“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” I Peter 2:6
Let’s play with deception today.
In fact, let’s play being “pseudo.” That is, appear as something we are not. And, give such a good appearance that the observer will find it very difficult to see the real, versus the pseudo.
In the book of Revelation, chapter 2, a word is translated “liars.” The word being translated “liars” is the Greek word, “pseudeis.” Here is the full verse from chapter 2, verse 2.
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they ARE APOSTLES, and are not, and hast found them liars:”
Here we have a group of people claiming to be “apostolous” but are not. Thus, the translators used the word “liars” to label them. And, that is true, they were liars. BUT, what kind of liars? Listen, they were NOT just liars. They weren’t just saying verbally, “Hey look guys, we are apostles.” That would make them ordinary liars if that was all there was to it. No, they weren’t just ordinary liars, they were more. They were real IMPOSTORS. Not only did they claim the part, but they ACTED the part. In other words they were PSEUDO-apostles. Anyone looking at them and listening to them, would on first observation think they were real apostles.
Remember the book, and/or movie, the “Great Impostor?” They were about the life story of a real live impostor. A man who didn’t just lie to people and say, “Hey, see I’m a surgeon.” No, he went further. He acted the part of a surgeon. In so doing, he even operated on at least one person as I recall. In other words, he wasn’t just a LIAR, he was a PSEUDO-liar, a PSEUDO-surgeon, a PSEUDO-pilot, and more. Of course, he was finally caught. But before that, many people accepted him for what he claimed to be, and acted like. They THOUGHT he was the REAL person he claimed to be. He was, in my rendition, a PSEUDOIST.
I hope so far, that this is clear enough to you, the reader. And, if it is clear enough to you, then let me tell you, “up front and personal” you have been deceived by the world’s greatest PSEUDOISTS. Impostors all, even to the point they have deceived themselves into believing they are what they claim to be. After 2,000 plus years of this deception, it becomes easy to believe that.
Let me tell you a story, a true story that should shock and amaze you.
CAN A LEOPARD CHANGE ITS SPOTS?
Once upon a time, 2,000 years ago a child was born. It was a male child. He was just turning 30 when he caught the attention of those around him. In fact, over a short 3 years period he became quite famous in his locale. However, he became too famous so the authorities arrested him, and had him killed. Slaughtered might be a better word.
People were shocked. Three days and three nights after his death, people were even more shocked for the story spread that he had come back to life. Some forty days later he ascended in a cloud into heaven.
Those who were close to him while alive, became even closer after his death and resurrection. In fact, many other people began to join the original friends of this man. Eventually, there were thousands. But, something happened. It all started while he was still alive, actually. Let’s see if we can follow what happened.
One day while giving a message to a large group of people some Greeks saw and heard him. While he was speaking there was the sound of thunder from the sky. The Greeks heard this. They were amazed at the thunder, and that this man they heard also had the reputation of performing miracles. In their minds, they believed that Zeus, their god of thunder, had spoken. So, they immediately asked the disciples if they could speak to this man. A man who caused Zeus to speak to him, in their minds. These Greeks were enthralled with the man, left, and told their country men about the event.
Let’s jump ahead now. This man had now ascended to heaven, leaving his disciples to spread his life story around the world. They began to form little groups all over that they called “ecclesias”. Congregations, or assemblies. These were small groups at first, meeting mainly in homes. Keep this in mind as we jump ahead again a few months and years. And, keep in mind the Greeks who heard “Zeus” speak, or thunder.
Over time, these Greeks, and others, began to JOIN with these original disciples, who at the time were mostly Jews. However, over a short period of time, many more Greeks and other Gentiles began to join with them. All bringing with them their old ways, but wanting to assemble and meet with these disciples of the one they really thought was being worshipped. Zeus, and/or his son Dionysios. As this “invasion” continued, more and more of the Greeks began to gain position within the ecclesias. One such person was Diotrephes, as mentioned by the real apostle John. Diotrephes has a very interesting name. It means “Nursed by Zeus.” Well, it just so happens that this “pseudo” disciple took over the ecclesia and began kicking the original Jewish disciples OUT OF THE ECCLESIA. And, Diotrephes would not allow the real disciples, or the real apostle John, to attend any further, or send messages to the ecclesia. This scenario happened all over the area of the Levant, etc. Now, what was the end result of this?
Well, the process of infiltration by the PSEUDOISTS grew like wildfire, and the real disciples disappeared from history. What was left was a “church” made up of Greeks and Gentiles with virtually no Jews left. Not only had these PSEUDOISTS infiltrated the eclesia, and taken over, but they had brought their own pagan teachings in with them. These teachings replaced the real teachings. This PSEUDO “church” is what came down to us through history as the “Christian” religion. This is the group the “church fathers” came from. It is their deceptive doctrines and history the world sees and believes is the history of the first and real ecclesia. It isn’t. The world has been deceived by PSEUDO-disciples and apostles. And, all of this occurred before 120 A.D., or CE as some wish to say and write.
Here is what one historian wrote about the event:
“We name the last generation of the first century, from 68 to 100 A.D., ‘The Age of Shadows,’ partly because the gloom of persecution was over the church, but more especially because of all periods in the history, it is the one about which we KNOW THE LEAST. We have no longer the clear light of the Book of Acts to guide us; and no author of that age has filled the blank in the history. We would like to read of the later work by such helpers of St. Paul as Timothy, Apollos and Titus, but all these and St. Paul’s other friends drop out of the record at his death. For fifty years after St. Paul’s life a curtain hangs over the church, through which we strive vainly to look; and when at last it rises, about 120 A.D. with the writings of the earliest church fathers, we find a church in many aspects VERY DIFFERENT from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul.” –The Story of the Christian Church, Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, p. 33. p. 41 in some earlier editions. c. Latest revised Edition, 1970.
APOLOGETICS AND THE CHURCH FATHERS
As we can see by the above quote, our first real look at the changed ecclesia occurs around 120 A.D. It was during the 50 year, or so, period prior that these major changes took over, and we have, for all practical purposes, a different, very different, group of people.
If you noticed, Hurlbut mentions that this is when the writings of the “church fathers” appear. Now, if you have followed everything so far, you can see that these “church fathers” must be teaching something different from the original disciples. And, they were, but what?
Let’s review a minute. We have shown that a group of Greeks and others came into the original ecclesia, kicked out the original believers, and took over. As they were taking over they claimed to be those people they kicked out. I.e. the original disciples and apostles. They lived a pseudo existence as if they really were those early people. But, bringing in new and different teachings. With that in mind, here is what the world has overlooked. This is also what has been overlooked by the ministry of today. The “church fathers” looked up to today were not the real and original members of the ecclesia of the first century.
Here is where it gets interesting. These pseudo “church fathers” are the ones who wrote all the early “apologetics” defending the Christian church and its doctrines. What is strange is this. The very doctrines they were defending are the ones their pagan counterparts were attacking. Like Pliny, Celsus, Porphyry, Julian, etc. The strange part is, the pagan teachings are the teachings the “church fathers” brought into the ecclesia from their former pagan lives. Much of the attacks against “christianity” was that these were old teachings and doctrines that were not new. And, thus it became very hard for the “church fathers” to defend against these arguments. But, they tried. How can one defend pagan teachings one has brought into the ecclesia as the teachings the ecclesia already had? You can’t. Still to this day, the world, especially a-theists, use these same old arguments to condemn a belief in the Bible. What they don’t understand is this. They are right. These are the same doctrines of the pagans that came before “christianity.” And, they don’t understand, nor have an inkling that the people that were kicked out of the original ecclesia also came down through history. They did not teach or practice the doctrines of the pseudo “church fathers.” In fact, what these “church fathers” were doing is this. They were writing apologetics to support the pagan teachings that they themselves had brought into the ecclesia they had taken over from the original disciples. They were pagans, pretending to be the original disciples, defending teachings they claimed were original and unique. They were not. The original teachings were maintained by those original believers that the world knows little, if anything about. So, here we have “authorities” defending paganism against pagan critics. Let’s see more clearly what I’m talking about.
“I originally began to study pagan criticism of Christianity because I was interested in the early Christian apologists, those Christian thinkers who sought to present an intelligible and reasonable case for Christian claims within the language and the ways of thinking of the Greco-Roman world.. . Most of the early apologists were brought up as pagans and only converted to Christianity later in life. The spiritual and intellectual world in which they were nurtured REMAINED a part of their thinking AFTER they became Christians.” –The Christians as the Romans Saw Them, Robert L. Wilken, p. xv, c.1984
In other words, pagans joined the now pagan pseudo “church” and had to begin defending why they followed a variation of the paganism they had left. They did not know of the true ecclesia following its own separate and unknown path down through history to our day.
Finally, if you grasp what you’ve just read, then you now know this: For two millenia the world has been fighting and resisting a pseudo system. An impostor system. All the while believing it was the real ecclesia of the Messiah of the Greek Scriptures. One can defend, and/or criticize that pseudo system all he wants, but, here is the truth of the matter. It is the wrong system. No matter how many apologetic wins or loses are made for or against that pseudo system, it is all hot air, and in vain. The real system has never been touched by these false debates. So, where is that real system today? And, what are it’s real teachings?