The Gospel of Early Christianity
MANY who write concerning Jesus Christ and his Gospel do begin with his 'mortal generation' and the lead-in stories of his ancestry from King David, Judah and Adam, also the preparer of the way (Elias) John the Baptist, and the announcements and the virgin birth of Jesus as the son of Mary at Bethlehem. Now that is concerning his mortal ministry in the meridian of time. It only deals with the 'Only Begotten Son' in the Flesh and fails to deal with Jesus, who is the same as Jehovah, as the 'Firstborn; son, 'first born of every creature in the spirit.' He being the Firstborn spirit son of God the Father, Elohim, in the Beginning or Alpha of 'His Generation' beginning in the Preexistence.
John the beloved apostle is the only one in his Gospel that has addressed that Beginning in the words of his Gospel's beginning verses which speaks of Christ-Jehovah as 'the WORD' who was in the beginning with GOD and by that God, Elohim, endowed and empowered; ordained and annointed; to act as our temporal creator of our heaven and earth and all the temporal things that are therein. Jesus, who is the same as Jehovah the Spirit God of the Old Testament and our Gospel Father, whose Gospel had its Alpha or Beginning in him back then and throughout the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament and beyond; he is in the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet Sermon, he being Co-eternal with our Father of our spirits, Elohim. This, of course is speaking of the nature of his and our origins relative to the 'Intelligences of our minds.' But for now in this treatise, shall we will forsake all of that for another time, and do as many most do and begin with the moratlity of our Ministering God, Jehovah, as Jesus/Joshua (Jeh-oshua — Jehovah-Deliverer) the Christ; and deal with the Gospel, the Plan of God, in only that more limited instance of containment from the Savior's birth on earth?
Historically many have touted this historical figure as the 'Father of the Nicene Creed', though in doing so they have not closely studied just what was his particular stance was upon that matter, but rather they reference him as such by using what the Nicene Creed did later become rather than what this particular Bishop of the faith in truth intented it to be. Of course by now you may have guessed and concluded upon just who this person, who is my esteemed source is, and that is Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, the author of the Ecclesiastical History of the Church and numerous other such related texts and writiings.
This Bishop Eusebius live round and about that historical date of 325 A.D. so associated with the first Council of Nicaea. He had most likely completed his Chruch History and was much studied in the scriptures and such early writings of the earlier Christian Fathers as was had in the Great Library of Caesarea in his day and time. It is hard to find any such Bishop of the faith who was more studied, learned and had written more and was recognized more generally than was Bishop Eusebius. If fact he was called upon by the Emporer Constantine to play a central role in the Nicaean meeting of the Bishops of Christianity in an attemp to help solidify and unify the faith. Since the death and withdrawal of the leading Apostles of the Lord, the Christian faith had began to stray in various paths of speculation and personal prideful innovation upon the part of various sectors of the faith over the span of distance and according to their own regional schools of passed on and taught theology which was also very much beginning to be influenced by such localized skewed trends of belief from east to west and from the north to the south. In this respect, Caesarea also seemed to be a nicely positioned central location of Gospel Study and learning supported by its great and grand library of such related religious texts.
One may contend and prefer another route to this central theme of presenting the Early Christian Gospel, but for a one point in time central source, I can find no other so greatly qualified to stand apart as I have found in the person and writings of Bishop Eusibeus of Caesarea. And I will present from Bishop Eusebius' History and other writings just what I consider to be the central and creditical points of just what was the Early Christian Gospel in that day and time of Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea. I will do this by a two columar presentation which presents from the sources of Bishop Eusebius' History and various writings just what he said of those Gospel Standards. And in the second column I will present commentary and comparison as to what the Gospel of Jesus Christ so teaches today according to my knowledge and understanding.
[Perhaps the most significant quotable statement by Eusebius as to the status quo of his day and time in relationship to the theology and Gospel of Jesus Christ may be summed up as such:]
" . . . the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and
presided over the Chruch in the most prominent parishes, and
those who in each generation have
proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing.
" . . . those who through love of innovation have run into the greatest errors, and, proclaiming themselves discoverers of knowledge falsely so-called have like fierce wolves [grievous wolves (Acts 20:29 & 2 Thes. 2:3)] unmercifully devastated the flock of Christ." (Ecclesiastical History, Book I, Chapter I, Paragraph/verse 1 & 2)
"I propose to write of all these things I shall commence my work with the beginning of the dispensation (oikonomia) of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. " . . . the dispensation (oikonomia) of the Savior Christ—which is loftier and greater than human conception—and with a discussion of his divinity (theologia) . . . [it is needful] for one who proposes to write a history of the Church to begin with the very origin of Christ's dispensation, a dispensation more divine than many think." (EH Book I, Chapter I, paragraph/verses 3 & 5)
Summary View of the Pre-existence and Divinity of Our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ
"Since in Christ there is a twofold nature . . . he is thought of as God . . . for the sake of our salvation, put on human nature with the same passions as our own—the following work will be complete only if we begin with the chief and lordliest events of all his history. In this way will the antiquity and divinity of Christianity be shown to those who suppose it of recent and foreign origin, and imagine that it appeared only yesterday. . . . 'Who shall declare his generation?' . . . can any one know the Son adequately except the Father alone who hath begotten him." (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraph/verse 1)
"Knowest thou the condescenssion of God?" . . . "Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God" (1 Nephi 11:16) That Jesus/Jehovah who had been annointed and empowered in the pre-existent beginning was to come to earth and be born of women was indeed a very part of the 'oikonomia' dispensation of our Savior and Lord, as only by this could and would he be enabled to become the Redeemer of mankind. Christianity did not begin with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, it began before the foundation of the world in the pre-existence of God when God the Father selected and anointed his Firstborn Son in the spirit to be the Mediator, Intercessor and Advocate of man to come and be the Savior and Redeemer of mankind.
" . . . who beside the Father could clearly understand the Light which was before the world, the intellectual and essential Wisdom which existed before the ages, the living Word [Christ the Son/Jehovah] which was in the beginning with the Father and which was God, the first [born] and only begotten of God which was before every creature and creation visible [temporal] and invisible [spiritual], the commander-in-chief of the rational and immortal host of heaven, the messenger of the great counsel, the executor of the Father's unspoken will, the creator, with the Father, of all things, the second cause [Second Estate] of the universe after the Father, the true and only-begotten Son of God, the Lord and God and King of all created things, the one who has received dominion and power, with divinity itself, and with might and honor from the Father [Divine Investiture]; as it is said in regard to him in the mystical passage of Scripture which speak of his divinity: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'" (John 1:1) (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraph/verse 2)
"'All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made.' (John 1:3) This, too, the great Moses teaches . . . he describes under the influence of the divine Spirit the creation and arrangement of the universe. He declares that the maker of the world and creator of all things yielded to Christ himself, and to none other his own clearly divine and first-born [Son in the spirit] Word, the making of inferior things [of the Second temporal Estate], and communed with him respecting the creation of man." (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraph/verse 3)
"'For,' says he, 'God [the Father] said, Let us [The Father and the Son] make man in our image and in our likeness.' (Genesis 1:26) And another of the prophets confirms this, speaking of God in his hymns as follows: 'He spake and they were made; he commanded and they were created.' (Psalms 33:9 & Psalms 148:5) He here introduces the Father and Maker as Ruler of all, commanding with a kindly nod (Psalms 33:9), and second (Psalms 148:5) to him the divine Word, none other than the one who is proclaimed by us, as carrying out the Father's commands. All . . . the great servant Moses and before him . . . Abraham and his children, . . . as many righteous men and prophets as afterward appeared, have contemplated him [Christ/Jehovah] with the pure eyes of the mind, and have recognized him and offered to him the worship which is due him as Son of God." (EH Book 1 Chapter 2 paragarph/verse 4)
How simple is it to see and understand that the 'Gods' meaning Father and Son were jointly envolved in the creation as director and performer especially when even today in Genesis is speaks in the plural 'Let us make man in our image and in our likeness.' Why must we still be of the deaf ears, blind eyes, and hardened heart of the Jews who refused to see in Jesus the Son of God, that even as Stephen saw them the Son standing upon the right hand of God in vision, which hearing the vision the Jews did stop up their ears and raged upon Stephen to take him out and stone him to death for so declaring that which they would not hear, that Jesus was indeed the very Son of God. (Acts 7) As Eusebius does report according to his understanding all, Moses, Abraham and his children and many righteous men and prophets have understood with pure eyes of the mind and have recognized hime and offered to him the worship which was and is due him Jesus/Jehovah as being the Son of God.
"But he [Jesus/Jehovah], by no means neglected of the reverence due to the Father, was appointed to teach the knowledge of the Father to them all. For instance, the Lord God, it is said, appeared as a common man to Abraham while he was sitting at the oak of Mambre [Mamre] (Genesis 18-1). And he immediately fallin down, although he saw a man with his eyes, nevertheless worshipped him as God (Genesis 18:2), and acrified to him as Lord, and confessed that he was not ignorant of his identity when he uttered the words, 'Lord, the judge of all the earth, wilt thou not execute righteous judgment?'" (Genesis 18:25) (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraph/verse 5)
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it, and was glad.
"Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM."
Eusebius knew and understood well the separation of the Father of Heaven and the Son Jehovah/Jesus as he has taught it in his Ecclesiastical History of the Church. Eusebius knew this and had written it well before any Nicene Counsel and before any eventuated Nicene Creed. As we progrees through this understanding fo Early Christianity and the Gospel, it will be 'exposed' just were Christianity and the trues which Eusebius of Caesarea still espoused parted their ways.
" . . . the God and Lord who judgeth all the earth and executeth judgment is seen in the form of a man, who else can be called, if it be not lawful to call him the first cause [First Estate] of all things, than his only pre-existent Word? Concerning whom it is said in the Psalms, 'He sent his Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.'" (Psalms 107:20) (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraph/verse 6)
That the temporal tabernacle which was created to house the spirit of man is in the same form as that spirit which it houses is not new revelation to the common man as even Hollywood does depict it so. But to Traditional Christianity it is often treated as a heresey. The Bible may teach that man is in the image of God but many a Christian theologist will not believe that his God, after the image of Greek Philosophy, is in the image of man.
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)
" . . . Jacob . . . saying, 'For I have seen God fact to face, and my life
is preserved.' (Genesis 32:24-30)
"Joshua . . . Loose thy shoe from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy. (Joshua 5:13-15)
"Moses . . . he said unto him, I am the God of thy Fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
"That the divine Word [Jesus Christ/Jehovah], therefore, pre-existed and appeared to some, if not all, has thus been briefly shown by us." (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraphs/verses 7-14)
Certainly since his death and resurrection countless numbers have see Jesus, and even the Glory of God the Father and lived. The New Testament scriptures is full of those ocassions.
(EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraphs/verses 15-20)
" . . . The marvelous nature of his birth, and his new teaching, and his wonderful works had also been foretold; so likewise the manner of his death, his resurrection from the dead, and finally, his divine ascension into heaven." (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraph/verse 21)
It ought to be noted that to this point concerning the 'dispensation of Jehovah/Jesus' Eusebius has covered from the appearent selection and ordination of the Lord by the Father in the pre-existence before the foundation of the world, the manner of the creation of the universe by the hand of the Lord Jesus/Jehovah, the workings with man of Jesus/Jehovah with man during the Old Testament times, and down to and now including the very birth of Jesus, his ministry, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. He has also referenced the Lord as to being judge and his judgements. One ought to agree that Bishop Eusebius have a very good and firm handle upon the 'enonomy' of the 'dispensation' of Jesus Christ, his role and of his being separate and distinct from that spearate being God the Father, Our Father in Heaven.
" . . . Daniel the prophet, under the influence of the divine Spirit, seeing his kingdom at the end of time, was inspired thus to describe the divine vision . . . 'For I beheld,' he says, 'until thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was a flame of fire and his wheels burning fire. A river of fire flowed before him. Thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousands times ten thousand stood before him.
He appointed judgement, and the books were opened.' And again, 'I saw,' says he, 'and behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he hastened unto the Ancient of Days and was brought into his presence, and there was given him the dominion and the glory and the kingdom; and all peoples, tribes, and toungues serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14) (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraph/verse 22-23)
"It is clear that these words can refer to no one else than to our Saviour, the God Word [Jesus/Jehovah] who was in the beginning with God [God Our Father in Heaven], and who was called the Son of man because of his final appearance in the flesh. But since we have collected in separate books as the selections from the prophets which relate to our Saviour Jesus Christ, and having arranged in a more logical form those things which have been revealed concerning him, what has been said will surrice for the present. (EH Book I Chapter 2 paragraph/verse 24)
ver. June 17, 2018