The conditions of the apostasy were very quick, and not slow like traditions tend to portray. This is a type and shadow of all apostasies. We can learn a great deal from seeing these patterns in our day, not to do the same.
After the resurrection, when Christ left, the apostles went about teaching others to return back into the presence of the resurrected Christ, in the flesh. These were called Pillars. Thomas Didimus was associated with these, and not at all doubting. He knew that it was a privilege, to all who loved Christ, to have the resurrected Christ minister to them, in the flesh. That is why Thomas required to see for himself. Those who don’t understand this call him “doubting” Thomas.
Ascension is what Christ taught in the 40 days after the resurrection, to a select few who loved Him. The apostles went about, after Christ’s ascension, teaching others how to ascend as well. With Christ’s departure the apostles where the Pillars that others depended upon.
Christ taught that an apostasy was to quickly occur, so the apostles went about preaching the words of Christ and teaching those who would listen how to prepare for the darkness. The way to prepare for the darkness was to be connected to the presence of Christ, in the flesh (the source of light). There was no other way. This is the beginning of the tradition of all Christians, seeking a returning Christ. The problem was, “What did it mean that Christ would return?” Most thought the return was soon, others thought it was at the end, while a small group felt confident it meant while alive, like Thomas Didimus.
The apostles most referred to as the Pillars typically refer to Peter, Paul, James, and John. The apostles were hunted, and killed (with the exception of John the Beloved, who walked away) by 110 AD. Now the world was in the dark. The apostasy occurred long before the Nicean Creed (381 AD).
What lead up to Nicea was the differing beliefs among Christians, based upon how they perceived the words of the apostles. The apostles taught Christ’s words accurately, but men relied upon their own understanding, instead of seeking a connection to heaven for a clearer view.
Although there were many apostles, there were four main competing theories after their deaths and departure. They were named after the apostle, even though the apostles never really taught it this way. It represented the four main perceptions of men of the apostles. They are:
- Petrine: A theory that emphasized hierarchy, power in priesthoods, and an institution-like organization. An officer-aggressive form. From this we get the Orthodox/Catholic Church
- Pauline: Emphasized an Organized Doctrine, congregational power, and councils. Doctrines were added for clarity by lawyer figures in order to preserve the original Doctrines. If they could, they’d print manuals for emphasis and clarification. From this we get Presbyterians
- Jamesion: Emphasized a congregational community to promote survival amongst the Jews. Jews threw James from the temple, and beat him till he died, so these developed defenses as their theory.
- Johanine: Emphasized an anointed congregation of equals. The spirit dictates and all must obtain revelation, and thats how oneness is obtained, through the same mind and heart. The emphasis was being at-one with Christ. Christ is central.
From 110 AD- 381AD Christianity flourished and represented economic and political power. Congregations contended with congregations concerning organizational structure, authority, doctrine, who was right and who was wrong. The winners of the match became the Petrine followers, and they had the greatest influence in the matter of who God is, and how heaven, earth, and hell worked in Nicea.
The Bible that we get from Jerome’s translation (King James Version) reflects:
- a defense of offices of hierarchy,
- salvation through obedience to the laws written in the Doctrine,
- and that Christ’s presence is yet a future date and not available on an individual basis outside of the hierarchical order.
Johanine theory was tossed out altogether, which makes me think that it was the closest to the truth. The others seem to offer men the ability to use unrighteous dominion and compulsory means to control and manipulate economies and politics. To manage the church by hidden agendas, and institutional shunning.
When truth is corrupted like this, there is sure to be people who are stepped on and pushed to the side as a result. Those stepped on and pushed to the side can be likened to those kicked out of the synagogues in Alma 32. Once they could recognize the mistreatment, they approached Alma, one who saw Christ, on the hill Onida. Alma was already talking to a group on the hill Onida, but he turns his attention to the group getting kicked out of their synagogues.
Today the pattern continues. Many have been stepped on, fired from their jobs, shunned institutionally by unrighteous men, and even kicked out of the synagogues they have built with their own money, and some with their own hands. They are treated this way, while others play the economic and political games to ascend that institutional ladder, and mix with the hierarchy. But where is the Alma, who teaches men how to ascend and obtain their personal witness of Christ? Where is the Joahanine congregation of oneness in Christ? Where are the records of the forty days that Christ taught His Pillars? That is what the words of Christ teach anyone who will read it, to recognize the truth being offered NOW!
Conclusion: The scriptures are surely a type and a shadow of our day. If you use the words of Christ as a compass, you too can see patterns of our day in them. When you do, you can then align so that you can match the faith of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi and obtain a covenant.
Institutional salvation was never the desire of the Lord. It has always been an individual and personal salvation. That is why the Holy One of Israel hires no servant there. It is Christ Himself. Avoid the false traditions by the study of the words of Christ.
Many are called, but few are chosen. Those who have the scriptures, are called. But those who seek to know the mind and will of God through the words of Christ, are chosen. The first can only bring bitter fruit, while the latter produces the kind of sweet fruit that gets stored up by the Lord.