A Brief History of Christianity in a Nutshell.

In the Beginning, there was a little acorn tightly packed with layer upon layer of truth.

Since the dawn of civilization, many persons have appeared on the scene, and proclaimed themselves to be a prophet, or even GOD Himself. There was Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, and many others. All of them except for one, were self proclaimed, and none, except for that one, rose from the dead.
In all of recorded history, there was only one person who came pre-announced, and who rose from the dead. He was the Christ. How could anyone come pre-announced unless the announcers could see future happenings? Only GOD, being outside of time, can see the entire history of mankind from beginning to end. If the pre-announcement fits perfectly with the reality of its happening, then we can deduce that it could have only come from GOD. This is exactly how and why the Old Testament prefigurements dovetail perfectly with the New Testament realities.

The Old Testament is primarily devoted to the coming of a Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ, who would be the Savior of all mankind. He would be the one who would make infinite atonement (at-one-ment) for the infinite offense against GOD by the sin of Adam and Eve in Eden. The first announcement of the coming of a Savior is in Genesis 3:15 where GOD rebuked the serpent:
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel
Isaiah 7:14 has an actual prediction of the birth of the Savior, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel (GOD with us)."
This pre-announcement was of the long awaited Messiah and Savior, the Christ.
Well, several hundred years after Isaiah wrote those inspired words, a virgin by the name of Mary did conceive, and a Savior was born of her as recounted in Luke chapters 1 and 2. He was pre-announced again by Gabriel, an archangel of GOD (Luke 1:28-33). He is Jesus the Christ. I say Jesus the Christ simply because that is His correct title. Christ is the second person of the Holy Trinity. He was born (begotten) into eternity of a Father without a mother, and therefore He always existed. Jesus, however, was born of one of GOD's creatures whose name is Mary. Jesus was born into time of a mother without a father. He did not always exist. Therefore, Jesus came after Mary.
Examine this page for 100 prophecies in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah, and in which the verses mentioned provide explicit details of His ministry and passion, which were fulfilled in the New Testament.
Jesus was truly pre-announced by many Old Testament prophets, over a span of many hundreds of years.

Why did GOD send His only begotten Son to us?

1. To atone for the sin of Adam and Eve, and to repair the gulf that was created
between GOD and mankind by that sin (1Corinthians 15:22,45).
2. To open the gates of heaven which had been closed since the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-24).
3. To provide us with the New Covenant of Jesus Christ
since the Old Covenant had become obsolete (Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8:13).
4. To found the Kingdom of GOD on earth, a highly visible teaching Church which would lead all of the world to the fullness of truth (Matthew 16:18, Matthew 18:15-18, Matthew 28:19-20, John 16:12-13, 1Timothy 3:15).
5. To provide a Father Figure for His Church, as GOD had always provided for His people in the Old Testament,
some of whom were Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and David (John 21:15-17).

All but one who is born into this world was born to live.
Jesus the Christ was the only person who was born to die.

"What is truth?"
That question was asked of Jesus by Pontius Pilate in John 18:38.
Jesus could have answered with the now famous, "I am" (Exodus 3:13-15, John 8:58).
However, He did not answer His persecutors, and by not doing so, He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:7,
"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth."

Earlier, in John 14:6, Jesus had said to the Apostle Thomas,
"I am the way, the truth and the life".
By relating this to Thomas, He had taught us that truth, in reality, is a person, the Divine Person of Jesus the Christ.
It stands to reason that since Jesus is only
one person, that there can be only one truth. He could never tell one group a truth and a second group another truth, simply because it is an impossibility. The truth of Jesus the Christ is infinite truth, and multiple infinities simply cannot exist. He spoke the same truth for all of humanity.
We all know that GOD cannot lie (Titus 1:3, Hebrews 6:18).
For those who search for the truth, then you must realize that if Jesus said it, then it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The unpacking and peeling back of the layers of truth begins!

The unpacking agent was to be the Church which Jesus Christ said He would found in Matthew 16:18.
His Church would not be orphaned, and would be guided by the Holy Spirit, John 14:18, Acts 15:28.

"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth;
for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak,
and he will declare to you the things that are to come."
John 16:12-13
"I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready,..."
1Corinthians 3:2

Notice the future tense of these verses, 'you cannot bear now the things I have to say to you'.
'He will guide you, and declare to you the things that are to come'. 'Even yet you are not ready'.
In John 16:7, Jesus said that He would have to go away first before the Spirit would come.
Just three chapters later in John 19:18, Jesus was crucified but the Spirit of Truth still had not yet come.
In Acts 2:2-4 at Pentecost, the Spirit did come and filled the Apostles with infused knowledge,
and immediately after, an emboldened and enlightened Peter, began his discourse in Acts 2:14.

The unpacking of the little acorn of truth had begun.

All of this happened almost 2000 years ago.
Ever since then, the 'unpacking' of truth, layer by layer, from the little acorn
has been an unending and continuing process through the teaching Church which Jesus Christ founded.
The book of Acts recorded the humble beginnings of this primitive teaching Church,
and of its expansion over all of the earth as commanded by Jesus Christ.
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem (local) and in all Judea and Sama'ria
(expanding to surrounding territories) and to the end of the earth (world wide)."
Acts 1:8

When Jesus Christ announced the founding of His Church in Matthew 16:18, He also promised to defend it from within and from without for all time, by His words that 'the gates of hell would not prevail against it'.
Since truth Himself said this, it must be true.
His Church is His Body and He is the Head, and He is the Savior of His Body as written by Saint Paul in Ephesians 5:23.
Jesus proved this many times in Scripture by performing miracles for the salvation of His Church. For example, in Acts 9:1-18 Saul, who was fervent in his persecution of the fledgling Church, was traveling to Damascus in order to persecute Christians there. Suddenly a miraculous light shown around him and he fell to the ground. The voice of Christ asked him why he was persecuting Him. Christ did not ask Saul why he was persecuting His Church. This incident was the root cause of Saul's instant conversion from a zealous persecutor to a zealous defender of the Church which Jesus Christ founded. These verses verify that Christ is indeed the Savior of His Body.
Since GOD is immutable (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17), why then do some believe that He does not perform similar salvific miracles in our time?

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promised that His Church would last every day in every century until the end of time.
Consequently, His Church has existed every day in every century from the day of its founding (in about 30 A.D.) until this very day. Despite the non-stop merciless persecution from within and from without for almost 2000 years, in every century since its founding, His Church has grown, prospered, and developed as all living things do. His Church now comprises about one sixth of the population of the entire earth.
It is an impossibility that this could have happened at all if it were an institution founded not by GOD, but by mere humans.
Jesus Christ truly is the Savior of His Body.

Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions,
and over all the might of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you
Luke 10:19

Again, this is true because He said it.

Christ made all of these salvific promises for His Church simply because He loves His Church;
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her..."
Ephesians 5:25
"For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it, as Christ does the Church..."
Ephesians 5:29

Why all of these salvific promises for His Church?
Simply because, again, His Church is His Body and whatever scourging and insults that He received, His Mystical Body, His Church, will endure also.
We know because as Jesus Christ was hated, so must His Church be hated.

"You will be hated by all nations for my names sake."
Matthew 24:9

Just as the Church is the Body of Christ, so she naturally must follow the trials and tribulations of her founder and Head. His physical body endured an unmerciful persecution and scourging, and so must His Mystical Body, the Church, endure the same.

A comparison between Jesus Christ and His Mystical Body. They are one and cannot be separated.
What happened to the one also must happen to the other.

Jesus Christ persecuted:

His Mystical Body, His Church persecuted:

They rebelled against His Authority.

They rebel against its Authority. 2Peter 2:10

They said Crucify Him.

They have tried to destroy it for 2000 years. John 19:15

He is called Beelzebub.

It is run by Satan. Matthew 10:25

He is a false messiah.

It is a false church. Luke 22:70-71

He called Himself the Son of GOD.

It claims it was founded by GOD. Matthew 16:18

He called Himself Truth.

It claims to be infallible. 1Timothy 3:15

He called Himself King.

It says it is the only true Church. Matthew 16:18

He could not sin.

It has no spot or wrinkle. Ephesians 5:27

He was not believed by many.

It is not believed by many. Luke 22:67

He was denied by many.

It is denied by many. Luke 22:57-60

Not understanding Him, they walked away.

Not understanding it, they walk away. John 6:66

He had false accusers.

It has false accusers. Mark 14:56-59

He was mocked.

It is mocked. Luke 23:35-37

He was scandalized

It is scandalized. Luke 17:1-2

He was hated without a cause

It is hated without a cause. Psalms 35:19, John 15:18-25

His accuser, Judas, died.

Its accusers die, and His Church buries them, and it lives on.

His enemies would stumble and fall.

Its enemies stumble and fall. John 18:6

We have no king but Caesar.

We have no need of it, as we have the Bible. John 19:15

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Can anything good come from Rome? John 1:46

They cried out, "Not this one but Barabbas".

It is also rejected by the world. John 15:18-25

He bore His Cross.

It bears a cross also, the cross of persecution. John 19:17

He died on the Cross.

It has thousands of martyrs, many on crosses. John 19:30

Almost 2000 years later, He lives, stronger than ever.

Almost 2000 years later, it lives, stronger than ever.

However, no matter how hard the persecutors try...
His Kingdom will last forever: Isaiah 41:10-11, 54:17, 59:21, Ephesians 3:21.
At this point, can anyone name the Church which Jesus Christ founded? No? Well read on!

One reason that the Church which Jesus Christ founded is hated is because it does not conform to this world. It is accused of being old fashioned and out of date. Is Jesus Christ old fashioned and out of date? Does GOD change with the times? Does He follow secularism? Those who make these baseless charges dismiss the fact that what is fashionable today is passe tomorrow. Truth will always withstand the test of time.

"Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes.....There is no other case of one continuous intelligent institution that has been thinking about thinking for two thousand years. Its experience naturally covers nearly all experiences; and especially nearly all errors. The result is a map in which all the blind alleys and bad roads are clearly marked, all the ways that have been shown to be worthless by the best of all evidence: the evidence of those who have gone down them."
G.K. Chesterton

The cults of today are the ways which have been shown to be worthless ways, the errors, and the bad roads of the past.

"All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already, in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to happen among those who come after."
Ecclesiastes 1:8-11

How can anyone determine which Church is the Church that Jesus Christ founded?
Simply by comparing what Holy Scripture has prefigured for it, and the reality of those prefigurements over the past 2000 years:

What Holy Scripture has said Christ's Church would be:

How Christ's Church has conformed to Holy Scripture:

It will be founded by GOD: Psalms 127:1, Matthew 16:18

It was founded by GOD.

It will be highly visible: Isaiah 2:2, Matthew 5:14

It is highly visible.

It will have the authority: Matthew 18:15-18, John 20:21-22

It has the authority given to it by Jesus Christ.

It will have a Father Figure: Isaiah 22:20-25

It has a Father Figure, as GOD always had for His people.

It will be a Theocracy and not a Democracy: Eph 5:23-24

It is a Theocracy. It is governed from the top down.

The blueprint for it is described in the book of Acts.

It is blueprinted in the book of Acts.

It will have priests, deacons, Bishops: Acts 6:1-6,14:22,20:28

It always has had priests, deacons, and Bishops.

It will have Apostolic Succession: Psalm 109:8, Acts 1:20-26

It has Apostolic Succession.

It will offer sacrifice every day in every place: Malachi 1:11

It does offer sacrifice every day in every place.

It will be guided by the Holy Spirit: John 14:16-17, 16:12-13

It is guided by the Holy Spirit: Acts 15:28, Rev 2:7

Truths of GOD to be revealed to it over time: John 16:12-13

Truths of GOD have been revealed to it over time: Eph 3:10

It will be the Pillar and Foundation of Truth: 1Timothy 3:15

It is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth.

It will be the guardian of truth: 2Timothy 1:13-14

It has been the guardian of truth for almost 2000 years.

It will uphold Apostolic Tradition: 2Thessalonians 2:15

It upholds Apostolic Tradition.

It will have Church councils: Proverbs 11:14, Acts 15:1-29

It holds periodic Church councils: Acts 15:1-29

It will be attacked from the inside: John 6:70

It has been attacked from the inside.

It will be attacked from the outside: Matthew 5:10-12, 10:22

It has been attacked from the outside.

All who fight against it shall be confounded: Isaiah 41:11

37,000+ Protestant sects is proof that they are confounded.

It will be found in every century: Ephesians 3:21

It is found in every century from the day Christ founded it.

It will last forever: Isa 41:10-11, 54:17, 59:21, Matt 28:20

It is still with us today from the day in which He founded it.

There is only one Church in the entire world which matches all of the Scriptural requirements as listed above.
Can your sect match even one of those requirements?

Over the past 2000 years the little acorn shown at the beginning of this file,
has now grown into a magnificent oak tree.
The oak tree has all of the qualities of the acorn,
but the acorn does not have all the qualities of the oak tree.

Written by Bob Stanley, April 8, 2003
Updated November 25, 2004

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