Although old news now, one of the more controversial events this year was the screening of the movie The Da Vinci Code, from the book of the same name by Dan Brown. While the movie was panned by the critics at the Cannes Film Festival in May, the book, as a fictional thriller, is considered by many people a very good read, with about 50 million copies sold to date.
The Catholic Church and other Christian groups have naturally expressed their outrage at the central theme of the book, which asserts that Christ was married to and fathered a child by Mary Magdalene, and that their descendants are alive today in southwest France. As we know the assertion is a lie, just as those Churches claim; however, the majority of people who’ve read the book seem to agree with Brown and the authors of an earlier book, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, that there has been a cover-up of the truth by the Roman Catholic Church over the years.
Reuters reported that a Catholic group called Christian Militants picketed some cinemas near the Vatican when the film opened in Italy. The group was chanting, “Dan Brown: remember you will also be judged by Christ!”, which is a true enough statement, but is actually a bit rich coming from representatives of Catholicism. That cult itself has a great deal to answer for, as it has probably been responsible for more deaths (let alone speaking blasphemies) over the centuries than any other group, secular or religious, excepting perhaps its arch-enemy Communism. It has robbed or put to death large numbers of true Christians – Sabbatarian Unitarian keepers of God’s Law such as ourselves – based on its hatred of the truth and those who expound it. There may be a kind of poetic (or divine) justice, then, in the possibility that this great Church, which promotes and operates on demonstrable lies, will itself be further undermined by a lie!
One of the lies the Roman Church promotes, and which is the mainstay of all other pseudo-Christian churches, is that of the Trinity. Any serious scholar (including the Jesuits) is forced to admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. In fact, in order to force this concept into the Church’s teachings at the time of the Reformation, it was thought necessary to add spurious verses to the texts (e.g. 1John 5:7). Such is the deceit we are dealing with. Even the demons know there is only One True God and tremble (Jas. 2:19). They don’t believe in One-in-three or Three-in-one, nor in any Binitarian or Ditheist concept.
As Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: “The great masses of the people … will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one”. And there is none bigger in the Christian religion than the doctrine of the Trinity. Franklin D. Roosevelt said in a radio broadcast in 1939 that, “Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth”; although it has worked well enough for Trinitarians over the centuries.
A little-known fact is that one of the greatest scientists ever, namely Sir Isaac Newton, was an ardent Unitarian. By keeping his Unitarian beliefs to himself (until 1813, it was illegal to deny the Trinity in England), he managed to get elected as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Trinity College Cambridge in 1675, a post normally reserved for Trinitarians only. The following passage is from the biography by Michael White, entitled Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Fourth Estate, London, 1997).
Since 1672 he had spent time away from his alchemical experiments [hence Sorcerer] and had investigated deeply buried, anachronistic aspects of theology, ancient wisdom and the canon of comparative religion, immersing himself in the nether world of biblical roots. … By asking himself the direct question, “What does the Bible actually say on the matter of the Holy Trinity?” he pinpointed what he saw as two major flaws in the Trinitarian credo. Together these led him to believe that Trintarianism was a deliberate, calculated lie, perpetrated through the ages by a series of self-interested pontiffs. The first fault he highlighted was that Trinitarianism cannot be supported completely by scriptural analysis…
According to Newton, the second problem with Trinitarianism was that it was counter-logical. He shared the view of his contemporaries that certain phenomena described in the Bible could never be understood, or might be explained only with divine knowledge. Among these were the ability to turn water into wine, the gift of healing by touch, virgin birth and resurrections. These, according to Newton, did not defy logic; but three equalling one and one equalling three definitely did. As he saw it, Trinitarianism was an institutionalised contrivance, and to prove it he reached further and further back, to the roots of the doctrine, to reveal the origins of the deceit. Eventually he found it. The blasphemy, he concluded, had begun with the Council of Nicea convened in 325 … (pp. 151-2; emphasis added).
In a letter regarding the Trinitarian corruptions of Christianity, Newton himself wrote: “There cannot be better service done to the truth than to purge it of things spurious”.
Some would say; “But what would a scientist, no matter how eminent, know about theology anyway?” Well, it is generally accepted that Newton produced at least as much written work on biblical topics (including extensive chronologies and end time prophecy) during his lifetime as he did on any of his famous scientific experiments and discoveries. By any measure he was thus an expert in the theological field. As an example, the following extract is from an interview (Newton Reconsidered) of Stephen D. Snobelen, Assistant Professor at University of King’s College, Halifax, Canada. Snobelen is a founder member of the Newton Project and himself an expert on Isaac Newton and his work.
“Newton believed that the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), the return of the Jews to Israel, the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the fall of apocalyptic Babylon (the Trinitarian Church, manifested most fully in the Roman Catholic Church), would occur around the time of the second coming of Christ. He also believed that the true Gospel would only begin to be preached successfully shortly before this period. This was one of the reasons why Newton did not actively preach in his own time. He believed the time of the end was still at least two centuries away. The restoration of primitive Christianity in the place of corrupt, institutional Christianity is but one of several positive visions Newton had for the future. He also believed that Christ would establish a worldwide Kingdom of God on earth and that this Kingdom would bring about peace and prosperity of the world’s inhabitants. Based on his reading of Old Testament and New Testament prophecies, he believed peace would prevail between nations, within the animal kingdom and between wild animals and humans. The Jews would be restored to their land Israel after centuries of captivity. Jerusalem, now a city of contention for the world and the three monotheistic world religions, would become the capital city, as it were, of this worldwide Kingdom. For Newton, Christ is to be King of this Kingdom and the saints (whom Newton would have identified as the righteous) are to reign over this Kingdom with Christ (Revelation 20:4-6). An important prophetic passage that spoke to Newton of this coming Kingdom of peace is Isaiah 2:2-4, where the prophet Isaiah says of the nations that “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4).
All of which is biblically sound and remarkably prescient, especially with regard to Newton’s prediction that the true Gospel would only be preached shortly before the second coming of Christ. Although his guesstimate as to the time of the end fell a little short, it is interesting that the final Jubilee year of the present age will fall exactly 300 years after Newton’s death in 1727.
The great Unitarian scientist Joseph Priestley was the man who ‘discovered’ oxygen (the life-giving gas) in 1774. He too wrote prophetically eight years later:
“The great article of the unity of God will, in time, be uniformly professed by all that bear the christian name; and then, but not before, may we hope and expect, that, being also freed from other corruptions and embarrassments, it will recommend itself to the acceptance of Jews and Mahometans, and become the religion of the whole world … As, therefore, we wish to see the general spread of the gospel, we should exert ourselves to restore it to its pristine purity in this respect” (An History of the Corruptions of Christianity; re-published by Garland Publishing Inc., NY & London, 1974; p.151).
Hence, according to two great scientific minds, whether in pious hope or with genuine fore-knowledge, the true and original Faith was to be expounded in the last days in order for the people of the three Abrahamic faiths to return to the One True God and to be an example to the rest of the world.
Another particularly blasphemous and diabolical lie of pseudo-Christianity is that all those who don’t believe in or accept Christ as their saviour in their lifetime will be condemned to hellfire and eternal damnation, or, at the very least, never be resurrected to life again. This nonsense is promoted, and apparently believed, not only by the Catholic Church but also by virtually all of its Protestant daughters as well. So … if we understand these so-called Christians correctly … those in our society with a severe mental handicap or any mental illness, who are literally unable to comprehend the words of Jesus Christ let alone know him as their saviour, are automatically bound for hell. And that those who’ve died prematurely, or who were born in a country where the name of Christ is not even known, or are of a different faith will burn in an everlasting fire. And the people who have been so traumatised by their religion or their ministers that they ‘deserted their faith’ can only look forward to an eternal existence in hell. What these ‘Christians’ are effectively saying is that the existence of these poor souls on the Earth was totally in vain, that they may as well not have been born; which is a pretty unpleasant concept for grieving and fearful relatives. What sort of God would inflict such distress and torture upon mankind? It is certainly not the God of the Bible and the Maker of all, both the human and angelic Host. See the papers The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143) and The Fallacy of the Third Resurrection (No. 166).
We are told that our God, whether of the so-called Old or New Testaments, is a God of love (Deut. 7:8; Jer. 31:3; Jn. 3:16; 1Jn. 4:19; etc). Of course, Satan, the present ruler of this world and the prince of the power of the air wants us to believe otherwise, i.e. to swallow the lie of eternal damnation for most of mankind. He’d like us to believe that God is cruel and unjust. It is Satan himself who has so corrupted the world, but puts the thought into the minds of men that the blame actually lies with God. And the vast majority of people have totally fallen for it. We’ve all heard people say; “Where is God in all this?” when disaster strikes.
By believing in this unscriptural and demonic foolishness a person is not worshipping the God of the Bible; rather, he or she is unknowingly worshipping Satan (the author of this and other lies) and his minions, who are no doubt delighted at the simple gullibility of mankind (Rom. 1:21-25). Satan and the demons act like human drug pushers or suppliers, the cleverest and most successful of whom don’t actually take any drugs themselves – they merely peddle the stuff to others’ destruction.
So people out there still want to worship a God like that described above? Well, actually, quite often they don’t … and who can blame them? These uncomfortable assertions about eternal suffering may be one reason why Jesus Christ has been elevated by Christians to equality with God the Father in the Godhead. Many Trinitarians put a far greater emphasis on Jesus Christ, while God the Father is pushed into the background. In his book, On Being a Jewish Christian: its blessings and its problems, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1998, Hugh Montefiore wrote:
“I personally regret that Christianity has become so very Christocentric, whereas the role of Jesus himself was always to point towards his heavenly Father” (p.89).
No wonder Mr. Montefiore sees problems with being a Jewish Christian, as the fundamental Unitarian nature of Judaism doesn’t sit at all comfortably with Trinitarian pseudo-Christianity.
“Many will come in my name saying, I am the Christ, and shall deceive many” (Mat. 24:5; Jer. 14:14). By so doing, they will make him, Christ, the beginning and end of their religion, just as some misguided Trinitarian had felt it necessary to insert the words, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” in Revelation 1:11 in order to make the Lamb or the Son of Man equal with God the Father (v. 8) and ultimately to promote the worship of the created Christ rather than the Creator God. At his return Christ may very well say, “You were using me and my name to keep people from the One True God! Begone from me! I don’t recognise you as my followers despite professing my name.” This is seen in a particularly sobering scripture in Matthew 7.
Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' (RSV)
And speaking of demons, the following is a small article that appeared in The Times (London) on 14 August 1997, and is quoted here in full.
Shivers ran through the Vatican the other day as a party of country clergy was paying a visit to St Peter’s, among them an 80-year-old parish priest who had spent most of his career as an exorcist. When the Pope came out to welcome the party, he recognised the old man and greeted him, saying with a smile: “Are there any devils in the Vatican?” “Yes,” the priest replied gravely, “there are lots of them.”
Touché. The priest may have been referring to both the humans and the demonic forces occupying the Vatican; and it’s unlikely that anything has changed in the intervening nine years (except perhaps for the worse). So, instead of performing exorcisms outside the Vatican, maybe it’d be a good idea for those exorcists to get their own house in order first. But, then again, they may have more than a little trouble with that problem (Lk. 11:14-19).
Christ addressed the crowd with the Beatitudes, ending with the words in Luke 6:46-49: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not what I tell you? And what did Christ tell the people? “This is the love of God that we keep His commandments” (1Jn. 5:3; 2:3-4). Christ continually directed people to the worship of and obedience to the One True God, as Mr Montefiore rightly stated above.
Pseudo-Christians are the same apparently intelligent people who claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old, when the archaeological record plainly shows otherwise. See the paper Creation: From Anthropomorphic Theology to Theomorphic Anthropology (No. B5). They are also the successors to the flat-earthers and those who vehemently maintained that the sun revolved round the earth, and who enforced excommunication from the Church upon those who dared to question those beliefs (e.g. Galileo), just as in England people were burnt at the stake for denying the Trinity (the last one in 1612). With such lies being so forcefully promoted, it is no wonder Christianity is held in such disrepute and is open to mockery today. The Da Vinci Code may convince many people that they really have been lied to by the Catholic Church for years and on a number of important issues. They will thus have every reason to desert that organisation in droves.
With good cause, therefore, many people in this age have swung far away from organised religion; however, in looking for the truth outside so-called Christianity, the more spiritual among them have merely fallen prey to the neo-pagans and Eastern mystics. The Da Vinci Code fiction is generally cheered on by the feminists and Mother-Earth types, as the baby supposedly born to Mary Magdalene was a girl and the fabled Holy Grail was purported to be Mary‘s womb. Out with the misogynist all-male priesthood and the evil Father-figure of the organised ‘Christian’ systems; in with the ancient and ‘original’ Mother-goddess system. Ironically, they’re just two sides of the same satanic coin, for, as we know, Satan is a master at covering the full spectrum of religious belief, at having a set of doctrines for every purpose and to suit every person’s taste, ranging from atheism to Zoroastrianism.
Incidentally, one identifying sign of priests of the Babylonian Mystery religions down to the present day is the wearing of black cassocks. These priests of Baal were called Chemarim in the KJV and idolatrous priests in the RSV (2Kgs. 23:5; Zeph. 1:4), derived from the Hebrew word kamar (SHD 3648) meaning black (as per Lam. 5:10). Naturally, the fact that they wore long black vestments was skilfully disguised by most Trinitarian translators as it was a little too close for comfort. Those at the top in these Mystery religions are often arrayed in purple and scarlet, and are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are fulfilling prophecy by so doing (Rev. 17:4-5). It’s almost beyond parody.
As modern Babylon (1Pet. 5:13), Rome or the Vatican probably considers itself to be so powerful and far-reaching in its operations (especially through the Jesuits and Opus Dei) as to be virtually invincible, just as every empire or organisation down through the centuries has thought that about itself. However, we know that if something is not of our God then its lifetime is strictly limited. And the cracks in the great edifice are already starting to appear and to widen, with sex scandals stretching back over years, along with shady financial dealings and (apparently) Vatican-sanctioned murders, even of a previous Pope (John Paul I or Albino Luciani - by all accounts an honourable, decent and humble man) in 1978, as detailed in the book In God’s Name by David Yallop (Guild Publ., London, 1984). See also the paper The Last Pope: Examining Nostradamus and Malachy (No. 288). Yallop writes that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s right-hand man Abbot Ducand-Bourget once said:
‘It’s difficult to believe that the death [of Luciani] was natural considering all the creatures of the devil who inhabit the Vatican’ (ibid, p.235).
That comment basically echoes the parish priest’s honest comment to the Pope about the demonic influences within the Vatican. These revelations, scandals and outright lies could prove to be the thin end of a very powerful wedge that splits asunder the Babylon Mystery system, whereby the cry of triumph can finally go up, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!” (Rev. 18:2).
Speaking further of Roman lies: a 4-part television series called The Barbarians has recently finished in the UK. As the name suggests, it dealt with the so-called barbarian tribes of Europe in the early centuries CE. The writer and presenter of the series, Terry Jones, finished the last program by stating that all the barbarian tribes -- the Celts, the Goths, the Parthians, the Huns and the Vandals – had been successively and successfully defamed by Rome. The victors write the history, hence their side of the story is the only one we ever hear. Thankfully modern historians are exposing the lies of the past.
The word ‘Vandal’ has come into the language as a derogatory term meaning wrecker, destroyer, etc.; however, the BBC website summed up the program as follows:
“The Vandals didn't vandalize – the Romans did. The Goths didn't sack Rome – the Romans did. Attila the Hun didn't go to Constantinople to destroy it, but because the Emperor's daughter wanted to marry him. And far from civilizing the societies they conquered the Romans often destroyed much of what they found.”
The so-called barbarians were also labelled “heretics” for their Unitarian Subordinationist beliefs, and were therefore “to be despised more than the Jews”, as one early Roman historian frankly admitted. Jones pointed out that, in fact, when Genseric and his Vandals “sacked” Rome in 455CE, they killed very few people at all and behaved far more honourably than the Roman troops ever did. The Vandals did, however, plunder Rome of most of its valuables, which included items taken by the Romans from the Temple in Jerusalem. The Vandals presumably operated on the principle that to steal from a thief is no robbery. Again, the Romans committed more rapine or plunder than most before or since. Vandalism was to destroy idols in accordance with Scripture.
Not a lot has changed down through the centuries, whereby the Roman Catholic Church greedily appropriated that mantle left by the armies of Rome. It is one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, yet so many of its adherents still live in abject poverty, and this in the 21st century. As an example, the favelas (slums) in the cities of Catholic Brazil could undoubtedly be cleared at a stroke with the release of the vast wealth owned by the Vatican; but that’s obviously not on the agenda. Perhaps right-thinking Roman Catholics should be asking why not.
The foregoing is but a snapshot of institutionalised lying, which has become so endemic in the world as to hardly merit comment, and no wonder, as the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4) is himself a consummate liar and is in fact the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). It is an age where we can’t trust our politicians to tell us the truth, whether about non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or in making extravagant and knowingly-false promises before an election in order to gain power or to retain it. Or where official statistics are deliberately manipulated in order ‘to prove’ that crime in our cities is declining when we know by instinct and observation that that is patently untrue. The prophet Isaiah summed up our age perfectly.
Isaiah 59:2-4 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you so that he does not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness. 4 No one enters suit justly, no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. (RSV)
From institutionalised lying we then come down to the more personal level, which is perhaps the most relevant and therefore most serious to us as Christians professing the true Faith.
One notable example of this was seen in the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10). Lying to the Church is a very serious offence and the outcome can be fatal. This was no spur-of-the-moment decision to deceive the Church, as Peter was able to discern. “How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God” (v.4, RSV). The word lied here is the Greek pseudomai (SGD 5574), meaning to speak deliberate falsehoods (BDB). This may be the key. We’ve all offered ‘little white lies’ when we’ve been caught out doing something wrong at times, perhaps trying to cover our embarrassment or minimise punishment. Ananias and Sapphira, however, had apparently contrived the deceit in their hearts -- it was a planned deception -- just as Isaiah spoke of lies conceived and uttered from the heart. This showed it to be a deep-seated problem.
Isaiah 59:12-13 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: 13 transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning away from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. (RSV)
It seems that other sins readily follow or are associated with the uttering of lies, as we see with those transgressions in Isaiah 59. All the former good works of a person can be undone in an instant, or his spiritual life may gradually unravel as he loses the Holy Spirit, unless and until repentance is forthcoming. Poor Ananias and Sapphira didn’t have the chance to repent, and neither may any of us if caught in a similar situation.
That expert commentator upon human nature, William Shakespeare, wrote in his play The Merchant of Venice,
“O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
Hence, even the quoting of Scripture is no indicator that the person so doing is not a liar. In fact, misusing Scripture could be seen as bearing false witness. In the last line, Shakespeare may have had in mind the biblical observation, “By their fruits you shall know them” (Mat. 7:20). And Satan himself quoted Scripture on numerous occasions (e.g. Mat. 4:1ff.).
So, how serious are lying and the bearing of false witness in God’s eyes? Frighteningly so, in fact. After all, there are seven things that God finds an abomination or morally disgusting (BDB defn.).
Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things which the LORD hates, seven which are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers. (RSV)
In God’s eyes, therefore, lying is no small matter. Psalm 63:11 promises that “the mouths of liars will be stopped”, sometimes permanently and in short order, as with the two stalwarts of the early Church mentioned above. At the very least, lying ruins our reputation with other people. The Ashanti tribe from Ghana, Africa have a proverb: “One falsehood spoils a thousand truths”, which was echoed by Baltasar Gracian when he said (in 1647): “A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity”.
As true Christians we are entreated by the Apostle Paul:
Ephesians 4:14-15,23-24 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: … 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (KJV)
Paul himself could confidently and without contradiction state that he was not a liar (Rom. 9:1; Gal. 1:20; 1Tim. 2:7), and he bravely claimed God as his witness to that fact (2Cor. 11:31). We should also be in a position to do so without fear of rebuke or worse.
2Corinthians 11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for ever, knows that I do not lie. (RSV)
Psalm 40:4 speaks of the blessedness of the man who does not swerve toward lies or fall away because of them, which are the meanings (from BDB) of the Hebrew phrase rendered “turn aside to lies”. These lies could be doctrinal, or they could refer to our moral conduct and general obedience to the Ninth Commandment, as we are told not to lie against the truth (Jas. 3:14; cf. 1Jn. 2:21) nor to lie to one another (Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9). See the paper Law and the Ninth Commandment (No. 262).
It is perhaps appropriate to finish with two of the most positive and hopeful verses on the subject of lying.
Zephaniah 3:12-13 For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD, 13 those who are left in Israel; they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall pasture and lie down, and none shall make them afraid." (RSV)
Psalm 15:1-3,5b O LORD, who shall sojourn in thy tent? Who shall dwell on thy holy hill? 2 He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart; 3 who does not slander with his tongue, and does no evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; … He who does these things shall never be moved. (RSV)
Let us therefore always speak the truth in love and from our hearts. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king [of our salvation] (1Pet. 2:17).
Ed. Wade Cox
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