Posts Tagged ‘myth’

It is very heartening to hear of local officials in New York and elsewhere starting to stand up against the central government’s deceptive power grab disguised as gun safety.  It is the Biblical responsibility of the lower magistrate to lead the people against a tyrannical higher magistrate, in this case Barack Hussein Obama.

However, this legal right of the lower magistrate presupposes a commitment to  reestablish the rule of God and his law.  If this is lacking the resistance is no better than the Jewish rebels who resisted the Army of Nebuchadnezzar to the bitter end.  We must face the bitter reality that Barack Obama is America’s Nebuchadnezzar, called by God from a foreign land to discipline his lawless church.

Returning to the Constitution is exactly the wrong approach because the Constitution stands in defiance of the Word of God.  We must return to God and His law as our standard if we expect Him to bless our resistance.

Unfortunately, this is not usually the attitude of the typical American Christian conservative.  The February 15 edition of Freedom Outpost featured the 25-0 vote of the Oswego County legislature in a resolution against the recently passed draconian gun laws in New York state.

Oh my friends there are patriots abounding that are standing up for liberty and the Constitution. They will not have the law of the land trampled under foot by zealous, emotional politicians who would violate the law through means of unlawful laws in order to make themselves look good and place a feeling of security around the people they govern, while not providing a shred of security for them. They are moving in the direction of slavery, not liberty. They are making the people vulnerable, not secure or safe.

It’s good to see counties like Oswego and others standing up for the law and for liberty against the tyrants in New York’s government. Take heart, it isn’t just happening there, but around the country!

The article spoke of a “third militia” in addition to the federal military and national guard.  This third militia is said to be comprised of the people, who are called upon to defend the state when the others will not.

I wish it were true, but the terrifying fact is that our forefathers gave away most of our powers of self-defense when they ratified the Constitution in 1787.   This reality is hidden by the MYTH – popular among conservatives — of the citizen militia always on guard against tyranny.

Unlike the 21st Amendment, which specifically repealed the 18th, the 2nd Amendment did not repeal the damage done in the body of the Constitution.

Section 1: The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2: The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Here are some excerpts from our MythBusters Case#19, where the nearly complete grant of power to the Federal government is exposed.

The central government has 13 positive powers related to “defense,” compared to the states two positives and two negatives.  Do the algebra and that is 13 to zero in favor of the central government.  They were no doubt smirking, “All of the power related to the militia belongs to us, but we’ll let you do all the heavy lifting of training them for us.”   What a deal!

The states can’t even defend themselves under the Constitution without permission from the national government now headed by Barack Hussein Obama.   The U.S. Constitution is a slender reed to rely on for defense against Federal tyranny.

The Bill of Rights did not repeal the 13 defense-related rights in the body of the Constitution.  The 2nd Amendment’s call for a well-regulated militia does not overturn the power delegated to Congress in Article I for “organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia…”?  The 2nd Amendment should have read something like this:

Section 1: The power for organizing, arming, disciplining, and governing the militia is hereby restored to the states individually and the states may use it to execute the laws of the state, suppress insurrections, or repel invasions as they see fit.

Section 2: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Conservatives like to boast that these are part of the “limited, delegated powers” that were granted to the Federal government in Article I.  Everything not listed here is reserved to the states or to the people.  Very comforting.  The big question is, what is not listed here?   Certainly not the right to regulate the militia.

Unfortunately, the Constitution doesn’t allow for the well-regulated so-called “third militia” comprised of the people.  The people are a subset of the states and as we have seen the surrender of power by the states was almost total.

Case Closed:  This was one reason Patrick Henry hated the proposed U.S. Constitution and fought its passage bitterly in the Virginia Ratifying Convention.  As he stated on June 9, 1788: “Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense?…. The power of arming the militia, and the means of purchasing arms, are taken from the states by the paramount powers of Congress….”

Three cheers for those local officials who are taking a stand, but unfortunately even the Biblical right of interposition has been stripped from us by Lincoln’s unCivil War.  It is time to repent before God and return to the bedrock of liberty found in the higher law as our authority.  That includes passages such as Psalm 149:6,7ff:  “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations…”

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Weeks after the fact, the Sandy Hook tragedy is still fresh on the mind because twenty of those murdered were children of such a tender age.  Families have been devastated for life.

Tearful and determined people demonstrated in Washington D.C. with signs reading, “Never forget Sandy Hook.”  And who can forget a tragedy of such magnitude.  People are demanding, and rightly so, that something be done about these massive school shootings.  An article in February 3 issue of Freedom Outpost stated the following:

A father of a Sandy Hook Elementary School student testified on January 28, 2013 in a Working Group Public Hearing at the Connecticut State Capitol on gun violence prevention. While Bill Stevens’ fifth grade daughter was not harmed in the incident, she was a part of the children that were in “lock down” during the shooting and following it. However, Mr. Stevens said that his daughter’s friend’s little sister was one of the children that was murdered…

All of which serves to reinforce the Myth: We need more gun control laws to put an end to these mass gun killings.

The myth is so superficial that MythBusters can’t help but suspect the motives of its perpetrators.  You don’t have to look very far into history, recent social experimentation, and the Bible to conclude that the gun control argument is a fraud.  We found the evidence to be overwhelming.

Click Here To Keep Reading:  http://educationmythbusters.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/mythbusters-case-16-will-disarming-the-populous-cut-back-on-crime/

A recent article in GodFather Politics bemoans President Obama’s Islamic sympathies and recent actions in an article entitled, “State Dept. Recruits Jihadists to Join Foreign Service.”

In what can only be described as a mind-boggling policy move, the State Department recruited Muslim participants at a conference sponsored by groups with ties to radical Islamists to become members of its foreign service.

This Administration’s blind trust of radical Islamists has led to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere … Much has been written, outside the mainstream media, about the infiltration of the Obama Administration by the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly at the State Department, where Clinton’s top aide had undisputed family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  With the White House delivering F-16s to the radicals in charge of Egypt even as it tries to disarm Americans, it’s clear the wolves are in charge of the hen house.

BLOG comments call on Congress to “do something,” evidence of a prevailing Christian conservative MYTH:  that government is able to police and somehow purge Islamic influences because America “was founded as a Christian nation.”

MythBusters conclusion:  Congress can do nothing.  This report is very disturbing, but it should be no surprise and is the inevitable outcome of the Constitution’s pluralistic First Amendment.  Congress hands are tied because the First Amendment forbids it from interfering with the “free exercise” of religion.” Islam, Taoism, witchcraft and virtually any other religion are all perfectly acceptable under our godless Constitution.

The First Amendment is a direct violation of the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  The United States Constitution directly contradicts Biblical law on this and at least 75 other points and is thus in direct competition with the God of the Bible.

If we were functioning as a Christian nation the right to hold public office would be contingent on an oath-bound covenant to govern by the law of God.  God’s perfect “law of liberty”  (James 1:25; 2:12) is the only source of true justice.  All competing law codes, including Sharia, Talmudic and atheistic humanism, are tyrannical and would be banned.

But again Article VI (par. 3) of the U.S. Constitution forbids any such religious test oath in direct contradiction to the Bible:  “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

The Bible is full of such religious test oaths.  One good example is Ex. 24:3 where “Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, ‘All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!’”

Many of the anti-Federalists understood this from the beginning, but most American Christians still don’t have a clue.   “An anti-Federalist in North Carolina wrote:  ‘The exclusion of religious tests is by many thought dangerous and impolitic….Pagans, Deists and Mahometans might obtain office among us.’ For another North Carolinian, David Caldwell, the prohibition of religious tests ‘constituted an invitation for Jews and Pagans of every kind to come among us’” (Isaac Kramnick, The New York Times, 1994).

All proposed laws would be tied directly to the Bible in a Christian nation.  The Massachusetts Body of Liberties did exactly that.  Numerous death penalty provisions of its penal code quote chapter and verse from the Pentateuch for their authority.

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But God’s law is considered too harsh for the ears of modern Christians, let alone modern humanists.  So they invent theologies to dismiss its abiding validity.  In the New Testament we are supposedly no longer under the law.  True for justification, but absolutely false for sanctification, both individual and political.

God’s law is and always has been the standard for righteousness and that fact should delight the heart of every Christian (see Ps 19 & Ps 119).  If God’s law encoded in Exodus 20-23 does not delight your heart, then its time for a theology-check.

At least some of the anti-Federalists understood this. They were the true American patriots for resisting the godless U.S. Constitution.  The Federalists were false patriots.  Our founding Federalists sowed the wind of Biblical antinomianism and now we their posterity are reaping the whirlwind.

The Constitution and Declaration of Independence are like Jeroboam’s two golden calves, set up to replace the worship of Jehovah and substitute a man-made law.  Why didn’t God’s people recognize and repudiate those golden idols?  For the same reason Christians today don’t recognize and repudiate the Constitution and Declaration for the idols they are?

We must recognize them for what they are and repent to God by formally renouncing the godless U.S Constitution as individuals and churches.  It is our only hope.  Calling for a return to these documents is like a dog returning to its vomit.

Case Closed:  If we refuse to judge these idols, God will continue to judge us by means of them.  God will inexorably break the back of any nation that formally rejects His law in a document such as the U.S. Constitution.

Obama and Islam are the modern day Babylonians, God has sent this foreign invader to judge His lawless people.  Like Israel of old Christian conservatives insist on railing against and resisting God’s rod of discipline without first returning to His law.  They demand their supposed inalienable rights at the same time rejecting His law and their responsibility thereto.

The only relief will come with formal repentance from our covenant-breaking founding documents.  America was founded as an allegedly neutral, and thus anti-Christian nation in 1787.  Jesus said he who is not for me is against me.  Christians need to repent of that rebellious act immediately in formal ceremonies of repudiation, repentance and return to the law of God.

A good first step would be to sign the “Confession of Guilt and Petition for Forgiveness in the Matter of Our Forefathers’ Ratification of the United States Constitution”.  Study the material on that site and our HistoryMythBusters main site.

As the American experiment in godless constitutionalism winds to its inevitable demise, the prophets of end-time speculation are once again out in full force.

For example, a recent article on the comet ISON in World Net Daily concluded with these words:  “The Blood Moon theory says the Second Coming of Christ will likely occur in 2014 or 2015 when there will be four consecutive, rare lunar eclipses, or a tetrad. The eclipses will coincide with two major holidays on the Jewish calendar in 2014 and 2015: Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. 

Supporters of this theory believe the Rapture likely will coincide with one of the eclipses.  While the world did not end with the end of the Mayan calendar last year, Comet ISON is considered by some to be another celestial sign of things to come.”

On and on it goes – for 2,000+ years now —  one failed prediction after another.  If the Mayan Calendar fails us, there’s always some other quirky event on the horizon to keep gullible Christians on the edge of their seats, biting their nails, and buying “prophecy books.”  This kind of prophetic speculation has led to what may be the greatest historical myth of all time.

Myth:  The end of the world will be immediately preceded by the rapture of the church, the advent of the AntiChrist and the Great Tribulation.

MythBuster’s preliminary assumption was that to recognize the sign of the end we must first answer the question, “end of what?”  Are we talking about the end of the Old Covenant era or the end of the New Covenant era?  Both are attended by certain signs, or in the case of the latter we concluded, by a certain sign.

Much of the prophecy we find in the New Testament relates to the termination of the Old Covenant era.  For example, following Jesus’ 7-fold denunciation of the Pharisees in the temple (Mt. 23), he left and engaged His disciples in a conversation that went something like this:

Disciples:  Jesus, look at the magnificent temple!  Isn’t it beautiful.

Jesus:  Don’t get too carried away men, not one of these stones shall be left upon another

Disciples:  That sounds like the “end of the age” for the temple and its animal sacrifices.  When is this going to happen?

In response to their question, Jesus went on to describe the signs that would precede His coming to destroy the temple, the Jewish nation (sun, moon & stars) and the apostate Jews in the Great Tribulation.  This He accomplished with the army of Titus in 70 A.D. as we discovered in our previous investigation (cf. MythBusters Case#25a). We call this the Olivette Discourse

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The numerous signs leading up to this event are summarized in the previous report.  They are exclusively signs of judgment:  anti-christ, famines, earthquakes, Great Tribulation, etc.  By contrast, we found only one sign leading up to the end of the New Testament era and it is exclusively a sign of great blessing and covenant victory.

It is the sign of the triumph of the gospel.  We found this sign described in various ways throughout the Bible.

•    “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…smaller than all other seeds; but … full grown it is larger than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and rest in its branches.”  The mustard seed is still growing.

•    In Genesis 18:18 God promised the Patriarch Abraham that in him “all the nations of the earth will be blessed.”  This process has begun with the rapid expansion of the Christian faith, but has not yet been completed.

•    In the 2nd Psalm we discovered that God the Father has given His Son all of the nations and that the rulers of the nations will one day “kiss the feet of the Son.”  This process began in Acts 4:25-29, but has not yet been completed.

•    In the 2nd chapter of Isaiah we observed that the nations will one day stream to the church for instruction in how to apply the law of God to their judicial systems.   “He will not be disheartened…until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law”, but it has not yet happened.

•    In the present age, when people are still marrying and giving in marriage, “no longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days…and the one who does not reach the age of 100 shall be thought accursed” (Is 65:20).  This marvelous extension of life has not yet occurred.

•    In the 2nd chapter of Daniel we found that the kingdom of Christ would smash the Roman Empire and grow to fill the whole earth.  This process began with the conversion of Constantine, but has not yet been completed.

•    In the 7th chapter of Daniel it is written that at the time of Jesus ascension he was given a kingdom and an everlasting dominion over the nations (7:14) and that this dominion would be exercised through His saints (7:27).  It is yet to be fulfilled.

•    And in the New Testament, Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus claimed that all power and authority on earth had been given to Him.  He therefore commissioned his disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations/cultures and baptize the individuals therein.  This process began at Pentecost, but has not yet been completed.

This led to a question for further research:  Is it possible for the Devil or the alleged antichrist to thwart this final command of the all-powerful Christ?

I Corinthians 15:24-26 indicates otherwise.  The kingdom of Christ will grow “until He has put all His enemies under His feet…For He has put all things in subjection under His feet.”  At that point He will deliver up the consummated kingdom to God the Father.

Case Closed:  In conclusion, MythBusters found that the appearance of the Beast and the Great Tribulation have already occurred as signs of the end of the Old Covenant era.  The only sign remaining to be fulfilled before the second coming and the end of the New Covenant age is the visible manifestation of the kingdom of God.

We’ll know it happens when His will is being done on earth as it is in heaven.   The church has been praying for this for 2,000+ years, so we wonder why is it so hard to believe it will actually happen?

Self-described Conservatives outnumber Liberals in America by a 2:1 margin (40% to 21% according to Gallup), but a majority (albeit slim) voted for socialist Barack Obama in the 2012 election.   How does that compute?

The 35% “moderate” swing-vote still believes in the myth of the free lunch.  Rush Limbaugh observed the day after that it’s very difficult to run against Santa Claus.  In spite of Obama’s abysmal first-term performance, a majority opted to believe his pie-in-the-sky promises that government exists to give them “the good life.”  The socialist myth dies hard even among Christians.

Myth:   It is the purpose of civil government to provide a safety net to ensure that nobody in America goes to bed hungry.

Dan Smithwick, President of the Nehemiah Institute and author of the PEERS worldview test,  takes a hard look at this myth and the elusive meaning of the term “biblical worldview.”   Following is his obituary on the death of the republic.

On Choosing Leaders

Dan Smithwick

President, Nehemiah Institute

November 7, 2012

 A good friend died this week; he was known simply as “The Republic.”

 Exodus 18:21 (KJV) Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

Romans 13:4 (KJV) For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; — for he is the minister of God, –.

These verses have long been used by the Christian Church as criteria for selecting civil leaders to provide an orderly, God-fearing society based on objective truth.  For decades in America, we have been ignoring these commands to be a Bible-based community of people.  This week, in my opinion, we struck bottom.  We chose an administration that will not base public policy around the axiom of ‘hating covetousness,’ but rather is likely to  promote it at every turn.  There can hardly be anything more threatening to a nation’s liberty.

Yet, we must remember, God is sovereign.  He was neither surprised nor disappointed with the results of this democratic selection of leaders.  I say this because of another ‘proverb’ that Christian philosophers have repeated for eons:  God always gives His people the type of government they deserve.

We simply do not deserve liberty and prosperity.  What would you point to over the past 40 years to convince God that liberty and prosperity should be the ‘fruit of our labors?’  Or that because of our faithfulness to His Word we are deserving of good things?  I would like to see your list.

What convinces me that we ‘got what we deserve’ this week, are the results of Biblical worldview testing that I have been observing from a front-row seat for over two decades.  Most of the recipients of this short essay know of our worldview assessment program called, The PEERS Test.  It measures a person’s basic worldview beliefs in five areas: Politics, Economics, Education, Religion and Social Issues (PEERS).  The results are then categorized into one of four worldview classifications: Biblical Theism, Moderate Christian, Humanism, or Socialism.  Please note:  Socialism is based entirely on the attribute of covetousness.

For a quarter of a century of PEERS testing, with approximately 100,000 tests of youth from Christian homes, we have been watching results move away from a mature Biblical Theistic worldview, toward a Socialist worldview.  Let me share a very recent example:

Last week we conducted PEERS testing for a pricy Christian school in one of our nation’s largest cities.  This is a large school with the following claim in its mission statement:

[name] is an independent, Christ-centered college preparatory school that integrates learning with biblical faith — for the Glory of Jesus Christ.

Note:  I am not criticizing the statement per se, all Christian schools have similar such statements about why they exist.  What I am criticizing is that the mission statement does not comport with their worldview results.

The rating of worldview understanding of the PEERS test is based on the following numerical scale (+100 to -100):

70—100                Biblical Theism

30 – 69                 Moderate Christian

0 – 29                 Secularism/Humanism

-100 – 0                Socialism

About 5% of Christian schools in America score in the top category, over half score in the bottom two categories, with the trend dropping about 2-3 points per year for 25 years.

The school I referred to above had a composite PEERS score of 13.88, well on the way to Socialism as a desired worldview.

The outcomes at this school are extremely relevant to what happened in America this week, politically speaking.  Here is why:

There is a sixth index on the PEERS Test called, Limited Government.  This index includes all test items (out of 70 total) that have any relationship to the question, “What is the role of civil government regarding the topic being addressed?” This school (with testing from two high school grades) scored -1.30 in the Limited Government category, ranking them in the Socialism category of the PEERS test.  Ironically, 75.4% of the students marked themselves as “Republicans.”   I am convinced that they selected Republican because their parents have been telling them for years, “We are REPUBLICANS!”  But what these kids want is a Republican president who offers a Socialist view of life.

Here is one example from the PEERS Test that revealed their thinking in this direction:

In a democratic society, citizens have a civil right to an education and this right must be protected and enforced by civil governments.”

Both constitutionally and Biblically speaking, this statement is in error.  Education is not a “right,” (entitlement) and civil government does not have responsibility for education, certainly not at the high school level.  Note:  I am happy to provide a detailed Position Paper on this test question if you care to read further.

But for this Christian school, 94.7% of the student body gave an unbiblical response, siding with the Humanist/Socialist view- “education is my right.”

If our young people (Church attending families) believe that they are “owed” an education which others are obligated to provide, guaranteed by our civil government, it is a very short step to also view things such as a job, housing, health care (the good life!) as a “right to be guaranteed.”  May I say Greece?

This is Socialism; this is covetousness.

But this is not the worst of why we (the Christian community) deserved the political results that we received.  In spite of all the rhetoric from the Christian community about the need for godly values and principles, 85% of church families still send their children to the government’s school system, an officially Socialist institution where entitlement thinking is the norm.  Yes, we are just getting what we deserve. The political results of this week in America were simply the result of decades of educating youth that government exists to “ensure quality of life.”  The winning party simply presented this argument better than the losing party.

So, what now?

I don’t pretend to have a clear answer on where we go from here- how to once again become a nation based on Exodus 18:21 and Romans 13:4, and all that that means.  But this much I do know; we don’t need another 4-year plan to find the right political nominee to right the ship; we (the Christian community) need something like a 24-year plan.  We need to think long-term, very hard and very carefully.  Before thinking about ‘who we will nominate next time,’ we MUST rethink our views about leadership.  And we MUST educate our youth with this view of life.

I have been working at Nehemiah Institute for 25 years; a ministry we founded in 1986.   Our mission is all about doing just what Nehemiah of the Old Testament did: rebuild a fallen city.  We are a fallen city today.

If you share the views I have expressed here, and want to help, and I do mean HELP, then I would like to hear from you.  I want to take Nehemiah Institute to a new level, very likely into new hands that can truly result in a rebuilding of America.  It will be hard, long and expensive.

Like Nehemiah of old, I want to start building a team of people who are willing to rebuild “in front of their own house,” (Nehemiah, chapter 3).  If this is your heart today, send me a note, please:

dan@nehemiahinstitute.com

If you would like to discuss this matter in person, give me a brief summary of your views and a phone number.

Dan

Ps-  If it is simply your ambition to find a way to help get more Republicans elected to civil office, let’s not waste my time or yours.

Also, please circulate this article to others as you are able.

Our understanding of Bible prophecy is critical to our understanding of history.  Where we locate the Great Tribulation and “The Beast” in history will dictate how we view the future — with optimism or pessimism.

Do we see things getting worse and worse until the Kingdom of Anti-Christ is fully manifested at the close of history?  Or do we see things gradually improving under the influence of the gospel until the Kingdom of Christ is fully manifested at the close of history?

The Preterist school of interpretation sees most of Bible prophecy as being fulfilled in the past at the time of the Lord’s first advent and the destruction of Jerusalem.  All other schools of interpretation push these events out into the future.  One of the arguments against the Preterist school has become a popular myth.

Myth:  The Preterist view that most New Testament prophecy was fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was made up by a Jesuit priest to divert attention from accusations by the Reformers that the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

The Jesuit Order was commissioned by the Pope to derail the Protestant Reformation by any possible means in what is known as the Counter Reformation.  The Extreme Oath of Induction of the Jesuits binds them to commit any crime in service of the Pope if ordered by a superior.  Their preferred modus operandi is to infiltrate Protestant churches and subvert them from within.

As noted, some assert that the Preterist school of interpretation was invented by a Jesuit priest to divert the focus from the Pope as Anti-Christ.  “One of the arguments against preterism is that it was started by Spanish Jesuit Luis De Alcazar (1554–1613) who wrote a commentary titled ‘Vestigio Arcani Sensus in Apocaplysi or Investigation of the Hidden Sense of the Apocalypse’ in which ‘he proposed that it all of Revelation applied to the era of pagan Rome and the first six centuries of Christianity.’”

Most are familiar with the Futurist perspective, by virtue of the fictional works of Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and others.  But the Preterist view is often dismissed out-of-hand because the descriptions in the Olivette Discourse (Matthew 24) seem to be too cataclysmic to fit any first century circumstances.

However, the Preterist interpretation is based on a literal interpretation of the time frame given by Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:34.  In that passage, Jesus said that everything he just described (verses 5 to 33, including the Great Tribulation) would occur during His generation (“this generation”), the same generation He was addressing in Mt 23:36.

All of chapter 23 is devoted to Jesus’ extensive condemnation of the Jewish leaders, concluding with His fearsome pronouncement that “your house is being left to you desolate.”  As He turned His back and walked out, He told the disciples, “…not one stone here shall be left upon another….”

In response to which the disciples asked, “…when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age.?”  In context of chapter 23 and chapter 24, especially the time marker of verse 34 (“this generation”), the disciples were asking, when will you come in judgment against the Jewish nation to destroy the temple and put an end to the Old Testament era of sacrificial observances?   In Mt. 24:34 Jesus said it would all come to pass within the current generation.

Could it really be true, we wondered?  Was Jesus serious?  Could everything that He described, including the stars falling from the sky, really have happened in the first century?  MythBusters decided to check it out.  We set a high standard:  every event had to be validated either by the Bible itself or by a 1st Century historian, such as Josephus.

We were amazed to find that almost every prediction was found to be fulfilled in the Bible itself.  In fact, almost all of the fulfillments can be found in the Book of Acts.  We developed the following table to summarize the findings.

Precursors of Tribulation

(Matthew 24:4-14)

Matthew 24 Prophecy:                                        Fulfillment in Acts (usually):

24:5        false Christs                                        Acts 8:9,10            Simon Magnus

24:6        wars and rumors of wars              Josephus’               Wars of the Jews

24:7        famines                                                Acts 11:28             “a great famine all

over the world”

24:7       earthquakes                                        Acts 16:26             “a great

earthquake”

24:9        disciples persecuted                      Acts 8:1 “a great persecution arose”

24:9        disciples killed                                  Acts 7:58               “they went on

stoning Stephen”

24:10      many will fall away                         Acts 20:29,30       “to draw away

the disciples”

24:11      false prophets                                    Acts 5:36,37          Theudas & Judas

24:12      lawlessness                                         Acts 18:1; I  Cor 5:1 – Christian incest

24:14      gospel to whole world                    Acts 1:8; Rmn 1:8 – “proclaimed

“whole …world”

 

After these events, Jesus said, the end would come (Mt. 24:14).  The end of what?  The end of the Old Testament era and the Jewish nation.  At the first sign of the Roman legions approaching Jerusalem, the Christians were instructed to flee to the mountains immediately (24:15-20).

The flattop houses described were typical of 1st century Judea.  In addition, mention of the Sabbath indicates that this tribulation is being visited on the Jews.  Luke 21:20 defines the Abomination of Desolation as occurring when you see “Jerusalem surrounded by armies.”  Thus, it cannot be a future event.  The following table summarizes the major events of the Great Tribulation in the Destruction of Jerusalem.

The Great Tribulation

(Matthew 24:14-31)

24:2        “not 1 stone here shall be left”          Josephus              Soldiers looking for gold

24:15      abomination of desolation                                Lk 21:20                Defined as “Jerusalem surrounded by                                                                                                                                           armies”: Titus’ Legions

24:16      Christians flee to mountains             The only thing like this that occurred in Judea

within the time frame of “this generation”

24:21      Great Tribulation                                  was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD

24:24      false Christs                                         Acts 13:6               Example of Bar-Jesus

24:29      sun, moon & stars dark                      Gen. 37:9 Symbolic political extinction of Israel.

Joseph’s dream of sun, moon, stars bowing.

24:30      coming of Son of Man                        Dan. 7:13 Christ coronated, came to Ancient of Days &                                                                                                             came in judgment on national Israel

24:31      gathering of the elect                          Acts 1:8 “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me…”

The Great Tribulation is described by Jesus as occurring in the middle of history, not the end:  “for then there will be a great tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall” (24:21).  Much of the Book of Revelation describes this great event in more detail and is now fulfilled prophecy.

Arguing against Preterism (or Post-Millennialism) because a Jesuit priest endorsed it to deflect accusations that the Pope is Anti-Christ is the logical fallacy called “poisoning the well.”  The Catholic Church also endorses the Apostle’s Creed.  Shall we therefore reject the Apostle’s Creed as heretical?

Preterism may not have been the dominant view of the early church, but it was clearly the view of some of the church fathers.  For example, dispensational premillennialist Tommy Ice stated “I would never say that there is no one in the early church who taught preterism. . . . Don’t be foolish enough to say that nothing is out there in church history, because you never know. . . . There is early preterism in people like Eusebius. In fact, his work The Proof of the Gospel is full of preterism in relationship to the Olivet Discourse.” (“Update on Pre-Darby Rapture Statements and Other Issues”: audio tape December 1995).

Moreover, there are many great Reformed theologians who have held the preterist or post-millennial view.  These include John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, Charles Spurgeon, Warfield, Marcellus Kik, Lorraine Boettner, Matthew Henry, and others

Case Closed:   The Preterist interpretation of prophecy was held by many of the church fathers long before the Jesuit priest Alcazar (1554-1630) employed it in defense of the Pope.  But more important than the historical argument is the force of the Biblical argument itself.  The Preterist interpretation rests first on a literal interpretation of Jesus’ statement that His generation would experience the Great Tribulation (Mt. 24:34).  It rests second on a figurative interpretation of His poetic reference to the political extinction of Israel in Matthew 24:29.

In Case#24b MythBusters documented how freedom of religion is severely limited in modern Israel.  As a general rule, religious and political leaders of Israel are spiritual descendants of the New Testament Judaizers, who hated and persecuted Christianity.

Judaism is suffused with the esoteric mystery religion that arose in ancient Egypt and forms the basis of the occult.  A general media blackout regarding this pervasive anti-Christian spirit has created an environment for  American Christians to give Israel their unqualified support.

This is reinforced by a futuristic interpretation of prophecy that sees the rebirth of national Israel as a portent of the second coming and the events leading up to World War III.  There is little to support this view in the Bible, but it forms the basis for a powerful myth.

Myth:  In 1948 the reborn nation of Israel was established by God for the final judgment and salvation of Israel in World War III.

All the average Christian knows is that the nation of Israel was somehow miraculously created after World War II as a homeland refuge for the world’s persecuted Jews.  How or why this transpired is shrouded in mysterious darkness.  All they know is that Israel is back in the land and the rapture is right around the corner.  Rushing in where angels fear to tread, MythBusters accepted the case.

The Modern Nation of Israel

Initially we learned that modern political Israel was created by the Khazar Jews (converted barbarians) of the European House of Rothschild (Red Shield) to advance their globalist agenda in 1948.  According to Wikipedia, under the previous Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) was a letter from the United Kingdom‘s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland…..

 His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

This promise was offered in exchange for funding sufficient to tip the scales in favor of Britain in the World War I stalemate.  Where did Hitler get the money to create and sustain His war machine?  Did he pull it out of his savings account?  Where did Churchill get the money to create and sustain His Army?  The answer to both questions is the international bankers of the House of Rothschild.  These are the war profiteers.

Thus, it was the Khazar Jews of the House of Rothschild who funded Hitler to persecute the orthodox Jews of Germany.  This was intended to generate sympathy, bring the “Jewish Problem” to full boil and thus provide impetus for creation of the Jewish state.  The hypocrisy of these pseudo Jews was evident in their pretended concern for orthodox Jewry in the Balfour Declaration.

Wikipedia goes on to say….

 Thus the view from Whitehall early in 1916: If defeat was not imminent, neither was victory; and the outcome of the war of attrition on the Western Front could not be predicted. The colossal forces in a death-grip across Europe and in Eurasia appeared to have canceled each other out. Only the addition of significant new forces on one side or the other seemed likely to tip the scale. Britain’s willingness, beginning early in 1916, to explore seriously some kind of arrangement with “world Jewry” or “Great Jewry” must be understood in this context.

 But why?  Why was establishment of the nation of Israel so important to the House of Rothschild?  We discovered that these moves were in accord with the master plan outlined by the world leader of Freemasonry, Albert Pike in his 1871 Morals and Dogma.  In this book Pike prophesied the need for three world wars to usher in the New World Order.  By 1948 the first two wars had been accomplished exactly as scripted.  Pike described World War III as a conflict between Arabs and Zionist Jews as follows:

“The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion…We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.”

 Suddenly the light came on — the answer was right there in plain sight.  The Globalists needed the reborn nation of Israel to provoke the World War III conflict with the Arabs predicted or prescribed by Pike in his 1871 book.  Meantime, “He who sits in the heavens laughs” (Ps 2: 4a).

Christian & American Support For

The Modern Nation of Israel

There are at least seven great mysteries presented in the Bible.  Another great mystery is how a system like dispensationalism can encourage the Jews to return to an allegedly prophesied slaughterhouse scenario in the reborn Israel and then turn around and accuse their theological detractors of being anti-Semitic.  According to Dispensationalism during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” two-thirds of the unbelieving Jews are predestined to be killed in the Great Tribulation associated with World War III.

Many Israeli Jews are aware of and suspicious of this motive.  “Above all, the widespread idea has been floating around that the evangelicals aren’t acting out of love for Israel or Jews, but out of a desire to hasten the second coming of their messiah, Jesus, at which point Jesus either kills or converts the Jews on Judgment Day.”

Where does this come from?  We found it in the 13th chapter of the prophet Zechariah in a textual context that would apply to the time when the disciples (sheep) were scattered:

“And it will come about in all the land,” declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.  And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined…..” (Zech. 13: 8,9).

The context places this in the time of the Twelve Apostles.  Renowned Bible commentator Matthew Henry interprets the two parts cut off as the Jews who perished in the A.D. 70 conflagration in Jerusalem and the one part left as the Christian Jews who fled the city in response to the warning of Christ.

But dispensationalists reject this traditional interpretation of the Great Tribulation, which Christ Himself placed in the 1st Century (Mt. 24;34) and remove it into the future.  Thus, modern Israeli’s appear to be well justified in their suspicion of Dispensational motives.

Where does all of this leave us?   While there is no Biblical or theological rationale for lending special support to the nation of Israel there may be practical geopolitical reasons for doing so.  That is the belief of Pastor Voddie Bacham

“There is a sort of misplaced Dispensationalism that governs people’s sentimental attitude toward Israel. Let me state clearly that I do not believe the Bible demands that the U.S. support Israel. I do, however, believe that it is wise to do so for geopolitical reasons. To do so for theological reasons, I believe, is actually misguided, and quite dangerous. Nevertheless, Israel is our only true ally in the Middle East, and that is important.”

By their uncritical support of national Israel dispensationalists are unwittingly supporting the one-world, globalist agenda from which they would otherwise instinctively recoil.  Probably one in a thousand understands the historical context of Israel’s creation and the Luciferian master plan for World War III of which it is a key component.

Case Closed:  MythBusters concluded that modern political Israel has no special standing with God, although Isaiah prophecies the blessing of national Israel along with the rest of the nations as the gospel gradually converts the world (Is. 19:24,25).  This is the antithesis of both anti-Semitism and of political Zionism.

Meantime, the Christian Zionists are being manipulated by the Globalists in their doomed plan to set off World War III and control the world.   The nations will be delivered to Messiah as foretold in the Second Psalm and no puny Anti-Christ pretender, if such should arise, can do anything about it.

The obsequious attitude of Dispensational Christians toward the nation of Israel cannot be justified by Scripture and reinforces the globalist agenda perfectly.  Political Israel has already been judged by God in A.D. 70 and nowhere does the Bible predict that political Israel will be reborn again to experience a second horrendous Divine judgment in World War III.  Israel has already experienced “the time of Jacob’s trouble” in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.  This would be double-jeopardy on the part of God, which is contrary to His righteous nature.

It all boils down to 3 essential things you must know about World War III

1) Israel is the intended flash point for World War III, as prescribed by Freemason Albert Pike

2) Khazar Jews of the House of Rothschild are manipulating real Jews and fundamentalist Christians for the globalist agenda of world domination

3) God is working through it all to establish His kingdom and ultimately to bless the nations through His Son (Psalm Two).

In our previous case study we concluded from Scripture that Jew and Gentile have been united as a single people of God in the Church, who will enjoy His blessing as the gospel steadily conquers the world.  The old, apostate, political Israel was cast off and destroyed at the close of the Old Testament era in the Great Tribulation destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

But Christian political Zionists in America are not content with this clear Bible teaching and insist on pushing a second Great Tribulation for the Jews into the distant, but always imminent future.  This is supposed to provide the trigger for World War III.  Thus, has arisen another great historical myth

Myth:  The nation of Israel is an enclave of freedom, especially religious freedom, surrounded by a sea of religious intolerance and bigotry.

Contemporary Judaism

As noted in the first edition of this investigation, the Jewish leaders fiercely persecuted the apostles and the early Jewish converts.  More than once in the early days the Roman legions and legal system had to come to their rescue in order to keep the peace.

The leaders of modern Israel are the descendants of the ancient Jewish leaders in their rejection of the gospel of Christ.  Evangelism is outlawed in modern Israel and Christians — known as Messianic Jews — are persecuted.  This is the practice of both political and religious leaders in Israel.  The persecution is abetted by a Western media blackout, which permits the flame of Christian Zionist support for Israel to burn unhindered in America.

An understated, 12-minute segment on CBS “60-Minutes” exposing Israeli persecution of Christians in May, 2012 was nearly axed, but somehow survived the cut.  Here are a few excerpts from a story describing the attempted cover-up:

“The very name Jesus was for Jews a symbol of all that is abominable, and this popular tradition still persists. The Gospels are equally detested, and they are not allowed to be quoted, let alone taught, even in modern Israeli Jewish schools.”

Christianity is classified as a pagan, idolatrous religion by most if not all Orthodox rabbis. Israel firsters will not intimate this fact to their naïve but hysterical Christian Zionist evangelical allies.

Nor will they tell them that whenever an orthodox Jew mentions the name Jesus, he or she must recite the following curse: “May his name be damned, and memory erased.” Would people like Pat Robertson and John Hagee, who pretend to be the spiritual guardians of Christianity, or even the Holy See, approach their Jewish friends and plead to them to see to it that this vulgar literature is expurgated from the Talmud or at least not taught in hundreds of Yishivot or Talmudic schools throughout Israel. Or perhaps these Zionist or Zionized “Christian” leaders are too pusillanimous to raise such “divisive issues.”

Talmud and Kabbalah

The Jewish Talmud teaches a system of morality that is contrary to the Old and New Testaments.  This includes the same Egyptian mystery religion that was practiced by the apostate Jews of the captivity (Ezekiel 8:16)  and the Pharisees after the Restoration.  The Book of Revelation describes apostate Judaism as “…the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified” (Rev. 11:8).

Jesus condemned the Pharisees for substituting their traditions for the law of God (Mk 7:9).   A largely unknown aspect of that tradition is the occult practice of Kabbalah, that has experienced  a strong resurgence in recent centuries.

This philosophy, described as “the soul of Judaism” lies at the heart of occult practice stretching back to antiquity.  It involves worship of the sun and the Dog Star or Eastern Star, Sirius, that God revealed to Ezekiel in vision:  “Then He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house.  And behold at the entrance to the temple of the Lord…were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun” (Ezekiel. 8:16).

Case Closed:  Is it any wonder that that we find the hatred for Christ expressed above in modern Judaism.  It is Christ who shines the light of His righteousness on these occult practices.  Ironically and tragically this is part-and-parcel of what American Christians are naively endorsing in their uncritical support of modern, secular Israel.

Today’s dispensationalists are enthusiastic fans of the very Jewish leaders that Jesus and the New Testament writers so roundly condemned.  Christians are persecuted in Israel and evangelism, even within the family is outlawed.  True freedom cannot exist in a culture that rejects the Source of freedom:  “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (Jn. 8:32).

What strange power does the nation of Israel hold over the evangelical church.  Under the sway of dispensationalist theology Christian reverence for Jews and the reborn nation of Israel has waxed so strong that evangelism of Jews is actually discouraged.

For example, we find this conclusion to an article by dispensationalist Allan R. Brockway,  Should Christians Attempt To Evangelize Jews?   “No matter what their theological conviction concerning the legitimacy of converting Jews may be, it is important that Christians maintain deep respect for and acceptance of “Jewish Christians” in the Christian community … But Christians would be well advised not to try actively to increase their number — lest they be found apostate themselves before the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob . . . and Jesus.”

This delicate, handle-with-care attitude of the dispensationalists extends also to the geopolitical echelon.

Myth:  If America pressures Israel to give up any land or discontinues foreign aide to Israel, she will be cursed by God.

This, according to Gen. 27:29  – “…Cursed be those who curse you, and blessed be those who bless you.”

We found this attitude in a recent dispensationalist article in World Net Daily which states “The phenomenon was best documented by Bill Koenig, author of ‘Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel.’

“Koenig points out that nine of the 10 costliest insurance events in U.S. history followed dramatic calls by U.S. officials for Israel to make land concessions in bids for peace with its neighbors. He points out with startling detail how six of the seven costliest hurricanes in U.S. history followed such events. He points out how three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history followed such developments.”

We recalled that correlation does not equal causation, but is there any validity to this hypothesis from a Biblical standpoint?  MythBusters approached this investigation on the assumption that American Christian’s understanding and attitude toward the nation of Israel must be defined and qualified by the Bible’s teaching on the relationship between Christ, Israel and the church.

Christ, Israel and the Church

Starting with the New Testament we found that Jews and Christians have been made one in the church by Christ.  This is spelled out in Ephesians 2 which explains how the Gentiles “who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (2:13)  For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall” (2:14)   In another letter Paul declared, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).

The conclusion seemed inescapable:  the theory that there are two peoples of God (Israel and the church), rather than just one is Biblically implausible.  And so, when people talk about “Jewish Christians” or “American Christians” for example, they introduce a foreign element of divisiveness into the church because both Jew and Gentile have been made one in Christ.  There are no elite categories of Christians based on ethnicity.

We found this union further illustrated in Romans Chapter 11, which describes how the Jews have been broken off from the olive tree representing God’s people in order that the Gentiles as a wild olive might be grafted in (Rmn. 11:17).  But after “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (v.25) “all Israel will be saved (v.26)” by Christ and thus grafted back into the olive tree.   We noticed that there is only one olive tree, not two.

Turning finally to the Old Testament we observed that this unity of Jew and Gentile is also expressed in God’s promise to make a New Covenant with the House of Israel (Jer. 31:31).  The author of Hebrews indicates this refers to the Christian New Testament (Heb. 8:8,9), thus proving that Old Testament spiritual Israel became the New Testament church. This Biblical teaching on the unity of Jew and Gentile is obviously the antithesis of anti-semitism, although it is also obviously the antithesis of dispensationalist political Zionism.

Ancient Judaism

The Jewish leaders resisted the message of both Christ and the apostles and were thus condemned by both.  Jesus was unsparing in His scathing condemnation of the leaders of the Jewish nation and their imminent divorce from God.  “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” He said at one point, “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate” (Mt. 23: 29,38)

It was the unbelieving Jews who persecuted the Apostles and rejected the gospel in every city.  The Deacon Stephen leveled this charge against them, “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?  And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become” (Acts 7:52).

The nation of Israel — political Israel — was decisively judged by God and destroyed by Christ in the first century (70 A.D.) when Titus’ legions razed Jerusalem and the Temple.  The leaders of the nation rejected their Messiah and had Him crucified, thus sealing their own doom.  “Immediately after the tribulation of those days” the lights went out on national Israel, when the sun and moon were darkened and the stars fell (Mt. 24:29).  Those were the symbols of Israel in Joseph’s dream.

Jesus declared that the political nation of Israel was being replaced by the church when he told the Jewish leaders, “…the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it” (Mt. 21:43).   And what is that nation?  According to the Apostle Peter, the church is “…a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation….” (I Pet. 2:9).

Thus, Jesus Himself established the doctrine of what some call “Replacement Theology.”  Nowhere does the Bible speak of a future rebuilt temple in a reborn nation of Israel.  This theory has been imposed on various Bible texts by the dispensationalist system.  Necessity is the mother of invention when it comes to dispensational theology.  The closest they can come to a rebuilt temple is in Ezekiel’s vision (40-48), but since animal sacrifices are required (Ez. 45:21-25 this can only refer to the temple rebuilt after the Babylonian captivity.

Case Closed:  MythBusters concludes that Israel as a nation was judged and permanently cast off by the risen Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, and the sacrificial system in 70 A.D.   Contrary to dispensationalist theology, there is no special blessing or curse associated with giving special favors to the modern nation of Israel or advocating its partition.   MythBusters Rating:  Red Flag to Bill Koenig, Allan R. Brockway and WorldNet Daily for perpetuating this myth.

Christ Himself declared that the Kingdom of God was taken from Israel and transferred to the church.  Thus, the rebirth of political Israel in 1948 has no special significance in the economy of God, although Isaiah tells us that Israel will be blessed with the other nations as the gospel gradually conquers the world.

In that day Israel will be the third part with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of Hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance’  (Is. 19:24,25).

Our followup report will explore why the globalist elite created modern-day Israel for the purpose of igniting World War III.

The Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) was the first of the great church councils and perhaps the most important because it established the divinity of Christ as taught in Scripture.

This was opposed to Arianism, which subordinated Christ to the Father as a created being.  According to R.J. Rushdoony in “Foundations of Social Order (p.11,12),” the three main points of Arianism were, first, Christ was a created being; second, He was not eternally existent; and, third, Christ was not of the same essence with the Father.

The battle was waged over the key words homoousion (being of one essence, i.e., with the Father), and homoiousion (of like essence).   The change of a single letter by Arius had monumental consequences.  If Christ was a mere man then his claims on earthly kings were more easily dismissed than if He were of the same essence with God and thus King of kings.

Initially, Athanasius stood alone for the orthodox position.  His bold stand for truth inspired the phrase, “Athanasius against the world.”

This great triumph of orthodoxy at Nicea is somewhat obscured by various myths about the Council, in particular one perpetuated by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code:

Myth:  Constantine collated an entirely new Bible at the Council of Nicea, containing only books that speak of Jesus as divine.

Paul Pavao tackles this myth and several others in the following article:

The Council of Nicea: Dispelling the Myths

By Paul Pavao, Expert Author

Myths about the Council of Nicea proliferate on the web. My Google Alert for “Council of Nicea” yields up to 3 new blogs a day, many of them filled with misinformation.

There are three primary myths:

That the Council of Nicea determined which books would be in the Bible.

That St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, was at Nicea and slapped Arius.

That the emperor Constantine changed the Sabbath day to Sunday at the          Council of Nicea

Before we look at these, why should you believe me?

HOW WE KNOW ABOUT THE COUNCIL OF NICEA?

There are major sources for knowing about the council of Nicea:

The letter of Eusebius the historian to his home church at Caesarea explaining the council’s decision

A discussion of the council in Eusebius’ Life of Constantine

A letter to the churches from Constantine after the council

Minor references to the council in Athanasius’ later letters.

Three church histories from about a century after Nicea, referencing sources, some of which we no longer have available

The creed and the 20 canons [ecclesiastical rules] of Nicea

A multitude of letters from before and after Nicea that make it clear what controversies led to the council

Anything not found in those sources is made up.

BASIC FACTS

The Council of Nicea took place in A.D. 325, and it convened to address two major topics:

The doctrine of Arius that the Son of God did not exist before being begotten of God in the beginning.

The day on which Passover (Easter) should be celebrated.

It was called by Constantine. The three people who attended and gave numbers said it was attended by over 250 bishops, approximately 270 bishops, and 318 bishops.

DID THE COUNCIL OF NICEA DETERMINE

WHICH BOOKS SHOULD BE IN THE BIBLE?

This myth was popularized by Dan Brown in his book, The Da Vinci Code. There he wrote:

Constantine collated an entirely new Bible at the Council of Nicea, containing only books that speak of Jesus as divine.

The truth is that the issue of which books should be in the Bible is not even mentioned in any of the sources above. As a matter of fact, except for some of the general epistles, which books should be in the Bible had been settled for well over a century. A document called the Muratorian Canon has been found dating from around A.D. 160 which gives a list of books very similar to our modern New Testament. A search of which books were quoted by 2nd and 3rd century church fathers shows that their Bible was already almost exactly the same as ours.

There was no reason for the Council of Nicea to discuss the books of the Bible because it was not a controversial subject.

WAS ST. NICHOLAS AT THE COUNCIL,

AND DID HE SLAP ARIUS?

Nicholas, too, is not mentioned by any of the contemporary historical sources, though it’s possible he was at Nicea. Stories about him are not told until the 6th century, 200 years after Nicea, and the story of him slapping Arius did not arise until 500 years after Nicea.

Jolly St. Nick did rap the psychologist with his cane according to Miracle on 34th Street, but it’s best to treat the slapping of Arius as a complete fabrication.

DID CONSTANTINE CHANGE THE SABBATH TO SUNDAY?

 The issue that was addressed at Nicea was whether Passover should be celebrated on Nisan 14, on the day it fell on the Jewish calendar, or whether it should be celebrated on a Sunday near Nisan 14.

The council did decide that Passover would be celebrated on a Sunday by all churches, but it did not address the weekly meeting of the churches.

The churches had been meeting on Sunday since apostolic times. Justin Martyr mentions Sunday as the Christian meeting day by name in A.D. 150 (First Apology 67), but Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, addresses the issue even earlier:

Those who have been brought up in the ancient order of things [i.e., converted Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath but living in observance of the Lord’s day. (Magnesians 9, c. A.D. 110)

Entire books have been written trying to propagate the myth that it was Constantine who changed the Sabbath to Sunday, but anyone familiar with early Christian history knows that there is abundant and unanimous testimony that Christians met on Sunday, not Saturday, and that they did not require physical rest on any day.

REVIEWING THE SOURCES YOURSELF

A good, short explanation of the early Christian understanding of the Sabbath is contained in the early 2nd century Letter of Barnabas, chapter 15, which are available for free, along with all the other sources I mention here, at the Christian Classic Ethereal Library at.  Look for the Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen, and Theodoret, and you can follow the notes to the sources they use that are available today.

Christian history isn’t boring! History is, by definition, the most exciting stories and interesting facts of all time.

Paul Pavao’s Christian History for Everyman is dedicated to telling you those stories. You can learn more than you ever wanted to know about first ecumenical council at his Council of Nicea pages.