it permanent status as the first of Rome’s Sacred Congregations, the ‘Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Inquisition’. Known more recently as the ‘Holy Office’, its name was changed in 1967 to the ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’…Therefore it is not surprising that the ‘Office of the Inquisition’ still occupies the Palace of the Inquisition adjacent to the Vatican, though under its new name, the ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’. Its current Grand Inquisitor, who reports directly to the pope, is the former Archbishop of Munich, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, whom Time [Magazine] has called ‘the world’s most powerful cardinal [and] the Catholic Church’s chief enforcer of dogma…’

    Will Durant (Historian 1885-1981), The Story of Civilization (MJF Books, 1993):

    Christians [i.e., Roman Catholics] of the twelfth century accused the Jews of kidnapping Christian children either to sacrifice them to Jahveh, or to use their blood as medicine or in the making of unleavened bread for the Passover feast. Jews were charged with poisoning the wells…and of stealing consecrated wafers to pierce them and draw from them the blood of Christ…[and] of draining the wealth of Christendom into Jewish hands.”

    Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy (New York, NY: Crown Publishers, 1988): 175:

    Of eighty popes in a line from the thirteenth century on, not one of them disapproved of the theology and apparatus of Inquisition. On the contrary, one after another added his own cruel touches to the workings of this deadly machine.

    F. Tupper Saussy, Rulers of Evil (HarperCollins, 2001): xviii, 304:

    The Roman Inquisition…had been administered since 1542 by the Jesuits.

    Pontifex Maximus [i.e., the pope of Rome] has laundered the Inquisition’s name twice. In 1908, Pope Pius X renamed it ‘the Holy Office’, which [Pope] Paul VI transformed into [the] ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’ in 1965.

  22. For those interested in the distinctions on how the Presbyterians define the Kingdom of God, see this short essay:

    Here is the conclusion of the essay:

    “In conclusion, to attribute the doctrine of Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom over all things, or of the magistrate being formally under the authority of Christ as Mediator, to the confessions, covenants or declarations of the Scottish Reformation, puritan or covenanting eras, or to the Scottish covenanters generally, must be considered to be an anachronism, confusing two very different Biblical and theological systems of thought. All the confessions, national covenants and declarations of the Scottish Church from the 1500’s and 1600’s are all consistent with the Biblical and majority viewpoint from the Reformation and puritan era that Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church only.”

    Is this correct? Is this true? Is this accurate research, or is it strongly effected by the authors epistemology? Let’s see:

    “The Lord is well pleased with the repentance and reformation of His people and has a peculiar delight in them. “Thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, * * * and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” Isa. 62.4,5.

    But who can begin to recount the blessings and joys of those happy days, when, “They of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth; * * and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed.” Psalm 72.16,17. “They shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer. 31.34. “Their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge {17} them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed; * * so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isa. 61.9-11.

    May the Lord in His own good time and way hasten the Church’s happy days.”

  23. “Tyndale opposed both the political facets of England’s national church and Roman Catholicism. Within both, he found many problems in the way the Bible was interpreted. In fact, he wrote,

    “They divide scripture into four senses, the literal, typological, allegorical, and analogical. The literal sense is become nothing at all: for the pope hath taken it clean away, and hath made it his possession. He hath partly locked it up with the false and counterfeited keys of his traditions, ceremonies, and feigned lies; and driveth men from it with violence of sword; for no man dare abide by the literal sense of the text, but under a protestation, ‘If it shall please the pope.’ … Thou shalt understand, therefore, that the scriptures hath but one sense, which is the literal sense. And that literal sense is the root and ground of all, and the anchor that never faileth, whereunto if thou cleave, thou canst never err or go out of the way.” – “The Obedience of a Christian Man,” Doctrinal Treatises, pp. 303-4 (emphasis mine).

    It’s important to understand that by suggesting the “literal sense,” Tyndale is not saying that the Bible does not contain figures of speech, allegories, or parables. What he is suggesting is that there is one intended meaning. In other words, the interpretation to be preferred is the one the author meant.

    One must really read through some of the Medieval Period’s “expositions” of Scripture. They hardly take the original intended meaning seriously. In fact, it would appear that there was no restraint when it came to using the Bible to say what the church leaders at the time desired. Exegesis? No, hardly even a consideration. Eisogesis? Everywhere.

    The Protestant Reformation clearly stood on the shoulders of men like Tyndale!”

    Suggestion: Learn epistemology and learn how to interpret the scriptures in the literal sense rather than using the infancy and confusion of the Church Fathers. Graduate beyond the early Church Fathers to the reformers and learn faithful, mature and the true literal sense of the Scriptures.

    Compare Tyndale writings vs. Jerome for example.

  24. Hi Walt, I’m trying to still figure your position out. Tim said that Christ doesn’t currently have an earthly kingdom. And you dispute that. Can you tell me what consists of his earthly kingdom ? The WCF says the visible church is that kingdom of God? Do you agree? And what does that mean to you? I’m trying to figure out what consists of this earthly kingdom ? Here is a quote from the 8th part of The visible apostolicity of the invisibly shepherded church ” The ” rock” upon which Christ has built his church was the rock of the confessing church , and Cyprian believed that ” pope” Stephen had wavered in that confession. ” Do you agree with this? My final question. It seems to me that Tim’s position is Christ rules his church from heaven and has appointed Pastors teachers etc. , but has no current earthly government or institution through which He rules, nor an earthly Vicar, earthly Sheppard . Do you agree with this ? It seems to me that if He did He couldn’t make the statement that his kingdom was NOT of this world. That says to me it ain’t here, it’s in heaven. And maybe one reason He said that is so no one could usurp His position here on earth. Thx K

  25. Kevin, you said:

    “It seems to me that Tim’s position is Christ rules his church from heaven and has appointed Pastors teachers etc. , but has no current earthly government or institution through which He rules, nor an earthly Vicar, earthly Sheppard.”

    I hope for Tim that he does not believe this about the church, but if this is what you are learning from his teaching and prophetical interpretation that it is very disappointing. It is this epistemology that drives his interpretation and teaching, and is a significant error.

  26. Walt, very well. You have avoided my questions in all my posts here. I sense you do in fact believe that Jesus has an earthly kingdom and a chief Sheppard, much like Roman Catholicism has. This author in my view has always been bold, honest and clear with you in my view. Here is his response to you in the 2nd part of his series on the church ” In any case, the fact that my interests lie in the Greek period, and the ante and immediately post Nicene church, should no be taken to mean that I ignore, diminish or neglect, the Reformation. It’s just that the Reformation cannot inform the periods in view, and my eschatology is NOT wedded to the Reformation period. I believe for example that the first seal was opened in 226 A.D. The history of the Reformation does not bear on that at all.” That said, I am Presbyterian but I cannot deny that the early church was episcopal in its Eclesiology ” He goes on to say that it had Presbyterian inclinations. He also told you He knows you do not believe He is Reformed. How clear can it be. Do you really think you can shame any man of intellectual integrity and study into accepting your pope and it’s city. I don’t think so Walt. I would love to see your arguments against his position. I’ll read them closely like I have the other materials you provide. Thx

  27. Kevin said that Tim wrote:

    “In any case, the fact that my interests lie in the Greek period, and the ante and immediately post Nicene church, should no be taken to mean that I ignore, diminish or neglect, the Reformation. It’s just that the Reformation cannot inform the periods in view, and my eschatology is NOT wedded to the Reformation period. I believe for example that the first seal was opened in 226 A.D. The history of the Reformation does not bear on that at all.” That said, I am Presbyterian but I cannot deny that the early church was episcopal in its Eclesiology ”

    Amen. Epistemology. Thanks for the reminder. This is why reading the Early Church Fathers in my opinion are like reading infants in the church and make my point clearly.

  28. “Amen. Epistemology. Thanks for the reminder. This is why reading the Early Church Fathers in my opinion”

    Oh, oh, the irony.

  29. Walt said ” in my opinion” exactly. That the problem. My dad used to say opinions are like shoes, everybody has a pair. Maybe if you argued the position those Scottish Reformers against Tim’s eschatology you would accomplish more at debunking his position. But to come here and just claim they had the corner on Epistemology or were in some way inherent in their position on eschatology won’t cut it. We have seen that claim before huh? Rome. Personally I have been reading Tim’s articles and comparing them with scripture and Reformed position. I’m learning allot. K

  30. Tim said:

    “That said, I am Presbyterian but I cannot deny that the early church was episcopal in its Eclesiology”

    The apostolic church was Presbyterian and the true Presbyterian church was uninterrupted throughout church history. The “early church” caused schism and separated from the faithful flock of Christ and adopted Episcopal and Roman Catholic error.

    When you study history be very careful not to build your epistemology on the view that the faithful church in well being was Episcopal. It will significantly impact your understanding and interpretation of scripture.

  31. Kevin said:

    “Personally I have been reading Tim’s articles and comparing them with scripture and Reformed position. I’m learning allot.”


    “My dad used to say opinions are like shoes, everybody has a pair.”

    Yep…you certainly like to share your opinions!

    1. Yep… you certainly like to share your opinions!” like this one ” when you study history be very careful not to build your Epistemology on the view that the faithful church in well being was episcopal. It will significantly impact your understanding and interpretation of scripture. ” This is rich coming from a man who has based his Epistemology solely on the Church of Scotland. Fortunately Walt every believer is a member of a royal priesthood according to Peter , God’s cleras, clergy, equipped with deutemos the Spirit and the word. In this sense every believer should be a true biblicisst.

  32. “Which brings us to ask, what form of church government has Christ of old established in His Word? The three particular options include Congregational—rule by the local congregation (Baptist and Independent Churches); Episcopalian—rule by the hierarchy of a bishop, archbishop, or pope (Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and some Lutheran Churches); and Presbyterian—rule by elders in congregations, presbyteries, and synods. It is the conviction of this church that the scriptural form of church government appointed by Jesus Christ in His Word is the Presbyterian form of church government, which will find expression (though not an exhaustive expression) in our text this Lord’s Day. The main points from our text are the following: (1) A Presbyterian Synod Formed to Defend the Gospel of Grace (Acts 15:6); (2) The Defense of Peter for the Gospel of Grace (Acts 15:7-10); (3) The Defense of Paul and Barnabas for the Gospel of Grace (Acts 15:11).”

    Acts#61 How Old Is Presbyterian Church Government?

  33. “Thus, because a lawful Presbyterian Synod (or Presbytery) issues a “decree” that is agreeable to Scripture and is authoritative from Christ (“whatever is bound in earth is bound in heaven” Matthew 18:18), it is necessary to submit to that decree as issued from the Lord Jesus, the King, through His officers (Acts 15:30-31; Acts 16:4-5).

    Although it is to benefit of the Church within a nation when possible to have a Presbyterian Synod (consisting of many Presbyteries and particular congregations), Jesus makes it clear that His authority to rule is not based upon the greater number of ministers and elders that convene and rule, but is rather based upon His authority (even when 2 or 3 that meet in Christ’s name, Matthew 18:19-20). With our modern technology, such a meeting of lawful ministers and elders can even happen by phone or by computer about controversies and matters that concern the church from different countries (as with Antioch, Syria, Cilicia, and Jerusalem).

    If there is a mutual consent and agreement in the Terms of Communion between elders and members, there can exist a Presbyterian church government exercised internationally when expedient and edifying to the church. And even if a small congregation or society of Christians does not have a lawfully ordained minister or have lawfully ordained elders, these may still meet together as a Presbyterian congregation because they embrace these principles presented above, even if they do not yet have the benefit of having such church officers (and for such they pray and labor in the Lord that the Lord Jesus would give them such godly and learned men as officers in ministering to them on behalf of Christ).

    D. How old is Presbyterian church government?

    1. At least as far back as this Presbyterian Synod in Acts 15, where the gathering of elders (presbuteroi) to settle an ecclesiastical controversy is cited in Acts 15:2,4,6,22,23; Acts 16:4. The word “presbytery” is found in 1 Timothy 4:14 (presbuterion).

    2. There was likewise a corresponding Presbyterian church government in the Jewish Church: the synagogue=session (Matthew 10:17); the presbytery=presbytery (Acts 22:5, presbuterion); and the sanhedrin=synod (Matthew 26:59, sunedrion). Consider the words of Jethro to Moses who spoke of different levels of courts within Israel (Exodus 18:21 [Jethro counsels Moses to appoint godly rulers of 1,000s, 100s, 50s, and 10s]; 2 Chronicles 19:8 [King Jehoshaphat appoints priests and elders to hear cases as a supreme Synod in Jerusalem that arise from the synagogues of the cities]).

    Thus, we may say that Presbyterian church government in some form goes back to the organization of the Old Testament Church. It has been around for a long time, and is appointed by the Lord in His Holy Word.

    Neither Congregational (Independency) nor Episcopalian forms of church government can claim such a biblical and historical warrant. Presbyterian church government is alone of divine right and divine law as revealed in Scripture. This is what the Holy Spirit reveals was convened in Acts 15:6.

    3. Because a smaller body or congregation does not presently enjoy a Presbytery or Synod does not mean it is not Presbyterian. For it has in principle what it may lack in practice.”

  34. “There was the appointment of official church officers by the Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem as delegates to convene together for the purpose of declaring the truth concerning this controversy (Acts 15:2,6).

    A Presbyterian Synod employs ordained elders (1 Peter 5:1)—whether apostles (extraordinary), prophets (extraordinary), pastors (ordinary), teachers (ordinary), ruling elders (ordinary). There may have been even church officers from other locations (besides Antioch and Jerusalem) as well, since this letter is sent to other locations (Acts 15:24).

    This was not simply a Synod of the apostles functioning as bishops, but of “the apostles and elders” (presbuteros) as we see in Acts 15:2,4,6,22,23; Acts 16:4. This was not an extraordinary apostolic Synod where immediate revelation from God was given to the apostles with no discussion necessary.

    This was an example to be followed in future Presbyteries and Synods as evidenced by the fact that the apostles functioned here as elders of the Church together with other elders who together discussed and debated the issue at hand.

    3. There was not only discussion and debate about the place that the Old Testaments ceremonies and ordinances had in salvation (Acts 15:6,7a), but there was also an authoritative decision reached by the Synod (called “decrees” in Acts 16:4 from the Greek word dogma, i.e. authoritative teaching).

    It was not authoritative because apostles were present, but because it was agreeable to the Holy Spirit and to the Synod so ruling on behalf of Christ (Acts 15:28). This did not make the Synod (or any Presbyterian Synod since then) infallible and incapable of error.

    However, because Christ the King has appointed these officers and such Presbyterian Synods (and Church Courts) to rule in His kingdom, to oppose the rulings of such Synods (Presbyteries and Sessions) when they are agreeable to the Word of God is to oppose Jesus Christ Himself. It is not simply resisting the authority of God’s truth in the ruling, but is also resisting the authority of Christ’s ordained officers who rule on Christ’s behalf.”

  35. “However, because Christ the King has appointed these officers and such Presbyterian Synods (and Church Courts) to rule in His kingdom, to oppose the rulings of such Synods (Presbyteries and Sessions) when they are agreeable to the Word of God is to oppose Jesus Christ Himself. It is not simply resisting the authority of God’s truth in the ruling, but is also resisting the authority of Christ’s ordained officers who rule on Christ’s behalf.”

    Kevin, I know that you and Tim are going to publicly oppose the above statement that elders rule the earthly kingdom of God because ‘in your opinion’ (like two shoes) no kingdom of God exists on earth but only in heaven. Your view that the kingdom of God is only spiritual and not physical is an error, and takes to extreme the literal interpretations of scripture and severely effects your ability to discern scripture rightly dividing the word of truth. Just because the “Pope” claims he alone is the head of the earthly church does not mean there is no earthly physical church on earth and only a spiritual kingdom of God on earth as you both allege.

    My hope is that you both will read the reformers even though in Tim’s view they have no relevance to his interpretation of eschatology as his new revelation of scripture is not something the reformers could know or understand since they did not know scriptures as well as he knows today with fresh knowledge from God speaking to him in the scriptures.

  36. CHR SAID: The RCC and the Orthodox church have institutionalized and made lying central to the propagation of their system.

    ROCKY: I think that statement is inflammatory and foolish; certainly without merit. I could make the same statement about protestants but why would I want to incite sectarian loathing. Is this type of bluster the fruit of Protestantism or an outlier?

    1. Rocky, the problem is that CHR is verifiably correct. Pius IX said that “illustrious documents of venerable antiquity, of both the Eastern and the Western Church, very forcibly testify” of Mary’s sinlessness, and that “this doctrine always existed in the Church.” And yet even Roman Catholic historians acknowledge that there is no evidence of this until 377 A.D. in the west and even later in the east. Ambrose claimed that Nicæa forbade 2nd marriages, and yet the language of Nicæa is the opposite. Jerome taught that Nicæa had made Antioch to govern all of the diocese of Oriens, and yet Alexandria and its provinces were all located within Oriens. Pope Zosimus attempted to stamp Sardica with Nicæan authority by claiming the canons of Sardica were actually from Nicæa. Pope Leo attempted to codify Zosimus’ lie by saying that Nicæa had required all disputes to be handled at Rome, something even Sardica did not require. Pope Benedict XVI, in his book on the Liturgy attempted to show that kneeling during the Sunday liturgy is an apostolic practice. It is mentioned nowhere in Scripture, and is expressly forbidden in the 20th of Nicæa. Benedict casually claimed that “The twentieth canon of Nicæa decrees that Christians should stand, not kneel, during Eastertide” (Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 192), and left out the fact that Nicæa forbade kneeling on Sunday year around.

      It’s neither inflammatory nor foolish to claim that Roman Catholicism has institutionalized lying. It’s a historical fact. Rome cannot do otherwise to establish her ostensible ecclesial authority.

      What is foolish is to deny historical facts.



  37. Beware of false prophets who claim that the Scripture is the only thing that they use for their interpretation, and all other churches and ministers only use ‘human tradition’ for their interpretations. Beware of those who seek only that which is new and innovative that nobody has ever heard of before.

    “My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?” Prov. 24:21-22

    “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Rom.16:17.

    “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jer.6:16

    Those who ignore our faithful forefathers, and instead claim to have found new, innovative and modern interpretations beware as in history we have many who have claimed the same thing only to lead millions astray.

    “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” Prov.22:28

    “The Seventh-day Adventist doctrine of the investigative judgment and cleansing of the heavenly Sanctuary based upon Daniel 8:14 is indeed the central pillar of the Adventist faith. Some Adventists may disagree; however, it is. Ellen White said,

    “The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and central pillar of the Advent faith was the declaration, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed’.

    There are many, perhaps the majority, of Adventist pastors and Bible teachers who want to run as far away from Daniel 8:14, 1844 and the investigative judgment, and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary as possible. Yet the church cannot dismiss this doctrine.

    This doctrine is not only the central pillar in name, it is the central pillar holding up the whole Adventist identity. I agree 100% with Dr. Rodriguez on this point. If the Adventist church were to jettison this teaching, the organization would be morphed into something it is not. That is why the last two General Conference presidents have openly endorsed Ellen White and the sanctuary doctrine.

    If they were to admit the errors of October 22, 1844, and the investigative judgment as the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary as taught by Ellen White, then Ellen White would fall as “a continuing and authoritative source of truth”. If Ellen White is rejected, the doctrine of the remnant church would fall on the heap. If the remnant church doctrine goes, then the Sabbath as the seal of God for end time believers and Sunday as the mark of the beast crumbles into the dust.”

    1. Walt,

      You wrote,

      “Beware of false prophets who claim that the Scripture is the only thing that they use for their interpretation, and all other churches and ministers only use ‘human tradition’ for their interpretations.”

      Anyone in particular? Who did you have in mind?


      1. Tim said:

        “Anyone in particular? Who did you have in mind?”

        I’ll let your audience do their own research on all those who teach prophecy and are interpreters of prophecy.

        I’m watching the most incredible video right now. I’m almost through 40 minutes of this 2 hour presentation on “Seventh-day Adventists Glorify Ellen G. White & a White Jesus in San Antonio SDA Conference” here:

        What is so incredible is that SDA is one of the fastest growing cults in the world, and their entire organization is all based upon prophecy. As you know, as do your readers, that prophecy is in our generation one of the most fascinating aspects of “bible only” teachers. Like Ellen G. White taught, only the Bible is the basis for her interpretations, and she made it clear to her followers that all human tradition is Roman Catholic. Even the reformers themselves were only following Rome, and they did not have the vision and spirit of God like she had to help write her prophecies. According to some of the interviews done in the video above, all these prophecies are coming alive today and anyone who knows SDA followers they all are very much against the Reformers and in favor of the Bible Only theory. Ellen G. White only helps them interpret prophecy, but the Saturday Sabbath, the pictures of Jesus, the rejection of shell fish and bottom feeders, etc. make her prophecies even that much more wonderful for her followers.

        Usually, it is not until the prophet dies that the real growth takes place so these prophets who ignore the great reformer teaching on doctrine, discipline, form of worship, form of government will be honored as “bible only” teachers, and claim a rejection of “human tradition”.

        The more I look into this prophecy movement and how these teachers rise to the level of gods, and the enormous growth of their religions, it is just incredible.

        Watching this Seventh-day Adventist conference and the estimated 70,000 that attended their general conference make the approx. 101 Ministers who attended the Westminster Assembly look like a laughing stoke in history. The Westminster Assembly did not spend much time on prophecy interpretation, but imagine if they did, it could have effected more nations than just Scotland, England and Ireland. They said in the video they have delegates (their Elders) from 170 nations. Wow! Prophecy is key!

      1. Tim said:

        “So Walt, when does the 2,300 “days” end? ”

        Do you celebrate Christmas and other Roman Catholic holy days? Do you sing human inspired songs in the public worship of God? Do you use musical instruments in the worship of God? Do you fence the communion table and practice close communion? Do you believe in the binding nature of public social covenants? Do you believe in the divine right of presbyterian church government and discipline? Do you participate in occasional hearing? To you practice written terms of communion, or only oral unwritten terms? Do you believe in the binding nature of subordinate standards as approved by lawful, faithful church courts where these standards agree to and are founded on the Word of God or do you reject them as being mere human tradition and non-binding on your conscience? Do you practice and teach the doctrine of toleration and pretended liberty of conscience? Do you support the practice of participating in pluralistic voluntary associations for moral causes?

        I guess we should deal with reformed theology before we get into modern day prophecy. It is a sore subject with most modern day prophets to deal with their epistemology before we discuss their prophetical interpretations. Sorry to demur.

        1. Walt, all you have commented on for the last week is modern false prophets and their false prophecies. If you don’t want to talk about prophecy, then I suggest that you stop talking about prophecy.



          1. Tim,

            False prophets are only a symptom of the core problem that I have discussed. The root of the problem is at issue with false prophets. I need to obey scripture:

            “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matt.7:15)

            “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken.” (Ezek.22:26-28)

            “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For 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 20:28-30)

            “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt.16:6)

            Over the years I’ve learned to be more focused on doctrine, worship and government than on which prophet is right or wrong. There are so many false prophets in our generation it is an epidemic.

            Arguing over 2300 days in prophecy is secondary in importance than doctrine, worship and government.

          2. But Walt, it’s 1820 A.D., right? Isn’t that the year the 2300 “days” of Daniel 8:14 ends according to your belief? And 2060 A.D. will be the end of the 1,260 “days”? Right?

            That is what you believe, isn’t it?


          3. Here is how E.B. Elliott interpreted the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 (linking it to the vial of the 6th angel of Revelation 16). He saw the 2,300 year period from 480 B.C. to 1820 A.D.:


            So the year 1820 drew on, which seemed marked out in Daniel’s ancient prophecy, as the destined epoch for the breaking up of the Turkman power, and drying up of its flood from the Euphrates. During the progress of the revolutionary wars in Europe, which we have been lately reviewing, though not without an early sprinkling of the Vial, it had yet remained comparatively uninjured. For the French expedition of 1798, which conquered Egypt, was soon expelled by the English under Abercrombie and the political state of the Turkish empire became as before. And in 1802 a Christian commentator, musing on this prophecy, expressed his marvel as to the means by which the Vial was to take effect, and an empire, still so populous and mighty, to be wasted and dried up. — So things continued in the main till the very beginning of 1820. “That year the Ottoman empire,” says the Annual Register for 1820, “found itself freed at once from foreign war and domestic rebellion.” But before the year ended how was the scene changed; and what causes introduced of exhaustion and—distress that have since then never ceased to operate! — I only proceed to sketch them in brief; abstracting almost entirely from Dr. Keith.
            The first cause that so operated was internal revolt and insurrection. In the summer of 1820 Ali Pasha of Yanina asserted his independence; and by his revolt precipitated the Greek insurrection, which had been for some time silently preparing. In October the Greek islanders called in their merchant ships. In November the Suliot Greeks returned to their country from the Ionian islands, and joined the revolt, in alliance with Ali their former oppressor. In February 1821 Chourshid Pasha, of Tripolizza, having marched from thence against Yanina, leaving the Morea almost destitute of Turkish soldiers, the Moreote Greeks broke out into insurrection. This was early in April. The insurrection quickly extended to the Ægean isles, and districts of Northern Greece, Epirus, and Thessaly ; while at the same time the standard of revolt was raised also in the trans-Danubian provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia. —— Does the reader think me too particular in the dates? I have given them that he may more minutely compare what then occurred on this Greek rising against the Turkman domination, with what occurred just 2300 years before on the Greek rising against the Persian. There is a striking parallel between the two ; which to myself at least appears quite to deserve observation.” (E. B. Elliott, Horæ Apocalyticæ, vol III, p. 390-392)

  38. Tim,

    Go to around 1:15 on the video and you can see all the Elders of SDA carry a motion to vote in conference “To Approve The Statement Confidence In The Writings of Ellen G. White”.

    Later it is confirmed that they use “sola scriptura” and so this is very exciting as it does away with the “Roman Catholic” reformers and their human tradition. The prophecies of Ellen G. White and confidence in her writings are passed by the Conference.

    You just never know what new prophets with emerge in the future were men will come forward in our generation to declare confidence in their writings because they too use “sola scriptura” as the foundation for all their interpretations.

    Just incredible how millions get sucked into this “anti reformer” rhetoric as being “tradition” while these prophecies are all based upon “sola scriptura” and declared truth.

    People follow the writings of all sorts of modern prophets and writers on prophecy in our generation like they are some sort of god on the earth if they claim they only use sola scriptura as their source of truth. It boggles my mind.

  39. Walt, ” the more I look into this prophecy movement and how these teachers rise to the level of gods” you certainly are adept at finding men who you think rise to the level of gods. You have supplied endless material of men you feel have risen to the level of gods.

  40. Kevin said:

    “You have supplied endless material of men you feel have risen to the level of gods.”

    The good thing Kevin is that you are a biblicist and sola scriptura only. The only exception is your support for Tim’s prophecy interpretation while my focus is on the human tradition of the reformers. You definitely got it figured out.

    1. ” you just never know what new prophets will emerge in the future where men will come forward in our generation to declare confidence in their writings because they too use Sola scriptura as the foundation of interpretations.” You can just imagine somebody said this about Luther. I’m convinced you are neither Reformed in the true sense of the word. I’m also convinced you would have been the very band leader against the man under whose banner you claim. Sad!!

  41. Tim,

    You probably heard about Kim Clement died after Trump was elected and while his last prophecy was filled with “scriptures popping out”, this could be a good warning for all prophets:

    “Clement, who was known as a prophet, would often times travel the world leading worship and become prophetically inspired. His death was announced by his family on Nov. 24 and now some of his ministry friends are honoring his memory.

    Crouch, president of TBN, wrote a dedication on his website thanking Clement for speaking into his life.

    “Kim and Jane have been our close friends for over two decades, and our lives and ministries seemed at times intertwined. Kim revealed profound biblical truths with his unique style of prophetic teaching and worship — truths and revelations that have literally helped shape our ministry and our future,” Crouch said. “Today Kim is with his beloved Jesus. And while Heaven is a richer place, he will surely be missed by all of us who were impacted by his ministry and friendship.”


  42. “Discourses on Scripture Psalmody in Praising God by Rev. Hugh Brown

    There was a time when to be Presbyterian meant to be concerned for purity of worship. Presbyterians were opposed to liturgical modes of worship, operatic modes of singing, and observance of a church calendar. The concern for purity was not merely negative, it had some very notable positive aspects as well. In a previous time, to be Presbyterian was synonymous with being a Psalm singer. Whatever the cause of breech in communion, each Lord’s day would echo the sounds of Presbyterians of every stripe engaging in the singing of David’s Psalms in their public worship. Despite some few dissenters, this largely remained the case until Isaac Watts published his imitations of David’s Psalms. At that time, without Presbyterian bodies of the same constitution divisions began to emerge between those proponents of the “new psalmody” and those of the older usage. As congregations fractured over the worship wars, Watts hymns became the next line of assault against the Psalm singing of the Presbyterian churches. So intense was the division produced that men quickly joined sides in an often heated controversy over the matter of acceptable worship.

    In the first discourse in this pamphlet, Hugh Brown, a Presbyterian of the older cast in the worship wars, gives himself to a spirited defense of the Psalms of David against the innovations of Watts, especially the introduction of uninspired hymns. Brown lays down the ground of his argument in the so-called Regulative Principle—the acceptable way of worshipping God is revealed and limited by himself in his Word. To this, he adds discussion of the usage of the church, not only in the Old Testament, but in the New. He argues form the use of Christ and his apostles for the retention of the Book of Psalms as the only hymnal in the New Testament church. In his course of arguing, he points out the excellence of the Psalter as well as its sufficiency for Christian worship. Finally, he takes up many objections often raised to exclusive Psalmody.

    In the second discourse, Mr. Brown turns his attention to the use of instrumental music in the worship of God. He gives a very interesting and helpful overview of the use of instruments in the Old Testament church and shows they only had a limited scope and were not part of ordinary worship. He then examines the usage of the New Testament church and finds no warrant for their use there. Finally, he sets forth answers to several of the most common objections to prohibiting their use.”

    Subscribe to the pamphlet program for $10 a month here:

  43. Tim,

    Nice try. If you knew your history and eschatology authors you would know that Elliott was a pre-mill historicist. None of the post-mill historicist I know follow his teachings. You might find him “authoritative to discredit the reformers” but in reality he has done an excellent job (far better than your research) in documenting various beliefs with far more accuracy.

    I recommend you get your act together on doctrine before you start trying to teach prophecy.

    Kevin, sometimes I laugh so hard reading your posts. Here is a guy who has been kicked off and banned from almost all the major blogs on the web for your rude and constant foolishness, and you are instructing people about reformed theology? Please, you must be joking yourself.

      1. No Tim, your Elliott quote is fine. Just not anything we believe so quoting him makes no sense to me, but it is good fake news.

  44. Walt, Proverbs says if you try to reproove a fool he will slap you in the face. I’m here to learn and study. Take all the shots you want at me brother. I won’t try to reproove you anymore. I apologize. K

  45. Hi Tim, my wife and I were praying for your outreach here and for your family this morning. She was reading a quote on Luther and the conscience which I said I would share. ” For since Moses handed down the ceremonies, since the kings have their laws and statutes this King Christ comes with another new decree, different from all the decrees of Moses and other Kings. Moreover, this must be so understood that it will analyze all the laws, even Moses himself, because they are not useful for obtaining eternal salvation. For when it comes to life eternal, the remission of sins, death, in short, in everything pertaining to the conscience, Moses is silent, the laws are silent, and all the Kings are silent. But this teacher and King alone should be heard.” There are modern day judaizers who bring their different mishnas to hold over people, even those who claim the banner of true Reformed. K

    1. Walt, Jesus did not come announcing the kingdom of the Church of Scotland. Paul did not preach the Church of Scotland. And yet you have nothing to offer us but the model of the Church of Scotland as a preview of the Millennium:

      “The Church of Scotland during its infancy in the first reformation (1560 to 1600) and in the second reformation (1638-1649) was a imperfect (but incredible) “snapshot” of how national churches during the millennium will operate, and the Nations of Scotland, England and Ireland is an imperfect picture of how nations will Covenant together during the millennium.”

      Yes, we know how you feel about the Church of Scotland.

      It may be that you are unwilling or unable to engage in proper conversation, but instead of simply cutting and pasting more about how great it is going to be in the millennium, why not simply tell me what you think the 2,300 “days” of Daniel 8:14 are? Why not simply respond when people ask you questions?



      1. Tim said:

        “It may be that you are unwilling or unable to engage in proper conversation, but instead of simply cutting and pasting more about how great it is going to be in the millennium, why not simply tell me what you think the 2,300 “days” of Daniel 8:14 are? Why not simply respond when people ask you questions?”

        The answer is self evident. Why discuss speculative prophecy with Benny Hinn, Jack Van Impe, Tim Kauffman, etc. when some of your readers can learn true doctrine, discipline, form of worship and government? The whole counsel of God is fundamental to understanding all of Scripture, not just prophecy. All these self proclaimed prophecy teachers are so focused on what the 2300 days mean in Scripture they totally ignore the real fundamentals of the Christian faith. They hate doctrine, but love prophecy. They hate biblical worship, but love prophecy. They hate faithful church government, but love prophecy. They despise historical testimony of our forefathers, but love to roll the dice on prophecy and prediction. They love debate and controversy in setting prophetical dates, but cannot stand truth and unity.

        I’ve watched these guys for 20+ years, and never once have I seen any of them progress the kingdom of Christ.

        1. You asked, “Why discuss speculative prophecy…” And yet you have come here many times preaching the 1260 days. For example:

          “I certainly agree with his position that the dates Tim K sets for the 1260 year timeline cannot be possible.”

          “… in my interpretation the 1260 is not nearly completed and the worse is yet to come.”

          “Tim and I totally disagree that the RCC antichrist has reached its peak of wickedness during the 1260 year[s]…”

          ” During the 1260 year period of reign of the Roman catholic antichrist your people will be able to torture, murder, rape, and nearly silence the elect of God in scripture, but after this period has ended and Roman Catholicism is silenced, you will see true Christian unity start thereafter in the millennium. For now, up till today and ending around 2060 you guys will reign #1 in the Christian church. Enjoy it and the you practice hate against us protestants the more persecution you will raise up against us until 2060. Enjoy while you still can as after here your hatred will stop and true Christians will have a voice.”

          There are many more examples besides these. If your aim is to stick to the “real fundamentals of the Christian faith” rather than to advance a particular interpretation of prophecy, you appear to have upon this conviction quite recently.

          In any case, you once recommended that I read Faber’s “Dissertation on the Prophecies” so that I can better understand “more dates that historicists set for start of 1260 year period.” But when I read the Dissertation, it turns out the Faber was not sure whether the proper reading is 2200 (based on Jerome) or 2400 (based on the Septuagint) or the 2300 we take from the Scriptures. Is this the reason for your sudden realization that it is completely unprofitable to discuss prophecy? Until now you talked about it almost incessantly.

          Anyway, here is Faber’s take:

          “These 1260 days, as we have already seen, synchronize with the last 1260 days of Me 2200, 2300, or 2400, days, whichever of these numbers be the proper reading; because, as we are expressly informed by the two interpreting angels, the 2200, 2300, or 24OO, days, and the 1260 days, both equally bring us down to the time of the end, and consequently terminate together. This being the case, we have only to compute backward 2200, 2300, and 2400, years from the year of our Lord 1866 ; and, according to the epochs to which they respectively lead us, we shall be able to decide with some degree of probability whichi of those three numbers is the true reading, and consequently from what era we are to date the vision of the ram and the he-goat.”

          Interesting. Do you share Faber’s view?


          1. Tim wrote:

            “If your aim is to stick to the “real fundamentals of the Christian faith” rather than to advance a particular interpretation of prophecy, you appear to have upon this conviction quite recently.”

            That is exactly correct. I’ve watched your prophecy develop over time, and wondered often why like others there is such a focus on using the early church fathers as your core basis or your primary method of your interpretation. Initially I assumed it was just historical references to aide the reader, but over time I saw the use of this period as the sole period for your thesis. It has really attracted Kevin who on almost each of your posts literally puts you up on the highest pedestal like Roman Catholics do with each writing by the current Pope.

            While the Roman Catholics sit back in awe and wonder over each the Popes writings, Kevin does the same with each of your posts. I’ve seen this same thing with those who follow Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, etc. The list goes on with those followers of modern day prophets and prophecy.

            I wondered over the past months what makes these people follow these prophets and at same time absolutely despise reformed theology and true faithful doctrine, discipline, firm of worship and government.

            It soon became obvious that those who focus only on prophecy and only the church fathers as their fundamental source of knowledge are in desperate need of correction and training how to learn the basic fundamentals of the faith before they are prophets of the Lord.

          2. Walt, you wrote,

            “I’ve watched your prophecy develop over time”

            No you haven’t. I have made no prophecies here. But you have made prophecies more than once.

            You continued,

            “the early church fathers as your core basis or your primary method of your interpretation.”

            The early church fathers are not my “core basis” and they do not serve as my primary method of interpretation. I have often corrected you on this point, and you have often returned to the accusation with no actual basis for the charge. I have often spelled this out for you, and still you cannot understand. If the church fathers were my core basis and the foundation of my faith, you would read me to say frequently, “The church fathers believed XYZ, and therefore so must we.” And yet I have never said any such thing. You may scour the entire site if you like, and you will never find any such statement from me.

            You continued,

            “over time I saw the use of this period as the sole period for your thesis.”

            That’s not true either, Walt. My series on the Diodochi did not use the early church fathers at all, except to show that they did not agree with each other and that their testimony is not reliable—some almost 800 years removed from the actual events—and my conclusion was that the Taurus Mountains, rather than the Mediterranean Sea, served as the boundary between north and south in Daniel’s visions—something no church father even imagined. My series on the division of the Roman empire cited church fathers and reformers all the way through the post reformation era, and they were universal in their conclusion that Antichrist must subdue three of the ten horns—something Daniel never actually prophesies. I concluded, based on the testimony of Daniel and John that there were originally 13 fragments in Daniel’s vision—something no church father and no reformer even imagined. Accusing me of basing my entire eschatological framework on the early church fathers may be a great throw away line, but it has no basis in fact. If it did, I would hold to a ten-way division of the Roman empire, and take all of Asia Minor for the kingdom of the North. But I do not.

            You continued,

            While the Roman Catholics sit back in awe and wonder over each the Popes writings, Kevin does the same with each of your posts. I’ve seen this same thing with those who follow Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, etc. The list goes on with those followers of modern day prophets and prophecy.

            And here on this site you have made more prophecies than I have, Walt. Just read through your many observations of what it is going to be like after 2060. Only one of us prophesies here, Walt, and it isn’t me. I see no difference between how Roman Catholics view their popes and how you view the courts of the Kirk of Scotland, except the courts of the Kirk have published more “inerrant” documents than all of the Popes combined. Both Rome and Scotland attempt to bind our consciences with the traditions of men. Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White and Walt all make or made prophecies. But not me.

            “those who focus only on prophecy and only the church fathers as their fundamental source of knowledge are in desperate need of correction”

            As you very well know, I do not focus only on prophecy (in fact you have commented very favorably on my analyses of the development of the Mass and other Roman Catholic novelties) and I certainly do not use the church fathers as my “fundamental source of knowledge.” But as I said, you need a throw away line. I assure you, that’s all it is. What kind of correction is necessary for such a man as you, given as you are to calumniation and habitual misrepresentation? Surely there is a solution. Will the Kirk now deal with its erring brother?

            You concluded,

            “Prophecy is just a symptom of a greater problem.”

            I’m not sure what that means. The only prophecy I am focused on is that which is contained in the Scriptures. I don’t think the prophetical literature of the scriptures is a problem. If you believe that actually engaging in prophecy is the problem, then all you have to do is stop prophesying, and I gather that you have now done so, and will no longer come here and predict what it is going to be like 43 years from now. But lacking that, all that is left is for you to cut and paste literature from the Kirk, and for those interested, Google will suffice. They don’t need this blog for that.



  46. The T E S T I M O N Y of the Ministers of the gospel undersubscribing, unto the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the kirk of Scotland, and to the National Covenant of Scotland, and to the Solemn League and Covenant betwixt the three nations, of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and to the work of uniformity in religion, in one Confession of Faith, Form of Church Government, Directory of Worship, and Catechising; and against the errors, heresies, and blasphemies now on foot in these nations, that are contrary and destructive thereunto; especially against that vast toleration in things religious, lately framed into a law, and proclaimed throughout this nation.

    Amos 3.13,14. Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord God, the God of hosts, That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him, I will also visit the altars of Bethel, and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.

    Rev. 12.11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.

  47. Walt has claimed his church is the true church. My parents attended a church that also claimed they were the true church (with VERY different beliefs I might add).

    Where is the true church today? If you say it is anyone who believes the essentials of Christianity and not a particular group, what are those essentials? I think most Protestants equate the “true church” as meaning “believing in the true Gospel.” However, nary two groups agree on what those essentials are. How does one know what is essential to the faith?

    Tim K., if Martin Luther were alive today, would you want him as your pastor?

  48. Kevin said:


    Cute…the only problem with this statement is that you have to interpret this biblical testimony, and that is where you fail to perform since the “spirit” in you is not that of Christ, but rather is that of evil spirits causing you seducers of false doctrine to wax worse and worse. Best remove the beam in your own eyes before trying to remove the spec if the reformed minister eye.

  49. I figured my posts would be restricted if our doctrine was so far in disagreement. Propecy is just a symptom of a greater problem.

  50. Have at me Walt. The attitude of intolerance and persecution toward all dissenters was always that of Roman Catholicism . And let your post to me serve as a reminder that the early defenders of liberty of conscience the Reformers later agreed to a thorough -going union of the church and the state which meant the abandonment of the principle of religious liberty. The natural and inevitable consequence was the persecution of the Anabaptists by the established state churches. I have no doubt you would have been a ring leader. God bless

  51. Walt, I’m sorry, I can’t avoid something you said. You said I put Tim on a pedestal like Catholics do with the pope.! Come on man with the hyperbole. This coming from a man who might be accused of making gods out of the reformed ministers of Scotland. I can tell you that I put no man on a pedestal. I have followed the articles here because I believe they are well supported in scripture. Walt, you spend the majority of your time here making judgments on the character of people, the validity of their faith, their intentions etc, yet you are unable to disprove the position of the author here. No wise man is going to consider your words when you attack people with ad hominem insults and are unable prove your point. Scripture specifically tells us not to judge another man. Yet judging others has been your montra here. It tells us one of the true believers lives are characterized by repentance, yet I have seen you confronted on numerous occasions on your slurs of others and have never seen you repent. It also tells us if we have not love we are a clanging cymbal, yet you literally told me today that I can’t understand the word of God because the Spirit of Christ isn’t in me. Remember brother pride cometh before the fall. I pray nothing but God’s best for you. K

  52. Tim said ” both Rome and Scotland attempt to bind our consciences with the traditions of men.” This is bold but I think true statement. When Walt says prophecy is a symptom of a greater problem he is saying unless a person adhere to all the tenants of the 6 points of communion he can have no understanding of biblical prophecy nor has the right to interpret it. And any attempt brings on the inquisition and the charge of unbeliever. We’ve seen that act in history before. Sad.

    1. Kevin,

      That’s why I think it is so significant that Walt’s conversation dropped off immediately upon my request that he identify the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14. I asked him to do so after he made a comment on how silly the 1844 interpretation of the SDAs was. Well and good—it was a silly interpretation. Elliott’s was just as silly: 1820. But Walt did not like Elliott. Faber suggested 1866, in which he presumes to correct the 2,300 in Hebrew with the 2200 of Jerome:

      “If then we compute backward 2200 years from the year of our Lord 1866, we shall arrive at the year A. C. 334 : if 2300 years from the same period, at the year A. C. 434 : and if lastly 2400 ijears, at the year A. C. 534. All these three dates, namely the years A. C. 334, 434, and 534, fall within the period, during which the ram continued standing upon the bank of his river ; for he stood there, as we have seen, from the first year of Cyrus or the year A. C. 536, to the murder of Darius in the year A. C. 330 when the Persian monarchy was dissolved : we must be guided therefore by circumstances in making our choice among them. The year A.C. 534, to which we are led by adopting the reading of the Seventy or 2400 days is the third year of Cyrus ; a year, in in which nothing very remarkable happened, and from which therefore we can scarcely suppose the vision to be dated. The year A. C. 434, to which we are led by adopting the reading of the Hebrew or 2300 days is equally devoid of any striking incident that peculiarly affected the empire of the ram; from this year therefore we can with as little reason suppose the vision to be dated as from the former year. But the year A. C. 334, to which we are led by adopting the reading mentioned by Jerome or 2200 days is big with events most materially important to the Persian monarchy : for, in this very year, the Macedonian he-goat “came from the West on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground ;” in this very year, he first “ran unto the ram in the fury of his power,” and smote him upon the banks of the river Granicus: hence I cannot refrain from thinking it most probable, that the year A. C. 334, in which the he-goat began to attack the ram as he was standing in the hitherto undisputed possession of his authority, is the real date of the vision ; and consequently that the number 2200 is the true reading.” (Faber, Dissertation, 175-6)

      As much as I admire and respect Faber’s other analysis, I cannot accept his thinking on Daniel 8:14 which is, at least materially, a rejection of sola scriptura. His interepretation is just as silly as the SDAs and Elliott.

      In any case, the fundamental flaw in his reading of the Daniel 8:14—which flaw ensnares Elliott, Faber and the rest—is that Daniel makes no mention of prophetic “days,” and therefore there is no ground for assuming a year for each “prophetic day” in Daniel 8:14. In a singular departure from his other prophecies, Daniel refers instead to “two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings” (Daniel 8:14). As with the days of creation (Genesis 1), “the evening and the morning” is one literal day. Those 2,300 literal days of Daniel 8:14 all occur within the One prophetic Week of Daniel 9:27, which itself has already been expanded from a period of one prophetic “week” into its actual seven year period. It is impossible to make 2300 literal days that occur in a literal seven year period to refer to 2300 years, and we cannot be in the business of translating willy nilly every prophetic period into years of days when the Scriptures provide evidence to us that the days are literal days.

      It is evident enough that the trampling under foot of the sanctuary is to occur not only during the Greek Empire, but under the reign of the little horn of the Greek empire during the seventieth week (Daniel 8:11, Daniel 9:26-27, Daniel 11:21-39), and that it would be done by a distant descendant of one of the successors of Alexander. In 334 B.C., the trampling underfoot of the Sanctuary was still more than 60 years away. There is no ground, therefore, for Faber’s assumption that he can correct the original Hebrew from 2300 to 2200 days (on the authority of Jerome, no less!) just because it falls so close to the He-goat’s conquest of the Persian Ram. The sanctuary was not trampled underfoot until the Seleucids did so, and it was Antiochus IV who took all the treasures of the Temple, not Alexander, and he did so during the 70th week, and did so for a literal 2300 days, after which the sanctuary was cleansed in accordance with Ezekiel’s instructions.

      Anyway, I would very much like to hear Walt’s take on the 2300 days, but I do not think the matter has been settled yet by the post-mill historicists, so there is no need to expect a response in the near term.



  53. Tim, thanks, so clearly explained. Scripture is God breathed, profitable to teach and reproove. It not only equips men on how to live, but God reveals his truths to us as we study the scripture. John MacArthur used to say the more times he studied a passage or a book of scripture the more truths of God are revealed to us. Every believer has to work hard at study. But God is faithful. As you know I was a professional musician. Many wanted to be Inn the situations I was in but they didn’t put in the time, and it showed. That’s why I listen to the men who have put the time in on these things. It doesn’t necessarily make someone right, but everyone must make the argument from scripture. Certainly great difference should be shown the Scottish Reformers. But to say that God cannot help believers understand better biblical prophecy from a Reformed believer who has committed his life to the subject and models Christian behavior is just nonsense. The reason I consider your words is because your witness to me as a believer is credible and I know your commitment to understanding scriptures, especially on these subjects. After all of the drama and hot air,it comes down to can someone make the argument from scripture. If they can’t, no one will listen.

  54. I see that a lot of you spend time talking about Tim Keller and like typical Americans you assume that he means something to us in the rest of the world where we as evangelical Christians outnumber you by far, Tim Keller is almost unknown outside of America – and besides that we are not led astray by his Saul Alinsky DeBlasio Marxist teaching

  55. Gordon, have you taken the time to understand this site? Before judging it. Did you learn to judge people at Rhema? Do you even know the author of this site’s position on Tim Keller That isn’t the behavior of any pastor I know.

    1. Mark,

      I have listed all my source material in the blog entry itself. You will note that whenever I cite a source, I cite the source.

      Thank you,


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