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Essays & Bible Studies
Bible and Archaeology

 

FOREWORD

 

Luke writes that once, Jesus asked himself: «When the Son of Man comes back, will he find the faith on earth?» (Luke 18:8). With these words, Jesus did not mean whether people would say to put faith in him, but if at his return, he would find someone who knew and lived in the true faith, the genuine faith that the apostles taught personally and through their writings.

 

The fact is that after the first century, following the death of the apostles and the first disciples, the Jewish-Christian communities abandoned the unitary character of the Congregation and isolated themselves. Meanwhile, the disciples from the other nations got divided into many sects, and those who attributed themselves authority over Christianity, introduced into the apostolic teaching some philosophical concepts and principles, which made it interesting to educated pagans, but distorted the true message and deprived it of meaning.

Besides, to fight a desertion of believers and in an effort to establish, consolidate and defend the universality of a post apostolic creed and a rising temporal power, the Church undertook a path that eventually led it to adopt a rigorous dogmatism in its doctrine and morals.

 

In contrast with this approach, Paul warns the disciples of all time:    «Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so do not let yourselves be deluded by diverse stories and teachings». (Hebrews 13:8...9) These words express his concern because already in his day, some disciples who excelled in oratory or in scholastic instruction, matching themselves to those who on Pentecost day received the Spirit and the gifts, misled the disciples through their interpretations of doctrine. Distressed by this trend, Paul writes: «When one comes preaching another Jesus, a different one from he who we preached to you, or if it is about receiving a different spirit from that which you received or of accepting a different good news from that which you accepted, you to listen him with pleasure. I do not price myself inferior to these high-apostles, since if I'm not very cultivated in speech (so they said of him), I am cultivated in knowledge, as we have shown in front of you in all circumstances» (2Corinthians 11:4…6), but «these false apostles are deceitful operators disguised as apostles of Christ, and this is not surprising because also Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, it is not then surprising if his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. But their end shall be according to their works». (2Corinthians 11:13...15)

 

In regard to these things, Peter predicted: «as there were false prophets among the people, there will also be false teachers among you, who will covertly bring in destructive heresies and disown the Lord who rescued them, bringing upon themselves an unexpected ruin. And many will follow them in their corruption, and because of them, there will be injurious speaking of the way of truth, because in their greed, they will deceive you with false words». (2 Peter 2:1...2) And Paul urges the disciples «not to go beyond what is written, so that no one might feel superior to the others», (1Corinthians 11:4:6) and advises them to remain in the true faith or doctrine with these words: «Examine yourselves whether you are in the faith» (2Corinthians 13:5) «because there is one Lord (Jesus), one faith (one single teaching), one baptism (that received in the name of Jesus), and one God, who is the Father of all, (Yahuh, the source of all which exist and of all  life)». (Ephesians 4:5...6)

 

The fact of going beyond what Scripture says, has since then spread among the millions of people associated to the countless denominations that recognize themselves Christian, a hybrid doctrine, polluted by pagan traditions and subjective interpretations. However, the genuine faith is only one, that of the apostolic times, and this faith should remain unblemished because it is the fruit of God's spirit.

 

John wrote: «Beloved, I do not write to you a new teaching but an old one that you have from the beginning. This ancient teaching is the word you heard, which is always current for all». (1John 2:7) Besides, while describing his vision of the Revelation, declares that Jesus tells those who represent the elders over God’s Congregation: «I do not impose you any other weight than to remain firmly attached to what you already have, until I come back». (Revelation 2:24…25) His command is therefore in force until his return.

Christ’s disciples should know the promises of God to his people, the promises that were foretold through the ancient prophets and the words of Christ, and that after Pentecost, were explained and spread by the apostles. The fact of never going beyond what Scripture says, uncovers to us the true faith or sound doctrine, which is always current for all those who want to walk in the footsteps of Christ.