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 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 well acquainted with 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.
Fifty Years in the Church of Rome was written, I am proud to say, by a Canadian, who was a true hero, in my estimation. Charles Chiniquy was a 19th century, Catholic priest who was born in Quebec and became known in his church as the Apostle of Temperance in Canada. He was acquainted with a Protestant doctor who tried to persuade him that drinking alcohol, including wine, harms the body. Though the doctor allowed Chiniquy to observe 100 autopsies on sailors who had been hard drinkers, and Chiniquy could see the damage, he was not motivated to stop drinking wine or to persuade others to do so.
What convinced him was the death of a young woman in his parish, and her baby. The young woman came from a wealthy family and her mother educated her about wines, not realizing that her daughter had a propensity towards alcoholism. She became a heavy drinker and, one evening, when she was drunk and holding her baby, she stumbled and accidentally knocked the child's head against the cast iron stove, dashing out her brains.
Chiniquy was called to the scene because the young mother was in such great distress, flying around her house like a phantom, clutching her dead child to her bosom. Nobody could persuade her to let go of the baby. She begged Chiniquy to go throughout Canada and paint her child's blood above every door, warning people to not drink alcohol, lest they should suffer such tragic circumstances as what she found herself in. By dawn, she was dead, her heart having burst from sorrow, and she was buried with her child.
After this horrifying experience, Chiniquy embarked on that mission and managed to persuade thousands of people to give up alcohol, chiding them for spending their money on alcohol, instead of buying food for their starving children. He was persecuted by other priests who loved their wine, and by tavern keepers who were not happy about people burning kegs of booze in the streets and putting them out of business, but thousands of families were saved from ruin, both Catholic and Protestant.
As he was so influential, the Vatican eventually sent Chiniquy to Illinois, to work subversively to bring America under Vatican control. The Irish were being imported into the country to populate it with Catholics and they formed a large number of his congregation. This was why people did not want to hire the Irish in those days. They were aware of the Vatican plot to get enough Irish into the country to vote its candidates into office and for the Irish to work their way into jobs where they would have power and authority, such as the police force and the courts.
I am not prejudiced against the Irish. The Emerald Isle is a significant part of my ancestry and my blood bubbles with joy when I hear Irish music. But my DNA does not interfere with my recognition that this plot against America is part of its history and the Vatican has not abandoned it.
Chiniquy was a rare kind of priest. He truly believed in God and loved God and cared about his parishoners. He protested them being taken advantage of by atheistic, greedy, unscrupulous priests who were bent on plunder and immorality. He was punished for his integrity by being falsely accused of rape by the sister of a priest. Her brother persuaded her that, in addition to paying her for it, he could give her absolution for telling lies that would create a scandal against an innocent man to discredit him and send him to prison.
Abraham Lincoln defended Chiniquy in court and a surprise witness was discovered just in time who had overheard the plot against him. Lincoln was so pleased with the outcome of the trial that he did not want to charge Chiniquy his fee, but Chiniquy insisted, and he also sadly informed Abraham Lincoln that he had made some powerful enemies, the Jesuits who attended the trial and had their prey snatched from them by Lincoln's expertise.
Lincoln had a lot of respect for Chiniquy and called on him when he was puzzled about Catholic manuveurs. There were articles in newspapers that said Lincoln was baptized in the Catholic church as an infant. Lincoln and his family had never had any association with that church. Chiniquy informed him that the Vatican was painting him as an apostate, looking for Catholics who would be willing to assassinate him. His murder would be forgiven as it is part of their law that it is a Catholic's duty to kill heretics and apostates.
Chiniquy described his last meeting with Abraham Lincoln and the President's noble words, where he expressed his willingness to die as a martyr for his nation and that God had already warned him it was coming.
There were many portions of the book that had me in tears, such as the suffering of a monk who was tormented by guilt over his sexual desires so much that he castrated himself, a young woman who sincerely looked to Jesus as her Saviour and suffered a heart attack from stress when she refused to confess her sins to a priest because she felt it would be a betrayal of Christ, and admiration for the great Mr. Lincoln who went on so bravely with his job, knowing how it was going to end.
Chiniquy wrote of the dark night of his soul, where he felt he was lost forever, until God enlightened his understanding and he received salvation. He became a Presbyterian minister and led thousands of Catholics to Jesus.
Chiniquy tells the amazing story of a man whose life he saved from the gallows. The man and the gang he robbed and killed with were sent to a penal colony in Australia, instead. Chiniquy gave New Testaments to those criminals before they sailed, the only priest in Canada, the man said, who would give people a Bible. He read it, realized there was nothing in it about Catholic rituals and artifacts, and got saved on board the ship.
His conduct changed so much that he was pardoned and given money to start a new life, which resulted in him discovering a lot of gold and becoming very rich. Chiniquy visited the man in his beautiful home and rejoiced to see the man's loving wife and large brood of children, the best part of his wealth. It was such a wonderful story of exponential blessing on the life of a redeemed soul that had been so deep in sin.
The book is tremendously educational about the Catholic church. Though it was written in the early part of the 20th century, Chiniquy asserts that the Catholic church never changes its ways. It is a lamb in countries where it holds only a little political power, but a devouring lion when it has control of the government. As the Bible says, it is impossible for a leopard to change its spots.
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.