Christian Churches of God

No. P89z

 

Summary:

Heresy in the Apostolic Church

(Edition 2.0 19950128-20000311)

This paper deals with the nature of the Colossian and Galatian heresies. It is logically part of the Grace-Law series and deals with the position on the law according to Paul.

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA

E-mail: secretary@ccg.org

 

(Copyright ã 1995, 2000 Wade Cox)

(Summary Ed. Wade Cox)

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Heresy in the Apostolic Church

The apostolic church faced problems from its infancy. When disputes arose as to the accuracy and acceptability of practices, they often referred back to Paul for settlement. Some were simple physical practices that detracted from the spirituality of the church, whilst others had a more complicated nature that is often misunderstood today. The epistles to the Colossians and the Galatians are important for understanding the original thinking of the New Testament church and the heresy occurring.

Paul’s writings have often been misunderstood because theologians have an incorrect biblical cosmology, thinking that God is a trinity and His laws are done away with. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls we have further knowledge of what people understood at the time of Christ. The heresy at Colossae involved the propitiation of the Council of the Elohim. The Galatians began ritualism to appease the elemental spirits, not understanding they were demons.

The epistles to both the Colossians and the Galatians serve to establish Christ as the sole Mediator between the elect and God and the only atoning sacrifice for salvation. The epistles certainly didn’t do away with God’s law. Paul, as well as the other apostles do not and cannot contradict Christ. John refuted a similar but more advanced heresy, which sought to elevate the position of Christ and deny his death and total sacrifice. This was the spirit of antichrist (1Jn. 4:1-6). The true understanding of the Godhead began to be altered and in the second century caused a split in the churches.

The errors that emerged in the apostolic church developed from attacks on the law through the propitiation of the angelic host. These are relatively easy to expose and the arguments demolished. They went onto the insidious lie of elevating Christ to an equality with Almighty God. Each of the errors was aimed at separating the church from the authority and the commandments of God.

Once the Godhead is compromised and the truth twisted and forsaken, the ‘professed’ followers of Christ are given over to a strong delusion that they might believe the lies (2Thes. 2:11). This scripture is from Isaiah 66:1-4, where God chooses the delusions or vexations of the falsely religious. Paul was quoting the Old Testament Scripture here and also in Romans chapter 1. The tyranny of false religions involves persecution and suppression of the truth. That is why Unitarianism, the worship of the one True God, has been so harshly persecuted over the centuries.

Once the truth of the Godhead is compromised and trinitarianism is established, the delusion is complete and the law falls and is abandoned. Today, the attack on the Godhead has gone beyond the simple attempts to assert co-equality and co-eternality. Aside from making the dead objects of worship, for example the worship of Mary, saints and relics, devious arguments have been advanced, that strike at the very existence of God as a transcendent force. The arguments stem from old Babylonian animism and its offshoots in the eastern religions. These ideas are common to Gnosticism and now appear in process theology, which is the modern inheritor of the Gnostic mantle.

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