The ABC of Scattering
Part 13

True or Professing? 
Early Travels

John Plunkett
November 26, 2016

The last episode of this study, Part 12, was actually in two parts: 

1. In which I corrected some earlier statements of mine and proved from the book of Ezekiel that Israel’s voluntarily extended stay in Egypt was, in fact, a sin.

2. With the help of some reliable church historians, notably including Dugger and Dodd and their excellent and informative book, “A History of the True Church,” we looked at the separations, travels and scatterings of spiritual Israel – the Church of God – shortly after its very beginnings; and how, prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 AD, the church, having been warned by Jesus, fled from Jerusalem and Judaea through the mountains to the town of Pella. 

Where is the True Church of God?

Today’s episode will also be in two parts, because I would just like to remind you that, as well as the physical, geographical separations of the people of God’s true church, also, perhaps even more importantly, we see spiritual and doctrinal separations. 

We also looked, last time, at the initial doctrinal separation of some – probably many – of the early church brethren away from "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) after a mere sixty years after the church's flight to Pella.  

We also saw that the church which emerged from the historical darkness of that first sixty years reappeared in about 129 AD having a very different set of doctrines and standards than we read of in the scriptures of the apostolic times.

This leads me to a few statements that I need to make as a preamble to the Church of God history that follows their flight to Pella.  First, we need to ask and answer these three questions: 

It is important for us to review these questions – and their answers – because, as we continue to pursue the scatterings of spiritual Israel – the true Church of God – we need to be looking at the history of the right people.

If you go to the library and look for a book on the early  history of the church, they will likely give you information on the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and other Protestant churches.  But if we follow that line of history, we will be looking in the wrong direction.

We need to be looking at the right people because, if we get diverted in our search, we will be reading about people who were – and are – not true Christians.  These people are of some other organizations than the true Church of God.  If we follow their histories, we’ll be on the wrong track, we’ll go down some blind alleys, and we’ll waste a lot of our valuable time and effort.

The key scripture in answer to these three questions is this one:

Romans 8:9:
But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

So, if a person does not want to be “none of His”; but wants to be His, then he or she needs to have the Holy Spirit of God the Father and Jesus dwelling within him or her.

Therefore, a true Christian – a true member of the true Church of God – is a person who has the Holy Spirit of God the Father and Jesus dwelling in him or her.

The next big and obvious question is this one: How does a person get the Holy Spirit to dwell within himself or herself?

There are two scriptural answers to this question – and the two answers complement each other.  Here is the first one:

Acts 5:32:
And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, which God has given to them that obey Him. 

So, God will give us His Holy Spirit if we obey Him.

OK; but what do we need to obey?

II Timothy 3:16:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Yes. All scripture!  The whole of the written Word of God – as Herbert Armstrong used to say, “Having a Bible is like having Jesus Christ in print.”  Jesus was and is the personal Word of God and the Bible is the written Word of God.

But is there anything more specifically that we need to obey in order to receive God’s Holy Spirit and to have it and Him dwell within us?

There are many scriptures that tell us basically the same thing in answer to this question; but perhaps the two key scriptures are these:

Matthew 19:17:
And He said unto him, “Why call you me good?  There is none good but One, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.”

I John 3:24:
And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and He in him.  And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us. 

So, if we want the Holy Spirit of God to dwell in us, we need to keep – obey – His commandments.

Which commandments?  Some of the heretics who tried to lure us away from the truth back in the 1990s tried to make out that Jesus’ New Covenant commandments were somehow different from the Old Covenant ones.  However, Jesus and Paul both negate this heresy in Matthew 19 and many chapters of the book of Romans.

We need some more scriptural back up and here it is:

John 15:10:
If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.

Revelation 14:12:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

God’s “saints” are living human beings who keep the commandments of God.  These are the members of God’s true church:

I John 2:
3: And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
4: He that says, “I know Him” and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 

This last verse is a very important one for us to remember as we get into the remaining episodes of our “ABC of Scattering” Bible study.  It is also a very important one to remember as we continue in our daily lives.  Why?  Because, more and more, we hear newscasters referring to “Christians” being attacked in Syria; we hear of Coptic “Christians” being persecuted in Egypt; we hear “Christian” music on the radio; we hear about “Christian” church groups here on Vancouver Island, throughout Canada and around the world.  But they’re not Christians!

How do I know?  Because they don’t have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within them.

How can we tell?  Because they don’t keep all His commandments!

Deuteronomy 26:18:
And the LORD has avouched you this day to be His peculiar people, as He has promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments;

Deuteronomy 28:1:
And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth:

This was a very "elitist" statement for the Israelites back then.  Somebody might point the finger at them and tell them that they were being elitist.  We will come back to this.

Deuteronomy 30:8:
And you shall return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all His commandments which I command you this day.

Psalms 111:7:
The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure.

These people might call themselves “Christian.”  Yes, they might do lots of “good” works.  They might pay lip-service to the Word of God.  And they might claim to keep God’s commandments.  But what are the facts?

When I first thought about this, I considered that maybe they keep the all of the commandments except for the fourth one – the Sabbath commandment.  But when I really looked into it, I found that, no, they don’t.

Let us quickly go through them and ask the question, “Do the professing Christian church groups obey the Ten Commandments?

1. Do they have false gods? 

Yes, they do have other gods – false gods. 

Many of them worship Mary and other so-called “saints” as kinds of demi-gods.  Also, many of them commonly think that God the Father was the harsh God of the Old Testament and that Jesus is the loving God of the New Testament who came along to do away with all of His harsh Father’s harsh laws of Old Testament times. 

2. Do they have graven images? 

Yes, many of them openly display graven images in their church buildings – images of what various "saints" and Jesus supposedly looked like.  And Jesus' mother, Mary, especially.  Also, their leaders – especially the popes – who are virtually worshipped like gods.  More examples of "mini Towers of Babel."

3. Do they take God’s name in vain? 

Yes, many of them do take God’s name in vain – especially with their vain repetitions of their prayers (Matthew 6:7).  They go through the same prayers, parroted out of their prayer books, week-after-week, and sometimes multiple times on a Sunday.

4. Do they keep God’s Sabbath Day holy? 

No.  Most of them have no regard whatsoever for God’s true, holy Sabbaths.  Most have substituted the sun-worshipping Roman Emperor Constantine’s “venerable day of the sun” in place of God’s true, seventh-day Sabbath. 

5. Do they honour their mothers and their fathers? 

Some of them believe that it is okay to dishonour their parents – especially if they are of a different belief – similar to the Jews’ “Corban” that we read about in Mark 7:9-13.  Sadly, this kind of thing has been creeping into some Church of God groups, as well.

6. Do they kill?  

Some professing Christian organizations support armed forces.  Some of them, in the past, have even had their own armed forces that certainly did kill in bygone days.  We know that this is prophesied to happen again in the latter days of this age. 

Even recently, just this past week, I read a news article that reported the Roman Catholic church apologizing on behalf of some of its priests and nuns who were involved in the Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 were killed.  Another news article that came out last week reports the pope easing up on divorce, remarriage and abortion.  So, do they kill?  Yes, they do.

7. Do they commit adultery? 

Increasingly, many of them support – not just adultery – but other forms of gross immorality – even including the ordination of homosexual clergy.  We have an example of this in a professing Christian church group right here in sleepy Qualicum Beach!

8. Do they steal? 

I remember my Grandma telling me this, and I have heard and read of other examples of it, where the local Roman Catholic priest would go to people’s houses, take the woman’s purse right off the counter, and take money out of it.  

9. Do they bear false witness? 

We don’t have to go into this one in any detail, because many – or even most – of their doctrines are an absolute pack of lies, as we just read in I John 2:4.

10. Do they covet? 

The covetousness of some of their ministers is legendary.  In a few minutes, I am going to re-read an article on this to you that I read a couple of months ago.  

And again, this is another one that, sadly, appears to have crept into some Church of God groups as well, I am sorry to say.

So again, do they keep all of God’s commandments? No, they do not!

I said earlier that there are two answers that complement each other – two answers to the question: How does a person get the Holy Spirit to dwell within himself or herself?

The second answer involves an activity that is, to a great extent, absolutely out of human control:

John 6:
44:  “No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” … 
65:  And He said, “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”

These two things have to come together, because in reality, no matter how much we voluntarily obey God and His commandments, if He is not “drawing” – or calling – us, we are just putting in time with all that obedience.

Some people might do their very best for their whole lives to obey God and His commandments; but may never be drawn or called by the Father; and may never come to true conversion in this life.

Although it is true that faith without works is dead (James 2), still, we cannot be saved by any amount of works, or law-keeping:

Ephesians 2:8:
For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Yes!  The greatest gift that we can ever receive is to be drawn – or called – by God the Father – into His true church.

The bottom line here, I believe, is that we should revert to referring to the people of these non-Sabbatarian organizations as “professing Christians.”  This term seems to have been dropped by many Church of God groups – perhaps following the Tkachs’ charge that Herbert W. Armstrong and the former Worldwide Church of God were "elitist."

Again, maybe they were elitist.  And why not?  Why shouldn’t God’s true people be elitist?  Nineteen times in the scriptures – both in the Old and New Testaments – God’s people are referred to as His “elect.” 

The original Hebrew and Greek mean to be specifically, individually called out by God.  And it doesn’t get more elitist than that!  

God knows best who His people are.  He knows people’s minds and hearts.  He knows who He has given His Holy Spirit to.  He knows who He has drawn and called.

So, let’s be sure to think of – and refer to – the commandment-keeping people of God’s true church as “Christians” or “true Christians” but to others who merely profess Christ, but do not keep His commandments, as “professing Christians.” 

I am not wishing to be offensive when I use the term “professing Christian.”   Neither is it necessarily a derogatory term.  I once was a “professing Christian.”  I was in the Church of England from when I was born to approximately age 15.  My own sister is still with the Church of England. 

It is quite possible – even likely – that most professing Christians will one day be drawn by the Father.  They will be converted.  So we might think of them as our future spiritual brothers and sisters.  But right now, they are not.  

There is a huge spiritual gulf that exists between a person who has God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within him and a person who does not.  And that gulf is more than just a difference in belief – more than just a difference in a few minor doctrinal beliefs.

Doctrinal Differences

But before moving on, let’s briefly touch on this sub-topic of doctrinal differences.

As well as the Ten Commandments, the Holy Bible contains much in the way of what we might think of as "secondary laws."  The Bible refers to them with terms such as testimonies, statutes and judgments.

Although many professing-Christian churches claim to keep – or at least, claim to agree with – the Ten Commandments, many arguments continue as to which of these "secondary laws" are still binding in the New Covenant era.  Similar discussions and even disagreements exist within the various Church of God groups too!  We could spend the remainder of our lives trying to determine the answers to these questions.

We might think that it’s wrong – even arrogant – for us to compare ourselves – Jesus' "little flock" – with the millions of members of all those professing Christian organizations – to compare ourselves with them based on our knowledge of the scriptures and our subsequent adherence to the truth that we have derived from that scriptural knowledge. 

Yes, we are a tiny flock.  When Jesus used the term “little flock” in Luke 12:32, the actual Greek word He used for littlemicros – means just that – microscopic!  The elect of the true Church of God was – and still is – a comparatively tiny flock.

In the Bible Belt of the southeastern and south-central United States, some of those Protestant churches have congregations of tens of thousands of members!  Look at the Roman Catholic church's numbers too.

But again, is it wrong for us to compare ourselves with them?  What about this admonition from Paul to the Corinth brethren?

II Corinthians 10:
12: Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves.  But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
13:  But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you.

It might be a bit hard for us to wrap our minds around what he is saying here; but it seems that God – through Paul – is telling us that it is only unwise for us to be comparing ourselves amongst ourselves – within God’s true church.  But to compare ourselves – especially our God-given scriptural knowledge – with professing Christians – is a no-brainer.  Literally, because, we have the benefit of the indwelling of God’s Spirit and they don’t. 

This is not something that we should get vain about.  Neither is it something that we really need to spend a lot of time or energy thinking about, because it through God’s grace and mercy that He even chose us in the first place and not others. 

But still, the vast difference between the true Church of God and the many professing-Christian denominations is something that we need to clearly keep in mind – both for remainder of this sermon series and as we go forward for the remainder of our Christians lives.

What is Truth?

In John 18:38, Pontius Pilate is recorded as asking Jesus, “What is truth?” 

When I’ve meditated on this kind of thing in the past, I’ve sometimes wondered why Christian A appears to be so much closer to the truth of a certain doctrine than Christian B.  Not just in the knowledge of that doctrine; but also in his/her adherence to it.  But in another doctrine, the situation might be reversed. i.e. Christian B is closer to knowing and keeping it than is Christian A.

In my own personal meditations, I’ve tried to visualize how this might work using this personal – though admittedly very incomplete and imperfect – symbolism:

I symbolize God’s perfect truth – in all of its trillions of bits of complexity – with a long, thin, multi-coloured thread.  Yes, a tiny thing, but which has all of the information on all of the doctrines contained within it.  In my symbolism, this thread is stained with all the colours of the rainbow – from the top down, in order, and symbolizing different details of God’s laws and truths. 

The colours of my symbolic thread start from the top with a band of red which symbolizes all the fine details of the first commandment – Thou shalt have no other God’s before me.

Then, just below the red band is a band of orange symbolizing the details of the second commandment.  Then a yellow band, symbolizing the details of the third commandment.  And so on.

There are, of course, all the many thousands of different shades and mixtures of these colours that might represent all the different “secondary” laws, judgments, statutes and testimonies. 

In our understanding and adherence to all the different doctrines, we true Christians are at different distances spiritually from the "thread."  But again, we're not to compare ourselves amongst ourselves.  God is the number one Judge of these things.

Christian A might be spiritually closer to the red – first commandment – band than Christian B, whereas Christian G might be closer to the purple – ninth commandment – band than Christian J.  God sees these things – and He knows our individual distances from the various colours of the "thread."

But, although professing Christians might be lovely people, might do many great works, and might even have some considerable knowledge of the scriptures, they have not been drawn and called by God the Father and therefore do not have God’s Spirit dwelling within them.  And without the benefit of having the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, they may as well be, spiritually, a million miles away from the “thread.” 

And to a great extent, because He hasn't called them, it is not their fault!  (Ephesians 4:18).

Let’s read what Jesus said about this:

Matthew 12:50:
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

These are not my ideas.  Rather, this is what God is telling us.  We are not trying to be offensive to anybody!  But professing Christians are not true Christians.

Matthew 7: 
21: Not every one that says unto me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name?  And in your name have cast out devils?  And in your name done many wonderful works?” ...

Christmas is coming up soon – the so-called "Mass of Christ" – which Satan has deceived them into keeping three months before the true Passover.  They also have a mass every week – or even every day! – which is an abomination in itself.  A mass – or "communion" – service is a counterfeit of the true Passover service.

Verse 23: And then will I profess unto them, “I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”

If they are not doing His Father’s will, Jesus looks upon them – not as His brothers and sisters – but as workers of iniquity!  That will change if they repent, of course, and we should be looking forward to that day.

But what is "the Father’s will"?  Jesus gives the answer in a parable:

Matthew 21:
23: And when He was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people
{the equivalent of the professing Christian church leaders of today} came unto Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority do you these things? And who gave you this authority?” 
24: And Jesus answered and said unto them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I in likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things” …

Jesus asked them this “one thing” – a question that they couldn’t answer. He then moved on to a second question – in parable form: 

Verse 28: “But what think you?  A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work to day in my vineyard.’
29: He answered and said, ‘I will not.’  But afterward he repented, and went.
30: And he came to the second, and said likewise.  And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir.’  And went not.
31:  Which of the two did the will of his father?”  They say unto him, “The first.” Jesus said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.”

The repentant publicans and the harlots, of course!

Initially, the first son resisted his father’s instructions (perhaps as many of us resisted at our first calling); but then this first son repented, did his father’s will and obeyed! 

So again, what makes a person into a true Christian?  What makes a person into a member of the true elect?

Answer: The indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, plus repentance, plus obedience; then, as a result of the indwelling of that Spirit, a sincere and increasing willingness and desire to do the will of God the Father more and more (Luke 11:2).  Not just by desiring it; but by doing it – by striving to obey Him and His commandments – all of them!

I John 2:17:
And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever.

1 Peter 1:
1: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2: Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

This verse brings it all together – the sanctification of the Holy Spirit and the obedience.

I just wanted to show you that, once we receive God’s Holy Spirit, we are enabled to develop the desire to do the will of God the Father.  But, it is not always an easy road, as a lot of us have found out.  Also, as Jesus Himself found out.  It is not always easy to do the will of the Father.  Here’s what we read every Passover about Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane:

Matthew 26:
39: And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”...
Verse 42: He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, your will be done.”

There may be times that we, too, might have a tough time following through – obeying according to the Father’s will. Maybe some of us have already experienced such struggles.

But the main thing that God wants to see in us is that we overcome – that we don’t roll over, play dead and give up – yes, sadly, as some of our Church of God forefathers did – that very thing.

Please keep all these things in mind now as we continue through the history of the scattering of God's true church.

70 AD and Beyond

Let’s now continue in Dugger and Dodd's "History of the True Church" – beginning where we left off last time, with the church’s flight to Pella immediately prior to the 70AD destruction of Jerusalem and its temple.  Dugger and Dodd are here quoting Hugh Smith's Church History:

It has been observed that, on the destruction of Jerusalem, 70 A.D., by Titus, the church retired to Pella. 

In this situation, they
{Jews specifically} were forbidden to return to Jerusalem. 

Languishing for sixty years deprived of revisiting the place of their dearest hope {i.e. Jesus’ return – to the Mount of Olives}, they evaded the law, directed against Jews, by electing Mark, a prelate of the Gentile race for their bishop. 

Thus, they were permitted entrance into the city, and the standard of Christianity, 130 A.D., was again erected in the Holy City. 

A considerable part of the Jewish Christians, however, for various reasons, remained behind at Pella.

Hence, more physical, geographical separation and scattering!

Second Century

Continuing, back in Dugger and Dodd's account:

Dr. Mosheim, alluding to the first and second centuries, wrote: “Let none confound the bishops of this primitive and golden period of the church {i.e, the apostolic era}, with those of whom we read in the following ages.”  For though they were both designated by the same name {i.e. Church of God}, yet they differed extremely in many respects. 

As mentioned last time, doctrinal separations rose up very early in the fledgling Church of God.  And some of the main issues were over Easter vs. Passover and the keeping of Sunday vs. the true seventh day Sabbath.

In Chapter 7 of Dugger and Dodd's book, they come back to the Second Century, with this account describing the pressure to keep Sunday instead of the seventh day Sabbath:

Victor, bishop of Rome {who died in 199AD} took upon him to impose the Roman custom upon all the churches; that is, to compel them to observe the Passover upon Sunday. 

"This bold attempt," says Bower, "we may call the first essay of papal usurpation."

Dowling terms it the "earliest instance of Romish assumption."

The churches of Asia Minor informed Victor that they could not comply with his lordly mandate.  Then, upon the receipt of this letter, Victor, giving the reins to an ungovernable passion, published bitter invectives against all the churches of Asia, declared them cut off from his communion, sent letters of excommunication to their respective bishops; and, at the same time, in order to have them cut off from the communion of the whole church, wrote to the other bishops, exhorting them to follow his example, and forbear communicating with their refractory brethren of Asia.

More separation!  Imposed separation!  Both doctrinally and physically!  Once again, this is sounding like the activities of some of the Church of God groups today!

Third Century

Continuing with more quotes fom Dugger and Dodd:

The renewed zeal of the true followers of Christ, however, was accompanied with an increase among the number of apostate Christians, the multiplicity of sects, and the growth of false doctrine, and the lowering of the true Christian standard. 

How like our day today!  Sadly, in the true church as well as in the professing Christian churches!

The breach between the true Church of God and the sects was widening, and the churches were taking form, which eventually materialized in the Roman Catholic church, and the Greek Catholic church. Milner speaks of this decadent condition in the following words:

At the beginning of the persecution under Decius, about 248 A.D., "Each was bent on improving his patrimony {i.e. respect of persons… in favour of family members}.

Forgetting what believers had done under the apostles, and what they ought always to do, they brooded over the arts of amassing wealth. 

The pastors and deacons equally forgot their duty, works of mercy were neglected, and discipline was at the lowest ebb. 

Usury and effeminacy prevailed.  Metricious arts in dress were cultivated.  Fraud and deceit were practiced among brethren.

Christians could unite themselves in matrimony with unbelievers, could swear, not only without reverence, but without veracity; with haughty asperity, they despised their ecclesiastical superiors; could rail one against another with outrageous acrimony, and conduct quarrels with settled malice; even many bishops, who ought to be guides and patterns to the rest, neglecting the peculiar duties of their stations, gave themselves up to secular pursuits. 

Deserting their places of residence and their flocks, they traveled through distant provinces in quest of gain, gave no assistance to the needy brethren, were insatiable in their thirst of money, possessed estates by fraud, and multiplied usury. 

Fourth Century

Here, Dugger and Dodd quote from Hugh Smith's Church History, Eusebius, Encyclopedia Britannica and Mosheim's History of the Church:

Many doctrinal divisions were apparent among the bishops, and rivalry as to authority and power. 

Dr. Arius {250-336 AD}, the most talented, intellectual, and spiritual power of the fourth century was the central figure against which the evil and polluted minds of western Roman bishops were directed. 

He was indeed a man of God, in whom the truth found its most consecrated and able defender. 

Like the Apostle Paul, he traversed the then known world , propagating truth, and denouncing error...

N.B. Dr. Arius was a traveller – for voluntary, right reasons!

He was a staunch observer of the seventh day Sabbath; he held the Lord's Supper once a year on the 14th of Abib, as did all the Jewish Christians, and most of the members and bishops of the Eastern churches. 

He believed in the one God, and Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and contended that the Holy Spirit was a power sent forth from God, entering into hearts and lives of Christians, transforming them into servants of God, of which he himself was a living example… 

But he later became a traveller for involuntary, wrong reasons:

Brother Arius, with a large company of other bishops, was banished upon islands of the sea, following this council, and his writings wherever found consigned to the flames. 

After Dr. Arius had been released from banishment, and received into membership in the church at Jerusalem, he passed away, but "his works followed him." 

Like the ministry of Paul, the seeds of truth that he had both sown and watered were growing, flourishing, and bearing an abundant harvest of fruit. His banishment and death by no means checked the spread of the truth, but rather scattered it abroad, and inflamed hearts with renewed zeal. 

The church, called by the world Nazarenes, Waldenses, Puritans, Arians, etc., was shining brightly in many darkened places of Europe, causing the enactment of civil laws, and the waging of bitter persecution against them.

Under Constantine {306-337 AD}, this constitution of things was an entire departure from the order of worship established, under divine direction, by the apostles of Christ in the primitive churches. 

In fact, scarcely any two things could be more dissimilar than was the simplicity of the gospel dispensation from the hierarchy established under Constantine the Great. 

We'll leave it there in the early Fourth Century; but we'll come back next time, finish off the Fourth Century and fast-forward through more of the centuries, just stopping occasionally to home in on a few of the more notable travels, separations and scatterings of God's people.