May - Christian Community Year Devotional

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May - The Christian Church, Planting

May 1

Alpha and Omega

Jesus Christ the Alpha (Beginning) and Omega (Ending) of the Christian Church Age

The Christian Church Age began [Resurrection Day] and ends [at a future date i.e. the Church Rapture] with Jesus Christ.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. ~ Revelation 1:8
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set [seated] down [in Heaven] at the right hand of the Throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:2
When they [Jesus and the Apostles] therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the Kingdom [Millennial Age] to Israel? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times [Dispensations] or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power. ~ Acts 1:6-7

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May 2

B.C. and A.D.

Before Christ BC or B.C. and Anno Domini AD or A.D.

Anno Domini (AD or A.D.) and Before Christ (BC or B.C.) are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term Anno Domini is Medieval Latin, translated as In the year of the Lord, and as in the year of Our Lord. It is sometimes specified more fully as Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi ("In the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ"). This calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of the era. There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC. This dating system was devised in 525, but was not widely used until after 800 AD.

The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today. For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, adopted for pragmatic interests of international communication, transportation, commercial integration and recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union.

Terminology that is viewed by some as being more neutral and inclusive of non-Christian peoples is to call this the Christian, Current, or Common Era (abbreviated as CE or C.E.), with the preceding years referred to as Before the Common, Christian, or Current Era (BCE or B.C.E.).

And he (Antichrist) shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the Saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time [3 1/2 years]. ~ Daniel 7:25

Source: wiki.com

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May 3

Dionysius Exiguus

Dionysius Exiguus - Started the Anno Domini Calendar in 525 AD

The Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525 AD by Dionysius Exiguus to enumerate the years in his Easter (Christian Passover) table. His system was to replace the Diocletian era that had been used in an old Easter table because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. The last year of the old table, Diocletian 247, was immediately followed by the first year of his table, AD 532. When he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by naming the consuls who held office that year-he himself stated that the "present year" was "the consulship of Probus Junior", which was [considered to be] 525 years "since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ". Thus Dionysius [by counting back a guestimated number of Jewish Passover years until the original Holy Week and then adding 33 1/2 years for the lifetime of Jesus] implied that Jesus' Incarnation [birth] occurred 525 years earlier, without stating the specific year during which his birth or conception occurred.

When the reckoning from Jesus' incarnation started replacing the previous dating systems in western Europe, different people chose different Christian feast days to begin the year: Christmas, Annunciation [Luke 1:26-39 - celebrated on March 25th], or Easter. Thus, depending on the time and place, year number changed on different days, which created slightly different styles in chronology.

With these various styles, the same day could, in some cases, be dated in 1099, 1100 or 1101. The Annunciation style also caused a major problem: in some years, there was no Easter, and in other years, that feast was celebrated twice; for example, Easter occurred on 23 March 1504 (i.e. in 1505 for us) and on 12 April 1506, but not in 1505.

It has also been speculated by Georges Declercq that Dionysius' desire to replace Diocletian years with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ was to prevent people from believing the imminent end of the world.

At the time it was believed that the Resurrection and end of the world would occur 500 years after the birth of Jesus. The old Anno Mundi calendar theoretically commenced with the creation of the world based on information in the Old Testament. It was believed that based on the Anno Mundi calendar Jesus was born in the year 5500 (or 5500 years after the world was created) with the year 6000 of the Anno Mundi calendar marking the end of the world. Anno Mundi 6000 (approximately AD 500) was thus equated with the resurrection of Christ and the end of the world but this date had already passed in the time of Dionysius. Dionysius therefore searched for a new end of the world at a later date. He was heavily influenced by ancient cosmology, in particular the doctrine of the Great Year that places a strong emphasis on planetary conjunctions. Dionysius decided that when all the planets were in conjunction this cosmic event would mark the end of the world. Dionysius accurately calculated that this conjunction would occur in May AD 2000, about 1500 years after the life of Dionysius. Dionysius then applied another cosmological timing mechanism based on precession of the equinoxes (that had only been discovered about six centuries earlier). Though incorrect, many people at the time believed that the processional cycle was 24,000 years which included twelve astrological ages of 2,000 years each. Dionysius believed that if the planetary alignment of May 2000 marked the end of an age, then the birth of Jesus Christ marked the beginning of the age 2,000 years earlier on the 23rd March (the date of the Northern Hemisphere Spring Equinox and beginning of many yearly calendars from ancient times). He therefore deducted 2,000 years from the May 2000 conjunction to produce AD 1 for the incarnation of Christ even though modern scholars and the Roman Catholic Church acknowledge that the birth of Jesus was [possibly] a few years earlier than AD 1 [i.e. about 2 to 4 BC].

Source: wiki.com

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May 4

Birth Date of Jesus Christ

The Historical Birth Date of Jesus Christ

According to Doggett, "Although scholars generally believe that Christ was born some years before AD 1, the historical evidence is too sketchy to allow a definitive dating". According to Matthew 2:1 King Herod the Great was alive when Jesus was born, and Matthew 2:16, says Herod ordered the Massacre of the Innocents in response to Jesus' birth. Blackburn and Holford-Strevens fix King Herod's death shortly before Passover in 4 BC.

The Gospel of Luke also states that Jesus was "about thirty years old" [Luke 3:23] during the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar [Luke 3:1]. Tiberius began his reign as Caesar in September of AD 14. The 15th year of his reign would then be AD 28 or 29. If Jesus was born in 5 or 4 BC, that would put the start of Jesus' ministry around age 32 to 34. Most scholars do not see this as a contradiction of Luke's claim that Jesus was "about thirty years old."

The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was conceived during the reign of Herod the Great [Luke 1:5-38] (i.e., before 4 BC) while also stating that Jesus was born when Cyrenius (or Quirinius) was the governor of Syria and carried out the census of the Roman provinces of Syria and Iudaea.[Luke 2:1-3] The Jewish historian Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews (93 AD), indicates that Cyrenius/Quirinius' governorship of Syria began in AD 6, and that the census occurred sometime between AD 6-7, which is incompatible with a conception prior to 4 BC. On this point, Blackburn and Holford-Strevens state that "St. Luke raises greater difficulty ... Most critics therefore discard Luke" [while most Christians consider Josephus to be only slightly accurate].

Source: wiki.com

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May 5

Year Zero

The Year Zero is Not Used in Calendars

Neither the Julian or the Gregorian calendars provide for the Year Zero.

In the AD year numbering system, whether applied to the Julian or Gregorian calendars, AD 1 is preceded by 1 BC. There is no year "0" between them. Because of this, most experts agree that a new century begins in a year with the last digits being "01" (1801, 1901, 2001); new millennia likewise began in 1001 and 2001. A common misconception is that centuries and millennia begin when the trailing digits are zeroes (1800, 1900, 2000, etc.); moreover, this convention was widely used to celebrate the new millennium in the year 2000. For computational reasons astronomical year numbering and the ISO 8601 standard designate years so that AD 1 = year 1, 1 BC = year 0, 2 BC = year -1, etc. In common use, ancient dates are expressed in the Julian calendar, but ISO 8601 uses the Gregorian calendar and astronomers may use a variety of time scales depending on the application. Thus dates using the year 0 or negative years may require further investigation before being converted to BC or AD.

Source: wiki.com

Note: generally what our imprecise [solar or lunar] calendars do is to give us just enough information. We have just enough chronological information to reasonably know the Times and the Seasons but we don't [i.e. considering Leap Years] have enough precise information to correctly set exact dates regarding either historical prophesies or the expected 2nd Coming.

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May 6

John the Baptist

John the Baptist was the Last of the Old Testament Prophets

John the Baptist as the last of the Old Testament Prophets was not a member of the Christian Church. The Christian Church began later (on Resurrection Sunday, Easter) about three years after the death of John the Baptist.

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent all of you: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. ~ Matthew 3:1-2
For all the Prophets and the [Levitical] law prophesied until John [the Baptist]. And if all of you will receive it, this is Elijah (lit. "My God is Jehovah/Yahweh"), which was in order to come. ~ Matthew 11:13-14
As it is written [Isaiah 40:3] in the book of the words of Isaiah the Prophet, saying, The voice of one [John the Baptist] crying in the wilderness, Prepare all of you the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see [Jesus Christ] the Salvation of God. ~ Luke 3:4-6
He (Jesus) that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend [John the Baptist] of the bridegroom, which stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. ~ John 3:29

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May 7

The Jewish Apostles

The 12 Jewish Apostles of Jesus Christ

Just as John the Baptist had lived during the Old Testament Times so did the original Apostles who first came to Jesus as Jewish Disciples and Apostles and later after the Resurrection of Jesus each of the Jewish Apostles [except Judas] converted to Christianity and became Christian Apostles.

And when He (Jesus) had called unto Him His Twelve Disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. ~ Matthew 10:1-4
These twelve Jesus sent forth [G649 - lit. Apostle], and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter all of you not: But go

rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as all of you go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely all of you

have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor pouch for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his food. ~ Matthew 10:5-10
And into whatsoever city or town all of you shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till all of you go thence. And when all of you come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when all of you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Assuredly I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. ~ Matthew 10:11-15

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May 8

The Christian Apostles

The 12 Christian Apostles of Jesus Christ

Each of the Jewish Apostles except for Judas, and many of the Jewish Disciples i.e. Mary Magdalen each recognized the resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and in doing so became Christians.

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days [the next Sunday Evening] again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then says He to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold My hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My LORD and my God. ~ John 20:24-28
And, being assembled together [Jesus] with them [Disciples], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise [John 16:7 - comfort and repentance Works from the Holy Spirit] of the Father, which, saith He, you have heard of Me. For John [the Baptist] truly baptized with water; but all of you (Christians) shall be baptized [empowered] with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. ~ Acts 1:4-5
Then returned they [Christian Apostles] unto Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath Day's journey. The Upper Room And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. ~ Acts 1:12-14
But all of you [Born Again Christians] shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and all of you shall be witnesses (lit. maryters) unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up [The Ascension]; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. ~ Acts 1:8-9

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May 9

Judas Iscariot

The betrayer Judas Iscariot

Every indication in scripture is that Judas infiltrated the ministry of Jesus Christ with the expressed intention of betraying Jesus, yet, Judas as a Jewish Apostle an infiltrating one still received all of the abilities, rights and ministry as the other of the 12 Apostles did and in the end Jesus embraced Judas and called him friend.

And as all [12 Jewish Apostles including Judas Iscariot] of you go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely all of you have received, freely give. ~ Matthew 10:7-8
And while He (Jesus) yet spoke, lo, Judas, one of the Twelve (Jewish Apostles), came, and with him a great multitude [of Temple soldiers] with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed Him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He [the Messiah]: hold Him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed Him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore are you come? Then came they [the soldiers], and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. ~ Matthew 26:47-50
Then Judas, which had betrayed Him (Jesus), when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see you to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the Temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. ~ Matthew 27:3-5

Note: the Apostle Peter sought forgiveness from Jesus there is no indication that Judas went to Jesus seeking forgiveness.

The Apostle Paul eventually fills the Office (Bishop) of Judas Iscariot.

Men and brethren, this scripture must essentially have been fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of [King] David spoke before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he (Judas) was numbered with us (Jewish Apostles), and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong [while he hanged himself], he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the Book of Psalms [Psalms 41:9], Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick [position as a Bishop] let another take. ~ Acts 1:16-20

-- Recap --

Satanic Signatures in Judas' Betrayal

There are indications and 'Satanic Signatures' i.e. betraying Jesus on the 13th of Nisan that indicate that Judas Iscariot was never a Disciple and that he had purposely infiltrated the Disciples of Jesus with the sole intention of betraying Jesus.

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you Twelve (Disciples - Apostle), and one of you is a devil? He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the Twelve. ~ John 6:70
... and Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. ~ Luke 6:16
Then says one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray Him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare [carried the money] what was put therein. ~ John 12:4-6
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went [on the 13th of Nisan] unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will all of you give me, and I will deliver Him (Jesus) unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. ~ Matthew 26:14-16

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May 10

The Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul the 12th Christian Apostle

The Apostle Peter in the book of Acts was attempting to replace Judas with another Jewish Apostle "of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us" while God was going outside the box and providing a Christian Apostle.

Technically speaking Matthias replaced Judas as the 12th Jewish Apostle while it was the Apostle Paul that became the 12th Christian Apostle.

Wherefore of these men [Jewish Disciples] which have companied with us [Apostles] all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John [the Baptist], unto that same day [Ascension] that He was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, You, Lord, which know the hearts of all men, show whether of these two you have chosen, That he may take part of this Ministry and Apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven Apostles. ~ Acts 1:21-26

God Appointed Paul an Apostle

But the Lord said unto him [Ananias at Damascus], Go your way: for he [Apostle Paul] is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the [Jewish] Sons of Israel: ~ Acts 9:15

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May 11

Stephen

Stephen the First Christian Martyr

Stephen a Church Deacon (Elder) and the first Christian martyr.

And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. ~ Acts 6:5-7
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians [Alexandria, Egypt], and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. ~ Acts 6:8-10
And [Stephen] said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul [later the Apostle Paul]. ~ Acts 7:56-58

Note: Stephen is the first Christian Church martyr if the Christian Church had existed in the Old Testament then John the Baptist would have been the first Christian martyr instead John the Baptist was the last martyred Prophet.

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May 12

Ananias and Sapphira

Early Church Christians Ananias and Sapphira

Ananias and Sapphira were early Church Christians who misused their Priesthood office of Melchizedek Priests just as the sons of Aaron had misused their Levitical Priesthood office so many years ago and like the sons of Aaron (Leviticus 10:1) they paid for their mistake with their life. Ananias and Sapphira though cutting short their lives they remained Christians and still take part in the Glorious first resurrection.

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. ~ Acts 5:1-2
But [Apostle] Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not your own? and after it was sold, was it not in your own power? why have you conceived this thing in your heart? you have not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the spirit: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether all of you sold the land for so much? And she said, Yes, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that all of you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried your husband are at the door, and shall carry you out. Then fell she down immediately at his feet, and yielded up the spirit: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. ~ Acts 5:3-10
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spoke, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. ~ Leviticus 10:1-3

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May 13

Simon the Sorcerer

Simon the Sorcerer from Samaria

Simon the Sorcerer much like Judas before him attempted to infiltrate the Christian Church and use the preaching and ministry for his own gain.

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles

which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, which in time past in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with

Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. ~ Acts 8:5-13
Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were [water] baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he [Simon] offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said unto him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray all of you to the LORD for me, that none of these things which all of you have spoken come upon me. ~ Acts 8:14-24

Note: Simon the Sorcerer again like Judas declined to seek his forgiveness from Jesus Christ and instead went to others to intercede for him and though it has the appearance of religion it is not Christianity.

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May 14

The House of Cornelius

The House of Cornelius, the first Gentile Christians

The first Gentile Christians are added to the Jewish Christian Church, about 14 years after Holy Week and Pentecost.

There was a certain man [a Roman] in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band [Army], A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. ~ Acts 10:1-2
Then [Apostle] Peter opened his mouth, and said, Truthfully I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every Nation he that fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted with Him. The word which God sent unto the Sons of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all: That word, I say, all of you know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John [the Baptist] preached; How God anointed [in the Melchizedek Priesthood] Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised [Resurrected] up the third day, and shewed Him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses [Apostles] chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to Testify that it is He (Jesus) which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick (living) and dead. To Him give all the [O.T.] Prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins. ~ Acts 10:34-43
While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision [Jews] which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. Then prayed [asked] they him [Apostle Peter] to stay certain days. ~ Acts 10:44-48

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May 15

1st Missionary Trip

The 1st Missionary Trip included the Apostle Paul (Saul), Joses Barnabas and John Mark

The First Missionary Journey

The author [Luke] of the Acts arranges Paul's travels into three separate journeys. The first journey, [Acts 13-14] led initially by Barnabas, takes Paul from Antioch to Cyprus then southern Asia Minor (Anatolia), and back to Antioch. In Cyprus, Paul rebukes and blinds Elymas the magician [Acts 13:8-12] who was criticizing their teachings. From this point on, Paul is described as the leader of the group.

They sail to Perga in Pamphylia. John Mark leaves them and returns to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas go on to Pisidian Antioch. On Sabbath they go to the synagogue. The leaders invite them to speak. Paul reviews Israelite history from life in Egypt to King David. He introduces Jesus as a descendant of David brought to Israel by God. He said that his team came to town to bring the message of salvation. He recounts the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. He quotes from the Septuagint to assert that Jesus was the promised Christos who brought them forgiveness for their sins. Both the Jews and the 'God-fearing' Gentiles invited them to talk more next Sabbath. At that time almost the whole city gathered. This upset some influential Jews who spoke against them. Paul used the occasion to announce a change in his mission which from then on would be to the Gentiles [Acts 13:13-48].

Antioch served as a major Christian center for Paul's evangelizing.

Source: wiki.com

As they [Church in Antioch, Syria] ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul [Apostle Paul] for the [missionary] work unto which I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the Word of God in the Synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John [Mark - Gospel of Mark] to their minister. ~ Acts 13:2-5

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May 16

1st Church Council

1st Church Council in Jerusalem about 49-50 A.D.

The early Church recognized that God was active in calling Gentiles into His Christian Church and they also recognized that the Gentiles would have to conduct their new life in a manner consistent with Biblical Christianity and finally they concluded that it is important for Christians not to openly offend those that have remained Jewish.

The Jerusalem Creed

The 1st Church Council of about 49-50 A.D. in Jerusalem has 4 Cornerstones.

But that we [Apostles] write unto them Gentile Christians, (1.) that they abstain from [occult] pollutions of idols, (2.) and from [immorality] fornication, (3.) and from things [cruelty] strangled, (4.) and from [Levitical] blood. "For Moses of old time hath [traditional Jews] in every city them that preach him (Moses), being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day"

And the Apostles and Elders came together in order to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing [arguing], [Apostle] Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, all of you know how that a good while ago [Cornelius and his household at Caesarea] God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knows the hearts, bare them witness, *giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt all of you God, to put a yoke [law of Moses] upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the Grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we [Redeemed Jews] shall be saved [Salvation], even as they [previously unredeemed Gentiles]. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James [who later wrote the Book of James] answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon [Apostle Peter] has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the [O.T.] prophets; as it is written, After this [Christian Church Age] I [Jesus Christ] will return [2nd Coming], and will build again the tabernacle [Throne] of [King] David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My Name [Christian] is called, says the Lord, who does all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence [James speaking] is, that we [Jewish Christians] trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols [occult practices], and from fornication [immorality], and from things strangled [cruelty], and from [Levitical] blood [so not to offend the Levitical Jews]. For Moses of old time has in every city them [Levitical Jews] that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath Day. Then pleased it the Apostles and Elders with the whole Church [in Jerusalem], to send chosen men of their own company to [the Church in] Antioch [Syria] with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren: ~ Acts 15:6-22

Note: the fourth 'Cornerstone' is not to offend the traditional Jews. Since one of the Cornerstones of the 1st Church Council is to support Jews and Traditional Judaism it is an original and longstanding tenant that true Christianity acknowledges its debt and emergence from (God ordained) Mosaic Judaism.

Also Note: All food including blood is now clean because the eternal blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed the world. Eating animal blood and probably human blood if it were obtained in a legal manner does not make a person unclean. Satan has devised a scheme that the world is unclean however it is not. It is unprofitable to do questionable things and germs and disease might be involved but if someone for example drank pig blood thinking it is an evil act the act itself is not but the intentions of their heart might be. - Some cultures eat blood foods and if the Jews are simply notified that it is a custom and not a slight on Moses then they are free to eat their blood food of course not offering any of it to a devout Jewish person because that would be terribly offensive. The 1st Church council was saying to the Gentiles to have our Christian Gentile liberties but also to be mindful and respectful of the [Redeemed] Jews who do still follow the laws of Moses.

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May 17

Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem the Jewish Capital City of Israel and the Birthplace of Christianity

Jerusalem was the original birthplace and center of Christianity however as Christianity spread to the Gentiles the center of Christianity moved, first north to Antioch, Syria and then later west to Rome.

Jerusalem has always been a Jewish city and is to be retained as the center of Judaism. Though very important to Christianity the city of Jerusalem is biblically not intended to be the center of Christianity.

Nevertheless I (Jesus Christ) must walk today, and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a Prophet perish outside [the jurisdiction] of Jerusalem. ~ Luke 13:33
And, [Jesus] being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise [John 16:7 - comfort and repentance Works from the Holy Spirit] of the Father, which, saith He, you have heard of Me. ~ Acts 1:4
There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed everyone. ~ Acts 5:16

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May 18

Antioch, Syria

Antioch the 1st Relocated Center of Christianity

The Disciples are now called Christians in Antioch.

Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. ~ Acts 11:19
And the hand of the Lord was with them [Jewish Christians scattered about]: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the

Church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch [in Syria]. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with

purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. ~ Acts 11:21-24
Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, in order to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the Church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. ~ Acts 11:25-26

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May 19

2nd Missionary Trip

The 2nd Missionary Trip included the Apostle Paul, Silas a Church Elder from Jerusalem and later Titus (Gentile), Timothy (1/2 Jewish) and Luke

Second Missionary Journey

Paul left for his second missionary journey [after] Jerusalem, in late Autumn 49 AD, after the meeting of the Council of Jerusalem where the circumcision question was debated. On their trip around the Mediterranean Sea, Paul and his companion Barnabas [and Judas and Silas] stopped in Antioch [to deliver the letter of the 1st Church Council] where [later] they had a sharp argument about taking John Mark with them on their trips. The book of Acts said that John Mark had left them in a previous trip and gone home. Unable to resolve the dispute, Paul and Barnabas decided to separate; Barnabas took John Mark with him, while Silas joined Paul.

Paul and Silas initially visited Tarsus (Paul's birthplace), Derbe and Lystra. In Lystra, they met Timothy, a disciple who was spoken well of, and decided to take him with them. The Church kept growing, adding believers, and strengthening in faith daily [Acts 16:5].

In Philippi, Paul cast a spirit of divination out of a servant girl, whose masters were then unhappy about the loss of income her soothsaying provided. (Acts 16:16-24) They turned the city against the missionaries, and Paul and Silas were put in jail. After a miraculous earthquake, the gates of the prison fell apart and Paul and Silas could have escaped but remained; this event led to the conversion of the jailor.(Acts 16:25-40) They continued traveling, going by Berea and then to Athens where Paul preached to the Jews and God-fearing Greeks in the synagogue and to the Greek intellectuals in the Areopagus.

Around 50-52 AD, Paul spent 18 months in Corinth. The reference in Acts to Proconsul Gallio helps ascertain this date (cf. Gallio inscription). In Corinth, Paul met Priscilla and Aquila who became faithful believers and helped Paul through his other missionary journeys. The couple followed Paul and his companions to Ephesus, and stayed there to start one of the strongest and most faithful churches at that time. In 52 AD, the missionaries sailed to Caesarea to greet the Church there and then traveled north to Antioch where they stayed for about a year before leaving again on their third missionary journey.

Source: wiki.com

Silas helps deliver the letter from the 1st Church Council in Jerusalem.

Then pleased it the Apostles and Elders with the whole Church [in Jerusalem], to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch [in Syria] with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed

Barsabas and Silas, chief men [Elders] among the brethren: And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the

Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. ~ Acts 15:22-23
And Judas and Silas, being prophets [able to proficiently preach about Jesus] also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. ~ Acts 15:32
Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there [in Antioch] still. Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. And some

days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the LORD, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they

departed asunder [split] one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed [back] unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches. ~ Acts 15:34-41

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May 20

3rd Missionary Trip

The 3rd Missionary Trip of the Apostle Paul at various times included Silas, Timothy, Luke, Titus, Erastus and some others

Third Missionary Journey

Paul began his third missionary journey by traveling all around the region of Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen, teach and rebuke the believers. Paul then traveled to Ephesus, an important center of early Christianity, and stayed there for almost three years. He performed numerous miracles, healing people and casting out demons, and he apparently organized missionary activity in other regions. Paul left Ephesus after an attack from a local silversmith resulted in a pro-Artemis riot involving most of the city. During his stay in Ephesus, Paul wrote four letters to the church in Corinth admonishing them for their pagan behavior.

Paul went through Macedonia into Achaea and made ready to continue on to Syria, but he changed his plans and traveled back through Macedonia because of Jews who had made a plot against him. At this time (56-57), it is likely that Paul visited Corinth for three months. In Romans 15:19 Paul wrote that he visited Illyricum, but he may have meant what would now be called Illyria Graeca, which lay in the northern part of modern Albania, but was at that time a division of the Roman province of Macedonia.

Paul and his companions visited other cities on their way back to Jerusalem such as Philippi, Troas, Miletus, Rhodes, and Tyre. Paul finished his trip with a stop in Caesarea where he and his companions stayed with Philip the Evangelist before finally arriving at Jerusalem.

Source: wiki.com

The Apostle Paul's 3rd Missionary Journey

And after he [Apostle Paul] had spent some time there [back in Antioch], he departed [3rd missionary trip], and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples. ~ Acts 18:23

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May 21

Pastor Titus

Pastor Titus the First Notable Gentile Christian Pastor about 60 AD

Titus was a much appreciated Minister traveling with the Apostle Paul. Titus was with the group that accompanied the Apostle Paul on his last visit to Jerusalem.

Furthermore, when I [Apostle Paul] came to Troas [during the 2nd Missionary Journey] to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:12-13
Nevertheless God, that comforts those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; ~ 2 Corinthians 7:6
Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yes, and exceedingly more rejoice did we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:13
But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you [Church at Corinth]. For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he

went unto you [Corinth]. And we have sent with him the brother [Luke], whose praise is in the gospel [Gospel of Luke] throughout all the churches; And not that only, but who [Luke] was also chosen of the

Churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind: ~ 2 Corinthians 8:16-19
Then fourteen years after [Paul's conversion and a short first visit to Peter in Jerusalem (Galatians 1:18)] I went up again to Jerusalem [for the last time] with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. ~ Galatians 2:1

Note: Titus was a popular Roman name in the Roman Empire during the early 1st Century.

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May 22

Emperor Titus Vespasian

Titus Vespasian Roman General and Emperor - Destruction of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Temple in 70 AD

Roman Emperor Titus Vespasian - Reiged from June 24, 79 AD - September 13, 81 AD.

Titus (Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus) was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81 AD. A member of the Flavian dynasty [replacing the Caesar Dynasty that had ended in 68 AD with Caesar Nero], Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, *thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own biological father [most of the Caesar Dynasty were adopted usually stepsons].

Emporer Vespasian 69-79 AD - Father of Titus Vespasian

Vespasian was Roman Emperor from AD 69 AD to 79 AD, Vespasian founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire for a quarter century.

While Roman General Vespasian besieged Jerusalem during the Jewish rebellion that started in 66 AD, emperor [Caesar] Nero committed suicide and plunged Rome into a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. ... leaving his son Titus Vespasian to command the besieging forces at Jerusalem. ... in 70 AD, Roman legions under Titus Vespasian retook and subsequently destroyed much of the city of Jerusalem including the Second Temple [Herod's Temple].

The Destruction of Jerusalem 70 AD

In 66 AD the Jews of the Judaea Province revolted against the Roman Empire. Cestius Gallus, the legate of Syria, was defeated at the battle of Beth-Horon and forced to retreat from Jerusalem. The pro- Roman king Agrippa II and his sister Berenice fled the city to Galilee where they later gave themselves up to the Romans.

Nero appointed Vespasian to put down the rebellion, who was dispatched to the region at once with the Fifth Legion and Tenth Legion. He was later joined at Ptolemais by Titus with the Fifteenth Legion. With a strength of 60,000 professional soldiers, the Romans prepared to sweep across Galilee and march on Jerusalem.

Titus surrounded the city, with three legions (Vth, XIIth and XVth) on the western side and one (Xth) on the Mount of Olives to the east. He put pressure on the food and water supplies of the inhabitants by allowing pilgrims to enter the city to celebrate Passover, and then refusing them egress. Jewish raids continuously harassed the Roman army, one of which nearly resulted in Titus being captured.

After attempts by Josephus to negotiate a surrender had failed, the Romans resumed hostilities and quickly breached the first and second walls of the city. To intimidate the resistance, Titus ordered deserters from the Jewish side to be crucified around the city wall. By this time the Jews had been exhausted by famine, and when the weak third wall was breached, bitter street fighting ensued.

The Romans finally captured the Antonia Fortress and began a frontal assault on the gates of the Temple. According to Josephus, Titus had ordered that the Temple should not be destroyed, but while the fighting around the gates continued, a soldier hurled a torch inside one of the windows, which quickly set the entire building ablaze. The later Christian chronicler Sulpicius Severus, possibly drawing on a lost portion of Tacitus' Histories, claims that Titus favored destruction of the Temple. The Temple was completely demolished, after which Titus's soldiers proclaimed him imperator [Commander of the Army] in honor of the victory.

Surviving a group suicide, Josephus surrendered to Vespasian and became a prisoner. He later wrote that he provided the Romans with intelligence on the ongoing revolt. By 68 AD, the entire coast and the north of Judaea were subjugated by the Roman army, with decisive victories won at Taricheae and Gamala, where Titus distinguished himself as a skilled general.

Source: wiki.com

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May 23

Mars Hill

Mars Hill - The Areopagus in Athens, Greece

Then [Apostle] Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, All of you men of Athens [Greece], I perceive that in all things all of you are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore all of you ignorantly worship, Him [the known True God] declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of Heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He gives to all life, and breath, and all things; And has made of one blood [the sinful blood of Adam] all Nations of men [descended] for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times [of birth] before appointed, and the [location] bounds of their habitation [living]; That they should seek the Lord, if lest by any means they might (joyfully) feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets {i.e. Greek poet: Aratus (about 315 BC - 240 BC)} have said, For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring [creation] of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead [Father, Son, Holy Spirit] is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by artistry and man's device. And the times of this [Gentile] ignorance [of the Law (i.e. Romans 13:8)] God winked at; but now Commandeth [through the Holy Spirit (John 16:8)] all men everywhere to repent: Because He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in Righteousness by that Man [Jesus Christ] whom He has ordained; whereof He has given assurance unto all men, in that He has raised Him [Jesus Christ] from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear you again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Nevertheless certain men stayed unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. ~ Acts 17:22-34

The Areopagus (a composite form of the Greek name Areios Pagos, translated "Ares Rock" - "Ares" god of war) - Romanized to "Mars' Hill". It is north-west of the Acropolis in Athens. In classical times, it functioned as the high Court of Appeal for criminal and civil cases.

The origin of its name is not clear. In Greek, pagos means big piece of rock. Areios could have come from Ares (war) or from the Erinyes, as on its foot was erected a temple dedicated to the Erinyes where murderers used to find shelter so as not to face the consequences of their actions. Later, the Romans referred to the rocky hill as "Mars Hill", after Mars, the Roman God of War. Near the Areopagus was also constructed the basilica of Dionysius Areopagites.

In pre-classical times (before the 5th century BC), the Areopagus was the council of elders of the city, similar to the Roman Senate. Like the Senate, its membership was restricted to those who had held high public office, in this case that of Archon. In 594 BC, the Areopagus agreed to hand over its functions to Solon for reform. He instituted democratic reforms, reconstituted its membership and returned control to the organization.

In 462 BC, Ephialtes put through reforms which deprived the Areopagus of almost all its functions.

In an unusual development, the Areopagus acquired a new function in the 4th century BC, investigating corruption, although conviction powers remained with the Ecclesia.

The Areopagus, like most city-state institutions, continued to function in Roman times, and it was from this location, drawing from the potential significance of the Athenian altar to the Unknown God, that the Apostle Paul is said to have delivered the famous speech, "Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands" (Acts 17:24).

The term "Areopagus" also refers to the judicial body of aristocratic origin that subsequently formed the higher court of modern Greece.

Source: wiki.com

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May 24

Fox's Book of Martyrs

Acts (Actes) and Monuments known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs by John Foxe, Latin edition 1554 AD., English Edition 1563 AD.

The Actes (Acts) and Monuments, popularly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, is a work of Protestant history and martyrology by John Foxe, first published in English in 1563 by John Day. It includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. The book was highly influential in those countries, and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism there. The book went through four editions in Foxe's lifetime and a number of later editions and abridgements, including some that specifically reduced the text to a Book of Martyrs.

Foxe based his accounts of martyrs before the early modern period on previous writers, including Eusebius, Bede, Matthew Paris, and many others. He compiled an English martyrology from the period of the Lollards through to the persecution of Protestants by Mary I. Here Foxe had primary sources to draw on: episcopal registers, reports of trials, and the testimony of eyewitnesses. In the work of collection Foxe had Henry Bull as collaborator. The account of the Marian years is based on Robert Crowley's 1559 extension of a 1549 chronicle history by Thomas Cooper, itself an extension of a work begun by Thomas Lanuet. Cooper (who became a Church of England Bishop) strongly objected to Crowley's version of his history and soon issued two new "correct" editions. John Bale set Foxe onto martyrological writings and contributed to a substantial part of Foxe's ideas as well as printed material.

Latin versions

Foxe began his work in 1552 AD, during the reign of Edward VI. Over the next thirty years, it developed from small beginnings (in Latin) to a substantial compilation, in English, filling two large folio volumes. In 1554, in exile, Foxe published in Latin at Strasbourg a foreshadowing of his major work, emphasising the persecution of the English Lollards during the fifteenth century; and he began to collect materials to continue his story to his own day. Foxe published the version in Latin at Basel in August 1559, lacking sources, with the segment dealing with the Marian martyrs as "no more than a fragment." Of course, it was difficult to write contemporary English history while living (as he later said) "in the far parts of Germany, where few friends, no conference, [and] small information could be had." He made a reputation through his Latin works. Both these versions were intended as the first volume of a two-volume work, the second volume to have a broader, European scope. Foxe did not publish these works; but a second volume to the Basel version was written by Henry Pantaleon (1563).

First Edition

In March 1563, Foxe published the first English edition of The Actes and Monuments from the press of John Day. Day's epitaph reads: "He set a Foxe to write how martyrs run/By death to life. Foxe ventured pains and health/To give them light: Daye spent in print his wealth,/And God with gain restored his wealth again,/ And gave to him as he gave to the poor." It was a "gigantic folio volume" of about 1800 pages, about three times the length of the 1559 Latin book. As is typical for the period, the full title was a paragraph long and is abbreviated by scholars as Acts and Monuments. Publication of the book made Foxe famous; the book sold for more than ten shillings, three weeks' pay for a skilled craftsman, but with no royalty to the author.

Second Edition

The second edition appeared in 1570, much expanded. New material was available, including personal testimonies, and publications such as the 1564 edition of Jean Crespin's Geneva martyrology. John Field assisted with research for this edition.

Acts and Monuments was immediately attacked by Catholics, including Thomas Harding, Thomas Stapleton, and Nicholas Harpsfield. In the next generation, Robert Parsons, an English Jesuit, also struck at Foxe in A Treatise of Three Conversions of England (1603-04). Harding, in the spirit of the age, called Acts and Monuments ' "that huge dunghill of your stinking martyrs," full of a thousand lies'. In the second edition, where the charges of his critics had been reasonably accurate, Foxe removed the offending passages. Where he could rebut the charges, "he mounted a vigorous counter-attack, seeking to crush his opponent under piles of documents." Even with deletions, the second edition was nearly double the size of the first, "two gigantic folio volumes, with 2300 very large pages" of double-columned text.

The edition was well received by the English church, and the upper house of the convocation of Canterbury meeting in 1571, ordered that a copy of the Bishop's Bible and "that full history entitled Monuments of Martyrs" be installed in every cathedral church and that church officials place copies in their houses for the use of servants and visitors. The decision repaid the financial risks taken by Day.

Third and Fourth Editions

Foxe published a third edition in 1576 AD, but it was virtually a reprint of the second, although printed on inferior paper and in smaller type. The fourth edition, published in 1583, the last in Foxe's lifetime, had larger type and better paper and consisted of "two volumes of about two thousand folio pages in double columns." Nearly four times the length of the Bible, the fourth edition was "the most physically imposing, complicated, and technically demanding English book of its era. It seems safe to say that it is the largest and most complicated book to appear during the first two or three centuries of English printing history." At this point Foxe began to compose his interpretation of the Apocalypse [book of Revelation]; he wrote more in Eicasmi (1587), left unfinished at his death.

The 1583 title page included the poignant request that the author "desireth thee, good reader, to help him with thy prayer."

Source: wiki.com

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May 25

Paul's Return to Jerusalem

The Apostle Paul's Return and Controversial Last Visit to Jerusalem

The Apostle Paul's controversial journey to Jerusalem.

And it came to pass, that after we were got from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: And finding a

ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unload

her burden. And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. ~ Acts 21:1-5
And as we tarried there [in Caesarea] many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus (Acts 11:28). And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle [belt], and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus says the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. ~ Acts 21:10-11

The Apostle Paul's arrival in Jerusalem.

And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us [Luke is included] gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. ~ Acts 21:17-19

After Paul's arrival in Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey, he became involved in a serious conflict with some "Asian Jews" (most likely from Roman Asia). The conflict eventually led to Paul's arrest and imprisonment in Caesarea for two years. Finally, Paul and his companions sailed for Rome where Paul was to stand trial for his alleged crimes. Acts states that Paul preached in Rome for two years from his rented home while awaiting trial. It does not state what happened after this time, but some sources state that Paul was freed by Nero and continued to preach in Rome, even though that seems unlikely based on Nero's historical cruelty to Early Christians. It is possible that Paul also traveled to other countries like Spain and Britain. See His final days spent in Rome section below.

Journey to Rome and Beyond

Among the writings of the early Christians, Clement of Rome said that Paul was "Herald (of the Gospel of Christ) in the West", and that "he had gone to the extremity of the west". Chrysostom indicated that Paul preached in Spain: "For after he had been in Rome, he returned to Spain, but whether he came thence again into these parts, we know not". Cyril of Jerusalem said that Paul, "fully preached the Gospel, and instructed even imperial Rome, and carried the earnestness of his preaching as far as Spain, undergoing conflicts innumerable, and performing Signs and wonders". The Muratorian fragment mentions "the departure of Paul from the city (of Rome) when he journeyed to Spain".

Source: wiki.com

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May 26

The New Testament Dispensations

Recap -- The Four Dispensations of The Bible's New Testament - Book of Acts

The Four Dispensations of The Bible's New Testament

In the Apostle Paul's trip to Rome [recorded in the Bible's Book of Acts by the early Church Historian Luke] are some of the most codded and cryptic passages of the Bible's New Testament. Was Luke aided by the Apostle Paul, putting forth the future of the Church Era and an End Time scenario that Christians could glean from to understand events both current and future?

Summary: The Apostle Paul's Journey to Rome - The Four Dispensations of the Times since the 1st Coming of Jesus Christ seem to have been mapped out and enacted throughout Paul's Journey to Rome.

1. The Apostles Dispensation (Acts 27:1-5)

2. The Common Christian Church Age (Acts 27:6-44) 3. The Martyred Saints of Revelation Tribulation (Acts 28:1-15) 4. The 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ on earth (Acts 28:16-31)

1. The Apostles Dispensation (Acts 27:1-5):

Paul and the other Apostles [eyewitnesses] of Jesus Christ go into the world preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. "Acts 27:3-5 And [representing the Apostolic Missionary Journey Age] the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave *him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the **winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia." {Note: Luke and the Apostle Paul seem to be recording two primary things. 1. Looking back on all of Paul's Missionary Journeys that Paul felt that they had gone well and that on the whole the Gospel was being well received "him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself" that Paul had made a lot of friends on his Missionary Trips and was refreshed by the fellowship he had with the Gentile Christians. 2. Also noting that "the [spiritual] winds were contrary" seeming to imply that there was a great deal of spiritual (demonic) opposition to the Gospel Message going forward.}

And great fear came upon all the Church [witnessing the signs of the Apostles], and upon as many as heard these things. And by the hands of the Apostles were many signs and wonders wrought

among the people; and they [Church - Apostles and common Christians] were all with one accord in Solomon's porch [outside the Temple]. And of the rest [non-apostles the common Christians] durst no man join

himself to them [Apostles]: but the people magnified them [the Christians of the Church separated themselves from the Apostles]. ~ Acts 5:11-13

2. The Common Christian Church Age (Acts 27:6-44):

"Acts 27:6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein." {Note: The ship of the Apostolic Age has ended and the ship of the Common Christian Church Age has launched - carrying the nourishing wheat (Bible) and the four anchors (4 Gospels). The [Christian] ship spends a great deal of time in the port of "Fair Havens" and then departs into adversity to the extent that the storms of life strand and tear the ship apart. Noteworthy, the Church [ship] has the four anchors [4 Gospels] and correctly uses them to stabilize the ship in dangerous waters however also note how the cargo of wheat [Bible] is considered too big of a burden and is cast overboard (Acts 27:38) away from the Church.

Beloved, when I (Jude) gave all diligence to write unto you [common (generic) Christian Church] of the common salvation, it was necessary for me to write unto you, and exhort you that all of you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. ~ Jude 1:3

3. The Martyred Saints of Revelation Tribulation (Acts 28:1-15):

After the Christian Church Age has come to an end the Revelation Tribulation Age begins. {Note: The Saints of Revelation are washed ashore into a strange society and economy where they are refuges; destitute and in peril. Though working hard and trying to get along they are Bitten by the Beast and transported to fellowship with their fellow Martyrs.

And when He (Jesus) had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: ~ Revelation 5:9

4. The 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ on earth (Acts 28:16-31):

Having finally arrived in Rome the Throne of the King the Millennial Rein of Jesus Christ is now being depicted. {Note: As a type of a citizen of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, Paul is sent not to jail but to his own house to live [for two years]. Once in his Millennial House the Apostle Paul immediately begins to fellowship with the Jews of the Millennial Age.} - Paul's Journey to Rome and the book of Acts concludes "Acts 28:30-31 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, **Preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him."

And I (Apostle John) saw thrones, and They sat upon them, and judgment was given unto Them: and I saw the souls of them [Martyred Saints of Revelation] that were beheaded for the witness of

Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast [Antichrist], neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they [also] lived and

reigned with Christ a thousand years [Millennial Reign]. ~ Revelation 20:4

Note: the 5th Dispensation would be the Eternal State.

And I saw a new heaven (sky) and a new earth: for the first heaven (sky) and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I [Apostle] John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem,

coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle [dwelling] of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are True and

Faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. ~ Revelation 21:1-6

Source: blog History Study by David Anson Brown at BasicChristian.org

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May 27

Publius of Malta

Publius the first Bishop of Malta and later the Bishop of Athens, Greece

In the same quarters [on Malta] were possessions of the chief man [ruler] of the island, whose name was Publius [a Roman name but was not a Roman citizen]; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a dysentery: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: Who also honored us with many honors; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary. ~ Acts 28:7-10

Saint Publius (Maltese: San Publju) is a Roman Saint. He is venerated as the first Bishop of Malta. Publius' conversion led to Malta being the first Christian nation in the West, and one of the first in the world.

It was the same Publius who received the Apostle Paul during his shipwreck on the island as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul cured Publius' dysentery - afflicted father.

In fact apart from being the particular patron saint of the town of Floriana, Saint Publius is also one of the patron saints of Malta.

He was martyred in 125 AD. during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian (Roman Emperor from 117 - 138 AD).

... according to an epistle of Saint Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, he is placed as the successor of Saint Narcissus of Athens ...

Narcissus of Athens [by tradition only] is numbered among the Seventy Disciples (Luke 10:1). Along with the Apostles Urban of Macedonia, Stachys, Ampliatus, Apelles of Heraklion and Aristobulus of Britannia he assisted Saint Andrew [Andrew the Apostle]. The Apostle Philip (Matthew 10:3, Acts 1:13) ordained St. Narcissus bishop of Athens. His feast day is October 31. -- wiki.com

Source: wiki.com

Note: Publius would have been a young adult when he encountered the Apostle Paul on the island of Malta.

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May 28

Clement of Rome

Saint Clement of Rome an Apostolic Father (student of an Apostle) of the Early Christian Church

Pope Clement I (Latin: Clemens Romanus), also known as Saint Clement of Rome, is listed as Bishop of Rome from an early date, holding office from 92 AD to his death in 99 AD. He is considered the first Apostolic Father of the Church.

Few details are known about Clement's life. According to Tertullian, Clement was consecrated by Saint Peter, and he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the late 1st century. Early church lists place him as the second or third bishop of Rome after Saint Peter. The Liber Pontificalis presents a list that makes Pope Linus the second in the line of bishops of Rome, with Peter as first; but at the same time it states that Peter ordained two bishops, Linus and Pope Cletus, for the priestly service of the community, devoting himself instead to prayer and preaching, and that it was to Clement that he entrusted the Church as a whole, appointing him as his successor.

Tertullian considered Clement to be the immediate successor of Peter. In one of his works, Jerome listed Clement as "the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter" (not in the sense of fourth successor of Peter, but fourth in a series that included Peter), and added that "most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the Apostle". Clement is put after Linus and Cletus/Anacletus in the earliest (c. 180) account, that of Irenaeus, who is followed by Eusebius of Caesarea.

Clement's only genuine extant writing is his letter to the church at Corinth (1 Clement) in response to a dispute in which certain presbyters of the Corinthian church had been deposed. He asserted the authority of the presbyters as rulers of the church on the ground that the Apostles had appointed such. His letter, which is one of the oldest extant Christian documents outside of the New Testament, was read in church, along with other epistles, some of which later became part of the Christian canon. These works were the first to affirm the Apostolic authority of the clergy.

A second epistle, 2 Clement, was attributed to Clement, although recent scholarship suggests it to be a homily by another author. In the legendary Clementine Literature, Clement is the intermediary through whom the Apostles teach the church. According to tradition, Clement was imprisoned under the Emperor Trajan; during this time he is recorded to have led a ministry among fellow prisoners. Thereafter he was executed by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea.

Clement is recognized as a saint in many Christian churches. He is commemorated on 23 November in the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and the Lutheran Church. In Eastern Orthodox Christianity his feast is kept on 24 or 25 November.

Source: wiki.com

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May 29

Ignatius of Antioch

The third Bishop of Antioch, 98 AD to 117 AD

Ignatius of Antioch (Ancient Greek: Theophorus "God-bearer") was born in 35 or 50 AD and was martyred in 117 AD.

Bishop of Antioch from 98 AD to 117 AD, he was among the Apostolic Fathers, was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle [Gospel of John - Revelation].

En route to Rome, where according to Christian tradition he met his martyrdom by being fed to wild beasts, he wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology.

Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.

By the 5th century, this authentic collection had been enlarged by spurious letters, and some of the original letters had been changed with interpolations, created to posthumously enlist Ignatius as an unwitting witness in theological disputes of that age, while the purported eye-witness account of his martyrdom is also thought to be a forgery from around the same time. A detailed but spurious account of Ignatius' arrest and his travails and martyrdom is the material of the Martyrium Ignatii which is presented as being an eyewitness account for the church of Antioch, and attributed to Ignatius' companions, Philo of Cilicia, deacon at Tarsus, and Rheus Agathopus, a Syrian.

Although James Ussher regarded it as genuine, if there is any genuine nucleus of the Martyrium, it has been so greatly expanded with interpolations that no part of it is without questions. Its most reliable manuscript is the 10th-century Codex Colbertinus (Paris), in which the Martyrium closes the collection. The Martyrium presents the confrontation of the bishop Ignatius with Trajan at Antioch, a familiar trope of Acta of the martyrs, and many details of the long, partly overland voyage to Rome. The Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria says that he was thrown to the wild beasts that devoured him and rent him to pieces.

Ignatius's letters proved to be important testimony to the development of Christian theology, since the number of extant writings from this period of Church history is very small. They bear signs of being written in great haste and without a proper plan, such as run-on sentences and an unsystematic succession of thought. Ignatius is the earliest known Christian writer to emphasize loyalty to a single bishop in each city (or diocese) who is assisted by both presbyters (possibly elders) and deacons. Earlier writings only mention either bishops or presbyters, and give the impression that there was usually more than one bishop per congregation.

Source: wiki.com

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May 30

Polycarp of Smyrna

Polycarp the Famous Martyred Bishop of Smyrna - Revelation 1:10

And unto the Angel [messenger i.e. Bishop] of the Church in Smyrna write; These things says [Jesus Christ] the First and the Last, which was Dead, and is Alive; I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, but you are rich and I know the blasphemy of them [Gentiles] which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that all of you may be tried; and all of you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death. ~ Revelation 2:8-11

Polycarp (AD 69-155 AD) was a 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the [well known and very famous] Martyrdom of Polycarp he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him. Polycarp is regarded as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.

It is recorded by Irenaeus, who heard Polycarp speak in his youth, and by Tertullian, that he [Polycarp] had been a disciple of John the Apostle. Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna.

The early tradition that expanded upon the Martyrdom to link Polycarp in competition and contrast with John the Apostle who, though many people had tried to kill him, was not martyred but died of old age after being exiled to the island of Patmos, is embodied in the Coptic language fragmentary papyri (the "Harris fragments") dating to the 3rd to 6th centuries. Frederick Weidmann, their editor, interprets the "Harris fragments" as Smyrnan hagiography addressing Smyrna-Ephesus church rivalries, which "develops the association of Polycarp and John to a degree unwitnessed, so far as we know, either before or since". The fragments echo the Martyrology, and diverge from it.

With Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers. The sole surviving work attributed to his authorship is his Letter to the Philippians; it is first recorded by Irenaeus of Lyons.

Surviving Writings and Early Accounts

The sole surviving work attributed to him is Polycarp's letter to the Philippians, a mosaic of references to the Greek Scriptures, preserved in Irenaeus' account of Polycarp's life. It, and an account of The Martyrdom of Polycarp that takes the form of a circular letter from the church of Smyrna to the churches of Pontus, form part of the collection of writings Roman Catholics term "The Apostolic Fathers" to emphasize their particular closeness to the apostles in Church traditions. Outside of the Book of Acts which contains the death of Saint Stephen, the Martyrdom is considered one of the earliest genuine accounts of a Christian martyrdom, and is one of the very few genuine accounts from the actual age of the persecutions.

Papias of Hierapolis 70-155 AD

According to Irenaeus, Polycarp was a companion of Papias, another "hearer of John" as Irenaeus interprets Papias' testimony, and a correspondent of Ignatius of Antioch. Ignatius addressed a letter to him, and mentions him in his letters to the Ephesians and to the Magnesians.

Irenaeus regarded the memory of Polycarp as a link to the apostolic past. He relates how and when he became a Christian, and in his letter to Florinus stated that he saw and heard Polycarp personally in lower Asia. In particular, he heard the account of Polycarp's discussion with John and with others who had seen Jesus. Irenaeus also reports that Polycarp was converted to Christianity by apostles, was consecrated a bishop, and communicated with many who had seen Jesus. He repeatedly emphasizes the very great age of Polycarp.

The Legacy of Polycarp

Polycarp occupies an important place in the history of the early Christian Church.

He is among the earliest Christians whose writings survive. Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a "disciple of the apostle John and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna". He was an elder of an important congregation which was a large contributor to the founding of the Christian Church. He is from an era whose orthodoxy is widely accepted by Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Church of God groups, Sabbatarian groups, mainstream Protestants and Catholics alike. According to David Trobisch, Polycarp may have been the one who compiled, edited, and published the New Testament. All of this makes his writings of great interest.

Irenaeus, who had heard him preach in his youth, said of him: "a man who was of much greater weight, and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics". Polycarp lived in an age after the deaths of the apostles, when a variety of interpretations of the sayings of Jesus were being preached. His role was to authenticate orthodox teachings through his reputed connection with the apostle John: "a high value was attached to the witness Polycarp could give as to the genuine tradition of old apostolic doctrine", Wace commented, "his testimony condemning as offensive novelties the figments of the heretical teachers". Irenaeus states (iii. 3) that on Polycarp's visit to Rome, his testimony converted many disciples of [the heretics] Marcion [Dualism - good and evil universes, a type Gnosticism - wiki.com] and Valentinus [one of the major gnostic movements, attempted to align Christianity with [Greek philosophy] Platonism (Plato 423-348 BC) - wiki.com].

Source: wiki.com

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May 31

Rome, Italy

Rome the Capital City of the Ancient Roman World and the All-Embracing Center of Modern Christianity

Rome the Ancient Roman World Empire, the 6th Gentile Global Kingdom Empire and the coming 7th Revised Gentile Kingdom Empire.

The Roman Empire

Because of the Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe, and by means of European expansionism throughout the modern world.

The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Romanum) was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The 500-year-old Roman Republic, which preceded it, had been destabilized through a series of civil wars. Several events marked the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC); the Battle of Actium (2 September 31 BC); and the granting of the honorific Augustus to Octavian [Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1)] by the Roman Senate (16 January 27 BC).

The first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"). It reached its greatest expanse during the reign of Trajan (98-117 AD). In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified and stabilized under the emperors Aurelian and Diocletian. Christians rose to power in the 4th century [about 320 AD], during which time a system of dual rule was developed in the Latin West [Rome] and Greek East [Constantinople]. After the collapse of central government in the West in the 5th century, the eastern half of the Roman Empire continued as what would later be known as the Byzantine Empire.

Julius Caesar's Great Nephew Caesar Augustus (Octavius)

At the time Caesar was killed [assassinated] on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC, Octavius was studying and undergoing military training in Apollonia, Illyria. Rejecting the advice of some army officers to take refuge with the troops in Macedonia, he sailed to Italia to ascertain whether he had any potential political fortunes or security. After landing at Lupiae near Brundisium, he learned the contents of Caesar's will, and only then did he decide to become Caesar's political heir as well as heir to two-thirds of his estate.

Having no living legitimate children, Caesar had adopted his great-nephew Octavius as his son and main heir. Upon his adoption, Octavius assumed his great-uncle's name, Gaius Julius Caesar. Although Romans who had been adopted into a new family usually retained their old nomen in cognomen form (e.g. Octavianus for one who had been an Octavius, Aemilianus for one who had been an Aemilius, etc.) there is no evidence that he ever bore the name Octavianus, as it would have made his modest origins too obvious.

Despite the fact that he never officially bore the name Octavianus, however, to save confusing the dead dictator [Julius Caesar] with his heir [Caesar Augustus], historians often refer to the new Caesar - between his adoption and his assumption [enthroned], in 27 BC, of the name Augustus as Octavian.

Source: wiki.com

Note: Caesar Augustus (born Gaius Octavius) inherited his office (Throne) from his great-uncle "Dictator" Julius Caesar. Though Julius Caesar created the Roman Empire he was not allowed by Roman law to be a King. Democratic [Republican] Rome was not permitted to have a King. Julius Caesar took to himself dictatorial powers while privately and semi-publically declaring himself to be the King of Rome. It was Julius Caesar's declarations and ambitions to become King of Rome that on March 15, 44 BC got him assassinated on the floor of the Roman Senate.

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