Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Was Jacob tithing? Tassos Kioulachoglou

Was Jacob tithing?

Concerning Jacob the passage that is used to support that tithing is a principle that is applicable today is in Genesis 28. Just to give the background: Isaac sent away Jacob to go to Haran, the place where Laban the brother of Rebecca was living. On his way there, he stopped somewhere to sleep and he saw in a dream the Lord promising him to be with him, to give him the land on which he was sleeping, to multiply him abundantly and to bless all the peoples on earth through him and his offspring (Genesis 28:10-15). This was not an ordinary dream! Imagine how you would be after something like this. As a reaction to this Jacob did the following:

Genesis 28:20-22 “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's house, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."”

The key phrase here is “made a vow”. What is described here is not something that Jacob did obligatory nor something that he was doing regularly. In contrast, it is a vow, something that was done voluntary with an “if” in front of it. “If you do this Lord, I vow to give you the tenth of what you will give me”. Again it is obvious that this has nothing to do with modern day, regular and obligatory tithing.

Was Abraham Tithing? Tassos Kioulachoglou

Was Abraham tithing?

 Let’s now move to the records of Abraham and Jacob, starting from the former. We find the related passage in Hebrews 7. Paul is explaining there Jesus as our High Priest. The last verse of Hebrews 6 tells us:

Hebrews 6:20 “where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Then chapter 7 carries on speaking more about Melchizedek and how he was a prototype of Christ as High Priest. It is in this context we read about Abraham:

Hebrews 7: 1-6 “This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace." Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, their brothers—even though their brothers are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.”

Some people use this passage to say that tithing is a principle that transcends times and administrations and thus it is valid today too. This is because – they say – Abraham was a tither and this was before the law. So also we, without the law, should be tithing too. But I don’t think that this is what the passage is telling us. The main focus of the passage is on Melchizedek and how Jesus Christ is the High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek. To show how great the order of Melchizedek is, it refers to Genesis where Abraham, returning from the slaughter of the kings, gave him a tenth of the spoils that he got. But this has nothing to do with the tithe as we know it, and here is why:

1. What Abraham gave was completely voluntary. Nobody told him that he had to give a tenth of the spoils. He did it absolutely voluntary. In contrast tithing is mandatory, something that you have to do, regardless of whether you really desire it or not.
2. Furthermore, tithing is something that you do regularly. Not just once. Did Abraham do something like this ? His life is well documented in the Bible with 14 chapters of Genesis devoted almost completely to him. Yet this is the only time in his life in which we see him giving a tenth. In other words, what is described in Hebrews and Genesis was a one time event and not something that was repeated regularly, week after week or month after month.
3. The fact that what Abraham did was something extraordinary rather than something regular is also obvious by the fact that he gave Melchizedek 10% of the spoils that he got. This was not his normal income or belongings, but spoils. Something unexpected, a windfall gain. Today, such gains are for example: lottery winnings, or an unexpected inheritance. His giving was like getting an unexpected inheritance and then giving 10%. Again this is not what people mean by tithing.
To summarize, what we see Abraham giving was a one time voluntary gift of 10% of a windfall gain he received.
His giving was:
i) voluntary, not obligatory.
ii) a one time thing, not something done regularly.
iii) Finally it was out of a windfall gain he received, not out of his regular income.

Was his giving 10% ? Yes it was. Was his giving a tithe in the meaning it is taught today (regular and obligatory giving of 10% of your income) ? From what we saw, this was obviously not the case.

Were Abraham and Jacob tithing? Tassos Kioulachoglou

Were Abraham and Jacob tithing ?

In contrast to what we have seen in the first chapters of this study, and to support the application of tithing, many say that tithing is in fact not part of the law because it was applied - they say – before the law, by Abraham and Jacob. Thus, in this view, it is a principle that transcends time and Bible administrations and applies equally to before, during and after the Mosaic law. Before we go to the passages they use, let’s see how Jesus Christ saw and classified tithing. Matthew 23:23 tells us:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.”

The Lord is speaking to the Pharisees. These people were paying their tithes but they had forgotten the weightier matters of the law. They were hypocrites! The phrase “weightier matters of the law” makes a comparison between lighter “matters of the law” and weightier “matters of the law”. Tithing was a lighter matter of the law. Justice and mercy and faith were weightier matters of the law than tithing. This is not a comparison between general matters but “matters of the law” and tithing was classified by the Lord as a “matter of the law”. And such a matter it is. And now let’s move to the records used to support that Abraham and Jacob were actually tithing.

They Wanted Jesus To Leave

Friends, The pope has said people should not go to Jesus as that is dangerous. I saw him telling a man Jesus is a man. He repeated this two times without giving Jesus' true titles. Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, all things were made by Him and nothing was made with out Him. Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Almighty God. The pope will soon answer to Jesus, who will have him cast into the Lake of Fire.  Warren

They Wanted Jesus To Leave

they wanted Jesus to leave so he didThe Jesus of the Bible is not like many think. He will not force himself on anyone, but will honor man’s choice, even if it is to their own destruction. Here is the evidence for that statement. It comes from the people in the area of the Gerasenes. After the man with the thousands of demons was exorcized of the spirits indwelling him and the pigs drowned, the people of that area were afraid and wanted Jesus to leave:
Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.(Mark 5:17)
The next verse is most revealing, for it shows that Jesus never spoke even one word of correction for them to reconsider the horrible mistake they were making. He just left like they wanted:
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. (Mark 5:18)
Jesus simply turned away and moved on from their area, as they requested! On the other hand, Jairus wanted Jesus to come with him and heal his daughter. He likewise did it:
Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him. (Mark 5:22-24)
When was the last time you told the Lord you love him, want him to stay close by and never leave you? Heb. 13:8 says Jesus doesn’t change.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

MANY Live as Enemies of the Cross of Christ

MANY Live as Enemies of the Cross of Christ

The Apostle Paul repeated keys truths as he traveled about. One such disheartening truth, which needed reiterated, is this one:
enemies of the cross
For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. (Phil 3:18,19)
Just like then, many today live as enemies of the cross of Christ, yet identify themselves with Christianity! Their life is an insulting contradiction and smear to the holy image of Christianity. True Christians are living holy (Rom. 6:22). They are following Jesus (Jn. 10:27). He is their glory (Phil. 3:3). They are doing God’s will (Lk. 8:21).
On the other hand, those living as enemies of the cross of Christ have their own appetites(or “stomach”) as their god and rather than glory in the Lord Jesus, they glory in their shame! Their destiny is destruction (meaning the lake of fire). [It is clear that certain sinful behavior identifies one as a child of the devil, 1 John 3:10.] Furthermore, their minds are on earthly things. That last point is very significant. Their minds are on earthly things like money, sports, video games, entertainment, etc. They aren’t meditating in the Scriptures and seeking God. Note what Paul wrote about the minds of the Christian and non-Christian:
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Rom 8:5,6).
That is a key passage! Our thought life is vital and will always affect our behavior and goals. That is why people who lust over pornography often get involved with physical adultery and sexual crimes. The enemies of the cross have their minds on earthly things and it is apparent also in their words—they glory in their shame! It’s one thing when a rank pagan, who openly disbelieves in the existence of God, would do those things, but when a professing Christian does the same, it is much worse. That’s the problem here and what Paul wanted the Philippians (who always obeyed, Phil 2:12) to know that danger and remain true. Many who profess to have salvation and eternal life are living as enemies of the cross of Christ.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Early Christian History Versus Catholicism

This is a warning, as the Lord God is merciful and is still giving people time to repent and to learn the truth which is very difficult to do as the religion system is in apostasy. If you are a Christian, you are to have no part with the Pagan "so called Catholic Church". It has never and will never be Christian. Countless millions are ignorant of history and will be destroyed with the pagan so called church. Warren. 

The End of History—Messiah Conspiracy

CHAPTER 10—Early Christian History Versus Catholicism

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 7:15-16, 33 AD

“[In] The Protestant Netherlands....During the 16th and the 17th Centuries, Amsterdam was known among Europe’s Jews as the new Jerusalem....Pre-Reformation semi-sectarian minority movements expressing millenarian yearnings had to remain underground. They were persecuted and suppressed by the Church in Rome....”1 Regina Sharif, an accurate comment on the 1500’s

“ ‘...For if it had not been for the Christians, our remnant would surely have been destroyed, and Israel’s hope would have been extinguished amidst the Gentiles, who hate us because of our faith....But God, our Lord, has caused the Christian wise men to arise, who protect us in every generation.’ ”2 Rabbi Emden, 1757

“...on the Continent of Europe small hidden Christian societies, who have held many of the opinions of the Anabaptists, have existed from the times of the apostles. In the sense of the direct transmission of Divine Truth, and the true nature of spiritual religion, it seems probable that these churches have a lineage or succession more ancient than that of the Roman Church.”3 Robert Barclay, 1876

“In 1208 a crusade was ordered by Pope Innocent III; a bloody war of extermination followed; scarcely paralleled in 1229 the Inquisition was established and within a hundred years the Albigenses were utterly rooted out....”4
Henry Halley, 1965

The true Bible believing Christians mentioned above, along with the Huguenots and Anabaptists, the near equivalent of modern Evangelical Zionist Christians, aided and protected the Jews against Catholicism’s medieval persecutions when they were able. Philip Moore, 1996


The secret events of true Christian history have been hidden from our eyes for centuries! Today, many have been led to believe that church history is synonymous with the record of the Roman Catholic Church. However, this is not true. In this chapter, we will differentiate between the two, separating the sheep from the goats in an objective manner, so as to inform those who are truly interested, of the actual events.
Many are now taught that “Christianity” (Roman Catholicism, which is not really New Testament Christianity) has in the past, persecuted the Jews. While it is true that Roman Catholicism has ruthlessly murdered Jews and Protestants, it is also true that true New Testament Christians have rescued and even given their lives to save Jews from Catholic persecution and Hitler’s Holocaust. These subjects will be covered in greater detail later in this book.
This chapter picks up where the last one left off and continues to illustrate the plight and persecution of true Christians throughout history, from the latter half of the first century until today.


The Jewish scholar, Hugh Schonfield, in his book, Saints Against Caesar, documents the persecution of Jewish Christians in the first century while Judaism was still a protected religion within Roman law. “But already in the first century it was Rabbinical Judaism which had taken the initiative in trying to force the Nazarenes out of the Synagogue. The Romans no doubt did not in Palestine distinguish between one brand of Judaism and another until they came to appreciate that there was a body of Christians still inside the Jewish Community....when the emperor decreed a search for members of the house of David, and started a persecution of the Christians. According to Hegesippus there were some Jewish heretics who denounced certain of the Nazarenes to the authorities.”5
Maurice Goguel, in his unsurpassed work, The Birth of Christianity, sheds even more light on the subject when he notes: “...right up to Paul’s trial, the Roman authorities in Palestine do not seem to have made any distinction between Jews and Christians. At first the same was true in the diaspora: for a long time Christians were confused with the Jews. But the latter went to work to clear up this confusion with such perseverance that we cannot help but think that they were working according to a set plan. So far as they succeeded they rendered the situation of the Christians in the empire very precarious. As soon as they ceased to enjoy the favoured treatment which had been awarded to Judaism, they found themselves without legal status, on the fringe of society and subject to the penalty of death....Jewish communities possessed wide powers of self-
government; they had rights of association and could exercise discipline over their members. Jews were exempt from all
participation in public worship; they could take oaths without calling upon the gods....All this was possible because Judaism was considered to be the national religion of a people who had been the friend and ally of the Roman people before they became vassals....the means used by the Jews [rabbinical leaders] to hinder the Christian mission were indirect. They made every effort to persuade the Roman authorities
that Christians were not Jews or had ceased to be so and consequently had no right to the privileges of Judaism.”6


Before Catholicism was decreed the state religion of Rome by Constantine in the fourth century AD, the empire was pagan. They worshipped many gods, including Greek and Roman deities. Though they permitted Jews to swear oaths without calling on the gods, they persecuted the believers in Jesus (both Jew and non-Jew) with a zeal unknown by most today.


Emperor Nero put Christians to death while mocking them. He had their bodies covered with animal skins, and confined them to areas where wild dogs would devour them. He nailed them to crosses and covered them with flammable materials, setting them on fire to light his garden by night.7
Emperor Domitian (AD 95) instituted the persecution in which Flavius Clemens perished. Thousands of Christians were murdered in Rome and Italy under his orders.
Under Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD), many Christians were murdered, among them Simeon (Jesus’ brother), who was crucified in 107. Ignatius of Antioch was thrown to wild beasts in 110 AD.
Concerning these horrible persecutions, Pliny, the governor of Bithynia, reported the progress of his extermination of Christians in a letter to Trajan, which we will partially reproduce for you here. Pliny wrote to Trajan: “...the method I have observed towards those who have been denounced to me as Christians, is this; I interrogated them whether they were Christians; if they confessed I repeated the question twice again, adding a threat of capital punishment; if they still persevered, I ordered them to be executed....Those who denied that they were Christians, or had ever been so, who repeated after me an invocation to the gods, and offered religious rites with wine and frankincense to your statue (which I had ordered to be brought for the purpose, together with those of the gods), and finally cursed the name of Christ (none of which, it is said, those who are really Christians can be forced into performing), I thought proper to discharge....I therefore thought it proper to adjourn all further proceedings in this affair, in order to consult with you. For the matter is well worth referring to you, especially considering the numbers endangered: persons of all ranks and ages, and of both sexes, are and will be involved in the prosecution. For this contagious superstition is not confined to the cities only, but has spread through the villages and the countryside. Nevertheless it seems still possible to check and cure it. The [pagan] temples, at least, which were once almost deserted, begin now to be frequented, and the sacred solemnities, after a long intermission, are again revived; while there is a general demand for sacrificial animals which for some time past have met with but few purchasers. From hence it is easy to imagine what numbers might be reclaimed from this error [believers in Jesus] if the door is left open for repentance.”8


Under Emperor Hadrian (117-138), Telephorus and many other well-known Christians suffered martyrdom. Under Emperor Antonius Pius (138-161), Polycarp and many others were martyred. Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180) persecuted Christians with the enthusiasm of Nero. Under his rule, many thousands were beheaded and thrown to the lions, including our beloved Justin Martyr.
Emperor Septimius Severus (193-211) persecuted Christians in Egypt and North Africa. He burned, crucified and beheaded many martyrs in Alexandria. Origen’s father, Leonidas, was one of his victims.
Under Emperor Maximin (235-238), many Christian leaders were executed. Emperor Decius (249-251) murdered untold numbers of Christians throughout Rome, North Africa, Egypt and Asia Minor. The famed Cyprian proclaimed, “The whole world is devastated.”9
Emperor Valerian (253-260) persecuted believers even more severely than his predecessor, Decius. Many Christian leaders were executed, including Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage. Emperor Diocletian (284-305) was known for the most severe persecution of Christians among the emperors.
Henry Halley notes that under Diocletian: “For ten years, Christians were hunted in cave and forest; they were burned, thrown to wild beasts, put to death by every torture cruelty could devise. It was a resolute, determined, systematic effort to abolish the Christian Name.”10


Under the city of Rome lies the remains of a people so persecuted, so horribly tortured for their belief, it would almost seem as if none could begin to truly understand their plight.11 These were the first and second century Christians of Rome, who existed underground in secret tunnels called catacombs.
The catacombs of Rome are vast subterranean chambers, roughly eight feet wide by five feet high. They extend for hundreds of miles under the city. They were used by Christians for secret worship, burial and sanctuary from Rome’s persecution. There are an estimated seven million Christian graves and four miles of inscriptions to be found in these ancient galleries today.12


During these times of persecution, some of the greatest Christian philosophers were systematically murdered. These people are historically known as “the church fathers.” Our list includes: 
(AD 69-156), John the apostle’s pupil who was arrested, brought before the governor, and offered his freedom if he would curse Jesus. Polycarp was burned alive when he refused; Ignatius (AD 67-110), also John’s student, was sentenced to be thrown to wild beasts by the Emperor Trajan in Rome; Papias (AD 70-155) was martyred at Pergamum; Justin Martyr (AD 100-167) was martyred at Rome; Iranaeus (AD 130-200) died a martyr; Origen (AD 185-254) died in prison while being tortured under Emperor Decius.


Constantine erroneously reported that “he saw in the sky, just above the setting sun, a vision of the cross, and above it the words, ‘In This sign Conquer.’ ”13
Obviously, no words or cross appeared in the sky telling him to fight. We believe Constantine used this as a ploy, which also illustrates that he never truly believed in Jesus.
Evangelist Ralph Woodrow defends this logic when he writes: “...if Constantine did have such a vision, are we to suppose its author was Jesus Christ? Would the Prince of Peace instruct a pagan emperor to make a military banner embodying the cross and to go forth conquering and killing in that sign?
The Roman Empire (of which Constantine became the head) has been described in the Scriptures as a ‘beast.’ Daniel saw four great beasts which represented four world empires—Babylon (a lion), Medo-Persia (a bear), Greece (a leopard), and Rome. The fourth beast, the Roman Empire, was so horrible that it was symbolized by a beast unlike any other (Daniel 7:1-8). We see no reason to suppose that Christ would tell Constantine to conquer with the sign of the cross to further the beast system of Rome!
But if the vision was not of God, how can we explain the conversion of Constantine? Actually, his conversion is to be seriously questioned. Even though he had much to do with the establishment of certain doctrines and customs within the church, the facts plainly show that he was not truly converted—not in the Biblical sense of the word. Historians admit that his conversion was ‘nominal, even by contemporary standards.’
Probably the most obvious indication that he was not truly converted may be seen from the fact that after his conversion, he committed several murders—including the murder of his own wife and son!....These things are summed up in the following words from The Catholic Encyclopedia: ‘Even after his conversion he caused the execution of his brother-in-law Licinius, and of the latter’s son, as well as of Crispus his own son by his first marriage, and of his wife Fausta....It has consequently been asserted that Constantine favored Christianity merely from political motives, and he has been regarded as an enlightened despot who made use of religion only to advance his policy.’
Such was the conclusion of the noted historian Durant regarding Constantine. ‘Was his conversion sincere—was it an act of religious belief, or a consummate stroke of political wisdom? Probably the latter...He seldom conformed to the ceremonial requirements of Christian worship. His letters to Christian bishops make it clear that he cared little for the theological differences that agitated Christendom—though he was willing to suppress dissent in the interests of imperial unity. Throughout his reign he treated the bishops as his political aids; he summoned them, presided over their councils, and agreed to enforce whatever opinion their majority should formulate. A real believer would have been a Christian first and a statesman afterward; with Constantine it was the reverse. Christianity was to him a means, not anend.’
Persecutions had not destroyed the Christian faith. Constantine knew this. Instead of the empire constantly being divided—with
pagans in conflict with Christians—why not take such steps as might
be necessary to mix both paganism and Christianity together, he reasoned, and thus bring a united force to the empire?....Though he had his statue removed from pagan temples and renounced the offering of sacrifices to himself, yet people continued to speak of the divinity of
the emperor. As pontifex maximus he continued to watch over the heathen worship and protect its rights. In dedicating Constantinople in 330 a ceremonial that was half pagan and half Christian was used....While professing to be a Christian, he continued to believe in pagan magic formulas for the protection of crops and the healing of disease. All of these things are pointed out in The Catholic Encyclopedia.14
Richard Booker, author of the book, Jesus in the Feasts of Israel, insightfully pointed out: “In a.d. 312, the Emperor Constantine decreed that Christianity was to be the official religion of Rome. But, of course, no one can decree that another person become a Christian. Christianity is a matter of the heart. But the people had to outwardly obey even though inwardly most never actually accepted Jesus personally and experienced the new birth. Rome embraced Christianity, but the Romans themselves did not become Christians. People joined a religious system, but they never had a change on the inside.
During the next 1,200 years, many unbiblical practices were taught by the institutional church. Church leaders did not clearly teach the biblical declaration that salvation is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and the necessity of the new birth. The significance of the Feast of Passover was unknown to the common man. People sought salvation through religious rituals rather than through personal faith in Jesus Christ as their human Passover Lamb.”15

Constantine changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Halley documents: “He made the Christians’ day of Assembly, Sunday, a Rest Day; forbidding ordinary work....”16
The original meaning of the word “church” was a group of people who believed in Jesus as Messiah (ecclesia), who gathered together, both Jews and non-Jews, and met anywhere, usually in a house. The New Testament testifies: “The churches of Asia |greet| you. Aquila and Priscilla |greet| you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house” (I Cor. 16:19 KJV).17
Constantine issued an edict18 for the construction of church buildings everywhere and set aside Sunday for Christians to rest. The New Testament never revoked Saturday as the biblical day of rest, something Christians and Jews should remember today. Sabbath (shabbat) is Hebrew for the “seventh day” and “rest.” Sunday is the first day.
In Jewish-Christian debates, rabbis sometimes say, “You Christians have the wrong day.” More correctly they should say, “Constantine has the wrong day.” According to history, Constantine does not speak for true Christians. Many of us go to church on
Sunday, to Messianic congregation service on Friday night/Saturday morning and trust the Lord every day of the week. Every day we trust that His will be done in our lives, that we meet the right people He has to bring our way so that we may tell them about Him. After all, what’s in a day? He made all seven. If you are a believer, I guess you have two in which to rest instead of one, thanks to Constantine.


Halley not only documents the changes Constantine made, but the period of time under Emperor Theodosius just after him: “Emperor Theodosius (a.d. 378-398), made Christianity the State Religion of the Roman Empire, and made Church Membership Compulsory....This Forced Conversion filled the Churches with Unregenerate People.
Not only so, Theodosius undertook the Forcible Suppression of all other Religions, and Prohibited Idol Worship. Under his decrees, Heathen Temples were torn down....Up to this time Conversion was Voluntary, a Genuine Change in Heart and Life.
But now the Military Spirit of Imperial Rome had entered the Church. The Church had Conquered the Roman Empire. But in reality the Roman Empire had Conquered the Church, by Making the Church over into the Image of the Roman Empire....[It] had become a Political Organization in the Spirit and Pattern of Imperial Rome....The Imperial [Roman Catholic] Church of the 4th and 5th centuries had become an entirely different institution from the persecuted [true believers’] church of the first three centuries....Ministers became Priests. The term ‘priest’ was not applied to Christian ministers before a.d. 200. It was borrowed from the Jewish system, and from the example of heathen priesthood. Leo I (440-61) prohibited priests from marrying, and Celibacy of priests became a law of the Roman Church....The Goths, Vandals and Huns who overthrew the Roman Empire accepted Christianity; but to a large extent their conversion was nominal and this further filled the Church with Pagan practices.”19
The devout and knowledgeable Henry Halley further notes: “The Church was founded, not as an institution of Authority to Force the Name and Teaching of Christ upon the world, but only as a Witness-Bearing institution to Christ, to hold Him before the people. Christ [Messiah] Himself, not the Church, is the Transforming Power in Human Life. But the Church [which] was founded in the Roman Empire, and gradually developed [for itself] a form of Government like the Political World in which it existed, become a vast Autocratic organization, ruled from the top.”20


Throughout the next few pages, it will not be our intention to bore you with historical facts regarding a long line of popes and their deeds. However, a review of these facts is necessary to make clear that what has been labeled “Christian history,” was absolutely not!
While true Christians were underground21 and unable to surface until the fierce battles of the Reformation in the sixteenth century, it is also interesting to see how Roman Catholicism, which attempted to call itself “the only true church of Christianity,” developed through many of its leaders into a torture machine unsurpassed in human history. It was responsible for the murder of millions of Protestants and many tens of thousands of Jews.
I have found it an interesting pastime to read Regina Sharif’s book, Non-Jewish Zionism, which records four hundred years of Christian Zionism and Protestant Christian love of Jews. This hit like an avalanche in the sixteenth century, when Christians began to be
freed from the Catholic Church and permitted to openly study Bible prophecy! Even though Sharif’s book attempts to discourage Christian support for Israel, it is a wealth of information on the little studied,
little known subject of Christian colonial love and support (of hundreds of years past) for the Jews and their providential divine right to return to their state, the State of Israel, as prophesied in the Bible (Ezek. 36:24; Isa. 11:12. See our chapter 12, “Christian Zionists Past and Present” and chapter 14, “Zionists—Evangelical Christians—the Most Loyal to Israel”).


At any rate, let’s get through the Pope’s Catholic history and investigate the objections which are always mentioned when a contemporary born-again Christian starts talking about Jesus. Author Henry Halley starts by explaining to us: “The word ‘Pope’ means ‘Papa,’ ‘Father.’ At first it was applied to all Western Bishops. About a.d. 500 it began to be restricted to the Bishop of Rome, and soon, in common use, came to mean Universal Bishop.”
Halley notes that: “The Roman Catholic list of Popes includes the Bishops of Rome from the 1st century onward.”22 However, he documents: “...for 500 years Bishops of Rome were NOT Popes. The idea that the Bishop of Rome should have Authority over the Whole Church was a slow growth, bitterly contested at every step....”23


We owe it to ourselves to briefly re-scan papal Roman Catholic history, from its early inception until now, and compare its councils, decrees and deeds to those individuals who claimed to be truly Christian, and illustrated this by their deeds of love and life-saving acts. These (born-again) Christians will be listed later in our chapter 12, “Christian Zionists Past and Present,”24 which documents some of those who saved Jews from Hitler.
As we study, we will see a sharp contrast between the true believers and the evil events throughout history perpetrated by “traditionals” who claimed to be believers. Remember the words of Jesus: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15 KJV).
Jesus said that He would tell these people on Judgment Day: “...I never knew you....” (Matt. 7:23 KJV).


Pope Calixtus I (218-223) was actually just a bishop who tried to base his claim on the easily falsely interpreted authority of Matthew 16:18. Tertullian called him a “usurper in speaking as if Bishop of Bishops.”
“Pope” Silvester I (314-335) was alive when Emperor Constantine made Catholicism the state religion of Rome; however, Constantine regarded himself as “head of the Church” and called the Council of Nicaea in 325, where many unorthodox, unchristian and unbiblical decisions were made for those who supposedly were part of the Church. A few years later we see Siricius (385-398), who claimed “Universal Jurisdiction” over Catholicism.
Innocent I (402-417) called himself “Ruler of the Church of God” (Roman Catholicism’s conception of the Church of God).
During the years 440 through 461, a man named Leo I, who was called “the First Pope” by certain historians opportunistically used the tragedies of the empire.
Leo claimed to be “Primate of All Bishops” and Emperor Valentinian III recognized this claim in 452. After persuading Attila the Hun to spare Rome, Leo’s reputation and popularity were enhanced. He then felt confident to erroneously proclaim himself “Lord of the Whole Church” (all Catholicism). This man was the first to advocate the “Exclusive Universal Papacy” (Pope-hood). He claimed that “Resistance to his authority was a Sure Way to Hell.” While also supporting the death penalty for heretics (those who did not believe as he did), in spite of his struggle for power and his claim, the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451) ordered that the Patriarch of Constantinople had equal prerogative with the Bishop of Rome.


Simplicius was the Catholic Pope in 476, during the dissolution of the Western empire between the years 468 and 483. Once this occurred, the Popes were freed from civil authority. The many new kingdoms of barbarians into which the West was now divided, gave future Popes the opportunity for alliances which benefited themselves personally. Slowly, the Popes became the most powerful figures in the Western world.
Between 590 and 604, Gregory I, who is generally regarded as the first Pope, “established for himself complete control over the churches [Catholicism][25] of Italy, Spain, Gaul and England.” When the Patriarch of Constantinople called himself “Universal Bishop,” Gregory was tremendously irritated, considering this title vicious and haughty.


Pope Steven II (752-757) requested that Pepin lead an army into Italy, thus conquering the Lombards. He then gave their land—a good chunk of central Italy—to guess who? Pope Steven II. Thus began the “Papal States,” known to us as the “Temporal Dominion of the Popes.”
The civil control of Rome and central Italy established by Steven, which Pepin recognized in 1754, was later also confirmed by Charlemagne (742-814). Charlemagne, known to us as “one of the greatest rulers of all time,” saved Europe from Mohammedism; however, he became the chief component who would bring the papacy to a reorganized position of world power.
Pope Leo III (795-816) gave Charlemagne the title of “Emperor over the Holy Roman Empire” in return for his papal support. This “Empire,” which was really only a name, was brought to its deserved end by Napoleon in 1806.


Pope Nicholas I was the first Pope to put a king’s crown on his head. In promoting his claim to universal legitimacy and authority in Catholicism with the Pope as “head of all”: “...he used with great effect the ‘PSEUDO-ISIDORIAN DECRETALS,’ a book that appeared about 857, containing documents that purported to be Letters and Decrees of Bishops and Councils of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, all tending to exalt the power of the Pope. They were Deliberate Forgeries and....Nicolas...Lied in stating that they had been kept in the archives of the Roman Church from ancient times....they served their purpose....‘The Papacy, which was the Growth of Several Centuries, was made to appear as something Complete and Unchangeable from the very Beginning.’ ‘The object was to Ante-Date by Five Centuries the Pope’s Temporal Power.’ ‘The Most Colossal Literary Fraud in History.’ ” 26


The schism of Catholicism into Western and Eastern (Greek Orthodox) organizational spheres occurred in the year 869, due to Nicolas meddling and interfering with the Eastern Catholics. Nicolas “excommunicated” the “Patriarch” of Constantinople. This “Patriarch,” Photius, excommunicated Nicolas (laughable, isn’t it?). This led to a complete split by the year 1054.
When the empire was divided in 395, there began a bitter struggle for supreme power between the “Popes” of Western Rome and the “Patriarchs” of Constantinople in the East. After 869, their “Ecumenical Councils” were held separately, while the Popes continued their claim to be “Lord of all Catholicism.” The East avowed separation. From the point of separation, history witnesses the differences between these two massive organizational groups.
To this date, any difference in dogma or practice began with this series of schisms leading up to their complete separation. For example, Greek priests must be married to be ordained “Priests.” A Catholic must be unmarried. This explains why there are Western and Eastern (Greek) Catholics in existence today.

New Testament giving – Widows support by Tassos Kioulachoglou

New Testament giving – Widows support

Another area where support in the New Testament was directed was to true widows. Widows in the Bible are those women that lost their husbands though death. Now some of you may be surprised that we have to clarify this at all. I do it because I read somewhere that this word supposedly also includes those women that are separated or divorced from their husbands. Though these women do need brotherly support from the believers, they cannot be classified as widows. “Widow” in the Bible - and as a Greek word in general – is the woman that lost her husband through death.
Having made this clear, it is shown throughout the Bible that widows have a special place in God’s heart. Here are some passages from the Old Testament:

Exodus 20:22 You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry;”

Deuteronomy 10:17-18 “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 14:17-21 “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow's garment as a pledge …. "When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

As we also saw previously tithes also had widows as recipients:

Deuteronomy 26:12-13 “When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year—the year of tithing—and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, then you shall say before the Lord your God: 'I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.”

Deuteronomy 27:19 “'Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.' "And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'”

Psalms 146:9 “The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.”

Proverbs 15:25 “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

Jeremiah 7:6-7 “if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.”

Jeremiah 22:3 Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow.

Zechariah 7:9-10 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The stranger or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.'”

I believe these many passages of Scripture make clear how much the widows, together with the orphans and the stranger are in the heart of the Lord. This is carried on in the New Testament too. We read in Acts 6:1 that a complaint “arose against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.” By distribution is meant the distribution that was done to everybody, out of the common fund the church had established and according to their needs. Nobody was to be neglected, but the widows even more so, as they were people for whom special care was needed.
The New Testament treats extensively the matter of widows and the support to them in I Timothy 5. There we read:

I Timothy 5:3 “Honor widows who are really widows.”

The honor as we explained earlier about honoring elders includes also material support. Not all widows are to have this honor though. The mere fact that a woman is a widow does not obviously make her a real widow to whom honor is to be given. What is the distinction? Paul makes it clear:

I Timothy 5:5-6 “Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.”

There is the widow that trusts in God, whose hope is God and expectantly prays to Him, continually, “night and day”. But there is also the widow that her life style is worldly. The phrase “lives in pleasure” is the Greek word “spatalao”. “Spatalao” means “to live riotously” (Vine’s dictionary, p. 871). The noun form of the verb (“spatali”) means “excessive riotousness, vain, excessive spending of wealth” (Mega Lexicon of the Greek Language, p. 6621). Such widows, widows that have a world-centered vain life style, widows that live riotously, are not real widows. It is not to these widows that honor is due.
Having made this clear from the outset, Paul makes also clear that the children or the grandchildren of the real widows are the first that have responsibility for them. Here is what he says:

I Timothy 5:4, 7-8 “But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. … And these things command, that they may be blameless. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

There is a clear responsibility of the children for their parents, including grandparents. As the Word says, the children are “to repay their parents”. And as Vine mentions in his dictionary about this word:

“The word “repay” is the Greek word “amoive” that means “recompense (akin to ameibomai, to repay, not found in the New Testament), is used with the verb “apodidomi”, to render, in I Tim. 5:4. This use is illustrated in the papyri by way of making a return, conferring a benefaction in return for something” (Vine’s dictionary p. 967).

There is an obligation of children and grandchildren towards their parents. This is the obligation to “honor their parents” which includes caring for them and their welfare. In the case of widows, their children and grandchildren should take care of them and their needs. Caring for your own and your household is a priority and in fact an obligation each one of us has. I think we touched on this previously: this kind of “giving” has pre-eminence over any other kind of giving. Other kinds of giving are voluntary contributions. This one is not. This one is an obligation. There is no option here. This shows how much importance God gives to it. If you are a believer you have to “render re-compensation” to your parents (and grandparents), meaning taking care of them and their needs. And so that no doubt is left verse 8 says: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” This is really serious.
Moving further on the matter of widows, the Word of God tells us more about the participation of the church concerning the care of the widows:

I Timothy 5:9-16 “Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan. If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.”

There is a “number” (Greek: katalaigo = enroll) in which some widows were to be included and some others were not. What is this “number”, this enrolment ? Though Paul does not mention it explicitly, it appears to be something familiar to Timothy and I believe it was the number of the widows to be supported by the church. Not all widows were to be in this number but only the old ones, 60 years old and above, and under certain additional conditions. For the younger widows, Paul, and God through His Word, desires that they get married again and bear children. The last verse of the above passage sums it up: if anyone has widows in his family, he should relieve them and not let the church be burdened with their support. However the church would indeed support the older widows that were real widows according to the conditions given in the previous verses and if there was nobody else from their family able or willing to give them the necessary support.

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