by Maurice Goulet
Copyright 2006 Desert Publishers
It amazes me when I hear people acknowledge the warnings of the
Weather Channel or CNN and the Local News yet refuse to believe what has been
written in the Bible. God has given a clear blueprint of the things to come yet
there are only a select few who believe what has been written.
Soon this world will be thrown into a time of great tribulation. God's word tells us that, before the end, there will only be a small number who will stand firmly on the Rock of Truth in preparation for the crisis that is soon to over-take the earth.
The Coming Crisis is the continuing story of two groups presently on the Earth, the called and the chosen. Jesus Christ said that many are called but only a few are chosen. He said that wide is the path that leadeth unto death and there are many on that road while narrow is the path that leadeth unto life where only a few are found.
Israel as well as the majority of those in Christian denominational religion fall into the category of the called. The chosen are not a particular religious denomination but are those who throughout all ages have stood faithful to God and His Word and have not been seduced by the doctrines of religion.
When the last page in the Bible was written many centuries ago, an amazing story began. It is a story of faithfulness amid apostasy and persecution. While many of God's people stood true to Bible principles, there were others who lived like the world and soon were hardly distinguishable from the rest. Persecution by the non-Christian world kept many close to Christ and to what He had taught them in Scripture. Apostasy was serious. Pagan ideas and teachings were rapidly coming into the church. By A.D. 250, worldliness was sweeping into the early church in an ever-increasing flood.
John Wesley once wrote, "Condemn no man for not thinking as you think. Let every one enjoy the full and free liberty of thinking for himself. Let every man use his own judgment, since every man must give an account of himself to God. Abhor every approach, in any kind or degree, to the spirit of persecution. If you cannot reason or persuade a man into the truth, never attempt to force him into it. If love will not compel him to come, leave him to God, the Judge of all."
The beginning of the end came March 7, 321 A.D., when Emperor Constantine issued the first National Sunday Law in history. This was the first "blue law" to be issued by a federal government. Here is the test of Constantine's Sunday law decree:
"Let all judges and townspeople and occupations of all trades rest on the venerable of the sun [Sunday]; nevertheless, let those who are situated in the rural districts freely and with full liberty attend to the cultivation of the fields because it frequently happens that no other day may be so fitting for plowing grains or trenching vineyards, lest at the time the advantage of the moment granted by the provision of heaven be lost. Given on the Nones (seventh) of March, Crispus and Constantine, being consuls each of them, for the second time."-- The Code of Justinian, Book lll, title 12, law 3.
Five additional Sunday laws were to be issued, within a very few years, to buttress this, his basic one. It is of interest that, at the very time that Constantine was issuing these Sunday laws, he was embellishing the Temple of the Sun in Rome: and, in the same year that he proclaimed his first Sunday law, he made several decrees maintaining pagan practices. Pagan priests decided the most superstitious practices. The day after enacting his first Sunday law, quoted above, Constantine decreed that priestly examination of the entrails of freshly killed chickens should help determine government decisions. It is also significant that a close examination of this first Sunday law, of Constantine, does not mention Christianity but does use the Mithraic expression, "venerable day of the sun" (venerabili die solis), which was one of the hollowed Mithraic titles for their sacred day, Sunday, the first day of the week. It was one of the mystical names for the day of the sun god. Both the heathen and the Christians understood this.
Constantine was a compromiser, determined to bring the religions together while, at the same time, maintaining close ties with all of them. The objective was ecumenism, to unite the various religious beliefs in the most acceptable way. In Sunday keeping, he hoped to unite the nation in an enduring religious unity. The first step was to require by a national decree, one day in the week when worship would be offered to the various gods. Although this first Sunday law spoke of a weekly rest day from employment and did not mention religion or worship, yet the purpose was clearly there and the objective was fully met.
It was several decades before the faithful believers fully realized what had taken place. But, by then, it was too late. Constantine had won, the faithful had lost, and the church was taken over by the world.
This now brings us to the next step. Persecution of believers on a scale never before imagined possible. Beginning slowly at first, it gradually swelled with the passing years, and continued for centuries. In fact, by the time of Martin Luther, nearly everyone in Europe was Catholic. For more than a thousand years, the leaders of the established church had worked intently to crush anyone who had differing views. And they very nearly succeeded.
In the Bible, Jesus warned His followers to beware of "tradition". Tradition is man-made inventions that have no warrant in Scripture. It is only as we stay by the teachings of the Bible that we are safe. By the beginning of the third century, tradition was already reshaping and misshaping apostolic Christianity.
This same pattern has been repeated several times in history. And it will be repeated again. Now, amid deepening corruption and apostasy in our nation, we are rapidly moving in that direction ourselves!
Back in the Dark Ages, men and women were willing to die for what the Bible said. Are you willing to stand today for the same truths? Will you stand for the faith of your fathers, the faith given you by the Creator of the heavens and the earth?
Consider for a moment if you will the Preamble to the United States Constitution.
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity to ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
It was done! It was grandest of all human documents. But then our founders realized that something was missing! Thomas Jefferson, writing from France, declared that the Constitution was incomplete. A "bill of personal rights" must be added, guaranteeing to each citizen certain inalienable rights that the government could never be allowed to take from him! Other leaders agreed. They knew past history well. Indeed, they had only but recently come out of intense personal and religious persecution of the American Colonies. They were the children not only of the persecuted but also of those who had persecuted them.
What you have just read is but a small portion of "The Coming Crisis". This highly acclaimed 111-page PDF book is available to you at no cost. Simply request your free copy today at the website listed below.
About the Author: Maurice Goulet is the Founder of http://www.BibleWays.com and the Author of Lord Of Darkness ~ Lord Of Light. To Download your free copy of "The Coming Crisis" go to http://www.CBNHope.com