Thursday 1 December 2011

Must We Repent of Augustine? by Daniel Yordy

I share all this about repenting of having listened to Buddy Cobb because Christ is made personal in each of us and to show you an exact correlation to a far, far larger intellect that holds all Christianity in its icy grip.

Before we look directly at Augustine, let me recount that darkest of all centuries in the history of the Christian church, AD 311-410. Across that darkest of centuries, the lowest point of the fall into Roman darkness, there strides five men - Constantine, Athanasius, Damasus I, Jerome, and Augustine. The crimes committed against the gospel of Jesus Christ by these five men are beyond belief. Yet they each hold absolute sway over all of western Christianity, Catholic, Protestant, evangelical, charismatic, and even deeper-truth.

Constantine began the orgy of darkness by turning the cross of Jesus Christ into the symbol of the psychopathic hubris of wicked men, slaughtering and ruling over the "weak." It was Constantine, a pagan, who turned the Christian church completely upside down. Christians today who celebrate the hired/slave serial killers some call "soldiers" continue under the egotistical power of Constantine.

Now, Constantine was the key that unlocked the door to the darkness. Read through the account of his life on Wikipedia. Constantine was the epitome of the power of human ego to dominate all others. Other tyrants equal Constantine, none surpass him. Athanasius was Constantine's ticket to total domination, "Christianity," that is, forcing everyone to "believe" the same thing.

Athanasius banished the Lord Jesus Christ from the One who walks among us, who now lives as us in this world, turning Him into "God the Son," far above, far away, something God Himself never, ever says. Athanasius took the definition Lucifer holds of himself and placed it upon the word God speaks, the undergirding fabric of our being. Athanasius separated Christ from us. In fact, the "Christ" of Athanasius looks more like Constantine's view of himself as Apollo, the sun god, than it does the Lord Jesus, who revealed God through weakness and through a life laid down for others.

Damasus I brought all the symbols and ritualism of satanic Babylon into the Christian church, so that godly Spirit-filled pastors today find it needful to spend much money and time erecting the most satanic symbol of human debauchery, the penis-pyramid, over the entrance to their church, or over the baptismal font. Why? Why? Why? - They have never repented of Damasus.

Jerome removed the understanding held by all early Christians for three centuries that God's judgment in Hades, the place the dead are held, was for an age, for a season, for redemption. He took the word "an age" found all through the New Testament and turned it into "eternal," forever and ever. By doing so, he created the conviction that rules all through what is called Christianity today that God tortures forever those whom He refuses to save in a place named after, of all things, the Germanic corpse goddess, and that whatever any of the great torturers of history did, they were only copying God.

The "Christian" Republican hopefuls for President all endorsed torture as a valid American practice in a recent "debate," demonstrating the wicked hold Jerome has over their hearts. In fact my son just informed me yesterday that he was taught by his Bible teacher in the "Christian" school that God favors torture in this world as a means of discovering the truth.

Yes, we must repent of ever having listened to these guys, yet it is not so much they, but rather Augustine, last of the five and the capstone of all that rules over what we call "Christianity."

Why Augustine?

From Augustine until Luther, a period covering one thousand, one hundred years, most all people in the western world who learned to read, read Augustine first. They may have read the Bible or the lives of the saints, some also read Aristotle. But regardless, all read Augustine first. Then, as Luther and others translated the Bible into the common language of the people, many began to read the Bible ALONGSIDE Augustine.

The truth is, it is not Christ-ianity, it is Augustin-ianity. When people read the Bible, they read it through Augustine, when they read Aristotle, they read him through Augustine. When they looked at life and this world and God and eternity, they saw all of it only through Augustine.

From Luther until the 1800's, when other "books" began to circulate as normal reading, Augustine continued to be read equally with the Bible. No, we may not have read Augustine ourselves, it doesn't matter. You really have no idea how familiar his words are to you. They fill all the fabric of what you think about as you look at "Christianity" and as you read "the Bible."

All Catholicism is Augustinian. Luther and Calvin were fully Augustinian. The Anabaptists were Augustinian. Methodism and all Pentecostal churches are Augustinian. Even the move of God was about half Augustinian. In fact, take a bunch of happy pagan teenagers in any western country who have never been in a church and hardly know what Christianity is, and the truth is, their minds, their outlooks, the way they think, have been shaped, for or against, by Augustine.

I even see Augustine just a little bit in George Warnock's The Feast of Tabernacles, though when you arrive at his account of the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement in the life of the church, he gives you a view of leaving Augustine behind forever.

There is only one group I know of who broke free in critical ways from Augustine, and that was the Quakers. That is, until the Welsh revival and the Jessie Penn-Lewis/Norman Grubb connection. From AD 410 until 1905, Augustine ruled over all the Christian church with few exceptions. From the early Pentecostal outpourings until today, God has been separating us bit by bit from the harsh grip of that overwhelming intellect.

Anytime we hear or read someone say, "Let's get back to 'the Bible (so we do not get deceived)", they do not mean the Bible at all, they mean "Augustine."

Now, knowing this fact about the overwhelming influence Augustine has over all Christian discourse, I decided to pull Augustine off my book shelf and read him. My thought was to read the entire book, not the largest of the Great Books series, but not the smallest either.

I don't think, now, that I will. Augustine frightens me. Let me tell you why.

First, I read a ways into his Confessions. Now, if anyone was wordy, it was this guy, yet Augustine's Confessions is one of the most read books in history. Although there was clearly a mighty anointing upon his words, I found myself in sorrow as I read, primarily because of two things very noticeable to me. First, there was no love relationship between Augustine and the person of the Lord Jesus. His was the view of most Christians since, that Jesus is high and exalted in a carnal sense, that He sits above and commands, and we, here beneath, obey. Second, Augustine, like Tertullian and Jerome before him, despised the human and equated the physical with evil. It was this open disgust of his own humanity, a feeling never shown by Jesus, that sorrowed me.

Then, I skipped over The City of God because I wanted to see what Augustine said in On Christian Doctrine. In the introduction to that book, Augustine raised the issue of how do we interpret the Bible. Foolishly, I was hoping he would suggest that we hear by the Spirit and that we believe what God says, starting with the gospel of Christ that Paul preached. Augustine did the opposite. After establishing the need for "correct" Bible interpretation, he began immediately to pronounce "correct Christian doctrine." In other words, first have this doctrine about God and salvation firmly in your head, then you can "read the Bible" correctly.

Then I read 4-5 pages of Augustine's "correct Christian doctrine" through which alone we are to read anything God says in the Bible.

Augustine's words were 100% familiar. I had heard these words in the Mennonite church, in the Baptist churches I visited in childhood, in the Assemblies of God churches, in the charismatic movement, in Christian books and teachings. I realized that all anyone has ever done is simply repeat Augustine, and then, go looking at the Bible for one purpose - to prove in some way that Augustine is "correct."

In that moment of understanding, all personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus in my heart and mind vanished. The knowledge of Augustinian Christianity seized me. With horror, I realized that I have been teaching you false heresy this whole time. I saw that all I have written over the last few years is filled with darkness and blasphemy against the truth. I cried out for mercy for my great sin. I have taught you great error all through these letters!

Thankfully, I'm not stupid, and I knew exactly what was going on and what God was teaching me. I grabbed my Bible, hoping to find there some reassurance that Christ was indeed my life. I opened to passages of the New Testament that once gave me great comfort in the Lord. I saw no comfort there, nor any knowledge that Christ is my life, that I live in Him and that He fills all of me. Rather, those same words that had taught me Christ before, now whipped me with the harsh cries of "Christianity."

I set aside my Bible and turned to something else. I knew that this was God's doing, that there was no need to "fight" against anything. I knew it would pass. By the next day, Augustine was no longer pressing upon me, and I did what I always do, I looked inside myself and "saw" Christ. I looked at Him and saw me.

I neither need nor want to read Augustine. I know Augustine; I know all that he says, as do you.

Let me explain something. I place at the beginning of all my teaching, the Goal of the Believer, or Home as It Really Is. In that series, I hammer as strongly as I can against the idea that the goal of the believer is go to heaven after death. I do that because I know the power that "go to heaven" holds over the minds and hearts of most Christians. You can lead them into the wondrous truths of God's purpose for man on this earth, you can show them that Christ is indeed their life, but at some point along the way, they will most certainly hit up against, "but, we'll only really know AFTER we die and go to heaven." And you've lost them.

More than that, "go to heaven" rules so strongly that most Christians will not even listen to any other possible purpose or goal God might actually say. Thus, if "heaven" is not shattered and destroyed, they will never be able to hear the revelation of Jesus Christ.

I realize now that "go to heaven" is just one package, powerful, yes, but only one part of the real problem.

Something has always bothered me that I did not understand. I have known for many years, and more so now, that almost all Christians simply do not give a damn about what God actually says in the New Testament. I say that crudely, yes, but somehow no other words show the thing as it really is.

Now I understand the complete package of why that is so. "Go to heaven" was only one portion of that total package. Augustine is the whole thing.

Christians do not care what God actually says, they're not interested. The only thing important to them is what Augustine says. And they will fight you, call you a heretic and a false teacher, and burn you at the stake if you dare to suggest that what God actually says does not agree with what Augustine says. To them, the only possible way to read the Bible is to take Augustine and to force his intellect upon every word there.

There is not one place in the New Testament where the apostles ever equated or linked "salvation" with going to a place called heaven after you die. Christians don't care. In their minds, "going to heaven is salvation," that is, "where you spend eternity," MUST fill the New Testament, so there is no point at all to inquire otherwise.

I remember the moment when I knew that salvation and "heaven" are in no way connected by God. It was from a private study during my college years at Blueberry, writing down every verse in the New Testament containing "salvation" and every verse containing "heaven." God never puts the two together. It took great courage of heart to say to myself, "God never ever says that salvation has anything to do with where you go after you die." It takes even greater courage to say that openly and publicly. I knew full well the covering of darkness that sits upon all Christianity, striking down on every hand what God might actually say.

Now, let me get a bit dicey and personal here. You, my dear reader, brother and sister, are more Augustinian than you know. You do not read the Bible entirely through the eyes of Christ. I have no doubt that you read the Bible partly through the eyes of Christ, but also partly through Augustine. Thus when you read some things, you cannot see or hear the revelation of Jesus Christ, but you see and hear Augustin-ianity.

I do not say this to condemn, but only to enlighten and to show part of the battle the Lord Jesus has placed before us. I include myself entirely inside that same picture.

Paul said this in 2 Corinthians 3: "But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."

Paul, of course, knew nothing about a future Augustine. Here, he was referring to the natural Jew, yet these same words apply absolutely to us. Let me rephrase Paul's words to fit our situation today.

"But the minds of all Christians are blinded. For until this day the same veil of Augustine remains unlifted in the reading of the Bible, Old Testament and New, because the veil of Augustine is taken away only when we know that the Lord Jesus Christ is living now as us in this world, that we are utterly in Him and that He reveals Himself in and as every part of our humanity. But even to this day, when Christians read the New Testament, the veil of Augustine lies on their heart. Nevertheless, when one TURNS TO the Lord, the veil is taken away."

To turn is to repent. To repent is to walk out from behind the tree trunk and stand openly in the full light of God with no reference to any "self" or "no self" whatsoever. To live in the Lord is to walk always in the full consciousness of that same light.

When I look at me, I see Christ. When I look at Christ, I see me. "I am dead" is capable of becoming just as much of a fetish as "death to self." I do not refer to myself as a "self" being bent to Christ, neither do I refer to myself as a "not self." I see only Christ, yet not as a false merging that actually erases either Jesus or me, but in sweet communion, person to person, He in I and I in He, His consciousness inside of mine and my consciousness inside of His.

I walked through the mall yesterday afternoon while my lovely daughter spent time with her friends. First, let me reassure you, I am in no danger of actually laughing and dancing and leaping and singing in the middle of a crowded mall filled with shoppers. But I sure felt like it. I walked with the full and immediate awareness of the consciousness and person of Jesus inside of me and of my consciousness and person inside of Him. We walked together, He and I, through the mall. Yet much more than David's, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art with me." Not "with" me only, but together in one another, side by side as equals, inside each other's heart and person, fully and for real.

This is Christ; this is "turning to" the Lord.

Constantine, Athanasius, Damasus, Jerome, and Augustine strode across the years of that darkest of centuries as anti-apostles - their task: to blast this union utterly apart and to replace it with a "Christianity" that could never find its way back, even though it "reads" the New Testament. To do this they worked in two directions. Constantine and Athanasius targeted Jesus, turning him into Apollo the sun god - "God the Son" high above, far away from man on this earth. Damasus and Jerome targeted man, turning him into a despicable and abhorrent worm, worthy of nothing more than to be flung into hell fire forever, allowing the few who met the correct "Christian" requirements by the skin of their teeth into the bliss of "heaven."

It's fascinating that the world Paul lived in had no such knowledge of man. Paul said, "No man ever hated his own flesh, but loves and cherishes it." He had no idea of the twisted perversion coming in the future where all "Christians" would be taught to despise and hate their own flesh.

Then Augustine took all of that and wove it into an entire fabric of "Christian theology," placing it upon all that God speaks so that no Christian can hear what God actually says, but only what Augustine says God ought to have said.

So what does Augustine say God ought to have said? I will bring in three things here only. On the one hand, to attempt to go through all of Augustine and show point by point how he strips what God actually says of its power and meaning and replaces it with "Christianity," would be a dark and dreary task. I have no inclination to do it. On the other hand, all of my writing, all the way through is a continual refutation of Augustine. It is the hold of Augustine over the minds of Christians that I have been engaged against from the start.

I have passed a milestone in finally sharing the things publicly that God has placed in my heart over the years. Someone found my website by typing into Google search the words, "Daniel Yordy false teacher." This kind of accusation intrigues and fascinates me to no end. Over the next few days I read through all of more than three dozen of my articles, searching for anywhere I may have said something God does not Himself say in the New Testament.

The truth is, I am a "false teacher" only because I attack Augustine. And I do attack Augustine's hold over my brethren. And guess what! I will win, that is, Christ wins through me.

But understand this, Augustine is 700 pages in the Great Books, that means 1500 pages in regular book size. Every single one of those 700 large pages sits upon our thinking and rules how we read the Bible and approach God. People say concerning the fulfillment of the Third Feast in the life of the church, "What you teach is so confusing, it seems to make a "simple" gospel so complicated." They are interpreting their "confusion" wrongly. The complexity of Augustine fills their thinking. What we teach has no relationship with that way of thinking; it is built on an entire other set of assumptions about God and life and the gospel and who and what we are.

When we speak out of our assumptions, the gospel is clear and pure and simple, but to those who sit in Augustine, our teaching seems distorted and whacky and complicated. In equal measure, however, as we think and speak out of our assumptions a clear and pure and simple gospel, we look at the "gospel" most Christians push, and it appears to us distorted and whacky and complicated.

Here is Augustine's first piece of doctrine that all must have hammered upon their brains before they read and interpret one word of Scripture.

. . . The Trinity, one God, of Whom are all things, through Whom are all things, in Whom are all things. Thus the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and each of these by Himself is a complete substance, and yet they are all one substance. The Father is not the Son, nor the Holy Spirit; the Son is not the Father nor the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is not the Father nor the Son; but the Father is only Father, the Son is only Son, and the Holy Spirit is only Holy Spirit. To all three belong the same eternity, the same unchangeableness, the same majesty, the same power . . .
Now, it is clear that Augustine speaks of God and truth and Scripture. But he begins with something God never says, "Trinity," he inserts something God does say, but with a slightly different meaning than what God actually says, and then he proceeds with things that sound as if God did and should have said them. (Now, as I read again through these words, even while editing this letter again, a shadow of darkness emerges from them to lie across my spirit; a darkness I gladly turn away from.)

The problem is that God is not the creation of human intellect. He is a living, breathing Person, existing in dimensions and ways that we do not presently know. The Lord Jesus came to show us who and what the Father really is. God is meek and lowly of heart; He reveals Himself in weakness. When He is invited to dinner, He sits at the lowest place. When He has a chance to prove that He has what it takes, He stumbles and falls on His face in the mud. He lays down His life; He comes to serve.

Now, most of what Augustine says in these lines God never ever says. From these words, we get "God the Son," and "God the Holy Spirit," things also that God never ever says. When we say things about God that God Himself never says, we create an "alongside" god, one who looks like the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, but who is not the same One.

However, so much argument in "Christianity" circles around trying, so very hard, to prove that Augustine's definition of "God" is correct and to force that definition on the words of the New Testament. This is one-half of the removal from the knowledge of Christianity the wonderful reality that Christ lives as us in this world.

If we do not know Him IN our weakness, we will never know Him in His power. To claim that we can define Him in His power, speaking words He does not say, when we show no sign of knowing Him IN our weakness, is to delude ourselves.

Now, let me urge you not to be mistaken by the cries of, "Well, I just believe that's the way it is." Human "believing" isn't worth twat. We cannot create God by "believing." Faith does not believe things about God. Faith is specific to the word God speaks; that is, faith simply receives into itself what God actually says, and then reproduces in the flesh that same life and reality. And faith does so simply by agreeing with God.

But "Augustin-ianity" swinging in causes us to doubt what God actually says.

Here is another piece from Augustine. However, I include first the declaration of the Council of Nicaea, which creed almost all Christians hold as "gospel truth." Then, followed by Augustine's restatement of this same "truth."

And although the Archbishop be among the bishops as an elder brother, who hath the care of his brethren, and to whom they owe obedience because he is over them; yet the patriarch is to all those who are under his power, just as he who holds the seat of Rome is the head and prince of all patriarchs; inasmuch as he is first, as was Peter, to whom power is given over all Christian princes, and over all their peoples, as he who is the Vicar of Christ our Lord over all peoples and over the whole Christian Church, and whoever shall contradict this, is excommunicated by the synod." (Council of Nicaea)

"He who is separated from the body of the Catholic Church, however laudable his conduct may otherwise seem, will never enjoy eternal life, and the anger of God remains on him by reason of the crime of which he is guilty in living separated from Christ." (Augustine)

 It is interesting to read the arguments of classical Catholicism, that only those who have submitted to the Catholic hierarchy of "covering" are saved, all else are damned, no matter how much they might "believe" that Jesus is their Savior. I see in the Catholic argument the exact same argument we were given in the move of God, that knowing the fullness of God meant submitting to the hierarchy of covering. The principles and arguments are the same; the only difference is an apostolic ministry versus Pope and Bishops.

The vast majority of all Christians live under this same belief, that by being a member of a "group" called by the name of their own church, they are "in" with God.

I was asked by a reader to comment on a piece of "kingdom of God" writing he had found. This piece had some good things to say, but then it turned to the same definition of "Christ" pushed by Augustin-ianity, you see the words from the Council of Nicaea, "power over." That piece argued that Christianity has never known the unity of Christ BECAUSE . . .

Hogwash! All believers in Christ have always known the perfect unity of Christ the gospel proclaims. What has not known unity is this structure over God's people. And that structure will NEVER EVER know unity simply because it is not Christ. Who cares what any structure over God's people does or doesn't do? That kind of "unity" is the tower of Babel pointing straight "down"; it is confusion. Christ is One; His body is one. Anointed and gifted ministries attempting to move "in power" over Christ's body, no matter how much God and the idea of God thrills their souls, cannot and never will be one, for that is not Christ.

Again, if you read the life of Constantine in Wikipedia, you will see the reason for this kind of "power over" unity pushed by the Council of Nicaea: control. The moment you see the words "power over," you know that Lucifer is talking, not the Always Talking of God, the Lord Jesus.

Then, Augustine's statement that was the last straw, blowing away from me the present knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as my life in fullness right now.

In what way did He come but this, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us"? Just as when we speak, in order that we have in our minds may enter through the heart into the mind of the hearer, the word which we have in our hearts becomes an outward sound and is called speech; and yet our thought does not lose itself in the sound, but remains complete in itself, and takes the form of speech without being modified in its own nature by the change: so the Divine Word, though suffering no change of nature, yet became flesh, that he might dwell among us.

Now, reading through these words again, we might be tempted to think, "Wow, those words sound very similar to the things this Yordy teaches." Augustine is certainly talking about the Word made flesh.

How, then, did these words blow Christ my life right out of my knowledge and understanding? Let me explain; the distinction is so very important.

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