Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out …from a different perspective
by Elinor Montgomery
Opening the Sealed Book (see Daniel 12:4)
Christianity versus the Church
January 16, 2011
If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God (1 Peter 4:14-17)?
This is an excerpt from a letter written to the gentiles in Asia Minor, who had become believers, and part of the early apostolic church known as ‘the Way’. They were experiencing increasing hostility from the other Greeks and Romans in the vicinity. They reviled and abused them for their lifestyle and what the Romans would have viewed as subversive talk about another kingdom, which was not that of the Roman Empire. Such talk was viewed as an insult to Caesar.
At this time, when Peter was addressing the believers throughout Asia Minor, there had arisen a new mocking term for them called Christian, which was applied to them first by the Greek and Roman non-believers of Antioch. The mockery was growing along with the persecution, which would come to designate them, to some degree, as enemies of Caesar and the Roman Empire.
However, the heart of the teaching of Jesus was at odds with that of the Zealots and religious leaders who were looking for a showdown, which would come in the nature of outright warfare. The message of Jesus was one of submission to authorities in matters concerning Caesar’s rule but of submission to God in spiritual matters, which would require the believers to stand on truth. They were never to submit to the religion of the idolaters, which, in this case, would point them to Greek and Roman gods. For Greece was a province of Rome at this time.
And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26).
Now Peter opens his letter to the elect of Asia Minor by describing himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. He and none of the other apostles ever called themselves by the name of Christian. Jesus never, in His entire ministry, called Himself a Christian. In fact, in Matthew, when He actually is establishing His foundation for His church, giving it the keys to the kingdom of heaven, He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. He was not merely the Messiah of Israel; He was the Savior of the world and the Son of God. He was the fruitful tree that would produce sons for God from all nations.
The message of Peter to the believers was that they would suffer and be mocked by the name-calling of the Greeks, which was rapidly spreading with the name of Christian. He was warning them not to be dismayed by this name. The Greeks and Romans intended, for their part, to blaspheme God, but followers of ‘the Way’ were simply to respond to the mocking by doing actions that would glorify God, unlike the actions of the mockers.
Peter was telling the believers that the gentiles were murderers, thieves, evildoers and busybodies who were poking their noses into what was the church’s commission, which was not a part of the gentile lifestyle at all. Peter was warning the true church of believers to not allow themselves to become worn down by their reproaches, which could result in the believers taking the easy route of simply submitting to the religious practices required by the Roman state.
Along with their admonitions to the believers, was it possible that Jesus and Peter had special insight into where this name-calling would lead? Most certainly Jesus could see into the future when, one day, the apostolic church would give way to religion and allow Rome to take it into captivity under the name of Christianity. It would become a victim of Romanism with a new high priest in place of Jesus, who was the pagan high priest of Rome, given the new title of ‘the pope’. This was a Roman officially-established religion by the fourth century Caesar called Constantine, a ruler of a Babylonian Empire.
He knew, like Balaam knew centuries before him, that if you can’t defeat the growing thorn in your side, you join it and transform it into your own desired image. As it became more difficult for the Roman Empire to prevent the spread of ‘the Way’, even among the Romans, the Emperor Constantine decided to join the church to the empire by means of a religious take-over. It was called by the old mocking term to become the new Roman religion of Christianity. The church, like the nation Israel before her, was taken captive to the Babylonian System of empires to become the new official religion of Rome.
Once the church was joined to religion, it would be only a matter of time until the ‘leaven’ of religion would fill the entire loaf, with the original true church eventually becoming a dead, sleeping church within the tomb of religious, institutional Christianity. And so, Christianity went out to the world in a manner quite different from that of the apostles who witnessed only to the truth, making a complete break from the temple ruler-ship of the Scribes and Pharisees. A great deal of religious paganism had been attached to what was henceforth erroneously called the Church.
Christianity was not birthed by Jesus, but rather by Rome, with its own high priest and a Nicolaitan priesthood of over-dressed, over-stuffed, pompous, little dictators. They took it upon themselves to hear the sins of others through enforced confession to them rather than to God. They further took upon themselves the right to close the doorway of heaven to any who disobeyed their decrees. They even played the role of God, determining who would be called saints and who would not be considered worthy of such a title, according to the opinion of the priesthood.
They turned the church into a full-fledged Roman religious/state system with a capital city and state ambassadors; Jerusalem paled in importance beside Vatican City. Christianity had done the very thing about which Peter was warning the church in his letter to Asia Minor. The church of the fourth century no longer resembled the church to which Peter had sent his letter. It had become the glue, which attached the early Roman Empire to the Revived Roman Empire of the latter days, keeping it alive until the fullness of the time of the gentiles in what would become the One World Order of economics, government and religion. They cannot be separated from each other, but they must be separated from the true church of Jesus and His coming New World Order in His kingdom on earth.
The church allowed herself to be transformed from her truth-based foundation to become a religion-based institution, no longer known as ‘the Way’ destined for the kingdom under Jesus; it was now fully established on the broad road to destruction as a work of the devil.
In capturing the church with Christianity, Satan had successfully stolen it from Jesus, to take it into the captivity of religion. This delighted its new-found father, the devil, the same one to whom Jesus referred as being the father of the religious leaders, the Scribes and Pharisees of Judaism. There most definitely is a Judeo-Christian relationship and common set of values, but they most certainly were never those of the apostolic church of Jesus Christ.
Christianity is the tomb from which the true church must exit, with spiritual Israel having its own exodus from the religious world of the gentiles, just as Israel had her exodus from Egypt. They were both allowed their growing period within the empire systems. But the time has now come for the church to come out of her, before the entire Babylonian System of empires goes down. Satan’s last empire is drawing to a close as it comes to its time of fullness, with religion reaching its zenith in history.
The bride of Christ must purify herself in order to avoid being caught in the quagmire of religion, which will take her down within the harlotry of mankind in rebellion to her God and Creator. We are living in a world ruled by the empirical governments of Satan, which is coming to the point of being a One World Order ruled by the Antichrist and father of religion called the devil, incarnate. It is at this point that all who can be seduced by the serpent’s lure will be in place to go down in the judgment with him, because they did not overcome him.
This is the time when the overcomers will come out of harlotry and join Jesus to rule and reign with Him over His kingdom, which will come to earth to be ruled by the Law of God as it is in heaven. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).” It will be a kingdom of truth under a God of truth. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie (Revelation 22:15).
All religion is founded on the first lie of the serpent in the Garden, which became the foundation for the first belief system apart from the truth called religion, resulting in liberalism from God – the separation of man from his God of truth. Christianity is just another one of those religions that separates man from God, but in this case, it is done in the name of Christ.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23)!’” Are these not the Christians who have done their works in the name of Christ?
“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues (Revelation 18:4).”
Christianity does not hold the keys to the kingdom. Jesus, the way, the truth and the life, handed the keys of the kingdom of heaven to only His apostolic church. At the cross, He, alone, could take her from the broad road of religion leading to death and place her on the way of truth back to the kingdom as the church of Jesus, called ‘the Way’.
Never would Jesus have left it up to Rome to establish His church or transform it from its solid, rock foundation of truth to a religion built on shifting sands, called Christianity. It was a trick of Satan from the beginning, and is nothing more today than it was then, as a plan to compromise the church in the same manner as man was compromised in the Garden with the same lies of religion, which took him from life to death.
Beware of such lies, which are lurking beneath the foundation of Christianity like smoldering coals, waiting to destroy its victims in the name of religion. Satan always tries to counterfeit the moves of God made in truth along the way to the kingdom, with his own antichrist moves of the lie, which lead off the way and onto the broad road of destruction.
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