In the last chapter on Marcionism we looked at a general view of the origin of Marcion's heresies, like his view(s) on Creation and his dualist views of two “Gods”. We pushed through to see how this trickled down from a “Big Picture” heresy into the smaller details of his errant theology and doctrine; like his view that Law and Grace are opposed to one another, and more. All of which is contrary to Scripture and even the early “Church Fathers” all disagreed with him (including his own father who presumably had him excommunicated from ministry). All of the most reputable “Church Fathers” wrote treatises against Maricon's work. Heresy didn't begin there though. The foundations of Marcion's work began while the Apostles were still building a firm foundation for the Body of Messiah. Peter was referring to false apostles, who were mostly Gnostics, when he penned 2 Peter 3:15-18.
"Bear in mind that the patience of our Lord means salvation—just as our dearly loved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom given to him. He speaks about these matters in all of his letters. Some things in them are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist (as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures)—to their own destruction. Since you already know all this, loved ones, be on your guard so that you are not
led astray by the error of the lawless and lose your sure footing. Instead, keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity! Amen."
(Tree of Live Version)
Within this Blog, Links are underlined.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9
While Each Chapter can be Read as a Stand-Alone Document, Reading The First 9 Parts of this is Advisable to fully
understand the context of this Chapter.
In this chapter we will attempt to see how Marcion's lies and demonic conspiratorial work moved from heresy to mainstream orthodoxy. This will not be an exhaustive examination though I will be thorough, my intention is to highlight those things which are still alive and well today. We will focus most heavily on those which are being propagated by influential ministries; those whose revival of such error seems to be likely to lead the most people astray. Unfortunately, those who are typically act as if their usage of the rubbish rhetoric of old heresy is somehow New Revelation. I don't like or enjoy this part of such an investigation for truth, but it is an element which I cannot always avoid. Naming people becomes a necessity, so those who have followed them can be alerted to watch and pray as they read, listen to, attend meetings of, or watch the television programs featuring those persons. Please, as you read this, check your heart for the workings of any spirit of offense so that you may gird yourself with truth and see through the deception which offense will attempt to keep hidden from your spiritual eyes. I had to do that very thing when Abba began to open my own eyes.
As we start, I want to talk a little about ancient manuscripts to give us a picture of how much of what is preserved of the heresies of the 1st and 2nd Centuries and how they could even have been accessed and integrated into modern theology and doctrine. The place to launch form is Egypt. In the late 18th and early 20th Centuries a rather large collection of papyrus manuscripts began to be unearthed by archeologists and treasure hunters. Not far from Alexandria Egypt during a number of digs, many collections of these papyri were gathered and the studies began. We can see in the Nag Hammadi papyri that the writings of the Alexandrian Gnostics perpetuated the teachings of Valentino, Marcion and others. These papyri contained “Gospels” which were obviously written by someone who was pretending to be one of the First Century Apostles, but there were also “new” Gospels which had never been seen before. The most researched and well known collections of papyri are the Bodmer and Berlin papyri. It appears the Berlin* collection received much acclaim, at least in part, because one of the writings contains a collection of “incantations” from various cultures. One such spell is labeled as particularly powerful because it is “Hebrew”. This manuscript is written in Greek and so that particular enchantment also contains several Greek attempts at the “Name of God” but due to the spelling and grammar rules of Greek the names are pretty much all gibberish. You can discover more about that in my Blog “The Name of God” It may however be the earliest recorded use of the name Yahweh, this point in particular has been documented by scholars as one reason for the attention this papyri has received.
The Bodmer collection, on another note, may have been instrumental in the construction of the “Wescott and Hort Greek New Testament”. <<< read this short study to understand more about the Wescott and Hort Gr. N.T. and how it fits into the enemies' plan to derail the Body of Christ.
(Pic of the Famous 'Hebraic hos logos' papyri containing
the Name Yahweh circa 150-200CE/AD)
reference Berlin Papyri and cross-reference Elephatine Papyri
The significance of the “Hebraic hos logos”
The point here is these Gnostic Gospels, epistles, and eschatological works were copied as much or more than actual Scripture, and somehow made their way into mainstream “Christian” teaching throughout history. As we discussed in the last chapter, the work of Marcion was rejected by early “Church Fathers” who were obviously pre-Vatican and pre-Constantine, not just because the time-frame in which they lived, but also evident in their theology. I pointed out that Tertullian attacked Marcion on every point of his heresy. In fact, he created more than 100 rebuttals to points of heresy which were contrary to Scripture. Such as: poverty is piety, the forbidding of marriage as service to God, Law and Grace are in opposition to one another, denying Scriptural observance of a 7th Day Sabbath, and much more.
Over time and frankly, usually because someone of notoriety began teaching some aspect or modified aspect of Marcion's lies, much of his teaching eventually became acceptable through the process of Consensus Orthodoxy. Even today, all of the short-list I just provided above is accepted as sound doctrine in some facet of modern mainstream Christianity. In fact, parts of that list (and even more of the full list from the last chapter) can be found in modern Fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, Pentecostalism, Charismaticism, Catholicism. From Convent and Monastic traditions to Seminaries the world over, Marcion's Ghostly presence can be found within the tenets of faith of EVERY Christian organization.
By the time Constantine came on the scene, most of his work in creating a totally man-made religious structure had already been started. He simply became the figurehead of an empire which would only expand into the religious sector of society and create the soon to be revived (it has already begun) Church-State.
As we move forward to establish the invasion of modern theology with Marcion's heresies, I want to start with giving credit to the primary source I intend to use because his research is excellent and I couldn't find any better sources myself. His name is Dr. Douglas Hamp. I am drawing from his work “Haunted Theology”, the cover photo for this blog is also inspired by his work.
Let's start with a good look at what Haunted Theology really is.
I suppose it can be described as any theological position which is not the original work of those who are teaching it; and/or which is possibly not fully understood by the those teaching it; and/or which contradicts Scripture in ways not recognized by those teaching it; YET has been influenced by the theology of someone else, either known or unknown, in ways which are not fully seen by those RECEIVING IT from the teacher.
Haunted Theology in short is any theology which is influenced by the un-Biblical teachings of someone who has long since passed into eternity, and yet through their heresy they continue to influence current and future generations.
I agree with Douglas Hamp, Ph.D. in his assessment that perhaps the best place to start to understand how our Theology/Doctrine has become haunted, is to establish a baseline which shows what is said regarding one of Marcion's most prolific heresies. Actually the combination of a couple of his heresies.
Separation of the “Old” and “New” Testaments
Opposition between Law and Grace
We'll take a quick trip through Scripture in the next few graphics in order to establish the baseline from the Torah, the Prophets, the Apostles, and Yeshua/Jesus Himself (not necessarily in that order).
2 John 1:6 – above we see once again “I will write my Torah upon their hearts” reiterated in another way. If love is walking according to His commandments, then He has certainly empowered us to do so. He dwells in us (John 14:23 from the graphic above this one), so it is He who will live out His own commands through us if we will submit to them. Just because He has written His Torah/Law upon our hearts does not mean He will arbitrarily force us to live by them. The question is, how long will His Torah endure upon our hearts if we keep covering them over with false beliefs that we are not subject to Torah any longer? How much hardening of our hearts will it take until we are simply acting in religious ways, but not realizing His Spirit has departed due to our rejection of the living Torah (or any portion of Him) which we already know to be Yeshua/Jesus?
Below is a quote from Andy Stanley, son of Charles Stanley Founder of the multi-campus ministry Andy now oversees
“The less we depend on the Old Testament to prop up our New Testament faith the better because of where we are in [the] culture”... REALLY? I thought we were supposed to be the thermostat of culture, NOT the thermometer or barometer. What happened to being “salt and light”, tow things which fundamentally change the environment to which they are added. Once you salt a dish, it changes the flavor of the entire dish. When you light a candle or turn on a lamp, does it not dispel darkness? We simply cannot continue down this slippery slope of cultural relevance any longer. Scripture needs nothing added to it or taken from it to be relevant to every culture of every generation, we only fool ourselves into thinking so.
Another extremely popular teacher whose in-person crowds are in the 10's of thousands, and whose Marcionite teaching is blanketing the world through television and books is Joseph Prince:
Notice something from the last chapter in his statements? This is Marcionism 101! Tertullian, an early “Church Father”, argued against Marcion that without the Justice of God the Grace of God is of no use! If one has no consequence for disobedience, unrighteousness, or plain old evil – things which today we separate as different levels of the violation of conscience or societal standards, but God views it as all the same – then there is zero need for Grace! On the other hand, Grace keeps Justice in check on behalf of those whose desire is to STOP their disobedience, unrighteousness, or plain old evil. Grace empowers them to stop, but justice gives us motive to. Frankly, Prince's statements are humanism wrapped in Christian-esque gift paper.
A popular pastor (we'll call him Joe) from a modern organization (Calvary Chapel) reiterates the views of Marcion:
The statements made in the above graphic horrify me! The last statement is wrought with high-minded arrogance and flies in the face of Scripture. Matthew 5:19 -
"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall
be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but
whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall
be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
“Joe” appears to be blatantly mocking the words of Messiah Himself! I am ashamed of the flagrant ways in which the American Body of Christ often demonstrates its belief that they are above the Scripture and yet preach against the SAME behavior in the Pharisees during the time of Yeshua/Jesus was here in flesh
Below is a graphic giving quick recap of what I presented about Marcion and his followers, from my own research, in the last chapter. With one added tidbit – the names by which the early “Church Fathers” referred to Marcion:
By the mid-6th Century the Marcionites had so invaded all of Christendom (by assimilation of their heresy into “Orthodoxy” or more accurately “Constantinian Orthodoxy”) that to be known as a “Christian” was synonymous with being a “Marcionite”. In fact, it would appear that being a Marcionite was considered the definition of being a Christian.
Let's take a short step back and more closely review a few points from the last chapter:
Part of Tertullian's rebuttal to Marcion's dualistic views of the Godhead and it's resulting heresy of the separation of “Law and Grace”:
Irenaeus also spoke fervently against Marcion's abolishment of Law:
More in review from Tertullian against Marcion – regarding the 7th Day Sabbath:
Irenaeus' refutation of Marcion's claim that only the Apostle Paul had true revelation:
Before we move on, here is another short recap. This time of the major points of Marcion's heresy – some from my last chapter and some from Doug Hamp, PhD:
This is where the proverbial rubber meets the road.
Nowadays it is highly unlikely that any Christian would blatantly believe and teach dualism as two “separate Gods”. Sadly, what has been done to keep the dualist nature of the modern teaching of this heresy is to say “God changed” or “we are in a different dispensation” - both of which cannot be true if Scripture does not contradict itself. You may remember in the last chapter and throughout my writings I often reiterate that Scripture cannot contradict what be believe or else what we believe is NOT TURE; I also say that if Scripture does contradict itself then it is not to be trusted as the inerrant Word of God. I have also taken the time in my books and blogs to prove Scripture does NOT contradict itself and it is indeed the inerrant Word of God. If He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; if there truly is no shadow of turning in Him; if He really is eternally past, present, and future... then the contradictions we find in Scripture are completely due to a wrong interpretation and we need to inspect how we approach the dividing of God's Word – not question the Word. We are at fault, not Scripture.
Marcion was also extremely anti-Semitic. So much so that he preached against any part of Scripture which seemed, to him, to be of a “Jewish nature”. Remember that he went so far as to create the “Bible of the New Testament Church” in which he wrote his own Gospel, removed Matthew, Mark, John, and the first two chapters of Luke because they discuss the distinctly Jewish lineage of Yeshua/Jesus, and from all the Epistles he chose only 10 of Shaul/Paul's writings. ONLY those which he could twist to seem anti-Semitic or anti “Old Testament” (the two “testaments” were also an invention of Marcion). The Book of the Revelation didn't make the cut either...
Some may say that Marcion's divisive methodology helped rid Christianity of the negative habits of the Pharisees of Yeshua/Jesus' day. That it removed the stench of “legalism” and stigma of rigid adherence to Law from the Body of Christ. Those would be good things for certain. But they are lacking the essential element of understanding that as our schoolmaster, Torah/Law taught us of our need for a Savior. Without the tenets of Torah we can't really understand Jesus – He is Torah incarnate! If He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life then so is Torah! If this is unclear, I'd recommend reading my two series the “Two Faced Church” and “The Ekklesia”. In those, I lay out a lot of what I am skimming over now to save time.
I am not defending Talmud or Mishna. Those are not Scripture and are frankly the takkanot I speak so vehemently against in much of my work. I am referring to those who specifically reject Torah (Instructions / Law) and/or all of Tanakh on the Marcionite grounds of it being the “Old Testament”. Marcion was the first to separate the Bible into “New” and “Old” and he did so from anti-Semitic reasoning and to make his dualist theories of two Gods work. From stem to stern, Marcion's theology and doctrine are heresy and anyone who continues to use his phrases reiterate and perpetuate his heresies. Please, don't get me wrong. I used to use them too. I don't now, because Abba has been cleansing me of all this for the last 20 years. It has cost me dearly; friends and family misunderstanding me, co-laborers in ministry distancing themselves from me, isolation among my fellow PhD's in theology, and so much more. But what I have gained is all the sweeter for the losses. My intimacy with the Trinity has sky-rocketed and I find myself in places in them which cause their love, mercy, and grace to explode from me in spontaneous miracles of healing, casting out of devils, inner healing, and a peace that others have said is tangible. The bottom line is, “If we want to do what Jesus did, we have to do what Jesus did!”. That includes getting ourselves aligned with God's calendar, celebrating the Feasts He instituted, following His plan for worship, theology, and doctrine.
It is, after all, all about Him... isn't it?
Once again let me draw your attention to the phrase “under the law”. How did Marcion dupe us into believing, for centuries, that this refers to being Torah Observant or seeking to live according the “whole counsel of Scripture”? How in the world do we now equate following God's rules to being in bondage or “under the law”? What has happened to our common sense? Even in today's vernacular, this phrase has a very different connotation, EXCEPT TO CHRISTIANS! When I tell an un-churched person that Shaul/Paul was referring to people who live in “lawlessness” or “without God's Commandments” when he said “under the law”, they almost always say something similar to “of course, someone who breaks the law is under the law – people who obey the law have no worry that the law will come down on them”. You see, Christendom has been brainwashed into thinking something completely against simple human logic, not to mention the whole of Scripture, and in accepting this they have been fooled into believing and teaching heresy. I might go so far as to say there are going to be a lot who are the “least in the Kingdom of heaven” someday if Matthew 5:19 holds true (and we all know it will).
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be
called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but
whosoever shall do and teach them, the same
shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
You may remember the list of heresies, I put in the last chapter, which I explained started as seeds within Marcionism and have grown in Modern Christianity to being full blown heresy all to their own. One such was “Dispensationalism”. Below is a chart,
which is the simplest I could find, on the essence of "Dispensationalism. PLEASE look at it prayerfully, this deception has such guile due to the amount of the influence this particular heresy carries. Guard your heart and ask Holy Spirit to help you to see with His eyes.
Those who have bought into even greater heresy have accepted greater lengths of deception with varying degrees of Praeterism which would cause their post-Calvary chart to look more like this:
This one is explained in detail in "The Ekklesia".
Below are some commonalities between the two:
Let's leap forward in time to post “Dark Ages” and look at theology/doctrine from Protestants who bought into various forms of semi-Marcionism:
There is a false doctrine stemming from teachings like these which says “Jews are trying to earn their salvation through adherence to the Law”. But the truth is, they are careful to adhere to Torah, because “God told them to”. Ask any descendant of Abraham why they follow Torah, and that is what they will tell you. So if God told them to, AND He is no respecter or persons, are we not all called to do the same? If we are not, then I propose He IS a respecter of persons; which means He does change; there is a shadow associated with His turning; there is still separate “Jew and Gentile 'in Christ'”; and such being the case - Scripture is a lie. It simply cannot be both ways. Either all believers in Messiah are One in Him and there is One Way, or He and His Word are inconsistent and deceptive.
John Walvoord, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary had this to say:
Again we see the separation(s) of Marcion seeping into mainstream Christian circles.
The founder of Dallas Theological Seminary commented on Dispensationalism:
More faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary and their perspectives on the separation Marcion created and how it affects the Body of Christ vs. Jews:
**NOTE: Much More on Dispensationalism can be found in "The Power of the Ekklesia"
The depth of this problem is not the separation as much as the implications being taught as a result of the supposed separation. If you've read my first Blog about “” you already know I believe the word “Church” and the Greek from which it was derived (Circe) was never in the mouth or even thoughts of Yeshua/Jesus when He eluded to the many member Global Assembly which would be made up of Jewish and Gentile believers in Messiah. So when these teachers of Pastors and other ministry leaders speak of a separation, they are alluding to the Marcionist doctrine of Law and Grace. They are simply exchanging the words Law and Grace for Jews/Israel and Church.
There are also a number of popular websites which are also ripe with the heresy of Marcion:
Going back to the English word “Church” for just a moment, only because it is tangentially related to the previous graphic, after studying the history of Bible translation to the fullest extent I have been able, I have so far found that the first appearance of this word seems to be when John Wycliffe translated the Latin Vulgate into English. He did not use Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, he simply did a translation of the Latin (Catholic) Bible into English. It was centuries alter that Erasmus did his first draft of the Textus Receptus and his parallel “New Testament”. Without going into a lot of detail which would end up minutia and counter productive, let's consider something. Erasmus corrected the Latin wording of the Vulgate to make it line up with the Greek texts. This erupted in a fury of division which eventually resulted in the Reformation. William Tyndale, an accomplished student of Erasmus' work and methods of translation later did a “New Testament” in which he only used “church” in two places – only referring to pagan temples of worship and NEVER to the Body of Christ. So even the idea that Paul had a “new revelation” which was the “church” is a massive assumption on the part of the modern Marcionite heresy! Yet, we find it in full play today on such sites as the one listed in the graphic above.
Another reemergence of the “Paul Had Revelation” and no one else did heresy:
If we use Marcion's method of exegesis, this all makes perfect sense. The problem is, Marcion did not understand the character and nature of God to begin with so ANY exegesis he did was tainted by his own hatred for anything related to Israel or “Jews”. This, no doubt, cleared the way for the pre and early Vatican leaders to justify the invention of “Christian Holidays, Months, Days, and Day of Worship” which further carried us away from the “faith once delivered to the 'saints'” which happened at Mt. Horeb when God cut a Covenant with His chosen Covenant People.
So what of 2 Timothy 3:16 Dr. Stauffer?
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness:” (King James Version)
In summation let's now compare Marcion's Theology
against what Scripture actually teaches:
So how can we Undo what we've
allowed ourselves to Believe?
We really need to remove the filters through which we have viewed Abba by having used a Greek exegesis in the past, and begin seeking to understand Him through Hebraic Context. This is the phrase I have coined in my own life which describes finding sources to help me see the “Jewishness” of Scripture. It is true that to Abba there is now neither Jew nor Gentile “in Christ”, but Scripture was still overwhelmingly written by very Jewish Jews. They did their very best to convey Hebrew understanding and perspectives in all they wrote. It doesn't really matter all that much if the post-Calvary writings were originally penned in Greek or in Hebrew, the concepts were from a Hebraic culture, mostly Hebraic people, about a Hebraic Messiah who came to keep the Hebraic Torah and write it upon our hearts. That is what He finished – yes that and much more – but without this promise being fulfilled, Gentiles would have no hope except to convert to Judaism and observe Torah as “Law” and not as a labor of love because it is in my heart to now Hear and Obey Him (Shema).
We need to carefully examine our own beliefs to see if they reflect any lack of continuity with Scripture; perhaps asking “Abba, have I believed any lies?”. Doing so is not an indictment on those who taught us, it is an admission of their humanity. I pray often that those who taught me error will see truth. What greater joy could I imagine than that of seeing a former teacher, mentor, or spiritual parent come to a more intimate knowledge and relationship with the Trinity? For them to recognize the falsities they have adopted from those who came before them, and to recognize the whole Counsel of Scripture. I am so fortunate to have been graced with the gift of my eyes being opened. If I can somehow now be an introduction for those who have been in my life to also see, I cannot imagine a much greater destiny or blessing.