So now that we know more about the absolute origins about this doctrine, that of ancient old Babylon. Now we move on and begin to grapple with just how this teaching became accepted by the different Churches in the centuries after Christ walked the earth. And this happened some time (centuries in fact) after the Bible itself had been somewhat compiled and completed. So then by the 1st century, as we can read in Johns 3 letter (3. John 9-10):
"No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister."
From Johns admissions here we see that things was not going to well. As we can see John must have been really frustrated, remember this was a man that walked side by side with Immanuel (Christ Himself). However from his writings now we see that conditions have gotten to a point where false ministers openly refused to receive representatives of John the apostle and was excommunicating true Christians from the church.
Of this very troublesome period, historian Edward Gibbon (1737-94) wrote in the original six volume monster work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1821), he talked about a.... (Gibbon, 1821:111):
“dark cloud that hangs over the first age of the church.”
Dark cloud indeed. So then, just as Christ predicted and the wolves Paul talked about in his many letters, rather quickly came in and started covering up and changing a perfectly working good thing. And the true servants of SoNiNi found themselves being a marginalised and diminishing scattered minority, among those calling themselves a Christian. What emerged then was a very different religion, now incorporating many concepts and practices deeply rooted in ancient pagan beliefs, a mixing which is called syncretism which was common practises for the Roman Empire set on getting all people under one banner. This Romans took hold of and started transforming the faith. founded by Immanuel. A faith comprising of 12 men, with the sins and personal characteristics of ordinary men found all over the world, taught them about the love of a brother and how to get back to The Lord. The Romans took this idea and made men bow down to heathen idols, bowing down to other men, derailing worship from SoNiNi and diverting it to Satan.
Another historian and minister Jesse Lyman Hurlbut (1843-1930), had this to say about the transformation in The Story of the Christian Church (1970,33)
“We name the last generation of the first century, from 68 to 100 A.D., 'The Age of Shadows,' partly because the gloom of persecution was over the church, but more especially because of all the periods in the [church's] history, it is the one about which we know the least. We have no longer the clear light of the Book of Acts to guide us; and no author of that age has filled the blank in the history ... For fifty years after St. Paul's life a curtain hangs over the church, through which we strive vainly to look; and when at last it rises, about 120 A.D. with the writings of the earliest church fathers, we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul.”
This different church (with a different gospel) would only see to grow in power and influence and within a short space of time (few centuries) after it merged with original Christianity and started teaching another gospel altogether. Now, Ignatius of Antioch was a student and disciple of John, to whom SoNiNi showed the Book of Revelations.
To understand this, we need to get rather technical because the trinity makes no sense in the literal terms. So explaining something the makes no sense is, very difficult. However, it can be said in short that the trinity denies SoNiNi as being the Father of Christ, therefore it denies us people (you and me) to have that relationship Christ had with his Father.
Now, if we read the below we see that Ignatius (the student and disciple of John) saw these errors that was creeping into the early church. And assuming John was agreeing with Ignatius, we see from this quote that Ignatius (or Theophilus as he also was called) did not believe that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one god or that Christ was co-eternal with the Father. This is what her wrote in The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians (in Chapter VI - Abstain from the Poison of Heretics):
“They introduce God as a Being unknown; they suppose Christ to be unbegotten; ... Some of them say that the Son is a mere man, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but the same person, and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power. Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons.”
You will notice the name of the Chapter in Theophilus (who is known historically as Ignatius) letter was "Abstain from the poison of Heretics". But now people who do not believe in the trinity will be labeled as heretics. Its become the other way around, as it is with so many things in our day and age. Things are backward. So the story goes, further darkening the heart of the believer. Hearing the truth but immediately the dark angel comes and snatches it from them. The Devil is very good at turning truth into lies and lies into truth. Lying is his native language.
In John there are 4 verses (and only 4) in the entire Bible that use the word, anti-Christ - being denoted from the vernacular Greek, meaning not of Christ, Christ like but not the real deal. John says these people that he called antichrist used to be a part of the early church but they strayed (apostatised) and went out on their own. In these verses we can see why John says they deny the Father and the Son, and that Christ came in the flesh (creating distance between their Creator instead of bringing them closer).
First in 1 John 2:18-19, we see John talking about these believers:
“Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
Then clarifies further in 1 John 2:22-23 :
“Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father: (but) he that acknowledge the Son has the Father also.”
Furthermore in 1 John 4:3 :
“And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
Then more in the second letter of John, 2 John 1:7 :
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
Under the guidance of John (a man who walked with Christ), Ignatius of Antioch kept on the traditions of teaching that Christ was the literal Son of SoNiNi. But then came the others, teaching that all three are one god and that the teachings of Ignatius and John was wrong. So John called out those that was teaching - all three are one and the same god. Denying the Father and the Son, effectively. Now the trinity will claim that it was God playing the role of the Son who died for our sins, which means they deny that Christ came in the flesh as the Son of God. This is what John is talking about in 2,22-23.
When this becomes clear, you see, that what is being taught in churches is against what the Disciples taught. AntiChrist is not one man who is to come and deceive people. This against, anti-, Christ teaching came and has set its claws deep into large religious institutions.
Grab the Handbook for todays Catholic faith (p.11 in this one), and you will see:
“The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church.”
This is he antichrist teaching, it denies Christ because it denies He is truly is the literal Son of God who came in the flesh.
So then, the historical scene was starting to change when the trinity beliefs emerged, and the people started doubting, and started asking all the questions that come with this doubt: who was he? Was he a man? Was he God or God appearing as a man? Was it all just fake? Was he a man who became God? Was He created by the Father or did he exist eternally with the Father? The people against, or the proponents of the Gospel, had all these ideas now that doubt had crept in, and all of them need answers.
The original church then lost their way by accepting these new beliefs, borrowings and adaptations from pagan religions slowly replaced the teachings of Christ and his apostles. In the coming gatherings (theological debates) and councils the true church was, off course as it was largely underground, not in strong presence in these. So it becomes debates between falsehoods upon falsehoods, not right or wrong. But just plain more wrong.
A good example of this is the dispute over the nature of Christ, which lead Constantine to convene the Council of Nicea. Constantine was not a man after SoNiNis heart, he openly worshipped the sun, had his eldest son and wife killed, he also hated the Hebrews. With quotes such as “the detestable Jewish crowd” and “the customs of these most wicked men,”. These very customs, in fact rooted in Scripture and practiced by Christ and the apostles who were in fact HEBREWS and of the Tribes of Israel/Southern Africa. The Hebrews believed in One God and One Lord. AS united as the Hebrews was in this, the Roman emperor Constantine had many struggles keeping people unified. So he accepted and sanctioned the Christian religion, which by this time had drifted so much from the original teachings it would not be a big leap for him.
So then, after this accepting of Christianity, Constantine faced another challenge, and researcher Karen Armstrong explains this in A History of God that (Armstrong, 1993:106)
“...one of the first problems that had to be solved was the doctrine of God ... a new danger arose from within which split Christians into bitterly warring camps.”
Constantine then set in effect the Council of Nicea, where great theologians would battle on what they believed... This was done mostly for political reasons to make sure there was unity in the empire. In this council they had a primary issue they was discussing, which at that time came to be known as the Arian controversy.
Theologian Arthur Cushman McGiffert (1861-1933) wrote about the Arian controversy in A History of Christian Thought (McGiffert, 1954:258):
“In the hope of securing for his throne the support of the growing body of Christians he had shown them considerable favour and it was to his interest to have the church vigorous and united. The Arian controversy was threatening its unity and menacing its strength. He therefore undertook to put an end to the trouble. It was suggested to him, perhaps by the Spanish bishop Hosius, who was influential at court, that if a synod were to meet representing the whole church both east and west, it might be possible to restore harmony. Constantine himself of course neither knew nor cared anything about the matter in dispute but he was eager to bring the controversy to a close, and Hosius' advice appealed to him as sound.”
St. Athanasius of Alexandria Credit: Melissa Carmon
Now Arius was a priest from Alexandria in Egypt that was said to have taught that Christ, being the Son og God, must have had a beginning and therefore he was begotten (created). Furthermore he taught that if Christ was the Son, the Father must be older.... Now a man that spoke against the teachings of Arius was Athanasius (held the position of deacon in Alexandria). Athanasius had an early form of a belief in a trinity where the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was one but distinct from one another. Sounds familiar right? The truth is that Arius original works has been all but lost and the question should be raised as to what really went down in this what seems as a classic mistrial.
Now at this Church council, the decision was which view they wanted to accept and which view they wanted to announce. Athanasius or Arius in a simplified way of speaking. When the answer turns out, well, none of the above, the Gospel had already been watered down and blended with pagan imagery and customs...
Armstrong explains this better in A History of God (Armstrong, 1993:110):
“When the bishops gathered at Nicaea on May 20, 325, to resolve the crisis, very few would have shared Athanasius's view of Christ. Most held a position midway between Athanasius and Arius.”
The dates are up for debate as well as the current proposed locations for these church gatherings. But what they talked about is well documented. Now as emperor, Constantine was in the unusual position of deciding Church doctrine even though he was not really a Christian. The following year is when he had both his wife and son murdered...
Historian Henry Chadwick (1920-2008) gives information about Constantine in The Early Church (Chadwick, 1993:122):
“Constantine, like his father, worshipped the Unconquered Sun.”
As to the emperor's sudden embrace of Christianity, Chadwick wrote this (Chadwick, 1993:125)
“His conversion should not be interpreted as an inward experience of grace ... It was a military matter. His comprehension of Christian doctrine was never very clear.”
Norbert Brox confirms that Constantine never actually did convert to being a Christian in A Concise History of the Early Church (Brox, 1996:48)
“Constantine did not experience any conversion; there are no signs of a change of faith in him. He never said of himself that he had turned to another god ... At the time when he turned to Christianity, for him this was Sol Invictus (the victorious sun god).”
And as to the Council at Nicea The Encyclopaedia Britannica stated that (1971, Vol. 6:386):
“Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions, and personally proposed ... the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council ... Overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only, signed the creed, many of them much against their inclination.”
So then at this meeting, at Constantines approval, the Council rejected the minority view of Arius and approved the other (also minority view) which belong to Athanasius. So then, because of the emperor, the council endorsed a belief held by only a few of the people who attended. Then came the exiles and banishments of those that rejected the Nicean creed (Arius himself), deacon Eusoios and the bishops of Libya (Theonas of Marimarica and Scundus of Ptolemais). The people that signed the creed yet did not join in on the condemnation of Arius as exiled, Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicea. Subsequently all copies of Thalia (compilation of Arius work) was to be burned. So then, the groundwork if you will, for moving towards accepting three deities had now been well laid. And think about it, if the dates are correct this happened almost 3 centuries after Christ walked the earth. Meaning it took some time for the devil to move these people against the Gospel.
Some years later Constantine became more lenient towards the exiled and condemned. Starting with Eusebius of Nicomedia and later Theognis after signing an ambiguous statement of faith. Both of these worked tirelessly to get Arius exonerated. So history tells us that later accusations was brought towards Athanasius and Constantine had him banished. And in the Synod in Jerusalem (under Constantines direction) Arius was readmitted into communion. However, upon his return from exile he died an abrupt and horrible death. Historians argue that Arius (image on right African fresco) might have been poisoned by Athanasius, who shortly after was exiled humself from Jerusalem (Gibbon, 1778-89). It becomes cleared then that Athanasius taught unbiblical views and institutions such as the Catholic church took these teachings to heart from their first inceptions.
If one has a look at Stephen Nelson Haskell (1833-1922) one can read in The Story of Daniel the Prophet (Haskell, 1908:117):
“The three divisions which were plucked up were the Heruli in 493, the Vandals in 534, and the Ostrogoths in 538 A.D. Justinian, the emperor, whose seat was at Constantinople, working through the general Belisarius, was the power which overthrew the three kingdoms represented by the three horns, and the reason for their overthrow was their adherence to Arianism in opposition to the orthodox Catholic faith. The details of the overthrow, and the religious controversy which was the root of the trouble, are fully given by Gibbon in the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,”
The evangelist and Seventh Day Adventist goes on to say (Haskell, 1908:226):
“The contest between Arianism and the orthodox Catholicism was the means of enthroning the papacy.”
Ever since the trinity doctrine got adopted into the peoples teachings, during the 3th and 4th century, in one way or another, those that believed in the trinity have consistently persecuted those who did not hold to these false teachings. They generally regarded them as heretics and the record of Christian history shows this and it is still happening today! So what spirit is behind persecution? Its not hard to have people accused (however wrong) the teaching that Christ was created as a means to discredit them. When the accusers were corrected, they still continued with their false accusations even though they knew it was not true. This of course is dishonest and can only be a deliberate attempt at discrediting a person, be they believers in the trinity or not. Did this same thing happen to Arius? Note that these rumours started to say that he taught Christ was created when in fact he did not, and was just a means of discrediting him to help the pagan doctrine of the trinity take hold?
If you read another Seventh Day Adventist and Alonzo Trévier Jones (1850-1923) and The Two Republics or Rome and The United States (Jones, 1891:351):
“'His [Arius'] book, 'Thalia,' was burnt on the spot; and this example was so generally followed, that it became a very rare work.' — Stanley 'History of the Eastern Church,' Lecture iv, par. 39. The decree banishing Arius was shortly so modified as simply to prohibit his returning to Alexandria.”
Now the Catholic Church has spent a great deal of resources in destroying any records of what Arius truly believed. This can be read more about in Benjamin George Wilkinson (1872-1968) and Truth Triumphant (Wilkinson, 1944:92):
“An erroneous charge was circulated that all who were called Arians believed that Christ was a created being. [Footnote: It is doubtful if many believed Christ to be a created being. Generally, those evangelical bodies who opposed the papacy and who were branded as Arians confessed both the divinity of Christ and that He was begotten, not created, by the Father. They recoiled from other extreme deductions and speculations concerning the Godhead.]”
And furthermore he wrote (Wilkinson, 1944:142)
“Whether the teachings of Arius were such as are usually represented to us or not, who can say? Phillipus Limborch doubts that Arius himself ever held that Christ was created instead of being begotten [Footnote: Limborch, The History of the Inquisition, page 95].”
The Handbook for Today's Catholic has this to say (HTC, 9)
In 538 A.D, the Arian believers were completely wiped out by the Catholic Church, leaving the Papacy as the sole “Corrector of heretics.” Anyone opposing the Catholic teaching of the trinity was exterminated, for “the Mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith.”
How was then this doctrine established ? Was it through careful studies and reflection on the Bible and Scriptures ? Not at all. Seems more like decades of persecution and rinsing out of anyone who had the true Gospel on their lips. Arian tribes all but removed and the views of the conquerors was left prevailing and increasing evermore in numbers. What truly is interesting is that history about Arius has been all but blotted out of history, so its hard to pinpoint what Arius really believed. He was accused of saying that Christ was a created being (and not being divine). So then if you deny the trinity you believe Christ is a created being and deny the divinity of Christ. So just like a political smear campaign, Arius was stained for all history, being condemned with false rumours and ultimately poisoned. To understand Arius better we really just have to look towards his opponent Athansius, and his teacher, the writings of Origen. Now Origen was a Greek Philosopher and theologian who interpreted Christian belief through a neo-platonic lens. Origen wore robes like Plato and Aristotle, he castrated himself in front of his student based on Gnostic views of the evil flesh and other strange practises. Origen was later condemned as being, unorthodox, after writing that Genesis was a fictions story, not literal in its sense. This was Origen. Arius was a student of Lucian of Antioch, the man most likely responsible for working on the Septuagint which later would form into a piece of parchment called Textus Receptus, very much later and restored (and off course edited) by Erasmus of Rotherdam (1466-1536), used as a base text to produce one of the more trustworthy Bibles, King James Bible. Now this was Arius heritage, and man that helped give us some of the base text we can trust (at leats to some extent) for being as accurate as the english language permits, being carried over from Greek (before that most likely Aramaic) and Latin, then in turn to English and many other languages.
If you read Roger Olson and The Story of Christian Theology (Olson, 1999:162)
“Unlike Origen, Athanasius's reputation is unsullied in all major branches of Christendom. Although some of his opinions turned out to be heretical by later standards of orthodoxy, he was never condemned or even harshly criticized.”
Now this is how the devil works. Discrediting the people telling the truth and then turning people away from the truth with a ready made alternative. Just like a rigged election, the truth is discredited and the new guy is mirrored as a saving saint... Nono, politics and religion should have nothing to do with one another. Just as in our time and age, medicine and politics should have nothing to do with one another.
Below we read about the influence Origen had on the writings of Athanasius, which can be seen throughout his work in Jonathan Shelleys Critique of Athanasius Two Books against the Heathens (Shelley, 2010):
“That being said, Athanasius is applying these standard arguments to a more highly developed neo-Platonist philosophy and a more cultural diverse society than any previous theologian had faced. Still, the influence of Origen is felt throughout the work, particularly in Athanasius' opening statements about the existence (or rather, non-existence) of evil and the refutation of various dualistic cosmologies.”
So there can be little doubt that Athanasius incorporated what in philosophical circles goes by neo-platonism, being greatly influenced by people such as Plato, it is not inspired by Scripture but Greek Philosophy. Origen as what today would be called a student of humanistic philosophies of a Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Ammonius. Origen made changes to the Bible and Scripture to have it say what he wanted it to say. Origen also studies under Clement of Alexandria who wanted very dearly to pair Christianity with Greek Philosophy, and the end result became what we have today ! A mix-mash of different religions with elements of Christianity and pagan ideas and rituals.
Below follows the definition of Neo-Platonism :
“1. A philosophical system developed at Alexandria in the third century a.d. by Plotinus and his successors. It is based on Platonism with elements of mysticism and some Judaic and Christian concepts and posits a single source from which all existence emanates and with which an individual soul can be mystically united.” — (TheFreeDictionary)
James Strong (1822-1894), author of the famous Strong`s Concordance, stated this on the Trinity in Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Strong, vol.10 1891:553):
“Towards the end of the 1st century, and during the 2nd, many learned men came over both from Judaism and paganism to Christianity. These brought with them into the Christian schools of theology their Platonic ideas and phraseology.”
Many years ago Origen wrote (Malaty, 1995 :134)
“Could any man of sound judgment suppose that the first, second, and third days (of creation) had an evening and a morning, when there were as yet no sun or moon or stars? Could anyone be so unintelligent as to think that God made a paradise somewhere in the east and planted it with trees, like a farmer, or that in that paradise he put a tree of life, a tree you could see and know with your senses, a tree you could derive life from by eating its fruit with the teeth in your head? When the Bible says that God used to walk in paradise in the evening or that Adam hid behind a tree, no one, I think, will question that these are only fictitious stories of things that never actually happened, and that figuratively they refer to certain mysteries.”
Ken Matteo writes that Origen believed that (Origen's Gnostic Belief System):
“... the Holy Spirit was a feminine force, that Jesus was only a created being and Gnosticism taught that Jesus became Christ at his baptism but that he was never God. He was a just a good man with very high morals. He believed in the doctrine of Purgatory, transubstantiation, transmigration of the soul and reincarnation of the soul. He doubted the temptations of Jesus in Scripture and claimed they could have never happened. The Scriptures were not literal. Genesis 1-3 was a myth, not historical or literal, as there was no actual person named “Adam.” Based upon Matthew 19, a true man of God should be castrated, which he did to himself. He taught eternal life was not a gift, instead one must grab hold of it and retain it. Christ enters no man until they mentally grasp the understanding of the consummation of the ages. He taught there would be no physical resurrection of the believers.”