The Pattern of Nicea (ni-see-ah)

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.




3 thoughts on “The Pattern of Nicea (ni-see-ah)

  1. And why are they not chosen? Because they set their hearts so much upon the things of this world and aspire to the honors of men that they do not learn this one lesson – that the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled or handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

    No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness and meekness and by love unfeigned.

    By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile.

    Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God . . . . . .

    There is nothing institutional about this. This is what I believe and try to live. As far as being chosen – – – -I believe that Christ and God are the ones who choose. I will leave that to them. Until then, you are right! I need to see to it that we seek the words of Christ and not the honors of men. I can do that. I love the Lord with all my heart. I love you too son.

    • You quoted D&C 121:34-37. That piece of scripture was received by Joseph, while in Liberty jail. However, it was addressing an “institutional power” mentality. You see when faith is founded upon an institutional salvation, and not upon knowing the persons of the Godhead personally and intimately, then men in the institution are given “…a little authority, as they suppose.” And they “…immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” The institutional salvation mentality is condemned “immediately.” We are being told where real salvation can be found, which is by connecting with the Powers of Heaven, …whatever that means.

      The Lord, in these verses, is trying to correct our foolish traditions of men, by reminding us where the power really comes from. What we currently exercise in our institution is a really weak example of power, at best. Joseph Smith, when talking of faith, tells of the power to break mountains, to call upon pillars of fire, mothers bringing their dead children back to life, etc. Compare the testimonies that we typically bear, with the faith J. Smith describes, and it will be easy to see the gulf that exists between us and what God expects of us.

      When we are concerned with the mind and will of God, then we might be able to recognize that “powers of heaven” are really a calling, rather than some kind of bestowal of magic powers. And that the rights of the priesthood only come when we on earth are connected to the “powers of heaven,” such that what is done on earth is as is done in heaven. What I am saying is, when we talk of Kaliki Unga, we call him, “Bishop” Unga. Likewise, when talking to heavenly beings of power, those who have obtained the covenant, we would call them, “Power” so-and-so. When we frame D&C 121:34-37 this way, the scripture takes on a whole new meaning, and generates within the reader the necessity to connect to the heavens, rather than connect to offices of the institution.

      Thanks Mom, for considering my ideas.

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