From time to time, I have come across Bible studies that provide excellent information and/or exhortations for the Body of Christ. The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy by George Davis, Michael Clark, and Kirk Pearson is a study on the role of leaders in the Church that shows how the translaters of the King James Bible deliberately mistranslated some portions of it to support the control that the Church of England desired to maintain over the population.
God is a God of truth. He doesn't need people to believe lies in order to build His Church and maintain order in it. Ministers with pure hearts, who are not trying to control people with sinful means for sinful, selfish purposes, will not find this Bible study on Church leadership to be a threat. When people find out what the words for bishop, elder, deacon, obey, and submit really mean, they are going to like God much better and thus serve Him more willingly.
This article should not be used as justification to make oneself obnoxious to pastors. Rather, it serves as a firm foundation to keep a clear head and a calm heart when controlling church leaders try to go beyond their prerogatives, expecting a type of submission that God did not authorize them to demand, or to even suggest that it is a Christian's duty to render.
I have taken the liberty of breaking up paragraphs and correcting some of the punctuation, grammar, and spacing to make this article easier to read, but the authors' words are unchanged. Brothers George, Michael, and Kirk have given us an excellent, excellent study on the true meaning of words pertaining to church authority and obedience. Thank you so much, you guys!
The King James Bible, in spite of its errors, is a pretty good translation. I use it every day, and I highly recommend that everyone get very familiar with it, because it enables us to use Strong's Concordance to find verses, as that concordance was based on the King James Bible. We really ought to look into the original Greek and Hebrew words to get a clearer sense of what the writers intended to say. Strong's Concordance has its limitations, as neither Hebrew nor Greek was James Strong's first language, but it is a good place to start when trying to determine the meaning of the original words.
Another treasure I want to share is Alexander Hislop's Two Babylons, which was written in the 1850's. Educated men were very educated in the Greek and Roman classics in those days, and Alexander could read them in the original Greek and Latin. This proved invaluable for comparing the teachings of the Roman Catholic church to what is written in the Holy Bible, and seeing where many of its doctrines and practices actually originated, which is not from the Holy Scriptures.
In the Bible, God gave us a written record of His Laws, His prophecies, the deeds of men and women who truly belonged to Him, and the teachings of His Messiah, our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. He also gave us a record of what kind of behaviour infuriates Him and how He dealt with it. He gave us the Holy Bible partly for the same reason that the English nobles drew up the Magna Carta and forced King John to sign it, to put a curb on tyranny. God knew that, unless He had something written down that could keep people on track, and by which they could judge if others were on track with righteousness, their souls could be enslaved by powerful leaders who make up their own rules and pretend that they are handed down from Heaven.
The very last book of the Bible contains curses against those who take away from its words, saying that their name will be taken out of the Book of Life, and if they add to it, the miseries foretold in that book will be added to them. It also names a sect, the Nicolaitans, whom Jesus said He hates their deeds and their doctrines. The Nicolaitans were a pagan group that had infiltrated the true Church of God, with a view of bringing all Christians into subjection to it, as well as all other religions. They were originated by Simon the Sorcerer, whom we read about in Acts 8. One of his titles was Nicolaus, which means "victory over the people." Simon the Sorcerer endeavoured to set up a universal religion (with himself as its head), comprised of an amalgam of Judaistic, Christian, and pagan beliefs.
God never intended for His Church to incorporate pagan beliefs and practices into its system. He said in Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." It is according to the rudiments of the world that lying is used as a tool to protect an institution's reputation and keep its power to control intact.
The Holy Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 – 10, "For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way. 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: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
We see here a prediction that wicked people will back up their claims to righteousness with lying wonders. They can be produced through sophisticated technology, psychological trickery, drug–induced hallucinations, and through trafficking with demonic powers. These things have been used for centuries on various individuals and groups before the Flood, and were utilized almost immediately after the Flood, but in these last days, they have been developed to a state where they can deceive millions of people all at the same time.
Alexander Hislop's book is treasure from the Heavenly Father to His children for these last days, to remove the blindfold from their eyes and help them be more alert to danger. It can only be His hand that has kept it from moldering away to being just a few copies of a rare book found in private collections. This book is useful not only as a warning against the particular church that Alexander had issue with, but also to see how much the Babylonian Mystery religion has permeated society in many areas, some of which purport to be totally secular, seeding itself throughout the centuries in order to ultimately bring all of Mankind into its net.
Alexander makes only one statement that I cannot agree with, that Jesus gave a special power to His apostles for healing, which has since passed away, which is actually contrary to what the New Testament teaches. Jesus' instructions to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and make disciples for Him were given to all His followers until He returns, but it was a prevailing belief of the 19th century that the miracles that Jesus and His disciples worked had ceased. God is removing that deception from His people. The Bible actually tells us that none of God's spiritual gifts that He gave for the perfecting of the Church will cease, until the Church has been perfected. This refers to every individual Christian, not to an institution. Either way, it is pretty obvious that perfection has not yet been realized by the Church either as a body, or as individuals.
Jesus said that in the last days, perilous times would come. Just think of the perils the early Church experienced, and of all the Christians who were sent to the arenas to be entertainment for blood–thirsty reprobates. Jesus was saying that, shortly before He returns, Christians will be subjected to even greater dangers. Would it make sense for Him to remove the mighty working of His power at a time when His children need it even more desperately than the early Church? Please keep this in mind when you come to the part of the book where Alexander stated that healing miracles have ceased.
I have not changed the content of anything that Alexander Hislop said, but I have edited it for easier reading, breaking up paragraphs into smaller sections, adding some commas, updating some of the spelling, italicizing foreign words and names of books, and organizing the footnotes, as the copy I got off of the Internet was somewhat scrambled; the footnotes were not separated from the rest of the text. Alexander also had a tendency to start a lot of sentences with the word "Now" which becomes tedious. I removed the superfluous nows, which did not change the meaning of those sentences. The result of these changes is a copy that is easier for modern people to read, but if one can obtain a copy of Two Babylons as a special request from a local library, I recommend doing so, as the actual book contains a lot of illustrative pictures.
It's so easy nowadays to get a clearer understanding of the Holy Bible, with concordances and informative articles available through the Internet. Don't take the Internet for granted, though. It might not always be available to us, so we should make the most of it while it lasts, to avail ourselves of these treasures that other Christians are sharing. Let us lay up God's precious Word in our hearts, that we might not sin against Him, as the Bible says in Psalm 119:11.
Click the links below to these treasures:
The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy
The Two Babylons
Fifty Years in the Church of Rome
Visions Beyond the Veil
Copyright © 2011, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on February 1, 2012
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.