The birth of the state religion of the Ecumenical Councils

Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes (01/24/2018)
 
 
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John, 8:31-32)
                                                                                                                            
The formed byzantine “patristic” Christianity differs in its structure from the early Christianity which was established by Jesus and the apostles, and which is the completion of Biblical Judaism.
Hellenized christianity and christianized hellenism were attained by the involvement of Plato’s thinking fundamentally and the monotheistic Jewish christianity, with the hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo as a pioneer, and later with the philosophical apologists. Gradually, this blending formed a new philosophical current, which was a meta-evolution of Plotinus  Neo-Platonism, which is characterized as a patristic philosophy, the Byzantine thinking. According to this new “patristic” philosophy, the heavenly man, Jesus Christ,  has two natures, he is a perfect man and a perfect god, and so the Jewish deniers who led Jesus to the cross with deceit were half-justified.
“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:33)
The “fathers” of the new religion, who were also excited by Philo’s love for the contradictory Greek philosophy, forgot the Scriptures, which say that:
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (I Cor. 1:21)
“However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nothing: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Cor. 2:6-8)
Early Christianity is the manifestation of God’s love and “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” and is in contradistinction to human philosophy. (II Cor. 4:6)
“And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” (I Cor. 2:13)
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? ” (I Cor. 1:18-20)
The apologetic philosophers equated this contradistinction by, on the one hand, downgrading the “gospel of God” to the level of human philosophy and, on the other hand, by upgrading the human contradictory philosophy to a divine level. (Rom. 15:16)
“For Plato, with the air of one that has descended from above, and has accurately ascertained and seen all that is in heaven, says that the most high God exists in a fiery substance. But Aristotle, in a book addressed to Alexander of Macedon, giving a compendious explanation of his own philosophy, clearly and manifestly overthrows the opinion of Plato, saying that God does not exist in a fiery substance: but inventing, as a fifth substance, some kind of aetherial and unchangeable body, says that God exists in it.” (Justin’s hortatory address to the Greeks, chap. 5)
With this contradictory philosophy, a large portion of “Christians” walked from the 2nd century AD onwards, enticed by the apologists, who mistakenly taught that philosophy is a tutor that brings people to Christianity and a fellow-helper in the understanding of truth.
This teaching was in stark contrast to the teaching of the apostles who said:
“But, before the faith came, we were kept guarded under law, being shut up to the faith about to be revealed. So that the law has become our tutor [to lead us] to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But the faith having come, we are no longer under a tutor;” (Gal. 3:23-25, Worrell)
The very few references to Greek literature in the New Testament have simple human meaning and do not prove the parallel dissemination of philosophical currents by the apostles. This is mistakenly claimed by the adherents of the meta-evolved and processed “patristicChristianity, which, as it was mentioned above, is the result of a multi-year process of mixing philosophy with the revelation of the truth by the Holy Spirit, which was sent from heaven. (I Peter to Hebrews, 1:2)
Biblical testimony
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (I Cor. 2:4-5)
By accepting this proper strategy of the apostle Paul, the Jews of Veria were “nobler” than the Jews of Thessaloniki, and when Paul visited them at their synagogue, they accepted the word with all willingness. In order to ascertain the truth of Jesus, they “examined the Scriptures every day” without consulting the Greek philosophy, which grabbed Christ as a loot from the believers.
“Beware that no one rob you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8, VW)
The new religion
The new, Platonized, “patristicthinking, covered behind the Hebrew Bible and the personality of Jesus Christ and having hellenism as a background, eventually formed a new polytheistic religion supported by the Roman politics of the New Rome. Dressed in the cremated forms of Judaism “and the elements shall melt with fervent heat (II Pet. 3:10),” such as earthly temples with symbolic arrangement and operation which intensely reminds of the burnt temple of the Jews, upgraded the “other god word” of Philo and the apologist Justin and other philosophers, from “second” and “inferior” god to “co-eternal” and “co-equal” to the Father, making an ontological equation of God the Father and God the Son.
The misguided effort of the apologists to mix Greek thinking, which believed in complex deities with a hierarchical union of member gods, (henotheism), with biblical monotheism, gave birth to long theological philosophical battles. Finally, with the help of the philosophers, “fathers of the church” and the holding of many councils which in practice fueled new controversies and consecutive depositions and exiles of bishops of all individual factions, a god of three hypostases was created, a three-sunned godhead, thus justifying both the human philosophy and the ever-existing national polytheism. The “Triune unit” which was incomprehensible to people became fully comprehensible at the end of the 4th century AD only by the philosophers, “fathers of the church” who finalized the triadic doctrine, which was proclaimed correct by an imperial order, replacing “Christs” teaching. (Col. 2:8)
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Excerpt from an edict in the Byzantine-Roman Law
On the orthodox faith of Christians and that no one should dare to dispute about it publicly.
1) Read βι. α’ τι α chap. α και δ, which say that a Christian is someone who believes that there is one deity of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, with equal power. Anyone who believes the opposite of what has been said is a heretic.
2) No clergyman or monk or soldier or anyone else by gathering a crowd in public should talk about faith, because it will be seen as an insult to the Council of Chalcedon which adequately defined everything, which also allows all heretics to know our point of view. Therefore, if a clergyman does so, he will be expelled from the clergy association. If someone is a soldier, he will be expelled from the army. Let the rest be punished according to their social class.
Source
The Roman emperors Constantine and Theodosius
The sun-worshiper, polytheist, mithraist, bloody emperor of the Romans, Flavius ​​Valerius Constantinus, for political reasons, sought the religious assimilation of his ethnicities, believing that he would also secure the favor of the God of “Christians” in his martial affairs, but also the willingness of themselves to pour their blood for the empire. Being an idolater, whatever knowledge he had about the Son of God was obtained from controversial prophecies by a Sibyl (= oracle, priestess of the god Apollo)  whom he extolled as blessed.
“It is evident that the virgin uttered these verses under the influence of Divine inspiration. And I cannot but esteem her blessed, whom the Saviour (sobriquet of god Apollo) thus selected to unfold his gracious purpose towards us.” (The oration of the emperor Constantine, which he addressed “to the assembly of the saints” chap. 18)
Most of Eusebius’ contemporaries believed that the sibylline oracles about Jesus were forgeries as Eusebius himself testifies:
“Many, however, who admit that the Erythræan Sibyl was really a prophetess, yet refuse to credit this prediction, and imagine that some one professing our faith, and not unacquainted with the poetic art, was the composer of these verses. They hold, in short, that they are a forgery, and alleged to be the prophecies of the Sibyl on the ground of their containing useful moral sentiments, tending to restrain licentiousness, and to lead man to a life of sobriety and decorum.” (The oration of the emperor Constantine, which he addressed “to the assembly of the saints” chap. 19)
The emperor Constantine came from the army’s ranks and had received his rank for wartime gallantry. His main concern was the proper administration, the increase and the preservation of his territorial sovereignty. Without having any knowledge of the Greek and Jewish literature and being unqualified for Judeo-Christian biblical issues, he summoned the First Ecumenical Council, which is characterized as a political act, aiming at the cohesion of the Roman state through common faith. By signing the decisions of the Council into state law with the death penalty for doubters, he set himself as the protector of the already Hellenized and schismatic Christianity, granting special privileges to the clergy as well. Influenced by his Arian bishops friends and his sister, Constantia, he leaned to Arianism. A few years later, following the condemnation by the Council of Arianism and the exile of Arius, he recalls the latter from exile and punishes in the same way the great adversary of Arius at the Council, the “father” Athanasius of Alexandria.
However, the greatest distortion of the promises of God and the teaching of the genuine Christianity, which has no flag or color, was achieved by the emperor Theodosius, who, in 380 AD, made the processed Christianity the official religion of his empire, thus attributing an ethno-religious identity to his earthly citizens as opposed to the spiritual and not-of-this-world identity recognized by the one God on the “partakers of the heavenly calling.” (Heb. 3:1)
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:26:29)
The new state religion of the philosophers, “fathers of the church,” supported  by the anti- pagan legislation of its sole dominant protectors who outlawed all the ancient religions by imposing the punishment of beheading and other means of punishment on the dissidents, achieved its violent dominance, yielding continuous spiritual darkness in the East and the West. The excerpt from the Acts of the Apostles that is quoted depicts the complete contrast between God’s good intentions towards man and the purposes and the state-served interests of the new religion, the ally of the Byzantium, and the policy of violent cleansing of those of a different faith.
Delivering you (Grk txt: εκλέγων σε = choosing you) from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:17-18, AKJV)
The side effects of the nationalization of the new religion
The anti-Christian impacts of Theodosius’ decision to nationalize God’s work for the salvation of people are perpetuated and imprinted primarily by the results of the anti-pagan policy followed by him and other Roman emperors, which resembles that of the Persian king Artaxerxes.
“And whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.” (Ez. 7:26)
And secondly, they are perpetuated and imprinted by the distinct Christian perception acquired by the ByzantineChristian” citizens, as it appears in the following excerpt from an article by theologian Manolis Tzirakis:
“However, besides the emperor, the citizen of the Byzantine state is also a genuine and faithful Christian. He believes that the state he belongs to is protected by God and enjoys His favor. This belief is expressed by Cosmas Indicopleustes in the 6th century when he states that: “The State of Romans will not be torn down; it will remain unharmed forever, being the first to believe in the Lord Christ.” (att. Ahrweiler, 2009). The members of Byzantine society are law-abiding citizens of the emperor and Christians committed to their faith, they are guided by monks and clergymen, they indiscriminately go by the name of Roman or Christian (identical terms in Byzantium), whom its emperor Leo VI characteristically calls the Nation of Christians, while the Byzantine people was named the Chosen People or New Israel (Ahrweiler, 2009).”
 Source
Epilogue
The formed religious and subsequent political dominance of the new secular Byzantine religion points to the military, imperialistic triumphs of Rome rather than to the pure, through the Holy Spirit, heavenly destination, which was carved by the early Christianity with the persuasion of the god-inspired written word and not with the persuasion of the contradictory evolved patristic philosophy and the armed coercion that harmed and adulterated the basic truths that God is love and is One.
“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.” (Acts, 28:23)
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in your sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Mat. 11:25-27)
 
 Amen

 

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Judaism – Christianity and a religion of Ecumenical Councils

Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes  (01/24/2018)                                                                                      Bible verses from LXXE, AKJV, ESV2011 and others if they fit better to the Grk txt

 

 

Prologue
 
The well-documented argumentation does not choose truth but is led to it
The historical biblical monotheistic Judaism, which stood out among the triadic, polytheistic religions of the nations, gestated Christianity through the written promises of the Torah or the Pentateuch of Moses and the Jewish prophets. But when the fullness of time came and God sent forth his Son, Jesus, who was born by Mary, fulfilling the promise which He had given to the patriarch and founder of the Jewish nation Abraham that He would make him the father of a multitude of nations, Judaism was split into two.
One part was the Pharisaic Judaism as it had evolved from the 2nd century BC onwards. After the Babylonian captivity in 587 BC and the destruction of Solomon’s temple, in order to preserve the national and religious consistency of the secular Jewish nation, prayer and study houses were created as a substitute for the temple, the well-known synagogues, where not priests but Jewish wise men and scholars were leading, who were renamed rabbis. By defending against the external, cultural and religious influences, especially those of the Greeks, and by gradually adding human traditions and teachings to the education of the Jews, in other words the oral Torah, they fed the development of national religious superiority, i.e., the development of nationalism, which the Pharisees represented with extreme zeal. As a consequence, a new property of the one God of Israel, that of the national protector according to the similarity of the ethnic polytheism, was shaped. This erroneous property of the one true God, as a national protector, is advocated until today by in-name-only Christian states of various shades, which adopted it through the unfortunate historical event of the nationalization of Hellenized Christianity from the Roman state in the 4th century AD.
The other part was the original biblical Judaism, which remained committed to the written word and the prophets, awaited the consolation of Israel, and accepted the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham about eternal life in Christ Jesus according to the Scriptures. This original biblical Judaism reached its spiritual completion, which is the genuine early Christianity as established by Jesus and his apostles.
The first Jewish Christians and those who were later incorporated into this part of Judaism formed a spiritual body, which kept its monotheistic faith unchanged. Quickened by Jesus Christ they proved to be “children of promise” and became “partakers of the heavenly calling.” They worshiped God “in spirit and truth,” and God gave them the power to become his sons and his daughters, being God of the living and not of the dead.
He that believes on the Son has everlasting life:” (John 3:36. Mat. 22:32. Luk. 2:25. II Tim. 1:1. Heb. 3:2)
Ι. The Birth of Biblical Judaism
Biblical Judaism was the traditional monotheistic religion of the Jews, born after their constitution as a nation. It was the Religion of promises and expectations, with the symbols as a strong element which were images of the heavenly expected spiritual goods, which were fulfilled through Jesus Christ, and it had agerelated character with birth, adulthood and old age.
In that he said, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb. 8:13)
His chief prophet and founder was the servant of God Moses who did exactly what was shown to him. The historical conditions for the formation of the nation and the religion of the Jews are made known through the written Torah and the books of the prophets of Israel, the Hebrew Bible.
The guidance and communication of the true God with Israel from the beginning made him a heteronomous nation both socially and religiously. The autonomous peoples chose their land, trading and miscegenation with others, philosophized, legislated and invented their gods and each religion according to their applied politics and their social, spiritual and cultural needs, unless they were under foreign sovereignty.
 Israel [= God’s Power] neither chose nor was enforced by other states to be so. It was God himself who spoke to Abram the Chaldean, the son of the idolater Terah, who was then at the age of seventy-five years old, and said to him:
Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing:” (Gen. 12:1-2, 7. Acts, chap. 7)
So Abram took his wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot, and went to the land of Canaan. There, the Lord appeared to him again, and told him, “Unto thy seed will I give this land.” So God himself decided to create the nation of Israel, he defined the land of its residence and the place where they would worship Him, and made Abram its biological father promising to bless him.
And while Abram had already received the promise that he would be the biological father of the fleshly Israel, at the age of eighty-six he acquired Ishmael from Hagar the Egyptian, the slave of Sarai, which, allegorically interpreted, is the Old Testament or otherwise the Mosaic law, which was given to Moses on Mount Sinai after four hundred and thirty years through angels and which would be the inviolable rule of the religious and political organization of the Jewish nation, with heavenly promises that received spiritual perfection.
You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deu. 4:2)
 Who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things …..” (Heb. 8:5)
So the national and religious identity of the earthly Israel and the boundaries of its residence on the land where the Amorites lived before were defined by God himself with a predominant command:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” (Judges, 6:10. Acts, 7:53. Deu. 6:4. Gen. 16:16. Gal. 4:22-24)
The promise to Abram
At the age of ninety-nine, the Lord appeared to Abram again and, having self-introduced as his God, said to him:
“As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you ….… And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between me and you.” (Gen. 17:4-5, 11)
Continuing speaking to Abraham, God tells him to now call his wife Sarai by the name Sarah [= Princess], and while as a young woman Sarai could not bear children, he promises him that during her old age he would give him a son through her, Isaac. Isaac, as a child of promise, became the most important allegory in the history of Judaism and is the New Testament or otherwise Christianity which is the fulfillment and perfection of biblical Judaism.  [Gen., chap. 17. Gal., 4:22-24. Rom., 10:4]
The teaching of Christianity about the promise of  life to Abraham
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.” (II Tim. 1:1)
“Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” (Gal. 4:28)
“For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.” (Rom. 4:13-14)
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying, In you shall all nations be blessed ……. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ.” (Gal. 3:6-8, 16. John, 11:25)
Abraham is the father of faith
“For what said the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness ……. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed to them also. And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.” (Rom. 4:3, 10-11)
As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations, before him whom he believed, even God, who vivifies the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.” (Rom. 4:17)
So the promise of the one God to Abraham that he will become the father of a multitude of nations spoke of the quickening of the spiritually dead Jewish and gentiles.
“In hope of eternal life, which God, who can not lie, promised be fore the times of the ages, but he has in his own times manifested his word by preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;” (Tit. 1:2-3, Anderson)
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal. 3:14)
The same promise cancels out any nationalistic and biological interpretation of Pharisaic Judaism for revival and worldwide domination of the earthly kingdom of Israel. It was a promise of God, which surpassed the narrow limits of the genealogically fleshly Jewish nation and embraced all the children of faith regardless of their earthly nationality. Any biological or national religious perception of the promise is untrue. God did not say to Abraham that he would be the biological father of all nations, but he made him the father of the faith of the children of the promise who are fatherless, motherless, non-genealogical in relation to the cosmic creation, because the members of the household, the living children of God, is a spiritual living nation, a holy nation.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Pet. 2:9)
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John, 1:12-13)
 And to your seed, who is Christ [the Life]
Nor when he said to him “and to your seed” did he mean the perishable biological seed, because the biological man is sown, he is born in corruption, in dishonor and in weakness. But, by establishing Abraham as the father of faith, he told him about the heavenly man Jesus Christ, who, as a life-giving spirit, raises within the psychic, perishable and mortal body of the earthly men the inner spiritual man through faith and acceptance in Jesus.
“If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (I Cor. 15:42-44)
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (II Cor. 4:16)
So the promise spoke of a spiritual living creation. It spoke of a spiritual body, a new man who would be born of imperishable spiritual seed, the word of God, who is the heavenly and not an earthly Jesus Christ.
“Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” (I Peter to Hebrews, 1:23)
The flesh / body of Jesus Christ
Flesh = sarx||body||form||man  (Stamatakos Grk Dictionary, see also Liddell Scott)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John, 1:14)
Jesus is the life and the resurrection. The man Jesus Christ had glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, he was not full of “dishonor” like the spiritually dead biological man, but he was “the word of life who became man,” the eternal life itself, the life of the eternal Father, the self of God, and not another god. (I John, 1:1-3)
Compare:the Word became flesh || God was manifest in the flesh || for the life was manifested.” (John, 1:14. I Tim. 3:16. I John, 1:2)
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that  (Grk: the) eternal life, which was with (Grk: towards, to) the Father, and was manifested to us;” (I John, 1:2,  AKJV)
“For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (John, 5:26)
The body of Jesus is the dwelling place, the house, of the fullness of the invisible God, the temple of the one God, who does not dwell in handmade temples. The quickened ones through Jesus, the spiritual children of the promise, are also within Christ, “in Christ,” in the real non-handmade temple, and they are the true living worshipers, “in spirit and in truth,” of God the Father who dwells “in Christ.”  (Col. 2:9)
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.” (John, 14:6, 2:20-21)
 Jesus was not sown as the biological man is sown, but he is the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, the living word of God, the heavenly man, who gives life to the spiritually dead men.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John, 6:51)
“For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” (John, 6:33)
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven,” just as the manna was from heaven; and he is “the imperishable seedthat gives life and bears the spiritual man.
Life-giving Spirit
The “holy oneborn in the womb of Mary was from the Holy Spirit, that’s why Jesus Christ is a “Life-giving Spirit.” (I Cor. 15:45)
“And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” (Luk. 1:35, AKJV)
In the gospel of Luke 1:35 Greek text omits the words “of you.” Let’s see other versions
“And the angel, answering, said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of [the] Most High will overshadow you; wherefore also the Holy Thing that is begotten shall be called [the] Son of God.” (Worrell)
“And the angel answered and said to her: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for which reason, also, that which is begotten, being holy, shall be called the Son of God.” (Anderson)
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, and therefore [thine] holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.” (Worsley)
Also notice Matthew chapter one and verse twenty:
“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” (Mat. 1:20)
Jesus repeatedly referred to his Father, “the Spirit,” reminding them of his heavenly origin, and he never called the earthly Mary “mother.” The humanity of Jesus Christ is thus associated with the new, spiritual, “in Christ” man, whose Father is Jesus, “the giver of life,” and not with the perishable earthly man. The similarities of Jesus with the earthly man were two:
(a)  He was similar in shape
“Let ye same mynde be in you, which was in Christe Iesus: (who was born of Mary) Who beyng in the fourme of God, thought it not robbery to be equall with God. But made hym selfe of no reputation, takyng on him the fourme of a seruaut, and made in the lykenesse of men, and founde in figure (Grk txt: shape) as a man: He humbled hym selfe, made obedient vnto death, euen the death of the crosse.” (Philip. 2:5-8, Bishops)
(b)  He was similar in the sufferings he endured
“For verily not of angels doth he take hold, but he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham (“the children of the promise are counted for the seed” [Rom. 8:9]). Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Heb. 2:16-18, ERV)
“For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)
More about the flesh / body of Jesus
“For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14)
Likewise || Grk txt: παραπλησίως (G3898 Strong’s number) = in a manner near by,  i.e., (figuratively) similarly.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Rom. 8:3)
“And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John, 8:23)
“I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.” (John, 8:24)
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John, 6:51)
The resurrection of the spiritually dead  -because of sin-  earthly men
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (I Cor. 15:42-44)
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (II Cor. 4:16)
“Do not lie to one another. Strip yourselves of the old man, with his deeds, and clothe yourself with the new man, who has been renewed by knowledge, in accord with the image of the One who created him.” (Col. 3:9-10, CPDV)
The old man is the mortal, fleshly and perishable man who is “sown,” born by a father and a mother, while the new man is the spiritual one, the imperishable one, born within the earthly man by the heavenly Jesus who is a life-giving spirit.
What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John,  3:6)
So the promise to Abraham was a statement that put in action the great and incomprehensible for the human mind plan of the love of God for the quickening through Jesus Christ of the spiritually dead  -because of sin-  man, and this happens through faith.
Biblical testimonies
“But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” (Mat. 8:22)
“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” (Luk. 15:24. I Tim. 6:19. I Cor. 15:42-49. John, 3:6)
Why he said, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” (Eph. 5:14)
Paul to Felix: “ ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.” (Acts, 24:21b)
“Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:5-7)
Circumcision as a sign
Circumcision was a sign, a seal which affirmed the vindication by faith and the quickening for all nations. Abraham, according to the promise, would be the father of the faith, the father of all believers whether they were circumcised or not. Circumcision was therefore not an innovation for the Jews who would make them special or superior to other nations, but it was a sign to remind them of God’s promise to Abraham “about the quickening of the dead.” Besides, circumcision was already in use before Abraham by Egyptians, Ethiopians, Syrians and others. (Herodotus, The Histories, Book 2, 104:2)
“What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Rom. 3:1-3)
The fulfillment of the promise abolished circumcision. In addressing the Jewish Christians who believed from the beginning, Paul wrote:
“Behold, I Paul say to you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” (Gal. 5:2-3)
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concisionFor we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Philip. 3:2-3)
The teaching of Christianity about the true Jew
“Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall your seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Rom. 9:7-8)
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Rom. 2:28-29)
“You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers:” (Acts,  7:51-52)
The same was taught by biblical Judaism promising a new, spiritual, living, not dead man
“To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot listen: behold, the word of the LORD is to them a reproach; they have no delight in it.” (Jer. 6:10)
Incline your ear, and come to me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” (Is. 55:3)
“All the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.” (Jer. 9:26)
Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: “ (Jer. 4:4a, Deu. 10:17)
“And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.” (Deu. 30:6)
“And I will give them another heart, and will put a new spirit within them; and will extract the heart of stone from their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh: that they may walk in my commandments, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be to me a people, and I will be to them a God.” (Ez. 11:19-20, LXXE)
Biblical Judaism was a religion that expected heavenly goods
“A ruler shall not fail from Juda, nor a prince from his loins, until there come the things stored up for him; and he is the expectation of nations.” (Gen. 49:10, LXXE)
“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.” (Mark, 1:15)
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was on him.” (Luk. 2:25)
“For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.” (Ps. 37:9)
“Uphold me according to your word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.” (Ps. 119:116, LXXE)
“And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, to our fathers: To which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” (Acts, 26:6-8)
The tabernacle and its furnishings was a type of the heavenly tabernacle
“And thou shalt make me a sanctuary, and I will appear among you. And thou shalt make for me according to all things which I shew thee in the mountain; even the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all its furniture: so shalt thou make it.” (Ex. 25:8-9, LXXE)
God has never allowed himself to be unseen; over the centuries, he reveals and proves his one hypostasis and his Ultimate Power with clues and pieces of evidence.
“Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied to you. I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God has worked toward me. How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.” (Dan. 4:1-3)
“Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts, 14:16-17)
The selection of Israel and the things that the one and only true God suggested to him had prophetic and promising knowledge concerning God’s own self, the life. The birth of Jesus Christ, who is the Life, his death and his resurrection fulfilled this purpose. [John, 5:26, 11:25]
“And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John, 17:3)
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Cor. 4:6)
The tabernacle, otherwise the sanctuary, “the worldly sanctuary” [Heb. 9:1], was the portable, terrestrial and handmade tabernacle of the Jews, the most powerful institution of Hebrew society and Judaism. It was a type of the true, heavenly, non-handmade dwelling place of God. It was built by Moses at the suggestion of God with earthly materials, with the ark of the testimony as the greatest of all furniture in the holy of holies, where the presence of God was also manifested. The Mosaic Law and the construction and operation of the tabernacle were a copy and shadow of the heavenly goods with layouts and pieces of evidence which, on the one hand, delimitated and legitimized biblical Judaism and, on the other hand, revealed the love of God and his intention to bless all nations through Jesus Christ.
“Then shalt thou hear [them] from heaven, out of thine established dwelling-place, and thou shalt do according to all that the stranger shall call upon thee for, that all the nations may know thy name, and fear thee, as [do] thy people Israel, and may know that thy name has been called on this house which I have builded.”  (I Kings, 8:43, 49, LXXE)
“One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojournes with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as you are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD.” (Num. 15:15)
“Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” (Rom. 3:29-30)
“Who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, said he, that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount.”  (Heb. 8:5)
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” (Heb. 10:1)
 The layout of the tabernacle for the earthly worshipers
The worldly, handmade temple consisted of the first tabernacle where the priests performing the worships entered, and the second tabernacle where the ark of the testimony was kept and where the high priest entered alone with the blood of slain animals “which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.” Between the two tabernacles there was a partition, the veil. For as much time as the first tabernacle existed and was in operation, it was an indication from the Holy Spirit that the way leading to the Holy of Holies was not yet revealed, as it operated with animal sacrifices, offerings, foods and drinks, which were carnal ordinances imposed until the time of the arrival of the true heavenly tabernacle. (Heb. 9:6-10)
The handmade from the earth, worldly construction, and the carnal ordinances of the tabernacle required respectively mortal, earthly worshipers and liturgists, and so it is written in the Hebrew Bible.
The earthly man
“And God formed the man (of) dust of the earth, and breathed upon his face the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7, LXXE)
“And now, O Lord, thou art our Father, and we are clay, all (of us) the work of thine hands.” (Is. 64:8, LXXE)
Your hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.” (Ps. 119:73)
 “Remember, I beseech you, that you have made me as the clay; and will you bring me into dust again?” (Job, 10:9)
God is Spirit
But God is Spirit, he cannot be considered as clay; therefore, the execution of the intention of “let us make man in our image, after our likenessrequired a heavenly, spiritual man, and not an earthly one from the earth. (John, 4:24)
The earthly Adam (= man) was made “according to the image of God”  and he  “was a type of the one who was to come” (Gen. 1:27, LXXE. Rom. 5:14, ESV2011)  
God, in his creative action, created a man from the earth “according to the image of God” by giving him a psychic body and not a spiritual body, because he created him, he did not give birth to him, categorizing him as “the first man” and as “a type of the one to come.” So from the beginning of the creation of the earthly man, the new spiritual man was the expected one, the new creation.” The born son of God, the heavenly Jesus Christ / the word of lifeis an image of the invisible God,” and as a “life-giving spirit” fulfills this expectation by giving birth to the spiritual man within the earthly man, who cannot sin, unlike the earthly man who is not able not to sin, and therefore he is not likeable to God.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:8)
 “Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother.” (I John, 3:9-10)
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Gal. 5:16-18)
“And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” (I Cor. 2:13, NET)
 Two men of different origins
 So, two different men are referred to as “Gods image.” The first man is the one “from the earth” into whom God breathed the breath of life, and made him “according  to the image of God,” “a type of the one to come,” that is, according to the image that God would reveal himself   -“God appeared in flesh”-   and who is the man Jesus Christ. (I Tim. 3:16)
“And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.” (Is. 40:5)
 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John, 1:14)
So, the second man is “Jesus from heaven,” who was born of the Holy Spirit, and he is the manifestation of Godin flesh,” “the image [figure] of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Col. 1:15)
Editor’s note:  Jesus was firstborn of the new spiritual creation, not of the cosmic one.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (II Cor. 5:17)
 “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” (Gal. 6:15)
 So, the invisible God became visible as a man called Jesus, and the first man, the one “from the earth,” is the image, the type of this man, who is the true God and eternal life,” Jesus Christ. (John, 1:18. Col. 1:15. Rom. 5:14. I John, 5:20)
“Thus also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam [became] a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual [is] not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man [is] from the earth, made of earth; the second man [is] from heaven. As the one [who is] made of earth, so also [are] those [who are] made of earth, and as the heavenly, so also [are] those [who are] heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the [one who is] made of earth, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” (I Cor. 15:45-49, LEB)
“Do not lie to one another. Strip yourselves of the old man, with his deeds, and clothe yourself with the new man, who has been renewed by knowledge, in accord with the image of the One who created him.” (Col. 3:9-10, CPDV)
 Jesus is heavenly, and he is a “Life-giving Spirit.” Fellowship with Jesus is fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
God calls men into fellowship with Jesus Christ, who is the light, the truth and the life.
“God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I Cor. 1:9)
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (II Cor. 13:14)
 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (II Cor. 3:17)
 “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” (Philip. 1:19)
God’s fulfilled promises aim to make the spiritual man a partaker of the divine nature, the same nature as that of Jesus Christ.
“Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (II Pet. 1:4)
 The perishable dead worshipers, and the quickened through Jesus worshipers
The earthly man worshiped in an earthly temple; the new spiritual man, the one “in Christ,” worships the ever-living God “in spirit and truthin the true spiritual Temple which is the body of Jesus. The total amount of the alive in Christ worshipers is a spiritual building that “rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”
“Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days? But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this to them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” (John, 2:19-22)
“And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple in the Lord: In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:20-22)
The whole arrangement of the handmade, worldly temple, with the earthly, perishable worshipers, was a type that prefigured the operation of the true heavenly Temple, with the quickened ones, the truein the Holy Spirit” worshipers, and “operated until the time of reformation.” (Heb. 9:10. John, 4:23)
He sets aside the first to establish the second
Many times, God reminded them through his prophets that “he had no pleasure” in offerings and burnt offerings.
“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? said the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.” (Is. 1:11)
“Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin you would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, See, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.” (Heb. 10:8-9)
 “Why when he comes into the world, he said, Sacrifice and offering you would not, but a body have you prepared me.” (Heb. 10:5)
This is the heavenly body of Jesus which he gave up for us “as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph. 5:2)
The true tabernacle is non-handmade, is heavenly
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Heb. 8:1-2)
“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent  not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.” (Heb. 9:11)
So, God set aside, canceled the old one, and introduced, inserted the new one. Since then, the quickened by Jesus Christ, the true, spiritual worshipers, the “new creation,” worship in this new heavenly Temple.
“But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John, 4:23-24)
“Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Heb. 10:19-23)
The institution of the earthly tabernacle of Jewish society was replaced by the heavenly tabernacle with the new and living way established through the veil, that is, the flesh of Jesus who descended from heaven. The new and living way leads the living, true worshipers to the inner of the true, heavenly tabernacle, where they worship God “in spirit and truth.”
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from now on you know him, and have seen him.” (John, 14:6)
The fulfillment of the promise
 Thus, the promise to the fathers of the Jews and founders of the Jewish monotheism, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was fulfilled.
“And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathersthis he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.” (Acts, 13:32-33)
“And he said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Luk. 24-44)
Early Christianity is the fulfillment of the written expectations of biblical Judaism, which was completed. Biblical Judaism was declassified as a religion of expectations and as a religion of symbols, “Christ is the end of the law.” The pouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost confirmed the completion of the time of biblical Judaism and its ritual. The torch for the salvation of the man and the true knowledge and worship of the one God was picked up by the true early Christianity, with a mandate neither to be enforced nor to be nationalized, but:
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” (Luk. 24:47-48)
“Be it known to you therefore, men and brothers, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts, 13:38-39)
As the promises of God to Abraham legitimized the fleshly Israel and biblical Judaism, so the fulfillment of these promises by God legitimizes and establishes the new spiritual Israel and the genuine early Christianity.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor? Or who has first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:34-36)
Of course, this pure Christianity does not require any secular legitimization or any kind of secular imposition, because it is based on God’s will and the unforced will of man, “If any man will come after me …….” (Mat. 16:24), and it is a solid foundation of God, having this seal:
“Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God has been standing, having this seal, “The Lord knew those who are His:” and “Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness.” (II Tim. 2:19, Worrell)
The struggle of the apostles in the genuine, primitive and spiritually, not carnally, warring church, was to bring the believers to the awareness of  “the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ, in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.” (Col. 2:3, LEB)
“For just as the Father raises the dead and makes [them] alive, thus also the Son makes alive whomever he wishes. For the Father does not judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all [people] will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” (John, 5:21-23)
“Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father [either]; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” (I John, 2:23)
“Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Am I with you so long a time and you have not known me, Philip? The one who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?” (John, 14:8-9)
For the brothers in Christ, the danger of moving away from the truth was derived from the human, contradictory and syncretistic Greek philosophy, and from the oral tradition of Pharisaic Judaism.
“Beware that no one rob you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are made full in Him, who is the Head of all rule and authority.” (Col. 2:8-10 VW)
“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who are believing.” (I Cor. 1:21)

 

II. The Birth of Pharicaic Judaism
God made the priests, the sons of Aaron, responsible for the teaching of the people of Israel and interpretation of the written law, and for their mutual affairs and disputes he suggested appointing judges and prosecutors.
“And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying, Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by Moses.” (Lev. 10:8-11) 
“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.”  (Deu. 16:18)
The institution of the kingdom demanded by the Jews by the last judge, Samuel, has created, as in any kingdom, nepotism. Together with the ignorance of the law due to the poor teaching of the priests, who sometimes neglected even the maintenance of the temple (II Kings, 12:4), it created rival political and religious tendencies that brought schisms to the people of Israel, apostasy from God, partition of the kingdom and civil war conflicts. In the acts of the kings, Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, stands out by trying to do what is pleasing to God, and sends some non-responsible rulers along with the Levites to the cities of Judah to teach the people the Book of the Law of the Lord (II Chronicles, 17:7-9). Therefore, the involvement of the elite in the religious matters was in action, and the preservation of the interests required the survival of the nation, resulting in the gradual development of a nationalistic religious conscience and faith in one God, a national protector, who would guarantee the state’s prosperity and supremacy against the others. Thus, the perception of God’s good intention to bless all nations, as it was announced to Patriarch Abraham, was overshadowed.
Later on, in the Babylonian captivity and dispersion, the destruction of the built temple, the strongest institution of Judaism, strongly emphasized the need for the survival of the Jewish identity and the uplifting of the national and religious spirit. This need was met by the houses of prayer and study that evolved into synagogues, with educators, Jewish scholars, the later rabbis. The synagogues compensated for the lack of the temple and continued as a secondary religious institution after its rebuilding, which was carried out with the support and sponsorship of a foreign power, that of Persia. (Ezra, 7:14-15)
The protagonists at the time of the rebuilding of the temple, which was inferior to the first one in terms of beauty, were the political leader Zerubbabel and the priest and secretary Ezra, an expert in the written law of the Lord, who largely restored the knowledge of the law, appointed Levitical priests and judges, and so the kingdom of Judah continued to survive with those whose heart God had moved to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. (Ezra, 1:5)
Until the birth of Jesus, the Jewish nation continued its religious and political schismatic course. Besides the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, there was also a temple in Samaria, on Mount Gerizim, which was built by the ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel and, according to Josephus, was destroyed by the high priest and king of the Jews John Hyrcanus in 128 BC, who inaugurated in Israel the institution of dual power, the political one and the religious one. Also, archaeologists assert a Jewish temple on the island of Elephantine of Egypt that served the needs of the Jewish community there. With the support of Ptolemy VI, another temple was built by the high priest Onias in Leontopolis, Egypt, where he resorted after having been persecuted by the family of the Maccabees; a temple that was the spiritual center of the Jews of Egypt. The participation of the Jews of Alexandria in the rebellion of the Jews of Palestine against the sovereignty of Rome also led to the destruction of the temple in Leontopolis.
Political division of the Jews
The civil war of the Greeks between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids who prevailed in Palestine, transformed, due to geographical position, the land of Judea into battlefields, dragging the Jews into a political division, dividing them into hellenizontes and nationalists. The violent policy of the hellenization of the Seleucids outlawed the Jewish religion causing a civil war between the Judaic factions with the participation of Hellenistic high priests. The revolution of the Maccabees after many struggles finally gave independence to the Jews again, peace came between the factions without, however, disrupting the spread of the Greek thinking and the tendency of hellenization. 
The involvement of the priestly institution in politics weakened its original mission and created a breach between the priests and the wise men and secretaries who controlled the synagogues. In this way, the ground was prepared for the emergence, among the scholars, of the sect of the Pharisees (= those who have been divided) who claimed to be the legal representatives, interpreters and custodians of Judaism, they recognized both the written and the oral Torah, thus creating the dipole of the commandments of God and the commandments of men. They placed a special emphasis on manmade rules, they uplifted the national spirit, and they were popular among the ordinary people. The Pharisees were in a permanent social and religious confrontation with the sect of the Sadducees who rejected the oral tradition, pursued hellenization and defended the rights and privileges of the ruling class. 
The oral traditions over the written law of Moses
The Roman conquest, the Roman-friendly policy of the Jewish kings and the Hellenistic tendency mainly of the wealthy Jewish people of Palestine and those who settled in Egypt, strengthened the position of the Pharisees, but created a side effect in the Jewish perception, that of the dominance of the oral traditions over the written law of Moses, resulting in the birth of extreme nationalism. This fact was foreseen by the prophet Isaiah, and the Lord Jesus confirmed it.
“This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mat. 15:8-9)
Throughout his ministry in the land of Israel, Jesus always referred to the written law and prophets, and never to human traditions and teachings which he rejected.
“Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures.” (Luk. 24:27, NET)
The apostle Paul “from the tribe of Benjamin” was a Pharisee, who studied in Jerusalem “at the feet” of Gamaliel who was also a Pharisee. He was more exceedingly zealous for his paternal traditions, and before his conversion to Christ, not having the spiritual understanding of the written law, he persecuted and abused the church of God.
“For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.” (Gal. 1:13:14, NET)
But when he became aware, he understood that the Scriptures spoke not of a fleshly but of a spiritual people, who would receive a heavenly inheritance and kingdom that would be not of this world. So, what he thought was gain, he now regards it as dung so that he may win Christ. Having this understanding now, he recommends to the church:
“And these things, brothers, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that you might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” (I Cor. 4:6)
In Timothy, the same apostle exalts the divine origin of the Scriptures, unquestionably putting the written word of the Hebrew Bible above every human tradition and philosophy.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.” (II Tim. 3:16-17)
And again: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom.15:4)
Not a single “genuine child of faith,” of the true Jesus, was enticed by the human traditions of the Pharisees; those who hoped in them believed that Jesus was the Jew who would restore the kingdom to the fleshly Israel according to the earthly pattern of David.
“When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” (John, 6:15)
The same anti-biblical Pharisaic perceptions were an obstacle to recognizing the heavenly Jesus as the One true God, and for this reason they were asking to kill him, believing that Jesus was an earthly man just like them, who made himself God.
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John, 5:18)
“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John, 10:33)
Pharisaic Judaism remained in the nationalistic, earthly perception of God’s promises, and, by not understanding the written prophetic word, it denied the finisher of faith Jesus Christ and persecuted true Christianity from its birth, thus failing to achieve its spiritual fulfillment and become the receiver of the heavenly goods.
Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life.” (John, 5:39)
“For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.” (Acts, 13:27-28)
Today’s Rabbinic Judaism, which finds pleasure in collecting human Jewish traditions, is introduced as the ideological continuation of Pharisaic Judaism, with varying tendencies and stripped of the elements that legitimized Judaism, namely, the temple, the prophets, the priests, the sacrifices, the baptisms, the offerings and the genealogical Jewish bloodline; it preserves the expectation of a third handmade Temple in Jerusalem as a means of fulfilling its nationalistic ideologies, completely ignoring that:
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands;” (Acts, 17:24)
 
ΙΙΙ. The birth of the state religion of the Ecumenical Councils
 
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John, 8:31-32)
                                                                                                                             
The formed byzantine “patristic” Christianity differs in its structure from the early Christianity which was established by Jesus and the apostles, and which is the completion of Biblical Judaism.
Hellenized christianity and christianized hellenism were attained by the involvement of Plato’s thinking fundamentally and the monotheistic Jewish christianity, with the hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo as a pioneer, and later with the philosophical apologists. Gradually, this blending formed a new philosophical current, which was a meta-evolution of Plotinus  Neo-Platonism, which is characterized as a patristic philosophy, the Byzantine thinking. According to this new “patristic” philosophy, the heavenly man, Jesus Christ, has two natures, he is a perfect man and a perfect god, and so the Jewish deniers who led Jesus to the cross with deceit were half-justified.
“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:33)
The “fathers” of the new religion, who were also excited by Philo’s love for the contradictory Greek philosophy, forgot the Scriptures, which say that:
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (I Cor. 1:21)
“However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nothing: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Cor. 2:6-8)
 Early Christianity is the manifestation of God’s love and “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” and is in contradistinction to human philosophy. (II Cor. 4:6)
“And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” (I Cor. 2:13)
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? ” (I Cor. 1:18-20)
 The apologetic philosophers equated this contradistinction by, on the one hand, downgrading the “gospel of God” to the level of human philosophy and, on the other hand, by upgrading the human contradictory philosophy to a divine level. (Rom. 15:16)
“For Plato, with the air of one that has descended from above, and has accurately ascertained and seen all that is in heaven, says that the most high God exists in a fiery substance. But Aristotle, in a book addressed to Alexander of Macedon, giving a compendious explanation of his own philosophy, clearly and manifestly overthrows the opinion of Plato, saying that God does not exist in a fiery substance: but inventing, as a fifth substance, some kind of aetherial and unchangeable body, says that God exists in it.” (Justin’s hortatory address to the Greeks, chap. 5)
With this contradictory philosophy, a large portion of “Christians” walked from the 2nd century AD onwards, enticed by the apologists, who mistakenly taught that philosophy is a tutor that brings people to Christianity and a fellow-helper in the understanding of truth.
This teaching was in stark contrast to the teaching of the apostles who said:
“But, before the faith came, we were kept guarded under law, being shut up to the faith about to be revealed. So that the law has become our tutor [to lead us] to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But the faith having come, we are no longer under a tutor;” (Gal. 3:23-25, Worrell)
The very few references to Greek literature in the New Testament have simple human meaning and do not prove the parallel dissemination of philosophical currents by the apostles. This is mistakenly claimed by the adherents of the meta-evolved and processed “patristicChristianity, which, as it was mentioned above, is the result of a multi-year process of mixing philosophy with the revelation of the truth by the Holy Spirit, which was sent from heaven. (I Peter to Hebrews, 1:2)
Biblical testimony
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (I Cor. 2:4-5)
By accepting this proper strategy of the apostle Paul, the Jews of Veria were “nobler” than the Jews of Thessaloniki, and when Paul visited them at their synagogue, they accepted the word with all willingness. In order to ascertain the truth of Jesus, they “examined the Scriptures every day” without consulting the Greek philosophy, which grabbed Christ as a loot from the believers.
“Beware that no one rob you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8, VW)
 The new religion
The new, Platonized, “patristicthinking, covered behind the Hebrew Bible and the personality of Jesus Christ and having hellenism as a background, eventually formed a new polytheistic religion supported by the Roman politics of the New Rome. Dressed in the cremated forms of Judaism “and the elements shall melt with fervent heat (II Pet. 3:10),” such as earthly temples with symbolic arrangement and operation which intensely reminds of the burnt temple of the Jews, upgraded the “other god word” of Philo and the apologist Justin and other philosophers, from “second” and “inferior” god to “co-eternal” and “co-equal” to the Father, making an ontological equation of God the Father and God the Son.
The misguided effort of the apologists to mix Greek thinking, which believed in complex deities with a hierarchical union of member gods, (henotheism), with biblical monotheism, gave birth to long theological philosophical battles. Finally, with the help of the philosophers, “fathers of the church” and the holding of many councils which in practice fueled new controversies and consecutive depositions and exiles of bishops of all individual factions, a god of three hypostases was created, a three-sunned godhead, thus justifying both the human philosophy and the ever-existing national polytheism. The “Triune unit” which was incomprehensible to people became fully comprehensible at the end of the 4th century AD only by the philosophers, “fathers of the church” who finalized the triadic doctrine, which was proclaimed correct by an imperial order, replacing “Christs” teaching. (Colossians, 2:8)
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Excerpt from an edict in the Byzantine-Roman Law
On the orthodox faith of Christians                                                                                    and that no one should dare to                                                                                                dispute about it publicly.
1) Read βι. α’ τι α chap. α και δ, which say that a Christian is someone who believes that there is one deity of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, with equal power. Anyone who believes the opposite of what has been said is a heretic.
2) No clergyman or monk or soldier or anyone else by gathering a crowd in public should talk about faith, because it will be seen as an insult to the Council of Chalcedon which adequately defined everything, which also allows all heretics to know our point of view. Therefore, if a clergyman does so, he will be expelled from the clergy association. If someone is a soldier, he will be expelled from the army. Let the rest be punished according to their social class.
 Source
The Roman emperors Constantine and Theodosius
The sun-worshiper, polytheist, mithraist, bloody emperor of the Romans, Flavius ​​Valerius Constantinus, for political reasons, sought the religious assimilation of his ethnicities, believing that he would also secure the favor of the God of “Christians” in his martial affairs, but also the willingness of themselves to pour their blood for the empire. Being an idolater, whatever knowledge he had about the Son of God was obtained from controversial prophecies by a Sibyl (= oracle, priestess of the god Apollo)  whom he extolled as blessed.
“It is evident that the virgin uttered these verses under the influence of Divine inspiration. And I cannot but esteem her blessed, whom the Saviour (sobriquet of god Apollo) thus selected to unfold his gracious purpose towards us.” (The oration of the emperor Constantine, which he addressed “to the assembly of the saints” chap. 18)
Most of Eusebius’ contemporaries believed that the sibylline oracles about Jesus were forgeries as Eusebius himself testifies:
“Many, however, who admit that the Erythræan Sibyl was really a prophetess, yet refuse to credit this prediction, and imagine that some one professing our faith, and not unacquainted with the poetic art, was the composer of these verses. They hold, in short, that they are a forgery, and alleged to be the prophecies of the Sibyl on the ground of their containing useful moral sentiments, tending to restrain licentiousness, and to lead man to a life of sobriety and decorum.” (The oration of the emperor Constantine, which he addressed “to the assembly of the saints” chap. 19)
The emperor Constantine came from the army’s ranks and had received his rank for wartime gallantry. His main concern was the proper administration, the increase and the preservation of his territorial sovereignty. Without having any knowledge of the Greek and Jewish literature and being unqualified for Judeo-Christian biblical issues, he summoned the First Ecumenical Council, which is characterized as a political act, aiming at the cohesion of the Roman state through common faith. By signing the decisions of the Council into state law with the death penalty for doubters, he set himself as the protector of the already Hellenized and schismatic Christianity, granting special privileges to the clergy as well. Influenced by his Arian bishops friends and his sister, Constantia, he leaned to Arianism. A few years later, following the condemnation by the Council of Arianism and the exile of Arius, he recalls the latter from exile and punishes in the same way the great adversary of Arius at the Council, the “father” Athanasius of Alexandria.
However, the greatest distortion of the promises of God and the teaching of the genuine Christianity, which has no flag or color, was achieved by the emperor Theodosius, who, in 380 AD, made the processed Christianity the official religion of his empire, thus attributing an ethno-religious identity to his earthly citizens as opposed to the spiritual and not-of-this-world identity recognized by the one God on the “partakers of the heavenly calling.” (Hebrews, 3:1)
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:26:29)
The new state religion of the philosophers, “fathers of the church,” supported  by the anti- pagan legislation of its sole dominant protectors who outlawed all the ancient religions by imposing the punishment of beheading and other means of punishment on the dissidents, achieved its violent dominance, yielding continuous spiritual darkness in the East and the West. The excerpt from the Acts of the Apostles that is quoted depicts the complete contrast between God’s good intentions towards man and the purposes and the state-served interests of the new religion, the ally of the Byzantium, and the policy of violent cleansing of those of a different faith.
Delivering you (Grk txt: εκλέγων σε = choosing you) from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:17-18, AKJV)
The side effects of the nationalization of the new religion
The anti-Christian impacts of Theodosius’ decision to nationalize God’s work for the salvation of people are perpetuated and imprinted primarily by the results of the anti-pagan policy followed by him and other Roman emperors, which resembles that of the Persian king Artaxerxes.
“And whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.” (Ez. 7:26)
And secondly, they are perpetuated and imprinted by the distinct Christian perception acquired by the ByzantineChristian” citizens, as it appears in the following excerpt from an article by theologian Manolis Tzirakis:
“However, besides the emperor, the citizen of the Byzantine state is also a genuine and faithful Christian. He believes that the state he belongs to is protected by God and enjoys His favor. This belief is expressed by Cosmas Indicopleustes in the 6th century when he states that: “The State of Romans will not be torn down; it will remain unharmed forever, being the first to believe in the Lord Christ.” (att. Ahrweiler, 2009). The members of Byzantine society are law-abiding citizens of the emperor and Christians committed to their faith, they are guided by monks and clergymen, they indiscriminately go by the name of Roman or Christian (identical terms in Byzantium), whom its emperor Leo VI characteristically calls the Nation of Christians, while the Byzantine people was named the Chosen People or New Israel (Ahrweiler, 2009).”
Source
Epilogue
The formed religious and subsequent political dominance of the new secular Byzantine religion points to the military, imperialistic triumphs of Rome rather than to the pure, through the Holy Spirit, heavenly destination, which was carved by the early Christianity with the persuasion of the god-inspired written word and not with the persuasion of the contradictory evolved patristic philosophy and the armed coercion that harmed and adulterated the basic truths that God is love and is One.
“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.” (Acts, 28:23) 
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in your sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Mat. 11:25-27) 
Amen

The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Redemption of the Generation of the First Church.

 Writer: Vassilis Zafeiroglou (12/11/2012) Greece                                                                                   Bible verses from: ASV, and ESV
 
 
The Lord Jesus Christ not only came the second time during the Apostles’ generation to redeem the faithful Believers, but also to revenge the generation of the Scribes and Pharisees who crucified Jesus and to revenge the backsliders  Jewish Christians who “came out” from the first church and persecuted it together with those Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah.
Dear Brethren, though Scripture speaks these two thousand years, it appears we do not value and adopt the words of Jesus Christ, Paul, or the rest of the Apostles.
“But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable: Behold the fig tree, and all the trees:  when they now shoot forth, ye see it and know of your own selves that the summer is now nigh. Even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all things be accomplished.” (Luke 21:28-32)
Jesus spoke to His disciples saying the Kingdom of God was near and Jesus Christ would come a second time during their generation. He would come on the one side in order to take them and redeem them from that crooked generation and on the other side to put His enemies under His feet. All this happened in that generation.
The enemies of Jesus as well as of all people were the fallen Hebrews “who judged themselves  unworthy of eternal life.” They didn’t want to be saved but also they didn’t let other people to be saved.
“And Paul and Barnabas spake out boldly, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge your-selves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46)
Paul writes about the Jews of his generation: 
“For ye, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus: for ye also suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even as they did of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove out us, and please not God, and are contrary to all men; forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins always: but the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” (I Thes. 2:14-16)
Indeed, very correctly, Paul wrote of the religious intolerance of the Hebrews of his era. Paul knew what Jesus had said about those last days “of the crooked generation” which had not only crucified the Lord but had also persecuted His messengers. Jesus said what would be the signs of His wrath upon the impenitence of the Scribes and Pharisees. 
“But when ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her desolation is at hand. Then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter therein. For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! for there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people.” (Luke 21:20-23)
So, the wrath would come upon that hard and impenitent nation of that generation and every written prophecy would fulfilled. It was not that events happened then and other events would happen after two or three thousand years or in our days.
“Wherefore ye witness to yourselves, that ye are sons of them that slew the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell? Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: some of them shall ye kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” (Mat. 23:31-46)
At the same time Jesus spoke to His disciples and said unto them:
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds. Verily I say unto you, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Mat. 16:24-28)
Notice what Jesus said to His Apostles “Verily I say unto you, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
Did the Lord of the Glory made a mistake?
Some of His Apostles and disciples wouldn’t have died until the Kingdom of Jesus Christ had come.
Apostle Paul like Jesus Christ prophesied the resurrection of the dead and the rapture of the Church would happen on the days of his own generation.
“But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (I Thes. 4:13-18)
Paul, like, Jesus Christ prophetically declared by the Holy Spirit that on the day the resurrection and the rapture of the Church would happen, some of the Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ would be alive.
Unfortunately there are Christians who share the blasphemous thought that Jesus as well as Paul was wrong with regard to fixing the day of His Second Coming.
 As we read above Jesus said:
 “So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.” (Luk. 21:31-32)
 Also Jesus said to the twelve Apostles when He sent them and instructing them at that generation:
“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 10:5-7)
The purpose of God’s love was to deliver every Hebrew from the kingdom of darkness namely from the “ministry of death” or “the ministry of the letter” because it functioned by the Legal and Pharisee system. God wanted to gather every true child of Abraham, so that His wrath which would happen at the end of that generation not to come upon him.
In the same chapter Jesus told His disciples:
 “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (Mat. 10:23)
 “Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.  Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” (Mat. 23:34-36)
 Apostles would not have the time to go to every town where a synagogue existed, because the Son of Man would come. These are the same Apostles some of whom would not taste death until the Kingdom of Jesus Christ would come and they then would always be with the Lord.
Jesus at the beginning of His ministry had said:
 “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
Do we also in our days hope and wish to be the generation to receive His coming????
 The Lord and the Apostles have spoken but do we want to follow things that human minds and hearts made?
The Kingdom of God was taken from the Jews and was given to His Church. The Lord of the Vineyard came with His armies in 70 A.D. and judged the earthly Jerusalem. The table of the “marriage of the Lamb” has been set since the day Jesus Christ was resurrected. Unfortunately a great part of the Jewish people refused this invitation. Indeed the messengers of the marriage “some of them were beaten some of them were killed” by the Jews.
“When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” (Mat. 21:40)
 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“‘The stone that the builders rejected ​​​​​​​has become the cornerstone; ​​​​​​​this was the Lord’s doing, ​​​​​​​and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Mat. 21:42)
 “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.” (Mat. 21:43-45)
The Pharisees of those days understood in their days the Lord of the Vineyard would come for the second time and He would destroy them and He would give the vineyard to another people.
“Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,  while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.” (Mat. 22:4-7)
God avenged the unkindness of the Jews in 70 A.D. destroying their glorious town, “The Earthly Jerusalem.” He  also came to redeem His persecuted Church.
 “Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” (II Thes. 1:4-10)
 His Kingdom has been established and He reigns for ever and ever.
Amen 
 

 

The Lord our God is One Lord

 Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes  (25/11/2016)                                                                                    Bible verses from: LXXE, AKJV, ESV2011 and others if they fit better with the Grk txt

 

“Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deut. 6:4)
 The meaning of “The Lord our God is one (Grk: Eις) Lord,” is opposed to the meaning of “dyad or dyadic is,” “triad or triadic is,” etc.
An (Εις) = adjective of masculine gender, cardinal number: one.
Dyad = numerical noun of feminine gender: two  (= a set of two similar units).
Dyadic = adjective of masculine gender: two (= a set of two similar units).
Triad = numerical noun of feminine gender: three (= a set of three similar units).
Triadic = adjective of masculine gender which refers to the triad: three (= a set of three similar units).
Note: In Greek adjectives have gender
In order to understand the meaning of “The Lord our God is one Lord,” a phrase that the spirit of God, [“God is Spirit”], said to the people of Israel  through Moses, we need to know the worship habits and doctrines of that time that people devised to explain mainly the forces of nature.
The practice of worship to the devised gods was always carried out by the clergies, which strengthened each authority. The Theocratic powers always functioned as manipulators and as a means of subjugating people; and the emperors were the link between heaven and earth, resulting in their deification, since they were considered sons of gods. People’s ignorance and fear of the unknown and mystery, which the clergies systematically cultivated, contributed to this situation.
The prestige, power, and economic robustness of an empire were seen as the result of the people’s worship to its patron gods, whom the authorities could upgrade, modify, and merge with others (theocracy) if it was in their interest to do so. 
The following excerpts can give us an idea of what was happening.
(1) Mesopotamian Mythology
“Mesopotamian Mythology is the mythology of the people   –SumeriansAkkadiansBabyloniansAssyrians – who lived in the valley of Mesopotamia.
It seems that the first phase of the Mesopotamian religion was naturalistic -that is, the worship of the forces of life. Man translated these forces of life into the spirits of euphoria and fertility represented by a couple,  just like people’s life. Man also created gods / spirits for all things necessary for people’s life, such as the spirits of grain, forest, vines, springs, etc. Their mortal gods died and were born again, just like the seasons whose productive power they represented.
Mesopotamian religion does not have a single origin but responds to the very constitution of the country. The most ancient countries of Sumer (Shinar Valley), which had their autonomy at the time of their formation, annexed the neighboring states one after another, each of which had its local clergy, which had already formed a tradition. The priesthood of each city had established its own theory of the genealogy of its gods as well as a different patron god for protection from the other cities. As the states slowly became more and more integrated, the pantheon of the one came close to the pantheon of the other.
The gods of Sumer then came in contact with the gods of the Semitic invasion -Akkades-  and were mixed. So the list of gods doubled. There were double names and tangled generations that nevertheless represented the turmoil that existed in the lives of both peoples. As the years went by, discreet processes had to be made, but the great reform came in the years of the first dynasty of Babylon. The priesthood and the leadership decided to formally unite the two concepts by proposing Marduk (a trivial god until then) as the new official, great god of the state and Babylon. With great mastery, the clergy reduced neither the number nor the value of the earlier gods; simply picked one and raised him above the others without, however, abolishing the old ones. Then the poem of Creation was written which “explains” the predominance of Mardouk and generally proposes another genealogy and mythology, the new and common pretty much for all.”
 Source
(2) Anu
“In Sumerian mythology, and later in Assyrians and Babylonians, Anu or An was the god of the sky and the constellations, the king of the gods, the spirits and the demons. Anu was considered to have the power to judge those who had committed crimes. He was the father of the Anunnaki. In art, he is usually depicted as a jackal. The basic symbol of Anu is a crown with horns.
Anu was the oldest god in the pantheon of the Sumerian mythology, and he was a Triad along with Enlil, god of the sky, and Enki, god of the waters. Anu is often associated with the city of Uruk, the corresponding biblical Erech, and therefore it is believed to have been his original worship center. The deity of Inanna-Ishtar, also worshiped in Uruk, was often considered to be his companion for this reason.”
Source
(3) Greek triadic deities
Indicatively, we will mention the triple goddess Hecate mentioned in Greek mythology as the queen of the sky, earth and sea, protector of justice, army, hunters, fishermen, flocks with the synergy of her lover Hermes, and protector of newborn babies, hence the name kourotrofos (= child nurturer). In the ancient statues, she was depicted with three faces and in the pots holding two torches. In her honor, people celebrated Hecatea at three way crossroads outside their cities.
 Other than the above perceptions were that the brother gods Jupiter or Zeus, Pluto and Poseidon had distributed the kingdoms; Jupiter was the god of the sky, Pluto was the god of the underworld, and Poseidon was the god of the waters. [Justin the Philosopher, Exhortation to the Greeks (730)]
From the above we can see that:
  • Polytheism arose from people’s need to interpret  natural phenomena,  love,  wisdom,  arts,  beauty, etc., by inventing gods of various specialties and responsibilities, donors of good or evil things, supposedly protecting them, their cities, their families, their flocks, their boats, their army, their occupations, etc. (cf. today)
  • The clergies always exercised power over any authority, since the emperors supported their perpetuation through the blessings and the oracles of their false prophets.
  • The authorities without the support of the clergy could not be respected by the people. ( today)
  • The gods always complied with the modern needs and policies of the authorities. ( today)
  • The inventions of the triadic gods were purely arose from polytheism, implying co-governments hierarchically structured in three similar units (three gods), in the way people-kings ruled together.
  • Biblical cities such as Erech (Uruk), Nineveh, Babylon and others, were worship centers of triadic imaginary gods.
The sun’s disc and its phases
The natural sun and its three phases, sunrise, culmination and sunset, were the reason for the creation of triadic deities as the New International Encyclopedia informs us.
“The triad became the world’s most widespread number of deity … The worship of the sun is one of the oldest forms of religion, and the ancient man sometimes distinguished between the rising, the culminating and the setting sun. The Egyptians, for example, separated the solar god into three deities: Horus – the rising sun, Ra – the culminating sun, and Osiris – the setting sun.” (Egyptian deities)
Therefore, the word of the Lord God to Israel through Moses “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord” was made to overturn this mindset of the polytheists; a mindset which the Israelites from Chaldea also had, who, even in the time of Ezekiel’s ministry, worshiped the sun. (Ez. 8:15)
Hear, Israelites, your own Lord God (unlike the others) is one Lord (not a dyad dyadic or triad triadic).
It is worthwhile to observe the prayer of king Jude Hezekiah when he prays to be freed from the Assyrians:
“So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.” (You are not together with others – that is, you are not dyadic or triadic). (II Ki. 19:19)
 Agreement with the New Testament
Our Lord Jesus Christ answering a question from one of the secretaries confirms:
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (not dyad – dyadic or triad triadic). (Mark 12:29)
And the secretary responding also confirms: “And the scribe said to him, Well, Master, you have said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he.” (Mark 12:32)
And elsewhere he said:And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” (Mat. 23:9)
And Paul said: “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph. 4:6)
And James also wrote: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder.”  (2:19)
So whoever believes that the Lord God is not dyadic or triadic but ONE is right; besides, the demons believe the same thing, and for that reason they are horrified (they shiver from fear). If, hypothetically, God was dyadic or triadic, then the demons would not be horrified.
Therefore, the father of lies has every reason to deceive for centuries by distorting the truth that the Lord God is ONE (and not a triad triadic or dyad dyadic).
Concepts of God’s triadicity apart from the above
 (a) Cabalistic thoughts
“The Truth is where Cabalists talk about the veils of the Absolute. The Truth was named in a number of ways: some named it God in general, others named it Father – God, Absolute, Unexpressed, Negative Existence, and some even more vaguely “superior power.” The variety of names and adjectives suggests that the totality of God remains incomprehensible to the human intellect. This knowledge – acceptance is ancient. The ancient peoples had realized that behind the one whom they called father – God there was “something” in which their central God remained accountable. Probably one more superior God, unintelligible even by their supreme God, let alone by themselves. That’s why they mention or hint at him but they do not deal with him, they do not try to interpret him because such an interpretation would be arbitrary. The Cabalistic approach does not escape this. It admits its ignorance and speaks of three veils that give a hint to God, but in essence, like all veils, they conceal him. These veils are Negativity, Unlimited, and Unlimited Light.
These three symbolic veils do not stand out and are not distinct from each other. As a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, He is a “consubstantial and inseparable Triad,” others
and even the highest insider of this solar system (and others greater than him) cannot enter into their secrets.”
Source
 (b) Hermes Trismegistus
“There is one deity in the world”
Hermes is mentioned as an omniscient during the reign of Sostros. The following was written by John Malalas (7th – 8th century):
“Hermes Trismegistus the Egyptian, a man with incredible wisdom, said that the name of the unintelligible and creator has three hypostases in a single deity,” thus giving the triadic of God’s hypostasis, which was then integrated in Orthodoxy.
Source                                                                         
(c) Holy Trinity
“The Triadic God is described as a Triune Unit which is manifested by actions and works in creation and history. He has three faces, but these three faces are not three separate gods, otherwise Christianity would not be a monotheistic but a tritheistic religion. According to the doctrine, the reason that the triadic God is one, although with three hypostases, is the absence of space and time. Space and time differentiate human hypostases from each other so that different faces to be different people. But because space and time are created (God’s creations), God is not subject to them. So we have the mystery (incomprehensible to people) of the Triune Unit.”
Source
 It follows from the above that the acceptance of the Triadic Doctrine (Triune Unit) entails the acceptance of ignorance, the unintelligible, the incomprehensible, the mystery, and the introduction of new mathematical and grammatical rules. If someone has in mind or sees three veils, three angels, or three ships in a row, this doesn’t mean that God is a triad triadic. Also, the justification that God is triadic, because he is not subject to space and time, leaves the possibility that he is also, tetradic, pentadic, hexadic, etc.
What is the chaff  to the wheat? (Jer. 23:
The Holy Scripture is profitable for instruction
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.” (II Tim. 16-17)
The words of the Lord are simple, pure, and comprehensible; they illuminate and they are able to make the man wise, and they are inconsistent with these human triadic, polytheistic perceptions. (cf. Mat. 15:9)
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark. 12:29)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105)
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Ps. 19:7)
“Lead me in your truth, and teach me: for you are the God of my salvation; on you do I wait all the day.” (Ps. 25:5)
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (I John 5:20 Esv2011)
Note: The AKJV quotes by mistake “This is the true God.” (Grk: Ούτος = He)
The apostles preached neither a triadic god nor an earthly Jesus, but they preached through the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life.
The prophecy of Isaiah for the Son
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6)
For unto us a child is born
The pronoun “us” is in the dative (giving) case of the person and indicates the person who benefits from something, the person for the sake of whom an action takes place.
Born” is the past participle of the verb “to bear,” which means that the child, Jesus, was not born by us, but by God who is Spirit, for us.
Similarly the phrase “unto us a son is given.” The Savior was not born by an earthly man so that he can give him to save the world; God who is Spirit and everlasting did that. Otherwise, the Savior would be an earthly man, unable to save, and not the heavenly Lord Jesus Christ. (I Cor. 15:47)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)
Only – begotten = born alone||without any others||without having any brothers or sisters. [Dictionaries: Scarlatos Vyzantios’ ancient Greek dictionary and Pantazidou Homeric dictionary]
The created and earthly Adam is also called son of God (Luk. 3:23/38). So if the born son of God Jesus had Adam’s earthly nature, he wouldn’t be the onlybegotten Son of the Father full of grace and truth. Besides:
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Gen. 1:27, Is. 1:2, John 1:14, 3:16)
“Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is (The Lord) from heaven.” (I Cor. 15:45-47 Esv2011)
The only-begotten son of God
An only-begotten son of God is defined as He who was born through the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, he was given birth by her “where is he that is born king of the Jews?” (Mat. 2:2), and was given the name Jesus by the Lord’s commandment through an angel. The only-begotten son of the Father that was sent to the world, Jesus, had no brothers or sisters born of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a woman, as he was, but:
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood (Grk: Bloods) nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
“He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
 James, Joseph, Simon, Judas and Jesus’ sisters had the same mother but a different father.
“Is not this the carpenters son? “as was supposed,” is not his mother called Mary? and his brothers, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? From where then has this man all these things? And they were offended in him.” (luk. 3:23, Mat. 13:55-57, 12:47-50)
The birth of Jesus
“And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born (of you) shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:30-35 AKJV)
Note: In the verse of Luke 1:35, Grk txt omits (of you). Let’s read the same verse in different Bible Versions:
“And the angel answering said to her, [The] Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and power of [the] Highest overshadow thee, wherefore the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called Son of God.” (Darby)
“And the Angel aunswered, & saide vnto her: The holy ghost shall come vpon thee, & the power of the hyest shall ouershadowe thee. Therefore also that holy thyng whiche shalbe borne, shalbe called the sonne of God.” (Bishops)
“And the angel responding said to her; The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, indeed, that holy thing that is begotten shall be called the Son of God.” (Godbey)
“The angel answered her, “the holy spirit shall descend upon thee, and the power of the most high shall over-shadow thee: wherefore thy holy offspring shall be called the son of God.” (Mace)
“And the angel, answering, said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of [the] Most High will overshadow you; wherefore also the Holy Thing that is begotten shall be called [the] Son of God.” (Worrell)
The angel did not tell Mary that the holy one who would be born of her would be called the son of God, but he told her that the holy one who would be born in her would be called the son of God.
The same is confirmed to her husband, Joseph, by the angel of the Lord in a dream. In Matthew chapter one and verse twenty we read:
 “And reflecting upon these things, behold a messenger of the Lord appeared to him saying, Joseph, thou son of David, thou shouldest not fear to take to thyself Mary thy wife: for that begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (SLT)
“And he meditating on these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying; Joseph, son of David, do not fear to receive Mary thy wife; for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit;” (Godbey)
“And he having pondered these [things], behold— [an] angel [of the] Lord appeared [to] him in [a] dream saying “Joseph, son [of] David, do not fear to take Mary [as] your wife, for the [child] having been fathered in her is by [the] Holy Spirit.” (DLNT)
“But while he pondered on these things, behold, an angel of [the] Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take to [thee] Mary, thy wife, for that which is begotten in her is of [the] ​Holy Spirit.” (Darby)
“Το γαρ εν αυτή γεννηθέν εκ πνεύματος έστιν αγίου.” (Nestle-Aland Grk txt)
This was the reason he was called the onlybegotten son of God, because the holy one born in the womb of Mary was from the Holy Spirit not of bloods nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will or power of man or woman.
Continuing, the angel said to Joseph: “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Joseph believed the angel’s message.  “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Mat. 1:21-24)
“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:21)
The earthly Mary neither conceived through ordinary means “And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore a son, and called his name Seth, saying, For God has raised up to me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew” (Gen. 4:25, LXXE), nor received a fertilized egg (embryo) in order to give birth to a demigod according to the customs of the Olympians in Greek mythology, nor impregnated by herself as Hera did with Hephaestus who was born through parthenogenesis and his father was the dispute and discord according to the ancient doctrines, nor gave birth to an earthly son, but she conceived miraculously and gave birth to the heavenly Jesus who was born by his Father the eternal Holy Spirit, within her; and everyone born has a beginning.
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Col. 1:18)
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (The new spiritual creation).” (Rev. 3:14)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Gal. 6:15)
 Emmanuel
The first-century church of God “which he obtained with his own bloodrecognized Jesus as the only true God and called him “Emmanuel,” that is, “God is with us.” (Acts 20:28, Ι John 5:20, Isaiah 7:14, 8:8)
This was the reason why the Jews wanted to kill him, because they thought of Jesus as the son of Joseph and Mary and did not believe that he was the only-begotten of the Holy Spirit.
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)
“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:33)
The opposed Jews did not believe in the teaching of the apostles
 The teaching
“For let this be in mind among you, which also in Christ Jesus; Who, being in the form (image) of God, thought not robbery to be equal to God. But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, born in the likeness of men: And found in fashion as man, he humbled himself, being obedient until death, and the death of the cross.” (Philip. 2:5-8 SLT)
Here, Paul is not talking about a pre-existing Son, but about the only-begotten of the Father (the Holy Spirit), the one who was born by Mary, who was given the name Jesus, the one who was already resurrected when Paul wrote the letters.
“For the impossibility of the law, in that it was weak by the flesh, God having sent his own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the justification of the law be filled up in us, not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:3-4)
Jesus was a Heavenly Man, from Heaven, “the  image of the  invisible God,” and not from the earth, not earthly. (Col. 1:15)
“Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (I Cor. 15:45)
 What Jesus who was born by Mary testifies about himself
“Jesus said to them, If God were your father ye would have loved me, for I came forth from God and am come [from him] ; for neither am I come of myself, but he has sent me.” (John 8:42 Darby)
“No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” (John 3:13)
“For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38)
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
“And Jesus said to them, You are from beneath (from earth); I am from above (from heaven): you are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23)
“The bread that I will give is my flesh (Grk: Sarx 4561).”  The flesh / body of Jesus was from heaven (the manna in the wilderness was also from heaven), and when Paul, apostle of Jesus, wrote about the mystery of piety “God was manifested in the flesh” he did not disagree with Jesus neither he preached an earthly savior.
 Paul wrote: “For the impossibility of the law, in that it was weak by the flesh, God having sent his own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” (Rom. 8:3)
An earthly man could never assert for himself similar testimonies.
Actions of Jesus that were impossible to be carried out by an earthly man
“For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mat. 7:29)“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mat. 20:28)
“For whoever will save his life shall lose it: but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luk. 9:24)
“And when he saw their faith, he said to him, Man, your sins are forgiven you.” (Luk. 5:20)
 “Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18)
“Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, Rabbi, eat. But he said to them, I have food to eat that you do not know about.” (John 4:31-32)
“But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)
“And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” (Mat. 17:1-2)
“And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark. 4:14)
 Jesus was not an angel
“For to which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Heb. 1:5)
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have.” (Luk. 24:39)
The body of Jesus, the only-begotten son of God, was special, separate, unique, it was made in the likeness of man
“But made himself of no reputation, (Grk: emptied himself) and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.” (Philip. 2:7-8)
 The blood of Jesus
 The bones of the heavenly man Jesus, produced a unique divine blood
“Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” (Rom. 3:25)
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Eph. 1:7)
“Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14)
 What the apostles said and wrote
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”  (Col. 2:9-10)
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”  (Col. 1:19-20)
“For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another.” (I Cor. 15:39-40)
“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being (soul) the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (I Cor. 15:44-45)
 The apostles were sent neither to preach Homer or Middle Platonism, nor to preach a demigod (son of a god and a mortal woman). There were many such gods both in the Greek pantheon and in the pantheon of other tribes. But they preached Jesus Christ as the living God and true savior of the world. (I John 5:20, Rom. 9:5, Titus 2:13, Rev. 1:8)
More testimonies
(a) John the Baptist
 John the Baptist said that Jesus was above all because He had come from heaven.
“He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.” (John 3:30-33)
And Jesus said that among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.
“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Mat. 11:11)
If Jesus was a man according to the perception of the disagreeing Jews he wouldn’t have said that John was the greatest among those born of women, but he would have said, “I am the greatest among those born of women.”
(b) The teaching of the Apostle Paul about resurrection
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul (natural body); the last Adam was made a quickening (live-giving) spirit (spiritual body). However, that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (I Cor. 15:42-49)
The distinction between the earthly and the heavenly is evident, the earthly man is seeded with human sperm and is born as a psychic body “in wear, in unrighteousness, in sickness,” and while living on earth, he is spiritually dead because of sin. But the first earthly Adam “was a type of the one who was to come,” that is, a pattern of the spiritual man Jesus. (Rom. 5:14)
The heavenly man Jesus Christ “became a Spirit that gives life” in order to rebirth, give life, resurrect, and let the spiritually dead man “have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) 
“But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” (Mat. 8:22)
 “And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 4:1-2)
“Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:5-6)
“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.” (Col. 2:11-13)
“For this my son was dead and has come to life, was lost and has been found. And they began to make merry.” (Luk. 15:24, Darby)
“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” (Rom. 6:13)
This work of salvation -the remission of sins and the resurrection of the spiritually dead earthly man– would have been impossible if Jesus had a human, earthly, perishable nature.
Jesus Christ is the word of life that became flesh; he is the truth, and the life, and the imperishable seed that gives eternal life.
James informs the Jewish Christians: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” (James to Hebrews 1:18) (Beget = to create children, to give birth)
And Peter in his first letter to the Hebrews said: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and stays for ever.” (I Peter to the Hebrews 1:23)
The teaching of the first church about the Word of life
“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.” (Eph. 3:8 Esv2011)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with towards God, and the Word was God God was the Word. He was in the beginning with towards God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5 Esv2011)
Note: Grk txt omits, with, instead is προς τον” (Nestle-Aland). Προς with accusative (τον), to, toward, denoting direction toward a thing (Liddell Scott)
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with towards Father and was made manifest to us.” (I John 1:1-2)
Compare: “And the Word became flesh,” “God was manifest in the flesh,” “life was made manifest.” (John 1:14, I Tim. 1:16, I John 1:2)
 The Jewish writer did not write about a different pre-existing god-word, but, he wrote about the word that was the eternal life, the life of the eternal God ,  the Father, which was manifest.
 “Jesus addressing the Jews said to them: For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (John 5:26)
 “Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this?” (John 11:25-26)
Nor did the Jewish writer abolish the scriptures that said:
“As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.” (I Cor. 8:4)
 For ever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119:89)
 “And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.” (Ex. 3:14)
 “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Is. 42:8, 48:11)
 “Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Is. 44:6)
 “Thus said the LORD, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am the LORD that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself;” (Is. 44:24)
 “You are my witnesses, said the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.” (Is. 43:10-11)
 “Listen to me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.” (Is. 48:12)
The God-breathed scriptures and the philosophy of people
The apostles were not teachers of heresy  “denying  the only Master and Lord, Jesus Crist” and they knew the scriptures that said:
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” (I Cor. 3:19-20)
 “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Cor. 1:19-20)
 “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (I Cor. 1:21)
 The writers of the New Testament letters were not in agreement with the polytheistic gentiles, who, according to the Greek theological thinking, believed in a hierarchical union of member gods where the high god does not create but gives birth to God the Word who is the cause of creation. The apostles never wrote: Brothers, just like Zeus gave birth to his son Hermes and sent him to difficult and critical missions making him the intermediary between the gods and the people, so did ours, the one god. The pagans believed these fables.
“And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.” (Acts 14:11-12)
Nor did they perform a philosophical analysis by accepting the sophistries about the “Word” of Middle Platonism in order to spread the latest Platonic trends mixed with the teaching of Jesus. This was achieved by the fanatical Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo who lived in Alexandria, Egypt  -whose library attracted all the philosophical trends-  and considered the “Word” to be the “idea of ​​ideas,” “the firstborn son of the uncreated Father” and “second, inferior god.” He belonged to the so-called apologists, who adopted the Philonian Word of Middle Platonism, which, along with Plotinus, evolved into Neoplatonism, which post-evolved into “patristic theology”. The apologists compromised the comparative Greek theology with Christianity, teaching, like Justin, that:
“And the first power after God the Father and Lord of all is the Word, who is also the Son; and of Him we will, in what follows, relate how He took flesh and became man.” (Justin Philosopher A’ Apology chap. 32)
“What sober-minded man, then, will not acknowledge that we are not atheists, worshipping as we do the Maker of this universe, and declaring, as we have been taught .…   Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judæa, in the times of Tiberius Cæsar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove.” (Justin Philosopher A’ Apology chap. 13)
“I shall attempt to persuade you, since you have understood the Scriptures,[of the truth] of what I say, that there is, and that there is said to be, another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things; who is also called an Angel, because He announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things–above whom there is no other God–wishes to announce to them.” (Justin Philosopher Dialogue with Tryfo chap. 56)
Eventually, this mixing of human earthly wisdom with the wisdom that is from above gave birth to theological battles and great heresies in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries.
The formers of the new Byzantine-type Christianity were wounded by the Philonian love to Plato, damaging the basic idea of ​​the bible that God is love, and that He is One, with the sad effect of the Hellenization of the monotheistic early Christianity, its nationalization and protection from the Roman empire, its armed enforcement, the discovery of the incomprehensible triune unit with the prevalence of the ontological equality between the Father and the Son, and the introduction of new theological terms, non-existent in the sacred biblical texts, such as: consubstantial – undivided – inseparable – two natures – first, second, third person – holy trinity, have mercy on us – blessed virgin – ever virgin – coeternal – co-everlasting – incarnation [incarnate = to give physical substance to someone// reincarnate// metempsychose (Stamatakos Grk dictionary)] etc.
The Word became flesh
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Note: It doesn’t say “the Word took flesh,” as the apologists philosophers were saying, but it says: “the Word became flesh.”
Grammar says that the predicate (flesh) through the middle voice linking verb (became) attributes a property to the subject (the word).
That is, the flesh / man Jesus became a property (an attribute) of the word of life I am the resurrection and the life.” Mary’s biological participation is absent, otherwise it would say [the word was made flesh by Mary].
The body of Jesus was the temple of God. When the Jews asked for a sign and Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days,” the Jews thought that he was telling them about the temple of Solomon. “But he spoke of the temple of his body.” (John 2:19-21)
 The heavenly body of Christ is the true tent
“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent ( not made with hands, that is, not of this creation).” (Heb. 9:11)
 In the Old Testament, God filled with his presence the inside of the tent of the tabernacle, and from there, between the two cherubs on the mercy seat, he spoke to Moses within the people’s earshot. (Ex. 25:22)
In the New Testament, the temple of the body of the Son of God is the true tent “not made with hands, that is, not of this creation,” where the whole fullness of deity dwells, and through this body, the one God the Father speaks and acts. (cf. Rev. 21:22)
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:19-22)
In this passage we see the prominent spiritual function of the heavenly flesh of Jesus, which allows us to enter in Holy Spirit into the true holies in heaven.
And we beheld His glory
“And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Is. 40:5)
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;” (I John 1:1-2)
God was manifest in the flesh.” (I Tim. 3:16)
 Was manifest = he made himself visible.
 In the flesh = dative. Here we have the dative of the instrument or means (manner), through which, with what, e.g.
He tells us in what way he was manifest. “The word was made flesh.” So God manifested himself in the flesh(heavenly) body. (John 6: 51)
Glory as the only-begotten from the father
 The only-begotten son is: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature …” (Heb. 1:3)
 So, the only-begotten son was the radiance of the glory of the Father and the imprint of his hypostasis (one hypostasis), he was the living image (portrayal – imprint) of the invisible Father, the self of God who is Spirit, the one the Father commanded us to call Jesus (Savior). “For him hath God the Father sealed.” (John 6:27)
Whoever saw the body of Jesus, saw the Father
“Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffises us. Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.” (John 14:8-10)
“And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.” (John 8:23-24)
 “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be to you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;” (Rev. 1:4)
 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8)
 The fullness of Jesus
 The fullness of the son was his heavenly Father. “For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col. 2:9)
“And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” (John 1:16)
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (II Cor. 5:19)
 Remission of sins, salvation, cure, consolation, liberation from passions, grace, mercy, love, faith, Holy Spirit, everything was and is given by the one God, the Father, the fullness of Jesus, who was and is his body. (cf. Col. 1:19-22)
 That is what the apostles were taught by the Lord “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (II Cor. 3:17)
 Testimonies of Jesus and the apostles
 “Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
 “And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)
“But Jesus answered them, My Father works till now, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:17-18)
“Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.” (John (5:19)
“For as the Father raises up the dead, and vivifies them; even so the Son vivifies whom he will. For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son, That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.  He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.” (John 5:21-23)
 “For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (John 5:26)
 “For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” (John 6:33)
“Then said they to him, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, You neither know me, nor my Father: if you had known me, you should have known my Father also.” (John 8:19)
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” (Luke 10:22)
“And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23)
 “Then said they to him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Even the same that I said to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spoke to them of the Father.” (John 8:25-27)
The Jews could not accept what Jesus said to them, they were resting in their religion, their biological origins, their customs and practices, their feasts, their temple, and their worship according to their traditions, and “They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.”
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
 The true servants of Christ and housekeepers of the mysteries of God wrote to those who “received” him, saying:
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Cor. 4:6)
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (I John 5:20)
Amen
 
 
 

 

John’s Revelation and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

 Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes (10/23/16)                                                                                         Bible verses from: LXXE, AKJV, ESV2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                     
The book of Revelation
The prevailing view that the book of Revelation refers to the end of the world and the end of the human history, is based on extra-biblical sources, such as the Mayan predictions, the astrologer Nostradamus, Pheebo Apollo along with his priestesses Sibyls, and other futurists.
The end of the world is reproduced for centuries by self-proclaimed churches of Christ, self-appointed  prophets, the media, and in conjunction with the ignorance of the Scriptures, many Christians and non-Christians live with the fear of an imminent end, completely ignoring the “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” [Philip. 4:4]
In order to understand the book of Revelation as well as the other letters of the apostles, we need to know the time of writing, the recipients, the customs of that time, the prevailing religious and political conditions, and especially the teaching they received from the Lord Jesus Christ, with a mandate to preach it “to all the creation” which they fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem [Mark 16:20, Rom. 16:26].
Having that knowledge, and believing what we read, not what we hear, “we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free.” [John 8:32]
The purpose of the Revelation
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He signified sending by his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.” [Rev. 1:1-2]
John’s message to his contemporaries was:
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” [Rev. 1:3]
The purpose of the revelation was for God to show to his servants [not the world in general], what had to be done soon, quickly. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; because the time in which these events would occur was close [near].
“For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” [Amos 3:7]
Unlike Daniel to whom God said “seal the book” [Dan. 12:4], God said to John:
“Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy. Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” [Rev. 22:10-12]
A simple mind realizes that what Jesus Christ showed to John did not concern future generations, and what He prophetically revealed would not happen after two, maybe three thousand years. Jesus showed to his servants what would happen immediately in their time, without omitting control, incitement, and consolation.
The promises “To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” [Rev. 2:7], “The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death” [Rev. 2:11], “To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it” [Rev. 2:17], “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” [Rev.2:26],  “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels” [Rev. 3:5], “I come quickly: hold fast what you have, so that no one  may seize your crown” [Rev. 3:11], “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” [Rev. 3:21], and the fact that John sees the woman, the great harlot, “being drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” [Rev. 17:6], reveal situations that concerned John’s contemporaries.
In addition, the verse “and it was said to them [to the slaughtered for the word of God and the testimony they had, who cried for judgment and vengeance] that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed” [Rev. 6:9-11], does not allow us to imply future events.
Τime of writing
In the first century, the dominant kingdom in the Mediterranean Basin was the Roman one, a multinational and polytheistic empire, as Daniel had prophesied. At that time, Revelation was written, and all the events in the New Testament took place, with Judea being a province of the Roman state.
“John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne ……” [Rev. 1:4]
The Christians of the first century lived in anticipation of the immediate coming of Jesus Christ [Second Coming] and the desolation / fall of Jerusalem and  destruction of the Jewish Temple [Luke 22:20].
Those of the fleshly Israel [biological descendants of Abraham] that did not recognize Jesus nor understand the utterances of the prophets, expelled the children of the promise, the Spiritual Israel, as the apostle Paul wrote.
“Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” [Gal. 4:28-30]
“Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.” [II Thes. 1:4-7]
Those Jews who denied Christ became enemies of the cross. Being sons of the murderers of the prophets, they filled up their sins by killing Jesus Christ, the leader of life, and persecuting the children of the promise and so the wrath of God came upon them to the end [I Thes. 2:15-16, Matt. 23:29-33].
The Lord Jesus Christ had asked the high priests and the elders:
“When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” [Mat. 21:33-41]
So, John was “partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus” and when he wrote the Revelation Jesus was going to come. He was the Coming One, and hence the desolation of Jerusalem and the judgment upon the disrespectful ones of the fleshly Israel was imminent. So, the time for writing was before 70 AD, during the reign of Nero, who was the sixth Caesar of Rome with Julius being the first one, “five have fallen, one is” [Rev. 17:10], not 96 AD, as it was spread in the second century.
[Revelation 11:2b] “And they will trample the holy city for forty-two months” also affirms that the Jerusalem of below existed at the time of writing.
Place of writing
John said:
“I was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” [Rev. 1:9].
The simple past of the verb to be [I was] allows us to say that the place where he wrote what he saw was a different one than Patmos.
John’s exile
John does not support what was spread in the second century about the cave and his exile; he attests the following:
“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” [Rev. 1:9-11]
“I, John, your brother” The fact that he had been active in Asia and was known to the brothers there is a given, as well as the fact that he was well aware of their situation, being himself also a “companion in tribulation.” The references in the Acts to Mysia and Troy and in Colossians to Hierapolis also point to other Christian communities in Asia. So, the choice of the seven, due to geographic location and population, would facilitate the spread further. Another fact is that John was an apostle of the circumcision as well as Peter and James was [Galat. 2:9], that means the members of the seven churches in Asia were Jewish Christians.
“I was on the island called Patmos”. John went voluntarily to Patmos for the apostolic mission, on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus, and over there he saw what he wrote later.
The vision of the Lord’s Day and the two women
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.”  If he wanted to write about a day of the week, he would write, on the first day of the week [Grk: τη μια των σαββάτων (Mark 16:2)]. But what he says to the seven churches is that he was in the Spirit and saw what would happen on the day that the children of promise were waiting for, on the day of the Lord the great and magnificent day [Acts 2:20, II Tim. 1:12].
“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” [Titus 2:13]
On the Day of the redemption of the sons of God [Luke 21:28, Philip. 3:21] on the Day of fulfilling the written judgments in the Old Testament, for the transgressors of the Covenant and murderers of the prophets and saints [Mat. 23:31-36], on the Day of burning [Rev. 17:16, Ezek. 15:6] and stoning [catapults of the Romans] of the Harlot Jerusalem.
“How has the faithful city Sion, [once] full of judgement, become a harlot! wherein righteousness lodged, but now murderers.” [Is. 1:21 LXXE, read also Ezekiel chap. 16]
On the Day the century of the Mosaic Law ended, on the Day the Jerusalem of below, “And I saw the woman being drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” [Rev. 17:6, Mat. 23:37] was desolated and the new Jerusalem the bride, the Lamb’s wife reigned [Rev. 21:9].
“For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem [Old Covenant] for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free [New Covenant] and she is our mother.” [Gal. 4:22-26]

 

“Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.” [Rev. 1:19]
That you have seen
“As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” [Rev. 1:19-20]
Those that are
(a) The spiritual state of the churches.
(b) The problems they were facing from the disobedient and false teachers Jews.
“I know your tribulation and your poverty but you are rich and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer.” [Rev. 2:9-10]
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” [Rev. 2:20]
“But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.” [Rev. 2:6, 14-15]
“Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.” [Rev. 3:9]
Those that are to take place after this
“After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this” [that is, afterwards]. [Rev. 4:1]
(a) The opening of the book and the dissolution of its seven seals [Rev. 4:5].
(b) The background of the Roman Empire, “And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.” [Rev. 13:2b]
(c) The seven last plagues with which the wrath of God was executed upon the disrespectful ones of the Jews [Rev. 15:1].
(d) “The judgment of the great prostitute who was seated on many waters”  the woman who was carried by the beast of the sea [she was not carried by the Almighty Lord Jesus] [Rev. 17:1,7].
Editor’s Note: The Jews retained their identity as a Theocratic Jewish nation with the tolerance of the Roman Empire, which also appointed the high priests and the kings. The fear of the Jewish priesthood was that the people would believe in Jesus Christ and the Romans would come and “take away both our place and nation.” [John 11:48]
(e) And the other woman the Bride, the wife of the Lamb, the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God [Rev. 21:9-10].
 The beast of the sea associate of God in the desolation of Jerusalem
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, [he did not have the mind of Christ] and a mouth speaking great things.” [Dan. 7:7-8]
The spirit of God likened the kingdoms of the nations to beasts, as opposed to the fleshly people of Israel, whom He likened to sheep and flock of His pasture.
“Then he led out his people [from Egypt] like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.” [Ps. 78:52]
“Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has gnawed his bones.” [Jer. 50:17]
The fourth beast
“And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.  And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.” [Rev. 13:1-2]
This is the Roman Empire, the troops of which God calls them His own.
“The king [God] was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.” [Mat. 22:7]
Looking into the language of the Scripture, we read in Hosea what he says to the northern ten-tribe kingdom of Israel (also called Ephraim) when he delivers them to the Assyrian.
“But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt, you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. So I am to them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk beside the way. I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open.” [Hosea 13:4-8]
 And here he tells them that he will be to them like a lion, like a leopard, and like a bear. God himself  joins the Assyrian troops against them.
And Zechariah, in [14:1-3], prophesies as follows:
“Behold, the days of the Lord come, and thy spoils shall be divided in thee. And I will gather all the Gentiles to Jerusalem to war, and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the rest of my people shall not be utterly cut off from the city. And the Lord shall go forth, and fight with[1] those Gentiles as when he fought[2] in the day of war.”
Notes:
  • Fight with. Grk txt: παρατάξεται  εν
           παρατάξεται: passive voice – future – third person of the verb:
           παρατάσσω = I deploy my troops
           εν = in: The word “εν” is not an adversative word
  • As when he fought. Crk txt: καθώς ημέρα παρατάξεως αυτού
Καθώς = as      ημέρα = day    παρατάξεως: noun/female/singular/genitive case = a placing in line of battle       αυτού = his
So Zechariah said: And the Lord will deploy his troops and join the nations against Jerusalem, as when he does on a day of battle.
 The worship of the beast and its emperors
The passages in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation do not refer to future events about the end of the history of the world, but refer to historical events that took place in the first Jewish-Roman war. The rebel Jews had to repent in practice by giving worship and honor to the Beast of the sea, which was the Roman Empire. For more read the article “antichrist.”
The worship of Rome and its emperors was acts of recognition and submission to the Roman authority. The worship of the goddess Rome, as a supreme power, gave her the title of the protector and benefactor. The idea of ​​worshiping Rome originated from the Greeks and had political expediency, aiming at Roman favor. In conjunction with the emperor’s worship, it secured peace, economic prosperity, and socio-cultural prospects in the cities of the Roman sovereignty. For historical data look at the book of Steven J. Friesen “Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John. Reading Revelation in the Ruins. Oxford 2001.”
The enemies of God
The message of the New Testament was the reconciliation with God and that:
“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” [Heb. 8:12, II Kor. 5:18-21]
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” [Rom. 5:10]
To the Jews who received this message, the apostle Peter writes:
“For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” [I Peter to Hebrews 2:25]
The rest of the Jews, who refused the reconciliation with God, became enemies of the cross of Christ (Philip. 3:18) and God treated them exactly as enemies.
“But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” [Luke 19:27]
“But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.” [Is. 63:10]
“He has bent his bow like an enemy, with his right hand set like a foe; and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes in the tent of the daughter of Zion; he has poured out his fury like fire.” [Lam. 2:4]
The righteous wrath of God on the disrespectful ones among the Jews in 70 A.D. was executed by the Roman troops
God had warned Israel
God had warned the fleshly Israel. In Leviticus [26:21-33] He said:
“Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me, I will continue striking you, sevenfold  [LXXE: seven plagues][1] for your sins. And I will let loose the wild beasts against you, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock and make you few in number, so that your roads shall be deserted …… and I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute ions, and I will unsheathe the sword[2] after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste vengeance for the covenant. And if you gather within your cities, I will send pestilence[3] among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy ………   you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters …….. and I will scatter you among the nations …… and your land shall be a desolation …. [see also Jer. 7:34].
“But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Is. 1:20]
Those words were told to the biological descendants of Abraham, recipients of the Old Testament, and were fulfilled in Revelation.
[1] The seven plagues
“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.” [Rev. 15:1]
[2] The sword
“And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, [the land of Israel] so that people should slay one another [civil war] and he was given a great sword.” [Rev. 6:4]
Josephus attests:
“Now, there were disorders and civil wars in every city, and those that were at quiet from the Romans turned their weapons against each other. There was also a tough controversy between those who wanted war and those who wanted peace. The Roman generals urged Vespasian not to delay, saying that the divine providence was on their side by setting their enemies (the Jews) at variance against each other. There was no part of Judea that wasn’t in a miserable condition, including its capital city.” [Jos. War of Jews Bk. IV, chap. III 2, chap. VI 2, chap. VI 2]
[3] I will send pestilence
“And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.” [Rev. 6:8]
Josephus attests:
“No part of the city (Jerusalem) was empty, every corner had its corpse, victim of the pestilence or the rebellion.” [Jos. War of Jews Bk. VI, chap. VII  2]
More warnings
“And said, I will turn away my face from them[1], and will show what shall happen to them in the last days[2] for it is a perverse generation[3] sons in whom is no faith.  They have provoked me to jealousy with [that which is] not God, they have exasperated me with their idols; and I will provoke them to jealousy with them that are no nation, I will anger them with a nation void of understanding. For a fire has been kindled out of my wrath, it shall burn to hell below; it shall devour the land, and the fruits of it; it shall set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will gather evils upon them, and will fight with my weapons against them. [Grk txt: adds > I will spend my arrows[4] on them. See also ESV2011]. [They shall be] consumed with hunger[5]  and the devouring of birds[6], and there shall be irremediable destruction: I will send forth against them the teeth of wild beasts, with the rage of [serpents] creeping on the ground.” [Deut. 32:20-24 LXXE]
That word was also fulfilled
[1] Turn away my face from them
“See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” [Mat. 23:38-39]
“He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Here refers to the preaching of the gospel. Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.” [Mat. 10:40]
[2]  The last days
“As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” [Mat. 24:2]
Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost
“Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven ……….. But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh [New Covenant] and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams, even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.  [Acts 2:14-18, see also Joel 2:28-32].
Jewish people were living the last days of the Mosaic Low and the wrath of God was coming upon the Jewish rejectors of Jesus Christ.
[3]  Perverse generation
“They have sinned, not [pleasing] him; spotted children, a froward and perverse generation.” [Deut. 32:5 LXXE].
“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him here to me.” [Mat. 17:17]
“That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” [Philip. 2:15]
“And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, Be saved [because the wrath was coming] from this perverse generation.” [Darby 2:44]
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” [Mat. 3:7]
 [4]  The arrows
 “And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow [to launch the arrows of the wrath of God] and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.” [Rev. 6:2]
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war ………… and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” [Rev. 19:11-16]
 [5] The famine – hunger
“When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales[a] [Grk txt: Ζυγός = Yoke] in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart[b] [Grk txt: Χοίνιξ = Choenix] of wheat for a denarius[c], and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine.” [Rev. 6:5-6]
A period of hunger (famine) is described here during the siege of the Jerusalem of below by Titus, as Josephus writes:
“Many secretly sold their possessions for one measure of wheat, if they belonged to the wealthier class, of barley if they were poorer. Then, they shut themselves up in the inmost rooms of their houses; some ate the corn without grinding it, by reason of the extremity of the want they were in, and others baked bread of it, to the degree that necessity and fear dictated to them.” [Jewish Wars BK. Ε, chap. X:2]
Here the terms of the description [for Rev. 6:5-6] clearly identify the historical time in which the shown ones took place.
The dictionary of the ancient Greek language by Liddell and Scott says:
(a)   Pair of scales [Grk txt: Ζυγός – Yoke = the phalanx of the yoke (of the scale), the iron one, that is, the horizontal one, the one that connects and holds the two scales at its ends].
(b)   Quart [Grk txt: Χοίνιξ – Choenix = a capacity measure of dry products equal to 315 drams. A choenix of wheat was the daily food of a soldier (or at least the daily food of a slave)].
“Ye shall have a just balance [Grk txt: Ζυγός – Yoke] and a just measure, and a just choenix for measure.” [Ez. 45:10 LXXE]
(c)    Denarius = a Roman coin equal to one drachma.
All of the above were in use in the first century A.D.
[6] Food for carrion birds
“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds [Grk txt: όρνεα = vultures] that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great” [Rev. 19:17-18].
Jeremiah also prophesied:
“And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste” [7:34].
That word was also fulfilled in Revelation:
“And the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.” [Rev.18:23]
The Jews agreed to suffer the consequences of their actions
“Pilate said to them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say to him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil has he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see you to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” [Mat. 27:22-25]
“And there followed him a great company of [Jewish] people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.” [Luke 23:27-30, Hosea 10:8]
That word was given to the women of Jerusalem (Jewish women) and concerned them and their children and was fulfilled in Revelation.
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” [Rev. 6:15-17]
The land of Israel
When God brought the fleshly Israel to the land of promise, he set the limits of their residence and said to them:
“This shall be your land as defined by its borders all around.” [Nu. 34:12]
So, each time God spoke to them through the prophets, He had as a point of reference this land of Israel, the Holy Land, not the dry land of Genesis (1:9).
“And say to the people of the land, Τhus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink water in dismay. In this way her land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it.” [Ez. 12:19]
“He carried away all Jerusalem and all the officials and all the mighty men …….. None remained, except the poorest people of the land ……….. and the chief men of the land he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.” [II Ki. 24:14-15]
“You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.” [Nu. 35:34]
“​And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination ………. The priests did not say, Where is the LORD?” [Jer. 2:7-8].
“Like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile whoredom.” [Jer. 3:2].
“Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, “Blow the trumpet through the land; cry aloud and say, ‘Assemble, and let us go into the fortified cities!” [Jer. 4:5]
“Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.” [Jer. 6:19]
“And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.” [Jer. 7:34, Rev. 18:23].
“​O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD!” [Jer. 22:29]
The judgment of the Great Harlot
“How has the faithful city Sion, [once] full of judgement, become a harlot! wherein righteousness lodged, but now murderers.” [Is. 1:21]
“Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who detest justice and make crooked all that is straight, who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity.” [Micah 3:9-10]
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations. And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” [Rev. 17:1-6]
The great harlot who sits on many waters, is the woman who sits on the beast; and it is the great city, the powerful city of Babylon that murders the prophets and the martyrs of Jesus (Rev. 17:18).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” [Mat. 23:37]
Babylon
“The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you; and so does Marcus my son” [I Pet.  5:13].
Babylon, where the apostle Peter wrote from, was the Babylon of Egypt, today’s Cairo, where many Jews lived. Today, there is a Patriarchal Monastery there. For historical data look at the book of Peter Sheehan “Babylon of Egypt.”
In Revelation, the great city is spiritually called as Sodom and Egypt, and that’s Jerusalem “where their Lord was crucified” (11:8), which is also spiritually called as Babylon.
“And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.” [Rev. 11:8]
 Biblical testimonies
  • The Jews were of Chaldean origin. Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 15:7).
  • Babylon was the Chaldean Empire. With the Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar reached its climax. The last king of Babylon, Balthazar, was also Chaldean (Ez. 5:12, Dan. 5:30, Jer. 40:9).
  • Ezekiel (23:1-17) attests the following: “The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother. They played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore in their youth; [that’s why Jerusalem is spiritually called Egypt] there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, [house of Israel, ten tribes] and Oholibah is Jerusalem [house of Juda, two tribes]. Oholah played the whore while she was mine, and she lusted after her lovers the Assyrians, warriors ……………………… Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became more corrupt than her sister in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister. She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way. But she carried her whoring further. She saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea [her motherland]. And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust ……” [that’s why Jerusalem is spiritually called Babylon].
  • For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter; [Deut. 32:32]. Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats” [Isaiah 1:10-11].
The spirit of God calls the rulers of Jews, rulers of Sodom, and the Jewish people, people of Gomorrah.
“They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.” And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth ……….  The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud, Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls!” [Rev. 18:10-16]
Editor’s Note: As in times of war the involved countries withdraw their embassies on either side, so the Lord Jesus withdrew his ambassadors from Jerusalem “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” [II Cor. 5:20]
“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, [the children of promise – the ambassadors] lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” [Rev. 18:4-5]
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.” [Luke 21:20-23]
The time of God’s vengeance had arrived
“Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.” [Deut. 32:43]
“When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.” [Is. 4:4]
“​For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain.” [Is. 26:21]
“Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.” [Luke 21:23]
 The slaughtered saints cried for vengeance
“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” [Rev. 6:9-10]
 That word was also fulfilled
“Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.” [Luke 11:49-51]
“And I saw the woman, [being] drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” [Rev. 17:6]
God opened the ark of the covenant (the Old one with the written judgments) and responded to the screams of the slaughtered saints according to what was written.
“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” [Rev.  11:19]
“And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out, “Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! For in a single hour she has been laid waste. Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!” Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more; and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more, and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.” [Rev. 18:19-24]
“The dead shall rise, and they that are in the tombs shall be raised, and they that are in the earth shall rejoice: for the dew from thee is healing to them: but the land of the ungodly shall perish.” [Is. 26:19 LXXE]
“After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” [Rev. 19:1-2]
 Israel the vineyard
These are the words the Lord addressed to the people of Israel through Jeremiah: “​Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?” [2:21]
Similarly through Hosea:
“Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars. Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will break down their altars and destroy their pillars.” [10:1-2]
 Similarly in Psalms:
“You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.” [80:8]
“Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine.” [80:14]
Similarly in Isaiah:
“Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?
And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry!” [5:1-7]
The grape harvest
“Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe. So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” [Rev. 14:17-19]
With the internationalization of the gospel of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s wrath in 70 A.D. against Jerusalem, the Old Testament was completed. Today we live in the endless century of the New Testament of the grace through Jesus Christ.
“For God so [Grk txt: thus] loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” [John 3:16-19]
The judgment in the New Testament is that those who do not love the light of Jesus Christ, the true God (I John, 5:20) remain in darkness for an eternity.
 
Amen.
 
 

The beasts of Revelation

Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes (04/17/2017)                                                                                       Bible verses from LXXE, AKJV, ESV2011 and others if they fit better to the Grk txt
 
The beast that comes out of the sea and the beast that comes out of the earth
Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove on the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”(Dan. 7:2-3)
  [As for] me Daniel, my spirit in my body trembled, and the visions of my head troubled me. And I drew near to one of them that stood by, and I sought to learn of him the truth of all these things: and he told me the truth, and made known to me the interpretation of the things. These four beasts are four kingdoms [that] shall rise up on the earth: which shall be taken away; and the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess it for ever and ever.” (Dan. 7:15-18 LXXE)
The book of Daniel interprets that the four great beasts that came out from the sea are kingdoms that raised up on the earth of Israel.
These four great kingdoms were Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman.
The identification of the antichrist with the beast/kingdom that had 7 heads and 10 horns (Rev. 13:1) lacks any biblical basis. The things described in the book of revelation are about Rome [the beast from the sea] and Israel [the beast from the earth of Israel, which had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon] that were in a state of war. The two horns of the beast from the earth are the political and religious power of Israel accompanied by false prophets. At that time, every Jewish power was Roman-friendly [he spoke like a dragon] and acted for the interests of Rome, thus achieving the preservation of its privileges. The narrative events have nothing to do with the end of the world; they tell us what happened during the period of the Jewish war against the Romans which was the cause of the fall of Jerusalem. They have to do with events of that time, such as:
1)  Forced worship of Rome and its emperors (Rev. 13:11-12) as proof of submission to the then master of the earth of Israel and the overthrow and punishment of the revolutionary Jews.
The measure concerned only those who lived in the land of Israel to whom they had been given the right to worship their own God and it was legislated by the beast from the earth. The other provinces of the Roman Empire worshipped the goddess Roma as a protector and benefactor and each Caesar willingly, pursuing the title of the Sebastian Neocorus [Neocora = the privilege of building an imperial temple], on which their financial strength and their cultural and social perspective depended.
[For more details about the worship of goddess Roma see the book of Mellor R. “The Goddess Roma in the Greek world (Hypomnemata) Gottingen 1975”].
A similar measure was taken during the war in Antioch as Josephus writes: “When the war was announced, the Jews were hated by everyone. One of them named Antiochus, his father was the ruler of the Jews of Antioch, renounced both Judaism and his father, and accused some Jews publicly of conspiring to burn Antioch. The result was that the Antiochians burnt the accused Jews to save their city. Then, he forced the Jews to sacrifice in the Greek way in order to reveal the conspirators, some sacrificed while others were killed. So with the consent of the Roman general, Antiochus became governor of the Jews, forcing them to work on the Sabbath day. The abolition of this holiday was soon spread to other cities.” (The Jewish War vii chapter 3, 4)
 2) Control of trade in the land of Israel “economic blockade – sanctions” where nobody could buy or sell if he did not have the necessary certification “mark” that he was a friend of Rome rather than a foe.
3) The old-known and always up-to-date method of misinforming and deceiving by fake signs and miracles through the organs of the Roman-friendly Judaic power, the false prophets, aiming at the rescue of its privileges again.
The historical circumstances of that time made the primitive church face up to its own confession that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life [I John 5:20].
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast (Rome) and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Rev. 14:9-12)
Many Jewish Christians and ethnic Christians that refused to sacrifice and worship in the national idolatrous way were killed, blessed by the Lord.
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from now on: Yes, said the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” [Rev.14:13]
Also, the Judaists that refused to worship the image of the beast were similarly killed, thus remaining faithful to Judaism, which was to be abolished [Heb. 8:13].
The mark
Some claim that the mark might have been a technical term of the imperial stamp or the emperor’s own currency. However, we have a literal historical incident of mark during the reign of Ptolemy IV Philopator [222-204 BC], who forbade all Egyptian Jews to worship their God and enter into their synagogues. Instead, they had to be enrolled in the slaves’ lists and be marked with burning iron, the sign of god Dionysus “ivy leaf” or be killed. Those who wanted to take part in the worship of the idols became equal citizens of Alexandria. Some succumbed, while others were killed or tried to avoid their registration on the slaves’ lists with money [III Maccab. 2:25-33].
Six hundred and sixty six
Thus the Roman Empire [the beast from the sea] is not identified as “Antichrist” with the information given by the apostles, because they did not expect it to come, it already existed before Christ, it was already worshipped as “the goddess Roma, the benefactor and protecting dominant power,” it was neither a part or member of the church of Christ nor it came out – it defected, it was not a man, but the number of that name was the number of a man, and the number of him was six hundred and sixty-six, and not 666, that is a triad of the same numbers [Rev. 13:17, Ezra 2:13].
To understand the difference between 666 and six hundred and sixty-six let’s see a related article from the Christian magazine “Tyxikos, Sept.-Oct. 2002 Issue.”
The number 666
Regarding the secret number 666 that we find in the book of Revelation, many scholars get carried away with the similarity of the three digits of 6 that form the number as we understand it after the introduction of the so-called Arabic numbers – many centuries after the writing of the New Testament texts.
However, when the Revelation was written, a combination of three similar mathematical digits had not passed through the writer’s mind. In fact, in the critical editions of the text, the number is not even attributed to the letters of the Greek alphabet –  χξς – but the number is written in full, that is “six hundred and sixty-six.” It is known that the people of that time if they wanted to express this number “numerically”, they would not write “ςςς”, but the Greeks would have to write ΧΞCΤ or χξς [as in the papyruses p18 and p47], and the Romans would have to write DCLXVI . They would never write 666.
Although the Jews applied a similar system after the Babylonian captivity, they never used it in the Bible, where the numbers are always written with whole words. [In I Kings 10:14, 666 is written in full as “six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold”].
According to the above, none of the first-century Christians ever thought that one day the arithmetic expression “six hundred and sixty-six” would be depicted with three identical digits, tricking those who try to rely on the similarity of the three sixes and identify the number 666 with the bar code system that contains a 6 at the beginning, a 6 in the middle and a 6 at the end of it.
If they want to insist on any “disguised” meaning of 6, then they must know that there are not 3 but 111 sixes in 666 [111 x 6 = 666].
From the above, it seems that the claims of those who think they will “solve” the problem based on the number 6 either as a symbolic number of a human being or as a symbol of imperfection and other similar forms (tricks) appear to be unsubstantiated.
Source: http://www.tyxikos.gr/02-9-28.html
In closing, we would like to ask the brothers in Christ not to turn their attention to Hollywood’s profitable film productions regarding antichrist, but to remember together the apostle Paul’s statement.
“And now, brothers, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” [Acts 20:32]
 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with our spirit, brothers. Amen.
 

Antichrist

Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes (04/17/2017                                                                                         Bible verses from LXXE, AKJV, ESV2011 and others if they fit better to the Grk txt

 

In the middle of the 1st century AD, the apostle John wrote:
“[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 [= apostasy/separation from the first church] 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 [Grk: εισίν = are] not all of us. But you have an unction [Grk: χρίσμα = anointment] from the Holy One, and you know all things.” [I John 2:18-20]
Here’s a biblical flashback to comprehend what John wrote
Simon told Mary about the 8-day-old Jesus: “And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again [Grk: ανάστασιν = resurrection] of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against [Grk: sign antilegomeno (Strong’s dict. G483)].” [Luke 2:34]
The narrative events by the New Testament writers fully verified Simon’s words. The acceptance of Jesus, who is the truth, the life, and the path leading to the Father [John 14:6], was the cause of the resurrection of many in Israel [Those who were Spiritually  dead and through faith in Jesus Christ received eternal life] and the refusal – contradiction – opposition was the cause of the fall of many.
This contradiction in Jesus’ identity and teaching has its origin to the Jewish deniers and is continued to this day by the religions.
«But when the Jews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.” [Acts 28:19]
“But to Israel he said, All day long I have stretched forth my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people [Grk: antilegonta].” [Rom. 10:21]
“Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the disputers [Grk: antilegontas].” [Tit. 1:9]
To whom Jesus was sent
Responding to his Jewish disciples when they asked him to lay off the Canaanite woman, Lord Jesus Christ said: “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [Mat. 15:24]
In this way he revealed to them that he was the “good shepherd” who came to gather the scattered sheep of the house of Israel. [John 10:11-17, 11:52, Ezek. 34:6,12, Isaiah 40:10-11]
John attests: “He came to his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even [Grk omits, even] to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood  [Abraham’s biological seed]  nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God [spiritual seed].” [John 1:11-13]
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and stays for ever.” [I Peter to Hebrews 1:23]
Where Jesus acted
Jesus acted in Galilee, where the Israelites lived [in the past, some gentiles lived there, therefore the region was also called ‘Galilee of the Gentiles’] and in Judea, parts of Palestine, which is known as the land of Israel and the Holy Land. He also visited Samaria. Until his resurrection, Jesus’ teaching and preaching was addressed to the accountable Jews, who were the recipients and connoisseurs of the Old Testament.
«Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” [Mat. 5:17]
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the (Jewish) people.” [Mat. 4:23]
Besides, the command to the Jews when they received the Mosaic Law was not to proclaim it to the nations so that the gentiles to be circumcised [except for the ones bought with silver (Gen. 17:13)], to keep the Sabbath, not eat pigs and to live in Judaism, but to obey to the commandments of their God.
“And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall listen to the voice of the LORD your God.” [Deut. 28:2]
“Turn you not to idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.” [Lev. 19:4]
“And you shall be holy to me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that you should be mine.” [Lev. 20:26]
However, Jesus found more faith in the nations than in Israel and healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman and the servant of the Roman centurion [Mat. 15:22, 8:10, compare to 13:58]. The same thing happened in the days of Elijah and Elisha [Luke 4:23-27].
Who were responsible for the observance of the Mosaic Law
The Jews were responsible for the observance of the Mosaic Law [Torah], the recipients of the law, the sheep of His pasture, and not the Gentiles, and that’s why the wrath of God “Because the law works wrath [Rom. 4:14a]” was upon the disrespectful Jews, as the law commanded [Lev. 26] with the destruction of Jerusalem and the death of many of them by the Roman troops and the civil war they had [Rev. 6:4] as Jesus foretold:
“But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land [of Israel] and wrath on this people [Jewish].
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations [The Jews during the war were captured in every nation they used to live, because of their Diaspora] and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles  until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” [Luk. 21:23-24, 19:43-44, Dan. 2:44-45, Rev.11:15]
“Therefore thus saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, Woe to the mighty men of Israel; for my wrath shall not cease against mine adversaries, and I will execute judgment on mine enemies.  And I will bring my hand upon thee, and purge thee completely, and I will destroy the rebellious, and will take away from thee all transgressors.” [Is. 1:24-25 LXXΕ, see also Jude 1:14-15 ]
“He has bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire.” [Lam.2:4]
“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given to him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer (Jesus Christ).”  [Rev. 6:2]
Some Historical testimonies for the wrath of God on the disrespectful Jews
Eusebius wrote the information given by Josephus about the disasters that struck the entire Jewish nation. He tells us that the 12th year of Nero’s reign a war began where many prominent Jews in Jerusalem were crucified, under Commissioner Floros. The cities in the province were filled with unburied corpses by the Jewish strife, and they expected greater evil than what was already happening [Church history II 26:1-2].
After the fall of Jerusalem, Vespasian ordered all descendants of the royal line of David to be hunted down [Church history III 12].
Furthermore, he tells us that the longing of God waited for the Jews for forty years after the crucifixion of Jesus to repent and be saved, so that no harms would come to them [Church history III chapter 7: 8-9].
Peter’s writings to Hebrews
Peter the apostle of the circumcised as was James and John [Gal. 2:7-8] wrote about the longing of God to the Jews in his second letter to them.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward [Grk: υμάς = to you (the Jews)] not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” [II Peter to Hebrews 3:9 AKJV]
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” [II Peter to Hebrews 3:9 ESV2011]
And Paul to Timothy “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” [II Tim. 2:25-26]
The warnings of Jesus towards the first church
What happened later to the generation of apostles was of immense importance to the Jewish people and their nationality, since their earthly life was determined by the Mosaic provisions and the operation of the Temple. It was therefore reasonable for the Lord Jesus to warn them of the imminent changes and for everything that would happen to them, to their land and to their nation [Luke 21:31-36]. In fact, he gave signs to his disciples, which would precede the last days of the end of the law, such as the abomination of desolation, the rise of pseudo-Christs and false prophets who would show lying wonders, the apostasy from the church  [Mat. 24:3, 9-13], the overthrow of the son of the lawlessness, the persecutions they would suffer, the internationalization of Christianity and the encirclement of Jerusalem and the trenches around it by the Roman troops. 
What Jesus foretold about the great sorrow, his coming and the end of time [fulfillment of the Mosaic law], concerned the Jews of the era of Jesus, and everything would happen in their generation.
“Truly I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” [Mat. 24:34]
The earthly hand-made temple of Israel would give its place to the heavenly temple of Jesus’ body [John 2:21, Heb. 9:11, Rev. 21:22], the fleshly Israel would give its place to the spiritual Israel [Gal. 6:15-16, 1 Peter 1:23], death would give its place to the resurrection from the dead [II Cor. 3:6-9, I Cor. Chap. 15], the carnal worship would give its place to the spiritual worship [Heb. 9:9-10, John 4:23-24] and the old kingdom of Israel would change and give its place to the new kingdom [Mat. 21:43].
Jesus, therefore, was set for the fall and resurrection of many in Israel, and as a controversial point. The historical events of the apostolic generation were the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies with consequences depending on what position everyone took in front of the truth, the heavenly Jesus [I Cor. 15:46].
“Beware therefore, lest that come on you, which is spoken of in the prophets.” [Acts 13:40]
The first disciples were Jews
Jesus of Nazareth as was supposed the son of Joseph [Luk. 3:23] lived in Judaism, was circumcised on the eighth day [Luk. 2:21], celebrated Easter [Luk. 2:41-43], used to go to the synagogue every Saturday and participated in the reading of the Hebrew scriptures [Luk. 4:16], he was accepted by the Jews as a rabbi [Mat. 8:19], he had the reputation as the Great Prophet [Luk. 7:16-17], he was in agreement with the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Scribes, but not with their works [Mat. 23:2] or oral traditions, he was constantly referred to what was written to the prophets, he ministered among the Jews in the land of Israel, he chose Jewish apostles and after he gave them authority, he sent them to the cities of Israel, saying:
“Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter you not:
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [Mat. 10:5-7]
“And into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you, and heal the sick that are therein, and say to them, The kingdom of God is come near to you. But into whatever city you enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say Even the very dust of your city, which sticks on us, we do wipe off against you notwithstanding be you sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come near to you.” [Luk. 10:8-11]
So, the first disciples [the beginning] were Jews, and it is obvious that the original genuine Christianity emanates from the prophets of Israel and the law of Moses, not Hellenism or men traditions.
“And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, to our fathers: To which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.” [Acts 26:6-7]
“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.” [Acts 28:23]
But from the first centuries AD, this genuine Christianity was adulterated by historical political conditions, complying it with the religious customs and the sun-worshipping pantheon of the Hellenized Eastern Roman Empire, transforming it into a religion of the Ecumenical Councils, which, coated with the incinerated Judaism [see destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD] and with the help of guns, metallic organs of torture, decapitations and forced Romanimperial laws, compelled a false religion named “orthodox Christianity”, bypassing the “If any man will come after me……..[Luk. 9:23]” and made Christianity an instrument of authority and service of earthly interests, inducing spiritual obscurantism.
Preaching to the nations
When Jesus rose from the dead he commanded the Jewish apostles to preach to all nations not the Mosaic Law [Acts chapt.15], but repentance and remission of sins through faith in his name.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins [Jewish and Greek].” [Acts 10:43, Rom. 3:21]
It was Peter who first spoke to the nations [Acts 15:70]. Then, Paul, after the sons of the kingdom [the biological descendants of Abraham] had denied to accept the gift of salvation through faith, he turned and “denounced through Jesus the resurrection from the dead” to the nations as well [Mat. 8:11-12, Acts. 4:2, 28:23-28,Eph. 2:8].
The fulfillment of preaching to all nations was performed in the generation of the apostles [Rom. 16:26, Col. 1:23]. This event internationalized pure Christianity and marked the fall of Jerusalem and the ending [fulfillment] of the Mosaic Law, which prescribed anger-wrath for the disobedient of the Law and participation of the nations in the eternal kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.” [Mat. 24:14, Acts 10:11-12]
“And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending on him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.” [Acts 10:11-12]
“And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground [Israel and the Nations participating in the new covenant].” [Hos. 2:18a, see also Eph. chap. 2]
 Jesus had to suffer and be fooled by that generation
“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation:
Neither shall they say, See here! or, see there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said to the [Jewish] disciples, The days will come, when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” [Luk. 17:20-25]
In another conversation with the Jewish disciples, he reveals who will kill him saying:  “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” [Luk. 9:22]
At the same time, he warned them that they would also be persecuted by their co-nationals.
“Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” [John 15:20]
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will whip you in their synagogues.” [Mat. 10:16-17]
“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that whoever kills you will think that he does God service. [John 16:2]
The Lord calls the rulers and the false prophets of Jerusalem wolves and lions that roar
“Her princes in the middle thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.” [Ez. 22-27]
“Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.” [Zeph. 3:3]
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” [Mat. 7:15]
These wolves would enter the church of God at a later time. “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” [Acts 20:29]
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” [II Peter to Hebrews 2:2]
The way
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.” [John 14:6]
The way of Lord Jesus was a way full of sorrow  “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.” [Mat. 7:14]
But the reward was great “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” [Luke 12:32 Esv2011]
“And made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” [Rev. 1:6]
“And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” [Rev. 5:10 Esv2011]
The time that the small flock of the Lord would be persecuted by the Jewish rulers and the priesthood until his coming would not be long.
“But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another: for truly I say to you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” [Mat. 10:23]
“Truly I say to you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” [Mat. 16:28]
“Jesus said to him, If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” [John 21:23]
 
The political and social environment of the era of Jesus and the apostles where the sayings of the prophets and Jesus were fulfilled
The political environment
At the beginning of the 1st century BC, Judea joined the Roman province of Syria. It was part of the reign of Herod, who was proclaimed the King of the Jews by the Senate (40 BC). The policy of the Herodians was highly Roman, serving Roman interests. When the war broke out in 66 AD, the king was Herod Agrippa II, hated by the Jews, took the side of the Romans, and besieged Gamalla, part of his territory, when its inhabitants took the side of the rebels [Jos. War of Jews: Book IV chapt. I]. Archaeologists discovered Roman emperors faces on Agrippa’s coins. The Romans had the supreme power in Judea and practiced it with the commissioners, the only ones who could command the death penalty. The Romans had granted many privileges to Theocratic Israel by treating it as a separate nation.
The social environment
The social classes of Judea in those times included the following groups:
The Congregation: It is considered a continuation of the councils of Moses’ elders. There were the “provincial congregations” with 23 members and the “Grand Congregation” with 71 members. It consisted of chief priests, priests, scribes and presbyters. President was the “chief priest of the twelvemonth”.  Sanhedrin had a Roman-controlled judicial, religious and administrative power. Its power ceased with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
The Sadducees: A class of wealthy, friends of the Romans of unconfirmed origin, they did not believe in resurrection or in angelic spirits or in oral traditions. They were familiar with the Greek language and philosophy and loved the Greek way of life like all the wealthy of the time. Hence, the interaction of the Jewish monotheism with the Greek philosophy was inevitable. They had close relations with the priesthood and the general of the sanctuary. They were in rivalry with the Pharisees, but they were forced to cooperate with them to get rid of Jesus.
The Pharisees: Fanatic nationalists and formalists. They mainly influenced the popular layers. Unlike the Sadducees they did not agree in Hellenization, they believed in resurrection and in spirits. Most of them were exploiters, unjust, and ambitious. “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments [Mat. 23:5]”.
They knew the scriptures but they were not executives. Jesus’ woes did not concern all of them, many Pharisees obeyed to the faith, such as the apostle Paul, and others maintained a positive attitude to the issue of Jesus, such as Nicodemus and Gamaliel.
The Elders: Along with the Sadducees, they were the elite of the Judaic society, they participated in the great congregation defining the religious and political line of the nation. They worked closely with the chief priests and the scribes.
The Scribes: Lecturers, interpreters of the Mosaic Law and preservers of oral traditions. They were also called Lawyers, and they were Pharisees’ associates and members of the congregation. They always defended the interests of the rich.
The Essenes: A special Jewish religious group living by its own rules, separated from the rest of the Jews. They were committed to the Mosaic Law and emphasized the purification baths. They kept a strict daily schedule with prayers, common meals and work to make ends meet. They had neither riches nor merchandise. They abstained from marriage, and those who were married adopted foreign infants, that’s why they were small in number. Any effort to identify Essenes with Christians is unsuccessful.
The Zealots: Extreme nationalists, Pharisees, rebels. Judas Galileo is considered to be their organizer. Together with other Jewish nationalist factions, they did not tolerate the Roman occupation “Mortal Lords” and the attribution of taxes to Caesar, with money belonging to the Temple [Jos. War of Jews: Book 2 viii i]. They supported the armed liberation struggle and considered traitors those who did not agree with their perceptions. They were the proponents of the armed revolution that led to the war with the Romans and they were particularly hostile to the affluent Jews, because they were tolerant of the Roman occupation. During the war, the zealots ruled over Jerusalem and its temple and they killed plenty of wealthy Jews grabbing their property.
“Your gold and silver is corroded; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.” [James 5:3]
The Scarians: (= stabbers) Outrageous Zealots, they murdered plenty of moderate Jews (those who did not want the war) during the revolt to thwart the Roman yoke.
The Chief Priests: The succession of the chief priest in the Aaron class was interrupted. During that era, the chief priest was appointed by the Romans, served the Roman interests, and dealt mainly with politics. In the era of Christ, Caiaphas was the active chief priest, the bridegroom of Annas who was appointed chief priest by Kyrinios, the Roman legate of Syria, in 7 AD. Annas was removed from his position by the Roman commissioner Valerios Gratos in 15 AD. Annas had five sons who all served as chief priests since the lifetime of the vocation had been abolished. The fact that Jesus was first led to Annas instead of the active chief priest Caiaphas shows Anna’s powerful influence in the political and religious life of the Jews. As administrators of the temple’s revenue, the chief priests had accumulated wealth that did not match their vocation.
Josephus mentions Jerusalem as a place worshipped by the whole world [Jos. War of Jews: Book iv, chap.4, 3 ( 262)]. The crowd that went to Jerusalem to worship had to convert its coins, buy animals for sacrifices, and offer gifts and oblations to the temple. Thus, the house of God was transformed into a “house of commerce [John 2:13-16],” hence the wealth of the chief priests.
Proselytes
They were becoming proselytes from the polytheism or the henotheism of the gentiles to the Jewish monotheism either, voluntarily [Lev. 18:26 LXXE], or because of the fear of the Jews [Es. 8:17], or for political reasons, as did John Hyrcanos [134-104  BC] when he defeated the Edomites and imposed upon them the circumcision and the Jewish customs in order to remain in the area [Josephus  Jewish Antiq: Book 13, 9, 258], or for modernity, when many Greeks seeing the brilliance of the Jewish religious ceremonies, decided to copy them [Josephus Jewish War: Book vii, iii, 3].
Any effort of proselytism by the Jews was based on their own human traditions, which were incompatible with the written law [Torah], so Jesus said to them:
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” [Mat. 15:9]
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” [Mat. 23:15]
However, many proselytes obeyed to the gospel of life, such as Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, the Ethiopian eunuch, and others [Acts 6:5, 2:11, 8:27-38, 13:43].
The sequence of the persecutions of the body of Christ by the Jews
The chief priests and the rulers deceitfully kill Jesus
Jesus had to die because he was dangerous to the interests of the ruling class, namely the Herodians [These were Edomites in whom the Maccabian ruler, Hyrcanus A’, had imposed circumcision], the Chief Priests, the Sadducees, the Elders, the Pharisees and Scribes.
“If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” [John 11:48]
“After two days was the feast of the Passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.” [Mark 14:1]
The chief priests, the scribes and the people’s presbytery lead Jesus to their Congregation, and then they extract the decision of the death penalty deceitfully from the fifth Roman commissioner of Judea Pontius Pilate, accusing Jesus of turning the Jewish people out of Rome and being an opponent to the Roman Empire.
“And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.” [Luk. 23:2, 14]
“And from thereafter Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend: whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” [John 19:12]
“But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him.  Pilate said to them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, we have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.” [John 19:15-16]
The chief priests and rulers prevent the propagation of the resurrection of Jesus by bribing the Roman soldiers
“And when they were assembled [the chief priests] with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money to the soldiers, Saying, Say you, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” [Mat. 28: 12-15]
The chief priests and rulers react violently to the action of the church after the Pentecost and think of killing the apostles
“And as they spoke to the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came on them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold to the next day: for it was now eventide.” [Acts 4 :1-3]
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straightly command you that you should not teach in this name? And, behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood on us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a tree [Grk: wood], him has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him. When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.” [Acts 5:27-33]
Paul agrees with Stephen’s stoning
Stephen is led to the congregation and, after his apology to the chief priests, he is stoned with the consent of Paul the Pharisee who abuses the church, entering every house and dragging men and women, handing them over to the prison with the permission of the chief priests [Acts 6:12, 54-60, 8:1-3, 9:1-2]. This was done until his conversion to Christ.
The Jews’ plots
Antioch
“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.” [Acts 13:45]
“But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.” [Acts 13:50]
Iconium
“But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brothers.” [Acts 14:2]
Lystra
“And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.” [Acts 14:19]
Thessaloniki
“But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took to them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.” [Acts 17:5]
Veria
“But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.” [Acts 17:13]
Jerusalem
“And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him [Acts 21:27]”.
“And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians [GRK: Hellenists/hellenized Jews] but they went about to slay him.” [Acts 9:29]
Damascus
“And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him.” [Acts 9:23]
Justin’s testimony about the Jews’ plots
Justin, in a dialogue with Judah Tryphon 17-1 states that “The Jews not only did not repent, but they sent out elected [agents] to the whole earth in order to vilify and accuse Christians as heretics, illegal and atheists.”
King Herod kills Jacob
Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. Then were the days of unleavened bread.” [Acts 12:1-3]
At the period of history we study the Romans did not persecute the Christians
The primitive church, therefore, did not face any persecutions by the Romans for its faith in Jesus, but by the disobedient Jews, instigated by the ruling class, as Jesus had told them.
The Romans did not distinguish the difference between Christians and Jews, they thought that Christianity was a Jewish heresy and they had no reasons to chase the church, since Judaism had privileged relations with Rome. On the contrary, judgments against the Jews also affected Christians, as in the case of Aquila and Priscilla, when all the Jews were expelled from Rome because of the commotions about Jesus that took place between them in the synagogues [Acts 18:2]. Separation of the disciples from the synagogue was made by Paul in Ephesus [Acts 19:9].
The historical events confirm the stance of Rome
“And when Gallio [Roman] was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, Saying, This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O you Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look you to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. And he drove them from the judgment seat.” [Acts 18:12-16]
Similarly, Porcius Festus, the Roman Judge of Judea [59 AD], the replacement of Felix who was married to Judean Drusilla, the sister of Herod Agrippa II and Berenice, referring to King Agrippa II about Paul said:
“Against whom when the accusers [Jews] stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters, But when Paul had appealed to be reserved to the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.” [Acts 25:18-21]
“And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds. Then said Agrippa to Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Caesar.” [Acts 26:30-32, see also 28:16-20]
Also, some men from Caesar’s home had believed in Jesus “All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.” [Philip. 4:22]
Paul, in order to be saved from the wrath of the Jews, invoked the Roman Caesar because he knew that Christianity was not forbidden by Rome, which was more tolerant to all the “gods,” and in its pantheon had included many of them. In fact, Eusebius wrote that Caesar Tiberius liked the Christian doctrine and suggested to the senate to include Jesus in the Roman pantheon; his suggestion was rejected but Tiberius threatened the Christian accusers with death [Church History: Book ii chap. 2].
The fire in Rome in 64 AD
Several historians, theologians and scholars, doubt whether the persecution of Nero, which was limited in Rome and of short duration, concerned the faith of Christians. The evidence indicates that Nero’s purpose was to punish the guilty of the fire. As a malicious act and according to the Dodecadelto [state laws], the sentences for the arsonists were death by fire and being eaten alive by beasts. The first century Christians had no reason to burn Rome, they were accused of being responsible. The teaching of Jesus and the apostles prevented violent behavior. Historically, the Jews vilified the Christians. As the professor of the University of  Thessaloniki  Apostolos Glavinas mentions in his book “The persecution of the church in the pre-Constantine age”, Tertios Publications, Katerini, pages 41-42 “The Jews found the opportunity to fuel the political power of Rome with flammable material against the Christians.”
The same source, pages 49-50, states that “Christians were not outlaws, no law was enacted against them, and they were not considered as a prohibited religion or different than the Judaism.”
False prophets
Religion always supported the ruling class [elite], which in turn used it as a tool for manipulating the lower social layers, for the benefit of the retention of power by the rich oligarchs [Jacob 2:6]. A powerful link in this interwoven co-operation between religion and power was the false prophets whose oracles guided the people and the “divine” decisions of the rulers.
The action of the false prophets against the truth of God
“And the priests, and the false prophets, and all the people heard Jeremias speaking these words in the house of the Lord. And it came to pass, when Jeremias had ceased speaking all that the Lord had ordered him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the false prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die, because thou hast prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, This house shall be as Selo, and this city shall be made quite destitute of inhabitants. And all the people assembled against Jeremias in the house of the Lord.” [Jer. 26: 7-8 LXXE]
False prophets in every devised deity
As in any “god” worship, so did the Jewish worshippers of Baal have their own false prophets. When Iehu became king in the ten-race kingdom of Israel, he said:
“Now therefore call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests. Let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer to Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live. But Jehu did it with cunning in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal.” [II Kings 10:19 Esv2011]
The action of the false prophets among the Jews was active in the times of the apostles; Lord Jesus had warned:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” [Mat. 7:15]
“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” [Mark 13:6-7]
“And when they had gone through the isle to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.”  [Acts 13:6-8]
And Josephus, a basic source of knowledge of the Judaic War [Book vi chap. 5, 3] states that during the war, frauds and false prophets deceived the Jews who did not believe in the true signs of God for the end of Jerusalem.
Pseudo-Christs
The term pseudoChrist(s) was imported by Jesus Himself, and it means false Christ, false Messiah, not the real one.
“And he said, Take heed that you be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draws near: go you not therefore after them.” [Luke 21:8]
We could say that Theudas and Judas had characteristics of a pseudo-messiah [Acts 5:36-37]. According to the Jewish perception of that time, the coming Messiah/Christ would save them – freed them from the Roman yoke and would restore the earthly kingdom to Israel according to the pattern of David.
“When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” [John 6:15]
This perception led to Jews being rebellious [Ezra 4:19, I Pet. 2:17] and often provoking revolts in the region. Many Jewish disciples, seeing that Jesus was not the type of Messiah they wanted, abandoned him [John 6:66]. This misconception, the association of the heavenly kingdom of God with the national restoration of the fleshly Israel, is still prevalent today in many religious people, who pay attention to Jewish myths and commandments of people who reject the truth [Tit. 1:14].
The testimony of Jesus for his kingdom
“Jesus answered, my kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” [John 18:36, Dan. 2:44, 7:14]
And Paul teaches “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” [II Cor. 4:18]
“For here have we no continuing city [earthly], but we seek one to come [heavenly].” [Heb. 13:14, 11:16]
Antichrist
The term antichrist/opposed to Christ, is first introduced by John, the apostle of the Jewish [Gal 2:9], to the founded church of Christ at that time, warning them that “it is the last time”. Therefore, the apostle John defines the first church as eschatological.
“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  [apostasy / separation], 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. But you have an unction [Grk: anointment] from the Holy One, and you know all things .” [I John 2:18]
Body of Christ and body of Antichrist
All members of the original church were anointed [baptized with the Holy Spirit] and everyone knew. They had heard that before the coming of the Almighty Jesus [Rev. 1:8, Heb. 1:3, Zech. 8:18 LXXE] and His wrath on the disrespectful Jews, the antichrist would come.
The members of the church of Christ, the believers, were body of Christ, and members in particular “For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” [I Cor. 12:12, 19-20, Rom.12:5, Eph. 1:22-23]
The apostle John explains that already in his modern age many antichrists had come, and so his spiritual children knew that it was the last time. The Antichrist(s) was a collective body, a set of persons of a certain ideology and faith, who were against the truth the church of Jesus confessed. They were inside the church, they came out of it and was a premonition, sign, of the Second Coming and of the last days of the age of the law.
“For there must be also heresies among you that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” [I Cor. 11-19]
The fallacy of the antichrists
There was a certain fallacy that identified someone as an antichrist, but this did not make him a successor to world hegemony, but it was a sign of loss as we will see later.
“For many deceivers have gone out [from the first church] into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh [Grk: omits, the]. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.” [II John 1:7 Esv2011]
“Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” [I John 2:22-23 Esv2011]
“And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” [I John 4:3]
Many times Jesus had warned his disciples to be careful not to be deceived and so did John  “I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.” [I John 2:7]
The deceivers / antichrists came from inside the church
The antichrists were contemporary of the apostles, they came from inside the primitive church, and they were the result of a long-standing, in-church, controversy over the identity and teaching of the Lord Jesus, mainly from Jerusalem-born Jews, faithful but also zealots of the law.
“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” [Acts 15:5]
“And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said to him, You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law.” [Acts 21:20]
“And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him.” [Acts 11:2]
“So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized [disputed] him, saying.” [Acts 11:2 Esv2011]
“But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brothers unawares brought in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage  [in Hebrew customs].” [Gal. 2:1-4]
“Holding fast [the bishop] the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the disputers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision.” [Tit. 1:9-10]”.
“O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge.” [I Tim. 6:20 Esv2011]
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” [Rom. 16:17 Esv2011]
“Correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.” [II Tim. 2:25 Esv2011]
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord [Grk: Despot] that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” [II Pet. 2:1, Jude 1:4]
“Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory [GRK: καυχώμενοι = boast] in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” [Philip. 3:2]
Similar controversies and objections from Jewish believers had been confronted by Jesus himself as John tells us in the eighth chapter.
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. They answered him: We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, You will become free? [31-33] ………… I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you  I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard (traditions) from your father. [37-38] ……… You are of your father the devil.” [44]……
The reading of the epistles in real time
By examining the epistles in real time, we understand the struggle of the apostles and the brothers in Christ, and the polemic they attempted against them, specially they of the circumcision, who had penetrated between them, introducing heresies of perdition – false teachings and refusing the Despot who bought them, creating divisions and scandals. Under these circumstances, Paul struggled, wrote, urging the saints of his age.
“And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For to you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” [Philip. 1:28-29]
After we perceive the prevailing situation in the church at that time, the struggle of the believers, their sufferings by the Jews, their sociopolitical environment and their expectation of the imminent coming  [parousia G3952 /arrival] of the great God and savior Jesus Christ to punish Jerusalem’s wicked people, we can understand the scriptures more precisely.
The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians
“Now we beseech you, brothers, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together to him, [2] That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [Grk: apostasy] first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [4] Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. [5] Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? [6] And now you know [what withholds] that he might be revealed in his time. [7] For the mystery of iniquity does already work: [only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way]. [8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, [10] And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” [II Thes. 2:1-12]
Notes to comprehend this part of scripture
  1. AKJV verse 6: And now you know what withholds [Grk: το κατέχον] that he might be revealed in his time
Since apostle Paul does not explicitly mention the katechon’s identity, the passage’s interpretation has been subject to dialogue and debate amongst Christian scholars.
Paul uses the present participle form of the verb katecho first in the neuter [to katechon/το κατέχον] and then in the masculine [ho katechon/ο κατέχων].
The Grk verb katecho [κατέχω] is polysemy, has multiple meanings. When we use it  for circumstances – situations – conditions  means||I possess the mind [Liddell –  Scott].
When we use it on rulers means: I possess||have somebody or something under my authority||I have the control||the power [Liddell – Scott].
So this is what Paul wrote: “And now you know “το κατέχον the katechon / the possessing evil power / the evil spirit, that he might be revealed in his time” [It was acting secretly]
    2. AKJV verse 7: For the mystery of iniquity does already work: Only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way
The last part of this verse, has been inserted by the translators, and has no basis in the original Greek text.
Grk txt: μόνον ο κατέχων άρτι έως εκ μέσου γένηται
o κατέχων = He who possesses||he who takes control over a person’s mind
The prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” [Eph. 2:1-2]
άρτι = now                έως = until               εκ μέσου = out of the midst
γένηται (genetai):  it is a second aorist, middle, deponent,  subjuctive, of the Grk verb γίνομαι or γίγνομαι (ginomai) = to come into existence||come in to being||to cause to be||to be created||to be born||or to be produced.
So [έως εκ μέσου γένηται] means: until he comes into being out of the midst or until he comes forth out of the midst.
Here is an example for better understanding: Water came forth from the hole in the wall.
 Let’s see now what Paul wrote:
“For the mystery of iniquity does already work only until he who now is the possessor / the controller / the evil power / ho katexon, comes into being comes forth out of the midst and then shall the lawless be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”
Paul describes the battle between the evil spirit and the Holy one. As God / the Spirit [John 4:24] is present in the midst of his faithful people, so, ho katexon / the evil spirit, was present in the midst of the sons of disobedience. And as God / the spirit was manifest in Christ Jesus, the Holy one, so this evil power was manifest in antichrist the lawless one.
The apostles were told them these things many times and the Christians knew that every spirit that did not confess Jesus Christ was not from God, but it was the spirit of the antichrist which they knew that it would come soon and it was already in the world at their time and acted among the sons of disobedience and perdition (antichrists), possessing their mind.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Eph. 6:12]
“Why I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” [I Cor. 12:3]
“And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” [I John 4:3 ESV 2011]
«We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” [I John 4:6]
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” [Eph. 2:1-2]
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.” [II Cori. 4:3-4]
 What the believers of Thessaloniki understood when they received the second letter from the apostle Paul
They understood that prior to the second presence [parousia] of Jesus for which they waited to take place in their generation and their assembly on him [I Thes. 4:13-18], the apostasy / separation from the church the body of Christ, would happen “first” and the man of lawlessness would be revealed, the antichrist, the man doomed to perdition, the one who would oppose and would exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, the one who would set himself up in God’s temple [the earthly temple of Jerusalem, which the Jews admired (Mat. 24:1)], proclaiming himself to be God.
The identity of the son of perdition, the antichrist
(1)  He revealed himself, he was unveiled. The event denotes past secret action. The mystery of lawlessness was already acted and the lawless was revealed.
(2)  He was the man of lawlessness, a Jew who knew the law, but he was breaking it.
(3)  He was among those who left the primitive church, a renegade. The apostasy had to come for him to be revealed.
(4)  He was a false teacher, teaching heresies of perdition since he was the son of perdition.
(5)  He was a dissident, an antichrist, refusing the only despot and Lord Jesus Christ.
(6)  He was overpowered, he lifted himself above all deities or venerations. [the Roman emperors were also called “sebastoi = venerable ones,” and the temples where the imperial cult was celebrated were called “sebasteia = venerable ones” –Ed.], therefore, he had no connection to them, as many claim that the antichrist could have been Nero or Titus or any other emperor, or the Pope of Rome in later assumptions).
(7)  He revealed himself to the generation of the apostles, sat in the temple of Jerusalem proving that he is a god before the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.
(8)  He was a false prophet; his coming was after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in all perished Jews.
(9)  He acted among the perished Jews who had heresies of perdition, they committed iniquity, they were against Jesus, they had not accepted the love of truth in order to be saved and they were possessed by the wicked spirit [the possessing and the possessor] that acted and had the power between the sons of disobedience [Eph. 2:1-2, I John 4:3].
(10) This action of fallacy, the antichrist, was sent by God to the disobedient Jews [the perished ones] in order to believe in falsehood, and those who did not believe in the truth, “the heavenly Jesus Christ“, but were in favor of injustice, to be judged.
 “I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.” [John 5:43]
The first brothers in Christ, who possessed the truth, knew that the geographical area of action of the antichrist was the land of Israel, where the temple was built, and the time of his action was their generation. They also knew that the role of the antichrist was not to replace the Roman empire or any other future empire in order to become a world leader, but to act among the perished ones with signs and lying wonders in order to believe in the lie and be judged, unlike the signs and true wonders that were acted by God through the apostles “upon the people.”
“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders worked among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.” [Acts 5:12]
The beast that comes out of the sea and the beast that comes out of the earth
Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove on the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”(Dan. 7:2-3)
  [As for] me Daniel, my spirit in my body trembled, and the visions of my head troubled me. And I drew near to one of them that stood by, and I sought to learn of him the truth of all these things: and he told me the truth, and made known to me the interpretation of the things. These four beasts are four kingdoms [that] shall rise up on the earth: which shall be taken away; and the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess it for ever and ever.” (Dan. 7:15-18 LXXE)
The book of Daniel interprets that the four great beasts that came out from the sea are kingdoms that raised up on the earth of Israel.
These four great kingdoms were Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman.
The identification of the antichrist with the beast/kingdom that had 7 heads and 10 horns (Rev. 13:1) lacks any biblical basis. The things described in the book of revelation are about Rome [the beast from the sea] and Israel [the beast from the earth of Israel, which had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon] that were in a state of war. The two horns of the beast from the earth are the political and religious power of Israel accompanied by false prophets. At that time, every Jewish power was Roman-friendly [he spoke like a dragon] and acted for the interests of Rome, thus achieving the preservation of its privileges. The narrative events have nothing to do with the end of the world; they tell us what happened during the period of the Jewish war against the Romans which was the cause of the fall of Jerusalem. They have to do with events of that time, such as:
(1)  Forced worship of Rome and its emperors (Rev. 13:11-12) as proof of submission to the then master of the earth of Israel and the overthrow and punishment of the revolutionary Jews.
The measure concerned only those who lived in the land of Israel to whom they had been given the right to worship their own God and it was legislated by the beast from the earth. The other provinces of the Roman Empire worshipped the goddess Roma as a protector and benefactor and each Caesar willingly, pursuing the title of the Sebastian Neocorus [Neocora = the privilege of building an imperial temple], on which their financial strength and their cultural and social perspective depended.
[For more details about the worship of goddess Roma see the book of Mellor R. “The Goddess Roma in the Greek world (Hypomnemata) Gottingen 1975”].
A similar measure was taken during the war in Antioch as Josephus writes: “When the war was announced, the Jews were hated by everyone. One of them named Antiochus, his father was the ruler of the Jews of Antioch, renounced both Judaism and his father, and accused some Jews publicly of conspiring to burn Antioch. The result was that the Antiochians burnt the accused Jews to save their city. Then, he forced the Jews to sacrifice in the Greek way in order to reveal the conspirators, some sacrificed while others were killed. So with the consent of the Roman general, Antiochus became governor of the Jews, forcing them to work on the Sabbath day. The abolition of this holiday was soon spread to other cities.” (The Jewish War vii chapter 3, 4)
(2) Control of trade in the land of Israel “economic blockade – sanctions” where nobody could buy or sell if he did not have the necessary certification “mark” that he was a friend of Rome rather than a foe.
(3) The old-known and always up-to-date method of misinforming and deceiving by fake signs and miracles through the organs of the Roman-friendly Judaic power, the false prophets, aiming at the rescue of its privileges again.
The historical circumstances of that time made the primitive church face up to its own confession that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life [I John 5:20].
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast (Rome) and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Rev. 14:9-12)
Many Jewish Christians and ethnic Christians that refused to sacrifice and worship in the national idolatrous way were killed, blessed by the Lord.
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from now on: Yes, said the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” [Rev.14:13]
Also, the Judaists that refused to worship the image of the beast were similarly killed, thus remaining faithful to Judaism, which was to be abolished [Heb. 8:13].
The mark
Some claim that the mark might have been a technical term of the imperial stamp or the emperor’s own currency. However, we have a literal historical incident of mark during the reign of Ptolemy IV Philopator [222-204 BC], who forbade all Egyptian Jews to worship their God and enter into their synagogues. Instead, they had to be enrolled in the slaves’ lists and be marked with burning iron, the sign of god Dionysus “ivy leaf” or be killed. Those who wanted to take part in the worship of the idols became equal citizens of Alexandria. Some succumbed, while others were killed or tried to avoid their registration on the slaves’ lists with money [III Maccab. 2:25-33].
Six hundred and sixty six       
Thus the Roman Empire [the beast from the sea] is not identified as “Antichrist” with the information given by the apostles, because they did not expect it to come, it already existed before Christ, it was already worshipped as “the goddess Roma, the benefactor and protecting dominant power,” it was neither a part or member of the church of Christ nor it came out – it defected, it was not a man, but the number of that name was the number of a man, and the number of him was six hundred and sixty-six, and not 666, that is a triad of the same numbers [Rev. 13:17, Ezra 2:13].
To understand the difference between 666 and six hundred and sixty-six let’s see a related article from the Christian magazine “Tyxikos, Sept.-Oct. 2002 Issue.”
The number 666
Regarding the secret number 666 that we find in the book of Revelation, many scholars get carried away with the similarity of the three digits of 6 that form the number as we understand it after the introduction of the so-called Arabic numbers – many centuries after the writing of the New Testament texts.
However, when the Revelation was written, a combination of three similar mathematical digits had not passed through the writer’s mind. In fact, in the critical editions of the text, the number is not even attributed to the letters of the Greek alphabet –  χξς – but the number is written in full, that is “six hundred and sixty-six.” It is known that the people of that time if they wanted to express this number “numerically”, they would not write “ςςς”, but the Greeks would have to write ΧΞCΤ or χξς [as in the papyruses p18 and p47], and the Romans would have to write DCLXVI . They would never write 666.
Although the Jews applied a similar system after the Babylonian captivity, they never used it in the Bible, where the numbers are always written with whole words. [In I Kings 10:14, 666 is written in full as “six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold”].
According to the above, none of the first-century Christians ever thought that one day the arithmetic expression “six hundred and sixty-six” would be depicted with three identical digits, tricking those who try to rely on the similarity of the three sixes and identify the number 666 with the bar code system that contains a 6 at the beginning, a 6 in the middle and a 6 at the end of it.
If they want to insist on any “disguised” meaning of 6, then they must know that there are not 3 but 111 sixes in 666 [111 x 6 = 666].
From the above, it seems that the claims of those who think they will “solve” the problem based on the number 6 either as a symbolic number of a human being or as a symbol of imperfection and other similar forms (tricks) appear to be unsubstantiated.
Source: http://www.tyxikos.gr/02-9-28.html
In closing, we would like to ask the brothers in Christ not to turn their attention to Hollywood’s profitable film productions regarding antichrist, but to remember together the apostle Paul’s statement.
“And now, brothers, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” [Acts 20:32]
 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with our spirit, brothers. Amen.