“What did Satan give you Consty Baby?”
“He gave me a big sword and a heavy crown!”
“Oh. How wonderful. Satan gave me a quill and a bottle of ink. I bet you I can do more damage!”
Here is the definition of Satan;
The profoundly evil adversary of God and humanity, often identified with the leader of the fallen angels; the Devil.
One would think if God sent His only begotten Son to earth, Jesus would have got it right, and there would be no need for this BS from Paul and Constantine! How can evangelical politicians claim Christians founded this Democracy? Why didn’t Jesus set slaves free? Oh, that’s right – he did do that.
This Malta expedition via shipwreck was done with quill and ink, while Luke and Paul were safely in Rome, sniggering about their deceptive history that is destroying the original abolitionist Jewish Church.
“Oh Luke! I can’t wait to see the Emperor. Do you think he will take a liking to me. Perhaps I should wear a wig? Oh look, there’s Malta! Oh how I wish I could see the grottos before I am beheaded. Make it so, Luke! Make it so!”
More then likely there was a great healer on Malta that had to be incorporated into Paulianity lest the world think there is another way – then Paul’s Way! What vanity!
Someone should make ‘Paul’s Hitlist’ record all his enemies, those he titled an Adversary of Jesus, those who pissed him off, those who got in his way, those – Jews!
After becoming a Christian (tee-hee!) Constantine held the title ‘Pontifex Maximus’ the head of Roman Augury, a title the Pope holds today!
I suspect Paul began to murder Jewish Christians AFTER they rejected his altered teaching, which is to say, he was never blinded and converted by Jesus on the road to Damascus, this just another Fairytale written in Rome after the Emperor pinned a badge on his Spy.
“Good job, Captain Saul!”
Note that Philip uses the word ‘Messiah’ in the text below. Why weren’t the apostles harassed? They were – after James forced Paul to take the Nazarite vow as a test. He failed! James went on Paul’s Roman Hitlist! The Black Hand of the Dark Prince goes about the land! But, he spares the true Apostles because they are needed to hand the ball off to the Gipper so he can run with it – all the way to Rome!
“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Philip in Samaria
4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
HOW DID PAUL KNOW WHO THESE CHURCH MEMBERS WERE? How did he recognize those he hauled off to prison to be tortured? He must has made a list – after infiltrating the church! Paul knew which houses they lived in!
Here is Constantine’s edict inspired by the lie the Jews murdered Jesus, a lie Paul told! Saul held St. Stephen’s clothes while he was stoned to death, which suggests he ordered this murder.
“At the council we also considered the issue of our holiest day, Easter, and it was determined by common consent that everyone, everywhere should celebrate it on one and the same day. For what can be more appropriate, or what more solemn, than that this feast from which we have received the hope of immortality, should be kept by all without variation, using the same order and a clear arrangement? And in the first place, it seemed very unworthy for us to keep this most sacred feast following the custom of the Jews, a people who have soiled their hands in a most terrible outrage, and have thus polluted their souls, and are now deservedly blind. Since we have cast aside their way of calculating the date of the festival, we can ensure that future generations can celebrate this observance at the more accurate time which we have kept from the first day of the passion until the present time….”
— Emperor Constantine, following the Council of Nicaea
There are no surviving histories or biographies dealing with Constantine’s life and rule.
The profoundly evil adversary of God and humanity, often identified with the leader of the fallen angels; the Devil.
The foremost general of his time, Constantine defeated the emperors Maxentius and Licinius during civil wars. He also fought successfully against the Franks, Alamanni, Visigoths, and Sarmatians during his reign—even resettling parts of Dacia which had been abandoned during the previous century. Constantine built a new imperial residence in place of Byzantium, naming it New Rome. However, in Constantine’s honour, people called it Constantinople, which would later be the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for over one thousand years. Because of this, he is thought of as the founder of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Constantine had returned to Nicomedia from the eastern front by the spring of 303, in time to witness the beginnings of Diocletian’s “Great Persecution”, the most severe persecution of Christians in Roman history. In late 302, Diocletian and Galerius sent a messenger to the oracle of Apollo at Didyma with an inquiry about Christians. Constantine could recall his presence at the palace when the messenger returned, when Diocletian accepted his court’s demands for universal persecution. On 23 February 303, Diocletian ordered the destruction of Nicomedia’s new church, condemned its scriptures to the flame, and had its treasures seized. In the months that followed, churches and scriptures were destroyed, Christians were deprived of official ranks, and priests were imprisoned.
Head from a statue of Diocletian, Augustus of the East
It is unlikely that Constantine played any role in the persecution. In his later writings he would attempt to present himself as an opponent of Diocletian’s “sanguinary edicts” against the “worshippers of God”, but nothing indicates that he opposed it effectively at the time. Although no contemporary Christian challenged Constantine for his inaction during the persecutions, it remained a political liability throughout his life.
From Bononia they crossed the Channel to Britain and made their way to Eboracum (York), capital of the province of Britannia Secunda and home to a large military base. Constantine was able to spend a year in northern Britain at his father’s side, campaigning against the Picts beyond Hadrian’s Wall in the summer and autumn. Constantius’s campaign, like that of Septimius Severus before it, probably advanced far into the north without achieving great success
Constantine’s share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. He therefore commanded one of the largest Roman armies, stationed along the important Rhine frontier. After his promotion to emperor, Constantine remained in Britain, and secured his control in the northwestern dioceses. He completed the reconstruction of military bases begun under his father’s rule, and ordered the repair of the region’s roadways. He soon left for Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in Gaul, the Tetrarchic capital of the northwestern Roman Empire. The Franks, after learning of Constantine’s acclamation, invaded Gaul across the lower Rhine over the winter of 306–7. Constantine drove them back beyond the Rhine and captured two of their kings, Ascaric and Merogaisus. The kings and their soldiers were fed to the beasts of Trier’s amphitheater in the adventus (arrival) celebrations that followed.
Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan in 313 and began to oppress Christians anew, generally without bloodshed, but resorting to confiscations and sacking of Christian office-holders. That became a challenge to Constantine in the West, climaxing in the great civil war of 324. Licinius, aided by Goth mercenaries, represented the past and the ancient Pagan faiths. Constantine and his Franks marched under the standard of the labarum, and both sides saw the battle in religious terms. Outnumbered, but fired by their zeal, Constantine’s army emerged victorious in the Battle of Adrianople
Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother St. Helena’s Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine would retain the title of pontifex maximus until his death, a title emperors bore as heads of the pagan priesthood, as would his Christian successors on to Gratian (r. 375–83). According to Christian writers, Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy (e.g. exemption from certain taxes), promoted Christians to high office, and returned property confiscated during the Diocletianic persecution. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Old Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Arius maintained that the Son of God was a Creature, made from nothing; and that he was God’s First Production, before all ages. And he argued that everything else was created through the Son. Thus, said the Arians, only the Son was directly created and begotten of God; and therefore there was a time that He had no existence. Arius believed the Son Jesus was capable of His own free will of right and wrong, and that “were He in the truest sense a son, He must have come after the Father, therefore the time obviously was when He was not, and hence He was a finite being,” and was under God the Father. The Arians appealed to Scripture, quoting verses such as John 14:28: “the Father is greater than I”, and also Colossians 1:15: “Firstborn of all creation.”
In Acts 13:1,2 Luke gives us the history of the missionary commission of Saul and Barnabas by the church in Antioch. In this account their initial missionary focus is primarily on the Jews. Only after repeated rejection do they announce that they will turn to the Gentiles. Once they make this decision the intensity of persecution increases. Where does their opposition come from? The Judaizers, a sect of early Jewish believers, wanted Gentiles to be circumcised and to follow the Law of Moses.
The first sign of this conflict within the primitive church appears immediately after Peter leads the first Gentiles to faith, the household of Cornelius:
The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”
~ Acts 11:1-3
The Apostle Paul: in danger from every side
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians the apostle describes the opposition he continually faced in order to fulfill his call:
Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning…in danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters…many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked.
– 2 Cor. 11:24-27 (emphasis added)
To understand Paul’s letters you must first understand that his entire ministry is forged in conflict. Luke gives us an overview in Acts that shows Paul and his companions being opposed in almost every city, many times being attacked and chased out. Who is opposing Paul?
We begin to get an idea of Paul’s opposition in Acts 15:1-2, and 5. There are Jews, some Pharisees who have believed, demanding that the Gentiles be circumcised and obey the Laws of Moses. Paul rejects this position and continues to reach Gentiles without pushing the Law on them For the remainder of the Acts record he is chased, beaten, and slandered by Jews. Luke seems to describe these merely as Jews, which leads the casual reader to assume they are persecuting Paul in the same manner as he himself had done as Saul of Tarsus. But when Paul’s writings are carefully studied it seems that he describes his primary opposers as pseudo, or false brothers.
In Galatians Paul is on the attack against those who have led Gentiles to circumcise themselves and place themselves under the Law. In Gal 2:11ff he relates an important story of when he confronted Peter over a similar issue. Peter had been sharing table fellowship with Gentiles until “certain men came from James.” Paul is referring to James, the brother of Jesus. This is the same James who speaks out and seems to make the final decision at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15.
This group of early Jewish believers is often referred to as “Judaizers.” Why is this important? Paul refers to his struggle with this group in at least five of his letters; thus, to properly read and understand Paul one must recognize the historical backdrop in each Pauline letter. How prevalent is this issue? Here are the letters with the most important texts highlighted.
The entire letter to the Galatian church is Paul’s reaction to this issue. Some of these Judaizers had convinced some of the Gentile Galatians to get circumcised. In 2:4 he calls these Jews “false brothers” and:
Mark my words. I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Paul’s most animated words come in this letter in 5:12.
This is a unique letter for Paul in that he has not yet been among this congregation. He is writing this letter to make sure his ideas are clearly presented to the Romans rather than having his opposers misrepresent him. In 14:14-23 he gives his clear stance on unclean meat, one of the issues where he is not in agreement with the decision of the Jerusalem Council.
Other texts where Paul speaks about the Judaizers:
2 Corinthians 11:1-29
1 Timothy 4:1-5
During his conversion experience Paul was commissioned by Jesus to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Peter and James recognized that calling (Galatians 2:9), and Paul aggressively pursued his calling even though it cost him greatly. The Acts account seems to indicate that the primitive church was not effectively fulfilling the Great Commission until the apostle Paul came on the scene. By the middle of the second century the Christian Church was primarily Gentile.