Prelude to Light
The Iconoclast verses the Iconodules
During the forth century, the entrance to error for the Gentile Church was broadened with the Trojan Horse of Idolatry already waiting at the open gates of Rome. Now the violence of sin will be masterfully sown by the enemy within the community, through cultural expediency in Christendom. Having gained an easy access through a culture seeped in idols, the demonic with its wisdom of sin, is brought into the Christian community and given a preeminent seat at the table for the deliberation over the hearts of men. Satan, the master of sin and anarchy against God, orchestrates the philosophical confusion of proud men, who then introduced demonic doctrines, to the existing culture's understanding of ecclesiastical function in the worship of deity. With beguiling craftiness, the spiritual enemies of Jesus Christ and His Church will coerce religious men to listen to alluring philosophy that appeals to the political and religious power structure of that age, thereby maintaining the status quo of cultural idolatry, rather than heeding the Holy Spirit's righteous plea for holiness unto God alone.
Now, with the help of the enemy within, it has been deemed by the various Church councils, also known collectively as the Magisterium, that the Apostolic succession of men with their superior spirit of wisdom and religious exclusivity, trumps the Word of God, changing the Law and Wisdom of God. After all, the beguiling serpent says, God really didn't mean what He said, did He? Then again the Church says, Jesus Christ gave us all authority to bind and loose things on earth, and it would be upheld in heaven above. But first it should be understood that the Church leadership was obligated to rightly discern the written Word of God and His Commandments, and to maintain the Truth of Scripture and the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that salvation is through Him and in Him alone. (See 2nd Timothy 2 verse 15 thru 19 and chapter 3 verse 14 thru 17.)
However in the spirit of antichrist, the church, in its confusion, has introduced sainted deity now along with Mariolatry to the point of denying the One Who bought them. Of course, the Roman Church of the west and the Orthodoxy of the East denies their illicit worship of idols and saints with their covering philosophy of the man made doctrine of the infallible Magisterium of the Church.
On the strength of the Magisterium's interpretation of the Word of God, incorporated with Hellenistic traditions outside of the Word of God, the combined Roman institution of East and West, established its autonomous authority in the matters of the religion of the Church. Now through its disobedience to that same WORD of God, the Catholic Church is left to face its mortal enemies, within and without, devoid of the strength of God; and for this reason alone, the wisdom of the wisest of men will not be able to cover the nakedness of her whoredoms with the historical bloody conflicts and the cancer growing within, as a result of the violence from the Roman Church's unrepented sin. Sin is spiritually divisive, and like a deadly spiritual virus, will multiply its forces for destruction, leading to death. If extra-biblical doctrine outside of the boundaries and councils of the WORD of God is introduced into the community, then confusion ensues, and logically by its introduced obscurity in the light of Scripture, it is a false doctrine of men.
Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any. They that make a graven image are all of them vanity, and their delectable things shall not profit. They are their own witnesses, for they see not, nor know that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. (Isaiah 44 verse 8 thru 11.)
Therefore to the wise in heart, idolatry in any form is a violation of the first and second Great Commandments of relational understanding with the Creator, and the violation of the Commandments either maintains, or initiates a separation of the heart of the people, who were to be holy dedicated to Almighty God and no other. The precedence for idolatry is set in the Church, and its overthrow is made impossible by the Church's so called infallible rulings at the Second Council at Nicaea in 787. The Churches of saintly idolatry have no epistemological defense for violating the infallible Truth that God has set forth in His Word and the Decalogue.
The Byzantine emperor Constantine the fifth, and before him, his father Leo the third, were both energetic forces in trying to rid the Church of icons and statuary. In 754, Constantine V enlisted 338 bishops from the eastern churches and formed the Council of Hieria. They were called iconoclast because they attempted to abolish the veneration of icons, which they rightly saw as an offence to the Commandments of God. The council of Hieria described themselves to be in the successive order of previous Church councils as the seventh ecumenical council. However, according to the canons of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, the five patriarchs or their representatives were suppose to be in attendance at any ecumenical council for it to be valid. Seeing that none were present at Hieria, it gave the iconodules, the saviors of idols, the excuse to vacate the Hieria council rulings, which was done 33 years later in 787 at the Second Council of Nicaea that now was deemed the official Seventh Ecumenical Council.
The Second Council of Nicaea in their opening paragraph, begins its affront to the iconoclast with the following statement that begins to speak of the Catholic Church's hypocrisy, even when acknowledging the truth.
"The one who granted us the light of recognizing him, the one who redeemed us from the darkness of idolatrous insanity, Christ our God, etcetera."
If our Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed us, the church from the insanity of idolatry, why then is the declared visible Church again cloaking her self in the darkness of the same abominable sin of idolatry? In the Church's self described infallible tradition, the Council proclaims that the iconoclast are duped by the enemy, speaking of the devil, and then state, speaking of the iconoclast:
"they abandoned the true line of reasoning, and setting themselves against the tradition of the catholic church, they faltered in their grasp of the truth".
Then the Council of Nicaea delighting in its ecclesiastical privilege to be the sole interpreter of scripture, erroneously uses Jeremiah's prophetic rebuke to the nation of Israel, proclaiming:
"Many pastors have destroyed My vine, they have defiled My portion". (For the truth see Jeremiah chapter 12 and verse 10 in context ). "For they followed unholy men and trusting to their own frenzies they calumniated the holy church, which Christ our God has espoused to himself, and they failed to distinguish the holy from the profane, asserting that the icons of our Lord and of his saints were no different from the wooden images of satanic idols".
No doubt, the Catholic Church "in the true line of reasoning", must have seen clearly that the unchangeable Holy, Holy, Holy God has despised His own Word, voiding His everlasting decrees for humanity, and decided to have erected in front of Him, other gods, even though they be little. It then logically follows that "in the church's true line of reasoning" that all of the saints in heaven would have their own fellow icons to intercede for them before the Infinite, all knowing and merciful God. Alas, "in the true line of the reasoning" Church, both East and West, the infinite and loving God never should have sent His only begotten Son into this sinful world to be our only Mediator before the most holy God through the propitiation of His righteous blood for our sins and death, after all we have our idols and friends of our idols to mediate for us.
The Word of God, Jesus Christ, answered the Pharisees and said unto them, "Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do". And He said unto them, "Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition". (Mark 7 verses 6 thru 9.)
If anyone does not confess that Christ our God can be represented in His humanity, let him be anathema.
If anyone does not accept representation in art of evangelical scenes, let him be anathema.
If anyone does not salute such representations as standing for the Lord and His saints, let him be anathema.
If anyone rejects any written or unwritten Tradition of the Church, let him be anathema.
Although I am anathematized many times over, through the specious written and unwritten traditions of men, nevertheless armed with the Sword of the Spirit, it is our absolute contention that the veneration of the icons and saints gave place to satanic entities, enabling their philosophical darkness to be intertwined into the affairs of the Roman Church, and crippled her claim to be the visible, one, holy, catholic and apostolic church that Christ would have founded. The historic results of the Roman and Orthodox Church's rebellion against the Word of God and His Righteousness, reveals the repercussions of their faithlessness, eventuating into Church schisms, and the catastrophic loss of lives throughout the centuries.
A short synopsis of the incriminating historical events is punctuated with the Great Schism of 1054 and the splitting of the Church into Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. In the midst of the ongoing confusion of the churches of East and West, the Roman Church with the urging of Pope Urban the Second, initiated in 1095 the beginnings of the Crusades against the Saracens, where deaths, rapes and other atrocities against the civilians were committed on both sides. Then in 1182 came the Massacre of the Latins in Constantinople, perpetrated by the schizophrenic Orthodox citizenry on their fellow Christian Catholics. Then later in 1204, the Roman Church, in its confusion over a new Crusade into the Holy Land, sacked Constantinople, the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church, thereby finalizing the schism of the west and eastern church. Eventually in 1291, the Roman Church withdraws from the wars in the Holy Land, following its failure to maintain any possession of the land of Israel, leaving the land of Israel in the hands of the Muslims. The incessant demonic confusion, with sin's violence in the forefront, does not stop, but continues with the Roman church's threats, torture and slaughter of unknown thousands of souls in the various inquisitions of the middle ages. Of course the rift in the visibly schismatic, one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church expanded with the reformation, leading to the many splintered sects of Christianity. From then until now, the loss of life is staggering, and the hands of the harlots and daughters of the harlots are a washed in the blood of humanity, with confusion being rampant in all of Christendom. Like the schismatic mothers of the Roman Church and the Orthodox Church, so go their daughters of protestation, all the while the demonic enemy is cloaked in allegories, and centuries of violence being perpetrated in the Name of the Lord. (Please see Ephesians 6 verse 10 thru 18, and Galatians 5 verse 14 thru 15.)
Unfortunately, in the Magisterium of the Roman Church, the same paint brush and bucket are passed onto fellow indoctrinated painters, who being immersed in the infallible tradition, are all taught to white wash the Jewish Master's Instructions, so as to paint them over with the churches own unique variations of cultural artisanship. It is good to form a consensus to avoid misunderstanding, but the Roman Catholic's infallible Magisterium has painted itself into a never ending corner that does not allow for error and repentance from that error. The love of God covers the multitude of sins found in the ignorance of sinners, but the rules of the Magisterium brought forth only cursing with anathemas handed out left and right, establishing only the fear of the Church, and not the reverential love of God. The Magisterium of the Church has cursed itself, the Church and its members with all of its infallible anathemas. However, the Love of God suffers through human indignation and violence, giving a place for repentance to all, and is always unfailing in patience, kindness, endued with gentle persuasion and prayers of expectation, giving blessing in the Name of the Lord, rather than the cursing established in the proud religious righteousness of the infallible Magisterium.
When gross error was set in the heart of Israel's people, God sent His prophets to cry for repentance and a return to the heart of the Eternal Holy God, for in His Love He desires to save them from their already damnable ways. The Holy, Holy, Holy God of all creation has not changed and His WORD remains constant, and will accomplish that which He has purposed in His Heart. If the Roman Church has the audacity to call herself the New Israel, then She needs to learn a lesson from the iconoclastic prophet Hosea, concerning God's prophetic rebuke to Israel! My people consult their wooden idols, and their diviner's staff informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God. (Hosea 4 verse 12.) They do not direct their deeds to turn unto their God, for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD. (For the whole testimony against idolatrous Israel see Hosea .) Knowing the depths of Satan, Paul the iconoclast writes to the Galatians: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5 verse 19 thru 21.) To the Colossians, Paul says, Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. (Colossians 3 verse 5 thru 6.) And again, we hear the iconoclastic Paul, admonishing the Church at Corinth: What agreement has the temple of God with idols, for you are the temple the living God. For God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from among them and be you separate, says the Lord. Touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2nd Corinthians 6 verse 16 thru 18.) For those with paint brush in hand and refuse to repent, the iconoclastic prophet Samuel, chastising Saul, says, rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. (See 1st Samuel 15 verse 22 thru 24.)
In the Book of Acts, under the auspices of the Holy Spirit, the Iconoclastic Apostle James in conjunction with the other iconoclastic apostles and elders who were gathered together in Jerusalem, instructs the Gentile believers in a letter: "That you abstain from foods offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well". (See Acts 15 verse 19 thru 29.) If part of the instructions from the Iconoclastic James to the Gentiles, is to abstain from meats or foods offered to idols, then surely it would be understood that they would do well to not be involved with idols at all. If foods offered to idols may pollute the weak believers conscience, then how much more so would their involvement with dead idols compromise their conscience and confuse their relationship with the living God Who has saved them. I AM Jehovah, that is My Name, and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42 verse 8 (Darby.)
If you have come to faith in the perfect obedience of the Savior of Mankind, Who reveals to us God the Father, then why go back to beggarly things that do not prosper the heart in the liberty to love more perfectly, but only rewards a person of the flesh caught up in idols with a further bondage to sin. (See Galatians 4 verse 8 thru 9.) Holy God has not changed, and Jesus Christ the Word of His Father, remains constant even as His Father is constant, for He remains the same as yesterday, today and forever.
For the Love of God and His people, it is our intention to continue to make a mockery of any religious institution that promotes their form of sanctified idolatry. The self declared infallible Magisterium is directed by men born of the idolatrous flesh of Adam, and being outside of the Will of God, they have formulated their own man made traditions that condone their self sanctified idols and relics of dead men's bones. They have not only made themselves accountable to God for their own sins, but also for the sins of the multitudes they have corrupted, rather than corrected. It would seem that these men have lost sight of Jesus Christ, Who in the will of His Father, has died and paid the penalty for our own willfulness and its sin of self satisfying idolatry. Yahweh's Son and WORD became the Son of Man and kept the righteousness of the Commandments to the fullest extent in obedient love for His Father, and was crucified and suffered death for the sake of idolatrous mankind. You would think that the leadership of these churches would repent of their sedition against the Word of God, and set God their Creator as first in all things concerning a more perfect love and obedience that is His do. Contrary wise, the Iconodules of both the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Churches have justified their idolatrous position with their twisted hermeneutics of the Word of God. How woefully sad it is that these teachers of babes set their icons of saints before the altar of God, and the people of God are led to believe that they need these dead saints to intercede for them before a God who seemingly does not hear them. The writer of Hebrews addressing those who need a better understanding of their Messiah, speaks appropriately at this time with his admonishment: Of Whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull of hearing. For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (See Hebrews 5 verse 8 thru 14.) I AM the Lord thy God: Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I AM the LORD thy God, a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments. (For all of the first oracles see Exodus 20 verse 1 thru 17.)
Now then concerning the oracles of God, how do you judge the following recorded Word of the Lord? Jesus said unto the Pharisees: The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. (See Mark 2 verse 23 thru 27.) A right understanding drawn from the Lord Himself, would be that the fullness of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments were made for man, by the Almighty God to show forth the extent of man's depravity towards God first, and then mankind secondly. The unimpeachable Second Commandment of Holy God Almighty remains for its condemnation of any form of the sin of idolatry and its affront to the invisible God, and to expose our own ungodly suppositions and accusations making Him to be as we are. The demonic serpent challenged God's veracity in the Garden, and the infection of that rebellious ideology remains in all of Adam's offspring of humanity. The original challenge began; Did the Lord God really say and mean what He said? Satan, in his continuing deception, said no, but St Paul in his own spiritual reality says: For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. (See Romans 7 verse 10 thru 13.) I think you will find that "Me, Myself and I" is always idolatrous and full of rebellion against God and His Law.
One of the defenses the Iconodules point to in Scripture, is in the fiery or bronze serpent that Moses constructed in obedience at the Voice of God. The children of Israel in their desert travels, once again spoke against the Lord and Moses, and God sent the venomous serpents into the midst of the tribes of Israel, and many of the people were bitten and died. The people repented of their rebellion, and were instructed to look unto the lifted up bronze serpent so that they may live, and so they obeyed and the affliction was lifted. (See Numbers 21 verse 5 thru 9.) The constructed fiery serpent was a symbol of the sin that represented Israel's rebellion against God. And Jesus said: As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3 verse 13 thru 15.) Jesus, Who knew no sin was made to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. (See 2nd Corinthians 5 verse 21.) Israel's self idolatry and willfulness against God was depicted in the icon of the fiery serpent, even as all of humanities self idolatry with its fullest depravity and rebellion against God was laid fully on the Son of Man and the Word of God, Jesus Christ.
But again, the Iconodules foolishly accuse God of breaking His own second Commandment when God instructed His Jewish people how to construct the Ark of the Covenant, the tent of meeting that is also called the tabernacle, and then later the temple in Jerusalem. In each case the imageries were of a type that is symbolic of God's Holiness. With the Ark of the Covenant, the pair of gold Seraphims were set in a position showing obeisance to God's Mercy Seat, depicting symbolically the heavenly Seraphims, who cry holy, holy, holy as they would be worshiping ceaselessly the Infinitely Holy God in His Sanctuary.
It is one thing to obey the Voice of the Word of God, but another to become a law unto ourselves so as to change the dynamics of the law, and to make the Personal Word of God of no affect. But whose accusing voice do you hear? It is impossible that Holy, Holy, Holy God would be under any accusation or reproach from His Commandments, for they were given to man through Moses to show mankind that they are under the Law's condemnation of sin, revealing their vileness towards God, the Lawmaker and final Judge of sin. Their usefulness having presently ended, the brazen serpent was destroyed by Hezekiah, the temples were destroyed by the pagans, and the Ark of the Covenant is not to be found. When Jesus Christ came to redeem us, we became the temple of God, supplanting the need for the others, therefore, the people of God are to be led by the Holy Spirit of Truth, Who confirms the Word of God as Truth and leads us in the narrow path of the Lord's righteousness, and not on the wide path of destruction.
Therefore, knowing the depths of Satan and also the call of God, and taking in both hands additional passages from the revealed Word and Power of God, let me ask: In the midst of this harlotry, where are the bold of God in Truth, who have the eyes to see and a heart to understand? “And shall say with the Spirit of God: Cast you up, cast you up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of My people”. (See Isaiah 57 verse 12 thru 16.)
For Thus says the I AM THAT I AM: that is My Name, and My Glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42 verse 8.) Those who mock God at His Word need to reconsider Who He is, and Whose judgments they so insolently defy. Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear what is to come?
In God's Judgment: Long time have I held My peace; I have been still, I have restrained Myself: I will cry like a woman that travails (in birth); I will blow and pant at once. I will lay waste mountains and hills and dry up all their herbs; I will make the rivers islands and I will dry up the pools.
In God's Mercy: I will bring the
blind by a way that they know not, in paths that they know not will I lead them;
I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These
things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
In God's Admonishment: They shall be turned back, they shall be covered with shame that confide in graven images, that say to the molten images, you are our gods. (Isaiah 42 verse 14 thru 18) Darby.)
In the final ending in his epistle titled 1st John, the iconoclast and Apostle John says: Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1st John 5 verse 21.)
"And they shall overcome the evil (accuser) by the BLOOD of the LAMB, and the Word of their testimony, and they loved not their life unto the death." (Revelation 12 verse 10.)
To proceed to the next chapter, please click on The Churches of General Apathy.
Robert Glenn Pratten
Robert Glenn Pratten