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GREAT APOSTASY

THE GREAT APOSTASY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH OF CHRIST

THE INTRODUCTION

The Bible says, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some (not all) shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth" (1 Timothy 4:1-3) Now, there are many different ways by which we can depart from the faith because we can be deceived by religious error. Therefore, we should learn the following truths so that we can understand the greatness of our own creation and redemption of life because life is all that we possess and life is all that we will ever possess. Remember: All Scriptures which are used in this article will be taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

THE WRITING OF THE NICENE CREED

Our Lord said, "Ye do err not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God" (Matthew 22:29).

There were many reasons why the Nicene Creed was written. For an example, during the Second Century, it became a practice to select one of the elders to preside over the meetings as a permanent president. This elder was called the "bishop" to distinguish him from the other elders. However, the terms "elders" and "bishops" refers to the same men in the Church. So then there is no distinction which is made among the elders in rank, power, rule, and authority. Thus, this distinction in name gave "the Bishop" greater authority and power in the Church. The authority of the Bishop was increased until each Bishop was assigned a definite territory over which he ruled. This territory was called a diocese because he could rule over ten different congregations. The Bishops increased their own religious authority until they became known as Patriarchs which means "Chief Fathers". They also increased their own territory to larger districts. In the beginning, there were only three Patriarchs: one at Rome, one at Alexandria, and one at Antioch. However, at a latter time, the Bishops of Jerusalem and Constantinople were made Patriarchs which made five in all. Therefore, the organization of this apostate church is that which led to the writing of the Nicene Creed.

There were many controversies within the apostate church over certain doctrines. For an example, there was "the Arian Controversy" which had to do with the doctrine of the Trinity, especially the relationship which exists between the Father and the Son. There was "the Appolinarian Controversy" which questioned the Nature of Christ, and there was "the Pelagian Controversy" which questioned the doctrines of sin and salvation. Now, in an effort to solve the problems which had resulted from "the Arian Controversy," Emperor Constantine called a council of the Bishops which met in Nicia at Bithnia in 325 A. D. It was attended by 318 Bishops and was presided over by the Emperor himself. Many creeds were introduced as a basis of compromise. However, the final resolution was adopted so that a formal statement of faith could be written. Thus, those statements of faith are known as "the Nicene Creed". Therefore, these are some of the words of the Nicene Creed.

"I believe in one God; the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and in-visible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God; begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Lights, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnated by the


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