I want to give you a warning before you read this series… please take heed.
Sometimes, in our pursuit of absolute truth, we discover paradigm-changing facts that require us to question what we believe in. When these things are revealed to us, we are faced with the decision to accept, ignore or rationalize what we’ve discovered.
If you are happy with your walk with God… if you are satisfied… you may want to think twice about reading this series, because it will require you to make a decision and you WILL reap the benefits or consequences of your decision.
So proceed with caution, seeker. The Word says:
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Meditate on that a little bit before proceeding.
“How do you know?”
Those of us who have taken it upon ourselves to preach and teach the Word of God have a responsibility to ensure that the message coming out of our mouths is true. We have to be willing to ask the same question that this gentleman here in this video was asked by the Father… and, if necessary, take the same steps.
Man, I love that guy’s heart.
HonorOfKings.org was birthed out of the willingness to ask the question, “How do you know?”
- How do I know that what I believe is true?
- How do I know that I am being told the absolute truth?
- How do I know that the religious authorities are being honest with me?
- How do I know that they even know what they’re talking about?
Several years ago, I asked those questions when I left the prophetic movement. Through a simple study of the Word, I found out that the modern day prophets were not being knowledgeable, truthful or honest in their delivery of prophecy. What’s more, they were teaching others the same error. Many were simply guilty of regurgitating the error taught to them by their leaders, but some were carrying on a deliberate masquerade, purposely and willfully deceiving multitudes.
I also found out that true prophets and prophecy exist, but look nothing like what you see today.
We are all products of inherited religion.
After that question was resolved, I started asking other questions. My thoughts and dreams were flooded with variations of this one: “Why did the Acts church look and operate one way, while the modern-day circus (that calls itself ‘the church’) looks completely different?”
Once again, I turned to the Bible. But this time I supplemented my Bible study with research into church history from the years 70 AD to the present. And once again, I found the same dynamic coming into play. Those with the seminary degrees (and perceived authority) are not telling you the whole story.
Many church leaders and professors are good-hearted people with the best of intentions, but they have never studied the Word (or history) without viewing it through the lens that they were taught to use. They blindly swallowed what they were taught by their professors in seminary and spewed the same error to their congregations, who further diluted the truth and told others.
Others, however, are carrying on a deliberate ruse. They know EXACTLY what is going on.
Such peoples’ damnation is just.
And this disingenuous behavior is not a recent development. We can trace this deception clear back to the first century. Remember when Paul said that “the mystery of lawlessness” was already at work in 2 Thessalonians? He was stating the absolute truth.
In this series, I want to take a look at the “church fathers” as well as a couple of other religious icons. Rather than presenting a granular look into each individual (a huge undertaking), I want to examine their religious ideologies as a whole, and present to you an extreme irony that I have discovered in my search for answers.
I guarantee you that you will not hear about this from your church leaders and seminary professors… and for good reason. Those who have knowledge of the ruse are aware that if their followers start to connect the dots, then the droves that are already leaving the mainstream church will increase dramatically – in fact, the whole church paradigm would disintegrate.
So in order for you to understand this huge paradox, a study of the words “Christian,” “church” and “Nazarene” is in order.
No, this is not a rabbit trail. It is needed to bring the necessary insight into the church fathers’ worldview and to discern between true followers of the Messiah and those who merely THINK they are following the Messiah… Let’s dive in, shall we?
Who were “the Christians”?
Almost every one of us proudly wears the “Christian” label and say we belong to a belief system known as “Christianity.” But do we know where that name came from? Sure, the Bible mentions Christians, but should we automatically claim that label?
Most of us have probably wondered or chuckled at the phrase “‘Christ’ is not Jesus’ last name,” but the saying is absolutely true. Christ is NOT His last name. If He were to be married, his wife would not be known as Mrs. Christ and his son would not be known as Jesus Christ, Jr.
Christ is used as a Greek title, much like “the Great” is attributed to Alexander the Great. Alexander’s last name is not “the Great,” but the name describes what he is known for. Alexander was a great conqueror.
But here’s the kicker – Jesus was not the only figure in history to be known as “Christ.” In fact, by the time Jesus was born, the title of “Christ” had already been given to other entities.
According to TyndaleArchive.com:
The Greeks used both the word Messias (a transliteration) and Christos (a translation) for the Hebrew Mashiach (Anointed). The word Christos was far more acceptable to the pagans who were worshiping Chreston and Chrestos.
According to The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, the word Christos was easily confused with the common Greek proper name Chrestos, meaning “good.” According to a French theological dictionary, it is absolutely beyond doubt that Christus and Chrestus, and Christiani and Chrestiani were used indifferently by the profane and Christian authors of the first two centuries A.D. The word Christianos is a Latinism, being contributed neither by the Jews nor by the Christians themselves. The word was introduced from one of three origins: the Roman police, the Roman populace, or an unspecified pagan origin. Its infrequent use in the New Testament suggests a pagan origin.
According to Realencyclopaedie, the inscription Chrestos is to be seen on a Mithras relief in the Vatican. According to Christianity and Mythology, Osiris, the Sun-deity of Egypt, was reverenced as Chrestos. In the Synagogue of the Marcionites on Mount Hermon, built in the third century A.D., the Messiah’s title is spelled Chrestos. According to Tertullian and Lactantius, the common people usually called Christ Chrestos.” (Source)
So we can see from the evidence provided that the title “Christian” was not used back in New Testament times to mean “belonging exclusively to Jesus Christ” or to mean “little Jesus Christs,” as is so often taught. The pagan gods Osiris, Mithras and others were all referred to as “christs.”
What’s more, Christ is a translation – which means the Greeks took the Hebrew word Mashiach and tried to find a word in their own language that best fit the Hebrew word. What better word to use than the same word that they used to describe their other pagan deities?
We have been raised to make a direct connection between Christ and Jesus, but to an early culture saturated in Greek philosophy, idioms, and terminology, it just sounded like their word for good – chrestus – and was used interchangeably, or “indifferently,” according to the reference above. As the centuries passed, it became more synonymous with Jesus’ name as Constantine’s false church strengthened her grip on the known world.
But the Bible says that believers in Christ were known as “Christians”!
To confirm what the TyndaleArchive.com entry is saying, the 3 times in the New Testament that the word “Christian” is mentioned, pagans are using it and conferring it upon believers in the Messiah.
King Agrippa’s Use of the Word “Christian”
King Agrippa, great-grandson of the Edomite King, Herod the Great (who had tried to kill the Messiah in His infancy) and son of the man who had beheaded James, told Paul:
“You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
Up until this point in Paul’s speech to Agrippa, he had just been answering the accusations leveled against him (Acts 26:2); He was not preaching the gospel, which always centered around the idea of “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17) If Paul had preached that message in front of a king, it is doubtful (barring divine intervention) that he would have lived long enough to get a chance to appeal to Caesar.
King Agrippa may have believed the prophets (Acts 26:27), but he was also an Edomite king – a usurper who did not belong on the throne in Israel. His use of the word “christian” in this verse does not show us that the term applied exclusively to the followers of Jesus “Christ,” but rather reinforces the notion that Agrippa may have wanted to follow this chrestus (good) man who had had such a profound effect upon Paul. If Agrippa had really wanted to be a part of the group of people Paul was affiliated with, he would have said “you almost persuade me to become a Nazarene,” for that was the group of people Paul was affiliated with. (Acts 24:5)
Regardless, this example does show a pagan king bestowing this title upon those who believed in Jesus of Nazareth.
Antioch Citizens Called the Disciples “Christians”
In the following verse, we see the title “Christian” being bestowed upon the disciples by the pagan citizens of Antioch, a city probably named after Antiochus Epiphanes, a type of anti-Christ known for defiling the Temple and ordering the Jews to forsake the Torah on pain of death.
And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Notice this verse did NOT say that the believers decided to call themselves “Christians.” They were called “Christians” by the pagans of Antioch.
Peter’s Use of the Word “Christian”
Yet what about Peter? He uses the term “Christian” in one of his epistles.
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.
If we gloss over this, it would certainly seem that the disciple endorsed the word “Christian” as a legitimate title for those who follow the Messiah, but upon closer inspection, we see that the title is used within the context of suffering. At whose hands would a believer suffer? More than likely an unbeliever. A pagan!
We know that 1 Peter was written “To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…” With the exception of the disciples, these were all pagan cities full of pagan people who were not part of the sect of people who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Originally, the “Christian” label was given to us by pagans.
So all 3 times this label is conferred upon believers in the New Testament, it is used by pagan people (directly or indirectly) who had no covenant with the Most High. There is even some evidence that christian may have been a derogatory term.
Then they said to him, “We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken any evil of you. But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.”
Regardless of whether or not christian was a derogatory term, it was definitely not an exclusive label given to Jesus’ followers, and Christ was not a title given exclusively to our Messiah (although He is the only one worthy of the title).
Keep in mind that the term “christianity” had not yet been invented. We will explore this term later on in the series.
Well, pagans may have been using the term ‘Christ’ to describe their gods during the first few centuries, but we use the term ‘Christ’ and ‘Christian’ exclusively in reference to Jesus our Savior, so it’s all okay.”
[[Excuse me as I exhale in frustration…]]
Look, I know I’m striking a nerve here.
I also know it’s a foregone conclusion that many people who read this will think that the “technicalities” of His name or the specifics of their own religious identity do not really matter in the grand scheme of things. All that really matters to them is “what is in the heart.” But that is just vain rationalization that attempts to put rock-solid truth into a gray area. This keeps the “believer” unchallenged so that they can stay in the realm of the relative. But I digress…
If you fall into that group, go ahead and file this post in the “for informational purposes only” category of your mind… for now. I have more concrete reasons why you should question the “Christianity” you grew up with. This is backed up scripturally and historically.
Believe it or not, “Christians” insist on belonging to an end time group that you and I want no part of.