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Go not ye into Egypt! How the Disobedience of Israel contributed to the Rise of the Papacy

Posted Jul 27, 2014 by kym Jones in General
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While scholars generally believe that the corruption of the early Church by philosophies which are of pagan origin began with the Greek philosopher Plato - strictly speaking this is not entirely true,  for it instead begins with the nation of Israel being disobedient to Jehovah on two counts, which eventually resulted with the corruption of the early Church with philosophies which arose in ancient Greece and are completely  alien to Scripture.

The first error which the nation of Israel made, was in forsaking trust in God by wanting to make a man their king. Their great leader Moses had originally judged the people, after bringing them out of Egypt. However, this took all day, every day and Jethro, his father in law advised him to appoint judges to preside over the people, as the task was too much for him:

"So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.  So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves." (Exodus 18:24,25,26)

Thus the system of the Judges was established, which was a theocracy in which men (and sometimes women, such as the prophetess Deborah) were directly chosen by God to judge the people and administer the Law, as given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. They were usually tribal elders who served the people as military commanders, high priests, or prophets. This worked quite well for about 300 years, as the people were a theocracy under the direct rule of Jehovah. However, it was of a cyclical nature which was  at times somewhat chaotic, for the Book of Judges reveals that the Israelites fell into a pattern of suffering  hardship as a result of turning away from God, at which they would then cry out to God to deliver them from their enemies. God would respond by directing his prophets to establish a judge who would then deliver them from the hands of their enemies and peace would prevail or the next forty or fifty years. Military leaders who were established as Judges during times of war were expected to give up their position as a military leader after the threat had passed. 

This pattern of apostasy continued until about the twelfth century B.C, when Saul was crowned king, for the influence of the surrounding nations had caused the Israelites to desire to follow after their example by making a man king. However, Israel already had a King, which was Jehovah Himself; for  according to the Targum Onkelos, which was the official Aramaic translation of the Torah and is dated to about 100 A.D, the Shekinah Presence, or personal Presence of the Lord Himself dwelt with them in the Sanctuary (or Temple of God) and they were able to personally commune with Him through the High Priest: 

"And they shall make me a sanctuary and I shall cause my Shekinah to dwell among them." (Exodus 25:8)[1]

This montage which is painted of the Holy Spirit representing the Personal Presence of the Lord is further supported by Exodus chapter 33, where the NKJV reads:

"And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend . . . And he said, My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."(Ex. 33:11,14.)

 Some translations, such as the NLT read "The LORD replied, "I will personally go with you Moses, and I will give you rest . . ." [Italics supplied.]

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia:

 "Closely related to the motif of the PRESENCE OF GOD are other motifs: "the angel of the Lord" (cf. Ex. 14:19; 23:20-23; 33:1-3; Isa. 63:9)...) the "glory" of the Lord (Ex. 40:34-38; Ezek. 1:28; 10:18f; 11:22f.), the "word" (Isa. 55:10f.), "wisdom" (Prov. 8), and "Spirit" of the Lord (Ezk. 2:2, 11:24). These reveal God's presence and the means of His judgment and deliverance." [2]

They are also phrases which are descriptive of Christ Himself, as the New Testament describes Jesus  as having "the voice of an archangel" (1 Thess. 4:16), "the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14), as  the "word" of God (John 1:1,4) the "wisdom from God" (1 Cor. 1:30 - Italics supplied)and "the Spirit of Christ" (1 Peter 1:11). Thus, in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit, or Shekinah Presence of the Lord, directly refers to the pre-incarnate Christ Himself dwelling with His people by the Personal Presence of His Holy Spirit. This is supported by the New Testament, for the apostle Paul's letter to the church in Corinth reveals that the Shekinah Presence  was the " . . . spiritual rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ".[3]  The apostle further emphasizes in the letter to the Romans that although the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and Son, in essence the Spirit brings to us the personality and personal presence of Christ:

" But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Rom. 8: 9-11)

Just as the Bible places emphasis on creation being performed by the Father through His Son (Heb. 1:1)[4], so also are we saved by the Son personally bringing to us the Presence of the Holy Spirit of the Father, for Jesus could do nothing except by the Father - and when you see the Son, you see the Father.

The Presence of the Lord followed Israel in a cloud by day, and settled slightly above and between the two cherubim, which were angels which gazed in awe at the Mercy Seat which covered the Ark of the Covenant, in which the Ten Commandments were kept, and on which the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled once a year by the High Priest of Israel on the Day of Atonement -  signifying the shedding of Christ's blood for us at Calvary:

"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil [of the Most Holy Place of the Sanctuary], where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." (Heb. 6:19,20.)

That the Holy Spirit is the Personal Presence of Christ Himself is confirmed in the Gospel of John, where Jesus refers to the coming of the Comforter as Himself, who is not confined to the limitations of a fleshly body which prevents Him from being with all men at all times. This is confirmed by Jesus Himself, when he spoke of the coming of the Comforter - the Holy Spirit. Jesus quite plainly told His disciples that as He could no longer be with them as He was about to ascend to the Father, then He would send another Comforter; which He described as Himself  -

"I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you" (John 14:18. Emphasis added.)

Christ  told His disciples that soon He would send the "Spirit of Truth" to them, which the world could not receive. However, His disciples already knew this same "Spirit of truth" , for "He dwells with you and will be in you" (John 14:17). Who was it that already dwelt with the disciples and whom they already knew and would bring the Holy Spirit, or "Spirit of truth" to them after He left them? Why, it was Jesus - for it was none other than Jesus who possessed the "Heavenly credentials" which could enable Him to intercede for forgiveness for sin in his mission as High Priest. As Jesus was about to ascend to heaven into the Heavenly Sanctuary as our High Priest, He could no longer be with the disciples personally, so instead He sent to them His Representative; the Shekinah Presence of His Holy Spirit, by which He could be with them and in them. So also does He desire to live in us, by this very same Holy Spirit which brings the Personal Presence of Christ Himself to us.  For just as the High Priest of Israel represented Christ in the earthly Sanctuary, and until the destruction of Solomon's Temple was directed personally by the Shekinah Presence, or Spirit of Christ Himself; so also did Christ have to leave His disciples so that He could commence His ministration of High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary, or Temple in Heaven in which He now provides ministration for the forgiveness of our sins:

" Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (Heb. 8:1)

Thus Christ, Who now dwells in the Heavenly Sanctuary and provides ministration for our sins,  sends His own Spirit to us to convict us of sin by sending His own Comforter to us - for it is Christ Who is our judge (1 Titus 4:1), and as King sits on the right hand of the Father (Heb. 1:3):

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:7,8)

However, while John 14:16 - 29 at first gives the appearance that the Holy Spirit which Jesus is speaking about is an entirely different entity which is referred to in orthodox theology as the Third Person of the Godhead - it was not unusual for Christ to speak of Himself in the "third person". For as the following passage demonstrates, he often spoke of Himself as the Son of Man:

"And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you, He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:7,8.)

Nor was it unusual for Jesus to at first speak in parables that at first concealed the true intent of His message, for reason that He was presenting simple Biblical truths which the hearer found difficult to comprehend, at which He would later explain His precise meaning in simple, yet profound truths. This is confirmed in v. 18, where He plainly tells His disciples that "I will come to you" - and is reminiscent of when first He told His disciples that Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary who had died "lay sleeping" (John 11:11) and then informed them in simple and plain language that Lazarus was dead (John 11:14), after His disciples mistakenly believed that he was informing them that Lazarus was now healed and lay sleeping in his bed. The reason Jesus did this, is by the first century A.D, many Jews had imbibed of Hellenistic ideas of the afterlife and He wished to draw a corollary in which death is likened to sleeping.

So just as in the Old Testament, Christ is depicted as the Shekinah Presence of the Lord dwelling with His people by His Holy Spirit, in the New Testament, Christ is depicted as living in His people by the personal presence of His Holy Spirit, for Calvary has provided Christ with the Heavenly Credentials to mediate for sin. Thus Christ mediates for our sins in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and sends His Holy Spirit to us, so that Christ Himself can abide with us and in us. Thus it is that Christ is our High Priest and our King and dwelt with ancient Israel in the pillar and the cloud as the Shekinah Presence - the Holy Spirit of the Lord.

Yet that is not all, for  it soon becomes apparent to any studious reader of Scripture that John the Revelator, the `beloved disciple of Christ' begins his Gospel with an emphasis that differs from the other three writers of the Gospel, for he specifically focuses upon Christ Himself tabernacling among us in a `tent' of human flesh: 

`The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth' (John 1: 14.) 

However, the translation which reads `and dwelt among us' is not really an accurate translation, as it should read:

`And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us in a tent . . . '

John wrote the Book of Revelation under divine inspiration, in which we find the rich symbology of the Sanctuary service of the Old Testament is relegated to the Sanctuary service in the New Testament, in which Christ is depicted as ministering to fallen humanity in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and intimately connects the `flesh' which Christ assumed, with this ministration to us - for Scripture teaches that us that Christ is near to us, even at the door of our hearts, instead of so far away that we must enlist the aid of a Priest so that we might find Him. Unfortunately though, most Christians believe that anything which pertains to the Old Testament solely pertains to the `Old Covenant of works' which was made between God and Moses and therefore no longer applies, because we are now in the `New Covenant of Grace' - which thus means that this intimate connection between the Sanctuary service depicted in the Old Testament, and the ministration of Christ which is depicted to us specifically in the Book of Hebrews and the Book of Revelation, is broken, and has also been lost to humanity. For if it is true that the `Old Covenant' of works relates specifically to the Old Testament and the Jewish people of today, then why does John refer directly to the Hebraic Sanctuary of the Old Testament when he speaks of beholding `the glory of Christ as the only begotten of the Father', in a `tent' of flesh? For John is suggesting that just as it was in the Tent of the Tabernacle in which the pre-incarnate Christ revealed His glory to the Israelites as the Shekinah Presence, or Spirit of God in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle, [5] it was in a tent of human `flesh' that Christ revealed His glory to all humanity.

Other writers, such as Paul the apostle reveal that the way by which the glory of Christ is revealed to fallen man, is by saving fallen man in a `tent' of flesh which is very much like our own:

`Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help them that are tempted.' (Hebrews 2: 14-18)

Paul is emphatic that this is the only way by which Christ could save fallen man, so that He is able to save to the uttermost all who call upon His Name, for reason that whatever is not assumed cannot be saved. According to Scripture, Christ did not take upon Himself the lofty `nature' of unfallen angels who withstood the temptation to sin when Lucifer declared war in heaven, or the `nature' of  the unfallen Adam, who stood in the Garden of Eden and communed daily with God, but was instead born into this world four thousand years later, at which time He took upon Himself a human body which had been subject to the cumulative effects of four thousand years of the degradation of sin weakening the resolve of fallen man to live in harmony with the will of God. For if Christ had taken upon Himself the `nature' of the  unfallen angels, or His temptation was limited to the innocent infirmities such as hunger and thirst of unfallen Adam, it would have been impossible for Him to give fallen man help where we need it most - which is in `the likeness of sinful flesh'.

Therefore if  Christ were to closely identify with His brethren, it was essential that He be made like  His brethren, so that we might be sure our Elder Brother has been tempted by the same temptations which we are tempted with, yet victoriously overcame them by constantly being connected with His Father by the Holy Spirit of the Father. Therefore, while the `flesh' which He assumed was assailed by the `accuser of the brethren' (the Devil) and was tempted to sin, His Divine Mind which He shared with the Father by the Holy Spirit of the Father was a bulwark of righteousness which was more than able to overcome the temptations of the devil. For this reason, in Philippians 2: 5 we are exhorted to simply let this same mind that was in Christ Jesus be in us, for that same mind is our bulwark against the sins that so easily beset us. But we cannot force His mind into our mind; to try to do so is legalism, for our selfish mind must instead die to self, so that by beholding, we may be changed by the selfless mind of agape that is `in Christ'.

The `mind of Christ' as depicted in Philippians 2: 5 is truly a mind of righteousness, for while Christ has the same `mind of the Father' by natural right (for Christ has inherited a `better name' than that of the angels; and that name is God - Heb. 1:4, 8) - we may partake of that same mind by subjecting our will (which is to do wrong); to His - which is to do right!

It is only by beholding Christ that a heart-felt appreciation of the cross is experienced, and our natural attributes which have resulted from the fall, which is to say the selfish mind which we have inherited from Adam (or `old man of sin' of sin, or natural man as Paul calls it); will die to sin and is thus crucified with Christ on His cross. Thus, as we draw closer to Christ, we no longer want to do the sins that formerly entrapped us, as Christ imparts the same `agape' love into our hearts that impelled Him to suffer the `second death' on the cross for our sins, for by some mysterious process of alchemy that changes the desire of our hearts, `by beholding, we are changed'(2 Corinthians 3: 18)

In the original Greek, the word which John uses to describe the flesh is the Greek word `sarx'. He uses this word when He tells us that the `the word became flesh (sarx) and dwelt among us in a tent', and again when he says that:

`Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God' (1 John 4: 2).

It is also precisely the same word which the apostle Paul uses when he says:

`Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage' (Hebrews 2: 14).

Therefore the `flesh' which Paul speaks of is the same `flesh' which John speaks of, for if it were not so, he would have informed us by using an entirely different word! But he does not - he employs the word `sarx', and it was in the `sarx' that Christ was made like unto His brethren, and it was in the `sarx', that He crucified sin! John is emphatic when he stresses that anyone who teaches that Christ did not come in the `sarx' is not of God, and this is the spirit of antichrist:

`And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof all of you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.' (1 John 4: 3.)

The reason why this fearful judgment is passed upon those who believe that Christ came in flesh which cannot be tempted to sin, is simply because this reflects their own belief that sin cannot be overcome by the Spirit of Christ dwelling within us. Thus sin is perpetuated forever, and a mockery is made of the declaration: 

`I write unto you, young men, because ye are strong and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.' (1 John 2:14) 

This belief is reflected by the Apologists of the second and third centuries, such as Justin Martyr. Although Justin  assiduously fought against  a Gnostic sect called the Docetists who believed that Christ was a mere phantom who seemed to manifest Himself in flesh (original Greek; `dokeo' - to seem); but this was merely an illusion, for they believed that it was impossible for God to manifest Himself in `flesh' such as we have, without corrupting His divine nature, as the early Church Fathers believed in the Platonic doctrine of the dualistic nature of the soul; which is to say that God can have nothing to do with material matter; for this would corrupt His divinity. Ironically, men such as Justin believed that the `flesh' which Christ manifested Himself could not be tempted to sin, and it is this belief which John regarded as antichrist. And why? Because if Christ had assumed `flesh' which had not been tempted to sin (which is the flesh of Adam before the fall), then this flesh of the sinless Adam which is mysteriously substituted for ours in the form of  `vicarious substitution' cannot save us, for in order to provide a complete atonement for sin, that which is saved must first be assumed - and if Christ came in the `flesh' of Adam before the fall, then this is the only flesh which can be saved, for our `flesh' is entirely different to that of a sinless Adam before he `fell' into sin! The doctrine of `vicarious substitution' therefore leaves us with a `Saviour' who is too impotent to save anybody, for ironically the sinless Adam didn't require saving in the first place!

Thus in the Old Testament, we find Christ living with His people by His Shekinah Spirit, while in the New Testament, He not only becomes One with us, by virtue of being tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin - but desires to dwell in us by this very same Shekinah Presence - the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling in us - in the soul-temple.

Yet Israel was an affront to God, for Israel desired a king when they already had a King. Yet in His forbearance, the Lord graciously granted their petition, for although the Lord rebuked them over their lack of faith in Him, Saul was crowned King by the prophet Samuel, who was the last of the Judges. (1 Samuel 7:6, 15-17)

"And Samuel called the people together to the LORD at Mizpah, and said to the children of Israel, Thus says the LORD God of Israel:  `I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the hand of all kingdoms, and from those that oppressed you. But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, "No, set a king over us!" Now therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands . . . . And Samuel said to all the people, `So you see him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people?' And all the people shouted, and said,` God save the king.'" (1 Sa 10:17,18,19, 24)

The resulting history of the nation of Israel bears a sad testimony to their continual apostasy, for the people could rarely rise above the moral worth of their kings and between the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the Chosen People of God had many kings who were little more than rank apostates. The turning away of Israel and Judah from Jehovah to the worship of heathen gods resulted in Israel being dispersed among the nations by the Assyrians in the first quarter of the eighth century, and Judah being carried away into captivity some one hundred and seventy fifty years later by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

As Nebuchadnezzar was about to make his last incursion into Judah in 586 B.C, the prophet Jeremiah pleaded with the remnant of his people to stand their ground and not to flee to Egypt, for Jehovah would protect them.  But if they were to flee to Egypt, they would instead die by the sword (Jeremiah 42:19-22). This is precisely what happened, for history testifies that just as the Bible records that they fled to the city of Tahphanes in Egypt (Jer. 43:6) - which was called Daphnae in ancient Greek and is now called Tell Defenneh;  Nebuchadnezzar exacted his revenge. William Petrie, the famous British archaeologist rediscovered it in 1886 and declared that:

 "Here the ceremony described by Jeremiah took place before the chiefs of the fugitives assembled on the platform and here Nebuchadnezzar II spread his royal pavilion." [6]

From there, Jews colonized Rhakotis, which was located about a hundred miles away from Tahphanes, which was then subsumed by Alexandria, when Alexander the Great built Alexandria on that site. Rhakotis became the Egyptian quarter of Alexandria, while the city itself became the Greek centre of commerce and culture in Egypt and eventually the Jews began to lose their native tongue. 

"Papyri  evidences indicate that by the early 3rd century the Jews of Alexandria had adopted Greek as their native tongue and attempted to adjust their religious ideas to the intellectual viewpoint of the dominant culture. The Hellenistic Jews not only spoke and wrote Greek but also prayed in Greek, sang Greek psalms , and produced Greek literature influenced by Greek thought.  Hence, the need arose for a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures to meet the religious and educational needs of the community." [7]

This resulted in Hellenized Jews desiring a translation of the Bible into their native tongue and the Hellenization of Jewry - and their subsequent apostasy, began in earnest.  For with the translation of the Masoretic Text into Greek, with the Septuagint as the result, much of the intent of the original language was lost and substituted by distinctly Greek concepts of thought .  

"The translation of the Hebrew Torah into Greek introduced Greek concepts into Jewish thought. Although the original translators endeavoured to render the text as literally as possible, Hebrew words and idioms that had no Greek equivalent or concepts that were obscure were interpreted or elucidated. With Greek the language of the Bible and the synagogue and its influences on Jewish literature, the Diaspora Jews began to assimilate Hellenistic ideas and concepts and attempted to understand the Scriptures under the influence of those ideas." [8]

One of those ideas that began to permeate Hellenist Jewry was the "excess baggage" of Greek conceptions of the afterlife finding acceptance within Judaism, with the Hebrew Sheol, which meant the grave, or abode of the dead being translated to Hades, who was the Greek god of the underworld. Hades presided over Tartarus, which was the deep abyss that was the abode of eternal torment of the wicked. Hades translates to  Hell in the English language. Gehinnom was at first translated into Gehenna and ultimately was rendered to Hell in English, when in fact the Valley of Gehinnom burnt eternally, day and night with the bodies of those who were accursed of God. Effectively, it was a garbage dump. With the translation of the Scriptures into Greek also came Greek ideas about the unity of God, for wisdom was translated to Sophia,  who was one of the aspects of the Greek Aphrodite - which further influenced Hellenized Jews in borrowing from the Greeks their depiction of the One (God). 

Hellenized conceptions of the afterlife  initially led to the Greeks imbibing of pantheist conceptions of  "the many and the One" , or God is in everything; which were philosophies which were originally contrived in ancient Babylon, at which they became modified at the hands of the Greek philosophers and then evolved into a peculiarly Greek  expression of pantheism, which is known as panentheism - which is  "the One and the many," or everything is a part of God. This Greek metaphysical conception of the Godhead resulted in the Greeks believing that the souls of all men are originally derived from the One God and are hence divine by nature. It ultimately resulted in the corruption of the early Church through the willing conduit of Hellenized Jews such as Philo of Alexandria, who died about fifteen years after the crucifixion of Christ and reputedly founded the legendary Catechetical School of Alexandria in Egypt, the purpose of which was to syncretise Platonic philosophy with Scripture. Hellenized Jews:

" . . . interpreted the Scriptures allegorically . . . Allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures was the distinctive literary product of Alexandrian Judaism. The master of this interpretation and the principal figure of Hellenistic-Jewish philosophy is Philo Judaeus  (ca. 20 B.C.E.0 - 50 C.E) . . . By means of allegory, the Creation story is understood as a cosmogony and described according to Greek cosmogonic concepts.  [Note - cosmogony means the theory of the creation of the universe] . . . Much of the Jewish literary output in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.E . . . deliberately adopted Greek ideas in support of Judaism as a philosophical religion in harmony with the Hellenistic intellectual environment." [9]

Within one hundred and fifty years of the founding of this school, early Church Fathers such as Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 -215 A.D) and Origen Adamantius (184 - 254 A.D), his successor ensured that the gospel  narrative of Christ and the soteriological aspects of salvation had become largely corrupted by the usage of allegory which intimated that within Scripture lay hidden wisdom, or gnosis which could only be accessed by the Priest or the philosopher. For in an Empire that was governed by Rome: 

"All agreed that Rome's power was divine in origin and that appropriate comprehension [of this] was essential . . . hence the necessity to comprehend the divine will precisely, it is not surprising that much of the discussions among those engaged in leading the empire in the fourth century, especially in the Greek speaking part of the realm, focused on normative, if not socially canonical, texts by Plato and Aristotle on proper rule in its relation to the divine. Here the philosopher as leader played a central role. How and in what manner should the emperor rule as philosopher? . . . Debates concerning the true philosophical life were in essence debates about the correct governance of the Roman Empire, the equivalent of the known world. Especially because by the time of Julian [the Apostate's] and Gregory [of Nanzianus] allegiance to the divine that had caused and guaranteed its greatness had shifted - from the gods of the Greeks and Romans . . . to the Trinity - the true philosopher's  privileged access to the divine was of particularly vital importance. Only a true philosopher, whether as emperor or as an emperor's adviser, could achieve the purity necessary to comprehend the divine to the degree possible for humans. Only such a figure could mediate appropriately between the divine and the rest of mankind, and therefore only he . . . could guide all in the manner appropriate to guarantee Rome's continued well-being. An increasing number of the elite men engaged in discussing the correct philosophical life, either as public officials or as advisers to public officials, were Christian: men better known as bishops (or presbyters and priests)." [10]

As only the priest (who by nature was a philosopher) was pure enough to mediate between the divine and mankind and thus determine the future of Rome, and hence all civilization of the known world, for at first the Caesar's and then the Pope's believed that Rome has a divine mandate to rule the world,  by the fourth century men such as Gregory of Nanzianus, who formulated the largely finalised version of the Nicene Creed in 381 A.D were becoming to be seen as so close to God, that they were virtually infallible. By the fourteenth century, John Huss (C. 1369 - 1415), the Czech Reformer who was burnt at the stake for heresy declared that "The papal dignity arose from Caesar and the papal pre-eminence, and institution emanated from Caesar's power",[11] and by the end of the nineteenth century, Pope Pius IX (1846 - 1878) defined the dogma of papal infallibility in the First Vatican Council of 1869-1870, where it was decreed that when speaking  "Ex Cathedra" (that is, "from the chair" as the visible representative of God) the pope takes upon himself the mantle of papal infallibility and is preserved by God from error - which defined in dogmatic form what Catholics had believed on this point for the previous one and a half millenia:

"Vatican Council I defined what Catholics had always believed: that the pope, like the ecumenical (worldwide) councils, is infallible (preserved by God from error) when defining doctrine or morality for the whole Church. He is not personally infallible, but his office is." [12]

Thus papal Rome directly received from the Roman Emperors the idea that the priesthood is not only an ecclesiastical power that infallibly interprets the divine will of the gods, but has also received the temporal power of the Caesar's, which asserts that the administration of the ecclesiastical power of Caesar thus results in the divine right to rule, or at least determine how the  kingdom of Caesar should be administrated.  From Greece, the Platonic philosophies which  she so richly partook of not only defined the ontological relationship of the Godhead, but consequently defined all other doctrine as well. This was further refined by the belief that only the philosopher (who by nature was also a priest)  is close enough to God to be able mediate between fallen man and God. For it is a salient fact that the influence which Platonic philosophy wielded upon the formation of the medieval Church and hence Western civilization has been powerful and pervasive, for "thestory of Christian theology is deeply influenced by philosophy - especially Greek (Hellenistic) philosophy. That comes as a surprise and often a shock to Christians who assume that Christianity and philosophy are opposed to one another."[13]

Hence the rise of the Papacy can be directly attributed to Israel's disobedience to God, for we can trace a direct line from the prophet Samuel to the fall of Jerusalem, at which the Jews fled to Egypt and subsequently imbibed of Hellenistic thought - which was then absorbed into the early Christian Church via the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Thus the beast power of Revelation 13:2 from which the Papacy emerges is aptly described as 'like unto a leopard', for the most prominent characteristic of ancient Greece (which is depicted in Biblical prophecy as a Leopard) are its Platonic philosophies. Thus Plato is the foundation upon which the Papacy derives her philosophies - philosophies which teach that God is Eros - which has nothing to do whatsoever with the Agape of God.  Thus the beast-power of Revelation 13:1-2 is truly `like a leopard'.

[1] `International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Q-Z', article`Shekinah', 1995, p. 467. 

[2] `International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Q-Z', article`Shekinah', 1995, p. 467. 

[3] 1 Cor. 10:4

[4] `God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken to us by His Son, who He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the world; Who being in the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when he had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." (Heb. 1:1-4)

[5] See 1 Cor. 10: 1- 4 - "Moreover brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all of our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." Note that the Shekinah presence that dwelt slightly over and above the Cherubim in the Most Holy Place at night, was the same cloud that followed them during the day, for that Spiritual Rock that followed them was Christ, or the Presence of the pre-incarnate Christ Himself `in Spirit'. This is supported by John 14: 18, where the incarnate Christ speaks of the coming comforter and says `I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you' - presumably as `Christ in you the hope of glory' (Col. 1:27). This personalization of the `Holy Spirit' as the Spirit of the Son and the Father which comes to us in the personally of Christ `in Spirit' helps to remove the confusion which is associated with Rom. 8: 9, 11:

                 "But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none his . . . But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."

[6] `Nebesh (Am) and Defenneh (Tahpanhes)', W. Petrie, F. Griffith, A. Murray, 1888, p. 51.

[7] `Religions of the Hellenistic-Roman Age', A. Tripolitis, 2002, p. 66.

[8]  ibid., p. 67.

[9]  `ibid.', p. 69.

[10] `Sons of Hellenism, Fathers of the Church: Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus and the Vision of Rome', S. Elm, 2012, pp. 2,3.

[11] `Are You Alone Wise? - The Search for Certainty in the Early Modern Era', S. Schreiner, 2010, p. 160.

[12] `Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church ', P, Kreeft, 2001, p. 101.

[13] `The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform', R. Olsen, 1999, p. 54.