Entranced by the medieval romances
and in a swoon over the swords of her
worldly princes, the established western
church, like Hosea's wayward wife Gomer, is
in bondage to her earthy material fantasies
and walled in by her thorny worldly lovers.

Painting by Frederic William Burton (1816-1900)

Dear Saints,

As we approach the climax of the age most have noticed a resurgence of Arthurian legends in the culture with their medieval themes of earthy romance, chivalry, and "derring do". Some would say this is just "sex and violence" but as we look deeper into this we begin to see that there is more to it than just the cavorting of unbridled flesh. There is something deeply spiritual going on here as well. There is a deep and legitimate desire within the nations for a Deliverer. The popularity of these magical stories also reveals a deeply seated desire for a return to a solid and lasting blood covenant relationship. And that wonderful serendipity can only be realized when a person invites the Messiah of Israel, even the Lord Jesus Christ into their heart and life.

Unfortunately the substitute is to fantasize about a Sir Lancelot, an earthy and faulted knight in shining armor. In the Arthurian legends and all the sex and violence stories people who would never admit to an interest in things spiritual are allowinging themselves to be led down the garden path and deceived. The masses of people in the west, and elsewhere, show a strong inclination to go deep into gnostic magic. We see this in the Gothic romances and the strong resurgence of the Arthurian romances in the novels, Hollywood movies, and the video games of the present culture. This has been going on a long time and well before the popular sorcery of "Dungeons and Dragons" and "Harry Potter" came along. These stories are very seductive and powerful in their ability to cast a spell over wayward, yet seeking souls. Unfortunately these dream weavers are enticing many young people and children down the wrong road. They are being led into the ways of Luciferian self-deification. These are the pathways of spiritual darkness. And they lead to death.

The legends of Camelot are a case in point. The themes, once holy, have been twisted into a literary tapestry of almost pure gnosticism. The genre draws its energy from the most powerful stories in the universe, namely the romantic and redemptive story of the God of Israel and His covenant people. This was, and remains today, and the undefiled marriage relationship which God intended for mankind. It is the genuine blood covenant faith that was first delivered to the saints.

These romantic themes of God with His covenant people are seen all through the Holy Scriptures. And the true divine romance with God is enjoyed here on earth and eternally for ever after by those initiated into Jesus Christ. But the earthy gnostic substitutes which we see spun here below is a spiders web for the unwary, cleverly woven into a work of wickedness. These twisted and sullied stories emerge as the extremely seductive and earthy gnostic romances we see in the culture today. Now we are even seeing stories on the screen of romances with the dead.

Gnostic dreams are many and varied. They are harnessed to serve not only the self deification and self-gratification of increasingly depraved spiritual appetites but also to introduce their profane energy into our political, military, and popular religious institutions. The themes that once were holy are being harnessed for the profane powers of Mammon. Themes of the cross, are still being magically transformed into the Excalibur, the sword, the gun, and the human sacrifices depraved mankind enjoys. And the central holy theme of the blood of Christ is still being twisted by writers as increasingly heretical and abominable as we see in the book "Holy blood, holy grail".

This is the process of gnostic transformation we see in transcendentalism. Holy themes that are true and holy are twisted into powerful yet profane stories for the depraved masses. The true and eternal relationship between God and man has been crafted to be used in the witchcraft of domination, intimidation and manipulation. Using ritual, pageantry, and other showcasing techniques gnostic magical paganism has by this means crept in and inserted itself into established Christian faith and thereby defiled it in many cases. The seduction of Christianity is now well underway in the western nations.

In this clandestine fashion, pagan gnosticism entered the church. And it did so quite early. It came into the fold of Christ like a thief by a secret entry point other than the Door. Paganism thus became established in the church. We saw it first in a big way during the Council of Nicaea. Out went the Gospel, the evangelical message, the faithful teaching from the Holy Scriptures, and the true worship of Christ as Emmanuel, "God with us". And in came the hocus pocus of a troll-like medieval priest-craft. A veiled and tortured Christ in the religious icons and shining through the stained glass was all the poor peasants were allowed to see. The real Christ within, the hope of glory, had been spirited away. He was now outside knocking at the door of what was to become a luke-warm Laodicean Church. The true faith of our fathers was whisked away to be replaced by a seedy cryptic magic show. Gargoyles began to appear on the roof and in the walls and buttresses of the cathedrals. Satan had come to take over the sanctuary if Western Christendom. At the Council of Nicaea the Church was compromised by a desire for personal power. Then she was hypnotized and infiltrated by a kaleidoscope of gnostic pagan religious magic. This was a great tragedy. Western Christendom was about to enter into the Dark Ages. There in the spiritual darkness Europe would suffer untold miseries for a thousand years. The deception and the take-over was subtle. Very few seemed to notice at the time, (except the true Christians when the persecutions by the compromised christians began). And even today, very few realize what actually happened back then at Nicaea.

During the third century the religious game of using allegory to interpret the Holy Scriptures had already begun. This Hellenizing of God's Word had started with neo-Platonism and the teachings Origen of Alexandria down south of the Med in Egypt. Then in the fourth century Augustine took it a few steps further. Religious allegory began to intrude itself and push out the true and faithful interpretation of the Bible. The original meaning of words in the Biblical text were switched around and profoundly changed. The result of this was quite predictable. The message was corrupted. The gnostic twist began to cloak the real meaning and intent of God's Word. A ritualistic new ecclesiastical story of God rose up as a pall to cover over the real story that is plainly set forth in the Holy Scriptures.

Let us take one classic example of allegorization or "vaporization" of the Holy Scriptures. After Augustine the word "Israel" was changed by the Church to mean "the Church". The Church was the new "Israel of God". This served a political purpose in "quietening the people" on the Israel connection to Christianity and thus not offending the Kings and princes. This alienation of Israel and lifting up of the Church as the be all and end all Elect and Chosen people of God is what we call "Replacement theology". This is religious disinformation of a very high and subtle order. The religious smoke-screening is put there to cloak and cover up the real story. The Biblical facts concerning the true identity of Church as the Congregation and Commonwealth of Israel has still not come out of the fog. But it is outlined clearly in Ephesians 2:11-13.

The religious spirits behind Gnostic allegory and driving Replacement Theology have an agenda. They seek to keep the citizenry of Christendom dumbed down. The powers and princes of Mammon do not want Christians to discover the deeper realities in the Hebrew roots of their faith. A christianity rendered as nice little religious stories for Sunday under the stained glass also keeps the religious conversations light and the people manageable. The hidden agenda of the powers in hiding the vital question of Israel from the Church is quite easy to see. Confused and ignorant Christians are kept from being initiated into the born again initiation into a New Life in Christ. And they are kept away from the simple day by day personal devotion to Him. The ignorant masses, being kept spiritually weak, are more easily led by the earthy powers here below. This pleases the compromised Churchmen who are seeking to please the kings, the princes, and the merchant rulers of this world.

Three hundred years of persecution under ten Caesars only made the Church go from strength to strength. But it was compromise, and the gnostic revamping of the Christian faith that laid Christianity low. One thousand years of Biblical starvation was the direct cause of the one thousand years of the Dark Ages in Europe. But who is telling this story? Certainly not the Church, the damsel in distress who went to the Roman Caesar at Nicea for personal power and for protection under the princely sword. And what was the payoff to the princes of this world? The common man in Europe was forbidden access to the Holy Scriptures. He could not read the Gospel story in his own language. All he got was the wafer on the tongue.

This was a great tragedy. But is was, and remains today in many denominations, the continuing pattern of gnostic medieval Christianity. The religious fare doled out to the masses was an attenuated watered down version of the true Message of the Good News of personal salvation in the Word of God. Medieval Christianity was heavily laced with ritualistic paganism. The poor peasants were cut off from the Bible. And in their deep spiritual darkness they knew nothing better. Many pagan priests came over to Christianity at Nicaea. And why? They did not know the God of the Bible. No, they were in the church leadership for the wealth and power over others they could amass by exploiting an ignorant Christian laity. This was the Nicolaitan takeover, the "conquest of the laity" Jesus had warned about in His letter to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation. The peasants were kept as peasants for the sake of "peace" for the kings. They had been cut off from a plain reading of the Holy Scriptures. So they did not know anything better than what was being presented to them by the religious "authorities". And without the Bible they had no basis in which to protest or call for any sort of reform.

The spiriting away of the Holy Scriptures at Nicaea was a terrible loss. The Jews openly discussed the Torah in their Yeshivas and taught it to their children. And after 650 A.D. the Muslims had their Koran which they also taught to their children. But the European masses had practically nothing. Few of them had access to any good Biblical truth. They would go through their lives and never once her about a God who was was knowable, personal, and was wooing them to Himself. The Bible the love letter here. But it was locked up by the Romanized Church. The sacred Word of God was cloistered away in the monasteries, imprisoned in the Latin, for one thousand years.

This was a great tragedy for the Christian Church. The ordinary citizen was forced to listen to the Word of God through a grid of gnostic ritual. Through the Church's new magic shows, processions and vestments the priests crafted a vast new neo-Pagan-Christian diversion. It was designed to appeal to the eyes. And it did. It was religious eye candy for the masses. The Word of God disappeared in the vanishing act. The Gospel and true worship in the Presence of God was replaced by the religious show of icons, pomp and pageantry, all being put on by the medieval ecclesiastical powers.

The spirit of Gnosticism was at work here. As usual, it was seeking to cast up a deep impenetrable gulf between heaven and earth and particularly between God and man. This was a grievous travesty against the Word of God. It was a love letter from God held back, hidden, and not delivered. The very ones who had been entrusted to deliver the letter were as trolls at the gate. They would not let the Message through. And the ones who were supposed to receive it came away empty handed. It was a betrayal of the very people to whom the Gospel message had been sent.

God has said that He hates the practices of the Nicolaitans. He is exceedingly angry at those who would seek to conquer the laity and to rule over them illegitimately. The Jezebel spirit rules illegitimately using domination, intimidation, and manipulation. All these are the hallmarks of compromised Christianity. These three are also the acts and the methods of religious witchcraft, pure and simple.

This gnostic religion of "hidden knowledge" with a priestcraft acting as intermediaries and promising to contact God for us on our behalf is so far from true Christian faith. This is not the God we see in Holy Scripture. And Jesus Himself said that He was the only intermediary we would ever need to come into the Presence of God. Moses was told that we should not be asking for someone to go up to heaven for us and bring God down to us. God was very near to us, as close as the mention of His Name. See Deuteronomy chapter 30:11-14.

We have always had a God who has been open to us. Right back at the beginning our patriarch Abraham was led by God in a very real and personal way, and without any hocus pocus. Our spiritual father Abraham was drawn, wooed, and led by God out of Ur, a city of idols. This God, who can be known personally, promised Abraham that in this simple walk of faith he would become the progenitor of a great company of people as numerous as the myriad stars of heaven. The God of Israel is shown in Scripture to be righteous and merciful in all His ways. His desire, right from the very beginning, was to walk through life with His people in a simple day to day relationship of faith. This was not complicated. God promised to be as near to them as their getting on their knees and seeking His face.

But with gnostic religion this simple message is lost. The truth of this simple personal relationship that leads us into the wonders of our God just fades away. It is replaced by a religious magic show where everything happens up at the top of the religious pyramid, up high and right up at the front of a church. The body of Christ as bread in the communion is to be taken and eaten in remembrance of Christ's body which was given for us. It is simple communion with God conducted in the sincerity of the heart. But in the priest-craft His sacrifice becomes a wafer lifted up by a priest and magically transformed into the body of Christ. And in the doctrine of transubstantiation the wine in a chalice is also supposed to be magically transformed into the blood of Christ. These elements are then dispensed for instant temporary grace and salvation. This is the religious service. It is all done by the priests. They then issue out God's grace for the masses. No other service will do this, they say. Nor is there salvation any other way but their way. This was, and sadly and remains today, the medieval pattern we see in a lot of Christian ritual. And in the architecture of the cathedral we see the pattern of the pagan temple, the altar at the front and pagan gargoyles looming down on the masses from above. These are just some of the dark humanistic underpinnings we see in much of what passes for Christian religion.

Of course these gnostic transformations happened a long time ago. Few know this history. And church tradition, after all, is church tradition. Few question the status quo. So most Christians are scarcely aware of these huge changes and what happened to the Church in the 4th Century. That is, until they open their Bibles, begin to read, then look around and notice the things that are not there in the Church or the things that are there but should not be there.

Most nominal Christians, even those who attend Church, do not read the Bible. So they have not come to know Christ in a personal way. And so they remain confused about the true message of Jesus Christ as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. They are unclear about what it all means. They have not been shown who Christ really is or could be in their lives. Nor have they been shown or allowed themselves to be convinced that they can invite Him into their hearts and lives to be their personal Savior, Lord, and Ishi-Beloved. And so they are kept from truly knowing Him.

But the Word of God is not bound. Our Savior speaks to us through the Bible. And He whispers to us by a still, small voice, even the inner prompting of the His Holy Spirit. He desires to have a vital and real personal relationship with a people who will become His Elect. This is the simple wonderful reality of the God of our salvation. But when the gnostic religious mist rolls in this simple Gospel message is soon obscured. Our worship and our personal fellowship with God of the Bible is pushed aside. This message of a wonderful Life in Christ is replaced by impersonal gnostic religious rituals. The idolatry of icons and relics, the worshipful reverence for vestments and all the outward trappings of church tradition move in to take its place. In the ensuing fog of disinformation the man in the pew is left unsure about God. Quite understandably he thinks that it is normal to be confused. People left like this eventually despair that they will ever get to know God. They think that God is unknowable. And in the confusing morass of religion they come to believe that God is obscure, distant, and disinterested in them. And our teenagers, fed watered down Christianity, think Christianity is boring and of no relevance to them.

All this is a lie.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

Pagan gnostic religion is boring. But the true faith that was first delivered to the saints is a life of adventure and romance in God.. The Greek and Roman pagan gods of Olympus occupied the minds and hearts of the West for a while. But they were a capricious and unholy pantheon of gods and goddesses. In their actions they were pretty much like mere mortals down here on earth. Gnostic religion in Deism allows that there may be one true God and holy God. He might be up there in the realms above. But, ....well..... we can't be sure. And He is certainly not coming down here to this corrupt world here below! This is the essence of gnosticism. Gnostic trolls are stationed all around Jacob's Ladder. They are there to try and prevent passage and communication between heaven and earth.

This is how gnosticism affects the human heart and mind. Under its spell lost mankind is kept in the dark and confused. The Gods may be up there in heaven. But who cares? The human soul is chained to this ruined and evil earth here below. Humanistic eyes are forever looking down to the mud, always bemoaning that humankind seems bound in a morass of irredeemable corruption. For the unsaved mortal man or woman there is a deep gnostic chasm between heaven and earth. It is a gulf that seemingly cannot be crossed.

But the gnostic chasm has been crossed, even by Christ. He is the Bridge over troubled waters.

Of course the gnostic realms have their substitute for this Christ who bridges heaven and earth and brings His redemption to men. Their priests know the secret things of God to "help" Jesus. Only they have the "gnosis" or "hidden knowledge". Only the ministrations of this special secret priesthood can deliver us out of this hopelessly flawed realm where mortal men made of clay are destined for misery and death. Only the magic of religion can deliver man out of this awful state of disconnectedness and 'angst' in the face of spiritual death. Failing that there is a retreat to a lower grade of gnosticism, and the sexual ministrations of the temple prostitutes of Diana.

Dear saints, this is where gnosticism takes us.
And this is where gnosticism leaves us.
In the dark!

This was the spiritual condition of the average man back in our pagan past when Greece and Rome were the superpowers. Strange to say it remains the spiritual condition of many nominal Christians today. They have some religion. But they still have not repented of their sin, surrendered themselves to God, and come to "know" Him personally. Like the Lady of Shalott, they see God only indirectly through a magic mirror. It is a mirror of gnostic pagan religion.

But in the Bible we discover something and SomeOne far better than any person we have known before. We find faith, hope, and the love of "the God who is there". We see the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at work in His people. And in God's Word and Message we see Him call out a people to Himself. We see Him carry them them across that awful chasm between heaven and earth. He is the Bridge over those troubled waters.

How did the Holy One of Israel bridge that awful gap? How did Israel's Sacrifice Lamb redeem a lost humanity lying bound in sin in this ruined creation? And how did His atoning blood open the Way in which He proceeded to draw out for Himself a covenant people? How did He 'call out' a Congregation, an 'Ekklesia', a Church, an Elect and Chosen people, a redeemed company He would welcome to His table as His friends?

The answer to that question, dear reader, is in the magnificent redemption story found in the pages of our Holy Bible. Very early on God showed our patriarch Jacob a ladder. That ladder was seen reaching down from heaven to earth. Jacob saw the angels of God ministering in the gap.
They are still there today!

This is a magnificent truth. Our God is the One who stretches out His hand to save. By invitation God enters into a personal blood covenant communion with each member of His great extended family of faith. Every one of them without exception emerges into eternal Life by grace through faith in the promised Seed of Abraham, our Lord Jesus Christ. In this family all the nations of the world would be blessed. -Gal.3:8 By His mercy, He saves us. God in the flesh, Emmanuel, "God with us" is our Jesus/Yeshua. By His sacrificial death on the cross He makes a Way for us to get to heaven. The indwelling Presence of God is at work within the matrix of human hearts. By this means many, even now, are being wooed out of a lost humanity and brought with great rejoicing into the Company of the Redeemed.

But this is just the beginning. The indwelling Christ takes us through through the defining events of our lives. We become filled with His Holy Spirit. By this means we are brought into sanctification and then on beyond this life into the eternal glory of His coming Kingdom. That is the full Gospel.

But for those who have not yet opened their heart and mind and will to Christ there remains that constant sense of guilt and alienation. And so it is a matter of necessity that man-centered cultural systems must choose spiritual or carnal substitutes to try to help people deal with this inner "angst". For most, the 'Way of the cross' and personal communion with Christ who gave Himself for others is 'a bridge too far'. To take His 'cup' and to identify with Him in the 'fellowship of His sufferings' is just a bit too much. As for the 'divine romance' with God and the pathway of Christian devotion, well that too seems a bit extreme for most to accept. They do not believe, or they chose not to believe, that this walk with God is possible for them. So many choose to dodge this high calling. They seek out more "down to earth", perhaps even some "earthy" alternatives to that true and faithful love walk with God. This is why we see these gnostic spiritual substitutes. This is a low grade religious fare being presented in place of a true personal relationship with God. And in the ways of Mammon a lot of money can be made by agencies peddling cheap gnostic substitutes for the true Christian faith.

Another key magical transformation or "gnosis", (hidden knowledge or hidden meaning), was to get the saints of Christendom to forsake the Way of the cross and to embrace the sword. The Christian Church was enticed by the Roman Caesar Constantine early in the 4th Century. He called them to meet with him at the Council of Nicea. The established Church ever since that time has gone on to receive the political protection of the sword offered by a continuing procession of other secular gentile rulers.

Nicaea was certainly the turning point and the taking of the low road. But not all Christians went along with this. It was not easy to hoodwink those devoted Christians who actually knew their God personally. For Christian hearts set on the inward Kingdom of Christ in the heart and a future Kingdom of Messiah on this earth there was no contest. This devotion of the saints and this 'way of the cross' was a major stumbling block for those who sought to take over the early church by a political power play. They knew that they had to get a handle on the church by something more than politics. They knew Christianity would have to be compromised spiritually, and that by religion.

The Roman powers and their Nicolaitan religious politicians knew that all the overt frontal attacks on Christian believers had failed. They also knew that they would continue to fail using these crude tyrannical methods. Direct persecution of the Christian faith was counterproductive in fact. And now they knew that. So in order for the Church to be 'brought to heel' by Rome it had to be corrupted in the very same manner Balaam had specified in his advice to King Balak of Moab.'-Num.22

Compromise is the key to a subtle takeover. We saw it with Israel with her idols, Samson with Delilah, Gomer with her lovers. If Rome could get the Church compromised it would lose its power. The Church could then be put under neo-pagan rule and annexed as part of the world system. But,...... there was a problem.

The early church, springing up from the blood of the martyrs, had been devoted to Christ. Even during those times of hard persecution the true saints had not been inclined to compromise. So why should it compromise in the easy times?

Well, as it turned out, the church as a whole did in fact compromise. They fell into compromise and corruption when the times were easy, just as ancient Israel had done one thousand years before. And Rome was largely successful in the gnostic takeover of the Church. As a suffering church the early church had been faithful. During those first three centuries it had been refined and built up into a large devoted body of believers. Through the administrations of ten Caesars Christians had shown that while they would pay taxes and be good citizens of Rome they simply would not offer any spiritual allegiance to Caesar as God. If Roman officials tested believers by asking them to burn incense to Caesar and in effect worship him as god then Christians would refuse. If they were then threatened with death they would gladly die. Hence the persecutions which became more and more severe. Christians were thrown to the lions in the Roman Coliseum.

Late in the third century the Emperor Diocletian unleashed the final horrific campaign against the Christians. The persecution under Diocletian sickened even the pagans. But it was all to no avail. Rome was beaten. And they knew it. The campaign of persecution was a complete failure. The more Rome persecuted the Christians the more converts came to the faith. The cross of Christ was slowly winning the Roman world. What was worse, paganism and the stories of the Greek and Roman pantheon of gods and goddesses was steadily losing its appeal. And pagan priests were losing esteem and losing their sway over the masses. There was also increasing talk in the streets of a God who was a Savior, and a Sacrifice Lamb offering atonement for sin. Other than in the religion of the Jews nothing like this had been heard of before.

This was disturbing to the pagan priesthood. They could not offer anyone in their earthy Greek/Roman pantheon of gods even remotely qualifying as a savior. The whole issue was upsetting the status quo in a major way. Something was going to have to give. The Roman Caesar was growing a little weary of the diminishing performance of his state licensed pagan priests. Their glory was fading fast. And they were letting the emperor badly down in the political popularity area. In fact the emperor was beginning to shop around for some new religious clothes. His secular rule had to be covered by some sort of official religion.

And so it was that in 325 A.D. Constantine sent letters to the church leaders throughout his empire inviting them to Nicea for a little chat. Perhaps a new "church-state" relationship might be just the ticket for him politically and especially with his aspirations to regather Roman power in the east. The Christians, in spite of persecution, were strong there in the east where he was not. But could the Christian church be corrupted? Would they come and sit down at table with him at Nicaea? Would Christendom make covenant with Rome? That was the question. Constantine sent out the letters to all the Christian elders and bishops throughout the Roman Empire. Then he sat back and waited.

The stage for Nicaea had been set earlier. In 308 A.D. Constantine had issued the Edict of Milan tolerating Christianity. As the persecutions had faded the fortunes of the church had been changing. The church began to come into a period of political and economic ascendancy. In these heady times the Way of the Cross began to be forgotten. The compromising section of the church did in fact came up to Nicea, on cue. They sat down at covenant table with Constantine and the Roman political and pagan religious wheeler dealers. The inevitable slide of western culture downhill into the dark ages began. In the ensuing hubbub of quasi-christian pagan conversation the door of the church was opened up to gnostic paganism. See this article on the sellout and corruption of the church at Nicea.

The seduction of the church proceeded on from Nicaea through a process of gnostic substitutions. Profane and pagan things were taken in to replace divine Christian realities. This was religious subterfuge of the first order. And the game of bait and switch was on in earnest. The holy vision of the heart within was replaced by religious ritual without. There was much to appeal to the masses with the icons, the pageantry, the vestments, and the lifting up of an elitist priest-craft. Idolatry came in with beads, the reverencing and merchandising of relics, paid prayers for the dead, worship of dead saints, etc. All of these pagan substitutions for the simple Christian walk of faith would cast a spell. And a pall went over the hearts and minds of Christian people for one thousand years. Worst of all, the Holy Scriptures, even in small snippets, were not allowed in the hands of the people. That disastrous state of affairs would not be changed until the work of John Wycliffe the 1300's. The Jewish diaspora still had their Hebrew schools and ready access to the Old Testament. Yet the established church would not allow the common man direct access to the Bible. It was only accessible through the dying Roman language of Latin and the quiet ministry of a few faithful priests. There was very little hope of the Word of God getting through to the peasants. Because that is what they had become in this spiritual wasteland of what was called "Christendom".

This was an awful state of affairs. Clerical fables replaced the Word of God. God's message of redemption and friendship with man through the simple message of the Gospel would be locked away and replaced in a mixture of pagan-christian ritual. The "Good News" was spirited away from the people. The New Testament could only be read by the priests and that was in the increasingly arcane language of Latin. All that was left of true Christianity was seen through a smokescreen of church formalism and ritual.

What replaced the true Gospel? What had been substituted for the Word of God? Religious tradition spiked with political messages would replace the Holy Scriptures. The love story between God and His people would fade away into the medieval religious fog. This church-state accord established a military-ready Christendom. The blood covenant of Christ was switched to a blood covenant with the worldly princes. Men of Christendom were ready to die not for Christ, but for the political rulers of the day.

What prompted Constantine to make Christianity the key religion of the Roman Empire. After all, hadn't ten Caesars in a row tried to exterminate Christians, crucifying them and throwing them to the lions? The classic foundational legend was a story of a vision supposedly seen by Roman Emperor Constantine before the Battle of Milvian bridge. This was early in the 4th century. Constantine was said to have seen a cross in the sky on the eve of the battle. But the words from "heaven" were in direct opposition to the cross of Christ and all that it stands for. The words were, "In this sign conquer".

The importance of this 'vision' cannot be overemphasized. Indeed this vision is still with us today, even inside the church. In this magical gnostic transformation the cross of Christ, a symbol of a life surrendered to the will of God, was replaced. It was replaced by the sword of secular power. This emerges clearly in the magical sword known as the "Excalibur" in the legends of King Arthur. And so the true cross of Christ would fade away into the medieval mists. Christian faith and love for God would be replaced by the mystical power and the military politics of the sword. See the book Constantine's Sword by noted Roman Catholic scholar James Carroll. This would have profound implications for Christians and for Jews in the Crusades that would come centuries later.

There is no evidence that the Roman Emperor Constantine had made a commitment to Christ after this alleged vision at Milvian Bridge. He was a savvy politician and a military ruler for Rome seeking to re-unite the Roman Empire. His interest in Christianity was very pragmatic. He needed it to use as a religious consort to gather support among the masses for his world empire. He needed the churchmen to do his bidding. He would pay them well to do so. He himself would not make a personal profession of Christian faith until he came to his deathbed years later. As for his vision of a glorified sword replacing the cross of Christ well this specter still casts its spell over most of the Christian church even today. This is particularly true of the present day Anglo-American Puritans.

So was Constantine's vision at Milvian Bridge a holy vision from God? Or might it have come from the seedier parts of the lower second heaven? Did it emanate from the dark angelic principalities and powers of this world? And what about the implications of this vision down here on earth? Could it have been just a political maneuver spawned in the courts of Roman power? This is the question Christians should seek an answer to themselves.

Another huge ecclesiastical gnostic transformation was the doctrine of "replacement theology". This was started by Origen and developed further by St. Augustine. With this "replacement theology" the Christian priest-craft waved the magic wand and said
"Abracadabra, the church is now Israel!"
The established church would hereafter be the recipient of all the blessings God had promised to Israel. This left the Jewish nation with no future divine promise or purpose whatsoever. The church's gnostic religious allegorization machine also axed the future Millennium of Messiah. This future glorious 1,000 year period is prophesied in Old Testament prose and poetry in a host of passages throughout the Old Testament. The future Millennium of messiah is prophesied to last for one thousand literal years and this is spelled out very clearly in three places in Revelation chapter 20. But the clear straightforward interpretation of those scriptures was "vaporized". The message concerning the coming Millennium was just "spirited away". By whom? And why?

Well the answer is all political. The angelic princes over western nations and the kings and rulers here on earth didn't want to hear about it. So Merlin or Thor, or whoever the principality or power was leaned on their religious consort, the church leaders in their land, and suggested to them that it might be in their best interest to have the Biblical message of the coming Messiah and the coming Millennium deleted, smoke-screened, or "cloaked".

Of course the real story of the coming Millennium was replaced with an allegorical interpretation. The false "cover story" was simply this. The Church Age itself was the Millenium! This particular gnostic transformation was not just a theological matter. This church centered jingoism would later manifest itself in the bloody politics of the Church and State. The union was forged by Charlemagne in 800 A.D. as the "Holy Roman Empire" and continued on into more modern times as the Hapsburg dynasty of central Europe.

This was the Church-State politics that would dominate western history after Nicea. This politically correct theology alienated Israel and Jews and would provide excuse for the emergence of the awful anti-Semitism that has been seen repeatedly in church history. The Crusades, the Inquisitions, the pogroms, the holocaust, all arose from an unscriptural doctrine of "Israel" now being "the Church". This is "replacement theology" linked closely with Dominion Theology. It is a serpent still slithering among the pews, and still well hidden within the church to this day.

What is "replacement theology"? It affirms that all the promises made to Israel in Holy Scripture now belong to the Christian Church. This was and remains today a simple Gentile lust for the royal scepter of Jewish House of Judah. The church, beholden to her secular European princes/lovers, seeks to sanctify European political aspirations for Jerusalem. It showed that in the Crusades. That scepter, held by our Jewish brethren, is the only true God-given land right to Jerusalem. The same can be said of the territory of Judea in Israel, now in the so called, "West Bank". -Gen.49:8-12 Even today Israel is being pressured to give up this land to international powers. In its own way the Crusades of yesteryear and the Oslo Accords of today are one and the same. They are a form of theft or rape by the west and the church against national Israel. Replacement theology gave theological excuse for those Crusades. In fact the Crusades were preached into existence by Pope Urban in Clermont, France in 1097 A.D.

The Crusades began with liquidation of assets to raise funds. Banking squabbles soon led to mass killings of Jews in Europe. The Crusaders feared that they would return after some years to find that their wives and lands were now in Jewish hands. So they killed the Jews in their home towns to ensure that this did not happen. This was even before the Crusaders set out for the Holy Land. Replacement theology marginalized Jews and denied the future national salvation of all Israel we see prophesied in Zechariah 12, Romans 11, and many other places. One of the main roots of Antisemitism or anti-Judahism is a jealous hatred against the throne of David. Church history manifested this Antisemitism in the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and on to the more recent pogroms and the holocaust in the mid 20th century. Replacement theology is still with us today. It will continue to generate more tragic history for the established church against the Jews unless it is soundly and decisively renounced for what it is. It is an unscriptural travesty against the (yet to be saved) royal Jewish House of Judah. It is high time the church decisively confesses and repents of her past and present sins of Antisemitism.

Gnosticism still rules among the main flows of faith and culture in the West. Of all English Literature the Arthurian medieval legends charm us far more than any other. They eclipse the classic literature of Roman and Greek mythology, which, lets face it, were getting pretty boring even before Christendom arrived on the scene 2,000 years ago. Where are the Legends of Camelot today? Right in front of our noses. They are in the seductive dream-scapes on the big screen and television. The romance is woven with images of uncovered sexuality, materialistic idolatry and violent blood letting. The gnostic spells are woven to charm and capture the imaginations of those who are not initiated into God uand under his protection. Godless people and carnal Christians are vulnerable because they are empty of spiritual meaning and comfort in their lives. They are vulnerable because they have not entered into a meaningful love relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Without Him they become the unwitting prey of the dark angelic principalities and powers and beholden to the popular entertainment and popular religion of this world. Souls are penetrated and entered by these carnal gnostic spirits of romantic/religious seduction. This is an untold story and it is happening all around us right now.

The stories of the Knights of Camelot are nowadays being restated in many ways and forms. We have E.T, "Star Wars", Indiana Jones, and Xena the barbarian "princess". These are almost pure gnosticism with the magical transformations of holy and sacred themes being carried over into a very earthy and profane carnal storyline. That way the heavenly flows instead of going between man and God to redeem and sanctify are instead re-routed and grounded into more earthy and carnal themes. The pattern of medieval/Gothic romance is always the same. A damsel in distress calls for help. She is worthy of blood being spilled on her behalf and so she awaits her true love. She is barricaded in a castle of purity from the world. But as the story unfolds it has become a house of bondage and unsatisfied yearnings. There she stays, weaving her tapestry and looking at the world through a mirror of romantic/religious fantasies. Trapped in a castle of her own desires she longs to "come out" into the "real world" and unite in covenant with "real men".

In all this where is her betrothed? He is curiously absent.
Has he shunned her? Or has she has shunned him?

Tournament day approaches. She offers a scarf, her covering, to any man worthy of her consort. But he must rise to the occasion to guard her honor against an enemy. Perhaps he is a tyrant who seeks to take her in a dishonorable way. What is to be done?

Fortunately a knight in shining armor, (human glory and a covering of Roman iron), happens upon the scene. For a brief moment we see the holy symbol of the cross on the hilt of his sword. But suddenly it is magically transformed in the hand of the knight into something else. The cross becomes a sword. Our hero swings his large sword/gun/phaser and the evil antagonist is cut down. The knight then rides up and sweeps the damsel in distress off her feet. He puts her on his horse, and carries her off into the sunset where they live happily ever after. This is the medieval romance. Perhaps it harks back even further to pagan legends instilled in Greek mythology. But is it more than that?

I would ask you to consider that this may be a typical story of the established church since she was first "had" by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. For 1700 years she has depended on secular "protection" by kings and rulers whom she honored with the title, "defenders of the faith". And so the Church as Gomer has been corrupted and defiled by a succession of princely consorts, each more dark and evil than the one before him. In the poem of 'The Lady of Shalott' the damsel in distress leaves her castle of protection behind ad going down by the river she gazes out toward the city lights of Camelot and her knight in shining armor, Sir Lancelot. She enters a boat and casts off the moorings to all that has held her safe before. Reclining in the boat she drifts down the stream. She is floating down the river in search of that last ultimate lover. He will be her ultimate undoing. Those passing by hear her singing her last mournful song. Is this a picture of the apostate worldly church in the end-time? I believe it most assuredly is.

There is a large section of the church which has lost the Way. These are those who have forgotten the true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in favor of the social gospel and politics. They have been overcome by the world and are truly adrift. They are in a swoon over temporal rulers. This is seen so clearly in the ecumenical movement, the United Religions Organization, and now in the Kingdom Now/Dominionism and some elements of the prophetic movement. The prophetic movement is of late going ape wild over Arthurian legends, round-tables and knights. They see themselves in fact as knights. So do some of the Christians in the "patriot movement" along with some of their political counterparts in the Puritan "Christian Coalition" and Kingdom-Now/Dominionist/Reconstructionist movement. Truly these are the end-time crusader warrior monks rising up onto the scene to do battle. Because the "last crusade" with the armies surrounding Jerusalem is not just a legend. It is a future prophetic reality.

In all this the established church has been seduced and defiled by its covenants with the powers of this world. And it is getting worse. A Great Falling Away, Apostasy with the Antichrist, may be closer than we think. Papers are probably even now being drawn up for a multifaceted global mega-deal, a 'covenant with many' by the coming peacemaking Antichrist. -Dan.9:27 He is probably even now waiting in the wings for his cue to go on the stage of history. The worldly church, all hot and bothered, is standing ready to corrupt and defile herself with him, - to the max this time. She has already been seduced in the realm of her imaginations. And so the compromise with the world in the realm of her political church-state life may not be far behind. While many in the Church rage against "secular humanism" they themselves engage in self deification with the "name-it, claim it', "we are little gods", and wealth gospel. Worship of God and the faithful teaching and preaching of His Word have been replaced by a religion dominated by "pump up the soul" sessions. Rock music greet the religious consumers and deceptive motivational speakers pace and pose before the crowds with open Bibles. Many within the Church have embraced this "religious humanism". And let us be properly warned about this. Religious humanism is far more sinister than the blatant pagan secular humanism could ever be. The so called "Emerging Church" has been seduced and drawn away from the devotion to Christ. The "seeker friendly" church has looked instead to psycho-babel as a way to keep sinners happy in their sin. Gomer, the Western compromising Church, has turned to schmoozing with the worldly systems. She is "hanging out" at the Arthurian style round-tables of Mammon at her precious Camelot. She is looking for a "Lancelot" to deliver her one more time. And the false messiah is there. He is waiting in the wings, biding his time. The specter John saw in Revelation 17, the vision of the harlot riding the beast absolutely astounded him. It is an intermediate pre-Beast-666-Antichrist history yet to come. See this chart.

In the previous centuries the Anabaptists dared to tell of this duplicity. They affirmed the words of Jesus, "No man can serve two masters........ You cannot serve God and Mammon".- Mat.6:24 They made a call to holiness and a resolved to pledge total allegiance to Christ alone as their King. They spoke out against the practice of the wayward church in seeking secular protection. For this the Anabaptists were bitterly persecuted to the death. When these saints of holiness were betrayed and delivered up before their accusers it was the fearful established church, not pagans or secularists, that led them off to be burned at the stake or drowned in the river. Compromised Christians have always persecuted uncompromising Christians. And so they shall, until Messiah comes to judge and the angels of wrath appear overhead. This is an untold story.

So how then shall we respond? And what will our choice be? Will it be God, or Mammon? These gnostic visions and seductive storylines are ubiquitous in our culture. They are seen in films, television, music, paperback books and now the video games and internet. Among many Christians the Divine Romance with God remains overshadowed by the the Gothic romance. Many Christians would rather entertain themselves with these diversions than enter into a REAL romance with their God. The time they spend in these carnal musings shows where their true devotion is at this point. How long will this continue?

Well here we have some good news to report. There is a wonderful surprise here. Further compromise, as we know, will only lead on to further trouble. This will be the fulfillment of the prophecy of Gomer, the wayward House of Israel now inside the Western Church. Is the established Western Church actually Gomer? This was prophesied to happen by Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 4 and again in Deuteronomy 30 and 31 in the Song of Moses. Future events will cause the saints to cry out to God in their distress. And He will answer, just as he always does when hearts are sincere towards Him. We can be completely sure that many who are now luke-warm or even stone cold in their faith will serendipitously discover the real and higher Agape love. At that time they will come to know what the divine romance with God is all about. This is prophesied time and again in the Old Testament poetic prophecies.

And yes, this strange turning to God in the midst of adversity has happened before. We have seen it on many occasions in the Scriptures and in the broader experiences of life. We remember David, as he was being hounded by King Saul, discovered that romance in God as he hid out in the Judean wilderness and rested by the streams at Engedi. He wrote about this in that most sublime piece of literature, the 23rd Psalm. The Shulamite in the Song of Songs also found true love. She was finally re-united with her Shepherd Lover. She finds him at the very end of all her trials. -Song of Solomon 8:5-7. Hosea tells a similar story of his wife, Gomer. Her trysts with her lovers and her degradations were legendary. Gomer eventually lost everything she owned and also lost her friends in the world. She was eventually sold into slavery. At the end of the story Gomer finds her Beloved. She discovers that He was the One she was seeking all along. She finds her Ishi, in the Valley of Achor or Tribulation. The Valley of Achor, a place that had previously been a place of trouble and affliction, eventually becomes a resting place for flocks and an oasis of peace and contentment. -Hos. 2:15&16

So I believe we can find encouragement from the Bible prophecies here. These earthy gnostic stories of medieval/Gothic romance, these tawdry dream-scapes of Camelot and the vain fantasies of an idolized and glorified humanity will eventually come to nothing. They will lose their appeal just as surely as the foggy legends of Greek mythology died away back in the era of the early Church. They will then be seen as the low grade soap operas they are. They will become BORING; - outclassed and transcended by the magnificent and glorious Divine Romance.

The true and real story involving the return of the King is even now beginning to unfold from the Scriptures. Because our Messiah will surely return. He will come to earth in spectacular fashion as the Breaker. The promised Deliverer will appear at Bozrah, bringing the Bozrah exile and incarceration to an end. And out at Megiddo northwest of Jerusalem Messiah will again appear as the Deliverer as the armies of the world are sown into the ground at Jezreel.

The shallow superficial earthy sensual stories will all be overshadowed in that day. They will be forgotten. They will fall by the wayside, tossed in the trash-heap like an old worn out paperback. They will fade away like early morning mist when the new day dawns. Someone else will outshine all the worldly princes and the pretenders in 'that day'. Because the promised time of restoration will surely come. And on that Day the "sun/Son of righteousness will arise with healing in His wings". - Mal 4:2

Charis and shalom to the saints.