Iniquity and Infidelity, the Destroyers of Man

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Hebrew Names Version

The writer goes on to say that this present world which urges one to "adultery and corruption, avarice and deceit" , is an enemy to the world to come which "bids farewell to these things" , and thus, we cannot "be the friends of both" 2 Clement 6.

Wages of unrighteousness

Irenaeus of Lyons c. And truly the death of the Lord became [the means of] healing and remission of sins to the former, but Christ shall not die again in behalf of those who now commit sin, for death shall no more have dominion over Him. We ought not, therefore, as that presbyter remarks, to be puffed up, nor be severe upon those of old time, but ought ourselves to fear, lest perchance, after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins, but be shut out from His kingdom.

And therefore it was that Paul said, "For if [God] spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest He also spare not thee" [Romans ].

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Against Heresies , Book Irenaeus proceeds to quote from 1 Corinthians —12, [55] where Israel fell under the judgment of God for craving evil things, and then comments:. As then the unrighteous, the idolaters, and fornicators perished, so also is it now: for both the Lord declares, that such persons are sent into eternal fire; and the apostle says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?

Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And again does the apostle say, "Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of mistrust.

Be not ye therefore partakers with them. The "early Christians frequently believed that apostasy came by way of deceivers at the instigation of the devil, and terrible consequences awaited such people. In the letter to the Christians at Ephesus, Ignatius is happy to report that "all live according to the truth, and that no sect has any dwelling-place among you.

Nor, indeed, do you hearken to any one rather than to Jesus Christ speaking in truth" Epistle to the Ephesians 6. He mentions that there are false teachers who "are in the habit of carrying about the name [of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practice things unworthy of God, whom you must flee as you would wild beasts.

For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom you must be on your guard" Epistle to the Ephesians 7. Ignatius then gives this solemn warning:. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If, then, those who do this as respects the flesh have suffered death, how much more shall this be the case with any one who corrupts by wicked doctrine the faith of God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified!


Such a one becoming defiled [in this way], shall go away into everlasting fire, and so shall every one that hearkens unto him. Be not anointed with the bad odor of the doctrine of the prince of this world; let him not lead you away captive from the life which is set before you. And why are we not all prudent, since we have received the knowledge of God, which is Jesus Christ? Why do we foolishly perish, not recognizing the gift which the Lord has of a truth sent to us? Epistle to the Ephesians In the letter to the Magnesians, Ignatius admonishes his readers, "Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable" Epistle to Magnesians 8.

Later he writes: "I desire to guard you beforehand, that you fall not upon the hooks of vain doctrine, but that you attain to full assurance in regard to the birth, and passion, and resurrection which took place in the time of the government of Pontius Pilate, being truly and certainly accomplished by Jesus Christ, who is our hope, from which may no one of you ever be turned aside" Epistle to Magnesians In yet another letter, Ignatius entreats his readers to.

For those [that are given to this] mix up Jesus Christ with their own poison, speaking things which are unworthy of credit, like those who administer a deadly drug in sweet wine, which he who is ignorant of does greedily take, with a fatal pleasure leading to his own death. Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons.

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  5. Epistle to the Trallians Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly born, and ate and drank. He was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; He was truly crucified, and [truly] died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth.

    He was also truly raised from the dead, His Father quickening Him, even as after the same manner His Father will so raise up us who believe in Him by Christ Jesus, apart from whom we do not possess the true life.

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    Epistle to the Trallians 9. Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord comes. But often shall you come together, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you be not made perfect in the last time. For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as the Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning.

    Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but they that endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. Didache Tertullian argues that believers ought not to be surprised or alarmed at the existence of heresies since Christ and his apostles [58] told us beforehand that they would arise and gave, "in anticipation, warnings to avoid them" Prescription Against Heretics 4, cf. Heresies are a trial to faith, giving faith the opportunity to be approved Prescriptions Against Heretics 1.

    While heresies "are produced for the weakening and the extinction of faith," they have "no strength whenever they encounter a really powerful faith" Prescriptions Against Heretics 2. According to Tertullian, heresy is whatever contradicts the "rule of faith" which he defends as.

    This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises among ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

    Prescription Against Heretics 13 [60]. Tertullian sees heretics as ravenous wolves "lurking within to waste the flock of Christ" Prescription Against Heretics 4. They pervert the Scriptures by interpreting them to suit their own purposes Prescription Against Heretics 17, cf. While persecution makes martyrs, "heresy only apostates" Prescription Against Heretics 4.


    In the face of heresies, which may cause a bishop or deacon to "have fallen from the rule of faith ," the Christian must remain true to the faith, for "no one is a Christian but he who perseveres even to the end" Prescription Against Heretics 3. Christian apologist Justin Martyr engages in a dialogue with Trypho c.

    David's Adultery, Forgiveness & Restoration in Psalm 51

    Justin's response highlights the importance of remaining faithful to "the true and pure doctrine of Jesus Christ" in the face of false teachers:. The fact that there are such men confessing themselves to be Christians, and admitting the crucified Jesus to be both Lord and Christ, yet not teaching His doctrines, but those of the spirits of error, causes us who are disciples of the true and pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, to be more faithful and steadfast in the hope announced by Him.

    For what things He predicted would take place in His name, these we do see being actually accomplished in our sight. For he said, "Many shall come in My name, clothed outwardly in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

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    For some in one way, others in another, teach to blaspheme the Maker of all things, and Christ. Yet they style themselves Christians. Some are called Marcians, and some Valentinians, and some Basilidians, and some Saturnilians, and others by other names; each called after the originator of the individual opinion. So that, in consequence of these events, we know that Jesus foreknew what would happen after Him, as well as in consequence of many other events which He foretold would befall those who believed on and confessed Him, the Christ.

    For all that we suffer, even when killed by friends, He foretold would take place; so that it is manifest no word or act of His can be found fault with. Wherefore we pray for you and for all other men who hate us; in order that you, having repented along with us, may not blaspheme Him who, by His works, by the mighty deeds even now wrought through His name, by the words He taught, by the prophecies announced concerning Him, is the blameless, and in all things irreproachable, Christ Jesus; but, believing on Him, may be saved in His second glorious advent, and may not be condemned to fire by Him.

    Dialogue with Trypho Clement of Alexandria c. He who hopes for everlasting rest knows also that the entrance to it is toilsome "and strait. He, who has spurned the ecclesiastical tradition, and darted off to the opinions of heretical men, has ceased to be a man of God and to remain faithful to the Lord. The Stromata , Book [62]. Cyprian c. He cautions that "it is not persecution alone that is to be feared; nor those things which advance by open attack to overwhelm and cast down the servants of God," for we have an enemy who is to be more feared and guarded against because he secretly creeps in to deceive us under the appearance of peace The Treatises of Cyprian By following the example of the Lord in recognizing and resisting the temptations of the devil, Christians will not be "incautiously turned back into the nets of death," but go on to "possess the immortality that we have received" The Treatises of Cyprian He who does not "must of necessity waver and wander, and, caught away by a spirit of error.

    He has invented heresies and schisms, whereby he might subvert the faith, might corrupt the truth, might divide the unity. Those whom he cannot keep in the darkness of the old way, he circumvents and deceives by the error of a new way. He snatches men from the Church itself; and while they seem to themselves to have already approached to the light, and to have escaped the night of the world, he pours over them again, in their unconsciousness, new darkness; so that, although they do not stand firm with the Gospel of Christ, and with the observation and law of Christ, they still call themselves Christians, and, walking in darkness, they think that they have the light, while the adversary is flattering and deceiving, who, according to the apostle's word, transforms himself into an angel of light, and equips his ministers as if they were the ministers of righteousness, who maintain night instead of day, death for salvation, despair under the offer of hope, perfidy under the pretext of faith, antichrist under the name of Christ; so that, while they feign things like the truth, they make void the truth by their subtlety.

    This happens, beloved brethren, so long as we do not return to the source of truth, as we do not seek the head nor keep the teaching of the heavenly Master. The Treatises of Cyprian In view of Eusebius c. Acts —24 , and the devil is to be blamed for bringing the Samaritan magician to Rome and empowering him with deceitful arts which led many astray Eus.

    The magician was supposedly aided by demons and venerated as a god, and Helen, his companion, was thought to be his first emanation Just. Iren Haer. Simon's successor, Menander of Samaria, was considered to be another instrument of the devil; he claimed to save humans from the aeons through magical arts.

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