Created  Jan. 1, 2011

Newton on
The Early Years of Christianity
100-400 AD

The Situation After Jesus
Chap. 13
The Last Hour
Irenaeus on Encritites/Tatian
Newton Names Names
Chap. 14
Heathens and Martyrs
Pagan Festivals & Celebrations Adopted
The Invocation of Saints
Damn the Monks!
Can't Be Denied

Related Articles

The Situation After Jesus
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Jesus appointed the Apostles to carry on his work. They had all the powers of the spirit that Jesus did when he was on earth. These miracles helped show people that God, indeed, was with them and that people should listen to these men of power and spirit. But as well, Jesus warned that the devil was going to sow weeds among the fine wheat Jesus had sown and would corrupt the fields of the Lord. Both would grow together till the end. As well, those of the weeds would be many, following the broad and spacious road leading to destruction. Those who elected to travel the narrow cramped difficult road would be very few by comparison. This would be the case throughout time till Judgment Day.

Some Apostles were done away with by Emperor Nero of Rome. Paul and Peter, among others. Many would die in the days of Emperor Domitian, who reigned from 82 to 96 AD. Matthew, Jude, Matthias, and Simon (the zealot) (lived to be 120) all die of natural causes. John lives the longest, to about 100 AD. He was the last apostle living. After him, the spirit was no longer present in extraordinary ways, as it had been with them and Jesus.

The letters of Paul, Peter, John, and Jude all speak of apostasy and heresy at work in their time and only being held back till the Apostles were all gone. Hippolytus informs us of the fates of each apostle. but by 100 AD, Christianity was given over to the devil to be tried in any way he might, to try to destroy what Jesus had bought about. Things would quickly go down hill.

The problem is that few have ever documented in detail, what got corrupted and when. No one has ever talked about it. Or so we thought.
"In the 1690s, Newton wrote a number of religious tracts dealing with the literal interpretation of the Bible. Henry More's belief in the Universe and rejection of Cartesian dualism may have influenced Newton's religious ideas. A manuscript he sent to John Locke in which he disputed the existence of the Trinity was never published. Later works – The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended (1728) and Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733) – were published after his death."
"Only one book of Newton's about the Bible was ever published. In 1733, six years after his death, J. Darby and T. Browne, published Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John."
In regards to Newton's work on Daniel 9:24-27 of the 70 weeks, this site states:
". . .  his meticulous approach to problem solving deserves our serious consideration . . ."

I very much agree!
Isn't it interesting that Newton's article on the Trinity never saw the light of day. Why do you suppose that was and is? Evidently, it was too powerful to refute. But you can check out my page/article on it and get a pretty good idea of what we have been missing. 

Newton has written an exceptional history of that early period in Christianity, that, to the best of my knowledge and experience, exists no where else. This sort of info has been suppressed or long hidden by most sources. So that apart from Newton, I don't think much of it has survived. Another problem is that I suspect that the early writers of say 100 to 200 AD may have had some things tampered with. For sure, someone made alternative short versions of many of Ignatius' works. But as well, those formerly called Bishops or Bishop of Bishops were then later called Popes, meaning Bishop of Bishops, the head of a number of churches in a particular city and its surrounding territories used that title. In its first use, it did not belong to a sole potentate. There were 3 major Sees (Centers) that developed by the 200s. Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch. The East was more wealthy and was the last area to have an Apostle, being John. Alexandria was the first to enjoy the most prestige of the 3. But Rome, being the capital of the Roman Empire, also saw a lot of action. Antioch was later changed to nearby Constantinople, later re-named Byzantium. Alexandria in time, disappeared as a Christian center or hub. That left Byzantium (Eastern Orthodox) and Rome (Catholicism) to fight it out for supremacy. Neither had any real claim to it, but as some sought for ever greater power and influence with kings, both would do their best to supercede each other.

Popes were in every major See and large city areas. But as time elapsed, single Popes would gain exclusive power and forbid others to use that name. Pontifex Maximus, once a title used by Roman Emperors, beginning with Tiberius, meaning essentially, the ultimate bridge, highest priest, a bridge between the gods and men, was thereby adopted by power hungry Popes, till only 1 Pope remained. Newton goes into great detail about all that went on. But you would not know any of this to read the early writers involved. They say nothing of their own sins. Newton had sources, but I do not know how they came down to us since, except by Newton, for the most part. We will discuss sources as we go along, since Newton refers us to his sources.

Now, you should know that Newton saw in early post-Apostolic Christianity, a fulfillment of prophecies in Daniel 10 and 11. But whether this was so or not, the history is real and revealing, too. It bears our serious consideration since it shows the obvious path of corruption that took hold of Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have the most to lose, since the corruption largely involved them and they are the result of the corruption and evil. But a number of other denominations would later follow, particularly since the Protestant Reformation. And these would continue many of those corruptions instated so long ago. Don't think that any of them are going to appreciate Newton or this article, either. Newton was not a traditionalist or one who wanted to fit in with the crowd and not rock the boat. He was a scientist and Theologian in many ways. He was also bold and independent. Truth was all he cared about.

What this means for us is, that by far, the majority of Christianity is largely corrupt with those original early sins. You can not put new wine in old wine skins, said out Lord. You must put new wine in new wine skins. Anyone who follows the old beaten, well worn, and widely traveled broad road of mainstream popular Christianity will be on the road to destruction. It is only on that narrow, cramped, and seldom traveled path of isolation, independence, and real dedication to God, willing to suffer for the sake of righteousness, and follow the lamb wherever he goes; that one can gain salvation. All the old religions have been bought, sold, and controlled, so that no truth will escape or prosper. "Get out of these, my people, if you do not want to share in her sins and her plagues, for her sins have piled all the way up to heaven!" (paraphrased).

Now modern mainstream orthodox denominations, that's Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant, all say that what they believe is what Jesus and the Apostles believed and taught from the beginning and always have. Damned lies! What they have is very corrupted since Constantine and began ever earlier than that.
Below is an ad from Archaeology Magazine in 2011:

Of course, even this course twists things. They turn the early anti-Christian persecution by the Jews into so-called Anti-Judaism. But Christians did not persecute Jews. They did show the Jews they were wrong and rejected by God in favor of the followers of Christ. Fact! Jews made trouble for Christians throughout the empire. Its a fact!

But despite their own distortions, the courses admit that Christianity was much changed from what it was to something much different. They call it transition and conflict. That, it was! It was transition, it was change. The trinity had not always been, nor had hell, or going straight to heaven or many other things. But modern denominations are spin doctors and liars. As well, there were many heretics and break away groups from Christianity. Most of them died out because they were not from God. So for all its faults, the course above advertised, points out largely what Newton and I do. That Christianity is much different now. That is not a good thing. It was not supposed to change but the devil sowed his seeds of "weeds" among the good wheat of the fields of Jesus and his Apostles. Today, false pseudo-Christianity can be found in any common church of Protestant, Roman Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox persuasions.

But I'll let Newton take it from here. My comments will be in >>brackets with red/brown letters.<<

Sir Isaac Newton: "Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John,"

Chap. 13  --  The Last Hour

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Of the King who did according to his will, and magnified himself above every God, and honoured Mahuzzims, and regarded not the desire of women. [Daniel 11:36-39]

>> Mahuzzims were the  images, icons, and idols and dead souls, saints if you will, that became objects of worship. False gods, really!<<

In the first ages of the Christian religion the Christians of every city were governed by a Council of Presbyters, and the President of the Council was the Bishop of the city. The Bishop and Presbyters of one city meddled not with the affairs of another city, except by admonitory letters or messages. Nor did the Bishops of several cities meet together in Council before the time of the Emperor Commodus: for they could not meet together without the leave of the Roman governors of the Provinces.

>> Lucius Aurelius Commodus (reigned AD 180 - AD 192). So before 180 AD, each city of churches had its own presiding overseer and no 2 cities were ruled by one overseer, a Bishop. Each city was accountable only to itself. A documented fact! You can easily get this sense in reading the early writers of that time. But with Commodus began the ascendance of power and control. This control was seen as desirable by Emperors and later by Kings. In return, political leaders would grant the dominant bishops a special status and privileges, which enticed and attracted the worst of them. But with political power and enforcement supporting these "blessed" ones, they soon gained authority over several, and in time, many cities and churches.

Christianity had been a nuisance but money and power can overcome nearly anything and Rome and later kings found a way to subvert Christianity so that it would benefit the political leaders, to the slighting of God, of course. It is still this way to this day. As each new Protestant movement came along, they would be infiltrated, rise to power, and corrupt and control the movement in time. Anything long accepted (70 years or more) is likely ruined in our day. Many start off bad from the start.<<

But in the days of that Emperor they began to meet in Provincial Councils, by the leave of the governors; first in Asia, in opposition to the Cataphrygian Heresy, and soon after in other places and upon other occasions. The Bishop of the chief city, or Metropolis of the Roman Province, was usually made President of the Council; and hence came the authority of Metropolitan Bishops above that of other Bishops within the same Province. Hence also it was that the Bishop of Rome in Cyprian's days called himself the Bishop of Bishops.

>> So you should be able to see right here, that there was no Pope at this time. The Roman Catholic Church has been lying its head off, rewriting history to call Peter the 1st Pope and they have been lying ever since. Its nothing but lies coming out of their mouths. We see how power and authority began to spread over provincial areas and then, since the empire was governed from Rome, Rome became the most important Bishop to secure control over all Christianity in all the provinces, so the Bishop of Rome was given a special status, which he was not about to argue with or complain about. But at first, the "Councils" were small and more regional than national, so to speak.

Further, Christian Bishops and Presbyters were not allowed to leave and meet beyond their boundaries by Roman Governors. But Emperor Commodus changed the law to allow such gatherings, since he was controlling them. Now they were OK.<<

As soon as the Empire became Christian, the Roman Emperors began to call general Councils out of all the Provinces of the Empire; and by prescribing to them what points they should consider, and influencing them by their interest and power, they set up what party they pleased. Hereby the Greek Empire, upon the division of the Roman Empire into the Greek and Latin Empires, became the King who, in matters of religion, did according to his will; and, in legislature, exalted and magnified himself above every God: and at length, by the seventh general Council, established the worship of the images and souls of dead men, here called Mahuzzims.

>> As you can see, the Emperors had taken control of Christianity. This was not their right but they took it anyway and Christian leaders went along with it. Christian leaders began to take orders from the Emperor instead of God. This certainly was an abomination of the time. They evidently did not believe in separation of church and state. But lets be clear, there never has been any separation of church and state from that time till now. its is just that we are more subtle about it today. But "kings" today still control all mainstream denominations. This is where they get the bulk of their soldiers to fight their politically ambitious wars.

Newton also reveals the origins of institutionalized worship of images, idols, icons, and the souls of dead men, instead of exclusive worship going to God alone. Paganism was blended right in and no one objected. Everyone was in on it.  Now Newton calls these images and dead souls of  worship, Mahuzzims. They are more typically called Saints and worshipping of Saints by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox but it did not stop here, as below, abstinence from marriage was also instituted as well.<<

The same King placed holiness in abstinence from marriage. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history   [book. 4. chap. 28, 29.] tells us, that Musanus wrote a tract against those who fell away to the heresy of the Encratites, which was then newly risen, and had introduced pernicious errors; and that Tatian, the disciple of Justin, was the author thereof; and that Irenæus in his first book against heresies teaches this, writing of Tatian and his heresy in these words:
>>Latin text omitted. I supply the English version of Irenaeus on Taitian in the next section.<<

Thus far Eusebius. But although the followers of Tatian were at first condemned as heretics by the name of Encratites, or Continentes; their principles could not be yet quite exploded: for Montanus refined upon them, and made only second marriages unlawful; he also introduced frequent fastings, and annual, fasting days, the keeping of Lent, and feeding upon dried meats.

The Apostolici, about the middle of the third century, condemned marriage, and were a branch of the disciples of Tatian. The Hierocitæ in Egypt, in the latter end of the third century, also condemned marriage. Paul the Eremite fled into the wilderness from the persecution of Decius, and lived there a solitary life till the reign of Constantine the great, but made no disciples. Antony did the like in the persecution of Dioclesian, or a little before, and made disciples; and many others soon followed his example.

Hitherto the principles of the Encratites had been rejected by the Churches; but now being refined by the Monks, and imposed not upon all men, but only upon those who would voluntarily undertake a monastic life, they began to be admired, and to overflow first the Greek Church, and then the Latin also, like a torrent.

Irenaeus on Encratites/Tatian
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From "Against Heresies," book 1, chap. 28


    1. Many offshoots of numerous heresies have already been formed from those heretics we have described. This arises from the fact that numbers of them--indeed, we may say all--desire themselves to be teachers, and to break off from the particular heresy in which they have been involved. Forming one set of doctrines out of a totally different system of opinions, and then again others from others, they insist upon teaching something new, declaring themselves the inventors of any sort of opinion which they may have been able to call into existence. To give an example: Springing from Saturninus and Marcion, those who are called Encratites (self-controlled) preached against marriage, thus setting aside the original creation of God, and indirectly blaming Him who made the male and female for the propagation of the human race. Some of those reckoned among them have also introduced abstinence from animal food, thus proving themselves ungrateful to God, who formed all things. They deny, too, the salvation of him who was first created. It is but lately, however, that this opinion has been invented among them. A certain man named Tatian first introduced the blasphemy. He was a hearer of Justin's, and as long as he continued with him he expressed no such views; but after his [Justin's] martyrdom he [Tatian] separated from the Church, and, excited and puffed up by the thought of being a teacher, as if he were superior to others, he composed his own peculiar type of doctrine. He invented a system of certain invisible AEons, like the followers of Valentinus; while, like Marcion and Saturninus, he declared that marriage was nothing else than corruption and fornication. But his denial of Adam's salvation was an opinion due entirely to himself.

    2. Others, again, following upon Basilides and Carpocrates, have introduced promiscuous intercourse and a plurality of wives, and are indifferent about eating meats sacrificed to idols, maintaining that God does not greatly regard such matters. But why continue? For it is an impracticable attempt to mention all those who, in one way or another, have fallen away from the truth.

>> Tatian was clamed a heretic and indeed, this is the case. But before this time, he did have some good works and correct understanding that some objected to. But they use his later rebellion to discredit all previous works. Now as regards the basic movement of declaring sex to be impure or wrong, Ireaneus refutes it, as I have, too. But what should be understood in a larger context is how this came from a doctrine kicking around in paganism, called Dualism. Gnostics were great for this doctrine as well. It basically declared that all things in the physical world were evil and all things spiritual and invisible were holy and good. The concept still exists today in many religions, including Christianity. I think it is Buddhism that tells one to remove all earthly desires and pleasures and embrace the spiritual exclusively in order to reach Nirvana.

Many suggest that this is the way to eliminate suffering and it is a more holy and pure existence. But God created man and woman to exist in couples and reproduce in complete goodness and perfection. The sin of Adam and not the physical bodies in themselves, caused us to inherit sin. Many think they are more spiritual or of a greater calling by staying single and celibate. But lets by clear here. No one is better or gets more recognition by being single and "pure." Its a lie.

True, being single can allow you to focus and concentrate on other things such  as study of the scriptures, but it may leave one open to temptation and craving as well. If you really like study and are not tempted, that is fine. Stay single and study and preach if you like. But those who marry are just as holy and pure as anyone else, fulfilling the will of God. The idea in the Bible is to live as God intended, if possible. In the world we live in, that is not always completely possible. But as much as we can, we do. The Bible speaks of celibacy, said to being figuratively a Eunuch, as a gift from God. If a gift, than it is not anything to brag about as if you did it and not God. It may be a gift, but so is a good wife, says the Bible. Whatever gift your receive, it does not make you better than others. Enjoy whatever gift you get.

I wonder if this doctrine, once put forth, was not promoted by those who became owners of churches and leaders among leaders. When churches first started out in the Bible, members of the faith kept one overseer, later called Bishop, supported financially to look after church affairs, which primarily was designed to care for members of the flock, and attend to teaching and shepherding. He would make and keep copies of important documents such as Bible books and records of the affairs affecting the faith.

But an overseer was permitted a family and support for that as well. The danger here is that those who had the duty of keeping an overseer, might be inclined to consider a man of celibacy over a family man. This is not allowed in the Bible. If a man wants to live single, he has that right but the congregation has no right to expect him to do that or force him to do that. And not many should do that.

As we have seen today, the requirement to remain celibate has caused many problems for the Catholic Church, which became attractive to homosexuals or illicit sex between male leaders and female nuns. In general, living single is not good. It is an exception, not the rule. Due to temptation and our natural strong appetites for sexual companionship, it should ordinarily be the best course for most. But no one should look down on or question someone who does remain single, either. Live and let live.

I might point out that not one Apostle stayed single forever. Paul had been for a while but Eusebius points out that eventually he married as well. Paul refers to her without saying who she is in one of his letters. So all Apostles ended up married before they died. Surely they, if anyone, had the spirit, the power, and the blessings of God.

Silly inventions of myths were common as well in the early days. Even in latter times, founders such as Joseph Smith who founded Mormons, invented lots of crazy myths that contradict the claim that Mormons worship Jesus. They say they do, but they do not, since they contradict some of the things Jesus and the Bible teach.

Sex cults were rather common in the early times, too. It was a big problem, addressed often. There are some brief references to it in the Bible in Jude and Revelation and Peter, too, I think. I have written of it elsewhere. Let us move on back to Newton in chapter 13.

Newton Names Names
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[2] In vita Constantini, l. 4. c. 28.
Eusebius tells us, [2] that Constantine the great {reigned 307-337 AD} had those men in the highest veneration, who dedicated themselves wholly to the divine philosophy; and that he almost venerated the most holy company of Virgins perpetually devoted to God; being certain that the God to whom he had consecrated himself did dwell in their minds. In his time and that of his sons, this profession of a single life was propagated in Egypt by Antony, and in Syria by Hilarion; and spread so fast, that soon after the time of Julian the Apostate, a third part of the Egyptians were got into the deserts of Egypt. They lived first singly in cells, then associated into cœnobia or convents; and at length came into towns, and filled the Churches with Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons.

>> This sounds like a welfare abuse scheme. Or it may just be that recruits for church positions were filled with these "monks." But they were, in general, living contrary to the will of God. Members of a church were supposed to elect their own leaders. But in time, leaders were appointed by head Bishops, who became known as Popes. This too, was against the will of God. The people were forced into submission and obedience and would be greatly penalized if they spoke up or disapproved. And Egypt in particular, Alexandria being one of the big centers of Christianity, was a breeding ground for this heresy of celibacy. Newton names names next.<<

Athanasius in his younger days poured water upon the hands of his master Antony; and finding the Monks faithful to him, made many of them Bishops and Presbyters in Egypt: and these Bishops erected new Monasteries, out of which they chose Presbyters of their own cities, and sent Bishops to others. The like was done in Syria, the superstition being quickly propagated thither out of Egypt by Hilarion a disciple of Antony.

>> This was nothing but a colonization of leadership into the hands of Roman rulers and those they appointed as head Bishops. They, in turn, appointed others who would be loyal to the "party line."<<

Spiridion and Epiphanius of Cyprus, James of Nisibis, Cyril of Jerusalem, Eustathius of Sebastia in Armenia, Eusebius of Emisa, Titus of Bostra, Basilius of Ancyra, Acacius of Cæsarea in Palestine, Elpidius of Laodicea, Melitius and Flavian of Antioch, Theodorus of Tyre, Protogenes of Carrhæ, Acacius of Berrhæa, Theodotus of Hierapolis, Eusebius of Chalcedon, Amphilochius of Iconium, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory Nyssen, and John Chrysostom of Constantinople, were both Bishops and Monks in the fourth century. Eustathius, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory Nyssen, Basil, &c. had Monasteries of Clergymen in their cities, out of which Bishops were sent to other cities; who in like manner erected Monasteries there, till the Churches were supplied with Bishops out of these Monasteries.

Hence Jerome, in a Letter written about the year 385, [3] says of the Clergy:
Not long after, even the Emperors commanded the Churches to choose Clergymen out of the Monasteries by this Law.
[3] Epist. 10. (Jerome)    And in his book against Vigilantius
Impp. Arcad & Honor. AA. Cæsario PF. P.
[4] L. 32. de Episcopis.

>> So there we have it. The Emperors took away the rights of church members and forced appointment of clergymen out of monasteries. Secular Emperors took ownership  and control of a large part of Christianity. Those in monasteries had to learn to obey and not think for themselves. They could be counted on to carry on the secret agenda of the rulers obedient to the Emperors of Rome. After Rome was defeated in the early 5th century, Popes would take over complete control of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), you might call them the "Family" or Mobsters. All authority was at the top and those below had better obey the Godfather or else!<<

The Greek Empire being now in the hands of these Encratites, and having them in great admiration, Daniel makes it a characteristic of the King who doth according to his will, that he should not regard the desire of Women.

>> An interesting interpretation by Newton. Not half bad, either. But the ultimate primary fulfillment would be the latter one in the last days.<<

Thus the Sect of the Encratites, set on foot by the Gnostics, and propagated by Tatian and Montanus near the end of the second century; which was condemned by the Churches of that and the third century, and refined upon by their followers; overspread the Eastern Churches in the fourth century, and before the end of it began to overspread the Western. Henceforward the Christian Churches having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, came into the hands of the Encratites: and the Heathens, who in the fourth century came over in great numbers to the Christians, embraced more readily this sort of Christianity, as having a greater affinity with their old superstitions, than that of the sincere Christians; who by the lamps of the seven Churches of Asia, and not by the lamps of the Monasteries, had illuminated the Church Catholic during the three first centuries.

>> Now we have the exact time period under which the churches were infiltrated and overtaken by political powers and changed into weeds, leaven, and corruption. The true faith was now dead. Constantine became head of the Church pretty much in 325 AD, the early 4th century. It got worse from there. This would be the beginning of the spiritual dark age. The Eastern Orthodox Church (EOC) went first with the RCC not far behind them.

Let me ask, with pagans joining Christianity in large numbers, because that Christianity now allowed pagan practices, can we call it the field of God anymore? I think not! And with pagans running it, we can be sure it was from the devil. It is that way, even to this very day! You have the historical truth right before you. Can you handle it?<<

The Cataphrygians brought in also several other superstitions: such as were the doctrine of Ghosts, and of their punishment in Purgatory, with prayers and oblations for mitigating that punishment, as Tertullian teaches {refutes} in his books De Anima {On the Soul} and De Monogamia {On Monogamy}. They used also the sign of the cross as a charm. So Tertullian in his book de Corona militis {The Caplet} :
Ad omnem progressum atque promotum, ad omnem aditum & exitum, ad vestitum, ad calceatum, ad lavacra, ad mensas, ad lamina, ad cubilia, ad sedilia, quacunque nos conversatio exercet, frontem crucis signaculo terimus.

>>I do not know the tranlation of the Latin, but I cover all 3 Tertullian articles on my site, under my articles on the soul, Monogamy in my sex articles, and the Caplet in regards to not joining the army and being politically neutral.<<

All these superstitions the Apostle refers to, where he says: Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, the Dæmons and Ghosts worshipped by the heathens, speaking lies in hypocrisy, about their apparitions, the miracles done by them, their relics, and the sign of the cross, having consciences seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, &c. 1 Tim. 4: 1-3.

From the Cataphrygians these principles and practices were propagated down to posterity. For the mystery of iniquity did already work in the Apostles days in the Gnostics, continued to work very strongly in their offspring the Tatianists and Cataphrygians, and was to work till that man of sin should be revealed; whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders, and all deceivableness of unrighteousness; colored over with a form of Christian godliness, but without the power thereof, 2 Thess. 2: 7-10.

>> Fascinating that Newton understood that the man of sin (Antichrist) would have a form of Christian godliness, even though it would be phony. Do not get fooled by this man of sin.<<

For tho some stop was put to the Cataphrygian Christianity, by Provincial Councils, till the fourth century; yet the Roman Emperors then turning Christians, and great multitudes of heathens coming over in outward profession, these found the Cataphrygian Christianity more suitable to their old principles, of placing religion in outward forms and ceremonies, holy-days, and doctrines of Ghosts, than the religion of the sincere Christians: wherefore they readily sided with the Cataphrygian Christians, and established that Christianity before the end of the fourth century. By this means those of understanding, after they had been persecuted by the heathen Emperors in the three first centuries, and were helped with a little help, by the conversion of Constantine the great and his sons to the Christian religion, fell under new persecutions, to purge them from the dissemblers, and to make them white, even to the time of the end.

>> Newton saw Constantine as relief. I see Constantine as a trap and heading in a direction toward even worse. But I like Newton's assessment as regards bending Christianity to accommodate heathens used to another religion that focused far more on outward ritual forms of ceremonies and similarities to pagan doctrines rather than true sincere worship of God as He dictates and not as we do. There is no compromise with righteousness and principle.

In conceding and compromising with paganism, which in reality is compromising with the devil, one only joins the devil, not God. But ruling Emperors did not care about God. They just wanted to unite their empire under one faith so they changed the faith in any way they pleased to make it more acceptable to more people. This was the error, a major one at that.

I have often witnessed this in politics. the government makes a big grab or a harsh deal. Rather than resist it completely, people will be willing to compromise. Continual compromise eventually leads you away from everything you once had. Keep electing compromise politicians and you end up slowly moving from bad to worse. Compromise is always a losing solution. Continually giving ground makes predators believe that you will always give in and compromise, if pushed.

Continual compromise with Satan also leads further and further from God. What sharing to righteousness and lawlessness have? Strict purity of worship must be kept. But most important is to recognized who was behind all this corruption. Emperors wanted what God had made, for themselves and they got it. Its now time, here in the last days, to clean up the pigpen, drain the swamp, evict the rats, chase away the wolves, eliminate the sharks, and restore the kingdom of God in our worship. Mainstream denominational compromised corrupted evil Christianity has gone on long enough, prostituting herself at every street corner to any politician that throws her a few pennies for some favors. She continually gives the blood of her young men to serve the political ambitions of war mongers.

I note that most all religion of any type tends to favor those outward ritual ceremonies instead of examining thinking and behavior in order to purify our minds and conduct. Outward rituals are easy to do. Self examination and self discipline are very hard. In fact, some would prefer to face a den of lions than to face themselves and demand better of themselves. The easy way out is the broad easy way most take towards death. Life with God is a tough road, but well worth it. <<

Chap. 14  Heathen and Martyrs
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Of the Mahuzzims, honored by the King who doth according to his will.

In scripture we are told of some trusting in God and others trusting in idols, and that God is our refuge, our strength, our defense. In this sense God is the rock of his people, and false Gods are called the rock of those that trust in them, Deut. 32: 4, 15, 18, 30, 31, 37. In the same sense the Gods of the King who shall do according to his will are called Mahuzzims, munitions, fortresses, protectors, guardians, or defenders. In his estate, says [1] Daniel, shall he honor Mahuzzims; even with a God whom his fathers knew not, shall he honor them with gold and silver, and with precious stones, and things of value. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds or temples;—and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land among them for a possession. Now this came to pass by degrees in the following manner.
[1] Chap. 11:38, 39

A brief interruption by me!
The word Mahuzzims, is the word typically translated as strength or fortress in the KJV and most other versions. The original language of Daniel was in Aramaic, the language of the Babylonians. It is a language with some similarities to Hebrew. Aramaic came from Shem's son, Aram. Hebrew came from Arpachshad, another son of Shem. Asshur, also spelled Assyr by Assyrians, was also a son of Shem and they spoke Assyrian, which has some things in common with Hebrew, since all these come through Shem the son of Noah.

But now whether Mahuzzims is Hebrew or Aramaic, I do not know at present. I will list what is presented in Strongs numbers and Hebrew Lexicon.

4581 מעוז - ma‘owz - maw-oze’ (also מעוז -ma‘uwz -maw-ooz’)
or >מעז -ma‘oz -maw-oze’ (also מעז
-ma‘uz -maw-ooz’
from 5810; n m; {See TWOT on 1578 @@ "1578a"}

AV-strength 24, strong 4, fortress 3, hold 2, forces 1, fort 1, rock 1, strengthen 1; 37
Strong: rock, strength(-en), (X most) strong (hold).

1) place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold
1a) place of safety, fastness, harbour, stronghold
1b) refuge (of God) (fig.)
1c) human protection (fig.)

The h in the word is fairly silent for English. The uzzi is a common Hebrew syllable. There are a few odd translations of this word and phrase of Daniel as follows.
Douay says: “the god Maozim,”
39 “he shall do this to fortify Maozim with a strange god”
Geneva says: “he do in the holds of Mauzzim with a strange god”
Tyndale says: “In his place shall he worship the mighty Idols:”

This scripture of Daniel does seem to be discussing false gods and so he uses this word, which does refer to a specific god, of fortresses or strength, as applying to many gods as best as I can tell, all of them being of pagan origins. Newton's main concern throughout this work on Daniel and Revelation is to show how Christianity so quickly corrupted and became quite pagan itself, and came under the control of Roman Emperors.

Also beware that Newton quotes many things in Latin. Why he did not translate, I guess at. Perhaps he did not have the ability to fully translate Latin or perhaps he wanted to remain faithful to the source and allows others to do so. In a few places, I have found English translations to replace the Latin but not often.

Now back to Newton!

Pagan Festivals & Celebrations Adopted        >>> Newton chap. 14 continues <
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[2] Orat. de vita Greg. Thaumaturg. T. 3. p. 574.
Gregory Nyssen [2] tells us, that after the persecution of the Emperor Decius, Gregory, Bishop of Neocaesarea in Pontus, instituted among all people, as an addition or corollary of devotion towards God, that festival days and assemblies should be celebrated to them who had contended for the faith, that is, to the Martyrs. And he adds this reason for the institution: When he observed, says Nyssen, that the simple and unskillful multitude, by reason of corporeal delights, remained in the error of idols; that the principal thing might be corrected among them, namely, that instead of their vain worship they might turn their eyes upon God; he permitted that at the memories of the holy Martyrs they might make merry and delight themselves, and be dissolved into joy.

The heathens were delighted with the festivals of their Gods, and unwilling to part with those delights; and therefore Gregory, to facilitate their conversion, instituted annual festivals to the Saints and Martyrs. Hence it came to pass, that for exploding the festivals of the heathens, the principal festivals of the Christians succeeded in their room: as the keeping of Christmas with ivy and feasting, and playing and sports, in the room of the Bacchanalia and Saturnalia; the celebrating of May-day with flowers, in the room of the Floralia; and the keeping of festivals to the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, and divers of the Apostles, in the room of the solemnities at the entrance of the Sun into the signs of the Zodiac in the old Julian Calendar.

>> Note the corrupt motive of Gregory, Bishop of Neocaesarea in Pontus. He could not win over the pagans unless he corrupted the religion to accommodate them. The Bible does not allow for changing the rules of God nor forcing people to convert, or converting them at any price. Christians reject those who do not want to change their ways. But all Gregory and the Roman Emperors cared about was getting everyone to submit to the religious authority of Gregory, who would be sure to help out the Emperor in keeping the flock in line.<<

In the same persecution of Decius {reigned 249-251 AD}, Cyprian ordered the passions of the Martyrs in Africa to be registered, in order to celebrate their memories annually with oblations and sacrifices: and Felix Bishop of Rome, a little after, as Platina relates, Martyrum gloria consulens, constituit at quotannis sacrificia eorum nomine celebrarentur; "consulting the glory of the Martyrs, ordained that sacrifices should be celebrated annually in their name."

>> It is sad to see Cyprian get carried away with memorials, oblations, and sacrifices to the Martyrs of Africa. It is understandable that they felt bad about the martyred and wanted to respect their sacrifice and suffering. Cyprian was a good writer on many subjects. But he erred here. He went too far in his honor of the slain. Part of the difficult walk with God is to observe what He commands and yet no go beyond it or do more than He asks, thinking it will be even better.

We humans are not good at maintaining balance and perspective. We easily get carried away and carry things to far. Some people make this mistake with practical jokes, going way too far and it gets way out of hand. So the proper course is to do only what God asks and not much more. Cyprian may have meant meant well but did not do well. As it has been said, the highway to hell is often paved with good intentions. Obedience is better than intentions. As Samuel put it to Saul, Obedience is better than sacrifice. But to make any man or woman an object of undue or excessive recognition or worship is wrong. Only God or his son are worthy of this. Someone forgot this somewhere, huh?<<

By the pleasures of these festivals, the Christians increased much in number, and decreased as much in virtue, until they were purged and made white by the persecution of Dioclesian. This was the first step made in the Christian religion towards the veneration of the Martyrs. And tho it did not yet amount to an unlawful worship; yet it disposed the Christians towards such a further veneration of the dead, as in a short time ended in the invocation of Saints.

>> Also worthy of notice was how persecution had the effect of wearing the Christians down. They failed to keep their heads and carefully consider the Bible. Of course, I suspect that the Bible was less and less featured in church gatherings. After all, the less they knew of the Bible, the less they would recognize the straying from the Bible. before you know it, they were worshipping the dead as if they were still living in the spirit realm. It was complete madness. From this we simply must appreciate how far gone Christianity was by this point.

The loss of good shepherds along with lack of direct access to the Bible was enough to doom Christianity. But along with that, God foresaw the time when people would have direct plentiful access to the Bible so that they would not have to depend on corrupt shepherds, better know as wolves in sheep's clothing in God's eyes. Yet today, despite Bibles being very affordable and obtainable, most of those Christian in name, do not read and study the Bible but allow their leaders to guide them. And as Jesus said, if a blind man leads the blind, they will both fall into a pit. But blindness and deliberate willful ignorance will not be allowed as excuses by God. If  you had the change to know and refused it, then you will die for your not taking advantage of that chance.<<

The next step was the affecting to pray at the sepulchers of the Martyrs, which practice began in Dioclesian's persecution. [Diocletian reigned 284-305 AD] The Council of Eliberis in Spain, celebrated in the third or fourth year of Dioclesian's persecution, A.C. 305, hath these Canons.

Canon 34. Cereos per diem placuit in Cœmeterio non incendi: inquietandi enim spiritus sanctorum non sunt. Qui hæc non observârint, arceantur ab Ecclesiæ communione.
Canon 35. Placuit prohiberi ne fæminæ in Cœmeterio pervigilent, eò quod sæpe sub obtentu orationis latentèr scelera committant.

Presently after that persecution, suppose about the year 314, the Council of Laodicea in Phrygia, which then met for restoring the lapsed discipline of the Church, has the following Canons.

Canon 9. Those of the Church are not allowed to go into the Cemeteries or Martyries, as they are called, of heretics, for the sake of prayer or recovery of health: but such as go, if they be of the faithful, shall be excommunicated for a time.
Canon 34. A Christian must not leave the Martyrs of Christ, and go to false Martyrs, that is, to the Martyrs of the heretics; for these are alien from God: and therefore let those be anathema who go to them.
Canon 51. The birth-days of the Martyrs shall not be celebrated in Lent, but their commemoration shall be made on the Sabbath-days and Lords days.

>> Next, we see the progression from avoiding the tombs, Cemeteries, or Martyries of heretics and only patronize the authentic Martyrs; to condemning anyone who does not patronize the tombs of Martyrs. So we can see the clearly established practice and that it had not previously been done.<<

The Council of Paphlagonia, celebrated in the year 324, made this Canon:
If any man being arrogant, abominates the congregations of the Martyrs, or the Liturgies performed therein, or the memories of the Martyrs, let him be anathema.
By all which it is manifest that the Christians in the time of Dioclesian's persecution used to pray in the Cemeteries or burying-places of the dead; for avoiding the danger of the persecution, and for want of Churches, which were all thrown down. And after the persecution was over, continued that practice in honor of the Martyrs, till new Churches could be built. And by use affected it as advantageous to devotion, and for recovering the health of those that were sick.

>> It is funny how completely the worshippers of this time were so easily lead off course. They had good reason to be in the tombs at first, but in no time it lead to them venerating the martyrs and tombs. They just could not stay on track. The devil was having his way with all things. He would be allowed this with the challenge of God, and those to come to God in the latter days, to overcome 1800 years of corruption and lies.

I will point out to you all that most have not made it past these lies and what appears to be a continuation of the faith from the beginning but it was not from the beginning. The beginning dies out in less than 200 years and appalling corruption takes hold. This is what they still cling to even today.<<

It also appears that in these burying-places they commemorated the Martyrs yearly upon days dedicated to them, and accounted all these practices pious and religious, and anathematized those men as arrogant who opposed them, or prayed in the Martyries of the heretics. They also lighted torches to the Martyrs in the day-time, as the heathens did to their Gods; which custom, before the end of the fourth century, prevailed much in the West.

They sprinkled the worshipers of the Martyrs with holy-water, as the heathens did the worshipers of their Gods; and went in pilgrimage to see Jerusalem and other holy places, as if those places conferred sanctity on the visitors. From the custom of praying in the Cemeteries and Martyries, came the custom of translating the bodies of the Saints and Martyrs into such Churches as were new built. The Emperor  Constantius {reigned 305-306 AD} began this practice about the year 359, causing the bodies of Andrew the Apostle, Luke and Timothy, to be translated into a new Church at Constantinople.

>> It is interesting that what these Christians were doing was much the same as the pagans did with their gods. It was God who warned Israel not to do as the Canaanites did in their worship. It seems like history continually repeats itself, though few ever learn from it.<<

And before this act of Constantius, the Egyptians kept the bodies of their Martyrs and Saints unburied upon beds in their private houses, and told stories of their souls appearing after death and ascending up to heaven, as Athanasius relates in the life of Antony. All which gave occasion to the Emperor Julian {reigned 360-363 AD}, as Cyril relates, to accuse the Christians in this manner:
Your adding to that ancient dead man, Jesus, many new dead men, who can sufficiently abominate? You have filled all places with sepulchers and monuments, altho you are nowhere bidden to prostrate yourselves to sepulchers, and to respect them officiously.

>> Even Julian recognized the hypocrisy of these Christians, who added many dead men to honor when there is nothing in the Bible to justify it. It is a pretty sad state of affairs when even Roman Emperors can find legitimate fault with you.<<

And a little after: Since Jesus said that sepulchers are full of filthiness, how do you invoke God upon them? {Ouch!}
and in another place he says, that if Christians had adhered to the precepts of the Hebrews, they would have worshiped one God instead of many, and not a man, or rather not many unhappy men. And that they adored the wood of the cross, making its images on their foreheads, and before their houses.

>> One might almost get the impression that Julian was more Christian than those who claimed the name for themselves. Here it is also recognized how wrong it is to worship or even use the image of the cross. Do you know a common denomination that does not use that today? I don't. They still violate the Bible to this very day!!!<<

After the sepulchers of Saints and Martyrs were thus converted into places of worship like the heathen temples, and the Churches into sepulchers, and a certain sort of sanctity attributed to the dead bodies of the Saints and Martyrs buried in them, and annual festivals were kept to them, with sacrifices offered to God in their name; the next step towards the invocation of Saints, was the attributing to their dead bodies, bones and other relics, a power of working miracles, by means of the separate souls, who were supposed to know what we do or say, and to be able to do us good or hurt, and to work those miracles.

>> Who says paganism is dead? These Christians brought Satan back from the dead. They began to worship may "gods," so to speak. They started to believe in saints living on after death, that so called Immortal Soul doctrine. You see, this teaching did not exist prior to this. Newton based his beliefs, not on what was handed on down to him by those just previous to him but he searched out all the writings and compared them with the Bible. He could not find justification for what they were doing and believing.

We are most fortunate in having him show us where exactly in time this sort of things began and progressed. We need not wonder where it came from or how, anymore. Yet, all these things Newton points out, they are still carried on by many today. Is it because we have no Bibles? Do we have a good excuse for being os ignorant of God's will? I think not, especially after Newton has been made available to us.<<

This was the very notion the heathens had of the separate souls of their ancient Kings and Heroes, whom they worshiped under the names of Saturn, Rhea, Jupiter, Juno, Mars, Venus, Bacchus, Ceres, Osiris, Isis, Apollo, Diana, and the rest of their Gods. For these Gods being male and female, husband and wife, son and daughter, brother and sister, are thereby discovered to be ancient men and women.

>> Well, well, the dog has returned to his vomit and pearls have been wasted on swine. What a fine bunch, eh?<<

The Invocation of Saints            >>>This is a continuance of Newton's Chapter 14.<
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Now as the first step towards the invocation of Saints was set on foot by the persecution of Decius, and the second by the persecution of Dioclesian; so this third seems to have been owing to the proceedings of Constantius and Julian the Apostate. When Julian began to restore the worship of the heathen Gods, and to vilify the Saints and Martyrs; the Christians of Syria and Egypt seem to have made a great noise about the miracles done by the relics of the Christian Saints and Martyrs, in opposition to the powers attributed by Julian and the heathens to their Idols.

For Sozomen and Ruffinus tell us, that when he opened the heathen Temples, and consulted the Oracle of Apollo Daphnæus in the suburbs of Antioch, and pressed by many sacrifices for an answer; the Oracle at length told him that the bones of the Martyr Babylas which were buried there hindered him from speaking. By which answer we may understand, that some Christian was got into the place where the heathen Priests used to speak thro' a pipe in delivering their Oracles: and before this, Hilary in his book against Constantius, written in the last year of that Emperor, makes the following mention of what was then doing in the East where he was:

Sine martyrio persequeris. Plus crudelitati vestræ Nero, Deci, Maximiane, debemus. Diabolum enim per vos vicimus. Sanctus ubique beatorum martyrum sanguis exceptus est, dum in his Dæmones mugiunt, dum ægritudines depelluntur, dum miraculorum opera cernuntur, elevari sine laqueis corpora, & dispensis pede fæminis vestes non defluere in faciem, uri sine ignibus spiritus, confiteri sine interrogantis incremento fidei.

And Gregory Nazianzen, in his first Oration against the Emperor Julian then reigning, writes thus: Martyres non extimuisti quibus præclari honores & festa constituta, à quibus Dæmones propelluntur & morbi curantur; quorum sunt apparitiones & prædictiones; quorum vel sola corpora idem possunt quod animæ sanctæ, sive manibus contrectentur, sive honorentur: quorum vel solæ sanguinis guttæ atque exigua passionis signa idem possunt quod corpora. Hæc non colis sed contemnis & aspernaris.

These things made the heathens in the reign of the same Emperor demolish the sepulchre of John the Baptist in Phœnicia, and burn his bones; when several Christians mixing themselves with the heathens, gathered up some of his remains, which were sent to Athanasius, who hid them in the wall of a Church; foreseeing by a prophetic spirit, as Ruffinus tells us, that they might be profitable to future generations.

The cry of these miracles being once set on foot, continued for many years, and increased and grew more general.
Chrysostom, in his second Oration on St. Babylas, twenty years after the silencing of the Oracle of Apollo Daphnæus as above, viz. A.C. 382, says of the miracles done by the Saints and their relics [3]:
>>[3] Vide Hom. 47. in. S. Julian.<<
Nulla est nostri hujus Orbis seu regio, seu gens, seu urbs, ubi nova & inopinata miracula hæc non decantentur; quæ quidem si figmenta fuissent, prorsus in tantam hominum admirationem non venissent. And a little after: Abunde orationi nostræ fidem faciunt quæ quotidiana à martyribus miracula eduntur, magna affatim ad illa hominum multitudine affluente.

And in his 66th Homily, describing how the Devils were tormented and cast out by the bones of the Martyrs, he adds:
Ob eam causam multi plerumque Reges peregrè profecti sunt, ut hoc spectaculo fruerentur. Siquidem sanctorum martyrum templa futuri judicii vestigia & signa exhibent, dum nimirum Dæmones flagris cæduntur, hominesque torquentur & liberantur. Vide quæ sanctorum vitâ functorum vis sit?

And Jerome in his Epitaph on Paula, thus [4] mentions the same things. Paula vidit Samariam: ibi siti sunt Elisæus & Abdias prophetæ, & Joannes Baptista, ubi multis intremuit consternata miraculis. Nam cernebat variis dæmones rugire cruciatibus, & ante sepulchra sanctorum ululare, homines more luporum vocibus latrare canum, fremere leonum, sibilare serpentum, mugire taurorum, alios rotare caput & post tergum terram vertice tangere, suspensisque pede fæminis vestes non defluere in faciem.
[4] Epist. 27. ad Eustochium.

[5] Edit. Frontonis Ducæi, Tom. 1.
This was about the year 384: and Chrysostom in his Oration on the Egyptian Martyrs, seems to make Egypt the ringleader in these matters, saying [5]:

Benedictus Deus quandoquidem ex Ægypto prodeunt martyres, ex Ægypto illa cum Deo pugnante ac insanissima, & unde impia ora, unde linguæ blasphemæ; ex Ægypto martyres habentur; non in Ægypto tantum, nec in finitima vicinaque regione, sed UBIQUE TERRARUM. Et quemadmodum in annonæ summa ubertate, cum viderunt urbium incolæ majorem quam usus habitatorum postulat esse proventum, ad peregrinas etiam urbes transmittunt: cum & suam comitatem & liberalitatem ostendant, tum ut præter horum abundantiam cum facilitate res quibus indigent rursus ab illis sibi comparent: sic & Ægyptii, quod attinet ad religionis athletas, fecerunt. Cum apud se multam eorum Dei benignitate copiam cernerent, nequaquam ingens Dei munus sua civitate concluserunt, sed in OMNES TERRÆ PARTES bonorum thesauros effuderunt: cum ut suum in fratres amorem ostenderent, tum ut communem omnium dominum honore afficerent, ac civitati suæ gloriam apud omnes compararent, totiusque terrarum ORBIS esse METROPOLIN declararent.—Sanctorum enim illorum corpora quovis adamantino & inexpugnabili muro tutiùs nobis urbem communiunt, & tanquam excelsi quidam scopuli undique prominentes, non horum qui sub sensus cadunt & oculis cernuntur hostium impetus propulsant tantùm, sed etiam invisibilium dæmonum insidias, omnesque diaboli fraudes subvertunt ac dissipant.—Neque vero tantùm adversus hominum insidias aut adversus fallacias dæmonum utilis nobis est hæc possessio, sed si nobis communis dominus ob peccatorum multitudinem irascatur, his objectis corporibus continuo poterimus eum propitium reddere civitati.

>> These "relics" of Martys were bold obvious idolatry, yet none among Christians seemed to see this. They were dull in their senses and unmoved by the Spirit of God. No whether these "miracles" were actually so or just lies spread as propaganda, I do not know. But if any were real, you can count of them coming from the devil, not God. God does not encourage idolatry and worship of anyone except Him and His appointed son. Part of distinguishing false prophets from real ones is whether the works or miracles or prophecies support the worship recorded in the Bible or not.

Any miracle, any "spirit, or any prophet, who tells you to worship other gods, or to disobey God (Jehovah), or who promotes a prophecy that does not come true, none of these are from the true God. Loyalty to clearly established commandments must be maintained. When God wants to make changes, He will do so with great powerful works and miracles as He did through Moses, Jesus and the Apostles. And they will not contradict previous commands. God might update something fulfilled and finished, but not contradict it or say it was wrong and He goofed.<<

This Oration was written at Antioch, while Alexandria was yet the Metropolis of the East, that is, before the year 381, in which Constantinople became the Metropolis: and it was a work of some years for the Egyptians to have distributed the miracle-working relics of their Martyrs over all the world, as they had done before that year. Egypt abounded most with the relics of Saints and Martyrs, the Egyptians keeping them embalmed upon beds even in their private houses; and Alexandria was eminent above all other cities for dispersing them, so as on that account to acquire glory with all men, and manifest herself to be the Metropolis of the world. Antioch followed the example of Egypt, in dispersing the relics of the forty Martyrs: and the examples of Egypt and Syria were soon followed by the rest of the world.

>> Newton here helps us to notice how the 3 major centers of Christianity evolved and changed in rank. Antioch was 1 of the big 3, along with Rome and Alexandria Egypt. Antioch was moved to Constantinople in 381. Constantinople would be known as Byzantium later on. Byzantium was capitol of the Byzantine Empire after the collapse of Rome in the early 4th century. But Alexandria was more prominent than any before 381. Let this silence the lying Roman Catholics (not to be confused with "Catholic" simply indicating unified Christianity, which in truth, was not very unified for very long) who say Peter was the first pope since even the name (around 200 AD) and later the position of Pope did not exist as the head of the RCC till near to 500 AD and would not be as big as Constantinople for a few centuries after that. So "Catholic" in early writings does not indicate Roman Catholicism. So I usually denote the Roman Catholic Church and Roman Catholicism as the RCC. Rome would not be the head for some time. The East in Constantinople would still be the most prominent center of Christianity in its corrupt form.<<

The relics of the forty Martyrs at Antioch were distributed among the Churches before the year 373; for Athanasius who died in that year, wrote an Oration upon them. This Oration is not yet published, but Gerard Vossius saw it in MS. in the Library of Cardinal Ascanius in Italy, as he says in his commentary upon the Oration of Ephraim Syrus on the same forty Martyrs.

Now since the Monks of Alexandria sent the relics of the Martyrs of Egypt into all parts of the earth, and thereby acquired glory to their city, and declared her in these matters the Metropolis of the whole world, as we have observed out of Chrysostom; it may be concluded, that before Alexandria received the forty Martyrs from Antioch, she began to send out the relics of her own Martyrs into all parts, setting the first example to other cities. This practice therefore began in Egypt some years before the death of Athanasius.

>> Athanasius was a promoter of the false concept of "not 3 but 1" or "3 in 1" trinity. This was some years after serious corruption had contaminated the Christian religion. So one need not trust Athanasius or his corrupt doctrine which was not promoted by any of the early bishops or writers, of which there were quite a few, who disagreed with the 3 in 1 trinity. Any who suggest that the trinity was a correct doctrine are simply ignoring the facts. It is just one of very many corruptions of Christian doctrine first given by the Apostles. Newton did not believe in the trinity, either but his article against it has not survived to our age, sadly. Newton preferred the true facts to established corrupt tradition that had been passed on down by Emperors and wicked shepherds of Christianity.<<

It began when the miracle-working bones of John the Baptist were carried into Egypt, and hid in the wall of a Church, that they might be profitable to future generations. It was restrained in the reign of Julian the Apostate: and then it spread from Egypt into all the Empire, Alexandria being the Metropolis of the whole world, according to Chrysostom, for propagating this sort of devotion, and Antioch and other cities soon following her example.

In propagating these superstitions, the ring-leaders were the Monks, and Antony was at the head of them: for in the end of the life of Antony, Athanasius relates that these were his dying words to his disciples who then attended him:
Do you take care, said Antony, to adhere to Christ in the first place, and then to the Saints, that after death they may receive you as friends and acquaintance into the everlasting tabernacles, Think upon these things, perceive these things; and if you have any regard to me, remember me as a father.
This being delivered in charge to the Monks by Antony at his death, A.C. 356, could not but inflame their whole body with devotion towards the Saints, as the ready way to be received, by them into the eternal Tabernacles after death. Hence came that noise about the miracles, done by the relics of the Saints in the time of Constantius. Hence came the dispersion of the miracle-working relics into all the Empire; Alexandria setting the example, and being renowned, for it above all other cities.

>> So this institution of monks, of which the Emperor insisted be appointed to all churches as the bishops and other clergy positions, was a major force in this corruption. The monks were loyal to the largest authorities of religious power and to the Emperor. God had been eliminated and early Emperors/Kings became the controllers of the "kingdom" of God. An abomination if ever there was one. Still today, all churches who are prominent, organized, denominational, long established, or hierarchical, are bought and controlled by money and those who control the money. These controllers and financiers insure that obedience to modern governments and rulers is kept among the churches and denominations so that hardly a one of these denominations misses out on supporting any and all wars that their countries want to carry on in. In doing so, they often are force to kill others who are at least Christian in name, thereby rejecting God, who forbids the killing of "brothers" in the faith. They reject God and obey men as their rulers. Wake up people!<<

Hence it came to pass in the days of Julian, A.C. 362, that Athanasius by a prophetic spirit, as Ruffinus tells us, hid the bones of John the Baptist from the Heathens, not in the ground to be forgotten, but in the hollow wall of a Church before proper witnesses, that they might be profitable to future generations. Hence also came the invocation of the Saints for doing such miracles, and for assisting men in their devotions, and mediating with God. For Athanasius, even from his youth, looked upon the dead Saints and Martyrs as mediators of our prayers: in his Epistle to Marcellinus, written in the days of Constantine the great, he says that the words of the Psalms are not to be transposed or any wise changed, but to be recited and sung without any artifice, as they are written, that the holy men who delivered them, knowing them to be their own words, may pray with us; or rather, that the Holy Ghost who spoke in the holy men, seeing his own words with which he inspired them, may join with them in assisting us.

>> So you doubted what I said about Athanasius? See here how he directly promoted the worship and reverence of saints, starting with John the Baptist. So Athanasius was and is a well established apostate and heretic. He should have been stoned, were it permissible by God. So why do you want to also believe him about the trinity? Jesus said by their fruits you will know them. What fruit do we have here? Rotten spoiled corruption throughout.<<

Whilst Egypt abounded with Monks above any other country, the veneration of the Saints began sooner, and spread faster there than in other places. Palladius going into Egypt in the year 388 to visit the Monasteries, and the sepulchers of Apollonius and other Martyrs of Thebais who had suffered under Maximinus, says of them:

Iis omnibus Christiani fecerunt ædem unam, ubi nunc multæ virtutes peraguntur. Tanta autem fuit viri gratia, ut de iis quæ esset precatus statim exaudiretur, eum sic honorante servatore: quem etiam nos in martyrio precati vidimus, cum iis qui cum ipso fuerunt martyrio affecti; & Deum adorantes, eorum corpora salutavimus.

Eunapius also, a heathen, yet a competent witness of what was done in his own times, relating how the soldiers delivered the temples of Egypt into the hands of the Monks, which was done in the year 389, rails thus in an impious manner at the Martyrs, as succeeding in the room of the old Gods of Egypt.

Illi ipsi, milites, Monachos Canobi quoque collocârunt, ut pro Diis qui animo cernuntur, servos & quidem flagitiosos divinis honoribus percolerent, hominum mentibus ad cultum ceremoniasque obligatis. Ii namque condita & salita eorum capita, qui ob scelerum multitudinem à judicibus extremo judicio fuerant affecti, pro Divis ostentabant; iis genua submittebant, eos in Deorum numerum receptabant, ad illorum sepulchra pulvere sordibusque conspurcati. Martyres igitur vocabantur, & ministri quidem & legati arbitrique precum apud Deos; cum fuerint servilia infida & flagris pessimè subacta, quæ cicatrices scelerum ac nequitiæ vestigia corporibus circumferunt; ejusmodi tamen Deos fert tellus.

By these instances we may understand the invocation of Saints was now of some standing in Egypt, and that it was already generally received and practiced there by the common people.

>> So by 389 AD, the madness had gained a secure foothold in Christianity. They even took over and replaced, in the very places of, the old pagan gods. Remember what god told Israel? Do not go after other gods!!! A simple well-established long-standing commandment of Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yet, they were bold in their taking the place of pagan Gods. Surely there is nothing of this movement that has any relationship with the pure and true God. All its fruits are totally rotten.<<

Damn the Monks!
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Thus Basil a Monk, who was made Bishop of Cæsarea in the year 369, and died in the year 378, in his Oration on the Martyr Mamas, says:
Be ye mindful of the Martyr; as many of you as have enjoyed him in your dreams, as many as in this place have been assisted by him in prayer, as many of you as upon invoking him by name have had him present in your works, as many as he has reduced into the way from wandering, as many as he has restored to health, as, many as have had their dead children restored by him to life, as many as have had their lives prolonged by him.

And a little after, he thus expresses the universality of this superstition in the regions of Cappadocia and Bithynia:
At the memory of the Martyr, says he, the whole region is moved; at his festival the whole city is transported with joy. Nor do the kindred of the rich turn aside to the sepulchers of their ancestors, but all go to the place of devotion.

Again, in the end of the Homily he prays that God would preserve the Church, thus fortified with the great towers of the Martyrs.
And in his Oration on the forty Martyrs:
These are they, says he, who obtaining our country, like certain towers afford us safety against our enemies. Neither are they shut up in one place only, but being distributed are sent into many regions, and adorn many countries.—You have often endeavored, you have often labored to find one who might pray for you: here are forty, emitting one voice of prayer.—He that is in affliction flies to these, he that rejoices has recourse to these: the first, that he may be freed from evil, the last that he may continue in happiness. Here a woman praying for her children is heard; she obtains a safe return for her husband from abroad, and health for him in his sickness.—O ye common keepers of mankind, the best companions of our cares, suffragans and coadjutors of our prayers, most powerful embassadors to God, &c.

By all which it is manifest, that before the year 378, the Orations and Sermons upon the Saints went much beyond the bounds of mere oratorical flourishes, and that the common people in the East were already generally corrupted by the Monks with Saint-worship.

Gregory Nazianzen a Monk, in his sixth Oration written A.C. 373, when he was newly made Bishop of Sasima, says:
Let us purify ourselves to the Martyrs, or rather to the God of the Martyrs: and a little after he calls the Martyrs mediators of obtaining an ascension or divinity.

The same year, in the end of his Oration upon Athanasius then newly dead, he thus invokes him:
Do thou look down upon us propitiously, and govern this people, as perfect adorers of the perfect Trinity, which in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is contemplated and worshiped: if there shall be peace, preserve me, and feed my flock with me; but if war, bring me home, place me by thyself, and by those that are like thee; however great my request.

And in the end of the funeral Oration upon Basil, written A.C. 378, he thus addresses him:
But thou, O divine and sacred Head, look down upon us from heaven; and by thy prayers either take away that thorn of the flesh which is given us by God for exercise, or obtain that we may bear it with courage, and direct all our life to that which is most fitting for us. When we depart this life, receive us there in your Tabernacles, that living together and beholding the holy and blessed Trinity more purely and perfectly, whereof we have now but an imperfect view, we may there come to the end of our desires, and receive this reward of the wars which we have waged or suffered.

And in his Oration upon Cyprian, not the Bishop of Carthage, but a Greek, he invokes him after the same manner; and tells us also how a pious Virgin named Justina, was protected by invoking the Virgin Mary, and how miracles were done by the ashes of Cyprian.

Gregory Nyssen, another eminent Monk and Bishop, in the life of Ephraim Syrus, tells how a certain man returning from a far country, was in great danger, by reason all the ways were intercepted by the armies of barbarous nations; but upon invoking Ephraim by name, and saying, Holy Ephraim assist me, he escaped the danger, neglected the fear of death, and beyond his hope got safe home. In the end of this Oration Gregory calls upon Ephraim after the following manner: But thou, O Ephraim, assisting now at the divine altar, and sacrificing to the Prince of life, and to the most holy Trinity, together with the Angels; remember us all, and obtain for us pardon of our sins, that we may enjoy the eternal happiness of the kingdom of heaven.

The same Gregory, in his Oration on the Martyr Theodorus written A.C. 381, thus describes the power of that Martyr, and the practice of the people.
This Martyr, says he, the last year quieted the barbarous tempest, and put a stop to the horrid war of the fierce and cruel Scythians.—If anyone is permitted to carry away the dust with which the tomb is covered, wherein the body of the Martyr rests; the dust is accepted as a gift, and gathered to be laid up as a thing of great price. For to touch the relics themselves, if any such prosperous fortune shall at any time happen; how great a favor that is, and not to be obtained without the most earnest prayers, they know well who have obtained it. For as a living and florid body, they who behold it embrace it, applying to it the eyes, mouth, ears, and all the organs of sense; and then with affection pouring tears upon the Martyr, as if he was whole and appeared to them: they offer prayers with supplication, that he would intercede for them as an advocate, praying to him as an Officer attending upon God, and invoking him as receiving gifts whenever he will.

At length Gregory concludes the Oration with this prayer:
O Theodorus, we want many blessings; intercede and beseech for thy country before the common King and Lord: for the country of the Martyr is the place of his passion, and they are his citizens, brethren and kindred, who have him, defend, adorn and honor him. We fear afflictions, we expect dangers: the wicked Scythians are not far off, ready to make war against us. As a soldier fight for us, as a Martyr use liberty of speech for thy fellow-servants. Pray for peace, that these public meetings may not cease, that the furious and wicked barbarian may not rage against the temples and altars, that the profane and impious may not trample upon the holy things.

We acknowledge it a benefit received from thee, that we are preserved safe and entire, we pray for freedom from danger in time to come: and if there shall be need of greater intercession and deprecation, call together the choir of thy brethren the Martyrs, and in conjunction with them all intercede for us. Let the prayers of many just ones atone for the sins of the multitudes and the people; exhort
Peter, excite Paul, and also John the divine and beloved disciple, that they may be solicitous for the Churches which they have erected, for which they have been in chains, for which they have undergone dangers and deaths; that the worship of idols may not lift up its head against us, that heresies may not spring up like thorns in the vineyard, that tares grown up may not choke the wheat, that no rock void of the fatness of true dew may be against us, and render the fruitful power of the word void of a root; but by the power of the prayers of thyself and thy companions, O admirable man and eminent among the Martyrs, the commonwealth of Christians may become a field of corn.

The same Gregory Nyssen, in his sermon upon the death of Meletius Bishop of Antioch, preached at Constantinople the same year, A.C. 381, before the Bishops of all the East assembled in the second general Council, spoke thus of Meletius.
The Bridegroom, says he, is not taken from us: he stands in the midst of us, tho we do not see him: he is a Priest in the most inward places, and face to face intercedes before God for us and the sins of the people.

This was no oratorical flourish, but Gregory's real opinion, as may be understood by what we have cited out of him concerning Ephraim and Theodorus: and as Gregory preached this before the Council of Constantinople, you may thence know, says [6] Baronius, that he professed what the whole Council, and there with the whole Church of those parts believed, namely, that the Saints in heaven offer prayers for us before God.
[6] Ad. an. 381, Sect. 41. <<

>> What is really bizarre about this is that the Bible does not teach that those who die go to heaven. It has always spoke of a resurrection at the last day. Yet, here they are, in great contradiction to the Bible, saying saints are in heaven and offer prayers for us. Total liars! Yet this was what all, by that time, believed. In a matter of 200 years, they adopted the opposite of what had been first handed down by the Apostles. The Devil had truly succeeded in corrupting the fields of wheat with weeds. Hardly a wheat sprout to be found.<<

Ephraim Syrus, another eminent Monk, who was contemporary with Basil, and died the same year; in the end of his Encomium or Oration upon Basil then newly dead, invokes him after this manner:
Intercede for me, a very miserable man; and recall me by thy intercessions, O father; thou who art strong, pray for me who am weak; thou who art diligent, for me who am negligent; thou who art cheerful, for me who am heavy; thou who art wise, for me who am foolish. Thou who hast treasured up a treasure of all virtues, be a guide to me who am empty of every good work.

In the beginning of his Encomium upon the forty Martyrs, written at the same time, he thus invokes them:
Help me therefore, O ye Saints, with your intercession; and O ye beloved, with your holy prayers, that Christ by his grace may direct my tongue to speak, &c.

And afterwards mentioning the mother of one of these forty Martyrs, he concludes the Oration with this prayer:
I entreat thee, O holy, faithful, and blessed woman, pray for me to the Saints, saying: Intercede ye that triumph in Christ, for the most little and miserable Ephraim, that he may find mercy, and by the grace of Christ may be saved.

Again, in his second Sermon or Oration on the praises of the holy Martyrs of Christ, he thus addresses them:
We entreat you most holy Martyrs, to intercede with the Lord for us miserable sinners, beset with the filthiness of negligence, that he would infuse his divine grace into us: and afterwards, near the end of the same discourse; Now ye most holy men and glorious Martyrs of God, help me a miserable sinner with your prayers, that in that dreadful hour I may obtain mercy, when the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest. I am to day become to you, most holy Martyrs of Christ, as it were an unprofitable and unskillful cup-bearer: for I have delivered to the sons and brothers of your faith, a cup of the excellent wine of your warfare, with the excellent table of your victory, replenished with all sorts of dainties.

I have endeavored, with the whole affection and desire of my mind, to recreate your fathers and brothers, kindred and relations, who daily frequent the table. For behold they sing, and with exultation and jubilee glorify God, who has crowned your virtues, by setting on your most sacred heads incorruptible and celestial crowns; they with excessive joy stand about the sacred relics of your martyrdoms, wishing for a blessing, and desiring to bear away holy medicines both for the body and the mind.

As good disciples and faithful ministers of our benign Lord and Savior, bestow therefore a blessing on them all: and on me also, tho weak and feeble, who having received strength by your merits and intercessions, have with the whole devotion of my mind, sung a hymn to your praise and glory before your holy relics.

Wherefore I beseech you stand before the throne of the divine Majesty for me
Ephraim, a vile and miserable sinner, that by your prayers I may deserve to obtain salvation, and with you enjoy eternal felicity by the grace and benignity and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Holy Ghost be praise, honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

By what has been cited out of Basil, the two Gregories and Ephraim, we may understand that Saint-worship was established among the Monks and their admirers in Egypt, Phœnicia, Syria and Cappadocia, before the year 378, this being the year in which Basil and Ephraim died. Chrysostom was not much later; he preached at Antioch almost all the time of Theodosius the great, and in his Sermons are many exhortations to this sort of superstition, as may be seen in the end of his Orations on S. Julia, on St. Pelagia, on the Martyr Ignatius, on the Egyptian Martyrs, on Fate and Providence, on the Martyrs in general, on St. Berenice and St. Prosdoce, on Juventinus and Maximus, on the name of Cœmetery, &c. Thus in his Sermon on Berenice and Prosdoce:

Perhaps, says he, you are inflamed with no small love towards these Martyrs; therefore with this ardour let us fall down before their relics, let us embrace their coffins. For the coffins of the Martyrs have great virtue, even as the bones of the Martyrs have great power. Nor let us only on the day of this festival, but also on other days apply to them, invoke them, and beseech them to be our patrons: for they have great power and efficacy, not only whilst alive, but also after death; and much more after death than before. For now they bear the marks or brands of Christ; and when they show these marks, they can obtain all things of the King. Seeing therefore they abound with such efficacy, and have so much friendship with him; we also, when by continual attendance and perpetual visitation of them we have insinuated ourselves into their familiarity, may by their assistance obtain the mercy of God.

Constantinople was free from these superstitions till Gregory Nazianzen came thither A.D. 379; but in a few years it was also inflamed with it. Ruffinus [7] [
Hist. Eccl. l. 2. c. 23. ] tells us, that when the Emperor Theodosius was setting out against the tyrant Eugenius, which was in the year 394, he went about with the Priests and people to all the places of prayer; lay prostrate in haircloth before the shrines of the Martyrs and Apostles, and prayed for assistance by the intercession of the Saints.
[7] Hist. Eccl. l. 2. c. 23.

[8] L. 4. c. 24.
[9] Hom. 66. ad. populum, circa finem. & Hom. 8, 27. in Matth. Hom. 42, 43. in Gen. Hom. 1. in 1 Thess.
[10] Exposit. in Psal. 114. sub finem.

Sozomen [8] [
L. 4. c. 24. ] adds, that when the Emperor was marched seven miles from Constantinople against Eugenius, he went into a Church which he had built to John the Baptist, and invoked the Baptist for his assistance.
[9] [
Hom. 66. ad. populum, circa finem. & Hom. 8, 27. in Matth. Hom. 42, 43. in Gen. Hom. 1. in 1 Thess. ] says:
He that is clothed in purple, approaches to embrace these sepulchers; and laying aside his dignity, stands supplicating the Saints to intercede for him with God: and he who goes crowned with a diadem, offers his prayers to the tent-maker and the fisher-man as his Protestors.
And in [10] another place [
Exposit. in Psal. 114. sub finem. ] : The cities run together to the sepulchers of the Martyrs, and the people are inflamed with the love of them.

This practice of sending relics from place to place for working miracles, and thereby inflaming the devotion of the nations towards the dead Saints and their relics, and setting up the religion of invoking their souls, lasted only till the middle of the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the great; for he then prohibited it by the following Edict.
Humatum corpus, nemo ad alterum locum transferat; nemo Martyrem distrahat, nemo mercetur: Habeant verò in potestate, si quolibet in loco sanctorum est aliquis conditus, pro ejus veneratione, quod Martyrium vocandum sit, addant quod voluerint fabricarum. Dat. iv. Kal. Mart. Constantinopoli, Honorio nob. puero & Euodio Coss.

A.C. 386. After this they filled the fields and highways with altars erected to Martyrs, which they pretended to discover by dreams and revelations: and this occasioned the making the fourteenth Canon of the fifth Council of Carthage, A.C. 398.

Item placuit, ut altaria, quæ passim per agros aut vias, tanquam memoriæ Martyrum constituuntur, in quibus nullum corpus aut reliquiæ Martyrum conditæ probantur, ab Episcopis, qui illis locis præsunt, si fieri potest, evertantur. Si autem hoc propter tumultus populares non sinitur, plebes tamen admoneantur, ne illa loca frequentent, ut qui rectè sapiunt, nullâ ibi superstitione devincti teneantur. Et omnino nulla memoria Martyrum probabiliter acceptetur, nisi aut ibi corpus aut aliquæ certæ reliquiæ sint, aut ubi origo alicujus habitationis, vel possessionis, vel passionis fidelissima origine traditur. Nam quæ per somnia, & per inanes quasi revelationes quorumlibet hominum ubique constituuntur altaria, omnimodè reprobentur.

These altars were for invoking the Saints or Martyrs buried or pretended to be buried under them. First they filled the Churches in all places with the relics or pretended relics of the Martyrs, for invoking them in the Churches; and then they filled the fields and highways with altars, for invoking them everywhere: and this new religion was set up by the Monks in all the Greek Empire
before the expedition of the Emperor Theodosius against Eugenius, and I think before his above-mentioned Edict, A.C. 386.

The same religion of worshiping Mahuzzims quickly spread into the Western Empire also: but Daniel in this Prophecy describes chiefly the things done among the nations comprehended in the body of his third Beast.

End of Newton Account

Can't Be Denied
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>> I am switching back to << to black letters without brackets.

Newton definitely seems to equate Mahuzzims as being pagan gods and pagan practices. But I think this a bit of distortion. I think it applies as "strength" or "fortress. But he is right that pagan gods took over Christianity and Christians so that they became worse than the original pagan gods, since at least the pagan gods were not masqueraded as Christianity. The Devil was now in charge of Christianity and has been ever since. Make no mistake about that one!

As well, the 4th century reached a height, a climax of sin and corruption. Hardly anything was left that was recognizable as truly Christian. Thoroughly corrupt religious leaders, beholden to the Emperors of Rome and other lesser rulers, along with those rulers, and the Devil, himself, had taken control, not only of the practice of Christianity, but of knowledge and truth, thereby suppressing those so that none had any idea what the truth really was on anything.

It would have to wait for about another 600 years before some  would begin to search out a return to the Bible when several men would begin translating the Bible and sharing its information with people. Those who first did this usually met with execution. But as other forces of power and wealth began to try to overcome the RCC, and the kings of Europe, under the control of the RCC, these subversive forces would see the advantage of allowing people to find out and expose the corruption of the RCC. So they would begin to help protesters to question and resist the authority of the RCC. So when the printing press came along at the end of the 1400s, it would provide a means to help publicize resistors of the RCC, promoting the hypocrisies and deceit of the "Church."

Martin Luther would benefit in a big way from this turn of events. He saw great problems with the Pope and the RCC and wrote about them, published them on the printing press and had to receive help in avoiding being executed by being sheltered from sympathizers of some considerable power. Prior to this, all protesters had died. Beginning with Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation would begin and never look back.

The irony is that the Protestant movement quickly became persecutors themselves, again, by being lead by kings and nobles, who offered support in exchange for soldiers and obedience. In exchange, Protestant leaders would receive some power, and religious enforcement by the aid of kings and nobles. Protestants, once persecuted themselves, now began persecuting Catholics, Jews, Muslims, or so called heretics who were also sort of Protestant but not the same as the other Protestants in their views. We might call them dissenters of mainstream Protestants.

And so it remains that those outside the mainstream who seek God and Christ to the best of their ability, are treated as outcasts and despised, often even persecuted. Their message often suppressed and kept out of sight of the masses. Jesus said that a slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you, says the Lord. As well, the road to salvation is very narrow, cramped, and difficult to travel and very few are traveling it. Most prefer that broad, popular, easy to travel road that everyone seems to be taking. They don't want to stand out or ruffle any feathers. They want to hide and stay out of sight and trouble. They will also miss salvation, too.

Next in this series will be the history of Christianity beginning with about  400 AD and the collapse of the western Roman Empire that follows just after that. We will watch the changes in this corrupt kingdom, formerly of God, but now of demons. There are many important things to be discerned with this commencing time period. With the collapse of Rome, will begin the growth of the next and last empire to rule before the Antichrist will be revealed and Judgment Day to follow. But an important period leading to this will be the Crusades of the Middle Ages. You will see when you go there.

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