No, each Gnostic teacher had a unique way of thinking that shaped their view of reality; rather, Gnostic communities were held together by myths related to origins, and by their shared speculative language, which helped to mold a kind of group identity. Some of the main components of their various myths are these:. The physical, created world we live in was not made by Yah, but rather by the progeny of an Eve-like entity named Sophia. And being unskilled in creation, this progeny makes a physical, rather than a spiritual world that is evil as soon as it materializes.
They could not conceive of a Creator like Yah being able to allow evil to materialize, despite Yah stating plainly in the Hebraic Scriptures that:. Other Gnostics, pushing the belief that the world was not made by Yah, taught that it was instead made by his heavenly messengers. And going farther, the Messiah, being born human, and made of fleshly material matter, could not, in their view, come from a spiritual being of perfect goodness.
Therefore, Yeshua, they claim, was born of Joseph, just like all other men, but somehow, he became pure in his lifetime. Thus, we see that, the belief that Joseph, the husband of Mary, being the biological father of the Messiah, derives from second-century Gnostic thought.
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To help pass these ideas onto the public, Gnostics even penned their own spiritual writings, retelling the life of Yeshua and aspects of Scripture by editing details according to their own doctrines. As a movement, the Gnostics were a formidable match for the Christian church. They claimed to have secret knowledge that was handed down directly from Yeshua, which was hidden, according to them, from the Israelites who established the Messianic culture.
But Christians successively beat back the tide of Gnostic teachings and established their own set of orthodox convictions. In response to Gnosticism, and other similar efforts that attempted to distort basic Scriptural principles and concepts, the church focused on the three Cs: creed, canon, and clergy.
Following the Council of Nicaea in CE, creeds went from being mere confessions of faith to being tests that determined whether one was worthy of Christian fellowship. The creed also affirmed the belief in the Messiah, born of the Set Apart Spirit and of a virgin mother. It also affirmed his death and burial, signifying his complete humanity, which was contrary to what the Gnostics believed. If any converted Christian could not recite such a creed, they were deemed unworthy of fellowship. And the canon of the Israelites was the Torah, Prophets, and Writings.
Even the book of Isaiah highlighted what the Scriptures were. If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
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The word testimony is the Hebrew teudah , word H, which means testimony , in the sense of an attestation, or affirming to be genuine or true; and to authenticate as a witness. In other words, these are the books that testify of Yeshua, and of them he rightly said:. Thus, the Scriptures are, in essence, comprised of the books that testify of Yeshua, ranging from Genesis to Malachi, which are the very ones he often quoted from. The Pre-Messianic books, according to Isaiah , are the true standard against which all other writings are to be measured, and if those other writings stand the test and speak according to Torah and Teudah, then there is light in them.
Thus, these Pre-Messianic books were accepted as canon by the Christian church; a canon of Israelite Scriptures they considered their own. This was especially true following the rise of Montanism.
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Late in the second century, the church experienced a major change: enthusiasm was waning among its members and, while many were still entering the church, the laity felt there was a lack of spiritual prophecy. The church was becoming more secular as well, allowing for philosophical and even heathen discussions to be had.
He called for a higher standard of worship, where the church would again be separate from the world. What was even stranger, however, was that Montanus and his prophetesses raved in a state of ecstatic trance, as though they had no control of their being. This was quite unlike anything referenced in Scripture that related to the behavior of ancient prophets.
While the method was perhaps meant to appear that they were deep in the Spirit, it looked more like demon possession. Despite this, they soon gathered others to themselves and a new movement called Montanism emerged. The church moved to intervene, but the damage had already been done and disorder resulted. The debate over the relevance of these prophecies created schisms, eventually causing many churches to split.
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Heretically, Montanus then claimed that a new age of the Spirit had begun, displacing the previous ages, which meant that the ten commandments and all the Pre-Messianic Scriptures were now obsolete. Revelations from Yah would only come through the Spirit of prophecy, and he was its main avenue.
What made them dangerous, in the eyes of many leaders in the Asian and by the Roman churches was the very claim of experiencing new revelation outside the emerging channels of early normative Christianity. A series of synods was held in Asia Minor—the first in Christian history—and the result was that the Montanists again according to Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History , 5.
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Then, in , the Montanists were excommunicated by the bishop of Rome. Ultimately, bishops felt that prophets were too great a threat to their own precariously established authority; [. This was to become the preferred way to settle disputes regarding belief and discipline for two millennia in the history of Christianity. During this particular period of the Christian church, many yearned for spiritual renewal. Christians were also apprehensive about committing sins against the Set Apart Spirit following their immersion.
With the ecstatic ravings of Montanus, who accused the church of those very sins—even citing blasphemy—Christians were deeply troubled. By leaning heavily on its clergy, and imbuing that clergy with authority, the church was able to position itself as a significant institution through forceful rejection of Montanism. Led by its bishops, the church was able to face heresy on a unified front, in the form of synods or councils, and give clear utterance to its orthodoxy.
The final power bestowed on the bishops by the church hierarchy was the ability to forgive sins. Thus, with this act of true blasphemy, the episcopacy, or church government led by bishops, was complete. Catholic Christianity was now fully formed. And like the leavened bread it was, all it had to do was grow.
A production of Kingdom Preppers. All praise, honor, and glory are due to my boss, Yah Elohim, and to his right hand, Yahushua HaMashiach. You can access the transcript for this episode on our website. Yah willing, our history will continue in the next podcast. Keywords: marcion, justin martyr, Ignatius, gnostic, Gnosticism, montanus, bishop, apostolic church, apostolic succession, celcus, carthage, churchianity, two thousand years of leaven, history of Christianity, church history, Hebrew history, kingdom preppers, kp.
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Next Episode. Some of the main components of their various myths are these: The physical, created world we live in was not made by Yah, but rather by the progeny of an Eve-like entity named Sophia. They could not conceive of a Creator like Yah being able to allow evil to materialize, despite Yah stating plainly in the Hebraic Scriptures that:  I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity.
The men who wrote the creation story knew nothing of critical history; they imagined how things might have happened and wrote it down in all innocence as what presumably did happen. The men who reported the Biblical miracles knew nothing of science and its laws, and wrote with a naive freedom from our rules of probability. What of the great dogma of the Trinity? Is that poetry too? No, says Mr. Dunham, but neither is it science or responsible philosophy; it is a kind of jurisprudence.
Not because his doctrine was refuted, but because the doctrine of the Trinity was supremely expedient; it was what the church needed in order to prevail. It proclaimed to a hesitant world that the Founder was no mere man, but Deity itself, speaking with a certainty and authority that were absolute. This, then, is Mr. Dunham's view of orthodoxy; it is doctrine that sprang in the first place from imagination rather than reason, and is now maintained by organizations in their own interests. What is heresy? It differs from orthodoxy in its very essence. As conceived by Mr. Dunham and practised—so he holds —by his illustrious heretics, it is an attempt to find, not what is imaginatively satisfying or practically expedient, but quite simply what is true.
This aim puts science and philosophy forever at odds with orthodoxy. To the thinker intent on truth, poetry and power are not only irrelevant; they are notorious sirens whose voices must be ignored if the softer voice of truth is to be heard. The struggle of heresy with orthodoxy is thus for Mr. Dunham a battle of the inquiring mind with vested interests, of truth with power, of science with superstition backed by age and prestige.
For him the scientific method is in the end the only reliable method of gaining truth, even in the sphere of religion. Orthodoxy denies this view passionately, and for reasons obvious enough, though not always to itself; its acceptance would be suicidal. Is this just another orthodoxy of the familiar kind? Not for Mr. It is the consummation that he wishes above all. When belief is tied to the love of truth, the old and repressive orthodoxy will wither away.