|The Truth Which Sets Free - Destiner Press|
For free online reading simply click on the Chapters listed below.
An exposure of the false teaching of Christianity concerning the reason for evil and suffering. This is one of the most challenging and deepest areas in the Word of God.
The following four booklets are now also included in the Addendum of The Truth Which Sets Free.
Chapter 2. Wrong Place, Name & Body
Many contemporaries of Jesus debated his identity (John 7:40,41; 10:24; Matthew 16:13,14) but when Jesus asked his disciple, Simon, for his own opinion, he received the reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." "Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 16:15-17) Simon was already elect of course, pre-creation, before Christ spoke the imperial words, "Follow me." (Mark 1:17) That command brought him irresistibly forth on a planned day in time, the Spirit opening his ears to hear, changing his heart to respond, fishing net dropping from his hands, walking away from his very means of livelihood. Later, with the words above, we see a further confirmation of what was already Gods absolute choice; namely, that Simon really knew who Christ was. At the final supper, Jesus put all of this, the predestined electing plan, the effective limit of the atonement and salvation by grace in a concentrated nutshell. "Father glorify your Son that your Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent I have revealed your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; yours they were, and you gave them to me and they have kept your word I am not praying for the world but for those whom you gave me; for they are yours; all mine are yours and all yours are mine I have guarded them and not one is lost except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled." (John 17: 1-12)
In response to Simons statement Jesus declared, "And I tell you, you are Peter (Greek, petros), and on this rock (Greek, petra) I will build my assembly (ekklesia), and the powers of death shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) Some historians have claimed that this controversial passage was a later insertion by the Roman Church to bolster its claim to the apostolic primacy of the Pope. Not so. The passage is correct, and the wording is critical, perhaps the most crucial time ever when Jesus spoke in metaphors to reveal a truth to his elect while deliberately keeping it hidden it from the lost, indeed, to "send a delusion" upon that vast multitude who are destined to perish. (Luke 8:10; Matthew 13:10-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:11) Two things are essential to understand in this passage and Jesus play on words. Firstly, grammatically, the "rock" refers not at all to Peter but to his declaration that Jesus was the Christ. The Rock, or eternal cornerstone, is, and can only ever be Jesus Christ, the Word of God. (see John 17:3; Matthew 7:24) Christ would never have made Peter, the most fallible of the eleven elect apostles, the Rock of faith. There is indeed a historical sense in which all the prophets and apostles form a foundation or base layer for the true house of God, the elect, but the sole cornerstone or rock is Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:19-22) God alone is the Rock and cornerstone of salvation, never man, and this is stated repeatedly throughout scripture so that Gods people would not get it wrong. This is of such vital importance, and so deliberately misrepresented by the church, that I include 34 typical references. Gods Word is rarely this repetitive, so it must be a critical truth for his elect. (Deuteronomy 32:4,15,18,31; 2 Samuel 22:2,3,32,47; 23:3; Psalm 18:2,31,46; 19:14; 28:1; 31:2,3; 42:9; 62:2,6,7; 71:3; 78:35; 89:26; 92:15; 94:22; 95:1; 144:1,2; Isaiah 8:14; 17:10; 30:29; 44:8; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Romans 9:33) Secondly, Jesus did not say he would build a "church" on anything. He did not use the word kyriakon, which is the origin of the word church. The word church simply does not exist in the Word of God. (Actually neither does "religion," Latin root word religio, meaning strict or obligatory observance of a set of institutionalized attitudes, beliefs, and practices, nor "gospel," Anglo-Saxon root word godspell, as we shall see later). This cannot be stressed enough, for the sake of the freedom of Gods elect. Words must be correct, or there can be no knowledge of the truth that sets free; ignorance and liberty do not walk together in the light. Church is derived from the Greek word kyriakon, which is not used in Scripture. A related word, kuriakos (of the lord, of the god) is found in only two places of the New Testament referring to the Lords supper (1 Corinthians 11:20) and the Lords day (Revelation 1:10) but there is no use of the word kyriakon (house of the god) which is the ancient root of church. Both these truths are not just controversial; they are revolutionary.
Now note the conversation by the well (John 4:19-26), where Christ revealed himself as the very water of life, not to some learned rabbi or priest, not even to a Jew, not even to a man, but to a simple Samaritan woman living in sin. Samaritans were a breakaway Jewish sect which held that the true temple of God was to be established on their Mount Gerizim and not Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. In the 4th century BC, Samaritans had built a rival sanctuary to the Jerusalem temple, later destroyed. In effect, they had that classic misunderstanding which has plagued the earth concerning a thing which some now call the church. "Sir, I perceive you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you know not, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming, who is called Christ; when he comes he will show us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." Here she is, faced with the Christ who will reveal all, and one of the first things he tells her is that the church is a useless distraction. She desired a place to worship, but he merely brushed aside her ignorant hang-up. Once again, this truth is not just controversial; it is revolutionary. Christians have tried to get around this by saying there is a true church and a false church. That way they can still hang on to the trappings and traditions. However, this will not stand, it is doomed to failure. It cannot work, because a church of elect disciples is neither true nor false in scripture; the word church is not there at all.
The Greek word for the "called out" or "elect assembly" of the Lord in Scripture is ekklesia, similar in meaning to the Hebrew qahal. The word from which church is derived (also Scottish kirk, Netherlands kerk, German kirche, Anglo-Saxon circe, circus) comes from the Greek kyriakon, meaning "house of the lord" or "house of the god", the dwelling place of the deity (temple, sometimes containing an actual idol of the god). "It is distinct from ekklesia meaning assembly." (Harpers Bible Dictionary, Harper Row, 1985) Not only is it distinct, it is removed from it in every way. In the inspired scriptures the Holy Spirit never uses kyriakon at all, never confuses kyriakon with ekklesia, never gives the pagan name of church to the elect. Another Greek word in the New Testament referring to the physical temple is hieron (temple, sacred house, high place, e.g. the temple of Diana in Acts 19:27; the Jerusalem temple in Matthew 24:1; John 7:28; 8:59; 1 Corinthians 9:13). Hieron is never used of the ekklesia or "elect." Likewise the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses bayit (house of the god) and heykal (palace of the god) for structures built with human hands: "both terms are secular in origin, both refer to a structure or dwelling for the deity it is a pagan concept." (Dictionary of the Bible, McKenzie, MacMillan Publishing, 1965)
Let there be no misunderstanding in this, the word church is a derivative of the word kyriakon that does not occur in Scripture. It is a pagan name and concept for a literal house for a god. Yet this erroneous word church is most definitely found in Bible translations. In the majority of Bible versions the word church is used repeatedly, inserted as a deliberate replacement for and mistranslation of ekklesia. Worse still the word church has up to six different meanings, creating the confusion which the early church intended, and all churches have loved ever since. Church can mean the main governing body other than the state, an organization, a building, the clergy, a denomination or sect. Ekklesia does not have these multiple meanings, and most certainly never refers to a building. That is why church (kyriakon) should never be confused with assembly (ekklesia), nor substituted for ekklesia, because ekklesia is not the origin of the word church. "In the New Testament it (ekklesia) always denotes a group of people it never signifies a building or denomination." (Harpers Bible Dictionary)
There is, of course, a built temple in the Old Testament, which was given to the Israelites temporarily, and this was not because of their faith but because of their lack of it. The Jews had also desired a king. Why? They already had an absolute Sovereign, just as Christ is declared to be the only prophet, priest and king of his people. But the Jews wanted to be like the pagans around them; they wanted things that they could see, a sure sign that they had rejected God and become religious like the surrounding nations (1 Sam 8:4-9,19,20). So God gave them up to their desire. Like the original Hebrews who fled Egypt, only to make an idol of Apis the golden calf, blasphemously declaring that this was the Lord who truly rescued them from slavery (Exodus 32), so too the later Jews constantly wanted a return to pagan traditions. They desired first a king and then a temple. After the first disastrous king, Saul, came David. He was not satisfied that the only visible representation of God was the Ark of the Covenant, the box which God had given instructions to be built for the purpose of containing the Ten Commandments inscribed on stone tablets and delivered to Moses. But it is the Word that brings life, not stone, and certainly not bricks and mortar, not wood, not anything erected by man.
Nevertheless, God acceded to Davids request for a temple (2 Sam 7) and delivered its meticulous design, even though the Lord had made it clear that He does not live in a house made with human hands, that His dwelling is in heaven while the earth is for men. (Psalm 115:16) The temple would be for the weak in faith, those who, like the pagans, needed to see something tangible. It would be a mere copy or shadow of the real thing to come, and David was not permitted to build it. The task was given to his son. "But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; as the prophet (Isaiah) says, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool. What house will you build for me? says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest?" (Acts 7:48,49) Solomon was at first famed for his wisdom, but later fell away and gave himself to worshipping the pagan mother goddesses, dying finally in sin. (1 Kings 11) All the way up to the time of Jesus the temple caused problems, with priests and people more concerned with temple affairs than right faith before God. Indeed the very people who were engrossed in the religion of the temple (churchmen) were the same ones to reject Christ and call for his death. It was not pagans who called for his crucifixion; it was the pious cream of priestly religious leaders. Rome carried out the execution, but the church plotted and requested it. Instead of destroying him it swept them away; with His death all priestly office, the temple and altar were finished in the eyes of God. The New Testament book of Hebrews details the final revelation of Christ as Prophet, Priest, King and ultimate all-time Sacrifice of sacrifices, making the temple and all its trappings completely obsolete. As predicted by Jesus, God brought forth the Roman army to obliterate the temple. (70 AD)
In the New Testament there is no talk of building a temple at all. No apostle sent out by Christ nor any of the elect disciples in the first century would ever have spent time in such a worthless venture as building a "house" for God. The very message of the Word makes it a ludicrous proposition. They met where they were, in Jerusalem before its destruction, in marketplaces, spoke in synagogues, high places of public discourse, in houses, wherever. They did not build anything, nor even suggest it once; they made much better use of their resources. But another group was more than ready to do this, to go back to paganism in the name of the Lord. The apostles often alluded to this "falling away," this secret intrusion of "false teachers among you," (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:3,4,13-15; Galatians 1:6,7), the coming of "anti" or "substitute"-christs who would pervert the scriptures and return to the traditions of men. They would attempt to deceive the elect and yet be very distinct from them (1 John 2:18-21; 4:3-6). John said this "spirit" was already at work in his time, which means as early as the second half of the first century AD!
Paul hinted that the only person temporarily restraining this phenomenon was the Roman Emperor. The early disciples had to be extremely careful about naming or criticizing Caesar since he was to be regarded as god in that overtly pagan empire. Disciples of Christ were put to death. Imposters existed parallel to the elect at all times of course, but only when it was safe and advantageous would the fakes appear in enormous numbers. When the restriction of the Emperor was removed the man of sin would be revealed and the huge sham would flourish with pretended miracles and all kinds of deception. God would deliver them to their delusion, causing them to revel in their falsehood, destining them to condemnation. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12) But the elect would be saved from this fraud, because they were chosen from the beginning, holding fast to the Word they had received in the apostles instructions. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15) A blend of scripture and paganism was coming which would give rise to this disfigured creation. The emperor who opened the floodgates to this was Constantine the Great (c.274-337AD), who officially gave his stamp of approval to Christianity. At the head of this new body would eventually arise a man who would take from the Roman emperors the title of "Pontifex Maximus", declaring himself to be divine. Indeed, three of the names given to the Pontiff or Bishop of Rome to this day are "Holy Father" (Pope, Papa), "God upon earth" and "Vicar of Christ" (from the Latin vicarius, literally "replacement" or "instead of" Christ, the identical meaning of "antichrist" in Greek. For more papal names and claims see the Doctrinal Statements in the Anti of Christ chapter of Harlot Babylon in the Addendum). The Papacy also shared the name "son of perdition" with Judas Iscariot, the false apostle, and the only other in scripture to be so named. (John 17:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3)
That establishment is what became known as the Church, with all its unscriptural "monks" (with pagan style shaven heads), "nuns" (like the pagan vestal virgins, dedicated to their church) celibate "priests," "holy saints," "weeping Madonnas," "visions" and "miracles." Even as early as the Councils of Nicea (325AD) and Ephesus (431AD), the Christian Church officially declared that Mary was Theotokos (mother of God). They taught that Jesus mother had supposedly died in Ephesus, city of the great mother goddess of Asia Minor whose temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Later they claimed she had risen into heaven from Ephesus to mediate between God and man. This subtle move identified Mary with the mother goddess, the first of many schemes to blend the scripture with paganism and thereby appease all. These sects produced man-made creeds and catechisms to explain the scriptures, as though the power of the Living God, the Word and Spirit, were not enough for His own people. They were wrong (John 16:12-15; 17:14-17). In the midst of all this an enormously influential book, The City of God, appeared from the pen of Augustine of Hippo (354-430AD), a travesty of misrepresenting Scripture and the words of Christ, describing the kingdom of God as if it were a visible realm on earth. Augustine could not have missed the mark any wider (Hebrews 13:13-15), but as the pre-eminent churchman of his time he was successful in laying the foundation for fully-fledged Roman Catholicism and its City-State.
Christs words to the church then would have been the same as they were to the church of his day. "In vain do you worship me, teaching as truth the doctrines of men." (Mark 7:6-8; Matthew 15:8,9) One can only guess what the elect were actually doing in the early centuries. One thing is sure, they would not have been at these Councils, heaping error upon error. Like the elect of Elijahs time they were almost invisible. This is an amazing fact. Elijah was a major prophet, granted astonishing powers and prescience in his time and yet he completely despaired at the power of the clergy which he believed had deceived all Israel. He thought he was entirely alone. Then God showed him that there were seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal (the prime pagan deity whose name simply means "lord"). The apostle Paul used this event to comfort the elect of all ages, declaring that there is always a remnant chosen by grace. (Romans 11:4-6) This is the true assembly and must never be confused with the church.
Meanwhile the church continued its relentless designs, dividing clergy and laity, bringing back the priests and cardinals (from the Latin cardinis meaning hinge, a select college of priests who previously served the god of doors and keys, Janus) and consecrating monks and monasteries copied from the pagans. The church changed the word "saint" to mean some kind of upper class believer, then listed even the pagan deities as saints, instituting "sacraments" (another unscriptural word) to be administered by priests alone, and replaced free giving (to the needy and other worthy causes) with the old obsolete tithes (to priest and church). On and on it went, with the only major split before the Reformation being that between the Roman and the Orthodox (Greek and Russian) churches, over which had the prime bishop or supposed "successor" to the apostle Peter. And of course, underpinning this was the return to the pagan concept of a house for god. It was no mere coincidence that most of the Old World churches are built on important pagan sites. They erected everything from humble alcoves for venerated saints to great cathedrals with musty crypts of death, spires to match the previous pagan edifices, huge spaces filled with statues, fonts, altars and all manner of paraphernalia. And central to this entire facade was one critical word - church a word so subtly confusing and powerful that even the Reformation failed to obliterate it or put it in its correct place. But one man did try.