Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Enemy's Deception and the Anti-Trinitarian Heresy

Throughout the history of Christianity, there has been great theological debate about who Jesus was. Much of the earliest controversy was related to Jesus' divinity. The orthodox Christian teaching is that Christ is fully divine and at the same time is fully human; and that Jesus is God manifested in three persons. 

The Trinity, first named by Tertullian between 155 - 230 AD, taught that there is one God who comprises three distinct, eternally co-existing persons; the Father, the Son (incarnate in Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit; and they share a common divine substance. Those who adhere to this doctrine are referred to as Trinitarian, as opposed to an anti-Trinitarian viewpoint, which is the theory that Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not share God's nature.

The deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity are very closely linked. Generally those who do not accept the deity of Christ will invariably have a problem with the Trinity. I feel that the doctrine of the Trinity is the distinctive feature of the Christian revelation of the nature of the true God. One's view of Christ cannot be separated from one's view of the Trinity. Deny the Trinity, and you will lose the Biblical Christ. Affirm the Christ of Scripture, the Christ who was sent by the Father and who sent the Holy Spirit, and you will find that your God is the Trinity.

Why do I feel this subject is so important? I have two reasons: 1) Anti-Trinitarian teaching is associated to all occult and cult teachings; and 2) I see the one-world religion on the horizon, which will require forsaking the deity of Jesus Christ, and His place within the Trinity. We will need to be firmly rooted in this foundational truth of Christianity.

The one-world religion is New Age, which is the same occultist system that has been embraced by the world for hundreds, and perhaps thousands of years. It’s just been repackaged for our modern world. 

Under normal circumstances, it is unwise to study deceptions of the enemy. Romans 16:19 says that, “I would have you wise unto that which is good and simple concerning evil.” I feel that this can be done carefully if error is being compared to the truth. The truth of the Trinity will be under attack and I feel we should be unshakeable in this area. The New Age mish-mash of beliefs maintains that Jesus was a mere man, a wonderful teacher who has become an ascended master; so knowing why we honor Him will keep us true to Him.
An Attempt to Settle the Heresy 
In response to the controversial teachings of Arius in 325 AD, the Council of Nicea set out to officially define the relationship of the Son to the Father. There was fighting and separating over the question, “Is Christ more divine than human or more human than divine?” 

Constantine demanded that the 300 bishops make a decision, by majority vote, defining who Jesus Christ is. He commanded them to create a “creed” doctrine that all of Christianity would follow and obey; a doctrine that would be called the “Nicene Creed,” upheld by the Church and enforced by the Emperor.

The council voted to make the Trinity the official doctrine of the church. They did not "decide" that Jesus Christ is of the same substance as the Father. Similarly, the Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.) did not "decide" that the Holy Spirit is also God. Instead, these councils clarified the Biblical teachings for the faithful by creating pronouncements that would teach the biblical doctrines in ways that could be easily understood by the Church.

To assure you that the council did not found new doctrine, there were earlier writings about the Trinity. In 190 AD, Hippolytus, wrote about the concept within the collection of works titled, “The Ante-Nicene Fathers,” Hippolytus specifically wrote against Noetus (mentioned later), a “oneness” promoter:
“For the Father is indeed one, but there are two persons because there is also the Son; and there is the third, the Holy Spirit.
“The Father decrees, the Word executes, and the Son is manifested through whom the Father is believed on. It is the Father who commands and the Son who obeys and the Holy Spirit who gives understanding; The Father is above all, the Son is through all, and the Holy Spirit is in all. And we cannot think of one God, but by believing in Truth in Father and Son and Holy Spirit.”
Then Saint Augustine (354-430), one of the greatest thinkers of the early Church, described the Trinity as comparable to the three parts of an individual human being: mind, spirit, and will. They are three distinct aspects, yet they are inseparable and together constitute one unified human being.
Faiths who do not believe in the Trinity 

The early Church did not have non-Trinitarian beliefs. Later, when these views began to come along, their teachings were considered as heresy and regarded as bad as atheism. Those who held this view were persecuted or jailed. It was a teaching the Church considered worthy enough to protect - and they did.

This did not stop the anti-Trinitarians from starting their own churches. Listed below are the first heretical movements; and many today have aligned themselves with these earlier teachings. Some have synthesized several heretical teachings together to create something altogether new.

With that said, I’d like for you to observe these details: 1) How the uprising in occult practices are woven between the better-known modern cult movements, and milestones in Christianity; 2) The obvious connection the anti-Trinitarian teaching is linked with the occult; 3) How orthodox Christianity is being undermined as it nears our generation; and then, 4) Notice how many of these cult movements have in common.  This is because many of the cult founders had an association with Freemasonry. If you recall, Masonry is a secret society that promotes the interfaith movement.

190 AD - Dynamic Monarchianism -  Theodotus brought to Rome the teaching that Christ was a mere man who was endowed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism. This view resulted in Theodotus’ excommunication by Pope Victor.

200 AD – Modelism - Noetus of Smyrna was condemned by his elders for maintaining the view that it was the one God, the Father, who had suffered and sustained all of Christ’s human experiences. Modelism asserts that there is only one entity in the Godhead. Noetus was condemned at Smyrna 200 AD.

Sabellius refined this view in the third century. Sabellianism is the belief that the Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son, and Holy Spirit are different modes or aspects of one God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons in God Himself.

250 AD – Arianism -  Arius denies that the Son is a co-eternal divine person, and he denied that the three persons share the same divine essence, insisting that they were entirely distinct beings.

325 AD – Eusebianism -  The followers of Eusebius of Nicomedia, rejected the Nicene statement that the Father and the Son were of the “same substance,” holding instead that they were of “like substance.”

381 AD - Pneumatomachism – (founded by Macedonius): This teaching denied the coexistence of the Holy Spirit with the Father in the divine Trinity.

1384 - The first, full English (handwritten) translation of 80 books of the Bible was accomplished by John Wycliffe. These translations were banned in 1409.

1400s – Rosicrucianism -  Christian Rosenkreuz (1378-1484) is the founder of Rosicrucianism. According to legend, Rosenkreuz discovered and learned Esoteric Wisdom on a pilgrimage to the Middle East, supposedly in the early 14th century. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was one of the most influential members of his ancient secret society. He was believed to have laid the foundation for Freemasonry before he died, and was the first Master Mason of modern day Freemasonry.  

The Rosicrucian order was a forerunner to modern day Freemasonry and its ideas have been around for thousands of years. The religion of the Rosicrucian’s can be traced back to ancient Egypt, just as most Masons trace the craft back to mysteries of ancient Egypt as well.  Egypt is the fountainhead of all of the esoteric mystery teachings.

They deny the Trinity and the deity of Christ, declaring that the Son of God was only a spirit belonging to our human evolution.

Rosicrucians wanted to use America to lead the world into this new philosophic empire.  Sir Francis Bacon referred to himself as “a herald of the new age.” In his writings, he promoted a new universal order for the whole world.

1455 - Gutenberg invents the printing press, so that the Bible can be mass-produced instead of individually handwritten.

1517 - Protestant Reformation 

1553 – Unitarianism -  Adhering to strict Monotheism, they maintain that Jesus was a great man and a prophet of God, perhaps even a supernatural being, but not God Himself. They believe Jesus did not claim to be God, nor did his teachings hint at the existence of a triune God. Many modern Unitarians are atheists and New Agers.

Michael Servetus, the Father of the Unitarianism, was burned at the stake by Calvinists for his anti-Trinitarian teaching in 1555. Servetus was a high-level Freemason.

1611 - The Authorized King James Version English translation of the Christian Bible was begun in 1604 and completed in 1611 by the Church of England.

1638 – Socinianism -  Socinianism denies the doctrine of the Trinity, in that it emphasizes there could be no divine and human union in a single person as Christ. 

1647 – Quakers - The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has had non-Trinitarian beliefs since its earliest days. This important period of our history witnessed an emergence of what might be called “Biblical Unitarian” beliefs and strong tolerance teaching.

George Fox, who was the founder of the Quaker church and influenced by Theosophy (ancient occult teaching), first began to teach in England. He was greatly influenced by a German Theosophist Jakob Böehme, who was a Rosicrucian.

Theosophy traces its origin to the universal striving for divinity that existed in all ancient cultures. It existed in ancient Greece and also in the writings of Plato (427-347 BC), Plotinus (204-270) and other neo-Platonists.

1730 - 1740s - The Great Awakening -  America and Britain experienced a revival of Biblical Christianity, led by John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards and David Brainerd.

1746 – Swedenborgianism - This teaching was based upon the esoteric writings of Swedish mystic theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. Explained in his theological writings, he taught how the Divine Trinity exists in one person, in one God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  These teachings follow closely to Modelism.    

The General Church of the New Jerusalem accepts the doctrines as described in the works published by Swedenborg. He claimed that the Lord had opened his eyes so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell, and talk with angels, demons and other spirits. Swedenborg was a Freemason.

1827 – Mormonism - A form of Modelism, Mormonism confesses a Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three distinct beings. These beings are not equally eternal, nor are they immutable as in Christianity. Their founder, Joseph Smith, was visited several times by what he believed was an angel. The angel gave him the idea that Jesus is one of many gods.

Direct evidence exists indicating that Joseph Smith and his family were familiar with Swedenborgianism. Not only were the Smith family’s occult magical parchments copied from a book that also contained an extended summary of Swedenborg’s teaching, but Joseph Smith himself made mention of Swedenborg and a certain aspect of his teaching in 1839. Smith was a Freemason.

1848 - Modern Spiritism
-  Founded by the Fox sisters, Spiritism, with the sacrilege of using Christian rites and prayers, misled attendants whose meetings looked like Christian services. It was a belief in God, but the distinguishing feature is belief that spirits of the dead can be contacted, either by individuals or by gifted or trained "mediums," who can provide information about the afterlife. The sisters believed the concept of the  Trinity did not exist.

1850 - New Thought -  "New Thought" is a blending of Christianity and the occult, and they deny the Trinity.  Founded by Phineas Quimby, the movement emphasized metaphysical beliefs. They believed that God is supreme, universal, and everlasting; that divinity dwells within each person; that all people are spiritual beings; and that “the highest spiritual principle is loving one another unconditionally . . . and teaching and healing one another.”

New Thought and the related movement, Christian Science, were based on the integration of the more traditional Christian ideas with 19th century metaphysical traditions. The metaphysical tradition embodies a sense of spirituality concerned with mystical experience and the importance of the power of the mind over the body particularly in terms of enabling healing.

1859 - Marxism and Darwinism -  Socialist organizations grew rapidly, which received their inspiration from the writings of Karl Marx and Frederich Engels. Both were known Satanists who took and codified a new system of political and social thought. They knew that in order to take the world into Communism/Socialism, they had to develop a system in which philosophical and political thought intermingled and branched out to defeat Capitalism.

In 1859, in the midst of these converging revolutions, Charles Darwin published the Origin of Species with an evolutionary thesis.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 - 1955) was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who took an evolutionary stance and maintained that evolution discloses the special place our species occupies within life, nature and the cosmos. In 1996, Pope John Paul II issued a statement to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, in which he endorsed evolution as being “more than just a theory.”

1872 - Jehovah’s Witnesses -  Begun by Charles Taze Russell, the Jehovah’s Witnesses emerged. It is a revival of Arianism, holding that there is only one divine being, Jehovah. They believe that Jesus Christ is not divine but is the incarnation of the firstborn of creation, the Archangel Michael, and thus clearly inferior to Jehovah. They believe that Holy Spirit is an impersonal force. The founder was involved with Rosicrucian mysticism and he was a member of Freemasonry.

1875 - The Theosophical Society -  As the ancient mystery religions rose up through the Spiritism movements and Swedenborgianism, it then took on new modernized form with Russian mystic Madame Helena Blavatsky, who founded the Theolosophical Society.

She immersed herself deeply in esoteric spiritual beliefs from all over the world. She formed a universal esoteric philosophy, which she called Theosophy. It is essentially the same mysteries that were shared through the Rosicrucians and Freemasons.

Through this spirit communication with Tibetan holy men in the Himalayas, she said that the Christians have it all backwards - that Satan is good and God is evil.

Madame Helena Blavatsky, considered as an interfaith pioneer, founded the modern New Age Movement, which is a revival of this ancient, occult knowledge.

Blavatsky used the swastika extensively, incorporating it into the seal of The Theosophical Society. Her objective through the society was to water-down Christianity and unify all religions. Adolph Hitler was known to fall to sleep at night with her book The Secret Doctrine.

1879 - Christian Science -  Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, is often cited as having used Quimby as inspiration for theology.  She wrote a book with her final revelations in it, correcting over 300 “errors” in the Bible. She taught that Jesus Christ was just a man who overcame death by realizing it didn’t exist, and he did not rise from the dead because Jesus never died. Also, she taught that Jesus was not the Son of God.

1906 - Azusa Street Revival - The birth of the Pentecostal movement within Christianity.

1913 - Oneness Pentecostals -  In 1914, Frank Ewart accepted the “new found truth” by revelation. Oneness Pentecostals trace their own beginnings to Trinitarians, then turn around and claim they alone have the truth, being the one true Church. This teaching is something akin to Modalism or Sabellianism.  This group believes that Servetus’ teaching on the divinity of Jesus Christ and his insistence on the oneness of God is the proper understanding of the Scriptures. Oneness adherents do not describe God as three persons but rather as three manifestations. They believe that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are manifestations or titles of the one, indivisible God. They believe that the Trinity is a product of Pagan mythology, Grecian philosophy and an error on the part of the Council of Nicea.

Why was the anti-Trinitarian heresy introduced into the Church?
The purpose of the anti-Trinitarian teachings has been to dethrone the Lordship of Jesus Christ. These non-Trinitarian teachings must be in place in order that Lucifer (Antichrist) can arise in the last days. For centuries, from the Garden of Eden to the present day, he has tried to undermine God’s plan for man (Gen. 3:7). In an attempt to set himself up as the Most High God, he said, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most High” (Isa. 14:14).

By deceiving man through false doctrine, he has cunningly made man believe that if Jesus is a mere man, then there is no need for the Cross, thus no need for redemption from sin.

This is a teaching we shouldn’t take lightly. You can’t believe that things will just take care of themselves in time, and we’ll all be in heaven someday. Because without the sacrifice of Christ, there is no bridge between God and man. A blood sacrifice had to be provided, so man can stand in the presence of our holy Creator. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because He was blameless, and without spot or blemish. Only God could be the sinless, blameless sacrifice - a mere man could not. If Jesus was a mere man, he would not have been the right one for the job. This would have made Him a liar, - which would no longer make Him the sinless sacrifice (John 8:58), and the Scriptures would be filled with error.   

The bad news is that those who do not confess that Jesus has come as God in the flesh are dead in their sins, and they are called the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:2,3; John 3:18). These men are not “in the faith.”

Paul said in 2 Cor. 13:5-6 - “Examine yourselves, whether thee be in the faith; prove your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is within you...”

Jude 1:3 explains, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."  

The term "faith" is more than just believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It also involves believing in the Trinity (John 5:19-24), and that you have faith in the inerrant Word of God. 

The word "Trinity" is not found in the New Testament, nor is the doctrine explicitly taught there. However, foundations of the concept of the Trinity can be seen in the New Testament. Consider these verses for the Messiah: Jesus is deity in (John 1:1); “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30); I in them, they in me (John 17:20-22); Jesus and the Father are one (John 14:7, 1 Cor.8:4-7); existed in the form of God, but no equal with God (John 8:54, Phil. 2:6-8); united in one person (John 20:28); They are eternal (Matt. 28:19,20), and He is the great “I am” (John 8:58).

The Crusaders of the anti-Trinitarian Heresy

Although the Nicene Council tried to settle false teachings, it didn’t prevent them from reappearing in the 15th century. The short-lived control of the heretical teaching could be due to the control the Catholic Church had up to this time period. Heretics were not treated nicely, to say the least.

In the 14th century, the Catholic church began to believe that the Knights Templar were beginning to worships pagan beliefs and were performing such unbiblical acts as idol worship, homosexuality, and witchcraft, to name but a few. They traveled in the Holy Land extensively, and they had come to embrace religious doctrines from Islam, Judaism, along some pagan practices, so their thinking became very diverse. In spite of witnesses for their defense, at least 54 knights were tortured, then burned at the stake, and the Templar order was disbanded by Pope Clement V (1260–1314).

Before his execution, and acting from his prison cell, Grand Master Jacques de Molay formed four occult lodges. After his death, these lodges amalgamated and reappeared under Christian Rosenkreuz as the Rosicrucians. Some of those who escaped persecution fled to Scotland, and hid within the Order of the Freemasons.

It became the goal of Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and the New Age Movement to remove all boundaries that separate the religions of the world to create Universalism.

In the 15th century, the first architectural evidence of Universalism was found in the design of the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. The chapel was built 150 years after the dissolution of the Knights Templar. It was filled with a combination of religious symbolism from many different religions, along with Templar symbols. The chapel designs removed all boundaries concerning world religion.

It is important to know at this point that by practicing the ancient mystery religions, the Templars learned to reach into the spirit realm and consult with angels and demons. The “enlightened” state enables them to pierce the veil of the spirit world - the same practice of Sir Francis Bacon.  They knew that powers and principalities of the spiritual world possess secret knowledge, which could be used for the benefit of mankind. Their methodology was considered as witchcraft and Satan worship, and it has been kept in secret societies for fear of being persecuted.

Today, Rosicrucians, Freemasonry, and the New Age Movement secretly foster ecumenism and quietly prepare its disciples to accept and take part in the coming one-world religion. The Christian ecumenical movement of the United Nations is making preparations to blend the religions of the world, thus fulfilling the dream of the Knights Templar. It is a community of churches with unity in one faith and one Eucharistic fellowship. The sad thing is that many denominations are getting on-board, some knowingly - others unknowingly; some liberal and others evangelical. The Pope leads the parade, and the Church is following like sheep being led to the slaughter.

You have learned the origin of the anti-Trinitarian teaching and the importance this false teaching holds. What we are facing in the days ahead is a set-up for something much bigger.

Ecumenism will reduce all elements of Christian faith to the lowest common denominator. The first phase of the global one-world religious system will be modeled like the United Nations.  The final phase, envisioned by Alice Bailey and fellow New Agers, will be “the full end to the great heresy of separateness.”  The final religion will be the amalgamation of all religions into one -- pantheism, which means “one” or “unity.”  It is a return to the ancient mystery religions of Babylon.

The unification plan of the Antichrist is a deception the world will follow. It has been said that the last war will be over religion. In New Age teaching, they may convince some followers that unifying all religions will bring about world peace, but it is based upon a lie. Only through the Lord Jesus Christ can we become perfectly one.

Our world leaders have devised a plan to bring about the final one-world religion. Does this all seem unlikely? Did you know that the strongest proponents of the New Age reach into every aspect of political power in our world?

The year 2000 A.D. was the year marked by the New Age Movement as the beginning of the Age of Aquarius and the end of the Age of Pisces, or the Christian era.  It was a watershed year that would witness the unification of all religions and the appearance of the “Cosmic (New Age) Christ.” Since we are working on God’s timing,  this has not occurred yet. We have already missed this time frame, but I suspect the year 2012 has been set up as their back-up plan.

Communism / Socialism, which is the political tool of Satan, is still very much alive and preparing to flex its muscle. The Bible says that the Day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed (2 Thess. 2:3-12). Could it be that the Maitreya is the one that will cause this great falling away. Or, will the falling away be due to the initiation into the new system that will take the mark and follow the Antichrist?

God said in Isaiah, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my right hand.”

We serve a mighty God, and He is my protector. Is He yours?

~Article by Donna Martin, Kindred Spirits #47