The Sins Of Our Forefathers, Part 6.
The Ecumenical Councils
So we have begun to see the gap grow wider between Yeshua’s teachings which were upheld by His disciples, and those who began bringing in pagan ideas.
The Council of Nicea
All of these new teachings and ideas led to the First Ecumenical Council in 325 Ce. It was held in Nicaea, which is now Turkey. It was a council of 318 Christian bishops and was given by the Roman Emperor Constantine I. If you remember the last council held in Jerusalem in 50 CE, it was led by James the brother of Yeshua in regards to the Gentile believers. We see by the Fourth Century that Christianity is now being decided by Roman Emperors and there has become a big disconnect from truth. The council ends with the Nicaea Creed which says: We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the begotten of God the Father, the Only-begotten, that is of the essence of the Father. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten and not made; of the very same nature of the Father, by Whom all things came into being, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Who for us humanity and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate, was made human, was born perfectly of the holy virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. By whom He took body, soul, and mind, and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance. He suffered, was crucified, was buried, rose again on the third day, ascended into heaven with the same body, [and] sat at the right hand of the Father. He is to come with the same body and with the glory of the Father, to judge the living and the dead; of His kingdom there is no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, in the uncreated and the perfect; Who spoke through the Law, prophets, and Gospels; Who came down upon the Jordan, preached through the apostles, and lived in the saints. We believe also in only One, Universal, Apostolic, and [Holy] Church; in one baptism in repentance, for the remission, and forgiveness of sins; and in the resurrection of the dead, in the everlasting judgement of souls and bodies, and the Kingdom of Heaven and in the everlasting life.
You may say, “I see nothing wrong here,” but it does not speak about all the changes they made during this council. No, this was truly a parting of the truth. The council decided that the church would celebrate the resurrection of Yeshua on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21st) rather than on it’s Biblical date. This also changed the day of His crucifixion. Let’s look at Scripture; John 19:14, “And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King!”
Luke tells us this in Luke 23:52- 54, “Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.” That Sabbath was the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Even Paul makes reference to it and tells us to keep the Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let’s celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Paul tells us that Yeshua is our Passover Lamb, just like John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” There are times when the church celebrates Yeshua’s death a whole month after Passover. This is because they also went from the lunar calendar which was from the time of creation. Scripture says, “And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day,” and every day for the seven days of creation. This is what they called each day and this gave witness to creation and the 7th day rest of God as the Sabbath. But they changed it to the pagan Roman calendar, with all of it’s pagan days which honor a different pagan god, like the Sun and Moon and Saturn and so forth. This also automatically changed the Feast of First Fruits (resurrection) to Easter, which was the spring feast of Ishtar. So now we have good Friday instead of Passover and we have Easter instead of First Fruits as mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
Constantine also hated the Jews and so he did not want his empire to reflect anything that had to do with their beliefs. But Passover and First Fruits are not all that Constantine changed at the Council of Nicaea. Remember Constantine worshiped the sun god among others and they celebrated winter like spring with a festival called Saturnalia,which was on December 25th. It was also called “the Nativity”, this was considered the birthday of the sun god Mithras. Naturally Constantine made this time also the time to celebrate the birth or nativity of the Son of God. Now everyone in his Empire could have something to celebrate. But it is believed that Yeshua was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and was circumcised on the eighth day of the feast. Thus the theme of the feast is God dwelling with man, and rejoicing in the Word on the eighth day. To this day the believers in Yeshua, who now call Him Jesus, because we have lost all our Jewish roots, follow two pagan holidays. Yeshua kept the feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread( which is all called Passover now) and the Feast of First Fruits. I don’t recall Him ever saying not to keep these feasts, instead as He said that He came to fulfill the Word and not abolish it. There came others during this time of the council who taught nothing but hate for the Jews .
Council of Rome
The Council of Rome was a meeting of Catholic Church officials and theologians which took place in AD 382 under the authority of Pope Damasus 1, the then Bishop of Rome. The Decree of the Council of Rome (AD 382) on the Canon of Scripture during the reign of Pope Damasus I (AD 366–384) reads thus, according to the later ‘Gelasian Decree’:
Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun. The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Josue Nave one book, Judges one book, Ruth one book, Kings four books, Paralipomenon [i.e. Chronicles] two books, Psalms one book, Solomon three books, Proverbs one book, Ecclesiastes one book, Canticle of Canticles one book, likewise Wisdom one book, Ecclesiasticus [i.e. Sirach] one book.
Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias one book, Jeremias one book, with Ginoth, that is, with his Lamentations, Ezechiel one book, Daniel one book, Osee one book, Amos one book, Micheas one book, Joel one book, Abdias one book, Jonas (Jonah) one book, Nahum one book, Habacuc one book, Sophonias (wisdom)one book, Aggeus one book, Zacharias one book, Malachias one book. Likewise the order of the histories. Job one book, Tobias one book, Esdras two books [i.e. Ezra & Nehemiah], Esther one book, Judith one book, Maccabees two books.
Likewise the order of the writings of the New and Eternal Testament, which only the holy and Catholic Church supports. Of the Gospels, according to Matthew one book, according to Mark one book, according to Luke one book, according to John one book.
The Epistles of Paul the Apostle in number fourteen. To the Romans one, to the Corinthians two, to the Ephesians one, to the Thessalonians two, to the Galatians one, to the Philippians one, to the Colossians one, to Timothy two, to Titus one, to Philemon one, to the Hebrews one.
Likewise the Apocalypse of John, one book. And the Acts of the Apostles one book. Likewise the canonical epistles in number seven. Of Peter the Apostle two epistles, of James the Apostle one epistle, of John the Apostle one epistle, of another John, the presbyter, two epistles, of Jude the Zealot, the Apostle one epistle.
Now you have to ask yourself, What led them to decide which book were in and which one were out? I’m more concerned with the ones they decided not to consider. We know that there were actually 4 letters that Paul sent to the Corinthians. But I am glad that they accepted the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, which makes up the Tanakh. How could they argue with the Scriptures that God entrusted to the Jewish people, but what about the writings of the apostles? We will never know why!
John Chrysostom was the Archbishop of Constantinople, which is now Istanbul. He was called the “Golden Mouth.” He was a very eloquent preacher and public speaker. He was passionately hateful toward the Jews. He preached that even God hated the Jews, and it was a Christian’s duty to hate the Jews. He preached that the synagogue is worse than a brothel, the temple of demons, a den of thieves, the refuge of devils. It was this kind of preaching that caused
anti -semitism throughout the decades. It also helped, along with others, who would come to strengthen the Nazi’s in their ideology and justification, to rid the world of the Jews.
As we will see the post Nicene fathers were more interested in defending the gospel than teaching it’s truths. As they began to fall away from these truths, they began to fall away from the Apostolic Fathers who brought these truths. This led to the “Age of Theologians” where there was commentary on every issue and everyone had an opinion. From all of this came the “Doctors of the Church.”
These were people whose teachings on faith had been deemed sound and they benefited the church through their writings and study and research of the Word along with their theological contributions. These were highly regarded people who later were all canonized as saints. They all had to receive a formal proclamation by a pope or at an ecumenical council.